Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

a bowl of creamy copycat olive garden chicken and gnocchi soup

Cozy, creamy, and downright delicious, this Chicken and Gnocchi Soup is just what you want to warm you up on a chilly night! With nutritious veggies, tender chicken, and delicious gnocchi, this soup feeds a crowd and will warm your soul.

a bowl of creamy copycat olive garden chicken and gnocchi soup

Why You’ll Love This Easy Chicken Gnocchi Soup

  • Pure Comfort in a Bowl. This rich, thick, and creamy soup with plump rounds of gnocchi, tender chunks of chicken, and a sneaky number of vegetables, is my take on the Olive Garden chicken gnocchi soup. Like this Chicken Alfredo Bake, it’s a downright scrumptious comfort food meal that the entire family will enjoy.
  • Great for Busy Weeknights. Like my Broccoli Cheddar Soup, this soup is fast and easy enough for a weeknight. We used ready-made, quick-cooking gnocchi (meaning you don’t need to cook gnocchi before adding it to soup) and sauteed the meat and veggies first so that the soup didn’t need to simmer as long.
  • It’s Delicious Left Over. When the weather is chilly, nothing makes me happier than opening my fridge to find a surplus of cozy, hearty leftover soup. This creamy chicken gnocchi soup is a favorite (along with Healthy Turkey Chili and Pasta Fagioli)! It will last in the refrigerator for a few days and freezes well too.
  • A Nutritious Family Favorite. With veggies, chicken, and that can’t-get-enough-of-it flavor, no one will complain about enjoying this chicken and spinach gnocchi soup on repeat!
Chicken and gnocchi soup olive garden style served in two bowls

5 Star Review

“I loved this recipe, it is so cozy! The flavors are perfection and well-balanced.”

— Veronica —

How to Make Chicken Gnocchi Soup

The Ingredients

  • Gnocchi. Although gnocchi is commonly thought of as pasta, gnocchi is actually a potato dumpling. Like pasta, you can serve it with a variety of sauces and toppings, and of course, use it to make the most delicious spin on chicken soup. (For a traditional version of chicken soup with pasta, try this Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.)
  • Chicken Breast. For lean protein, I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The chicken adds rich flavor to the soup and helps make it super satisfying. (This Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup is another satisfying favorite.)

Substitution Tip

Feel free to swap for chicken thighs if you enjoy dark meat.

You could also skip cooking raw chicken breasts and opt to add cooked shredded chicken (see this How to Cook Shredded Chicken post) or use rotisserie chicken from the deli instead.

  • Carrots + Celery + Onion. Frequently referred to as a mirepoix, this combination of ingredients helps build the soup’s flavor right from the start.
  • Evaporated Milk + Cornstarch. My sneaky swap for heavy cream also lets me avoid making a roux with flour. Instead, a slurry with evaporated milk and cornstarch thickens the soup like a dream but with less saturated fat and cholesterol than heavy cream.
  • Spices. Italian seasoning, dried thyme, and poultry seasoning enhance the flavors of the soup, add wonderful earthiness, and give it Italian flair (like my Crockpot Lasagna Soup). A dash of celery salt adds saltiness with a special touch, and black pepper is always delicious.
  • Chicken Broth. The main liquid for our soup. I like to use low sodium chicken broth.
  • Baby Spinach. The spinach is barely noticeable once it’s stirred into the soup. However, you will still reap the nutritional benefits from it.

Market Swap

Baby kale would be a delicious swap for the spinach in this chicken gnocchi soup. Just make sure to use tender baby kale, so it cooks in about the same amount of time as the spinach would.

The Directions

Cooked chicken pieces in a pot
  1. Brown the Chicken. Remove it to a plate.
Cut vegetables in a pot
  1. Sauté the Mirepoix. Don’t let the onion brown!
Cornstarch and evaporated milk being whisked
  1. Make the Slurry. Whisk cornstarch into evaporated milk.
Vegetables being cooked in a pot with spices
  1. Simmer. Add the spices and garlic. Pour in the slurry, milk, and broth.
Gnocchi being added to a pot of creamy Italian Tuscan soup
  1. Stir in the Gnocchi. Let simmer for 8 to 10 minutes more.
Chicken being added to a pot of Tuscan gnocchi soup
  1. Add the Chicken. Remove the pot from the heat.
Spinach being added to a pot of creamy soup
  1. Stir in the Spinach. ENJOY!
A bowl of easy chicken gnocchi soup

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate soup in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 
  • To Reheat. Gently reheat soup in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat, adding splashes of broth or water as needed to thin the soup. You can also reheat leftovers in the microwave. 
  • To Freeze. Chicken gnocchi soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. Freeze soup in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Meal Prep Tip

Cut the chicken and vegetables up to 1 day in advance. Refrigerate the meat and veggies in separate airtight storage containers.

Creamy chicken gnocchi soup recipe served in a bowl

What to Serve With Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

  • Bread. This soup was made for dunking! Try my No Knead Focaccia, Crock Pot Bread, or Rosemary Olive Oil Bread.
  • Salad. Soup and salad is a classic. Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad, Burrata Salad, or Arugula Salad would be wonderful with this soup.
  • Vegetables. Pair this soup with Roasted Broccolini, Air Fryer Zucchini, or Sauteed Spinach.
  • Crackers. If you prefer serving your soup with crackers, these Ranch Crackers are a delightful option.
  • Stockpot. Standard for all your soup simmering needs when the cold weather arrives.
  • Dutch Oven. Another great option for making large batches of soup on the stovetop.
  • Chef’s Knife. Essential for everyday chopping, dicing, and mincing.
A pot of creamy vegetable gnocchi soup with chicken

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Find Your Preferred Consistency. This soup cooks up THICK, which is exactly how we love it (think of it as an Italian version of Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings). If you prefer it thinner, stir in additional chicken broth, milk, or water until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Make it Meat-Free or Vegetarian. You can omit the chicken from this recipe if desired. The soup will still be tasty and filling without it. If you need the soup to be vegetarian, you can also swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth.
  • Gnocchi Quality Matters. Good store-bought gnocchi is melt-in-your-mouth tender; bad gnocchi is chewy and gummy. Don’t waste your time on bad gnocchi (for this recipe or this One Skillet Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Italian Sausage).
a bowl of creamy copycat olive garden chicken and gnocchi soup
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Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

The BEST chicken and gnocchi soup! A copycat recipe for Olive Garden chicken gnocchi soup that's easy, creamy, and comforting.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 436kcal
Author Erin Clarke / Well Plated

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast diced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 medium carrots scrubbed or peeled and 1/4-inch diced
  • 2 stalks celery halved lengthwise and cut 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans low-fat evaporated milk divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper plus additional cracked black pepper for serving
  • 3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth plus additional to thin the soup if needed
  • 2 pounds potato gnocchi 2 packages; about 4 cups
  • 4 ounces fresh baby spinach roughly torn or chopped (about 4 big handfuls)

FOR SERVING:

  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • In a Dutch oven or similar large, sturdy pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add the chicken and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
    Cooked chicken pieces in a pot
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter. As soon as it is melted, add the carrots, celery, and onion. Sauté until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed so that it turns translucent but does not brown.
    Cut vegetables in a pot
  • Meanwhile, splash a few tablespoons of evaporated milk into a mixing bowl or large measuring cup. Add the cornstarch and whisk to combine.
    Cornstarch and evaporated milk being whisked
  • To the pot with the veggies, stir in the Italian seasoning, thyme, celery salt, pepper, and garlic. Let cook 30 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant.
    Vegetables being cooked in a pot with spices
  • Add the cornstarch slurry, remaining evaporated milk, and chicken broth. Reduce heat, partially cover the pot, and let simmer for 10 minutes to thicken.
  • Stir in the gnocchi. Continue to simmer with the pot partially covered, until the gnocchi is tender and cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes more.
    Gnocchi being added to a pot
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in chicken.
    Chicken being added to a pot
  • Then, stir in the spinach a few handfuls at a time until it wilts.
    Spinach being added to a pot
  • Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as desired (the amount of salt you need will vary based on how salty your chicken broth is). If the soup is thicker than you would like, stir additional chicken broth or water as needed to reach your desired consistency. Serve hot with a sprinkle of Parmesan, parsley, and a few cracks of black pepper.
    Chicken gnocchi soup ingredients in a bowl

Video

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”T6EouB12″ upload-date=”2021-09-28T21:58:53.000Z” name=”Chicken Gnocchi Soup” description=”This creamy chicken gnocchi soup is easy to make and deeply comforting. Lightened up with simple swaps so it’s lower calorie and delicious!” player-type=”default” override-embed=”default”]

Notes

  • TO STORE: Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Gently reheat soup in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat, adding splashes of broth or water as needed to thin the soup. You can also reheat leftovers in the microwave. 
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze soup in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 8) | Calories: 436kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Potassium: 888mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 5618IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 317mg | Iron: 6mg

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