In my quest to find quick and easy vegan dinners to make in a short amount of time, I’ve revised my grandma’s chicken and dumplings that she made when I was a young’n. Here are the changes I made:
- replace real chicken with seitan, cut in strips
- make a quick broth by using ready-to-heat soup and two bouillon cubes
- use frozen pre-cut veggies to save time
- AND use Bisquick, my new love, to whip up the dumplings in mere seconds
The results are pretty darned good and the only thing I’d change is the seitan. I’m continuing to look for a seitan product that isn’t spongy after simmering in a broth. Not sure if that exists but I’m hopeful.
Before we get into the recipe, I wanted to pontificate a little about dumplings and dumpling texture. My grandma’s dumplings are what I’d consider a TRUE dumpling. Basically a drop biscuit that’s wet and gooey on the outside and all dry and biscuity on the inside. The dumplings we were served in the lunchline in high school were like 1/4 inch thick soppy noodles with no biscuity interior. And they were square. Obviously they had been rolled out and cut before cooking. A real dumpling—ala grandma—takes a deft hand to drop them gently into the boiling broth so they don’t stick to each other and yet get cooked all the way through.
These ingredients will make your life easier.
The secret to keeping this recipe lightning fast and easy to throw together on a whim after work are these ready to go ingredients:
Ok, on to the recipe:
SnarkyVegan’s Insanely EZ & Quick Chik’n & Dumplings
NOTE: you’ll need a BIG pot and by BIG, I mean wide rather than deep. You don’t want the dumplings sitting on top of each other so bigger is better.
Broth and Veggies
- 2 boxes of Imagine® Organic Potato Leek Soup (thanks to Jim who commented on my biscuits and gravy post for pointing out how wonderful this soup is and how it makes a great thick gravy-like base)
- 1 box of Westsoy® Seitan Strips (I’m still searching for something better but this works in a pinch)
- 2 cubes of Not-Chick’n® Bouillon (I keep several packs of this in the fridge, it rocks)
- 4-6 cups of your choice of frozen veggies (I used my old standby: carrots, corn, beans)
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups Bisquick® baking mix
- 2/3 cup soy milk (or rice milk or whatever)
- Dump all the broth and veggie ingredients in your bigass pot and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes or so to get flavors to mingle. Use a splatter guard because it will be thick and splattery. If you used fresh vegetables instead of frozen, simmer until they’re tender.
- Taste test broth for salt and adjust if needed. The soup and bouillon have salt so you may find that it’s good to go. My DH likes to salt everything though so to each his own.
- In a medium bowl, combine the Bisquick and soy milk with a spoon, quickly and DO NOT OVERSTIR. Mix until it JUST comes together.
- Bring broth back up to a gentle/slow boil and drop 9 spoonfuls of dumpling mix gently into broth while it’s gently boiling. When you drop the dumplings they’ll sink at first which is good and then they’ll float to the top. Drop your dumplings apart from each other so they don’t stick together. Do not stir anymore after dropping the dumplings. Keep that splatter guard handy.
- Slow boil for 10 minutes with cover off.
- Turn heat down and simmer for 10 minutes with cover on.
Here’s what the dumplings look like when they’re ready. Of course, it’s hard to tell from the outside if they’re done in the middle.
I took out the smallest dumpling and split with a spoon to see if it was done and here’s what it looks like. This is what your dumplings should look like. Notice the wet exterior and biscuity interior? This biscuity interior is the most moist and gentle texture ever.
Overall, this is a quick and yummy dish that would be easy to make if you’re in a hurry and you have a bevy of mouths to feed. You’ve got your veggies, your protein and your carbs. You don’t even have to add any fat due to the oil included in the soup base.
I can’t wait to use the Imagine® Organic Potato Leek Soup in something else. It’s very yummy on it’s own. Thanks to Jim for the recommendation!
November 14, 2010 at 7:55 pm
Holy mother of Elvis, this looks good. It’s pretty chilly here, and this makes me wish I had these ingredients right now so I could make this!
A thought on the seitan – I’m curious how the Gardein faux chicken might perform in this dish. The next time I go shopping, I might pick up both and do a comparison test!
November 14, 2010 at 7:58 pm
I looked for the Gardein faux chicken but couldn’t find any. I really wanted to try that in this dish but had to settle for the Westsoy.
The thing I like most about this is how fast it is. You can really tell the crew, dinner will be in 30 minutes and it won’t be sandwiches.
November 14, 2010 at 8:17 pm
That looks just AMAZING! Those dumplings look perfectly cooked.
November 14, 2010 at 8:37 pm
I’m finding that it’s really hard to screw anything up when using Bisquick. Now I just have to make my own Bisquick mix without the partially hydrogenated component.
November 14, 2010 at 8:45 pm
I’ve used the Gardein chicken for something similar and it was awesome! It’s hard for me to find ready made seitan around here. Either way, the bisquick dumplings are fantastic! I love them!
I’ll have to keep an eye out for the Potato Leek soup, it sounds wonderful!
November 14, 2010 at 8:50 pm
That settles it, I MUST find the Gardein chicken and try it. I hate spongy seitan and was disappointed in the Westoy.
The Potato and Leek soup was great straight from the carton too (yes, I licked the dribble down the side of the carton ;-)
I bought several other flavors of the Imagine soups and am looking forward to trying them in casseroles too.
November 14, 2010 at 8:54 pm
The chicken was great, however, I don’t like the beef. I think it’s whatever they put in it to give it that fake grilled flavor. Not a fan, at all!
I’ll keep an eye out for the Imagine soups though. : )
November 14, 2010 at 8:57 pm
Yummy. I want this for dinner. I wonder how Soy Curls would be as a chicken replacement.
November 14, 2010 at 9:01 pm
ooooo, now THERE’s a thought! I didn’t even consider Soy Curls! Will have to hunt those down as well. Thanks for the tip.
November 14, 2010 at 9:10 pm
I’ve never had dumplings before. Those look pretty darn good though. I might have to give this one a try. I’ve tried some of the Imagine brand soups before. Actually I sort of lived on them for a while shortly after I got sick. The creamy soups were easy for me to get down. The tomato is one of my faves!
November 14, 2010 at 9:30 pm
Too bad you don’t live closer, I’ve got 6 portions divided up for leftovers!
November 15, 2010 at 9:31 pm
I love this! I’m all for the quick meals, too. But I also have that seitan issue. I think I might try dicing up the seitan, frying it and then adding it last if that’s possible.
November 16, 2010 at 7:29 pm
I’m amazed by the Imagine soup in this recipe. Makes throwing this together a no brainer. If you find a better sub for the seitan, PLEASE let me know. Thanks!
November 16, 2010 at 6:19 pm
DUMPLINGS!!!! I want them now!
November 16, 2010 at 7:28 pm
The dumplings are even great saved for lunch and reheated in the microwave! Even two days later, the dumplings are still dry in the middle even after being stored in the fridge with the broth.
September 7, 2013 at 6:33 pm
Would this work in the crock pot?
September 7, 2013 at 8:29 pm
That’s a good question. I haven’t tried it but if your crock pot can do a soft boil I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.
September 30, 2017 at 5:46 pm
This is such an awesome meal, reminds me of the comfort food I grew up with, only better! I skip the seitan all together, just the veggies and it’s perfect. Family loves this dish. My husband grills his chicken separately to go with it.