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)

hjlonsdale's picture

Absolutely marvellous as a post-run treat!

jb5370's picture

Had this tonight and it was absolutely delicious. The dumplings were a lovely addition to a great winter warming stew.

lindapalmer1's picture

Delicious recipe. I used homemade pesto and didn't have any leeks so used a red and a white onion instead which worked perfectly. Served with mash potatoes, although personally I think this stew is best served with either the dumplings or potato but not both. This will become a firm favourite and would be suitable to serve at a dinner party.

talishko's picture

Great recipe! Tried it for the first time, timings (prep/cooking) were spot on, dumplings super easy to make and delicious. All the flavours came together perfectly! Will definitely make again.

valjohn's picture

Love this recipe - have made it several times now. I usually just buy a dumpling mix and that works out just fine. I have also made it into a pie filling and instead of having individual dumplings I make a dumpling "lid" instead of a pastry crust. This has been a nice variation.

seattlewa's picture

I made this but added suet dumplings as I prefer them. Went down a treat with my boyfriend! Will be making again soon.

Heyer26's picture

This is a fab recipe - really satisfying and a little different. Always get rave reviews and requests for the recipe whenever I make it.

emmmy's picture

Great recipe. Warming, tasty and wholesome meal. I left out the tomatoes too and didn't notice the difference. Will definitely be making this again!

Mdirks's picture

Really loved it! Made it today to freeze a few portions and to eat immediately. Absolutely great combination of flavors and the dumplings are the best bit, though also the heaviest.... Enjoy (and why bother using mushrooms) :-)

suzlovescake's picture

Absolutely scrummy, made a change from other stew recipes and was lovely and warming on a cold night. Would agree with shaslam that the sun dried tomatoes weren't really needed, the pesto overpowered their flavour really.

shaslam's picture

Really delicious, I would probably leave out the sun dried tomatoes next time, didn't add anything to the flavour, but added about £2 to the cost!

nannyog88's picture

This is a great tasty all in one pan. i always have enough to freeze for another day

wldhntress's picture

Had this quite a few times now and it’s become a firm favourite. Have cooked it before with both boned thighs and chicken breasts, both were lovely.

ccrotty's picture

I am wanting to do this recipe with chicken breasts rather than thighs, did you alter the cooking time at all? I am worried that chicken breasts will be very tough cooked for so long? Thank you :)

carolwright25's picture


rhudson's picture

Very nice recipe - easy to make and great on a cold January evening. I would probably omit the peas and replace with mushrooms next time, plus I must admit that I added a little cream before the dish went into the oven. Lovely and a hit with the family.

liz2013's picture

Ok, flavours too intense to really enjoy

miselaineous's picture

Simply devine recipe. I shall certainly be cooking this again. I didn't use pesto but added some torn Basil leaves. I also used DRIED sun-dried tomatoes instead of the ones in oil and the bacon was thinly sliced 'taste the difference' which I chopped and dry fried to remove the fat. All the other ingredients were as per the recipe including the pine nuts which gave a gorgeous texture.

I first made it about three weeks ago and have today posted it to facebook so others can enjoy it. I am also going to make it again today.... can't wait for dinner time!!!! Scrumptious. xxx

gemlou110's picture

Great recipe! halfed the recipe for 4 people; i also left out the celery as we don't like it and used boneless chicken thighs, worked great!!

ilzego's picture

Pesto is an interesting addition, but overall the dish seemed too fat to me, although I left out the bacon and chicken stock, I just used water instead.


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