Winter Chicken Soup with Ricotta Dumplings.
Chicken and ricotta dumplings is the coziest winter soup you can make all season. A hearty, winter chicken soup base made with squash and kale, then stuffed with ricotta dumplings. Pure comfort food!
We’re supposed to get some actual snow today and I can’t think of anything better than a creamy, satisfying bowl of soup.
You know I always call these a “hug in a bowl” and that could not be more true for this recipe. A super cozy bowl of creamy chicken and vegetable soup, studded with ricotta dumplings.
My classic chicken and dumplings soup is one of our most favorite meals EVER. It is pure comfort food. It is a dish that we turn to in the colder months – everyone in the house loves it – and it’s super cozy, warming and all around delicious. 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 winter twist… if you can imagine. The base of this soup has butternut squash and baby kale. You can add just about any winter veggie – even a diced sweet potato would work. The result is such a hearty, wonderful base that could work as a soup on its own.
I’ve wanted to make ricotta dumplings for my soup for ages. We love ricotta gnocchi, and over the holidays, Max actually took a cooking class and learned how to make ricotta gnocchi. (It was so 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 clean-out-the-fridge soup. And that’s how this all began.
I used that classic dumpling recipe and swapped ricotta in for the buttermilk. Oh my gosh. The end result is such a light, cloud-like dumping – you won’t even believe it. And I think it makes the soup even better, because my chicken and dumplings is usually pretty dumpling-heavy, to ensure that everyone gets some dumpling.
The ricotta dumplings are AMAZING. They practically melt in your mouth and they are so easy to make.
I’ve always cooked my dumplings right in my chicken soup and I love it that way. Since the ricotta dumplings are lighter, some pieces of the dumplings do break off. We love that. It makes for a heartier soup that is perfectly filling and feels satisfying.
My chicken and dumpling recipes usually call for a dash 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 bit of ricotta to add to the creaminess. It won’t be entirely smooth, but it is so delicious and does add some satiety to the soup. So good.
To keep things 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 is so simple and makes this recipe an absolute breeze.
We really love the leftovers of this too. It does tend to get thicker and creamier as it sits, and the dumplings soak up some of the broth. But you can always add a drop of chicken stock or milk in the bowl when reheating and it tastes like it was made fresh. Maybe even better because the flavors really get a chance to become friends and get cozy!
Now how’s that for Monday comfort food?!
Chicken and Ricotta Dumplings
Winter Chicken Soup and Ricotta Dumplings
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup chopped butternut squash
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- kosher salt and pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 cups chopped/shredded cooked chicken
- 6 cups chicken stock
- ⅓ cup cream
- 5 ounces baby kale, or a few big handfuls
- Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat until melted. Stir in the onions, carrots, squash and garlic with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the dried thyme and oregano. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the chicken. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce it to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the squash has softened.
- While the soup is simmering, make the dumplings. Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a bowl, whisk together the ricotta and egg until combined. Add the ricotta mixture to the flour, and mix until it's all moistened and combined. It will be thick and almost like a dough. If it seems too thick (this will depend on your ricotta!) add a tablespoon of milk and stir. You don’t want to overmix.
- Uncover the soup. Stir in the cream. Stir in the kale.
- Scoop spoonfuls of the dumplings in the soup while it is simmering. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, then flip the dumplings over with a spoon. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes more.
- Taste and season the soup with more salt and pepper if needed. You can serve this with a dollop of ricotta on top or even stir some more ricotta into the soup.
I… might… steal most of the dumplings.