Comfort Food – Low Fat, Low Calorie Chicken and Dumplings

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I have a list of 43 Things To Do Before I’m 44 and have been diligently checking off accomplishments during the year. I’m making good progress and having a lot of fun along the way. One of the more difficult challenges on the list was to ride a Ferris wheel.

I say difficult because as a person who is afraid of heights, willingly riding in a tiny car way above the safety of ground is terrifying. I finally got the opportunity at an annual festival in town yesterday. Ferris wheel checked off the list and I kept my eyes open the entire time too.

It wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had on a carnival ride but I feel good that the goal was met and no panic or loss of limb was to be had. I even managed to take a couple pictures while perched in the car as they loaded and unloaded other riders. Now if I can just manage a chin up before late November… come on arms!

After the mildly traumatic ride, I was definitely in the mood for some comfort food. I opted for chicken and dumplings since it gives me warm cozy thoughts. Not to mention, it makes the kitchen small all homey and like Fall. Since I’m 6 weeks away from stepping on stage again, my diet is very tight right now and there isn’t much room for error or extra calories.

I cut every corner I could in this recipe and it turned about amazing. So good in fact that I thought I must have calculated wrong. I checked the ingredients, measurements, and details 3 times just to make sure. This is some serious low calorie comfort food! I love how the dumplings start out as tiny blobs and puff up into meatball shapes while they cook.

I only had room for 3 oz of chicken per serving based on my needs. If you like your chicken and dumplings with more chicken, add more. If you like your soup with more broth, add more water or broth to the recipe. You can also play with the amount or type of veggies based on what your family likes. It’s very customizable to your tastes.

I had 2 servings to take with me for lunch during the week and it saves well. Make sure to check out the notes after the recipe for some tips.

Chicken and Dumplings Healthy Chicken and Dumplings

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3 oz shredded carrots
  • 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 6 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp mashed butternut squash or pumpkin
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 12 oz grilled chicken breast

Spray a large pot with non-stick spray and heat over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and saute until softened. This will take about 5-6 minutes. Add the tablespoon of flour to the pot and saute for another minute, stirring to mix in the flour. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and simmer for 5 minutes or so while you prepare the dumpling batter.

Mix the almond milk and vinegar in a bowl and set aside for a few minutes. This will sour the milk and turn it into non-dairy buttermilk. In a small bowl, mix the 1 cup flour and baking soda and stir slightly to mix. Add the butternut squash or pumpkin and mix with a fork until the flour mixture gets crumbly. This will be similar to making biscuit dough if you’ve ever done that.

Pour the almond milk mixture into the flour and stir to form the dough. Drop by teaspoons into the simmering broth. I have a tiny teaspoon sized scoop from Pampered Chef that I used for this. It’s like a mini ice cream scoop and worked perfectly to drop the dumplings into the broth. My dough made 20 dumplings.

Add the dried thyme to the broth and simmer the soup with the dumplings in it for about 5 minutes. The dumplings will cook and float to the top. I watched them a bit and turned a couple of them to make sure all sides got into the broth to cook. Once the dumplings are done, remove the pot from heat.

Slice the grilled chicken breast into bite sized pieces and place approximately 3 oz of chicken into each bowl. Divide the chicken and dumplings evenly over top of the chicken and enjoy! Makes 4 servings (using the ingredients above) at approximately 258 calories each – 25g protein, 31g carbs, and 2g fat.


  • I used a bag of shredded carrots that noted on the bag that each serving was 3 oz. You can always use a whole carrot and shred it yourself. 3 oz is approximately 1 large carrot.
  • Since The Kid has a dairy allergy, I don’t use buttermilk when cooking. The almond milk vinegar combo always works well for me and I’ve also tried it in the past using soy milk. Feel free to use real milk with the vinegar or plain old buttermilk if you prefer.
  • I used apple cider vinegar to create the sour milk but white vinegar should work too. I wouldn’t use rice vinegar, balsamic or other vinegars as it could alter the taste of the dumplings.
  • The purpose of the mashed butternut squash or pumpkin is to take the place of butter or shortening in the dumpling dough and keep the fat low in the recipe. You can use 2 tsp of butter or shortening in place if you’d like but obviously your calories and fat totals would change accordingly. You could probably use applesauce in a pinch too but I haven’t tried it. I used mashed butternut squash since I had it in the fridge and it didn’t impact the taste of the dumplings.

If you give it a try, take a pic and tag me on Twitter or Instagram so I can see or come back and let me know in the comments below. When you think of comfort foods, what comes to mind for you?



  1. Best Low-Fat Recipes on the Net (September 2013 Edition) | Health And Wellness 101 says:

    […] Low Fat, Low Calorie Chicken and Dumplings recipe by Adrianne @ Accidental Fitness Quest […]

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