A healthy alternative to the comfort food classic, this recipe for Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings has it all! Packed full of flavor, hidden veggies for creaminess (without the cream), and even gluten free dumplings that don’t sacrifice taste or texture. This Gluten Free Chicken and Dumplings dish will be sure to warm your kitchen all winter long. This post contains affiliate links for products I’m obsessed with.
Healthy Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings from scratch
Guys. Chicken and freaking dumplings.
Holy mother of all things comforting and cozy, this soup is everything I need in life right now. And the best part, this recipe is super easy and can actually be made on a busy weeknight. Like even in December.
Oh – and everything about this is from scratch – even the gluten free dumplings, which, by the way, do not let the sound of them scare you. They are hella easy to mix together and then just plop (technical cooking term) into your soup.
And this recipe is also dairy free and, you guessed it, uses cauliflower to add a creaminess to the base that really can’t be beat. Based off my popular Chicken Pot Pie Soup recipe, this Healthy Chicken and Dumplings recipe also uses the Instant Pot to make dinner a cinch. So let’s get into it!
Ingredients for Healthy Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings + Substitutions
Flavorful, fresh ingredients to make a healthy alternative to your favorite comfort food!
- olive oil cooking spray – Avocado oil cooking spray is a great substitute or just use a bit of actual oil.
- chicken tenderloins, chicken breast, or chicken thighs – I used a combination because I love the richness that the thighs add to the broth!
- chopped celery – You’ll want nice, bright green stalks.
- chopped carrots – Full of vitamins, you don’t want to skip out on this veggie!
- onion – White or yellow for the best flavor, diced.
- garlic – Freshly minced for freshest flavor. Love garlic? Add some more!
- chicken stock or broth – Either way choose one that is low sodium, however, stock typically has a richer flavor to it.
- cauliflower – One small head, washed with the bottom leaves trimmed, but still intact.
- unsweetened almond or cashew milk – Or any milk (dairy or non-dairy) of your choice.
- salt + pepper – Optional, but I like to add a pinch to taste.
- butter – Unsalted to keep the sodium levels down.
- fresh parsley and/or thyme – Optional, used for a garnish.
For the Dumplings:
- gluten free 1-1 flour blend – I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 Baking Flour. If you aren’t gluten free, you can sub whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour.
- baking powder – As a leavening agent to make your dumplings light and fluffy.
- salt – Just a dash.
- butter – You can also use vegan butter. We love Earth’s Best.
- almond or cashew milk – Unsweetened.
- chopped fresh chives – Optional, but adds an extra bit of flavor to the dumplings.
How to Make Gluten Free Chicken and Dumplings
The Instant Pot makes whipping up this hearty, healthy Chicken and Gluten Free Dumplings a breeze!
- Set your Instant Pot to the sauté setting. When hot, spray the inner liner with cooking oil spray, then add in the onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant and slightly translucent. Add in the minced garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
- Now add in your chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the stock or broth over the veggies and chicken, then place the head of cauliflower on top.
- Lock the lid and set your Instant Pot for 15 minutes on manual. (Set for 20 minutes if using a large block of frozen chicken).
Gluten Free Dumplings
- Onto the dumplings! Start by adding the gluten free flour, salt, and baking powder to a mixing bowl. Use a fork to whisk the dry ingredients together. Next, add the chives (optional), milk, and melted butter to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined and you have a sticky dough.
- After the cook time is complete, let the pot naturally release for 5 minutes, then quick release the rest of the pressure. Remove the lid and place pot on sauté to keep the soup hot.
- Remove the cauliflower head from the Instant Pot and place it in a blender with milk and a few tablespoons of broth. Blend until creamy and smooth.
- Remove the chicken, shred, then return to the pot. Add the cauliflower puree back into the pot as well.
- Using a teaspoon, drop spoonfuls of dumpling dough into the pot, trying to work around the pot so the dough doesn’t stick together. After all of the dumplings have been added, place the lid back on the Instant Pot and set for zero minutes. After the cook time, do a quick release.
- Stir in 2 tsp of additional butter. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Garnish with fresh herbs, if desired, and enjoy!
I don’t have an Instant Pot. Can I make Chicken and Dumplings in the Slow Cooker or on the Stove?
Yes! I included alternate directions for your crock pot and stove top in the recipe card below.
How Long Will This Gluten Free Chicken and Dumplings Stay Fresh?
Any delicious leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This recipe is also great for freezing- I love using Souper Cubes!
What Kind Of Chicken Is Best?
You can use any kind of chicken you like, breasts, thighs, tenderloins, you can even use frozen chicken if you don’t have time to defrost any. Just adjust the cook time from 15 to 20 minutes to allow for that. I like to use a combination of tenderloins and thighs because the flavor the thighs give to the dish can’t be beat!
More Healthy Instant Pot Soup Recipes:
Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup [Gluten Free]
Instant Pot Low Carb Stuffed Pepper Soup
Instant Pot Sausage and Lentil Soup
Healthy Instant Pot Lasagna Soup
Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
Healthy Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 lb chicken tenderloins, chicken breast, or chicken thighs (I used a combination bc I love the richness that the thighs add to the broth)
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 cups chopped carrots
- 1 cup onion diced (about 1 small onion)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups low sodium chicken stock or broth
- 1 small head cauliflower washed and bottom leaves trimmed but still intact
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk
- ½ teaspoon salt + pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons butter
- Fresh parsley and/or thyme for garnish
For the Gluten Free Dumplings
- 1 cup gluten free baking flour be sure it has xantham gum in it or you will need to add - I love Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 Baking Flour. You can sub whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour if you don't need gluten free.
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ tablespoons butter or vegan butter
- 3/4 cup of almond or cashew milk
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives optional
- Set Instant Pot to saute. When hot, spray inner liner with cooking oil spray, then add in onions, celery, carrots and saute for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant and slightly translucent. Add in garlic and saute for an additional minute.
- Add in chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour stock or broth over the veggies and chicken, then place the head of cauliflower on top.
- Lock lid and set IP for 15 minutes on manual. (Set for 20 minutes if using a large block of frozen chicken)
- Now, make the dumplings. Start by adding the gluten free flour, salt, and baking powder to a mixing bowl. Use a fork to whisk the dry ingredients together. Next, add the chives (optional), milk, and melted butter to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined and you have a sticky dough.
- After cook time, let the pot naturally release for 5 minutes, then quick release the rest of the pressure. Remove lid and place pot on saute to keep the soup hot.
- Remove cauliflower from the Instant Pot and place in a blender with milk and a few tablespoons of broth. Blend until creamy and smooth.
- Remove chicken, shred, then return to the pot. Add cauliflower puree back into the pot.
- Using a teaspoon, drop spoonfuls of dumpling dough into the pot, trying to work around the pot so the dough doesn’t stick together. After all of the dumplings have been added, place lid back on the IP and set for zero minutes. After cooktime, do a quick release.
- Stir in 2 tsp butter. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Garnish with fresh herbs, if desired.
Crock Pot Instructions:
- Place everything in your crock pot and cook for 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
- Make the dumplings. Start by adding the gluten free flour, salt, and baking powder to a mixing bowl. Use a fork to whisk the dry ingredients together. Next, add the chives (optional), milk, and melted butter to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined and you have a sticky dough.
- An hour before serving, add the dumplings to the soup to let them cook. Follow the steps above for shredding the chicken and blending the cauliflower.
Stove Top Instructions:
- In a large dutch oven or pot, add 1 tsp butter, onions, celery, carrots and saute for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant and slightly translucent. Add in garlic and saute for an additional minute.
- Add in stock or broth and chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then, place the head of cauliflower on top. Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer, about 30 minutes, until chicken is easily shredded and the veggies are tender.
- While you wait for the soup to boil, make the dumplings. Start by adding the gluten free flour, salt, and baking powder to a mixing bowl. Use a fork to whisk the dry ingredients together. Next, add the chives (optional), milk, and melted butter to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined and you have a sticky dough.
- Remove cauliflower from the pot and place in a blender with milk and a few tablespoons of broth. Blend until creamy and smooth.
- Remove chicken, shred.
- Add dumplings to the pot. Cover the soup and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add cauliflower puree and chicken back into the pot and stir in remaining butter. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Garnish with fresh herbs, if desired.
Megan Pickell says
This is so delicious! I made as written except used whole wheat flour for dumplings instead of GF. My husband loved it too; his only complaint was that it needed more dumplings so I may double that part next time. I think I didn’t form them well and they fell apart a bit. Was so surprised by the cauliflower as thickener. My husband had no clue. Thanks for another great one!!
Thanks Megan! Do you have a cookie scoop? I use that for the dumplings and they come out great!
This was delicious!!!! I saved to add to more frequent rotation especially now that it’s getting colder. Thank you!
Thank you so much! I agree it is a delicious cold weather meal!
Absolutely delicious!! Forgot to add the butter but tasted amazing without.
This is great to hear, thank you!
If you get a chance, would you mind adding a star rating to your comment? It helps other readers know it’s a winner! Thank you!!
Just made this and had to have a taste before dinner… came out perfect!
Taste testing is a tough job, but someone has to do it! LOL!
This is in my instant pot now! Can’t wait to try it. However my local market only had incredibly small heads of cauliflower 🥴 keeping my fingers crossed that putting two In will do the trick. I also doubled recipe for my family of 6. Is there anything to do if the cauliflower ratio isn’t quite enough?
Can I use regular white flour for the dumplings?
Hi Nancylynn. This looks delicious. I am also on a fitness health journey with my family. I want to try your chicken and dumplings because my family loves soups!
Question: what is the serving amount per person? I see it serves 4 and lists the containers but hard to know with soup if only serving one bowl at a time.
I made your butternut squash recipe with the goat cheese and cranberries. It was very good. My family said it was the best way they liked it to be able to tolerate eating it. I left the cheese off of theirs since they don’t like goat cheese.
Hi! Thank you for your comments! The serving size is about 2 cups. It can vary based on the size of your head of cauliflower but about 2 cups is accurate. You can also use the markings on the inside of the Instant Pot liner to see how much soup you have before serving and then divide that amount by 4. I hope that helps!
Hello! What is the serving size?
2 – 2 1/4 cups (will depend on the size of your head of cauliflower)
Megan L says
I’m so confused. I set the IP for ZERO minutes? How do I know when the dumplings are done?
Yes! Set it to zero minutes and the pot will come to pressure and then it will switch over to “keep warm”. The dumplings will cook in the time that it takes to come to pressure then you can just quick release! Does that help?
Loved this recipe. If freezing, without souper cubes, just freeze, thaw to reheat? I worry about the dumplings.
Thank you! You can freeze however you normally do. And then you can heat directly from frozen if you want – in a pot on the stove will work perfectly!
Since you loved the recipe, would you mind giving it a 5 star rating, too? It helps other readers (and Google) know it’s a great one! Thank you so much for considering!
This was the first time the hubs witnessed the cauliflower trick (I usually keep quiet about such things) so he was super skeptical. HIs verdict? “Might be better than Grandma’s” Score! Love that I can provide something he loves without derailing our health goals. Thanks for all you do!
Heather Nelson says
I’m making this tonight! I have an off-brand instant pot—when I cook things manually in it, it asks me low, medium or high. Which temperature do you think I should pick when setting it manually for the 15 minutes?
Hi! I would do high pressure :).
Love this! Made it twice and it’s so good! I use oat milk, chicken breasts tenderloins, and kettle and fire’s low sodium chicken broth. Easy to follow, easy to make; thanks for the keeper!
Oh yum! Thank you for sharing your ingredients – it’s so helpful to other readers!
This was delicious. My husband laced it, after adding some hot sauce. My teen didn’t like the dumplings because he thought they were under cooked…first he thought they were meat, so that may have been his disappointment. Neither noticed that the soup was thickened with puréed cauliflower!
Love the hidden veggies!
Tracy Simmons says
If making in the crock pot a day in advance, how do I incorporate the dumplings? Do I still do them at the same time, an hour before packing up or do I need to do something different so they don’t get mushy?
They will be fine next day, so you can prep the day before!
I made this last night and loved it! Made me realize I could really use an Instapot! I think the pot I used was too large and a lot of my broth cooked off so the consistency got VERY thick at the end when adding the cauliflower. I also over-stirred I guess and a lot of my dumplings disintegrated. In retrospect, if this happened to me again, I would have removed the dumplings prior to adding the cauli puree and chicken just so they’d stay in tact. To be honest, It was still thoroughly delicious! My husband LOVES chicken and dumplings/biscuits and I refuse to make it due to the massive amount of fat normally in this dish so this was an awesome alternative I will be definitely making again
Your newly found Instant Pot confidence is everything! Yay! Thank you for rating and commenting- it’s so helpful!
And yes, you need to add the chicken and cauliflower, stir, THEN add your dumplings and set for ZERO min and don’t stir until the dumplings are cooked.
This was fantastic! My husband and son loved it and are already planning when we can have it again 🙂
I made this tonight and I can’t wait to have dinner tomorrow.
The portion is huge!
I made it with wheat flour . I think I am going to try the gluten free next time
Thank you for this comment!
If I only have plain white flour, will that do? Tha k you!
I just finished making this, and I couldn’t help but eat a bowl at 9:30pm. It was SO satisfying and totally worth staying up late on a school night to make!!