These little herb flavoured gluten free dumplings are a delicious addition to casseroles, stews and soup. They take just 10 minutes to make, and then can steam on top of a bubbling stew, either in the oven, on the stove or in a slow cooker.
What you'll love about the recipe
- Gluten free comfort food, these herb dumplings are fluffy but filling
- A convenient traditional side dish which is cooked on top of stew. (Try them with this slow cooker beef shin, or lamb mince stew.). These British dumplings are also sometimes known as drop dumplings as they are 'dropped' in stew!
- 10 minutes to make using everyday ingredients
- Wholegrain oats make the recipe a little healthier
- These gluten free dumplings are made without suet (no leftover ingredients!)
Gluten free flour and oats. I've made this recipe with half GF flour and half oat flour. Oat flour makes these gluten free dumplings lighter, and also healthier. Oats are wholegrain and a good source of fibre and vitamins. You can either use oat flour, or blitz some whole GF oats in a food processor or blender until they are powdery. My flour was a supermarket plain flour blend, but you could also use self raising.
There is no need for any binding agents such as xanthan gum.
GF baking powder. This will make the dumplings lighter. If your GF flour is self raising, then just use a quarter of a teaspoon.
Butter. Traditionally British dumplings are made with suet. However, most of the suet from supermarkets is coated in wheat flour. I've therefore made these gluten free dumplings without suet, using butter which is grated and coated with flour so that it cooks in a similar way. If you do have some gluten free suet, then you can use that instead of butter.
If you prefer, you can use another solid fat such as lard (it's more budget friendly and a good replacement for suet). Or for vegan dumplings, use vegan block.
Seasoning and herbs add flavour. I used thyme, but you could also use fresh parsley or chives.
You can also season the dumplings with a tablespoon of grated parmesan for a cheesy flavour!
How to make gluten free dumplings
Put the GF flour and oat flour in a bowl and stir in the baking powder and seasoning. Grate the butter on top of the flour. If necessary, dip the butter into the flour to stop it sticking to your fingers.
Very lightly mix in the butter, using a fork. Try not to squish the butter or let it clump together too much.
Add the water and gently mix to a stiff dough. You might need slightly more or less water depending on your flour blend. The mixture should start to come together, but not be overly sticky.
Divide the dough into 8 and form into balls with your hands. They'll look quite little, but they'll puff up quite a lot as they cook:)
Cook the dumplings on top of a bubbling stew with a lid. They need to be in a single layer with a little space around them to grow. They'll part boil and part steam. On the stovetop or in the oven they'll take 25 minutes. In the slow cooker, cook them for an hour.
Because they are steamed, these gluten free dumplings won't turn brown. But they'll be light and fluffy, and a perfect way to soak up the delicious juices from your stew.
Serve your gluten free dumplings piping hot on top of a bowl of stew or casserole.
They are also good on thick warming soups such as this tomato and lentil soup.
If you have any leftovers, reheat them on top of the stew.
Uncooked dumplings can also be frozen. Or freeze a cooked stew or casserole with the cooked dumplings on top.
Frequently asked questions
Suet is a type of hard animal fat. Pure suet does not have gluten it in, but in order to package suet, it is coated in wheat flour. You can also buy a type of suet made from vegetable fat but again this often has wheat flour in it. It is possible to buy gluten free suet coated in rice flour, but it's not very widely available. You may also be able to get suet from the butcher which has not been coated. Otherwise, you can still make delicious dumplings without suet using butter or lard instead.
These British dumplings for stew are made from a gluten free flour blend (containing rice, potato, tapioca, maize and buckwheat) plus gluten free oat flour.
The main reason for dumplings not being fluffy is that they have been a bit over worked. Mix them lightly and be gentle when you are making them into balls. These gluten free dumplings are unlikely to go tough as there is no gluten, but they could still be a bit too dense if you handle them too much.
Other gluten free side dishes
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Gluten Free Dumplings (for stew)
- 50 g gluten free flour
- 50 g gluten free oat flour or whole oats blitzed
- ½ teaspoon gluten free baking powder
- 50 g butter cold from the fridge
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- salt and pepper
- 50 ml cold water
- Add the flour, oat flour, baking powder and seasoning to a bowl.
- Grate the butter onto the flour. Very lightly mix with a fork. Make sure the butter doesn't get squished, you should be coating the butter in flour, so use a light flicking movement.
- Add the cold water and mix gently to a stiff dough. You might need slightly more or less water as flour can vary. The dough should come together without being too sticky.
- Form into 8 balls with your hands.
- Cook the dumplings on top of a simmering stew with the lid on so that they steam. In the oven they'll take 25 minutes, or an hour in the slow cooker.
- If you are using whole oats rather than oat flour, blitz them in a blender or food processor until they are powdery.
- If you can find gluten free suet, you could use this instead of butter. But often suet is coated in wheat flour, so do check.
- For dairy free gluten free dumplings, use a vegan block or solid vegetable fat.
- Fresh parsley or chives can be used in place of thyme.
Please note nutritional information is for guidance only