Easy dumplings without Suet

by Hint of Helen
dumplings for stew recipe

Dumplings are the perfect addition to a casserole or stew, to me, the meal isn’t complete without them! Here’s my recipe for how to make dumplings without suet or very much effort! They’re simple, delicious and you only need flour, water and butter to make these.

dumplings for stew recipe

Traditionally, dumplings are made with suet – but, suet isn’t an ingredient most people buy often (other than, if they’re making dumplings or suet pastry). I’m a big fan of making cooking as simple and straight forward as it can be – and not having to buy new or unnecessary ingredients to do so!

So, these dumplings for stew call for no suet at all – and they’re as delicious, fluffy and moreish as always! If you’ve never made dumplings before they are very easy, and to cook them you just place in the top of your stew or casserole 25 mins before the end of cooking time.

The casserole shown in these pictures is my favourite beef & Guinness casserole and dumpling recipe.

How to make dumplings without suet

Scroll down for recipe card and ingredient list

1. In a mixing bowl measure out the flour and butter

2. Then, use your fingers to mix it together to form a crumb

how to make dumplings

3. It should look similar to this at this stage:

how to make dumplings

4. Next, add in water 1 tbsp at a time, and mix with the spoon – continue adding water (a tablespoon at a time, please don’t be tempted to pour it in as it can get very wet very quick). Continue this, until it forms a dough – mix with your hand once it begins to turn more dough-like

(If you do accidentally add in too much water, add a little flour to even it out)

how to make dumplings

5. The dough should be like this:

how to make dumplings

6. Next, using floured hands and a floured surface to lay them on – divide the dough into 10 balls

floured dumplings

7. Drop the dumplings into your casserole or stew 25 minutes before the end of the stew cooking time

raw dumplings

8. Cover with a lid and cook for 25 minutes – until puffed up and cooked through – then serve and enjoy!

cooked dumplings
Yield: 10

Dumplings without suet

No Suet Dumplings

This easy dumplings recipe is made with no suet. The perfect pairings to stews and casseroles - you'll be able to make this recipe with simple ingredients!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 115g butter
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 3 Tbsp Water (plus more - see instructions)


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and butter using your finger tips - rub it together to form a crumb dry
  2. Then, add in the 3 tbsp of water - and stir using a spoon. Then, take your hands and stir/press it together, keep adding water - a tablespoon at a time, and mixing it in until a soft dough ball forms. Don't add much water at once, it can easily become too wet!
  3. Once your soft dough is formed, use floured hands to roll into 10 dumplings (or, however many you can depending on the size you want - remember, they'll grow as they cook)
  4. Place the dumplings in the top of your stew or casserole, when there's 25 minutes cooking time left* (remember, the dumplings will soak up some liquid so make sure you have enough liquid in your stew
  5. Put the lid on the stew or casserole, and cook for 25 minutes - or until the dumplings are soft and cooked through
  6. Optional: Cook for a further 5 mins with the lid off if you're making a casserole and want the dumplings to be a bit crunchy on top


For example, if the cooking time for your casserole is 3 hours, put the dumplings in after 2 hours, 35 mins.

The cooking time of the dumplings will depend on the size you make them

You can use these dumplings in the slow cooker, too, simply remove the lid and pop them in, then continue cooking for an hour.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 155Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 25mgSodium 75mgCarbohydrates 15gFiber 1gSugar 0gProtein 2g

Nutritional data provided here is only an estimate. If you're tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!

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Edith 12th May 2020 - 11:26 am

Can you cool these dumplings in ove.

Hint of Helen 13th May 2020 - 12:08 am

Hi Edith πŸ™‚ yes you can cook these dumplings in your oven – just pop them in the casserole 25 mins before the end of cooking and cook with the lid on, in your oven πŸ™‚

dolfinicat 6 23rd September 2020 - 1:36 pm

what type of flour is used in this recipe?

Hint of Helen 31st October 2020 - 8:14 am

Self-raising flour πŸ™‚

Anthony 7th October 2020 - 7:38 pm

Hi Helen, could you cook this separately in a loaf tin and slice like bread?

Hint of Helen 31st October 2020 - 8:20 am

I have never tried this, but I wouldn’t imagine so – the dumplings soak up some of the liquid from the stew and use the steam created from it to rise x

Pamela 25th February 2023 - 11:22 am

You can use a loaf tin to cook, my mum always did just cooks as one small loaf, she used to put grated onion in for a savoury dumpling and grated apple in if it was for dessert x hope this helps 😊

Selwa Young 18th October 2020 - 5:58 pm

Hi Helen ,
Your are a star.. l have never liked suet . Thank you so much . I shall add mixed herbs to mine like my mother in law . I wonder what she would think if she was alive . My mother never made them as she was an Arab and cooked traditional Palestinian/ Assiryan / Armenian dishes.

Jill Short 20th October 2020 - 8:29 pm

I have had trouble trying to find the perfect vegan dumpling mix ratio. I used Flora plant butter with these and they came up lovely. I shall be using those recipe every time now . Thanks !

Anonymous 22nd October 2020 - 5:02 pm

Just cooked these dumpling and they are delicious, just like my mum used to make, and that Helen is a compliment πŸ‘πŸΌ

Hint of Helen 31st October 2020 - 8:04 am

I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe and THANK YOU! πŸ˜€

Bonkers Boater 24th October 2020 - 3:47 pm

I made these (they turned out extremely well!), but I used my own lemon & garlic butter (previously made and then chilled) – which went extremely well with the chicken casserole.

Hint of Helen 31st October 2020 - 8:03 am

Yum! This sounds great – where do you get your lemon & garlic butter? So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

Terry 12th November 2020 - 11:57 am

Can I use gluten free flour ?

Hint of Helen 15th November 2020 - 9:09 am

I’d expect so but haven’t tried to myself… if you did let me know how they turned out! πŸ™‚

Tilly Taylor 25th October 2021 - 8:04 pm

Thank you for this simple recipe Helen. I used gluten-free flour (Dove’s Farm Self-Raising) and added about 25-30g more than the recipe. They have turned out really well in a stew. Thank you for the recipe. X

Deborah Pugh 23rd November 2020 - 2:06 pm

Just tried this recipe for dumplings really easy to follow and tried the end product wow they taste amazing thankyou for this recipe 5 stars from me

Lin 27th November 2020 - 3:14 pm

Will these dumplings work using an electric slow cooker?

Helen 28th November 2020 - 7:41 am

Yes they will πŸ™‚

Anonymous 2nd December 2020 - 1:45 pm

Can you freeze ones you don’t use

Helen 8th December 2020 - 11:15 am

Yes you can πŸ™‚

Anonymous 6th December 2020 - 3:36 pm

How can I turn plain flour into raising flour ?

Helen 6th December 2020 - 5:26 pm

Hello, for this recipe just add 2 tsp of baking powder, to 200g of plain flour πŸ™‚

Nicola Vickers 8th January 2021 - 3:27 pm

Fantastic – I’m going to try this tonight, and I’m going to add some mustard seeds to the dumplings. Thanks!

Marion 18th January 2021 - 11:46 am

Thank you. Going to try these in my slow cooker. Tonight. I live in Spain and have a job getting suet. These must be more better for you as well.

Eve B 29th January 2021 - 9:54 am

HI I was Loki g how to make dumlins, Has I haven’t got suet or dumpling mix, I’m going to try these today for my other harf he had stew last night but missed the dumplings. So he said look on line, has there still stew left so we see, if they come out good I be makeing some for my veggie stew,

Debbie 8th February 2021 - 5:22 pm

Hi ive just made them and popped them into my stew fingers crossed for me they we’re so easy to make Thank-you 😊 looking forward to my dinner now eill let you know what they turned out like πŸ‘

Wendy Marsden 9th February 2021 - 12:02 pm

Great recipe thank you. I also add 2 desert spoons of sage and onion stuffing. I use Clover spread. They always turn out wonderful.

Helen Wiesinger 23rd February 2021 - 3:33 pm

Hi Helen, Thank you for making this suet substitute, to be honest I hate cooking at the best of times so have to faff around shopping for suet …in a pandemic..you’re a life saver… so you’ve inspired me to give dumplings a go! xx fingers crossed the meal turns out edible LOL πŸ˜„πŸ€£

Diane 9th February 2021 - 5:30 pm

Not made stew for ages but no suet so looked for a recipe and came across this I was delighted with the outcome I use flora light and added mixed germ. πŸ‘

Diane 9th February 2021 - 5:34 pm

Sorry mixed herbs πŸŒΏπŸ˜‚

Sarah 9th February 2021 - 7:55 pm

This was the first time making dumplings and turned out beautiful, turned my plain flour into self-raising. Added some Thyme to mine. Thank you.

Lauren 10th March 2021 - 4:56 pm

Attempting these this evening! Just a quick question, does it matter if the butter is fridge or room temperature?

Hint of Helen 15th March 2021 - 10:52 am

Hi Lauren, I don’t think so! I’ve made with either πŸ™‚

Saltes Rahman 5th July 2021 - 8:59 pm

By far, the easier and most delicious dumplings ever!
My go to recipe!
Thank you

Michelle N 5th October 2021 - 8:34 am

Yes you can make dumplings on a baking sheet and add to the stew at the end. My Mum always did them like that and they were lovely and not dry: plenty of gravy in the stew!

Elaine 17th October 2021 - 5:13 pm

Where I live you can`t get suet for dumplings. I tried these tonight and they are gorgeous. Thank you Helen

Anonymous 24th October 2021 - 7:34 pm

Works well with gluten free flour. I used slightly less flour and they turned out very well

hintofhelen 13th December 2021 - 12:10 pm

I’m glad to hear! πŸ˜€

Anonymous 15th January 2022 - 11:47 pm

Thank you so much for your great recipe Helen. I’ve tried to buy suet from all the local shops, some of them don’t know what suet is. I sit mine on top of cooked mince and gravy and put it in the oven for the same length of time. Crisp and beautiful! Thanks again.

George 28th January 2022 - 2:00 pm

Hi Hellen, I loved the way my late wife used to make dumplings for the kids and me the biggest lol, well I my Wife used to cook in the pot in and kind of stew, then pop them into the stove to make them crispy, with herbs, heavenly bliss, I tried my Sisters recipe, 4 table spoons of sef raising flour two table spoons of suet and a small amount of water, they were just edible, but I will be trying out your recipe very soon they look yummy

Anonymous 8th February 2022 - 6:13 pm

My boys love this recipe. So quick and easy as well. Thank you!

BNazir 11th June 2022 - 9:48 pm

Just leaving a note after arriving here for a simple non suet dumpling recipe. I’ve just made this with my chicken casserole and threw in some dried italian herbs, they taste delicious! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

ELIZABETH Hannah 7th October 2022 - 8:52 am

Just thr way my mum used to make them been arguing with my sisters about this they use suet I said mum never used suet now I have proof it can be made eith out

Sharon Flynn 12th October 2022 - 7:45 pm

These were yummy thank you !!

Laura Goose 4th December 2022 - 5:06 pm

Well at 64 years of age I have just made my 1st dumplings this way. I usually use a mix or have used suet. They have gone down really well in my house so thanks so much xx

Julie 18th December 2022 - 11:21 pm

Just used this recipe to make dumplings to go with my veggie stew. They were light and fluffy and yummy. Really easy recipe. Reading the comments, I’ll add some herbs next time. Thank you.

Andy B 17th January 2023 - 7:00 pm

Thanks Helen for this suetless recipe.I used lard I had leftover from making a pork pie for Christmas. It worked a treat.

littlecandle 7th February 2023 - 10:52 am

I’ve always made suet dumplings (mine and my family’s favourite) and they always turn out beautifully light and fluffy, but when doing my online shop just now, the price of the leading brand has shot up from Β£1.90 to Β£3 literally overnight! So having seen the other comments on how successfully it works, I’m going to try your recipe with cold butter instead. Thanks!

Candi 3rd May 2023 - 5:24 pm

Such a great recipe! Made these and popped on top of a beef stew… love the idea without suet as I didn’t have any!
Thanks Helen for sharing!

Marie 17th February 2024 - 7:02 pm

Beautiful, tasty and so easy to make. These dumplings are light as a feather and were a firm favourite with the whole family. I nearly didn’t bother making any as I had no suet, so thank you!


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