Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup (Olive Garden Copycat)

Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup has a thick and rich broth with shredded carrots, celery, chopped spinach, gnocchi and chicken hidden throughout.  This tastes even better than the Olive Garden! 


Fall is in the air here in Utah and the leaves are starting to change in the mountains.  It is absolutely gorgeous!  There are so many things that I love about fall.  And the fact that our air conditioning hasn’t been running all day and night is just a huge bonus.

As the temps start to drop there is nothing better than a big bowl of hearty soup.


This Olive Garden Copycat recipe has been on my list of soups to make for a few years now.  I love all of Olive Garden’s Soups but their Chicken Gnocchi soup is awesome.  The best part is that it is so easy to make!  It comes together in less than 20 minutes.


You guys are going to love the incredible creamy and rich broth.  It is flavored with the perfect amount of seasonings.  It has one of my favorite herbs inside…. thyme.  It is so hearty with the added chicken and gnocchi.  I absolutely love gnocchi.  It is the perfect addition to this soup.  Along with shredded carrots, celery, and spinach this soup is full of flavor!  Put this on your list of must try soups!  You will not regret it.


4.7 from 23 reviews
Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup (Olive Garden Copycat)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup has a thick and rich broth with shredded carrots, celery, chopped spinach and gnocchi hidden throughout. This tastes even better than the Olive Garden!
Serves: 8
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • ½ cup celery diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 (14 ounce can chicken broth) for a thinner soup use 2
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup diced cooked chicken breast (I used rotisserie)
  • 1 16 ounce package potato gnocchi (on the pasta isle)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large pot add butter and olive oil. Over medium high heat sauté onion, celery and garlic until tender. Add the flour to create a roux and cook for another minute.
  2. Slowly add the half and half and chicken broth and stir until it starts to thicken. Add the thyme, carrots, spinach, chicken and gnocchi. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until gnocchi is cooked and soup is thickened. (If you want a thinner soup add another can of chicken broth.) Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Recipe Adapted from All Recipes





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I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.
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  1. I prefer the refrigerated gnocchi. Would I prepare it any differently?

  2. Hey girl this looks so good! I love soups like this! I am so ready for Fall to start here in Oklahoma! It is still hot in the lower 90’s this week, but starting Saturday it’s going to get better in the 80’s ha! Still warm but better!

  3. Sorry to be the grammar police, but as far as I know there is no Isle of Pasta, rather one could find gnocchi in an aisle of pasta. ;p Recipe sounds delicious though!

  4. I haven’t been to the olive garden in years! (there’s only one w/in 300 miles of us, and it’s always PACKED). I had no idea this was a soup from olive garden! My friend and I have been making this soup for a while, I thought we just made it up! LOL

  5. Suggestions on how to make this gluten free are appreciated, thanks!

  6. I want to try this but what do you mean by ” half and half?” Half of what?

    • Its half cream and half milk. It is located in the milk section called half and half.

    • You have got to be kidding, Right?

    • Half and half is a creamer some people would use it their coffee. Find it in the refrigerator section near the heavy whipping cream and milk, coffee creamers.

    • This made me chuckle(in a good way) half and half is a cream that’s usually used for coffee and such. Go to the dairy aisle in your grocery store and they have cartons of half and half(which is thicker creamier type of milk you could say)

  7. Too much thyme! It ruined my entire batch. Cut it down to a teaspoon or maybe even half a teaspoon.

    • Did you use fresh thyme or dried? The recipe calls for fresh, so if you used the same amount of dried it would have been too much. 🙂

    • Were you using “fresh” thyme like the recipe calls for “dried” thyme? That would make a huge difference. 1 tablespoon fresh is equivalent to 3/4 tsp dried.

  8. What is half-and-half, please?

  9. Hi Alyssa, can you please tell me what ‘half and half’ refers to? We’re not familiar with this here in Australia. Thanks in advance!

  10. Luciana Faria says:

    Hi could you explain what is half-and-half? A kind of milk? Thanks

  11. I can’t wait to try this! Could you substitute whole milk for the half and half?

  12. Yellow or sweet onion? Any preference? & I’m not big on thyme… think it’d be okay without? Thanks!

  13. You can refrigerate this and reheat right ?

  14. Sugar Shane says:

    I want se gnocci soup, or pretty much any soup. Its fall aND I love soup!

  15. What can you use to substitute for the half and half? My Aunt lives in England and can’t get half and half. Thank you

  16. I would definitely skip the thyme, it’s too overpowering and I honestly don’t believe that Olive Gardens version has it. Very easy to make though! Will keep and just delete thyme next time!

  17. Hi, would love to make this but 2 cups of half and half is way too fattening and creamy for me! What could I substitute with (besides whole milk)? Thanks!

    • For a less heavy soup, you can cut the dairy in half, substituting more chicken broth to make up the missing liquid. For lower fat, you can use canned evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed milk, that’s totally different) in place of cream in a typical soup or sauce recipe.

  18. Maria Fahlsing says:

    I made this tonight and it is so good even without the onion (I am allergic). Now it bothers me a lot less that Olive Garden is not conveniently located near my house. Thank you so much!

  19. This recipe was really easy to make and super delicious! I substituted cheese tortellini for the gnocchi and it came out great. I think I’ll try fat free half and half instead of regular next time for a lighter taste.

  20. I just made this and it was amazing. However, I had to add over 2 cups of chicken broth and about 1/3 cup more half and half to thicken it and keep it rich. I also used frozen spinach instead of fresh. Theirs is paler and mine has an orange tinge from the carrots. Next time I might reduce the amount of carrots because theirs does not have that much. The other change I made was adding mini gnocchi, because it’s my favorite part and I wanted there to be more. All in all, it was a pretty easy and delicious recipe I’ll most definitely make again.

  21. Was thinking of making ahead of time and placing in the crock pot on keep warm until dinner time. Would this be ok? Should I wait to add the gnocchi until about an hour before dinner time?

  22. I made this recipe on Sunday but the fat, flour & liquid was out of proportion.1/4 cup of flour will not thicken even a quart of half & half let alone an additional 28 ounces of broth.. once that problem was corrected by making more roux to mix in & reducing the broth to 14 ounces (I used boullion & water instead of prepared broth (1 t. Or cube of boullion to 14 ounces water) it was great! The soup refrigerated & reheated with no problem. I omitted the salt & nutmeg also. Actually , I forgot to add the salt & didn’t have nutmeg on hand. I uses thyme leaves in the amount the recipe called for & won’t change it next time..

  23. Do you have the nutritional information for this? It’s a fantastic recipe, although for my taste I would have preferred half the gnocchi and 3+ times the chicken.. also, like another reviewer stated, if you don’t use fresh thyme, limit the thyme to 1/2 – 1 tsp.

  24. Are you sure 1 TABLEspoon of thyme is correct? I made this exactly as written and the thyme overpowered the whole soup. Literally couldn’t taste anything else. I’ll try again because I think it would be good if we could taste it all, but will probably reduce to a teaspoon instead.

    • If you were using dried thyme you would need to cut the amount to about 1/3- or to 1 tsp. Fresh herbs, as instructed to use, are much more flavorful than dried.

  25. I made this tonight. The flavor is wonderful but none of had had gnocchi before and we didn’t like that part of it. I will make it again, but I will leave out the gnocchi and just add more chicken. I actually added 2x as much chicken anyway and it would have been perfect without the gnocchi. In response to Jayne above, 1 teaspoon of DRIED is perfect. the Tablespoon was if it was FRESH thyme.

  26. I usually try new dishes according to the recipe itself. I think this is a HOME RUN as written…creamy, rich and full of flavor!! Well done Alyssa!! Next time I make this (being I like to change things up a bit), maybe I’ll try fresh mushrooms, more chicken and I’d make my own gnocchi. The gnocchi I bought was not as al dente as I would have liked. Also, I’ll try whole milk instead of half & half and add a hint of Parmigiano-Reggiano before serving to help thicken and add a different layer of dimension. This would pair nicely with a hearty unoaked chardonnay!!

  27. I kept feeling like it was missing something, so I added the juice of one whole lemon. My husband loved it.

  28. Just made this tonight for my wife and kids. The kids are very picky and wouldn’t even try it but my wife loved it. The only change i made was making my own gnocchi. It turned out great! thanks for posting this

  29. How do you cook your chicken for this recipe? I oven baked mine with a lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. It still turned out great but I wanted to see if you do it differently.

  30. I just made it and it came out alright. I had to add a lot of seasoning like garlic, parsley, and such to really make it tasty. I used frozen gnocchi and after a few minutes they were as tender as fresh. Thanks

  31. Donna Wojcik says:

    Hi I just had some soup from Olive garden and I tasted as little spice in it.
    Have u tasted it and . what is it I am tasting.I am going to make this soup this afternoon. Thanku.

  32. thanks for the recipe!! I made it last night (just as it is written). Was awesome!!

  33. i was in the mood for this soup but didn’t want to have to go to olive garden to ear it. so happy i found this recipe it tastes terrific and it is quite simple to make. i had a little trouble finding the gnocchi but i googled them and found them at different stores (i used the archer farms brand ) the soup came out wonderfully , even my picky toddler raved about it.

  34. We added a tablespoon of thyme as the recipe called for and it overpowered the entire soup. With a smaller amount, it would’ve been great!

  35. Anne Schmidt says:

    Prep time is off; takes longer than 5 min to shred carrots, chop chicken, celery,onion, minced garlic, measure milk/half/half, broth, chop spinach, measure/grate nutmeg, etc……

  36. Is it OK to use ground thyme? I have no way to get fresh.

  37. Amy Flores says:

    I made this tonight and it was great! I used lactose free milk instead of half and half since my boyfriend is lactose intolerant, still pretty tasty! I used a sprinkle of dried thyme because it was so overpowering, I might not use it next time. I’ll also use 2 cans of chicken broth next time, the soup came out a bit too thick than I would have liked. Other than that, it’s a great recipe.

  38. Do you have any recommendations for making this soup in a crock pot instead of stove top? If I were to make it in the crock pot, how long do you think I should cook it for?

  39. Just made this, an omg it’s delish, definitely saving this recipe, I did substitute the spinach with fresh basil leaves and it gave it a more exotic taste than Olive Garden, which I have frequently. I do suggest if using basil add little by little an taste I used half a cup, thanks for sharing the recipe.

  40. Hey made this dish for my family and boyfriend last night and it was absolutely beautiful tasted amazing and was my first time trying gnocchi and I’ve fallen in love with it 😍😍

  41. Can this be frozen and reheated?

  42. This will thicken like stew. Use two cans of chicken broth and it’s perfect.

  43. Chris Deegan says:

    Just tried this soup for the first time,not from Olive Garden,but an independently owned Italian restaurant,and it was awesome! I’m definitely going to use your recipe, but from the soup I just tasted they tweaked the thyme (I think they used a lesser amount than this recipe),and they added a hint of nutmeg…thanks for the recipe!

  44. Thanks for a great recipe. My entire family loved it.

  45. This recipe is amazing! I wouldn’t compare it to Olive Garden, it is even BETTER! I followed the recipe to a “T” and it was nearly perfect. I also added some nutmeg (I find that it enhances the flavor of any cream sauce), added a bit more chicken, also added a smidge of parmesan, and used homemade gnocchi and frozen spinach. This is my sons’ favorite soup–one all three can agree on!!! 🙂

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