This easy dumplings recipe without suet is for people who just want a quick fix – you simply want easy dumplings using standard ingredients and without any mess to clear up! This is probably the easiest way how you can make dumplings for your stews! Using just flour and olive oil, it means you don’t need to source something else before you can make dumplings!
This recipe is to make one medium-sized dumpling, certainly a generous “serves one” portion size. It could be split into two to make two smaller dumplings if you wish – and, it can be scaled up to make as many dumplings as you wish and it’s all without suet being used.
- 60 grams self-raising flour
- <1 tablespoon olive oil
- Optional: herbs of your choice
- Weigh out 60 grams of self-raising flour – I use a Pyrex jug for this. For making 1-3 dumplings a Pyrex jug is plenty large enough, no need to use a bowl. I find the handle of a Pyrex jug makes mixing easier as it’s something to grip.
- Add just under 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Anything more than ½ tablespoon will do, but it’s easier to use a tablespoon and simply not fill it.
- Mix the two ingredients together, then add a little water at a time until it’s all combined into a non-sticky dough ball. If you add too much water, just add a bit more flour. This should take you about 10-15 seconds to achieve.
- Flavours: If you want to make herby suet free dumplings, then add a teaspoon or so of mixed herbs at this point, or any other flavours/herbs you’ve got. Mix these through the dough ball so they’re evenly distributed.
- Form the dumpling into a ball – you can do this easily enough still in the bowl/jug, using your spoon.
- Place the dumpling in your stew, cover the dish with a lid and walk away for 20 minutes, leaving the stew simmering.
- Turn the dumpling over and cover the stew again, leaving the dumpling to cook for a further 10 minutes.
In total the dumpling will take about 30 minutes to cook. It’s the same time whether you’re using suet – or using a dumpling recipe without suet, it still takes the same amount of time.
Flour 2p, oil 3p = 5p per large dumpling! Filling, tasty, satisfying and frugal!
However you cook your dumplings they will taste almost the same, but the textures will be different – suet dumplings are more ‘fatty’ tasting, flour and oil dumplings have no discernible fatty taste. While different in texture, any dumpling is a winner!
In my experience and opinion, the best dumplings are cooked on top of a stew in a saucepan, microwave dumplings come closest to being the same texture, although they don’t grow in size so much. Slow cooker dumplings, too, don’t grow as much as when left simmering in a saucepan. However, you have to choose your method and accept that nothing in life is ever 100% the same as something that’s different! 🙂
Dumplings in a Slow Cooker:
You can add your dumplings to a slow cooker. Dumplings do need to sit in quite a watery gravy, as they soak up all that goodness and flavour. Slow cookers will often have a lot of liquid in a stew, but if you need it to be more watery then just add some boiling water and give it a stir around before adding the dumpling.
The herby dumpling in the photo here was cooked in a slow cooker. I will often throw a dumpling into a stew 30 minutes before serving up! On days when I only think of it at the last minute I’ll happily make a microwave dumpling instead, which only takes 3 minutes, I’ll scoop out some of the slow cooker stew gravy to cook that in.
What is the Difference Between Suet Dumplings and Dumplings Without Suet?
There’s really no difference in method when making dumplings without suet, all that’s changed is the type of fat you’ve used. Using olive oil is considered more healthy – if you can have healthy dumplings! Suet is fat that is found surrounding the kidney of animals. Both recipes are therefore using flour and fats, it’s just the fat type that’s changed. Using olive oil means these are vegetarian dumplings, although you can buy vegetarian suet.
How Do You Turn Dumplings Over, or Get Dumplings Out of a Stew Without Them Breaking Up?
Dumplings shouldn’t break up – but, in any case, I do like to remove them from the top of a stew “elegantly” – and for this I recommend a standard slotted spoon. I use slotted spoons for turning the dumplings as well as scooping them out of the stew.
You can pick these up cheaply enough next time you’re out at a supermarket, but if you live miles from one of those, then ebay’s probably already your best friend! I find these are great for a lot of everyday cooking tasks. Silicone serving spoons are what I prefer as they won’t scratch any cookware and they can be tossed into the sink for washing up without worrying about whether they’ll rust or not!