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!

I just love the Italian flavors in the slow cooker pasta e fagioli soup or creamy zuppa toscana too, so be sure to give them a try!

Creamy chicken gnocchi soup in a white bowl with a spoon.

Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Spring is in the air here in Utah and the flowers are starting to bloom. It is absolutely gorgeous! There are so many things that I love about Spring. And the fact that our heater hasn’t been running all day and night is just a huge bonus. As the temps start to heat up during the day then drop back down in the evenings, there is nothing better than a big bowl of hearty soup.

You guys are going to love the incredible creamy and rich broth. It is flavored with the perfect amount of seasonings and it even has one of my favorite herbs inside…. thyme. The added chicken and gnocchi(which I absolutely love) are so hearty.  Then when you add in the freshness of the 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.

Creamy chicken gnocchi soup in a large pot with a ladle scooping out the soup.

Ingredients to Make Gnocchi 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.

  • Butter: Use the butter to make the roux.
  • Olive oil: Add to the pan with the butter onion and celery and garlic.
  • Onion: I keep frozen diced onion in my freezer so that I can easily add it to any dish.
  • Celery: Diced celery gives this soup a great crunch and fresh flavor.
  • Garlic cloves:Minced garlic adds a deep Italian flavor.
  • All-purpose flour: The flour makes a roux which gives the soup its consistency.
  • Half-and-half: The creaminess of this soup.
  • Chicken broth: Add as much as you like depending on how thin you like your soup. For a thinner soup use more broth.
  • Fresh thyme: Earthy and a little bit sweet, with a slightly minty
  • Shredded carrots: I love the sweet flavor the carrots add!
  • Spinach leaves: Chopped so that you don’t have big pieces in your spoonful.
  • Chicken breast: Diced and cooked chicken. Cut into pieces before cooking so it will cook quicker.  Cook it in a little bit of olive oil until it’s just done. Add a little salt and pepper to it if you like.
  • Potato gnocchi: Hint- find this on the pasta isle.
  • Salt and pepper: To taste!

Optional Ingredient Swaps:

  • Substitutes for gnocchi: pasta (such as small shells or orzo), rice, diced fresh potatoes (they’ll need to cook longer)
  • Use Italian sausage instead of chicken. Brown it at the beginning of preparing soup.
  • Sneak in an extra vegetable like peas, zucchini or asparagus.
  • Add extra cream to make it even richer.
  • Use pre-shredded, cooked chicken from the grocery store.

How to Make Gnocchi:

Gnocchi is made from potatoes, flour, and eggs. It seems like an odd combination I would have never thought of, but I am so happy someone did!  Although it does take time to make from scratch, making gnocchi can be so fun!  When I am in the mood and I have the time, I enjoy making it myself.  However, it tastes great store bought too! If you are hoping to try it from scratch here is the breakdown:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Peel potatoes and add to pot. Once cooked, scoop out inside.
  2. Combine 1 cup mashed potato, flour and egg in a large bowl. Knead until dough forms a ball.
  3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Drop in gnocchi and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until gnocchi have risen to the top; drain and serve.

Olive Garden Favorite Soup:

  1. Make a roux: 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. Add liquids: Slowly add the half and half and chicken broth and stir until it starts to thicken.
  3. Add spices and ingredients: The thyme, carrots, spinach, chicken and gnocchi.
  4. Simmer: Allow to 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.

Creamy chicken gnocchi soup in a white bowl garnished with cilantro.

Tips for the Best Chicken Gnocchi Soup:

  • Use mini gnocchi if you can find them (or make them mini), they’re the perfect size for soup.
  • Don’t let the sauce get too hot or it can separate.
  • Use fresh spinach for best results, skip the frozen kind here. It will turn out mushy.
  • Dice veggies small so they’ll cook through in time.
  • How to store: Do not freeze: Because of the dairy and gnocchi it won’t freeze well. The gnocchi will get soggy and the dairy mixture will separate.
  • If you are planning on lots of leftovers you can cook the gnocchi separately and add to individual servings.
  • Slow Cooker Adaptations: I would still definitely use cooked, diced chicken. Also, go ahead and saute the veggies and garlic. THEN put the chicken and veggies all together in the bottom of your slow cooker. Add the liquids and all the other ingredients except the gnocchi, half and half, and spinach. Cook on low for three to four hours, adding the gnocchi in for the last hour of cooking. Before serving, add the half and half and spinach and stir to combine. The spinach should wilt quickly. Serve.

What to Serve with Soup:

Serve with making a complete meal… homemade breadtwists and a side salad asparagus salad with lemon vinaigrette or antipasto salad

Creamy chicken gnocchi in a white bowl with a silver spoon sticking out on the side of the bowl.

Warm, Comforting Soups to Try:

Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup (Olive Garden Copycat)

4.47 from 13 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings 8
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!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Italian American
Keyword creamy chicken gnocchi soup, gnocchi soup

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 1/2 cup celery diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 14 ounce can chicken broth for a thinner soup use 2 cans
  • 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

Instructions

  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 Notes

Updated on April 18, 2020

Originally Posted on September 7, 2016

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup (Olive Garden Copycat)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 156 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 34mg11%
Sodium 63mg3%
Potassium 113mg3%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 387IU8%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 74mg7%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

 

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Alyssa Rivers

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 would like to make this and take it to my school for our “Souper” Bowl luncheon. I would need to put it in a crockpot for the day. Thoughts?

    1. That is a great idea! You will make it all together like the recipe and let it sit on low until cooked and then warm once it is warmed up and cooked all the way. Enjoy! That sounds like a fun event! XOXO

      1. This is my daughter’s favorite, she orders this when she’s out with friends. She requested this when she came home from break. I found this recipe and gave it I try. She said it taste better. I marinated chicken breast overnight and baked the next day…chilled and diced, everything else is the same. I have to say I’m addicted and make this once a month.

    1. HMMM! I am so sorry! I am not sure why it would taste more like flour. I would recommend adding little less than a cup of the flour for the next time and see if that helps or makes a difference. Thank you for sharing! XOXO

      1. I have always heard when making a roux that you need to cook it for a minute or so to cook the flour taste out. Perhaps she didn’t cook her roux long enough.

      1. I have used instant mashed potatoes. Gluten intolerances was why I tried it, and now that is what I use to thicken any soup.

  2. I just made this for lunch. I only wanted 2 portions, so I scaled down the recipe. I used homemade chicken stock that I had in the freezer. I used homemade gnocchi I made last night. I didn’t have any celery, so I just skipped it…but my stock had been made with celery in it so I still got all the flavor. I ended up using more stock…not so much to make the sauce thinner, but to increase the amount of sauce because my portions looked too small. Even with the addition of stock, I only got a small bowl of soup. I wished I’d made 4 portions because I was left wanting more. And it was super yummy. My husband gave it an A+. I will definitely be making this again.

  3. This is a fantastic recipe much better than Olive Gardens. I also doubled the recipe and froze it in individual containers to eat at a later time. Shared with family and friends. They all loved it! Thank you. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

  4. I saw the reply saying she froze some of the soup. I would like to know if that is possible. I would expect it to get watery due to the cream sauce. Any ideas.

    1. You can freeze this soup. It is best to freeze gnocchi uncooked as soon as they are shaped.Freeze until solid, about 3 hours. Gather the frozen gnocchi into resealable freezer bags. Frozen gnocchi can be stored in the freezer for 4 to 6 weeks. Sometimes soups with a milk or cream base will separate during the freezing process, but you can whisk it back together.

  5. I made this not to long ago with this recipe and it came out so good! The second time i made it I decided to make it and habe some of my partners family members come over and have them eat it. They also really enjoyed it because it was so delicious, I would 10/10 recommend for you to try this!!

  6. I’ve made this recipe several times and I love it. Instead of using just thyme, I use Italian seasoning. I omit celery altogether because I can’t tell a difference with or without it. I use shredded chicken instead of diced. Also it was good without it, but I tried adding half a block of cream cheese the last time I made it to make it a touch richer and it was amazing. Thanks for a recipe I will be using forever!

  7. Does anyone know the nutrition facts for this recipe? I am so excited to try it, everyone keeps saying it is better than Olive Garden’s…which is delicious.

  8. Ok I just came from Olive Garden and had this soup which was absolutely the best thing I have ever eaten , so now I want to make it at home. This seems like the best recipe. I will update you with how it came out. Thanks so much.

    1. Theresa, how did it come out? I love this soup at Olive Garden and I’m going to grocery store to get ingredients to make it.

  9. I made this today… didn’t have cream or half n half, but I did have Carnation almond milk for cooking. Worked great. I used an entire bag of baby spinach ♥️. The soup came out great. I’ve made it before, and I’ll make it again. I also get gnocchi at the Dollar Tree.

  10. What Is the total volume of all the soup? I have a 4 quart pot and am wondering if I could possibly double the recipe in it?

  11. Wow. This recipe is AMAZING. 🙂

    I doubled all of the ingredients because my husband and I are greedy lol. He gave it 10/10 and told me I have to make it again at least once a month. He loved how thick the soup was too. This soup definitely sticks to your gut. Do you all serve this with any sides like a roll/salad or do you just eat the soup plain? Thanks for sharing this with us!!!

    1. Hi Katie!
      Thanks for the great question. I would prefer to use unsalted butter that way you can add salt to your taste. Hope that you like the recipe! Thanks for following along with me!!

  12. I have added nutmeg to this recipe…I had read somewhere that was the spice that OG uses on this soup.
    I dunno…but man oh man it does make it extra awesome.

    1. Omitting the celery varies the taste just a little but still tastes good. If you use celery salt, but sure to taste it before adding salt. Celery seed is another option, but just an 1/8-1/4 tsp or a good shake should do the trick.

  13. I try to make this WW friendly; I use Fat-free canned milk. Double the veg. And use chicken breast thAt I poach in chicken broth. It’s delicious!

  14. I made this with a healthy pinch of red pepper flakes and oh my god it took the flavor up a notch. Perfect for those days where you feel a sickness coming on, it really complements the thyme. Thank you for posting this!

  15. Cooking newbie here! Are you supposed to use cookies carrots? And are you supposed to cookie the gnocchi before adding it?

    1. No problem at all. I am glad that you are trying this soup recipe. One of my favorites! Your carrots will be raw and the gnocchi will be cooked when you are making the soup not before. Hope that helps and clarifies some things.

  16. 5 stars
    This recipie is great. I love to eat this soup when we dine at Olive Garden! Now I can have it when i desire with extra spinach…yummy! I did something extra different, because we are eating healthier zucchini is a veggie we all enjoy. So I incorporated zucchini noodles in my soup today and it was a nice addition. Just wondering has anyone else tried this?

  17. 4 stars
    I just made this, but the carrots are not cooked, so they’re crunchy. It’s tasty, but if I make it again, I’ll add the broth, then simmer for about 20 min with the carrots in before adding the spinach, gnocchi and half and half.

  18. 4 stars
    I just made this because my mom likes the soup at olive garden, but I’ve never had it, so I can’t compare.
    The carrots aren’t cooked, when following this recipe, so I’m simmering. If I make this again, I’d add the carrots right after the broth, but hold off on everything else for about 20 min.
    This is a tasty soup, the carrots are just crunchy right now lol.

  19. I thought it was good but I think the liquid measurements the ratio was really off from liquid to the stuff in it. Also after we started eating I felt like it was missing something and I looked and it’s missing nutmeg just thought i let you know

  20. 5 stars
    This was delicious! My husband loves this soup at Olive Garden and said this tasted just like it. I added more chicken broth because it was very thick. Thank you for sharing this!

  21. My husband loves carrots so I used a can of cut carrots instead of fresh and he loves it and added nutmeg too, really does need it. But we both love this soup

  22. This soup looks so good. My husband is lactose intolerant. Do you think I could substitute the half and half with tofutti sour cream? Or cream cheese? Will it thicken properly? Thank you!

  23. I’ve made this several times. It is fairly easy to make and the family really likes it.
    They all say it is better than the restaurant version.

  24. I’ve made this several times. It is fairly easy to make and the family really likes it.
    They all say it is better than the restaurant version.
    The hardest part of making this was finding gnochi in the grocery store.

  25. I’ve made this several times. It is fairly easy to make and the family really likes it.
    They all say it is better than the restaurant version.
    The hardest part of making this was finding gnochi in the grocery store.

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