The rich, creamy soup base for Slow Cooker Chicken and Biscuits is made without any heavy cream and gets great flavor from chicken and vegetables simmered low and slow. Top it with homemade (or store-bought) biscuits and it’s sure to become a family favorite.
Chicken and dumplings? Chicken and biscuits? What to call this iconic comfort food… Part of the dilemma is that there are so many ways to serve this meal, and they’re all good! Some versions have classic flaky biscuits that are baked separately. Some have tender biscuits that are baked on top of the stew. Other versions have dough balls that are dropped into the stew, creating super soft, creamy dumplings that fall apart as you eat them.
Truthfully, we’ve tried them all and I couldn’t pick a favorite! So I’m giving you a few different options – it’s a chose-your-own-adventure dinner with a rich, creamy slow cooker chicken stew as the base.
You literally can’t go wrong with this cozy meal. Here’s how to make it.
Why Make Chicken and Dumplings In the Slow Cooker
One word: flavor. When you cook the chicken stew in the slow cooker, the chicken and vegetables have plenty of time to simmer in stock, creating an intensely flavored, rich base for the stew.
Do I have to Saute the Onions First?
Yes. In this version of slow cooker chicken and dumplings, you’ll saute the onions in a skillet first to get them started cooking and then create an easy roux which thickens the soup as it cooks low and slow. This roux is then added to the slow cooker with the other ingredients so you get a thick, creamy stew base without the need to add any actual cream. Without sautéing the onions first, you won’t have the roux which makes this stew nice and creamy.
Variations on Dumplings / Biscuits for Chicken Stew
There are so many ways to finish off a chicken stew with dumplings, biscuits, or some other starchy topping. A lot of this depends on your personal preference. Here are a few of the best ways to top a classic chicken stew.
- Refrigerated Biscuits (baked in the oven): Probably our favorite topping for ease and also because who doesn’t love classic, flaky biscuits that require no work? Come home from work, slide the biscuits into the oven, and just serve them on the side or on top of the chicken stew.
- Homemade Biscuits (baked on top of the stew): The recipe provided below (and shown in photos at the top of the page) includes a homemade topping that comes together fast and can be dropped on top of the stew. This is a soft and tender (not flaky) topping that bakes right in the slow cooker. Because it bakes with the stew, the bottom is soft and dumpling-like and the top is firm and biscuit-like. It’s sort of the best of both worlds.
- Gnocchi (cooked in the stew) – This is a fun twist on dumplings that cook inside of the chicken stew. Store-bought gnocchi are potato dumplings that are soft but will hold their shape in the hot stew. The result is plump tender dumplings in nearly every bite of stew. Find gnocchi with pasta in the dry pasta aisle or refrigerated section of the grocery store.
Freeze This Meal
To Freeze This Meal: To freeze this meal, follow the instructions below through Step #3 (saute the onions and make the roux). Combine all ingredients except 3 cups of stock and the peas in a freezer-safe bag or container. Seal tightly, pressing out as much air as possible. Freeze for 4 to 6 months.
To Cook the Meal: Defrost the soup in the refrigerator for 48 to 72 hours. (Be sure to give this enough time to defrost before adding it to the slow cooker. Once this is frozen solid, it takes a long time to fully defrost.) Transfer to a slow cooker and add 3 cups Chicken Stock. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours. (After cooking time is finished, the stew can hold on the warming function for up to 2 hours.) Remove and chop the chicken and add it back to stew with 1 cup peas. While the stew finishes cooking, prepare whichever biscuit or dumpling topping you prefer.
Print the recipe below for a label with reheating instructions you can attach to the top of the meal!
Other Favorite Chicken Recipes
- Sheet Pan Chicken Shawarma – This meal is always a hit in our house. A quick marinade gives the chicken tons of flavor. Serving it with warm naan, hummus, and carrots sticks means it’s a meal the kids love too.
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole – Chicken enchiladas in a much easier casserole style. Make this ahead of time and just slide it into the oven when you’re ready to eat.
- 20-Minute Chicken Ramen Stir-fry – Got 20 minutes? You’ve got enough time for this take-out fake-out favorite.
- 6-quart Slow Cooker – This recipe is designed to fit inside a 6-quart slow cooker. You can use a round or oval-shaped version.
- Le Creuset Dutch Oven – You’ll need a large pot like this Dutch oven to make the thickened broth that gives the stew a rich, creamy base without any cream.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Biscuits
- 6-quart Slow Cooker
Slow Cooker Chicken Stew
- 4 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Onion, diced
- 1 cup Flour
- 1 tsp Dried Thyme
- 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 4 + 3 cups Chicken Stock, divided
- 2 lbs Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 12 oz Carrots, Chopped
- 3 ribs Celery, sliced
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 cup Frozen Peas
- 1 3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated (optional)
- 1/4 tsp Dried Thyme
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Milk
- 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Melted
- Place a Dutch oven or large pan with high sides over medium heat. Add 4 Tbsp butter. When butter melts, add onion and saute until tender, 6 to 7 minutes.
- Stir in 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp dried thyme, and garlic. Cook, stirring, until no dry spots remain, about 2 minutes.
- Slowly pour in 4 cups stock, whisking as you add the stock. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any dried bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer until mixture turns slightly golden and gets very thick, 8 to 10 minutes. It should resemble a thick gravy. (See notes below if you want to freeze this meal.)
- Transfer contents of the pan to the bowl of a slow cooker.
- Add 3 cups chicken stock, chicken thighs, carrots, celery, and bay leaves.
- Cook on low until chicken is tender, 4 to 5 hours. (At this point the stew can hold on the warm setting for up to 2 hours. Note: If your stew was not fully defrosted before it was added to the slow cooker, be sure to check that the chicken has cooked all the way through before serving.)
- Remove lid from slow cooker. Taste broth and season with some additional salt, if needed.
- Transfer chicken to a cutting board and shred or chop. Return chicken to the slow cooker and add peas. Increase slow cooker heat to high.
- Meanwhile, whisk together 1 ¾ cup flour, baking powder, parmesan cheese (if using), ¼ tsp dried thyme, and salt. Add milk and melted butter and stir just until everything is combined.
- Spray a 1/4 cup measuring cup with nonstick cooking spray. Use the measuring cup to scoop and drop the biscuit batter into the stew. (No need to be precise about this. The biscuits will spread out as they cook.)
- Cover slow cooker and continue cooking until dumplings are cooked through, about 30 minutes.
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