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. Has anyone perfected this as “shelf-stable” or pantry meal meal?
    I bought some gnocchi it is supposed to be good on the shelf for one year, wondered if anyone else covered the other ingredients to be good on the shelf for a year.

  2. 5 stars
    I also added more broth and left out thyme. I don’t like it and it was overpowering. Even my husband ate this soup and he doesn’t like soup. I tried the thyme the first time I made it.

  3. 5 stars
    I have made this several times. I think it’s even better than Olive Garden, and my family loves it! I serve it with lots of Parmesan cheese. Yum!

  4. I have made this many times and yes, storebought gnocchi will last a long time, probably 2 years. But though I love this recipe, doesn’t have enough flavor, I added fresh and dried thyme, fresh oregano, 1 tsp., a little coriander, lots of black pepper and twice or more the amount of liquid and an extra cup of whole milk, as it gets too thick and quickly. I don’t add the spinach until the last 5 min. and I add half bag of frozen green peas when I add the gnocchi. When I finish I add about 1 tsp. hot sauce (you won’t even know it’s there but it gives it an amazing taste.) I just thought the recipe was too bland for me but by the time I finish everybody loves it.

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