Sometimes you just need some simple, nourishing comfort food. Nothing fancy, just no-frills, down-home cooking. And if this is the kind of food you’re craving, well, do I have a recipe for you! This recipe for Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Corn Soup with Rivels is my take on an old-fashioned PA Dutch country classic. Tiny homemade dumplings, tender chunks of chicken, and kernels of fresh sweet corn in a rich homemade chicken broth. I’m telling you, this recipe is oh so delicious. (Also, if you’re a fan of hearty chicken soup, check out my recipe for Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings.)
Now, for those folks who haven’t heard of a rivel, it’s just a rustic dumpling or noodle, similar to spaetzle. And if you’re thinking that homemade noodles take a little too much effort, let me assure you that rivels are very simple and take very little effort. The ingredients are just a little flour, egg, and a pinch of salt. So easy.
Of course, this recipe is best prepared from scratch, but you can definitely take a few shortcuts on a day you find yourself not up for doing a lot of cooking (I hear you!- no judgments here!) Simply use a rotisserie chicken, and a few cartons of good-quality store-bought chicken broth to make this dish in a jiffy. I do recommend making your own rivels, though, because the rivels really make this soup something special.
I’ve included instructions for cooking the chicken and making the broth in a big stockpot or Dutch oven, but if you have a favorite way of preparing a whole chicken with broth (like in a slow cooker or Instant Pot) go right ahead and do it that way. I sometimes make my chicken the day before in my slow cooker, and then just refrigerate the meat and broth until the next day when I’m ready to make the soup. (Sometimes a just little meal prep makes life a whole lot easier!)
- If you prefer all white meat instead of a whole chicken, substitute 4 split chicken breasts for a whole chicken. I don’t recommend using boneless, skinless chicken breasts because the meat will be tougher and won’t result in a flavorful broth.
- I like to add a few spoonfuls of chicken base like this one to my homemade broth to give the soup a really intense chicken flavor. You could also use a few chicken bouillon cubes, or omit this ingredient completely (but it really does make for extra flavor!).
- If it’s summer and sweet corn is in season, I love to use fresh sweet corn kernels cut off the cob. If all you have is frozen or canned corn, that will work just fine, too.
- When poaching the chicken, feel free to add garlic, herbs, or anything you want to add extra flavor to the chicken.
If you try my recipe for Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Corn Soup with Rivels, I hope you love it. Please let me know in the comments and give it a review!
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For the Chicken and Broth:
For the Rivels
For the Soup:
Prepare chicken and broth: