Pesto chicken stew with cheesy dumplings

Pesto chicken stew with cheesy dumplings

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(62 ratings)

Prep: 50 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 20 mins


Serves 8
A slow-cooked chicken casserole with Italian basil flavours that makes a perfect weekend one-pot

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal831
  • fat52g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs38g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre5g
  • protein50g
  • salt2.7g
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  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 12-15 chicken thighs, skin removed, bone in
  • 200g smoked bacon lardon or chopped bacon
  • 1 large onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 4 celery sticks, chopped



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 3 leek, chopped



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 200ml white wine
  • 1l chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 200g frozen pea
  • 140g sundried tomato
  • 140g fresh pesto



    Pesto is a generic Italian name for any sauce made by pounding ingredients together.


  • small bunch basil, chopped



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

For the dumplings

  • 140g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 100g Parmesan, grated



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • 50g pine nut


  1. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish. Brown the chicken until golden on all sides – you might have to do this in batches – remove the chicken from the pan as you go and set aside.

  2. Add the lardons to the pan and sizzle for a few mins, then add the onion, celery and leeks, and cook over a medium heat for 8-10 mins until the vegetables have softened. Stir in the flour, season and cook for a further 2 mins.

  3. Gradually stir in the wine and allow it to bubble away, then stir in the stock. Return the chicken to the pan with the bay leaves and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 1½ hrs or until the chicken is tender. The stew can now be cooled and frozen if you’re making ahead. Just defrost thoroughly, then gently warm through back in the pan before continuing.

  4. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Add the peas, sundried tomatoes, pesto and basil to the stew. To make the dumplings, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the grated cheese and add 150ml water, mixing with a cutlery knife to bring the crumbs together to form a light and sticky dough. Break off walnut-sized lumps and shape into small balls. Roll the tops of the dumplings in the pine nuts so a few stick to the outside, then place the dumplings on top of the stew and scatter with any remaining nuts. Put the dish in the oven and bake for 25 mins until the dumplings are golden brown and cooked through. Serve with mashed potato and extra veg if you like.

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Comments (63)

cakeanyone's picture

This was a great quick meal, which the whole family liked...particularly the dumplings. Made for 4 so halved all ingredients and used chicken breasts instead of thighs which speeded up cooking. Also, used cheddar instead of parmesan. Didn't need to brown chicken, so total cooking time, after veg had been softened was the half hour in the oven. Will make again but will probably omit tomatoes, which seemed an odd addition.

cazandjay's picture

I cooked this in my slow cooker using chicken breasts, next time I would leave out the sundried tomatoes as I thought that that they were horrible, I also left out the pine nuts on the dumplings and they were lovely, all together a really nice dish

cazandjay's picture

I cooked this in my slow cooker using chicken breasts, next time I would leave out the sundried tomatoes as I thought that that they were horrible, I also left out the pine nuts on the dumplings and they were lovely, all together a really nice dish

haggispowell's picture

This chicken is AMAZING! We had it for an easter lunch with friends and it's perfect- I just left it cooking and forgot about it so I could concentrate on my easter nests (and glass of wine...!)

Definitely recommend!

samson111's picture

Great recipe - only downside was browning the chicken - took forever!!

Zootfruit's picture

Err am I missing something here?! Disgusting doesn't even cover it! Think the bacon over powered everything and the cheese dumplings although light and fluffy were not nice. Glad I only did this for husband and kids and not for any one else I'd have been embarrassed.

claraclutt's picture

Delicious.used boneless thighs and not so much pesto as was using up left over jar in fridge.served with mashed potato.yummy.

PollyChelsea's picture

sorry forgot to rate it!

PollyChelsea's picture

Absolutely blooming scrummy! I wasn't sure at first about the amount of pesto, it seemed like a lot, so just added bit by bit and yes I used the whole pot, perfect. Not too sure about the tomatoes but it is a definite 'do again'.

bovrilfaerie's picture

Made this with cheddar instead of parmesan and missed out the pine nuts, sun dried toms and celery but was delicious, served with carrots, green beans and brocoli.

piglet1964's picture

Absolutely delicious, even baked some left over dumplings mixture as scones. Yummy!

cameron99's picture

An excellent one pot dish. Easy but delicious. Big hit with all the family.

cameron99's picture

An excellent one pot dish. Easy but delicious. Big hit with all the family.

kazlouandandy's picture

I really fancy trying this but do you have to have chicken thighs with the bone left in? Hate the thought of having to mess getting the meat off the bone. Would rather use boneless thighs??

claudsmc's picture

This was very tasty, perfect dish on a really cold night. We loved the cheesy dumplings. I wouldn't add the sundried tomatoes again as I felt it didn't add anything and there was enough going on in the dish.

cat123's picture

I tried making this without the dumplings and it was very nice indeed, but it sounds like the dumplings make it so I'll give them a go next time. The only problem I had was that it ended up a bit greasy, with oil coming from the bacon, chicken, pesto and tomatoes - once it had cooled down, the fat lifted off the top quite easily, though, so it was fine to eat.

elaines's picture

Lovely dish, made it for friends last night. they are all now planning to make it. Used semi-dried tomatoes instead of sundried and didn't bother about the pine nuts. The dumplings are fab!

esthersnook's picture

Parmesan dumpling...genius!

svybhec's picture

My guess would be Purple Sprouting Brocolli...

somthinoutanothin1's picture

I'm always interested to hear what other people serve with various recipes, but what is PSB??


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