Chicken arrabbiata stew & parmesan dumplings

Try a modern take on stew and dumplings with Italian classic tomato alla arrabbiata and parmesan dumplings. Simple and oh so comforting.

  • Prep:30 mins
    Cook:1 hrs
  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 512
  • fat 33g
  • saturates 14g
  • carbs 29g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 4g
  • protein 24g
  • salt 1.4g


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs, halved
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-1½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 4 tbsp sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 2 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 5 thyme sprigs, tied
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • 80g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 80g parmesan, grated
  • 50-60ml milk


Try making this stew with succulent chunks of aubergine instead of the chicken. Cut 2 medium aubergines into 3cm chunks. Fry for 7 mins instead of 5 in step 1. Simmer the sauce for 5 mins to reduce the liquid slightly before putting the lid on and continue as per the original recipe. Swap out the parmesan for a vegetarian Italian-style cheese or strong cheddar.


  1. Heat the oil in a large shallow casserole dish. Fry the onion over a low-medium heat for 7 mins or until soft and turning translucent. Turn up the heat slightly, add the chicken and fry for 5 mins until beginning to brown around the edges. Tip the garlic and chilli into the casserole and fry for 1 min. Stir through the pesto, pour in the stock and tomatoes, then add the thyme, sugar and some seasoning.  Turn the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook gently for 40 mins. Remove the thyme and check the seasoning.

  2. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. To make the dumplings, put the butter and flour in a bowl with ½ tsp fine salt, then rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in 50g of the cheese and pour in 50ml of the milk, then swiftly combine with a cutlery knife until everything is well distributed and you have a soft dough (add more milk if it’s too dry). Briefly bring the dough together on a worksurface, then divide into eight balls.

  3. Arrange the dumplings over the stew, then scatter each with the remaining cheese. Put in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 25 mins or until the dumplings are doubled in size and golden brown. Scatter over the parsely and serve.

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