This quick and easy Instant Pot Chicken & Dumpling Soup, with tender chicken thighs and melt-in-your-mouth dumplings, is every bit as comforting as the stove-top version.
» You might also like this Instant Pot Chicken Gnocchi Soup.
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Chicken and dumplings has to be one of my favorite comfort foods. There’s something about that warm, soothing soup and those tender dumplings that make it an amazing dish to make any time of the year.
I’ve been wanting to try making it in the Instant Pot since the pressure should help it develop a lot of flavor in a short amount of time, so I decided to give this really popular version by Simply Happy Foodie a try. I think you’ll agree with me that the soup is a hit. I did adjust it slightly, but mostly it’s the same recipe.
The only thing that I didn’t think turned out super well was the dumplings, which were a bit too dense for me. I think this happens because the dumplings just don’t cook well under pressure. If you’re looking to avoid the dense dumplings, I have a few ideas below.
Ingredients You Need
For the soup:
- Butter – I use salted butter in all my savory dishes.
- Celery, Carrots, and Onions – The base for all soups and stews, called a “mirepoix” in French cooking. Besides the flavor, it makes the soup super nutritious.
- Garlic – Always use fresh garlic that hasn’t been kept in the refrigerator for too long. This has the best flavor and no bitterness that comes from older garlic.
- Dried Sage, Thyme, and Rosemary – Dried herbs give this soup a woodsy, hearty quality that makes it incredibly comforting. If you have fresh herbs to use, even better.
- Salt and Ground Black Pepper
- Chicken Thighs – Chicken thighs are almost impossible to overcook. They just get more tender and delicious the more you reheat them and we all know that there are going to be leftovers happening here.
- Low-Sodium Chicken Broth – I choose low-sodium broths whenever I make homemade soups and stews because this allows for better control of the salt levels in the final dish.
- Potato – We are using Russet potatoes here but you could also use red potatoes or yukon gold.
- Peas – Frozen peas are easy since you can just pull them out of the freezer whenever you need some. You could use fresh or canned if you want.
- Heavy Cream – As a final touch, use heavy cream to thicken the soup and make it extra rich and creamy. If you don’t like creamy chicken soup, you can just leave it out.
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For the dumplings:
- All-purpose flour or self rising flour. If you use self rising flour, leave out the baking powder.
- Baking powder – This is your leavening agent. As baking powder gets older it can affect the texture and outcome of whatever you are making.
- Butter – Make sure that your butter is very cold when you start.
- Whole milk – Make sure that your milk is very cold when you start.
How to Make Instant Pot Chicken & Dumpling Soup
I’ve had a few comments suggesting that it would be easier to mix up the dumplings before starting on the soup, so I’ve adjusted the recipe so the dumplings come first.
Make the Dumplings
Mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, and cold butter in a bowl. If you’re using self rising flour, do not add the baking powder.
Crumble the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter or fork until it resembles small pebbles. The butter needs to be nicely incorporated to give the dumplings an even texture.
Add the milk to the mixture and stir just until everything’s incorporated and a thick dough has formed. It won’t be smooth. Don’t over stir it to make it smooth. It’s supposed to be a bit lumpy.
Put the dumpling dough in the refrigerator to chill while you start the soup in the Instant Pot. Do not leave the dough out on the counter. It needs to be very cold when you drop it into the soup.
Make the Soup
Press the sauté button on your Instant Pot. When it’s hot, add the butter, onion, carrot, and celery. Sauté for about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and all of the seasonings. Give it a good stir and let it sauté for about 30 seconds to become fragrant.
Next, pour in the chicken broth, potatoes, and chicken. Turn off saute mode.
Get out your dumpling dough, which you’ve stashed away in the refrigerator. Drop the dumpling dough into the soup in large spoonfuls. For this, I just use a large spoon, scoop some out of the bowl, and set them on top of the soup. You don’t want them to sink in so set them carefully on the top.
Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the valve to sealing (if that’s necessary for your model). Press the manual or pressure cook button and set the time to 7 minutes on high pressure.
When the time is up, carefully release the pressure. It’s possible that some of the soup will spew out of the valve. If that happens, just drape a towel over it so it doesn’t splatter on you and your cabinets.
Once the pressure is released, open the lid. Carefully stir in the peas and heavy cream. You don’t want to push the dumplings below the surface of the soup too much, or they can take on too much water and become dense. Simmer the soup for about 5 minutes so the peas can warm up.
Be sure to taste it before serving so you can adjust the salt, if necessary. I often find that the dumplings need a bit more salt.
Why Use An Instant Pot?
The Instant Pot is one of the most useful kitchen appliances you can buy, because it drastically cuts down on the cooking time for developing flavors in soups and stews, getting tough cuts of meat tender, and even baking a cheesecake. And there are many accessories that will help you get more out of your Instant Pot.
If you don’t have one yet, check out our guide on which one to buy. Also see our guide to How to Use an Instant Pot for more information.
- Don’t Have an Instant Pot Yet? This guide can help you choose the right one.
- See reviews and prices for Instant Pots on Amazon.
- Learn some great Instant Pot Tips & Tricks.
- Click to find more recipes to make in your Instant Pot.
Avoiding Dense Dumplings
I’ve made this soup a few times as is with homemade dumplings and I’ve always found that they turn out quite dense and undercooked. I think under pressure just isn’t a great way to have them turn out fluffy. I’ve found that adding the dumpling dough after the soup has been cooked and letting them steam cook on keep warm with the lid on is the best way to go.
It takes about 15-17 minutes for the dumplings to cook, which is in addition to the time it took the soup to cook, so you might not want to opt for this more time-consuming method, but the dumplings turn out significantly better, in my opinion.
- If you don’t like a creamy chicken soup, you can leave out the heavy cream.
- For making the dumplings, you don’t have to make your own. You can use Bisquick to make a quick dumpling with just 2 cups of Bisquick and 2/3 cup milk. Or you can buy a can of Grands biscuit dough, cut it into small pieces, and add that to the soup. These dumplings will be more dense than the ones you make yourself.
- Use a frozen vegetable mix instead of frozen peas to add more variety of vegetables.
Additional Helpful Tips
- When you’re making the dumplings, use cold butter to make the dough less dense and more light and airy. This is the same way you make biscuits by cutting cold butter into the flour, the large pockets of butter melt and make the dough more fluffy.
- Only stir in the heavy cream when you’re about to serve the soup because if it boils too vigorously, it might break.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this soup in a large batch and freeze it?
You can make and freeze the soup before you add the heavy cream. This is the best way to avoid the soup breaking when you reheat it. You can always add the heavy creamy once you’ve warmed it up.
Can I use another type of pressure cookware?
Yes, you can. But if you use a stove-top pressure cooker instead of the Instant Pot, be careful when sautéing the aromatics and chicken so as not to burn them.
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Instant Pot Chicken & Dumpling Soup
Note: Made in a 6-qt Instant Pot
For homemade dumplings:
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons cold butter cubed
- 3/4 cup cold whole milk
For the soup:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 cup carrots chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sage
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
- 4 cups chicken broth low sodium
- 1 extra large potato peeled and cubed (or 2 large)
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
To Make the Dumplings
- Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and cold butter in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the cold milk and stir just until incorporated. Do not overmix. The dough will be lumpy. Refrigerate the dough while you make the soup.
To Make the Soup
- Press the sauté button on the Instant Pot. When hot, add the butter, onion, carrot, and celery. Sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and all seasonings. Sauté for 30 seconds.
- Pour in the chicken broth, potatoes, and chicken, then cancel sauté mode.
- Get the dumpling dough from the refrigerator. Drop the dumpling dought into the soup in large spoonfuls.
- Put on the Instant Pot lid and turn the valve to sealing (if necessary for your model). Pressure cook on high for 7 minutes. When done, carefully release the pressure and open the lid.
- Dump in the peas and heavy cream. Stir carefully so you don’t submerge the dumplings. Heat on keep warm for 5 minutes to warm up the peas. Serve.
- The dumplings tend to come out a bit dense when pressure cooked. It helps to not overwork the dough and use COLD butter and milk.
- The only way I’ve found to not end up with dense dumplings is to add them to the soup after pressure cooking. Keep the pot on Keep Warm, cover with the lid and steam the dumplings for about 15-17 minutes, until they are cooked through.
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Laura is a passionate home cook and the owner of A Pressure Cooker Kitchen. She is dedicated to helping people create delicious Instant Pot meals with ease. Laura is an expert at developing recipes that can be prepared quickly and easily using a pressure cooker.
2 thoughts on “Instant Pot Chicken & Dumpling Soup”
It turned out delicious, but the instructions are confusing. So 5 stars for the food and one star for instructions. Suggestion would be to instruct all prep to be done first. That includes the dumplings which could be refrigerated until needed. Even with pre-prep, there is no possible way to complete this meal in 35 minutes.
Sorry about the confusion, Greg. I will redo the instructions to make it easier to understand.