Chicken and Ricotta Dumplings – Chicken & Ricotta Dumplings
We were supposed to get real snow today and I can’t think of anything better than a creamy, satisfying bowl of soup.
You know, I always call this a “hug in a bowl” and that couldn’t be more true for this recipe. A super cozy bowl of creamy chicken and vegetable soup, studded with ricotta dumplings.
Mine classic soup with chicken and dumplings is one of our most favorite meals EVER. It’s pure comfort food. It’s a dish we reach for in the colder months — everyone in the house loves it — and it’s super cozy, warming, and delicious all around. Personally I think it’s the best chicken and dumplings I’ve ever had!
So I took that soup and gave it even MORE of a wintry twist… if you can imagine. The basis of this soup is pumpkin and kale. You can add just about any winter vegetable – even a diced sweet potato would work. The result is such a hearty, delicious base that could work as soup on its own.
I’ve been wanting to make ricotta dumplings for my soup for ages. We love cottage cheese dumplings, and during the holidays, Max took a cooking class and learned how to make ricotta gnocchi. (It was so much fun for him!)
When he came home with a huge container of his ricotta gnocchi, we put it to good use. We ate it with sauce, of course, but I also stirred some into a soup I can take out of the fridge. And that’s how this all started.
I used that classic dumpling recipe and swapped ricotta for the buttermilk. Oh my God. The end result is such a light, cloud-like dump – you won’t believe it. And I think it makes the soup even tastier, because my chicken and dumplings are usually pretty dumpling heavy, to make sure everyone gets some dumplings.
The ricotta dumplings are AMAZING. They almost melt in your mouth and they are so easy to make.
I have always cooked my dumplings in my chicken soup and I love it. Because the ricotta dumplings are lighter, some pieces of the dumplings will break off. We love that. It makes for a firmer soup that is perfectly filling and feels satisfying.
Mine recipes with chicken and dumplings usually ask for a splash of cream. It gives the soup the creaminess it needs without being too heavy or calling for a roux. In this case, you can also stir in a little ricotta to make it creamier. It won’t be completely creamy, but it’s so tasty and gives the soup some satiety. Awesome.
To keep it simple, I use a rotisserie chicken. I almost always do this. If I don’t have leftover chicken in the fridge, I grab a rotisserie chicken and chop or shred it for my soups. It’s so easy and makes this recipe an absolute breeze.
The leftovers are also very tasty. It tends to get thicker and creamier as it sits, and the dumplings absorb some of the broth. But you can always put a drop of chicken stock or milk in the bowl when reheating and it will taste like it was freshly made. Perhaps even better because the flavors really get a chance to befriend and get cozy!
What about comfort food on Monday?!
Chicken and Ricotta Dumplings
Winter chicken soup and ricotta balls
Chicken and ricotta dumplings is the coziest winter soup you can make all season long. A savory winter chicken soup base made with pumpkin and kale, then filled with ricotta dumplings. Pure comfort food!
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 sweet onion, cut in pieces
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup chopped butternut squash
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced meat
- kosher salt and pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 cups chopped/shredded cooked chicken
- 6 cups chicken bouillon
- ⅓ cup cream
- 5 us baby kale, or a few large handfuls
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup ricotta cheese
- 1 big egg, lightly beaten
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk, If necessary
- Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until melted. Stir in the onions, carrots, squash and garlic with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the dried thyme and oregano. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables soften slightly, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the chicken. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the squash is tender.
While the soup is cooking, make the dumplings. Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat the ricotta and egg in a bowl until combined. Add the ricotta mixture to the flour and mix until moistened and combined. It will be thick and almost like a dough. If it seems too thick (it depends on your ricotta!) add a tablespoon of milk and stir. You don’t want to overmix.
Discover the soup. Stir in the cream. Stir in kale.
While simmering, scoop spoonfuls of the dumplings into the soup. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, then flip the dumplings with a spoon. Simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes.
Taste and season the soup with more salt and pepper if necessary. You can serve this with a dollop of ricotta on top or even stir some more ricotta into the soup.
I… could… steal most of the dumplings.