Gluten free dumplings

Gluten free dumplings

Updated 22nd August 2023

Gluten free dumplings used to be one of the most requested recipes when I worked on the advice line at Juvela. And then generally within the same enquiry, I’d be asked where gluten free suet could be purchased from?

Gluten free suet is a bit tricky to get hold of. However, not to worry, as I have a great tip to share with you, which will mean, you’ll no longer have to specifically source gluten free suet to make dumplings or suet puddings. 

So yes, this wonderful tip was one of the many things I learnt whist working at Juvela gluten free foods. It’s so simple, but pure genius. Basically, all you need to do to substitute suet (if you are unable to get hold of gf suet) is to weigh out the quantity you require in lard or a vegetable shortening such as ‘TREX’ instead (when making a gluten free Christmas pud it’s nice to use butter), wrap it in a piece of greaseproof paper, pop it into a freezer bag, and then into the freezer for about half an hour, to chill and harden. Then, simply remove from the freezer and grate into gluten free flour . 

I’ve made these gluten free dumplings twice over the last week. The first time, we enjoyed them in a tasty beef and tomato casserole and then today I tried them in a beef with red wine stew, inspired by a James Martin recipe.

The dumplings will of course be great in any stew or casserole you decide to rustle up. It’s best to add them about 25-30 minutes before the end of cooking. They do soak up a bit of liquid, so if your stew is a little thick, then thin it down with a drop of boiling water before you add the dumplings.



175g (6oz) gluten free self-raising flour (if using gluten free mix or plain/all purpose flour add 1 teaspoon of gluten free baking powder.)
75g (3oz) lard or vegetable shortening (or of course gf suet if you can get it)
Salt and *black pepper
Cold water



Wrap the lard in greaseproof paper, slip into a freezer bag and chill in the freezer to harden for ½hr.

Sift the gf flour (and baking powder if using gf plain flour) into a large bowl. Add a pinch of salt and a little black pepper. 

Ingredients to make gluten free dumplings.

Grate the chilled lard into the flour, tossing it a bit in the flour as you go, so you coat the lard and ensure it doesn’t all clump together. 

Gluten free flour and grated lard ready to make gluten free dumplings

Make sure the lard is well distributed, then add enough cold water (approximately 8-10 desert-spoons) to make a firm but sticky dough. It’s best not to over handle the mixture at this point, as you will break down the lard pieces.

Remove the stew/casserole from the oven. Roughly form the dumpling mixture into about 8 balls and gently drop them into the stew. Again, best not to over handle the mixture, as you will blend in the fat. And after all, it really doesn’t matter if your dumplings look a little wonky!

Gluten free dumplings prior to baking

Now, at this point it’s entirely up to you if you choose to cover your stew, with foil or a lid before returning to the oven. You will get a softer, paler dumpling if you cover and a more crunchy golden brown one if you leave uncovered. 

Return the dish to the oven for about 25-30 minutes 200C/400F/Gas 6/180C Fan. After this time your dumplings should have puffed up and be light and fluffy.

Gluten free dumplings

I know lots of people like to enjoy stew and dumplings with mash, but I personally love it with little roast potatoes and some freshly cooked petit pois. And if at all possible, a punchy glass of red!

Thanks so much for checking out my step by step recipe for gluten free dumplings. I’ve also popped a demo over on my YouTube channel. Click here to check it out.

For now,
Liz x



*Check this product to ensure there are no gluten containing ingredients or gluten ‘may contain’ or ‘not suitable’ warnings on the pack. If in doubt leave it out.

12 thoughts on “Gluten free dumplings

  1. Elizabeth Barnett says:

    Thank you for this recipe my 11 year daughter, who has coeliac disease, has been asking for dumplings all week all I could get was lard thought Id substitute and see how it goes, so glad I did a search first and found this, fingers crossed she will like it.

  2. Elizabeth Morris says:

    I was diagnosed with coeliac disease 10 years ago and this is the first time I’ve attempted gluten free dumplings. I can not BELIEVE how well these turned out. So soft and doughy and tasted exactly as I remembered! They were also incredibly easy to make. I used the self raising gf Doves flour (tescos) and lard. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe 🙂

    • Elizabeth Rimmer says:

      I’m delighted that the your gluten free dumplings were a success! And it’s so good of you to take the time to leave a comment. Which I’m quite sure, will also encourage other people to try out the recipe too. Thanks so much. Best wishes. Liz ✨

  3. Joanne Harvey says:

    Hi Elizabeth

    We’ve just had turkey stew and dumplings, completely delicious 😋. I’m so glad I found your recipe and that I didn’t add the foil, meaning that the dumplings were delightfully crunchy on the top and beautifully soft on the bottom. As we say here is the West Country, ‘gert lush!’.

  4. jenny says:

    how much water roughly? i gave this a go but in my slow cooker, and some just started disintegrating whilst others held together ok but didnt cook in an hour. i suspect i may have had a touch too much water, but had no starting guide from this recipe.

    • Elizabeth Rimmer says:

      Hi Jenny, Thanks so much for getting in touch. I tested the recipe again today and found the dumpling dough came together well with about 9-10 desert-spoons of cold water. I’m not too sure if I’ve tested the gluten free dumplings in a slow cooker. I’m thinking that they may not hold their shape quite as well as they would do when cooked in the oven, as a slow cooker tends to produce more moisture. Liz

  5. Glenys Hill says:

    I didn’t freeze the lard before using it as there wasn’t time but luckily the
    dumplings turned out very well. I cut the lard with a knife (I could have used
    my fingertips).

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