Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings are a delicious homemade comfort food classic that can be made so much quicker in the pressure cooker. This stew has big flavor with chicken thighs, and drop dumplings make this easier.
Why this works
- Total comfort food - this is real stick-to-your-ribs comfort food for cooler weather a lot like my chicken tagine or Instant Pot Chicken and Noodles.
- Simple ingredients - use pantry staples for this recipe along with budget-friendly chicken thighs for a new family favorite.
- Easy steps - I've broken down this classic dish into easy-to-follow steps just like my French onion soup recipe so anyone can make it without having to spend the whole day in the kitchen.
Ingredients you will need
Here is a quick snapshot of the ingredients you'll need. Scroll down to the recipe card where you'll find exact measurements.
- Chicken thighs - I use bone-in chicken with the skin. This helps develop better flavor through the saute and when you are cooking the stew.
- Mushrooms - these can be fresh or canned.
- Chicken broth - I use unsalted chicken broth then season to taste with salt. You can also use some of your own homemade bone broth for this as well.
- Chicken thighs - this can be swapped out for other chicken parts, but I prefer thighs because of the deeper flavor. If you use boneless and skinless thighs be sure to deglaze the pan well as they are likely to stick more during the browning process.
- Dumpling ingredients - if you are short on time you can also use canned biscuit dough in place of the homemade dumplings. Roll out the biscuit dough then cut into strips then squares. Or you can roll and cut into ⅛ wedge shapes.
How to make this
Step 1: Make the chicken fricasee
Season both sides of the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Heat the Instant Pot on saute. Add butter to pot, and brown both sides of the chicken. Remove to plate, and repeat until all the chicken pieces are finished.
Add the prepared onion, carrots, and celery to the pot. Salt and pepper the vegetables to taste. Cook on saute for about three minutes or until the onions are softened.
Then add the mushrooms and saute until softened or about three minutes. Add the chicken broth, and return the chicken to the pot.
Add the ground thyme, salt, and pepper. The contents of the pot should be covered with broth, but should not exceed the max line of your pot. If needed, add additional broth or water to cover.
Cook on high pressure for 15-minutes followed by a 10-minute natural pressure release.
Step 2: Making the dumplings
In a bowl combine the dry ingredients. Add the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt to the bowl. Stir to together to even distribute the ingredients.
In a measuring cup combine the milk and the butter. Heat in the microwave until the butter is melted. You can also do this in a small pan on the stove. Heating until the butter is just melted as well.
Add enough of the milk-butter mixture to moisten the mixture so it is the consistency of a sticky cookie dough. Usually this means using all of it. Set aside.
Remove the chicken thighs from the pot. Remove the skin and debone.
Add several drops of lemon juice to the stew. Add in the heavy cream, and return the chicken to the pot. I like to sneak in another ½-1 teaspoon each of pepper and ground thyme at this step too. That way there's plenty of flavor for the broth and the dumplings.
Drop the biscuit dough by tablespoon onto the top of the stew. DO NOT STIR. Cover the top of the Instant Pot with a lid or plate. Set to LOW saute, and allow to simmer for about 6-minutes. Dumplings will be done once they are expanded and floating to the top.
Turn off the saute function, and let the Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings rest for 10-minutes prior to serving. Note the resting time is part of the cook time.
Cut down the prep time by either pre-cut vegetables from the store, or cutting them ahead of time. You can also use a store-bought biscuit mix if you are short on time.
These chicken and dumplings can be prepared in advance up to the point you pressure cook the chicken and debone. You can prepare on a weekend, and reheat on a weekday. Finish the stew by picking up at the point where we add lemon juice for a quick weeknight dinner.
Yes, you can cook them until the point where they dissolve.
They must be cooked with the lid on because the steam created actually helps to cook the dumplings.
Dumplings will naturally be submerged as you add more and more of them to the pot. You can gently push them down but never stir them.
Storage & Reheating
This chicken stew reheats very well. Serve immediately in an airtight container and serve for up one week. Reheat in the microwave.
To freeze, allow to cool completely, and then freeze for up to 3-4 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, and reheat in the microwave.
More soup & stew recipes
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Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings
- 3-4 pounds chicken thighs I recommend skin-on and bone-in for more flavor. May do boneless or skinless if preferred, will result in less flavor.
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 onion diced
- 4 carrots peeled and sliced
- 3 stalks celery sliced
- 1 8-ounce package mushrooms sliced, may substitute with canned
- 1 32 ounce box chicken broth I used unsalted
- 2 teaspoons ground thyme divided
- 2 teaspoons pepper divided
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream can do less if desired
- lemon juice several drops
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk I use 2%
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Preheat the Instant Pot on saute. Add butter and oil or either for sauteeing. Add the chicken, and brown both sides. Repeat until all chicken is done.
- Add the prepared onions, carrots, and celery to the pot. Add additional cooking oil or butter if needed for sauteeing. Cook for a few minutes or until the onion has softened.
- Add in the mushrooms, and cook for two minutes. Then add a small bit of chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Turn off saute.
- Add chicken to the pot, and the remaining broth. Add in the pepper, and ground thyme.
- Seal lid and cook on high pressure for 15-minutes and follow with a 10-minute natural pressure release.
- Remove the chicken thighs only from the pot. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Remove skin, debone, and shred chicken to desired size.
- Add heavy whipping cream, and lemon juice to stew. Add the other half of the pepper and ground thyme. Add the chicken back to the pot. Stir.
- Combine 2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt to a medium bowl then stir together.
- Melt three tablespoons of butter in one cup of milk in the microwave. Add to flour mixture and combine well.
- Drop by tablespoons onto top of stew, cover, and cook covered on LOW saute for 9-minutes.
- Turn off saute once the dumplings are done. Dumplings will puff and float when done. Allow to rest 10-minutes to finish cooking the dumplings.
- Serve, and store leftovers in an airtight container for up to one week. Can be frozen for up to three to four months. Thaw in refrigerator and reheat in microwave.
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