Dumplings recipe: a hearty addition to soups and stews

Making a warming stew? Learn how to make dumplings – they make the perfect topping for a hotpot

how to make dumplings
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Our dumplings recipe is just what you need if If you want to learn how to make them from scratch. When we say 'dumplings', we mean the traditional flour and butter balls used in northern European and English cooking to top off stews and soups, not the dim sum dumplings you get in bamboo baskets in Asian restaurants. 

They are easy to make – requiring just three main ingredients – and can be adapted with the addition of herbs or cheese for something even tastier. So if you have had enough of rice or potato as a side to your stews, read on and give our tasty dumpling recipe a go.

Find more yummy recipes at our hub page. 

How to make dumplings


To make enough dumplings to top off a large stew, you will need:

  • White self-raising flour, 250 grams
  • Butter, straight out of the fridge, 125 grams
  • Salt, to taste


1. Put the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and grate the butter into it. Butter is easiest to use straight from the fridge so that it is nice and solid for grating.

2. Work the butter quickly into the flour, then add half a glass of very cold water to the mixture and work into a dough. Don't overdo it: stop kneading as soon as the mixture is uniform.

3. Separate the dough into equal sized chunks and work them into balls. Again, a light touch is better here: don't work them into your hands for ages. As soon as you've formed a sphere, set it aside.

4. Place the raw dumplings on top of your stew in the last 20 minutes of cooking and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, so that the dumplings steam cook rather than boil. 

If you want more characterful flavour to your dumplings, add herbs: sage, thyme or rosemary work especially well.

Serve your dumplings with:

  • Vegetable soup – made using whatever you have in the fridge
  • Chilli – add some chilli flakes for a tasty topping