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Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup (Olive Garden Copycat)

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Creamy and delicious this simple chicken gnocchi soup is full of carrots, celery, chicken and gnocchi in every bite. Reminiscent of Olive Garden’s famous recipe, this is even better and ready in less than 30 minutes.

Bowl of chicken gnocchi soup topped with fresh spinach leaves and bread crumbs.

Homemade soup, like my recent chicken tortilla soup, cannot be beat. And using our homemade bone broth as the base makes it even better. The flavor is unparalleled when you use that nutrient dense bone broth you made right in your own kitchen.

But, whether you use homemade broth or not, this chicken gnocchi soup is incredible. It’s simple to make (less than 30 minutes to dinner), but the creamy broth is so dang good. I could slurp up just a bowl full of that creamy goodness, but I love the veggies, chicken and gnocchi in each and every bite just as much.

And while I’ve only had the olive garden version of this soup once, I can tell you right now, this is so much better. And using heavy cream where most call for milk or half and half takes it over the top, in my opinion.

How Do You Make Gnocchi?

Gnocchi is an Italian dumpling made of potato, flour, and egg. Believe it or not, it’s fairly simple to make your own gnocchi at home, albeit a bit time consuming.

You simply peel and boil potatoes, mash, and allow them to cool a bit. Add the flour and egg, knead it together, then roll it into long ropes. Take the ropes, cut them into little half-inch pieces and viola… you have gnocchi that’s ready to boil.

The whole process will take about an hour, which if you’re not pressed for time or don’t have pre-packaged gnocchi on hand, isn’t bad. The recipe will still simmer for the same amount of time whether you use homemade gnocchi or not.

If you have that extra hour to spend, it’s definitely fun to make (especially with kids) and you should give it a try. But, for the intents and purposes of this particular recipe? I used some pre-packaged organic gnocchi.

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup Ingredients

Ingredients for chicken gnocchi soup laid on a counter.
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  • Olive oil -added to the pan first to sauté the vegetables.
  • Celery – I love the tender crunch of celery in this soup.
  • Onion – Adds an amazing flavor and depth.
  • Carrot – A little sweetness combined with the delicious base of this soup.
  • Garlic – To add a deep, Italian flavor to the soup.
  • Cooked Chicken Breast – I season with a bit of thyme and rosemary and cook just until done, then dice up.
  • Chicken Bone Broth – Homemade is always best, if you have it on hand.
  • Fresh Thyme – produces a nice, earthy flavor best produced when fresh.
  • Potato Gnocchi – Make your own, as mentioned above, or find in the pasta aisle.
  • Heavy Cream – Provides a rich, creamy base to this soup.
  • Spinach – I leave whole and once the leaves are wilted, they aren’t overpowering.

What to Serve With Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Fresh bowl of chicken and gnocchi soup

This soup is a meal in and of itself, really, which I love. I often serve it with a nice green salad topped with my favorite raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Finish it off with some garlic breadsticks and you have a nice filling, hearty meal for a cool autumn night or cold winter evening.

How can I store this soup?

Between the cream and the gnocchi, this isn’t a great recipe for freezing, unfortunately. When you freeze cream based soups, they tend to separate, which really just changes the texture (and a lot of folks don’t mind) but the gnocchi will get really soggy during the process.

Pouring heavy cream into chicken gnocchi soup.

Technically, if you don’t mind the separation of cream, you could do everything but add in the gnocchi and spinach, thaw and heat the base and then add those in as the last steps when reheating, but… it’s not going to be the same.

This recipe does reheat well, though, so if you have extras, you can put it in the refrigerator and it will keep for up to 3 days. I recommend placing it back in a pot and reheating it over low heat slowly to produce the best flavor and texture.

Bowls of creamy chicken gnocchi soup on a table.
Yield: Serves 8

Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This delicious, creamy chicken gnocchi soup is full of tender carrots, celery, chicken and delicious gnocchi in every bite.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Cooked Chicken Breast (diced)
  • 1 Stalk Celery (chopped)
  • 1 Onion (chopped)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 5 Carrots (diced)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Quart Chicken Bone Broth (homemade is best)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme
  • 16 Oz Potato Gnocchi
  • 2 Cups HeavyCream
  • 1 Cup Spinach Leaves

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large 5 quart pot over high heat until shimmering. Add celery, carrots, and onion. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until onion is translucent. Add garlic and sauté another 2 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium high. Add cooked, diced chicken breast, then bone broth and fresh thyme, bring mixture to a boil.
  3. Stir in gnocchi and allow to boil for 3 minutes. Reduce to a simmer.
  4. Add cream and spinach, simmer for 5 minutes longer until spinach is wilted and gnocchi is tender.

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Norma

Wednesday 29th of December 2021

I've made this twice and bought the gnocchi for a third batch. I'm eating the last of batch two and I just realized...I never put the carrot in either batch! :')

When does the carrot go in? With the chicken? Is that enough time for the carrots to get done?

Even without the carrots, this is some OMG good soup! It's supposed be 17 degrees here in Arkansas Saturday night and you can bet your sweet bippy I'll be making batch #3!!

Thanks, Danielle!

Danielle McCoy

Sunday 2nd of January 2022

Goodness, I didn't put it in the recipe when to add it! Sorry about that, I'll fix it, but it goes in when you sautee the celery and onion at the beginning. I've omitted it before, I've even omitted the celery because I didn't have any on hand, still a very tasty soup. Glad you enjoy it!!

Claudette

Thursday 7th of January 2021

The method says to stir in gnocchi and allow to boil for 3 min.

It then says to add gnocchi and simmer for 5 min.

So does it boil for 3 minutes, then simmer for 5?

Thanks for answering.

Danielle McCoy

Friday 8th of January 2021

Hi Claudette!

Thanks for catching that. Sometimes I write what I'm thinking LOL. I fixed the directions, but yes, you boil it for 3 minutes, then you'll simmer it with the spinach and cream for 5 additional minutes.

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