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Vegan Chicken and Dumplings GF Improved Nature

Vegan Chicken and Dumplings like my Grandma used to make! Fluffy clouds of dumplings, a thick and flavorful gravy, and chunks of delicious vegan chicken!

The “chicken” in this recipe is an incredible plant-based product from the food company Improved Nature. It’s a soy-based product. I just have to say, I’ve been vegan and gluten-free for many years and have been searching for just this kind of product. It’s easy to use and has exactly the texture I’ve been looking for. 

*This post is sponsored by the folks at Improved Nature. I only review products I actually use and will always give my honest views.

This product tastes like the “real thing” but is made entirely from plants! It’s made from soy protein and is vegan/plant-based, gluten-free, high protein, low calorie, and has a two-year shelf life. I love that it’s gluten-free but with the same chewy texture of seitan. I’ve made my own GF seitan but the firmer texture was elusive. This product does really well at imitating a meaty or real seitan texture.

Improved Nature has nuggets, shreds, slices, mini pieces, filets, tenders, chunks, poppers, and more. The same product, just different sizes. 

Vegan Chicken and Dumplings = Delicious!

I used Improved Nature’s PRIME Nuggets and they worked perfectly in creating a tasty batch of vegan chicken and dumplings that could pass for what my Grandma used to make. 

See Improved Nature’s Products HERE!

The Nuggets are simple to use. The nuggets look pretty much like hard little puffs when they come out of the package. They come dried/dehydrated, which makes them shelf-stable for as long as two years. A plus is that they don’t take up space in the fridge but can just be stored in the pantry at room temperature until they’re rehydrated (then they have to be refrigerated, of course).  


Just simmer the nuggets in a pot of water or vegetable broth for about 15 minutes to rehydrate them and, voila! they turn into chunks of plant-based meat substitute that can be used in myriad ways. The texture is firm and will flake apart or kind of striate in a way that’s quite similar to chicken. 

I used some of the nuggets and just breaded and fried them and the texture and flavor were fantastic. 

OK, back to the dumpling recipe! This is a Southern version of chicken and dumplings done up vegan-style. I started by rehydrating the Improved Nature Nature’s PRIME Nuggets. To do that, I used 10 cups of water with some vegetable bouillon added for the entire 8 oz bag. I simmered it gently in a large, heavy pot for 15 minutes and then drained it well. For this recipe, a pound of the cooked nuggets was just about right. The rest of the rehydrated “chicken” went into the refrigerator to use the next day (they can be breaded and fried, just fried, added to soups or stews, etc.). 

I used chopped onions, celery, and carrots and sauteed them in the large soup pot with some oil until they were tender and starting to brown. If you want to get fancy about it, this is what’s known as a “mirepoix” and is a great way to season and add flavor to just about any soup base.

Mirepoix Adds Lots of Flavor!

The French mirepoix is usually 2 parts chopped onion to 1 part each of chopped celery and chopped carrots. It really does add loads of flavor easily and inexpensively. Once this was going, I added the nuggets back into the pot and sauteed them as well. Also, I saved a few sprigs of celery leaves to sprinkle on top of the finished dish. 

The dumpling dough is like what my grandma used to make. It’s not like a fluffy biscuit, it’s meant to be denser and even slightly chewy once cooked but starts out with a fairly loose dough. It’s simple, though. Just GF flour (or whatever you prefer), some baking powder, salt, pepper, finely ground flax, a little oil, and some plant-based milk. Mix it up really well until completely incorporated. Set aside. It actually works better if it sits for a few minutes before going in the pot.

To the sauteed mirepoix and nuggets add six cups of water or broth. If using water, add a tablespoon of vegetable bouillon paste and stir in. Bring to a rolling boil and add the dumpling dough mixture one tablespoon at a time. The dumplings will sink at first and then pop up to the surface as they cook. Once the last dumpling is added, continue to simmer for about two minutes. Finally, make a slurry of 3 tablespoons of corn starch and a half cup of water. Add that to the pot and simmer until it’s thickened. 


Here’s the recipe! It uses just one pot!

4.67 from 3 votes

Vegan Chicken and Dumplings Gluten-Free Recipe

Vegan Chicken and Dumplings like my Grandma used to make ... except plant-based and gluten-free! Fluffy clouds of dumplings, a thick and flavorful gravy, and chunks of delicious vegan chicken! I used Nature's PRIME Nuggets from Improved Nature!

Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine southern, Vegan
Keyword dumplings, vegan chicken, vegan recipes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 390 kcal


To Rehydrate the Nature's PRIME Nuggets


  • 2 tablespoons oil for cooking, or water saute
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot




To Rehydrate the Nature's PRIME Nuggets

  1. Put 10 cups of water in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot and bring to a boil. Add the bouillon, garlic and onion powder, and salt and pepper if desired. The PRIME Nuggets can also be rehydrated with plain water.

  2. Add the PRIME Nuggets to the water and simmer for about 15 minutes.

  3. Drain the nuggets in a colander and run cold water over them until they've cooled.

  4. Press gently to remove some of the water from the nuggets and set them aside.


  1. In the same large, heavy-bottomed soup pot, sautee the onion, celery, and carrot in either oil or water until tender and slightly brown, about 8 minutes.

  2. Add the PRIME Nuggets to the pot and also saute for a few minutes. Add more oil or water if necessary to prevent any sticking.


  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients. Then add the wet ingredients and stir until very well incorporated. Set aside.


  1. To the pot, add the six cups of water, bouillon, onion and garlic powder, salt and pepper. Over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer.

  2. Add the dumplings by dropping the dough by spoonfuls into the simmering liquid. The dumplings will sink and then rise to the top when cooked.

  3. Once all the dumplings are added, let simmer for another two minutes.

  4. Make a slurry with the corn starch and plant-based milk and add it to the pot. Let simmer until the gravy has thickened.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Chicken and Dumplings Gluten-Free Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1.5 cups)
Calories 390 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Carbohydrates 45g15%
Protein 19g38%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

XO Lisa

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Try some sides and desserts with this! 

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1 month ago

5 stars
Great recipe, very yummy! Notes: I used way more almond milk than listed, replacing some of the broth with it. (Prolly 3c broth and like 5 total c almond milk cuz I wanted it creamer). I also added a splash of white wine/sherry to broth, ground coriander and some thyme, as well as fresh chopped parsley and fresh chopped coriander at the very end before serving. I also sauteed zucchini and about 5 cloves minced garlic with veggies.

For the dumplings, I found the ratio was off for me in the amount of milk to flour. I needed at least 1 cup more of almond milk to make it like a wet, ploppy, thicker pancake dough. Also I added some shakes of garlic powder and thyme to the batter, and maybe a half teaspoon of acv. We are gf/df, so additionally i ignored all parts about vegan meat and just used chopped cooked chicken:-)

Lisa Viger Gotte
1 month ago
Reply to  Carissa

Sounds delicious, Carissa!

1 year ago

4 stars
This came out really good. I printed the recipe for 3 servings, and it came out having quit a bit of broth and not quite as creamy as I would’ve liked, but overall delicious. I did opt for fresh minced garlic, added in after sauteeing the vegetables, then sauteed another minute. I also added fresh thyme to both the dumpling dough and the broth, and was very pleased with the flavor! I think next time I would opt for using the Improved Nature shreds instead of the nuggets, and less water.

3 years ago

I’m wondering if you can reserve the rehydrating liquid to add back in for the gravy or does it have to be discarded?

3 years ago

I was also thinking Soy curls. Sounds similar. Do you have to order these?

Iris Koller
Iris Koller
3 years ago

Are these Nature’s Prime Nuggets and their other prodcts similar to the dehydrated soycurls? BTW – thank you for all you share.

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