Copycat Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings

Enjoy a homemade version of the classic Cracker Barrel chicken and dumplings. This recipe offers step-by-step instructions to help you recreate this beloved Southern comfort food in your kitchen.

Key Takeaways

  • Detailed copycat recipe for Cracker Barrel’s chicken and dumplings
  • Step-by-step instructions for simmering tender chicken and crafting fluffy homemade dumplings
  • Tips and variations to ensure restaurant-quality results
  • Serving suggestions and ideas for complementary side dishes
  • Guidance on reheating and storing leftovers
Cracker Barrel Chicken & Dumplings Recipe

Introduction to Cracker Barrel’s Beloved Chicken and Dumplings

Cracker Barrel’s chicken and dumplings is a classic Southern dish featuring tender chicken and light, fluffy dumplings in a flavorful broth. This recipe helps you bring that comforting taste to your home.

The Comfort Food Classic

Recreating Cracker Barrel’s chicken and dumplings at home can be challenging, but this recipe simplifies the process, allowing you to enjoy the dish’s rich flavors and comforting feel.

Ingredients for the Copycat Recipe


  • 2-3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 4-6 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • Fresh herbs (such as thyme or parsley) as desired
Cracker Barrel's Beloved Chicken and Dumplings Ingredients

Preparing the Chicken

Simmering for Flavor

Place the chicken in a large pot and cover with chicken broth and water. Add diced celery, onion, salt, and pepper. Slowly bring to a simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes until the chicken is tender.

Shredding Techniques

Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the broth to cool slightly. Shred the chicken using two forks or your hands. Alternatively, use a mixer for quicker shredding. Return the shredded chicken to the broth.

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings Closeup

Crafting the Perfect Dumplings

Mixing the Dough

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Slowly add 1 cup of buttermilk, stirring until a shaggy dough forms. Be careful not to overmix to maintain the dumplings’ light texture.

Rolling and Cutting

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Drop these squares carefully into the simmering broth to prevent sticking.

homemade cracker barrel chicken and dumplings

Assembling the Dish

Bringing it All Together

Add the shredded chicken back to the simmering broth. Gently drop the dumplings into the pot, ensuring not to overcrowd them. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the dumplings are soft and fluffy.

Final Touches

Taste the dish and adjust seasoning with more salt or pepper if needed. Serve the hot chicken and dumplings topped with parsley or chives.

Spoonful of Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings

Serving Suggestions

Comforting Side Dishes

Pair the dish with classic Southern sides like creamy mashed potatoes, buttery corn, or a fresh green salad. Warm buttermilk biscuits or cornbread also make excellent additions.

Leftovers and Reheating

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a bit of chicken broth or milk to restore the creamy texture.

copycat cracker barrel chicken and dumplings recipe

Tips for Restaurant-Quality Results

  • Use High-Quality Ingredients: Start with top-notch chicken, broth, and flour for a robust flavor.
  • Simmer the Chicken Thoroughly: Ensure the chicken absorbs flavors by simmering it well.
  • Make Homemade Dumplings: Homemade dumplings enhance the dish’s authenticity.
  • Avoid Overcrowding the Pot: Allow space for dumplings to cook evenly and stay fluffy.
  • Adjust Seasoning to Taste: Regularly taste and season as needed.
  • Let the Dish Rest: A short rest after adding dumplings ensures they cook perfectly.
cracker barrell chicken and dumplings copycat recipe

Variations and Substitutions

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

For a vegetarian or vegan version, replace the chicken with sautéed mushrooms, tofu, or mixed vegetables. Use vegetable stock or plant-based milk for the broth, and swap buttermilk with plant milk or water for the dumplings.

Gluten-Free Dumplings

To make gluten-free dumplings, use a blend of gluten-free flours such as rice, tapioca, or almond flour. Ensure all ingredients, including the chicken broth, are gluten-free.

copycat cracker barrel chicken and dumplings

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings Recipe FAQs

What are the key ingredients needed to make a copycat Cracker Barrel chicken and dumplings recipe?

The key ingredients are chicken breasts or thighs, broth, flour, baking powder, buttermilk, and seasonings like salt. It also includes pepper.

How do you prepare the chicken for the copycat recipe?

To prepare, simmer the chicken in a tasty broth until tender. Then, shred the chicken. This step keeps the chicken moist and flavors the broth.

What’s the process for making the homemade dumplings?

To make dumplings, mix flour, baking powder, buttermilk, and seasoning. Roll and cut the dough into pieces. Cook these in the broth until done.

How do you assemble the final copycat Cracker Barrel chicken and dumplings dish?

After cooking the chicken and dumplings, combine them. Drop the dumplings gently into the pot. Cook until the dumplings are soft and light. This makes the classic dish.

What are some serving suggestions for this copycat recipe?

This dish goes well with Southern sides like mashed potatoes and green beans. It also pairs with a simple salad. Leftovers are easy to reheat, perfect for families.

Do you have any tips for achieving restaurant-quality results with this copycat recipe?

Simmer the chicken until very tender. Use a pizza cutter for dumplings. Make sure not to overcrowd the pot. Have patience and focus for a real Cracker Barrel taste.

Are there any variations or substitutions I can try with this recipe?

Yes, try using rotisserie chicken or cooked leftover chicken to save time. For dietary needs, make gluten-free dumplings. Use meatless “chicken” and veggie broth for a vegetarian dish.

cracker barrel chicken and dumplings

The Best Cracker Barrel Chicken & Dumplings Recipe You Ever Did See

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings

This Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings recipe is a delightful and comforting dish, perfect for cozy dinners. The homemade dumplings are tender and pillowy, while the chicken is juicy and flavorful, creating a classic Southern comfort food experience that mimics the beloved restaurant’s version.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Copycat Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings, Copycat Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings Recipe, Cracker Barrel Chicken & Dumplings, Cracker Barrel Chicken & Dumplings Recipe, Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings, Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings Recipe
Servings: 6 servings




  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter cut into small slices
  • 1 cup whole milk


Prepare the Chicken:

  • In a large stock pot, bring the chicken broth and water to a boil.
  • Add the chicken breasts and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the chicken is done (about 15 minutes).
  • Remove the chicken from the pot, let it cool slightly, then shred it into bite-sized pieces.

Make the Dumpling Dough:

  • In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Add the milk and stir until the dough forms a ball.

Roll and Cut the Dumplings:

  • On a floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness.
  • Cut the dough into 1×1 inch squares using a pizza cutter or knife.

Cook the Dumplings:

  • Return the broth to a boil. Drop the dumplings one at a time into the broth, stirring gently to prevent sticking.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until the dumplings are cooked through and no longer doughy in the center.

Combine and Serve:

  • Return the shredded chicken to the pot and stir to combine.
  • Serve hot, garnished with freshly chopped parsley if desired.


  • Thicker Broth: To make a thicker broth, create a cornstarch slurry by mixing 1/3 cup of broth with 2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Whisk until smooth and add back to the pot before adding the dumplings.
  • Vegetable Additions: You can add diced carrots, celery, and onions to the broth for extra flavor and texture.
  • Buttermilk Dumplings: For fluffier dumplings, substitute milk with buttermilk.
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