Tag Archives: make ahead meals

Chicken Dumpling Soup

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Serves: 8 | Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes


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Growing up, chicken dumpling soup was a favorite recipe that my mom would make. It didn’t matter the time of year; if she made it in the winter, it was a warming comfort food after coming in out of the cold, but she would make it in the summertime too. Chicken dumpling soup can be flavored so many different ways, and one of my mom’s favorites was throwing in as many fresh garden veggies as she could harvest on any particular day.

I distinctly remember carrots as a main ingredient in my mom’s chicken dumpling soup recipe. Oh, those bright orange pops of flavor amidst all those juicy chunks of chicken and plump dumplings swimming around in that herby broth… I suppose I may be partial to the use of carrots because they are one of my favorite veggies, but if you prefer, you can change up the carrots with peas, or use them both together. (I would have added peas, but Mark is not a fan and would just pick them out!)

Instant Pot Chicken And Dumplings

My mom makes her chicken dumpling soup with cream, which is fine and dandy if you are using white meat, but I chose to make this recipe without it because I am using dark meat with the bones in. I really want the carrot and herb flavors to shine in the homemade chicken stock that is the base for this chicken and dumpling soup. 

Now, before you fret over having to make homemade chicken stock, I just want to point out that you don’t have to go through the trouble! Since this soup is made in the Instant Pot, you can make the stock at the same time as you make the soup.

Yep, one and done.

How nice!

Chicken And Dumplings Instant Pot
Buy the INSTANT POT 7 in 1 Pressure Cooker at Macy’s

To do this, you’ll throw in whole chicken pieces with the skin and bone intact. This renders a rich and fatty broth that packs enough of its own flavor, so adding cream really isn’t necessary. If you don’t want to deal with fishing out all the bones later, you can use boneless chicken pieces, but I highly recommend using dark meat as it imparts some of that fattiness that makes homemade stock so flavorful. If you decide to omit the bones, add some butter or olive oil to really amp up the savory flavor or your broth may fall flat.

And now… about how to make homemade dumplings for chicken and dumplings…

A first glance at the recipe may have you thinking…. a recipe for chicken soup dumplings with nutmeg!? 

Making Soup In Instant Pot

Yeah, I personally think this is how to make the perfect dumplings… you want them to have a hint of flavor, but not so much that they overpower the rest of the soup. A tiny sprinkling of nutmeg in the soup dumpling dough boosts the meaty flavor of the broth just enough for you to say WOW! without knowing that it is nutmeg. I have been known to use nutmeg in chili, meat seasonings, and all kinds of slow cooked or Instant Pot stews and soups. Nutmeg may be commonly known as a spice used in fall sweet treats and winter ciders, but it plays a great supporting role in savory dishes, too. Just use it sparingly!

Making this soup in the Instant Pot rocks because it puts out a long, slow cooked flavor in just over an hour. Perfect for busy cooks! So… if you don’t have an Instant Pot, you need to get one. The prices have come down, and I can’t tell you how it is worth the investment to have an Instant Pot in the house. Here are a few suggestions to make it easy (just click on your preferred retailer to see the options):

Soup Dumpling Recipe

This recipe makes enough for 8. Even though it is only Mark and I in the house (and our three cats, but they don’t eat soup!), I usually make the whole shebang and then freeze the remaining soup for later. Because there is no cream in the base, the dumplings and broth freeze quite nicely! If you are a family of four, you can freeze enough for another round. Perfect for when you just don’t feel like cooking at all, or are too darn busy to on any given night. Just pull this easy homemade freezer soup out in the morning, then heat it on the stove (or microwave) when it’s dinnertime.

Double nice!


Chicken Dumpling Soup Instant Pot Recipe
Chicken Dumpling Soup Recipe

Chicken Dumpling Soup

How to cook dumplings with chicken has never been easier with this chicken dumpling soup Instant Pot recipe. This chicken dumpling soup can be made ahead for later since both the dumplings and broth freeze well.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients
  

  • FOR THE SOUP:
  • 4 large chicken leg quarters with skin and bone
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 chicken bullion cubes
  • 6 medium carrots sliced
  • 1 whole white onion chopped into big chunks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • FOR THE DUMPLINGS:
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Instructions
 

  • Add all of the ingredients for the soup to the Instant Pot and give them a couple of stirs. Secure the lid and set to pressure cook on high for 15 minutes (30 minutes if using frozen chicken).
  • While the soup is cooking, prepare the dumplings by sifting together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Add the nutmeg and black pepper and whisk to evenly combine. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a separate bowl, then slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring as you go. Continue to stir until no dry clumps remain, then set the dough aside until ready to use.
  • Once the timer on the Instant Pot goes off, carefully open the vent to quickly release the pressure. When it is safe to remove the lid, carefully do so. Use a ladle and a carving fork to shred the meat and to fish the bones, cartilage and skin out of the soup. This will take about 10 minutes, but take your time getting these things out. It is never fun to bite into a mouthful of cartilage or worse, a bone. Although this step may be a bit tedious, don’t be tempted to use boneless chicken. The skin, bones, and cartilage are what give the broth its flavor! (See the note below if you still want to use boneless chicken.)
  • Cancel the ‘warm’ setting and set the Instant Pot to the ‘soup / stew’ setting, then add the dumplings to the stew. I use two teaspoons to do this; one to scoop up about 1 teaspoon of dough and the other to slide the dough off into the stew. When you add a dumpling to the stew, immediately dunk it below the surface of the broth. Although the dumplings will float back up, dunking them coats them with fat and keeps them from sticking together. Continue until all of the dough is used up, varying the dumpling size a bit to make it interesting. The dumplings will double in size as they cook, so don’t make them any bigger than 1 teaspoon (or they may not cook all the way through). Once all of the dumplings are in the stew, continue to cook the stew uncovered for another 15 minutes. It will begin to boil, this is ok.
  • When ready to serve the soup, cancel all settings on the Instant Pot and allow the stew to cool slightly because it will be very hot by this point. Use a large ladle to serve it into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley, a sprinkle of sea salt and a grind of black pepper.

Notes

Should you decide to use boneless chicken, dark meat will give you the best result that is most similar to homemade stock. If you prefer using white meat, add some olive oil or butter to the soup in step one to prevent your broth from falling flat.
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Asian Orange Meatballs with a Sweet and Sour Teriyaki Glaze

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Serves: 4 | Total Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes


My husband loves Chinese food, especially the cheap, takeout kind. I understand why – it is easy, inexpensive, and ready to eat in minutes.

Homemade meals are always better, we all know this, but when a busy weeknight comes our way, sometimes there just isn’t time for me to make a dinner from scratch. 

Sound like a typical night at your house?

Mark and I both have dietary problem areas that if not monitored, will become health concerns, so it is important that on busy nights we don’t give in to the urge to run for the easiest (and often unhealthiest) options, like takeout!

Whether it is due to busy schedules or the fact that you just don’t feel like cooking (hey, I get those nights, too!), these make-ahead Asian-inspired meatballs will become your favorite go-to to have in the freezer for such evenings. They are easy to mix up and even easier to bake when you need them.

Gourmet Chinese food that is super easy to make, cheaper than take-out – and better for you, too.

How awesome is that?


Asian Orange Meatballs with a Sweet and Sour Teriyaki Glaze

Total Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes

Prep: 15 Minutes / Cook: 55 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup teriyaki marinade
  • 3/4 cup sweet and sour sauce
  • fresh chives, for garnish

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Using your hands, mix together the beef, pork, egg, milk, flour, onions, parsley, zest, salt and pepper until combined. 

2. For the glaze, combine the sweet and sour sauce and teriyaki marinade together in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.

How To Make Freezer Meatballs

3.  Form meat mixture into balls, about 2 inches in diameter, and place them on a sheet pan so that they are not touching. You should have about 24 meatballs. Freeze for a minimum of 4 hours. Once frozen, remove the meatballs from the sheet pan and place them in a large zip-lock bag. Pour the sweet and sour teriyaki glaze into small ziplock bags and place them inside the bag with the meatballs, then return everything to the freezer until ready to use.

4. When ready to prepare the meatballs, preheat the oven to 400F. Place frozen meatballs in individual casserole dishes (or a large casserole dish if you do not have smaller ones) so that they are just touching but not overlapping. Place the casserole dishes containing the meatballs on a sheet pan. Drizzle the sweet and sour teriyaki sauce mixture evenly over the meatballs. Bake on a rack in the center of the oven for 55 minutes.

Asian Meatballs Baked In A Casserole Dish With Teriyaki Glaze

5. To serve, you can keep the meatballs right in their casserole dishes, but if you do this, make sure to place them on heatproof plates and be sure to tell your dinner guests that they are very hot! Lightly toss the meatballs in the sauce to coat them evenly before serving. If you transfer the meatballs onto plates, don’t forget to spoon as much as the sauce as you can get out of the baking dishes onto the meatballs, then garnish them with fresh chives.

Homemade Meatball Ideas
Asian Meatballs Recipe

Asian Orange Meatballs with a Sweet and Sour Teriyaki Glaze

A make-ahead freezer meal that is better for you than Chinese takeout! These Asian-inspired teriyaki glazed meatballs are easy to make for those busy weeknights when you don't have time to cook.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 people
Calories 970 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 2 medium yellow onions finely chopped
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 ½ tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ¼ cup teriyaki marinade
  • ¾ cup sweet and sour sauce
  • fresh chives for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Using your hands, mix together the beef, pork, egg, milk, flour, onions, parsley, zest, salt and pepper until combined. 
  • For the glaze, combine the sweet and sour sauce and teriyaki marinade together in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
  • Form meat mixture into balls, about 2 inches in diameter, and place them on a sheet pan so that they are not touching. You should have about 24 meatballs. Freeze for a minimum of 4 hours. Once frozen, remove the meatballs from the sheet pan and place them in a large zip-lock bag. Pour the sweet and sour teriyaki glaze into small ziplock bags and place them inside the bag with the meatballs, then return everything to the freezer until ready to use.
  • When ready to prepare the meatballs, preheat the oven to 400°F. Place frozen meatballs in individual casserole dishes (or a large casserole dish if you do not have smaller ones) so that they are just touching but not overlapping. Place the casserole dishes containing the meatballs on a sheet pan. Drizzle the sweet and sour teriyaki sauce mixture evenly over the meatballs. Bake on a rack in the center of the oven for 55 minutes.
  • To serve, you can keep the meatballs right in their casserole dishes, but if you do this, make sure to place them on heatproof plates and be sure to tell your dinner guests that they are very hot! Lightly toss the meatballs in the sauce to coat them evenly before serving. If you transfer the meatballs onto plates, don’t forget to spoon as much as the sauce as you can get out of the baking dishes onto the meatballs, then garnish them with fresh chives.
Keyword asian inspired meals, chinese meatballs, freezer meals, make ahead meals, orange meatballs with teriyaki
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Made this recipe? Let me know how it went!