Light, fluffy and comforting, my Gluten Free Dumplings make the perfect addition to stews, casseroles and soups. This recipe for traditional British Dumplings can be made with or without suet. Or add a little cheese for an extra treat.
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Gluten Free Dumplings – a British-American recipe
A few weeks back, I updated my recipe for Gluten Free Dumplings. Although I originally developed the recipe back in 2014, it was time to give them a gentle ‘re-work’ and to make them even better. And while the recipe has already been shared elsewhere on the blog, alongside my Beef Casserole, I figured it would be helpful if they were given their own dumpling post, so that they are easier to find in their own right.
These dumplings are of the very British (and North American) variety. They are delicious, easy to make and the perfect comfort food. And also a quick, cheap way of making stews and casseroles go further and filling up the family. Yet they are in no way heavy or stodgy. So… If dumplings are something you miss (or if you have yet to try them), my gluten free dumpling recipe is the place to start!
What are casserole dumplings?
Depending on the type of cuisine and where you are in the world, dumplings come in many forms. From Polish Pierogies to Chinese Gyoza… African Fufu to Italian Gnocci… But Casserole Dumplings are a very British thing (which has been tweaked for the American kitchen too). And they date back through the millennia.
At their most basic, British and American dumplings are small balls of dough that nestle on top of stews and soups where they cook in the liquid so that they part boil and part steam. Because they generally contain a leavening agent (such as baking powder or bicarb) they expand and become fluffier during cooking.
Traditionally, British dumplings have been made with suet, while the Americans use an alternative fat.
Gluten Free Dumplings without suet
I grew up eating standard wheat dumplings swimming in stew. And they were always made the traditional way, with Suet. But while I enjoyed them, suet dumplings always weighed heavy on my stomach… They tasted stodgy and a little too dense for my palate.
Then… when I first developed my recipe for gluten free dumplings, gluten free suet was not something that was really available to buy. So I created dumplings using butter instead. They were a winner! Lighter, fluffier and altogether more delicious than the suet dumplings I remembered. Of course, gluten free suet is now something that is available to buy. But having created my no-suet version, I honestly have no desire to make dumplings any other way. These ones are just so much better!
Gluten Free Suet Dumplings
That said, I am sure there are readers who nonetheless still hanker after the traditional Suet Dumplings. And that’s just fine! Because the recipe shared in this post can be made with butter OR with suet. All that’s needed is a simple sub… weight for weight.
Gluten free suet is available in many supermarkets (mostly supermarket own brands). But it tends to be found labelled as either vegetable or vegetarian suet (rather than the animal fat type). And is probably shelved in the generic (not Free From) aisle. Remember to check labels for hidden gluten or cross-contamination risk. Note that Atora Vegetable suet is NOT gluten free.
Alternatively, you could make your own.
Can these gluten free dumplings be made Vegan?
Yes. Not only are my gluten free dumplings Coeliac-safe, but they can be made Vegan too. Most of the vegetarian gluten free suet brands that I have looked at are also plant-based. Or the butter can be simply swapped for a dairy free BLOCK butter alternative. Flora or Stork baking blocks are good.
What’s the best gluten free flour for making dumplings?
My recipe for gluten free dumplings is pretty versatile when it comes to the flour blend. And while it does need to be a BLEND of gluten free flours, this seems to be reasonably flexible.
I have successfully tested the recipe with the following:
- 75% white Gluten Free Alchemist flour blend A + 25% GF oat flour
- 100% Gluten Free Alchemist flour blend A
- 75% Gluten Free Alchemist rice free, wholegrain flour blend B + 25% tapioca starch
- 50% Gluten Free Alchemist rice free, wholegrain flour blend B + 25% GF oat flour + 25% tapioca starch
On this basis, I would expect that most good commercial flour blends will also work fine… Just bear in mind that the recipe shared adds either psyllium husk or xanthan gum to the mix. So, if the blend you use already contains a binder, you can leave this out.
Cooking the dumplings – oven or hob (stovetop)
While it is necessary to cook dumplings in a liquid base, it doesn’t matter whether this is in the oven (casseroles) or on the hob (stews and soups). The only provisos are that the dumplings fit easily on the surface in a single layer (so that they are half-submerged), but allowing them room to expand. And that the pot they are cooked in can be covered with a lid to allow steam to circulate around them.
Add-ins and variations
Although simple plain dumplings are fine, I personally like to jazz mine up with extra flavour. Herbs and spices (whether dried or fresh) are ideal add-ins. Or alternatively add some grated Parmesan, Cheddar or an alternative hard cheese. You don’t need to add a lot… but it will take your dumplings to the next level!
Have you made my Gluten Free Dumplings?
If you have any other questions about making my Gluten Free Dumplings, feel free to get in touch and I will do my best to help. If you make them, I’d love to hear how you got on. You can leave a comment at the bottom of the post… Rate the recipe using the ⭐️ button… Or you can message me via social media. Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest (@glutenfreealchemist) are best.
For all our other recipes, check out the Gluten Free Recipe Index. It’s a photographic gluten free wonderland… And the place to start your gluten free kitchen journey.
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More gluten free sides that work with stews and soups
Gluten Free Dumplings
Gluten Free Dumplings (make ahead of time or while the casserole is cooking) – about 10 to 12 dumplings
- 75 g white gluten free flour blend I use GFA blend A – See NOTES
- 25 g gluten free oat flour See Notes for alternative tested flour blends
- 1 tsp ground psyllium husk (or ½ tsp xanthan gum)
- ½ tsp baking powder (gluten free)
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- ½ tsp dried oregano or basil (optional)
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- ground black pepper (optional)
- 60 g frozen butter (or shredded gluten free suet or dairy free block ‘butter’)
- 15 g Parmesan cheese (optional) – grated finely
- 50 to 55 g/ml cold water
- In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flours, psyllium husk (or xanthan gum), baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, herbs, salt and pepper), making sure any lumps are broken down.
- Grate the frozen butter into the flour and stir through.
- If adding Parmesan cheese, add this to the mix and stir again.
- Add the water a little at a time and using hands, gradually bring the mixture together as a damp dough.
- Divide the mixture into 10 to 12 pieces and roll them into walnut-sized balls. Avoid compacting too much.
- Set aside in the fridge until ready to use.
Cooking the dumplings
- Add the dumplings to stews, casseroles and soups during the final 20 to 30 minutes of cooking.
- Gently push the dumplings into the top of the casserole liquid so that they are half submerged.
- Place the lid (closed) on the pan and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until puffed up, fluffy and tender.
- 100g white gluten free flour blend A
- 75g rice-free wholegrain flour (GFA blend B) + 25g tapioca starch
- 50g rice-free wholegrain flour (GFA blend B) + 25g oat flour + 25g tapioca starch
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