Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Soup (Olive Garden Copycat)

November 16, 2019

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup is the coziest way to warm up this season! It’s filled with lots of potato gnocchi dumplings, tender pieces of chicken, fresh colorful veggies (like spinach and carrots) and it’s all bathing in a rich and creamy broth. You just can’t go wrong with this satisfying soup!

Serving of creamy chicken gnocchi soup in a red soup bowl.

Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Soup Recipe

Does soup get any more comforting than this? This Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Soup makes for the perfect dinner any day of the week and it’s definitely one of those recipes everyone can agree on.

It’s the perfect ending to a long work day or busy day with the family and it’s one pot soup that comes together quickly. You’ll love that it’s hearty and filling and it has such a great flavor!

Pot full of chicken gnocchi soup.

It’s Even Better Than Olive Garden’s!

Who doesn’t love Olive Garden’s soup, salad and breadsticks? So today I’ve finally finished off the last of the four copycat Olive Garden Soups with this recipe and of course the homemade version is even better and tastes so fresh! Try my other three after you finish off this one.

More Copycat Olive Garden Soups You’ll Love:

 

Ingredients needed to make chicken gnocchi soup shown here.

Ingredients Needed for Chicken Gnocchi Soup

  • Veggies – onion, carrot, celery, garlic, spinach
  • Fats – olive oil and butter
  • Liquids – chicken broth, milk, and heavy cream
  • Seasonings – rosemary, thyme, nutmeg, S&P
  • Cooked rotisserie chicken or raw chicken breasts
  • Gnocchi (I like to use mini gnocchi)
  • Flour

Showing how to make chicken gnocchi soup. Starting here by sauteeing carrots, onions, and celery in a large pot.

How to Make Chicken and Gnocchi Soup:

  • Saute vegetables: Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and sauté 6 minutes, add garlic sauté 1- 2 minutes longer.
  • Add broth and seasoning: Pour in broth, add rosemary, thyme, nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • If using raw chicken breasts add them now (if using cooked rotisserie chicken add at the end): Add in chicken breasts and bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and allow to simmer until chicken is cooked through (it should register 165 in center), about 8 – 12 minutes.

Adding broth and fresh herbs to soup mixture in pot.

  • Make roux: Meanwhile, while chicken is cooking, melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, cook and stir constantly 1 minute.
  • Make béchamel sauce: While whisking vigorously pour in milk then continue to whisk vigorously to smooth any lumps. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    While whisking constantly, cook until mixture thickens. Stir in cream, remove from heat.
  • Shredded chicken: Once chicken in soup has cooked through remove chicken from soup and allow chicken to rest 5 minutes then dice or shred into pieces (if veggies aren’t nearly soft let that soup simmer a few minutes longer before adding gnocchi).

Adding mini gnocchi to soup mixture.

  • Cook gnocchi: Add gnocchi to broth mixture, cover and simmer for recommend time directed on package, about 5 minutes.
  • Add white sauce to soup: Reduce soup mixture to low heat, stir milk mixture into broth mixture.

Adding thickened milk mixture into pot.

  • Stir in cooked chicken and spinach: Add in cooked chicken (rotisserie or shredded chicken breasts) and spinach. Cook until spinach wilts, about 1 minute.
  • Finish with cheese if desired: Serve warm with Romano cheese if desired.

Adding cooked shredded chicken and spinach to pot.

Can I Freeze Chicken Gnocchi Soup?

Unfortunately no, because of the dairy and gnocchi it won’t freeze well. The gnocchi will get soggy and the dairy mixture will separate.

Possible Variations:

  • Substitute diced fresh potatoes for gnocchi (they’ll need to cook longer).
  • Sneak in an extra vegetable like peas, zucchini or asparagus.
  • Use Italian sausage instead of chicken. Brown it at the beginning of preparing soup.
  • Add extra cream to make it even richer.
  • Substitute pasta (such as small shells or orzo) for gnocchi.
  • Try it with cooked rice in place of gnocchi. There’s a lot of options here, but try it with gnocchi at least once, it’s delicious!

Ladle full of chicken gnocchi soup.

Tips for the Best Chicken Gnocchi Soup:

  • Dice veggies small so they’ll cook through in time.
  • Use fresh spinach for best results, skip the frozen kind here. It will turn out mushy.
  • Don’t let the béchamel sauce get to hot or it can separate and won’t have the same thickening.
  • Use mini gnocchi if you can find them (or make them mini), they’re the perfect size for soup.
  • If you are planning on lots of leftovers you can cook the gnocchi separately and add to individual servings.

Two servings of creamy chicken gnocchi soup.

What to Serve with Chicken Gnocchi Soup?

 

Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Soup (Olive Garden Copycat)

4.85 from 39 votes

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup is the coziest way to warm up this season! It's filled with lots of potato gnocchi dumplings, tender pieces of chicken, fresh colorful veggies (like spinach and carrots) and it's all bathing in a rich and creamy broth. You just can't go wrong with this soup!

Servings: 5
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup small diced carrot
  • 1 cup small diced celery
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp)
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary or 1 1/2 tsp minced fresh
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1 1/2 tsp minced fresh
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded evenly to nearly ½-inch thickness, or 2 1/2 cups cooked shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1 (16 oz) pkg potato gnocchi or homemade gnocchi (I like to use mini)
  • 5 Tbsp butter
  • 6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk, then more to thin as needed
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups (2 oz) packed fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • Shredded Romano or parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and sauté 6 minutes, add garlic sauté 1- 2 minutes longer. 
  2. Pour in broth, add rosemary, thyme, nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. Add in chicken breasts (if using rotisserie chicken wait to add at the end) and bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and allow to simmer until chicken is cooked through (it should register 165 in center), about 8 - 12 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, while chicken is cooking, melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, cook and stir constantly 1 minute.
  5. While whisking vigorously pour in milk then continue to whisk vigorously to smooth any lumps. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  6. While whisking constantly, cook until mixture thickens and lightly boils. Stir in cream, remove from heat.
  7. Once chicken in soup has cooked through remove chicken from soup and allow chicken to rest 5 minutes then dice or shred into pieces. If veggies aren't nearly soft let that soup simmer a few minutes longer before adding gnocchi. 

  8. Add gnocchi to broth mixture, cover and simmer for recommend time directed on package, about 5 minutes. Reduce to low heat. 

  9. Stir milk mixture into broth mixture, then add in cooked chicken (shredded rotisserie or cooked chicken breasts) and spinach. Cook until spinach wilts, about 1 minute.

  10. Serve warm with Romano cheese if desired.

Recipe Notes

  1. Use fresh spinach for best results, skip the frozen kind here. It will turn out mushy.
  2. Pasta or cooked rice would also be delicious in this soup in place of gnocchi.
  3. Cooked Italian sausage would be a good substitute for the chicken.
  4. Makes about 9 cups.

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Soup (Olive Garden Copycat)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 573 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 117mg39%
Sodium 659mg29%
Potassium 897mg26%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 6205IU124%
Vitamin C 10.3mg12%
Calcium 197mg20%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Author: Jaclyn
Recipe first published September 2016, photos have been updated.