Hearty cornmeal buttermilk dumplings simmered in a rich chicken stew laced with tomatoes, peppers, celery, and carrots. 

Tomato based chicken and dumplings made with cornmeal dumplings, in a small bowl.

Chicken ‘n dumplings is such a homey dish. I just love dumplings! They’re sort of a mix between biscuits and noodles, wouldn’t you say?

I often make chicken and dumplings in my Instant Pot. Aside from the fact that it’s cooked in a pressure cooker, that recipe, with chicken, carrots and celery, and white flour dumplings, is a bit more traditional than this one. I also love chicken stew with cornmeal biscuits or skillet chicken pot pie topped with flaky canned biscuits. 

This chicken and dumpling recipe is a bit unique, with tomatoes, peppers, and cornmeal dumplings, and it’s oh, so good!I hope you love this hearty recipe as much as we do. It’s delicious and perfect for a cold winter’s night. 

Dumplings in a tomato broth, in a white pot.

About this chicken and cornmeal dumplings recipe

Another reason I love this recipe is that it’s made in one pan! Making your whole dinner in one pan equals easy cleanup. We all love that, right?

I like to use boneless skinless chicken thighs but chicken breasts would be fine, too. Cut the chicken into one inch pieces and brown them in a large Dutch oven. Remove them from the pan as they brown. They won’t be completely cooked but that’s okay because you’ll be simmering them later.

Add carrots, celery, chopped scallions, and green bell pepper to the pan and sauté until the vegetables are softening. Add chopped thyme and a fourth cup of flour, cooking and stirring for a minute. The flour will work as a thickening agent for the stew.

Pour in chicken broth and a big can of tomatoes. I use whole tomatoes but I squish them with my hands first to break them up a little. You can use diced tomatoes, if you prefer. Don’t forget to add the chicken back to the pot, too.

Simmer the stew for about a half hour or until the vegetables are tender. If the stew simmers longer than that, don’t sweat it. It will be perfectly fine. Check the seasoning and add a splash of red wine vinegar. Don’t skip the vinegar–it adds so much flavor to the stew. I find myself adding red wine vinegar to so many stews and soups. That little bit of acid just rounds out the flavor. 

Chicken with cornmeal dumplings.

While the stew simmers, mix up the dumplings. Add flour, cornmeal, finely chopped herbs, baking powder, a hint of sugar and salt, and butter to a bowl. Blend the butter into the flour with your fingers or a pastry cutter. It should resemble coarse crumbs. Pour in buttermilk, just enough to moisten the dry ingredients, and mix it together. When the stew is ready, drop the batter into the stew by tablespoons. Cover the pot and let the dumplings steam/cook for about twenty minutes.

Gather the crowd, supper’s ready! You won’t really need to have a side dish or salad with this meal because you’re serving chicken, vegetables, and bread, all from one pan. Fresh fruit would make a great dessert. 

Pan of tomato sauce and chicken, with cornmeal biscuits.

Make it your own

  • Replace boneless skinless chicken thighs with chicken breasts.
  • Add corn, spinach, red bell pepper, zucchini, or another vegetable of your choice.
  • Use a light beer, such as pilsner, instead of chicken broth.
  • Replace 1/3 cup of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour to make multi-grain dumplings.

Cornmeal dumplings with chicken.

More one pan dinners!


Pan of tomato sauce and chicken, with cornmeal biscuits.

Chicken with Cornmeal Dumplings

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Hearty cornmeal buttermilk dumplings simmered in a rich chicken stew laced with tomatoes, peppers, celery, and carrots.



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ¾ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ¾ cup chopped green onions (about ½ bunch)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 ½ cups chopped celery (2-3 stalks)
  • 1 ½ cups chopped carrots (2-3 carrots)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup fine yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped green onions, green part only
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ to ¾ cup reduced-fat buttermilk


  1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat oil over medium high. Season chicken with salt and pepper, add to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides, about ten minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a medium bowl.
  2. Add green onions, bell pepper, celery, and carrots to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in thyme and flour, season with salt and pepper; cook one more minute.
  3. Return chicken to pot and stir in broth. With your hands roughly tear tomatoes and add to pot along with juices. Bring to a rapid simmer and cook, uncovered, 30 minutes.
  4. Shortly before the end of the cooking time, prepare dumpling dough. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, parsley, green onions, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, fork, or pastry cutter, work in butter until fine crumbs form. Stir in buttermilk, just enough to moisten.
  5. After stew has finished simmering, season to taste with vinegar, and additional salt and pepper, if desired.
  6. Reduce heat to a medium simmer and drop dough by rounded tablespoons on top of stew. Cover and simmer until dumplings are cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately.


  • If desired, substitute boneless skinless chicken breasts for the thighs.
  • In place of whole peeled tomatoes, substitute 2 cans (14.5 oz.) of diced tomatoes.
  • Substitute 2 -12 oz. bottles of light beer, such as pilsner, for the broth.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 of 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 416Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 167mgSodium: 753mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 39g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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