This rich and creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup, inspired by the Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup, is full of delicious gnocchi and tender chicken with a creamy seasoned broth. It pairs perfectly with toasted garlic bread.
Why you'll love this copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
This creamy and flavorful copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup recipe, described as "dangerously delicious," makes a soup that is perfect comfort food for a cool day and is filling enough to keep everyone satisfied.
It is easy to prepare and freezes well, so you can double the recipe and put one in the freezer for later.
What you need to make copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- garlic cloves
- red bell pepper
- half and half
- chicken broth
- cooked chicken breast
- potato gnocchi
- fresh spinach
- salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese
See recipe card for quantities
How to make copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Chop the celery, mince the garlic, and dice the onion and bell pepper, then start the soup base by melting the butter in a large soup pan. Sauté the onion, pepper, garlic, and celery in butter until the vegetables are translucent and tender.
Add flour and stir until vegetables are coated with flour. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Add the milk and half and half. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the mixture starts to thicken. Add chicken broth and again cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until mixture thickens to desired consistency (soup should be chowder-like in consistency).
Cook gnocchi according to package instructions. Add the cooked chicken, cooked gnocchi, chopped spinach, thyme, and parsley to the soup base and stir gently.
When soup is heated through, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve with toasted garlic bread on the side. A green salad with a light dressing goes well with Chicken Gnocchi Soup.
Pro tips & variations
Equipment - I prefer using either an enamel-coated cast iron Dutch oven or a well-made soup pot to be sure that I avoid hot spots that might burn the creamy soup base.
Cooking - Keep the temperature low when simmering the soup. Creamy soups are easy to scald, so paying attention and avoiding high temperatures after adding the dairy products is important.
Storage - If you won't be finishing off the soup the night you make it, I recommend adding the cooked gnocchi to each bowl rather than to the pot of soup. The gnocchi it will maintain its chewy, somewhat firm texture better in the leftovers if it is not stored in liquid.
Vegetarian - You can easily make a vegetarian version of this soup by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth and omitting the chicken.
Rich creamy version - For a creamier soup, you can swap heavy cream for the half & half, or use half & half in place of the milk.
Chicken Gnocchi Soup can be prepped ahead and frozen. To freeze, follow the instructions as usual, but do not prepare or add the gnocchi or the half and half. Freeze in a freezer-safe, airtight container and label as follows:
Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup Date____________________
Thaw overnight in refrigerator. To serve, place in a soup pot with 1-½ cups half and half, and heat to a simmer. Meanwhile, cook one pound potato gnocchi according to package directions. Add the cooked gnocchi to the soup and serve immediately. Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve with toasted garlic bread.
What are gnocchi?
Gnocchi are an Italian pasta made of flour, egg, salt, and potato. Gnocchi can be made from scratch or purchased frozen, refrigerated, or in shelf-stable form. Gnocchi are commonly available in regular or whole wheat varieties, but may also be found made from sweet potatoes or with various herbs or cheeses added. Gnocchi are typically a rounded oval shape and about 1-½" long.
What kind of gnocchi should you use?
Because of the addition of so many other flavors in this recipe, simple flour & potato gnocchi are best for Chicken Gnocchi Soup.
Can Chicken Gnocchi Soup be made in the slow cooker?
This recipe can be adapted for the slow cooker or crock pot as follows: Sauté the aromatics in a skillet until tender, add flour and stir for about one minute. Transfer to the slow cooker and add broth, chicken, thyme, and parsley. Cover and cook on low for about 4 hours. Add the milk and half & half to the slow cooker and continue cooking on low until heated through. Cook gnocchi as directed on package, then add to slow cooker. Stir gently, season with salt and pepper, and serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.
Can Chicken Gnocchi Soup be made in the Instant Pot?
This recipe can be adapted for the Instant Pot as follows: Sauté the aromatics on sauté mode until tender, then add flour and stir for about one minute. Add broth, chicken, thyme, and parsley. Seal and cook on manual pressure for 5 minutes. Natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then manually release pressure. Switch back to Sauté mode and add the milk and half & half and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until heated through. Turn to Keep Warm mode. Cook gnocchi as directed on package, then add to soup. Stir gently, season with salt and pepper, and serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.
Olive Garden Chicken and Gnocchi Soup (Copycat Recipe)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup celery
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1-½ cups half and half
- 1-½ cups milk
- 28 ounces chicken broth
- 1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast
- 1 pound potato gnocchi
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish, optional
- Chop 1 cup fresh spinach and ½ cup celery, mince 2 garlic cloves, and dice 1 onion and 1 red bell pepper.
- Start the soup base by melting 4 tablespoons butter in a large soup pan. Sauté onion, pepper, garlic, and celery in butter until translucent and tender.
- Add 4 tablespoons flour and stir until vegetables are coated with flour. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
- Add 1-½ cups milk and 1-½ cups half and half. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until mixture starts to thicken.
- Add 28 ounces chicken broth and again cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until mixture thickens to desired consistency (soup should be chowder-like in consistency).
- Cook 1 pound potato gnocchi according to package instructions and drain.
- Add 1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast, cooked gnocchi, spinach, ½ teaspoon dried thyme, and ½ teaspoon dried parsley to soup base and stir gently over low heat.
- When soup is heated through, salt and pepper to taste and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish.