This Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup is a favorite for busy weeknights. It’s like your favorite cozy sweater in soup form! Creamy broth, tender chicken, soft, pillowy gnocchi, and a super-fast, super-easy cook time for a flavor packed meal.
Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup (Copycat Olive Garden Recipe)
Okay, confession: I really love the Olive Garden’s chicken gnocchi soup. It’s such a great combination: cream, broth, chicken, spinach, all with a great garlicky, well-seasoned flavor profile. That’s why I’ve created this easy and healthier copycat recipe! It’s all of that yumminess in a simple, foolproof recipe for home cooking.
- Olive Oil and Butter: For sauteing.
- Onion: You’ll need 1 yellow onion, diced. White onion, sweet onion, and even red onion can be substituted.
- Celery: Thinly slice about 3 stalks of celery.
- Carrots: I use 1 cup of pre-cut carrot matchsticks; you can also substitute shredded carrots.
- Garlic: Mince the garlic or put it through a garlic press.
- Parsley: Use 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley.
- Thyme Leaves: No need to chop these!
- Chicken: You’ll need 2 to 3 cups cooked shredded chicken breasts. (Graby this recipe for my easy method for Oven Baked Chicken Breasts) You can also just grab a rotisserie chicken. 🤷♀️
- Salt and Pepper
- Chicken Broth: This recipe uses 5 cups of broth. I use low-sodium so I can control the salt, but you can substitute homemade broth, veggie broth, or bone broth.
- Gnocchi: You’ll need a bag of 12 to 16 ounces of pre-made gnocchi. Easy!
- Spinach: I use fresh baby spinach, but you can also use baby kale leaves.
- Half and Half: You can substitute whole milk or your favorite non-dairy milk, but the taste and texture will vary.
How to Make Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- Saute Veggies, Herbs, and Chicken. Heat the olive oil and butter in a dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic, and cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Then stir in parsley, thyme, and cooked chicken; season with salt and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add Broth and Simmer. Stir the chicken broth into the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add Gnocchi, Spinach, and Half and Half. Stir in the gnocchi and spinach; cook for 2 minutes, or until spinach is wilted. Then add the half and half, and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes, just to heat through. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust.
- Remove from heat and Enjoy!
Tips for the Best Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- Don’t Overcook: Since you’re working with pre-cooked chicken, be sure to watch the time!
- Are My Gnocchi Done? These little pre-made potato-pasta dumplings generally cook up in one or two minutes, but you’ll know they’re done for sure when they float to the top of the simmering soup. Cool, huh? But be careful not to cook it very long past that point, or it will be tough!
- Add Sausage: If you wanted to take this recipe in a slightly different direction, you could add some sweet Italian sausage crumbles, either in place of the chicken or along with it! It’s Zuppa Toscana meets Chicken Gnocchi!
- Appetizing! How about starting off the meal with a crunchy, delectable appetizer? I love this easy recipe for Shrimp de Jonghe, or a simple Garlic Bread Bruschetta.
- Classic Combo: You can’t go wrong serving this soup with some nice breadsticks and a fresh green salad!
- Dessert Pairings: I also like having a sweet, simple dessert to finish out a soup meal. My Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies are sure to please, or you could try Iced Zucchini Banana Bread!
How to Store and Reheat Homemade Soup
- To refrigerate: Use airtight containers. Tightly cover leftover soup and store in the refrigerator for up to three days.
- To reheat: Place the desired portion of soup in a saucepan over medium heat, and cook until just heated through. Do not overcook.
Can You Freeze This Soup?
- I would not recommend freezing this soup. The texture of both the gnocchi and the creamy broth would degrade after thawing and reheating.
CREAMY CHICKEN GNOCCHI SOUP
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 cup carrot matchsticks or shredded carrots
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 2 to 3 cups cooked shredded chicken breasts
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 bag (12 to 16 ounces) refrigerated gnocchi
- 5 ounces fresh baby spinach, (you can also use baby kale leaves)
- 1 ½ cups Half & Half
- freshly grated parmesan, for garnish
- Heat olive oil and melt butter In a dutch oven or stockpot set over medium-high heat.
- Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic; cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in parsley and thyme leaves.
- Add chicken; season with salt and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the gnocchi and spinach; cook for 2 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.
- Add half and half; stir it and cook for 2 more minutes, just to heat through.
- Remove from heat.
- Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with parmesan, and serve.