Looking for a great make-ahead meal? Chicken and dumplings is perfect because it combines tasty ingredients in a one-dish recipe that can satisfy on its own or work as part of a larger spread.
In fact, it is so tasty that many people think it actually tastes better after it has been in the fridge or freezer since the flavors have more time to meld together.
Generally speaking, you can freeze chicken and dumplings for 3-4 months. Freezing chicken and dumplings in two separate containers, one for chicken and broth and the other for the dumplings, has the best results. You can also freeze the chicken, veggies, and broth in one container and add frozen store-bought dumplings when you reheat it. It is also recommended that the frozen chicken and broth mix sits out to thaw before cooking it again.
Continue reading to learn more about the best ways to freeze chicken and dumplings, as well as good store-bought options to get this delicious dish on your table.
- Best Ways To Freeze Chicken And Dumplings
- Freezing Chicken And Dumplings Together
- Store-Bought Chicken And Dumplings To Eat Or Freeze
- Can You Freeze Chicken Stew And Dumplings?
- Can You Freeze Chicken And Dumplings Made With Biscuits?
- Can You Freeze Chicken And Dumplings Made With Tortillas?
- Defrosting Chicken And Dumplings
- Final Thoughts
Best Ways To Freeze Chicken And Dumplings
Getting chicken and dumplings ready for the freezer is very easy. The steps you take will depend on if you are freezing leftovers or making a batch specifically to go into the freezer.
Freezing Leftover Chicken And Dumplings
Most chicken and dumpling recipes call for a few simple ingredients: chicken, carrots, celery, and onion for the broth and Bisquick for the dumplings.
You can also use flour, butter, salt, milk, and baking powder to make dumplings from scratch.
All of these ingredients freeze quite well. The broth and chicken used for this soup are particularly great.
I like to make a double batch and have some on-hand in my freezer for other soups, such as easy Chicken Noodles or even chicken chili.
To freeze chicken and dumplings, you should separate the dumplings from the chicken soup first. Allow both to cool.
I like to separate them into two bowls while I clean up my kitchen and get breakfast ready for the next morning. Once I am done, they are often cool enough to put in the freezer.
Tip: Putting the soup in a shallow bowl will help it cool faster. You may have trouble finding a shallow bowl big enough if you are making a large quantity but look for something that is not tall and narrow.
Each recipe for chicken and dumplings has its own unique spin, with many adding other vegetables to the dish. Green beans, peas, corn, and other veggies add great flavor and also freeze well.
Freezer Storage For The Chicken
You can use reusable plastic storage containers for the chicken and broth portion of your dish.
I like Ziploc brand containers because I can buy them from my grocery store when I get my ingredients.
Great options are also available from Tupperware and Rubbermaid. Make sure that any storage container you use is airtight. Place the container upright in the freezer.
Freezer Storage For The Dumplings
Dumplings can be stored in a similar container, also airtight. They also work well when frozen in a heavy-duty plastic bag made for the freezer.
These bags are usually a heavier weight and have a double layer of press lock at the top. Ziploc makes great freezer bags as well.
Put your cooled dumplings in the bag. Press all of the air out before sealing it. Make sure that it is sealed and place it in the freezer.
Tip: Label your freezer containers with the contents, date, and any preparation instructions. I recommend using adhesive labels that you can remove so that it’s easier to reuse your containers for another dish in the future.
Freezing Chicken And Dumplings Together
You can freeze chicken and dumplings together in one dish. There are a few pros and cons to this method.
1.There is less clean-up since you only use one freezer container.
2.When defrosting and reheating, you can put the chicken and dumplings directly into one pot.
3.You save time by not separating the chicken and dumplings before freezing.
4.The dumplings may get soggy or change the texture.
5.You need a larger freezer container to store the chicken and dumplings together.
6.You cannot use the chicken and broth for other dishes.
Both options work well in the freezer. It helps to know when and how you plan to reheat your chicken and dumplings to decide which is best for you.
Store-Bought Chicken And Dumplings To Eat Or Freeze
You can purchase pre-made dumplings to put into your chicken and broth. These are often sold in the freezer section and come already frozen.
Anne’s Old Fashioned Flat Dumplings are my favorite. They can also be used in pot pies.
Another flat dumpling brand that works well is Mary B’s Open Kettle Dumplings. You might also be able to find dumplings with filling if you want an even heartier dish.
Some grocery stores or specialty stores do make their own dumplings from scratch. If your store does have fresh dumplings, you will probably find them in the bakery section or deli.
Not many stores do offer fresh dumplings, however, the ones that do can really save a lot of time.
Chicken and dumplings are a common dish in the Midwest and South. You might be able to find more options for frozen or fresh dumplings in your grocery store in these areas.
This is a great option if you like to have a lot of dumplings in your soup but don’t want to make them from scratch when you reheat the leftovers.
Can You Freeze Chicken Stew And Dumplings?
For a hearty chicken stew that is full of vegetables and large chunks of chicken, it’s a great idea to freeze the stew and dumplings separately.
Chicken stew reheats very well on the stove, even if it is still frozen. All you need to do is add a little bit of water and stir as it thaws and cooks.
Keeping the dumplings separate will keep them from getting mushy or heating at a different rate from the stew itself.
Can You Freeze Chicken And Dumplings Made With Biscuits?
Yes, chicken and dumplings made with biscuits are fantastic for the freezer.
One of the best parts of freezing chicken and dumplings made with biscuits is that you can make a double batch of biscuits and have some on hand for other meals as well.
Freeze individual or meal-sized portions of biscuits so that you can grab and thaw what you need at a moment’s notice.
Can You Freeze Chicken And Dumplings Made With Tortillas?
Yes, although using fresh tortillas in your dish will have a much better texture.
I prefer to freeze the chicken stew portion and use fresh tortillas, although you can always freeze some if that works for you.
If you do freeze tortillas, make sure to wrap them in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil to keep them from getting stale or getting freezer burn.
Defrosting Chicken And Dumplings
When you are ready to eat your leftover or make-ahead chicken and dumplings, you will need to allow some time for it to defrost.
This is especially important if you separated the chicken and dumplings before freezing.
The chicken, vegetables, and broth can be defrosted in the refrigerator overnight or in the microwave.
You can also place it directly into the pot and let it cook on low until it is defrosted and hot again.
The dumplings need to be defrosted slower. The best method that I have found is to put the bag of frozen dumplings into a cool water bath.
As they defrost, they will begin to separate. Once the dumplings are pretty well separated, remove them from the water.
You can then open the bag and take the dumplings out. If you have made flat dumplings, be very careful not to tear them. You can then place them into your chicken soup to heat up again.
Adding Frozen Dumplings To Soup
If you have frozen your own homemade dumplings, you can plop them into your soup.
If the soup has been heating already, be careful not to let hot soup burn your hands or arms as you add the dumplings.
I like to use a large spoon to lower the dumplings into the broth.
Adding store-bought frozen dumplings to your chicken and broth is a great way to bulk up your soup, especially if you are serving leftovers.
I always like to add a lot of dumplings to my soup and inevitably end up with fewer dumplings the second time around.
Having pre-made dumplings in your freezer is a great way to avoid this. If you do not need them, they can remain in your freezer until next time.
Defrosting One Dish Chicken And Dumplings
It can be very convenient to freeze chicken and dumplings together in one freezer-safe container.
This cuts down on preparation time and dishes, two things that many homes cooks like to see less of when they make meals.
If you have frozen your chicken and dumplings in one dish, let it defrost completely in the refrigerator before heating it on the stove or in the microwave.
Putting your chicken and dumplings together, still frozen, into a pot to heat might impact the texture of the dumplings or the flavor of the soup.
Because these two components defrost and heat at different rates, it will be difficult to get your soup’s broth and chicken at the same temperature as the dumplings.
Many people are left with chicken and broth that is way too hot or dumplings that are still frozen in the middle.
Allowing your dish to defrost completely then heating it will help the temperature remain uniform.
Leftover Chicken And Dumplings
If you have leftovers after reheating your frozen chicken and dumplings, you can keep them in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
You should not refreeze them, however, since bacteria can grow and make you sick.
Tip: To avoid having to throw out delicious chicken and dumplings, freeze them in single serving or single meal quantities. This way you only defrost, reheat, and eat what you need. The rest you can save for another day.
Chicken and dumplings is a tasty, satisfying dish that works well when frozen as leftovers or a make-ahead meal.
You can keep the chicken and dumplings in the freezer for 3-4 months, defrosting and reheating it when you are ready to enjoy it again.
Whether you freeze it as one dish, separate your homemade chicken and dumplings, or use a store-bought frozen dumpling to save time, this is one meal that is sure to please.
Katie is an experienced writer, who wrote for big magazines like The Spruce. She is also a mom of three (Sebastian, Lincoln, and Hannah). In her spare time, she likes to read, day hike, and explore hidden gems around her home in North Carolina. You can connect with Katie on Instagram @katiebwriter or her website, www.katiemelynnbegley.com.