Traditional British Suet Dumplings Recipe

Perfectly Fluffy Suet Dumplings: A Traditional British Comfort Food
Suet Dumplings Recipe pinit

Suet dumplings are a beloved staple in British cuisine, bringing warmth and comfort to any meal. These dumplings, made from a simple mixture of self-raising flour, suet, and water, are a wonderful addition to stews and casseroles, turning a humble dish into a hearty feast. Whether you’re using beef suet for a traditional touch or opting for a vegetarian version, these dumplings are sure to be a hit.


Did you know that suet dumplings have a storied history dating back to the times when food needed to be stretched during hard times? Suet, the firm fat found around the kidneys of beef or sheep, imparts a distinctively light and fluffy texture to the dumplings. For those with dietary preferences, vegetarian suet provides a similar texture, ensuring everyone can enjoy this comforting dish.

Serving Suggestions

Suet dumplings are best served atop a bubbling stew or casserole, absorbing the rich flavours of the dish beneath. They pair exceptionally well with traditional beef stew, vegetable casseroles, or even a hearty chicken and vegetable pot. For added colour and flavour, consider mixing in fresh parsley or other herbs into the dough before cooking.

Storing Instructions

If you have any leftover dumplings, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep well for up to three days. For longer storage, you can freeze the dumplings. Place them on a baking sheet to freeze individually before transferring them to a freezer-safe container. They will keep for up to three months in the freezer.

Reheating Instructions

To reheat suet dumplings, preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the dumplings in an oven-safe dish and cover with aluminium foil to prevent them from drying out. Heat for about 15-20 minutes until they are warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat them in a microwave on medium power for about 2-3 minutes, checking to ensure they are heated evenly.


We’d love to hear how your suet dumplings turned out! Share your experiences and any creative twists you added in the comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more traditional recipes and culinary tips. Happy cooking!

How to Make Suet Dumplings Recipe

Suet Dumplings Recipe pinit
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Traditional British Suet Dumplings Recipe

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 30 mins Total Time 40 mins
Cooking Temp: 90  °C Servings: 8 Calories: 180 kcal per serving
Best Season: Winter


These traditional British suet dumplings are the epitome of comfort food, perfect for topping off your favourite stews and casseroles. Made with self-raising flour and shredded suet, these light and fluffy dumplings absorb the rich flavours of the dish beneath, creating a hearty and satisfying meal. Whether you use beef suet or a vegetarian alternative, these dumplings are sure to become a family favourite.



Prepare the Dough:

  1. Mix Ingredients

    In a large mixing bowl, combine the self-raising flour, shredded suet, and salt. Stir well to ensure the ingredients are evenly distributed.

  2. Add Water

    Gradually add cold water, a little at a time, mixing with a fork until the mixture forms a firm dough. The dough should be firm but not sticky or crumbly.

Shape the Dumplings:

  1. Divide Dough

    Divide the dough into 8-12 equal pieces (depending on your preferred size).

  2. Roll into Balls

    Roll each piece into a ball with your hands.

Cook the Dumplings

  1. Place on Stew

    Place the dumplings on top of your simmering stew or casserole. Ensure they are in a single layer and not submerged in the liquid.

  2. Cook Covered

    Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 20 minutes.

  3. Optional Crisping

    For a crisper exterior, remove the lid after 20 minutes and cook for an additional 10 minutes.


  1. Serve Hot

    Serve the dumplings immediately atop your favourite stew or casserole. Enjoy the fluffy and flavourful addition to your hearty meal.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
Calories 180kcal
Calories from Fat 72kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g13%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Sodium 150mg7%
Total Carbohydrate 22g8%
Dietary Fiber 1g4%
Protein 3g6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


  • Customise: Feel free to add your favourite herbs, such as thyme or rosemary, to the dough for added flavour.
  • Alternative Ingredients: If you can't find suet, grated frozen butter or lard can be used as a substitute.
  • Cooking Variations: These dumplings can also be steamed or boiled if you prefer not to cook them in a stew.
  • Vegetarian Option: Use vegetarian suet to make this dish suitable for vegetarians.
Keywords: Suet Dumplings Recipe, How to Make Suet Dumplings, Suet Dumplings Ingredients, Traditional British Suet Dumplings, Fluffy Dumplings, Comfort Food Recipe, British Cuisine, Vegetarian Suet Dumplings, Stew Topping, Easy Dumplings Recipe, Homemade Dumplings, Hearty Meals, Winter Recipes, Classic British Recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I use plain flour instead of self-raising flour?

Yes, you can use plain flour, but you'll need to add 2 teaspoons of baking powder to ensure the dumplings rise properly.

What can I substitute for suet?

If you can't find suet, you can use grated frozen butter or lard. For a vegetarian option, look for vegetable suet in your local supermarket.

Can I make the dumplings ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the dough and shape the dumplings a few hours ahead. Keep them covered in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them.

Do suet dumplings need to be cooked in a stew?

While traditionally cooked in a stew or casserole, you can also steam or boil suet dumplings. However, cooking them in a stew allows them to absorb more flavour.

Can I freeze uncooked dumplings?

Yes, you can freeze the shaped, uncooked dumplings on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe container. Cook from frozen by adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time.

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Fiona O'Sullivan

Fiona O'Sullivan is the passionate editor of Great Food Ireland, a popular blog dedicated to celebrating traditional Irish cuisine and culinary heritage. With a rich background in food writing and a deep love for Ireland's gastronomic culture, Fiona brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to her role. She curates authentic recipes, shares culinary stories, and explores the vibrant food scene across Ireland. Fiona's dedication to promoting Irish food traditions has made Great Food Ireland a beloved resource for food enthusiasts around the world.

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