This creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup is simple, easy and delicious – better than anything you can get at Olive Garden! Tender chicken, pillowy gnocchi, fresh vegetables and aromatic herbs, and a creamy and flavorful broth, this homemade Chicken Gnocchi Soup is wonderfully rich and possibly the best soup ever!
We had dinner at Olive Garden a few weeks ago, and everyone was SO disappointed with the soup! No more unlimited soup and breadsticks option, and the Chicken Gnocchi Soup they served us was lukewarm, watery, and the vegies were crunchy and raw - no flavor and so disappointing! Just another reason that I prefer making big pots of our favorite soups at home! Everyone loves a steaming bowl of homemade fresh and creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup, and this Mama can serve up warm parmesan garlic breadsticks on the side too!
WHAT ARE GNOCCHI?
Gnocchi are small potato dumplings - cooked potatoes are mashed and combined with flour to create a dough that is rolled out and cut into small pieces, then pinched on the ends to hold broth or sauce.
Fresh gnocchi are different from noodles and regular dumplings you may have had in the past. When simmered in this creamy chicken broth, they cook up light and fluffy, and melt-in-your-mouth wonderful!
For this recipe, I recommend using fresh gnocchi, which can be found in the refrigerated or deli area of your local market - I use Rana brand, which is imported fresh from Italy and SO GOOD! There are also frozen varieties, or dried gnocchi found on the shelf with other pasta - but I've found that the frozen variety usually are soggy, and the dried tend to fall apart when cooked. For the best flavor, texture and experience, I recommend using fresh gnocchi!
The nice thing about this recipe is that you can make it in one single pan! You can also prepare it in a slow cooker with a slight variation - let it cook on high for 2-3 hours and then add the half & half, chicken, gnocchi and fresh spinach for the last 15 minutes.
Serve with warm bread or breadsticks, and everyone will be so happy! This makes a large batch, which is perfect for freezing or lunches too.
½ large onion (chopped)
1 cup celery (chopped)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves (minced)
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup flour
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups rotisserie chicken* (shredded)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon (I recommend Better Than Bouillon Chicken)
1 teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
3 cups half & half
1 (16 oz.) pkg FRESH potato gnocchi (I recommend Rana – imported from Italy)
4 carrots (peeled and cut into matchsticks)
2-1/2 cups packed fresh spinach
Optional Garnish: 6 slices bacon (cooked and crumbled)
HOW I MAKE THIS:
YIELD: 8 servings
*Fresh Chicken: You can substitute 1-1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in place of the rotisserie chicken. Add in Step 2 and increase cooking time to 40 minutes. Cook until chicken is tender and cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and shred, adding back to the soup at Step 4.
Fresh Gnocchi: Look for fresh potato gnocchi in the refrigerated or deli area of your local market. For the best results, I don’t recommend frozen or dry gnocchi.
Fresh Carrots: You can substitute sliced carrots rather than matchstick carrots. Add them in Step 1 and saute with the onion and celery.
Originally posted January 2014; revised & reposted January 2020.
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