Make your favorite restaurant soup at home! This Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup is perfectly creamy and comforting! Loaded with chicken and vegetables this is a hearty, healthy meal your family will love!
What is gnocchi?
Gnocchi is a traditional Italian dish that is commonly made with potatoes, eggs and flour. While some may refer to gnocchi as a type of pasta I think it can be more accurately described as a dumpling. These little pillows are often prepared one of two ways. The most common is to place the gnocchi into hot liquid and allow it to absorb and soften. The bite is fairly similar to a southern dumpling (think chicken and dumplings) but tends to hold together better.
The second way gnocchi is often prepared (any my personal favorite) is to lightly pan fry them in oil and season with salt and pepper. This ensures a crispy exterior and a soft, fluffy interior. Think a fancy, posh cousin to a tater tot.
Ingredients for Chicken Gnocchi Soup
As always, this is a quick overview of the ingredient you need to make this creamy soup. For the complete recipe just scroll to the recipe card.
- Chicken: this recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken breast, but chicken thighs will also work.
- Vegetables: you will need chopped celery, carrot, onion, garlic, and spinach for this recipe.
- Spices: Italian seasoning, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- Chicken Broth: use a good quality chicken stock, or make your own!
- Gnocchi: shelf-stable gnocchi, usually found near the pasta is needed. You do not have to precook it. You can use regular or gluten-free gnocchi.
- Heavy Cream: This adds the perfect creamy element to the soup.
How to Make Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Skip the restaurant and make this dish right at home. Not only will you save money, but you can make this dish exactly the way your family loves it! To make this creamy gnocchi soup you will need to follow the step by step guide below:
Sauté the Vegetables
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a dutch oven or stock pot. Next, add the celery, carrots, onions and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes until they have softened slightly.
Add the Chicken
Add the chicken to the pot. There is not need to chop or precook the chicken, simply add it directly on top of the vegetables. For this recipe I use chicken breast, but you can also use chicken thighs if you prefer dark meat.
Add Spices and Chicken Stock
Next, add the spices and chicken stock to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a strong simmer. Place the lid on the pot and reduce the heat to low. Allow the soup to simmer for 25 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
Once the chicken has cooked through it will be very tender and will shred easily. Remove the chicken from the soup and shred on a cutting board. Add the chicken back to the pot.
Add Gnocchi, Spinach and Heavy Cream
The final step is to add the shelf stable gnocchi, chopped spinach and heavy cream to the soup. Stir well and reduce the heat to low. Allow the soup to cook 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. The soup is ready when the gnocchi is soft and the spinach has wilted.
This soup is excellent served with grated Parmesan and chopped parsley. Of course, there is nothing better than a warm bowl of soup, grilled cheese or good crusty bread! Grab a loaf of garlic bread or focaccia to serve with this meal along side a Wedge Salad, or Arugula Salad with Brown Butter Dressing.
Store any soup leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days. Allow the soup to cool completely before storing to prevent condensation from building up.
This soup is freezer friendly, allow it to cool completely and transfer to a large freezer bag, or soup cube tray. Using a cube tray allows you to freeze this in single servings. This is such a great way to pull dinner or a personal sized lunch together in a pinch! You can store this soup in the freezer up to 2 months.
- To reheat soup heat in the microwave in 30-second increments until warm. Alternatively, reheat in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally.
- To reheat frozen soup remove the soup from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight. Follow the directions above.
Olive Garden Soup FAQ
Gnocchi is widely available and usually found in the pasta aisle at your grocery. Be sure you purchase shelf stable gnocchi, not a frozen variety for this recipe.
You can use half and half in a pinch, but if you are trying to achieve the signature rich, creamy flavor of the Olive Garden soup stick to heavy cream.
Yes. Sauté the vegetables as directed. Add the vegetables, chicken, spices, and broth to the slow cooker. Cook on low up to 8 hours, or on high up to 4 hours. Remove the chicken from the crock pot, shred and add back to the slow cooker. Stir in the gnocchi, spinach and heavy cream. Leave the soup on low 10-15 minutes until the spinach has wilted and the gnocchi is soft.
Other Chicken Soup Recipes
- Chicken Tortilla Soup: this soup requires no chopping and is a cinch to make!
- Jalapeno Cheddar Chicken Soup: a soup that has the flavors of jalapeño poppers, but in a creamy hearty soup!
- Sicilian Chicken Soup: this dreamy soup is loaded with tons of flavor! Perfect for chilly nights!
- Cajun Chicken Soup: packed with two kinds of cheese, shredded chicken and loads of vegetables. dare I say this is the ultimate chicken soup?!
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Chicken: the classic flavors of broccoli cheddar soup, but with tons of protein added!
Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons garlic minced
- 1½ cup celery chopped
- 1 cup white onion chopped
- 1 cup carrots chopped
- 1½ pound chicken breast
- 1 tablespoon EACH poultry seasoning, and Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons EACH garlic powder and onion powder
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1½ cup heavy cream
- 12 ounces gnocchi shelf stable
- 2 cups fresh spinach chopped
- Heat a large pot or dutch oven to medium heat. Add the olive oil and saute the garlic, onion, celery, and carrots for 3-4 minutes until tender.
- Add the chicken to the pot, and top with the spices and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer, place the lid on the soup and reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Allow the soup to cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the chicken is tender and cooked through remove it from the pot and shred. Add the shredded chicken back to the pot.
- Add the gnocchi, heavy cream and chopped spinach, stir well. Place the lid on the soup and allow the soup to cook for about 10 minutes giving the spinach time to wilt and the gnocchi to soften.
- Stir and serve with freshly grated parmesan.