Flavorful Chicken Gnocchi Soup has tender gnocchi, juicy chicken, and fresh spinach in a creamy herbed broth. This easy copycat soup recipe is so filling, and perfect for lunch or dinner!
Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Come fall – and then winter – you can never have enough soup recipes. They’re hearty, flavorful, easy to make ahead, and they can be served at lunch and/or dinner. Those right there are winning qualities, my friends. So, I come to you today with another filling soup to add to your recipe catalogue: Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup.
Sure, you could go get a bowl of this soup at your nearest Olive Garden, but then you would have to get in the car and pick it up. And maybe even wait in line. Why go to the effort of driving when you can make it yourself in the comfort of your own kitchen, on your own time? I promise it’s super, super easy…
And delicious! Tender potato dumplings (gnocchi), juicy chopped chicken, shredded carrots, and chopped spinach are cooked in a creamy broth, and served piping-hot. With one taste of this Italian-style soup, you’ll want to make a batch every week – regardless of whether it’s cold outside!
What You’ll Need
Okay, let’s take a second and get organized. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to round up to prepare this homemade chicken gnocchi soup:
- Butter: For rich flavor. (You can use salted or unsalted, either works.)
- Vegetables: Add in some diced celery, yellow onion, shredded carrots, and fresh spinach.
- Garlic: Minced fresh garlic adds fantastic savory flavor.
- Chicken Broth: You can use reduced fat or regular, whichever you prefer.
- Cornstarch: To thicken up the broth.
- Seasoning: I like to use fresh thyme (but dried thyme also works), salt, and freshly cracked pepper.
- Gnocchi: You can use fresh, frozen, or homemade.
- Cooked Shredded Chicken: I used a rotisserie, but this is a great chance to use up leftover cooked chicken if you have any. This is my favorite easy way to make the best shredded chicken, but I also have a quick Instant Pot Shredded Chicken recipe as well.
- Heavy Cream: To make the broth super rich, thick, and creamy.
How to Make Chicken Gnocchi Soup
With all of those ingredients, it might seem like chicken gnocchi soup would take forever to make, but it’s actually really quick! It usually takes me between 40-50 minutes to prep this comforting soup, and most of that work is just stirring. With that in mind, here’s everything else you need to know:
Cook the Vegetables: In a large heavy bottomed pot (like a dutch oven), melt the butter and add the celery, onion, garlic, and carrots. Cook these for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
Make a Cornstarch Slurry: In a small bowl, mix the corn starch and a couple of tablespoons of the chicken broth. Add cornstarch mixture to the vegetable mixture in the pot. Slowly whisk in the remaining chicken broth and add the sprigs of thyme.
Add the Gnocchi: Bring mixture to a simmer and then add the gnocchi and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until gnocchi are cooked through and have risen to the top.
Mix in the Chicken and Spinach: Add the chicken and spinach and cook till the spinach is wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add the cream, while stirring, and heat until just hot, but not boiling. Add salt and pepper as needed. Serve with garlic bread and enjoy!
Tips for Success
Simple yet delicious! And, as a bonus, if you’re only cooking for two, you’ve got two meals instead of one to insert into the meal plan!
Regardless of how you decide to divvy up this chicken gnocchi soup, here are some tips and tricks to getting the best results with it:
- To Save Time: Use pre-shredded carrots and a rotisserie chicken to make this dinner prep go even faster.
- Can I Make this Soup in Advance? Yes! This soup can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator so that the flavors meld over time.
- Make Your Chopped Veggies the Same Size: This ensures that all of your veggies cook through in the same amount of time, or very close to it.
- Adjust the Seasoning to Your Tastes: Add more salt, less pepper, more thyme, etc. Definitely play around with the seasonings if you feel the need!
While I strongly recommend making this chicken soup recipe as written at least once, don’t feel like you have to make it the same way every time. There are lots of possible variations that you can try:
- Sub in Other Vegetables: Carrots, spinach, and celery are a good start, but other veggies could fit into this soup too. Try adding in peas, bell pepper, asparagus, or anything else you might like.
- Switch Up the Meat: Chicken is my preferred source of protein, but other meats work too. Sausage and bacon bits, for example, would both be good additions to this soup.
- Use Potatoes/Pasta: Since gnocchi are essentially potato dumplings, you can chop up regular potatoes to use instead if needed. (This will slightly lengthen the cooking time.) You can also use any medium-sized pasta in place of the gnocchi if you’d like to.
Now that you’ve got a hearty bowl of chicken gnocchi soup, what should you serve with it? Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Crusty Bread: Some form of bread is a must, in my opinion. Heat up breadsticks or garlic bread, simply toast up some bread slices, etc. Whatever works best for you.
- Salad: You can never go wrong with soup and a salad. Keep it simple with this Easy Greek Salad!
- As an Appetizer: Serve small portions of this soup as an appetizer before any Italian main course – have your own Olive-Garden-themed night!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Store any leftover chicken gnocchi soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, let the soup simmer over low heat on the stovetop until it’s warmed through. You may want to add a splash of water to thin the broth a little.
Can I Freeze This?
I’m not a huge fan of this storage method because the dairy can separate in the freezer, but you can attempt to freeze this soup for 2-3 months in an airtight container if you like.
Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup diced celery
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 16 ounces gnocchi, fresh or frozen
- 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken, can also use a rotisserie chicken
- 2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- In a large heavy bottomed pot (like a dutch oven), melt the butter and add the celery, onion, garlic and carrots. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
- In a small bowl, mix the corn starch and a couple of tablespoons of the chicken broth. Add cornstarch mixture to the vegetable mixture in the pot. Slowly whisk in the remaining chicken broth and add the sprigs of thyme.
- Bring mixture to a simmer and then add the gnocchi and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until gnocchi are cooked through and have risen to the top.
- Add the chicken and spinach and cook till the spinach is wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add the cream, while stirring, and heat till just hot but not boiling.
- Add salt and pepper as needed, to taste. Serve with garlic bread.
More Homemade Soups to Try
Looking for more filling homemade soup recipes?
- Crockpot Ham & Bean Soup
- Wonton Soup with Homemade Dumplings
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Crockpot Minestrone Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Puerto Rico Beef Sancocho
- Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup
- Turkey Taco Soup
- Best Creamy Potato Soup
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