Chicken Gnocchi Soup made at home is just as creamy and delicious as the classic Olive Garden soup! The best part is it can be made in your kitchen in just 30 minutes!
Chicken Gnocchi Soup Recipe
As a Canadian, I am not fortunate enough to just pop into an Olive Garden restaurant when I’m craving this creamy soup. So, I’ve had to come up with a recipe that is a close as possible to the original. I even think that it tastes better than Olive Garden and it is so easy to make! Not only does this recipe save me a long trip across the border, it’s far more economical and budget friendly, as eating out can become quite costly.
Chicken Gnocchi Soup has a thick and rich creamy broth with shredded carrots, celery, chopped spinach, gnocchi and chicken hidden throughout. It’s like a whole dinner in a bowl. It is packed with flavor in every bite.
The Best Olive Garden Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup
For this recipe, I suggest you use boneless, skinless chicken that’s already been cooked and cubed because it makes this recipe come together more easily. To do this, I recommend cubing the chicken before cooking it because 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. You can even use store bought or leftover rotisserie chicken that would be shredded and added in just before the soup is done cooking.
Gnocchi is made from potatoes, flour, and eggs. I’m not sure what genius came up with this combo, but I am forever grateful. Making gnocchi is fun and rewarding but you need to have the dedication plus time. I’ve made it before but it’s been a while and now I tend to use the store-bought varieties, because they work great in most recipes.
What is in Chicken and Gnocchi Soup?
- Chicken Broth – the base of the soup is chicken broth, store bought or homemade. You can even kick up the nutrition levels of this amazing soup and use bone broth!
- Cooked Chicken – for a quicker recipe I love using rotisserie chicken for this soup. Simply shred or chop rotisserie chicken and add to the soup. You can also use boneless skinless chicken breast and sauté it for this recipe.
- Half and Half – for a perfectly creamy soup half and half is used. You can substitute this for milk. The gnocchi thickens the soup so you can still use milk for a healthier option and achieve a creamy texture thanks to the gnocchi.
- Carrot, Onion, Celery, Garlic, Oil – mirepoix base of carrot, onion and celery are sautéed until tender for the base of the soup. Of course we need garlic to kick up the flavor of this soup, everything is better with garlic!
- Spices – Thyme, Rosemary, Salt, Pepper – thyme and rosemary pair perfectly in this soup.
- Gnocchi – homemade or store bought fresh or frozen gnocchi works great in this soup. I prefer using store bought as I can keep a bag on hand in the freezer or pantry so I can quickly make this soup any day of the week!
- Spinach – I recommend using fresh spinach for this soup, frozen spinach can be used but it does not have the same texture once cooked in the soup.
How to Make Chicken and Gnocchi Soup
Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page
Prepare the Soup Base
1 Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
2 Cube chicken into bite sized pieces and sauté until just cooked through (if using rotisserie chicken wait until step 4 to add to the soup).
3 Add celery, onions, and garlic, sauté for 2-3 minutes until onions are translucent.
4 Add the chicken broth, rosemary and thyme (and cooked rotisserie chicken if using), bring to a boil. Let boil 3-4 minutes before reducing heat to a simmer and then cook for 10 minutes.
Add the Mix-In’s
1 In a separate pot cook gnocchi according to package and drain.
2 To the soup pot, add the cooked gnocchi, carrots and cooked rotisserie chicken (if using).
Stir in Spinach and Half and Half
1 To the soup pot, add the spinach, half and half, stir until evenly incorporated.
2 Cook another 2-3 minutes until spinach is tender.
3 Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with grated parmesan, optional, and serve. Enjoy!
- Substitute diced fresh potatoes for gnocchi (cook in a separate pot).
- Sneak in an extra vegetable like peas, zucchini or asparagus.
- Use Italian sausage instead of chicken. Cook the sausage at step 2.
- Instead of gnocchi use pasta (small shells, orzo, tortellini) or cooked rice.
- Make it vegetarian and omit the chicken! Sub for mushroom of choice and use vegetable broth.
Make Ahead Tips and Freezing
- Freezing – unfortunately because of the dairy and gnocchi in this soup it does not freeze well. The gnocchi will get soggy and the dairy mixture will separate.
- Make Ahead Tips – this soup is even better the next day and stays fresh up to 3 days in the fridge. For a quick weeknight dinner prep the soup a day in advance. The next day simply reheat stove top until warmed through
- Note: while chilling overnight the soup will thicken, when reheating add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of milk to thin out the soup, or to desired consistency
What to Serve with Chicken and Gnocchi Soup?
For a classic four course Italian dinner at home pair this soup with:
- Feta Bruschetta – a simple delicious classic Italian appetizer. Finely diced fresh tomatoes seasoned and topped with salty feta cheese. Finished with a drizzle of balsamic glaze!
- Chicken Romano – the ultimate elevated chicken cutlets. Seasoned panko breadcrumbs loaded with Romano cheese, herbs and lemon zest. Fried until golden brown and topped with cheese!
- Tiramisu – coffee soaked cookies layered with an irresistible creamy filling. It is light yet rich without ever feeling like it is too sweet or heavy. It also happens to be my favorite dessert!
Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission.
Chicken and Gnocchi Soup (Olive Garden Copycat)
- 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed, or 2 cups cooked shredded rotisserie chicken
- 3-4 stalks celery, chopped, approx. 1 cup
- 1 medium onion, diced, approx. 1/2 cup
- 2 medium carrots, shredded or finely diced, approx. 1 cup
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced, approx. 2 tbsp
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 16 ounces potato gnocchi, 1 bag frozen store bought, or fresh
- 2 cups half and half, or milk
- 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
- Parmesan cheese, shredded, or Romano Cheese, for serving (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Cube chicken into bite sized pieces and sauté until just cooked through (if using rotisserie chicken wait until step 6 to add to the soup).
- Add in the celery, onions, and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until the onions are translucent.
- Add the chicken broth, rosemary and thyme, bring to a boil. Let boil 3-4 minutes before reducing heat to a simmer and then cook for 10 minutes.
- In a separate pot, cook the gnocchi according to package directions and drain.
- To the soup pot, add the cooked drained gnocchi, carrots and cooked rotisserie chicken (if using). Cook 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the spinach and half and half. Stir until evenly incorporated. Cook 2-3 minutes until spinach is tender.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with grated parmesan, optional, and serve. Enjoy!