Chickpeas and Dumplings

Chickpeas and Dumplings
A few months ago, someone asked me if I had a recipe for a vegetarian version of Chicken and Dumplings. There are a lot of dishes on my mental list of things to make meatless, but that’s one that I never really thought about, mostly because I’ve never had Chicken and Dumplings before. I forgot about it for a while, then I happened to see a Chicken and Dumplings recipe on Martha Stewart’s website and thought maybe I’d give this whole Chicken and Dumplings thing a try. Minus the chicken, of course.

The big honkin’ question when you’re making a meat-based recipe meatless is, “What will I replace the meat with?” I thought about using seitan, but I decided to go with chickpeas because I remembered that Thrifty Veggie Mama had used them in a vegetarian Chicken and Dumplings recipe too and chickpeas are more readily available than seitan. So we have dealt with the main obstacle!

Chickpeas and Dumplings
Making a recipe vegetarian isn’t always just about switching out one ingredient for another though. For the Martha Stewart recipe I was adapting, I knew a lot of the flavor would come from the chicken, so I needed to add more flavors to the pot to keep the finished dish from being bland. I usually substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth, but in recipes where the chicken broth is a main component, I will sometimes use vegetarian chicken broth, either from the carton or from bouillon cubes. I decided to do that here; I also took some ideas from a Chicken and Dumplings recipe on Saveur and added white wine, extra thyme, and a bay leaf. The Saveur recipe included bacon too; I liked the idea of adding a little smokiness to the stew, so I included a half teaspoon of smoked paprika. This is enough to give the finished dish a subtle, smoky flavor without it being, “Oh, hey, you added smoked paprika to this!”

Chris and I aren’t fans of peas, so I took those out and added a parsnip and red potatoes instead. The chickpea-and-veggie stew is prepared in a big Dutch oven and once it comes to a boil, you drop spoonfuls of dumpling batter onto the top. When you put the lid on the Dutch oven, the dumplings will steam in the pot; 20 minutes later, your veggies are tender, your dumplings are firm and puffy, and you have a big pot of comfort food to keep you warm and full.

Chickpeas and Dumplings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Chickpeas and Dumplings

A meatless version of Chicken and Dumplings, inspired by Thrifty Veggie Mama and Saveur, and adapted from Martha Stewart.


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large parsnip, sliced
  • 2 small red potatoes, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried dill weed (or 2 tablespoons fresh dill)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 cups no-chicken broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, parsnip, potatoes, celery, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, 5-8 minutes.
  2. While the veggies are cooking, whisk together 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, salt, and dill in a medium bowl. Use a fork to gradually stir in 1/2 cup of milk. The batter should be slightly thicker than pancake batter and drop easily from a spoon; if it's too thick, add the additional milk 1 tablespoon at a time. Set aside.
  3. Sprinkle the remaining flour over the veggies and stir to coat; cook for 30 seconds. Pour in the white wine and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, chickpeas, paprika and salt and pepper to the Dutch oven; bring to a slow boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce the heat to low. Drop the dumpling batter into the pot in heaping tablespoonfuls. You should have enough batter for 8-10 dumplings--be sure to keep them evenly spaced because they'll expand as they cook! Cover the Dutch oven and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the dumplings are firm. Remove the bay leaves before serving and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.

Kiersten Frase

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies. She loves cooking, trashy reality shows, and Hello Kitty. Kiersten also blogs about blogging at   Read more from Kiersten →

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  1. says

    No chicken broth?! I’ve never heard of such a thing! I will have to keep my eye out for this on my next grocery trip. Being a vegetarian myself, I love finding new ways to adapt classic meat dishes into veggie friendly versions that even the non-believers love. Just found your blog and fell in love! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Uta says

    This soup is just fantastic!

    I did not use dill for the dumplings, but 40g of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

    And next time i will substitute the parsnips as I do not like their flavour

  3. says

    I love anything with dumplings. The ultimate comfort food. They seem to be the first thing to disappear from the soup. Thanks for sharing and I love your blog. It is a must read!

  4. LeeAnn says

    Love your blog! This, like everything else I’ve made from this site, was really tasty. Bonus: it pleased the carnivorous bf, too :)

  5. Kira Fix says

    For this chickpea and dumpling recipe, you stated that y’all aren’t fans of peas (assuming you meant green peas). Can you make generic substitutions (add corn, green beans, green peas, zucchini ~ oh I just got a great idea ~ oven roast veggies!)

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Sure, you can add other vegetables into this too. I’d add any of the veggies you listed right before putting in the dumpling batter. Zucchini could also be added at the beginning, with the onion and carrots.

  6. says

    Woowoo!! I definitely tried a vegetarian chicken + dumplings recipe awhile ago that did NOT work out so well…can’t wait to give this a try! I like the added flavorings to the stock to make it more flavorful…weak stock was definitely a contributing factor to the failure of my attempt. And yay chickpeas!!

  7. Michelle says

    IMan oh man, did this hit the spot on a(nother) super cold Wisconsin day. I left out the parsnip (our store was out) and added extra potato. I did add peas, because they are my jam. And I used the full 4 cups of broth in the No Chicken broth container. My dumplings, sadly, did not look as lovely as yours. I wonder if I added too much milk, because they all kind of conjoined on top of the soup? I just gently sliced them into pieces and the end result was thick, flavorful, hearty and it really warmed us up! Thanks!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I used to live in Wisconsin, so I know those days well. :) The dumplings do spread out as they cook, so depending on the exact size of your pot/Dutch oven, they can bump into each other a little bit.

  8. Katie says

    Made this for what I hope is the last winter freeze. The herbs were a fantastic combination!
    I made a couple of alterations to fit my food restrictions: natural balance for butter, whole wheat flour instead of all purpose, extra cup of broth, used skim milk to cut out more cholesterol, added some mushrooms to the veggie mix, and used chickpeas I froze a couple of weeks ago after cooking. I did find the soup a little sweet for my taste, I’m thinking the parsnip might have been a little large.

  9. brittani rael says

    My daddy had surgery today and my mom and I whipped this up for him just now, OH MY GOODNESS it was absolutely delicious. My only subs were that I had fresh parsley instead of the dill in the dumplings, also my parents prefer the taste or parsley to dill, a bit more mild… and I also seared some chicken simply with olive oil salt pepper garlic powder and italian seasoning, chopped that up and put it on top of the soup. I absolutely loved this. will be a staple from now on in my house!!!!

  10. Sam says

    I don’t drink, and usually replace white wine with broth in recipes, but I’m thinking about trying out adding the wine in this recipe because I know it adds flavor depth. However, I know absolutely nothing about wine! I know I will be totally overwhelmed by the wine aisle at the grocery store. Do you have a recommendation for what I should buy? I also don’t want it to be too pricey, though I did read that using totally crappy wine will ruin a dish. Thanks in advance!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Actually, I usually buy a cheap bottle of wine when I’m going to be cooking with it. :) It’s the cooking wine that you want to avoid–the kind that’s sold near the vinegars and oils. You’ll want to use a dry white wine for this, like Sauvignon Blanc.

  11. MaryLundShu says

    My sweet man and I loved, loved. LOVED this! I look forward to making many more of your recipes for my vegetarian guy. I did not miss the chicken AT ALL!

  12. Supriya Rao says


    thank you very much for this wonderful recipe. I made it for lunch today and it was so easy to made and delicious! My 4 yo daughter named it Clouds Soup :-)
    We loved it, mmm mmm mmm!!


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