This creamy gluten-free, AIP/Paleo Chicken and Dumpling Soup is rich and comforting. Made with juicy chicken thighs, fresh vegetables and grain-free dumplings, this hearty one-pot meal is wholesome and delicious.
Get cozy with a bowl of this nourishing AIP/Paleo Chicken and Dumpling Soup. It’s the perfect comfort food to keep you warm during the cold winter months!
Creamy chicken soup without dairy
That’s right! This Chicken and Dumpling Soup recipe is an allergy-friendly, AIP/paleo version of chicken and dumplings, so that means it’s completely dairy-free, gluten-free and grain-free. The trick is the full-fat coconut cream that makes this soup so thick and creamy without butter, heavy cream, evaporated milk or any other dairy! Don’t worry, there isn’t a strong coconut flavor here as it’s well balanced with the chicken stock or bone broth. I’ve used this technique in my White Chicken Chili recipe which has a similarly silky, creamy texture with a flavorful chicken base.
This chicken and dumpling soup recipe begins with an aromatic vegetable base of onions, celery and carrots which provides a wonderful depth of flavor. Chicken thighs with seasonings like garlic, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder and fresh sage and thyme are added to the mirepoix to enrich the flavor profile. Chicken bone broth deepens the flavor, forming a liquid base for the soup which balances the full fat coconut cream to create a rich and creamy texture.
The gluten-free dumplings are the pièce de résistance of this hearty soup and take the comfort factor to another level! They’re made with cassava flour, coconut flour and arrowroot starch so they’re also nut-free and grain-free. The properties of these grain-free flours together with the baking soda, cream of tartar and coconut milk create the perfect texture for tender, moist and fluffy dumplings that rise while they cook!
- olive oil
- boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- yellow onion
- sea salt
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- fresh sage
- fresh thyme
- chicken bone broth – you can use a store bought variety or make your own. I use sodium free bone broth, so this is something to keep in mind when adding the salt called for in this recipe. If you’re following AIP, ensure the ingredients are compliant.
- full fat, additive-free coconut cream
- chives – optional, for garnish
- cassava flour
- coconut flour
- arrowroot flour/starch
- sea salt
- baking soda
- cream of tartar
- full fat coconut milk – If you’re following AIP, ensure it’s additive-free.
- I love the deeper flavor of dark meat in this chicken soup but you can replace the chicken thighs with chicken breasts if you prefer.
- I recommend using fresh sage and thyme for the best flavor and results, but dried herbs work if you’re in a pinch.
- I haven’t tried substituting the coconut cream with full fat coconut milk but suspect the broth will be thinner and less creamy.
- You can substitute the chicken bone broth with chicken stock.
How To Make Chicken and Dumpling Soup
Step 1: Make the Chicken Soup Base
First, in a large stockpot or dutch oven, cook onion, celery and carrots in olive oil until onions are translucent. Then, add garlic, chicken thighs, herbs and spices and cook about 5 minutes, browning the chicken on all sides. Next, reduce heat and add chicken broth. Allow to simmer 20-25 minutes.
Step 2: Make Dumpling Dough
While soup simmers, make the gluten-free dumpling dough in a large bowl. Combine the flours with the baking soda, cream of tartar, sea salt and coconut milk to make a soft dough.
Step 3: Shred Chicken
Then, transfer chicken to a bowl with a slotted spoon and shred with two forks. Return shredded chicken to soup.
Step 4: Add Coconut Cream
Add coconut cream and allow to come to simmer.
Step 5: Add Gluten-Free Dumplings
Next, spoon the dumpling dough into balls with a cookie scoop or large spoon and place into the simmering pot for 5-10 minutes, or until cooked through. Don’t overcook dumplings or else they will dissolve.
Step 6: Adjust to Taste and Serve
Taste and adjust salt as necessary. Finally, remove from heat. Garnish individual servings with sliced chives (optional).
Slow cooker/Instant Pot Instructions:
Making this chicken and dumpling soup recipe in a slow cooker or Instant Pot is really easy!
- First, use medium heat on your slow cooker or the Sauté function on your Instant Pot to sauté the aromatics and brown the chicken. (Follow Steps 1-3 from the recipe card below). This can also be done on the stovetop, before transferring to the slow cooker or Instant Pot.
- Next, add bone broth and cook on Low for 1 hour.
- Follow Steps 5-7 from recipe card in your slow cooker or Instant Pot:
- Make dumplings as described in step 5.
- Remove chicken, shred, and return to slow cooker or Instant Pot.
- Add coconut cream and let simmer on Low.
- Lastly, add your dumplings at the very end and cook on High for 5-10 minutes. You don’t want to cook them too long, or else they will dissolve.
variations to try
The grain-free and gluten-free dumplings created for this recipe are an AIP/paleo take on the more traditional style of chicken and dumplings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Instead of using butter and flour or heavy cream, this chicken and dumplings recipe relies on coconut cream to make it thick and creamy without dairy. Plus, the dumplings are made with coconut milk so they’re also dairy-free.
The coconut cream really is key to the amazing texture, and I promise it doesn’t leave a strong flavor in this soup. The coconut milk also helps bind the dumpling dough. If you’re looking for a coconut-free AIP/paleo soup, try my Hearty Ground Turkey Soup with Vegetables.
If you’d like to try this soup without the coconut ingredients, it won’t be as rich and creamy as this version. You could try substituting the coconut cream with more bone broth and another type of milk that you can tolerate. Similarly, replace the coconut milk in the dumplings with another type of milk.
Refer to the Ingredient Substitutions section of the blog post for my suggestions.
While traditional recipes may use a roux base of butter and flour to create thickness, this dairy-free and grain-free chicken and dumplings uses coconut cream as a thickener. If you’d like even thicker soup, you can try adding a slurry with 1 TBSP arrowroot or tapioca starch with 1.5 TBSP cold water and whisk it into the soup just before taking it off the heat.
Storage & Reheating Instructions
Fridge: Store this soup overnight in the fridge in a sealed container. Reheat on the stovetop before serving.
Freezer: This soup freezes well! Store in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 month. I recommend defrosting in the fridge until liquid and then reheating on the stovetop before serving.
If you try this creamy AIP/Paleo Chicken and Dumpling Soup recipe I would love if you could give the recipe a star rating and short review. Be sure to snap a picture of the finished product and share it with me on Instagram by tagging @healmedelicious
you’ll love these other comforting aip/paleo soups:
- Chicken and Pumpkin Soup
- Ginger-Garlic Pork Noodle Soup
- Turkey and Kale Soup
- Gingery Roasted Winter Squash Soup
you might enjoy these other cozy aip/paleo one-pot meals:
- Balsamic Mushroom Pasta
- Creamy Garlic Pork and Spinach
- Paleo Chili (AIP, Nightshade Free)
- AIP Lamb Curry with Cauliflower