Pesto chicken stew with cheesy dumplings

Pesto chicken stew with cheesy dumplings

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(94 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 leeks, 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 leaves
  • 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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, questions and tips

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5th Jan, 2013
Ok, flavours too intense to really enjoy
27th Nov, 2012
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
2nd Nov, 2012
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!!
30th Oct, 2012
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.
13th Oct, 2012
We've had this twice now. Absolutely delicious!
9th Oct, 2012
Delicious! So tasty, and so different! I had boneless chicken thighs, which were fine for this recipe, and I'd probably use boneless again, as the children (and husband) don't really like dishes that include bones. I couldn't find "fresh" pesto (and didn't have time to make any!), but had a jar of ready-made in the cupboard. I used two dessert spoons of pesto, which just gave the dish a subtle taste. I think any more would have overpowered the dish. The dumplings were divine: much lighter than my usual "suet" dumplings. Served with lots of steamed green vegetables. Will definitely be making this again.
8th Oct, 2012
My husband and I loved this recipe. We added everything they said including the sundried tomatoes which I thought actually gave a nice alternative flavour to the meal. You definitely don't need any mash or anything extra with it as the dumplings are so filling and very mourish,.
elektricia's picture
29th Sep, 2012
Alas, Mine tasted like pea soup (no hint of flavour of the sundried tomatoes, or the pesto, it was all overpowered by the leek, celery and bacon). Dumplings were great.
falconerem's picture
28th Sep, 2012
Tasty recipe but next time I will leave out the sun-dried tomatoes. Maybe add some sliced mushrooms and/or sweetcorn instead. I also used boneless thighs.
28th Sep, 2012
Love this dish! Really impressed that my effort looked like the picture. Used chicken breast instead, but otherwise stuck to the original recipe. Added to my favourites.


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