chicken corn rivel soup

Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Corn Rivel Soup

Found throughout Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, rivels make their appearance in all kinds of soup including chicken based varieties, potato soup, and bean soup. Here, they are the star in a very traditional and hearty soup; Chicken Corn Soup.

What are rivels you ask? They are small pieces of dough that are created from flour and eggs, sprinkled or “riveled off” the fingers into simmering soup or broth. The rivels slightly thicken the broth and make for a hearty bowl of yummy.

Rivels could be considered “dumplings”in a way, but they are not fluffy, puffy dumplings in the traditional sense or a noodle. They are, well…rivels. Trust me on this, you’ll love ’em.

Rivels are a very “Dutchie” thing and, like most Dutchies, I never met a dough ball, piece, chunk, or sliver I didn’t love.

Chicken Corn, Chicken Corn Noodle, and Chicken Corn Rivel soups are so popular in the Coal Region and Pennsylvania Dutch country that many organizations make it by the gallons to sell for take-out (quart or pint) as fundraisers (“soup sales”).

When fresh corn is in season, take advantage of it for this recipe. Canned or frozen corn can be used year round. If going the non-fresh corn route, I much prefer using vacuum-packed canned corn for taste, texture, and “snap”.

This soup, like many, is even better if made the day before serving, allowing the flavors to blend and meld.

This recipe includes chopped hard-cooked eggs. My Pop insisted the egg be added. The egg is completely optional, so make this to your own taste.

Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Corn Rivel Soup

Recipe by A Coalcracker in the KitchenCourse: SoupsCuisine: Pa. Dutch, Coal RegionDifficulty: Intermediate

Rich chicken stock simmered with corn and little “rivels” that thicken the stock and add extra texture and flavor to this hearty soup.


  • 4 – 5 pound roaster chicken

  • 1 medium onion finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup chopped celery

  • 4 quarts (16 cups) water

  • 6 cups fresh corn (drained canned or frozen may be substituted)

  • 3 hard cooked eggs, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon parsley

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Rivels
  • 2 cups flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 large eggs, beaten


  • Place chicken, onion and celery in a Dutch oven or stock pot and cover with the water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, skim foam, and cook for about 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove chicken from the broth. Allow to cool to touch and cut into desired size pieces. Skim off any top fat at this time if desired.
  • Meanwhile, shuck corn and cut corn off the cobs.
  • On medium heat add corn kernels to the broth and cook for about 5 minutes until corn is tender.
  • Add chicken meat into broth.
  • Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine flour and raw egg to make rivels. Mix by hand using your fingers until the mixture forms crumbs (rivels) resembling pea-sized pieces and smaller. Not all the rivels will be the same size and the mixture should be crumbly. Add extra flour if dough is too sticky.
  • Slowly add rivels to boiling soup by crumbling into soup with hands while stirring constantly. Cook about five minutes.
  • Stir in hard-boiled eggs.
  • Serve hot.