This Chicken Gnocchi Soup is so creamy and full of tender gnocchi, chicken, and veggies. It’s healthier copycat version of the Olive Garden original that is satisfying, so easy to make, and perfectly cozy.
I am a BIG fan of creamy soups, ok?! I love a broth based soup but there’s something about a soup on the creamier side that will always have my heart.
This delicious and creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup is packed with plenty of tender chicken, perfectly cooked gnocchi, and veggies. It comes together quickly and is perfect comfort food.
Watch How to Make This Recipe
This recipe includes a simple ingredient list with plenty of whole food ingredients. It’s a healthier copycat version of the Olive Garden classic and can easily be adapted to meet your needs.
I’ve included instructions on how to make this soup dairy-free or gluten-free (or both!) if you need it. This post also includes notes on how to make the recipe plant-based, add in extra veggies, as well as instructions on how to use leftover chicken or turkey. I know you’ll love this one!
Onion, Carrots, Celery, Garlic: this blend of veggies and aromatics all form the flavorful base of the soup. If you can, use freshly minced garlic for the best flavor.
Chicken Breast: quick cooking boneless, skinless chicken breast is the protein of choice in this recipe. You could also use a blend of chicken breast and thighs if you prefer.
Herbs: fresh thyme, dried bay leaves, chives, and parsley all help to add some delicious flavor to the soup.
Chicken Broth: I prefer to use low-sodium chicken broth in this soup. It gives me the ability to better control the amount of salt in the soup.
Gnocchi: these little tender Italian dumplings are usually made from a combination of potatoes and semolina or flour.
Half and Half: to give the soup that delicious creaminess, this recipe uses a little half and half. Not a fan of half and half? I’ve included some other options for you, below!
Arrowroot Starch: this grain free starch is used to thicken the soup.
Fresh Baby Spinach: this gets stirred in right at the end of cooking for an extra punch of fresh veggies.
Fresh Lemon Juice: this helps to brighten up the soup just a bit and really helps the flavors sing!
Ingredients Swaps and Substitutions
Half and Half – feel free to swap the half and half for full-fat coconut milk to keep this soup dairy free. You could also use whole milk instead of half and half if you prefer.
Gnocchi – If you need to make this recipe gluten free, just swap the regular gnocchi for a gluten free variety. Cauliflower gnocchi will likely work in this recipe as well.
Chicken Broth – you can easily use veggie broth instead of chicken if needed.
Veggies – try adding in chopped mushrooms if you enjoy them or swapping the baby spinach for chopped tuscan kale!
Arrowroot – if you don’t have arrowroot starch, feel free to use cornstarch instead to thicken the soup.
How to Make Homemade Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Step One: First, start by heating a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the olive oil, diced onion, diced carrot, diced celery, and minced garlic. Sauté the veggies for 4-5 minutes until the onion starts to become translucent and everything is fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.
Step Two: Next, add the chicken broth, boneless skinless chicken breast, bay leaves, and fresh thyme. Bring the soup to a boil and then cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is completely cooked through and no longer pink. Remove the chicken from the soup and shred the meat with two forks.
Step Three: Bring the soup back to a simmer and then add the potato gnocchi to the soup. Cover and let the gnocchi cook in the simmering soup for 2-3 minutes until tender.
Step Four: While the gnocchi are simmering, whisk together the half and half and arrowroot starch until they are well combined to create a thickening slurry.
Step Five: Reduce the heat to low and then add the shredded chicken and spinach to the soup. Next, pour in the arrowroot, half and half slurry and stir until everything is well combined. The soup should thicken as it continues to heat. Finish the soup by adding in the fresh lemon juice. Serve the soup with chopped chives, parsley, and fresh black pepper.
Can I Make a Vegetarian Version of This Soup?
Sure! If you want to make a plant-based version, feel free! You can simply leave out the chicken, use veggie broth, and a plant-based milk instead of half and half. If you like, you can make the soup a bit heartier by adding in diced mushrooms.
Can I Make This In the Slow Cooker?
Yes! You can easily make this soup in the slow cooker if you like. Here’s how to do it:
Sauté the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery on the stovetop in a little olive oil.
Add the sautéed veggies, chicken breast, bay leaves, thyme, and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
During the last hour of cooking, remove the chicken breast from the slow cooker and shred with two forks. Add the chicken back to the slow cooker along with the gnocchi, and the mixture of arrowroot and half and half. Stir until well combined.
Let the soup continue to cook for roughly an hour until it has thickened and the gnocchi is tender.
Lastly, stir in the baby spinach and fresh lemon juice. Give the soup a taste, adjust the seasoning, if needed, and then serve!
Can I Use Leftover Shredded Chicken or Turkey?
Sure! If you need to save even more time you are welcome to use pre-cooked and shredded chicken in this soup. After the soup has simmered for around ten minutes, stir in your leftover shredded chicken or turkey.
Let the soup simmer for another five minutes or so and then add in your gnocchi and continue to follow the recipe as directed.
Tips and Tricks for the Best Soup
Use freshly minced garlic if you can, it really does make a huge difference in the overall flavor of the soup.
Feel free to leave out the half and half altogether for a more broth-based gnocchi soup.
I included a range for the amount of gnocchi to use in the recipe card to suit your needs. If you want a soup that’s a filled with plenty of gnocchi then use the full 20 ounces amount. If you want the gnocchi on the lighter side, you can go with 16 ounces.
I recommend using fresh baby spinach, not frozen, in this recipe. Frozen spinach will release a lot of water which can change the consistency of the soup.
Want a thinner soup? Feel free to skip the addition of the arrowroot starch.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
Fridge: to keep the soup fresh, store in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can easily reheat this soup on the stovetop or in the microwave. Feel free to add in a little extra broth if the soup is thicker than you like when reheating.
Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing this soup. Because of the dairy and gnocchi it won’t reheat the best so I prefer to make it fresh.
I hope you give this Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup a try! It’s warm, cozy, and absolutely delicious.
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Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the olive oil, diced onion, diced carrot, diced celery, and minced garlic. Sauté the veggies for 4-5 minutes until the onion is becomes translucent and everything is fragrant. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and a bit of black pepper.
Next, add the chicken broth, boneless skinless chicken breast, bay leaves, and fresh thyme. Bring the soup to a boil and then cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is completely cooked through and no longer pink. Remove the chicken from the soup and shred the meat with two forks.
Bring the soup back to a simmer and then add the potato gnocchi to the soup. Cover and let the gnocchi cook in the simmering soup for 2-3 minutes.
While the gnocchi are simmering, whisk together half and half and arrowroot starch.
Reduce the soup heat to low and add the shredded chicken and spinach to the soup. Then pour in the arrowroot half and half slurry and stir until everything is well combined. The soup should thicken as it continues to heat.
Finish the soup by stirring in the fresh lemon juice. Serve the soup with chopped chives, parsley, and fresh black pepper.
Keywords: healthy chicken gnocchi soup, chicken and gnocchi soup, Olive Garden chicken gnocchi soup, how to make chicken gnocchi soup, what is chicken and gnocchi soup, homemade chicken gnocchi soup, healthier copycat
Recipe by: Ashlea Carver / All the Healthy Things | Photography by:THE MINDFUL HAPA