This Chicken Gnocchi Soup is better than Olive Garden! Loaded with tender chicken, chunks of vegetables, and spinach in a creamy, flavorful broth, it’s made in 30 minutes!
See the step by step recipe video down in the recipe card.
Table of Contents
- What is Gnocchi?
- Why my Chicken Gnocchi Soup recipe is better than Olive Garden:
- Reader Rating
- Chicken Gnocchi Soup Ingredients:
- Can I use frozen chicken breasts?
- How to make Chicken Gnocchi Soup:
- How to make Crockpot Chicken and Gnocchi Soup:
- Recipe Tip
- Chicken Gnocchi Soup storage:
- Serving Suggestions:
- More hearty soup recipes you’ll love!
- Chicken Gnocchi Soup Recipe
Everyone loves Olive Garden, right?
There is just something so comforting about rich, creamy pastas, fresh-from-the-oven breadsticks (although I think my Homemade Breadsticks are better!) and a cozy bowl of soup!
Now, I love them all: the Zuppa Toscana (see my Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana here), the Minestrone (see my Minestrone soup here), the Pasta e Fagioli — but a good chunky, creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup will always have my heart.
The thing is, the last couple times I’ve been there I’ve just been so disappointed in what Olive Garden is calling “Chicken Gnocchi Soup” these days — I feel like a more accurate name would be “Thin Creamy Broth with One Carrot, One Piece of Spinach and Two Gnocchi’.
It doesn’t have the same ring, does it?
What is Gnocchi?
Gnocchi is a small, oval-shaped potato dumpling that is similar in texture to pasta (maybe a little softer).
Gnocchi is used in many pasta-type recipes, and pairs well in soups and with lots of different sauces due to its neutral flavor. It is comfort food to the max!
Why my Chicken Gnocchi Soup recipe is better than Olive Garden:
Instead of the thin, disappointing Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup, in this soup you’ll get plenty of:
- flavor! All those veggies add a ton of it
- tender shredded chicken — that cooks right in the soup, making it tender and lending more flavor to the broth! (If you’ve got some of this Crockpot Shredded Chicken or Instant Pot Shredded Chicken kicking around, feel free to use that instead!)
- pillowy soft gnocchi
- and enough creamy broth to soak up with some crusty No Knead Artisan Bread 😉
Chicken Gnocchi Soup Ingredients:
This easy chicken soup requires just a few ingredients and most you probably already have on hand! See my full list below.
- Oil: ay neutral flavored oil with a high smoke point will work.
- Onion, celery and carrot: this trio forms a classic mirepoix which is the base for many soup recipes, adding lots of flavor and nutrients!
- Parsley, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper: simple seasonings that go a long way! For best flavor, mince your own garlic cloves before adding to the soup.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: I use chicken breasts because that’s what we prefer, however boneless skinless chicken thighs also work perfectly! Instead of 2 breasts, use 4 thighs. If you have leftover Perfect Roast Chicken or Baked Chicken Breasts, this is a great time to use them!
- Low sodium chicken broth: I prefer to add salt to our tastes rather than start with a salted broth. For that reason, I recommend tasting the soup before serving and adjusting the seasonings as you desire.
- Heavy cream and corn starch: will give this Chicken Gnocchi Soup a rich and creamy texture without being overly thick.
- Potato gnocchi: I use shelf-stable potato gnocchi found in the pasta aisle — feel free to experiment with different types of gnocchi!
- Fresh spinach: fresh spinach adds color and nutrients! You can omit if needed, or swap in frozen spinach or kale instead.
- Parmesan cheese: adds a bunch of salty, cheesy flavor!
Can I use frozen chicken breasts?
Absolutely! This is one of my favorite quick dinner hacks.
You can throw chicken breasts or boneless, skinless chicken thighs straight into this soup from the freezer.
Simmer about 15 minutes and check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer (165 degrees F is what we’re looking for!). Continue cooking if need be, then remove and shred as the recipe calls for.
How to make Chicken Gnocchi Soup:
This soup is so simple to make, and I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to make it even easier. Find the complete recipe in the recipe card below!
- Saute your onion, celery and carrots in a great big dutch oven or soup pot
- Add your spices and seasonings — cooking them first in the dry pot wakes up their flavor!
- Add your broth, raw chicken breasts or thighs (you read that right!), and other vegetables — I use a bag of matchstick carrots to make this even easier.
- Cook it until the chicken and vegetables are tender, then remove the chicken to shread and stir in some cream, gnocchi, spinach and a big sprinkling of Parmesan — let it cook just until the gnocchi is tender. Taste and serve!
How to make Crockpot Chicken and Gnocchi Soup:
This Chicken Gnocchi Soup is also easy to make in the slow cooker if you need to plan ahead!
See my Slow Cooker Chicken Gnocchi Soup recipe here for all the tips and tricks you need.
Got leftover Shredded Chicken? You can simply stir it in and leave out the chicken breasts in this recipe. You’ll want about 2 cups of shredded chicken.
Chicken Gnocchi Soup storage:
One of the great things about this soup is it makes great leftovers! The flavor continues to develop as it sits so it’s perfect for making ahead.
In the refrigerator:
You can store this soup in the refrigerator up to 4 days in an airtight container.
In the freezer:
You can freeze this soup in freezer safe containers (I prefer to freeze mine in large freezer bags, frozen flat, so that it thaws quickly!), leaving an inch or two of space in the container at the top.
Freeze up to 3 months.
To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight or in a pot on the stovetop on low.
While I don’t actually need to serve anything alongside this Chicken Gnocchi Soup, I sure do love to have some Homemade Dinner Rolls or a piece of Garlic Bread for dunking (bonus points if it’s Cheesy Garlic Bread!).
More hearty soup recipes you’ll love!
- Cheeseburger Soup
- Crockpot Potato Soup
- Beef and Barley Soup
- Chicken Rice Soup: Stove Top or Slow Cooker
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Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- 2 tablespoons oil
- ½ medium onion finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery finely chopped
- 1 cup carrot matchsticks (or finely chopped carrots)
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 3 cups small gnocchi (500g)
- 1 ½ cups fresh spinach roughly chopped
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large dutch oven or soup pot, add oil and cook onion, celery and carrots over medium-high heat until slightly softened.
- Add parsley, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and stir.
- Add broth and chicken breasts and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender and chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 12-15 minutes.
- Remove chicken breasts to a cutting board to shred. Whisk together cream and corn starch and stir into the soup with the gnocchi. Let simmer for 4-5 minutes until gnocchi is tender and soup is slightly thickened.
- Stir in shredded chicken, spinach and Parmesan. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve.
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