Thick and Creamy Italian Gnocchi Chicken Soup (Olive Garden Copycat)

Originally posted September 24, 2014. Revised and updated January 7th, 2017.

Jump to the Recipe
If you know and love the Olive Garden, there is an irrevocable, undisputed fact: their soup and salad combo is the best.

It beats peanut butter and jelly. Pummels peas and carrots. Shames Sonny and Cher.

Do you love the creamy Gnocchi soup that you find at Olive Garden? If so, you'll dig this copycat recipe! Get it now:

Aside from the salad and endless breadsticks, the soups on their menu are tasty Italian classics, like minestrone and pasta e fagioli.

Nothing beats a warm bowl of chicken and dumplings – with an Italian twist! So if you’re on the hunt for a comforting and hearty soup, try out our own thick and creamy version. You’ll fall in love with the rich base and homemade gnocchi. Check out this delicious update of a classic now on Foodal!

Another popular choice is the gnocchi chicken soup, a hearty bowl that warms the soul.

And now, you can make it right in your own kitchen!

The World's Best Italian Gnocchi Chicken Soup

Warm up to a thick and creamy bowl with our recipe below. It’s packed with veggies, homemade potato gnocchi, and lots of Italian love! For a tasty and very colorful alternative, use our recipe for sweet potato gnocchi.

All you need is a big salad, some freshly baked bread, and you’ll be ready for your own at-home restaurant feast.

Other sites might call this a copycat post, but we’re not going to – it’s even better than the original!

The Recipe

Do you love the creamy Gnocchi soup that you find at Olive Garden? If so, you'll dig this copycat recipe! Get it now:
Thick and Creamy Italian Gnocchi Chicken Soup
Votes: 3
Rating: 4.67
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Nothing beats a hearty bowl of chicken and dumplings – with an Italian twist!
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Do you love the creamy Gnocchi soup that you find at Olive Garden? If so, you'll dig this copycat recipe! Get it now:
Thick and Creamy Italian Gnocchi Chicken Soup
Votes: 3
Rating: 4.67
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Nothing beats a hearty bowl of chicken and dumplings – with an Italian twist!
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/4 cups half and half
  • 1 cup fresh spinach chopped
  • 10 ounces gnocchi cooked and cooled
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Servings: people
  1. In a medium pot, bring water to a boil. Place the chicken breasts in the water and boil for 20 minutes, or until they are cooked thoroughly. Remove and let cool. Discard the water. Once they are cool enough handle, shred into small pieces with your hands and set aside.
  2. In a large, heavy pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. With a wire whisk, stir the flour into vegetable mixture, adding a little at a time. Cook and stir constantly until the flour is mixed thoroughly and develops a fragrant, slightly nutty aroma, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Immediately pour in the stock, stirring thoroughly. Cook and stir for 10 minutes at a light simmer. Slowly pour in the half and half and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken, spinach, and gnocchi and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the soup has thickened. Remove from heat.
  6. Season with thyme, salt, and pepper. Serve hot!

Nutritional Information*

Nutrition Facts
Thick and Creamy Italian Gnocchi Chicken Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 453 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 38%
Saturated Fat 16g 80%
Trans Fat 5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 116mg 39%
Sodium 1360mg 57%
Potassium 321mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates 36g 12%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 6g
Protein 19g 38%
Vitamin A 194%
Vitamin C 40%
Calcium 20%
Iron 18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Thick and Creamy Italian Gnocchi Chicken Soup Recipe |

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prepare the Chicken and Veggies

Fill a medium-sized pot halfway with water. Bring to a boil. Carefully place the whole chicken breasts in the pot.

You want to make sure they will cook evenly, so it is important that each breast is completely submerged in the water.

Gnocchi Chicken Soup Recipe Step 1a – Prepare the Chicken and Veggies

Boil until they are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Check to make sure they are done by removing one breast and cutting it in half. If it is all white in the middle, it is done. If it is still pink in the middle, it needs more time to boil.

You can also use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken has reached 165°F, but that isn’t really necessary here, since you will be shredding the chicken. Cutting into the meat won’t interfere with the presentation!

This is a great recipe to make if you have any leftover cooked chicken. Or, better yet, just use that rotisserie chicken you picked up the other day at the grocery store!

To make your soup the quick way with already prepared chicken, just skip this step, remove the meat from the bones and shred it, and wait to add it until Step 5.

Gnocchi Chicken Soup Recipe Step 1b – Prepare the Chicken and Veggies

While the chicken is boiling, going ahead chop up your carrots, celery, onions, and garlic.

Step 2 – Sauté the Veggies

In a large stockpot, melt the butter, but do not let it brown.

Gnocchi Chicken Soup Recipe Step 2 – Sauté the Veggies

Immediately add the chopped vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, until the veggies are just slightly softened and thoroughly covered in the butter. Do not let the garlic or onions brown too darkly, and turn down the temperature on the stove if necessary.

Step 3 – Make a Roux

A roux is a type of a thickening agent that is a combination of butter and flour cooked together. It is the pride and joy of properly prepared soups, stews, sauces, and many other dishes that require a thick base.

Gnocchi Chicken Soup Recipe Step 3 – Make a Roux

Sprinkle the flour a little at a time over the butter and vegetables. You want to whisk constantly using a large balloon or gravy whisk, to prevent the flour and butter from clumping and burning.

Whisking constantly, continue to cook this mixture until all the flour is completely incorporated and releases a slightly nutty, fragrant aroma. This will take just a few minutes. Avoid excessive browning by keeping the temperature low.

Step 4 – Add Liquid Ingredients

First, pour in the chicken stock (even better if you make your own!), using a gravy whisk or spoon to scrape all of the flour and butter from the bottom of the pan. Continue to stir until everything is completely incorporated into the stock. Continue to cook for 10 minutes.

Next, slowly pour in the half and half while stirring constantly. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for an additional 10 minutes. It will start to thicken.

Step 5 – Add Dry Ingredients

Add the shredded poultry, spinach, and gnocchi to the pot. Cook for another 10 minutes, or until the soup has thickened to the desired consistency.

Gnocchi Chicken Soup Recipe Step Step 5 – Add Dry Ingredients

If the soup has become too thick, add a little extra stock or water to thin it out.

Step 6 – Season and Serve!

Mix in the 1 teaspoon of freshly chopped thyme, and season the finished soup to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve hot, making sure each serving gets a good amount of gnocchi and chicken.

Olive Garden Right at Home!

To get your fill of some hearty soup, there is no need to drive all the way to Olive Garden. To enjoy a restaurant-quality meal at home that features all of your favorite, just make this delicious recipe, and serve it along with a big salad and some fresh bread!

How does a thick and hearty soup made with gnocchi dumplings and chicken sound on a chilly winter day? Try Foodal's recipe now:

If you love this recipe, you’ll also like our other Mediterranean warming favorite: Greek-style lemon orzo soup!

And for more comforting chicken soup recipes, you’ll definitely need to make these:

Are you a fan of homemade restaurant classics? What are some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.

*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Nikki Cervone

Nikki Cervone is a hungry foodie living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she is not tearing through her city's best cheesesteaks, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

29 thoughts on “Thick and Creamy Italian Gnocchi Chicken Soup (Olive Garden Copycat)”

  1. I first had a Gnocchi Soup at my High School prom. I would never had imagined that the soup that I was served would have a lasting impression. I will try this recipe because I have yet to have a potato dumping with a meat. The meat must really flavor the dish very well.

  2. I’ve never had gnocchi soup, but I will try it next time with a corn chowder as I’m vegetarian. Usually I eat it with pesto or a chilli sauce, but it’s a good idea to use them in a soup instead of pasta or noodles.

  3. I love gnocchi! I have never tried making them at home before though…the process looks simple from what you’ve posted. I will have to try it this weekend. I’d love to make a creamy soup to add them to. I can’t wait!

  4. I have never had of this until now and just looking at the presentation, it sure looks awesome, amazing, something that would melt in my mouth with such zeal and i know i ‘d be grinning all day long :)…an accompaniment for the soup would be some bread buns and some wine…just the thought makes my mouth water :). yummy!

    • This is what you are doing to me, filling me with the green-eyed monster :)….a staple in your house, whilst i’ d do anything to have this as a staple in my household…i ‘ll just have to follow this recipe for now…from then after i become an ace…then it’ll become a staple in my house! 🙂

  5. I have to admit, when I first saw them it freaked me out a bit. They looked like something else. I had to look closer to see what they really are. I have heard the word gnocchis, but I never knew what it was nor had I ever seen any. I’m definitely looking forward to trying my hand at these.

  6. I absolutely love gnocchis, but have been afraid of making them myself. I wish the recipe for the gnocchis was included with the soup recipe. However, this is one of my favorite soups at Olive Garden, so it is great to have the recipe to make it at home since I rarely go there. I also love the idea of using gnocchis as a side dish.

  7. I am seriously getting hungry just looking at this recipe. Some ingredients are quite difficult to acquire in my country (which is situated in the tropics) but hopefully I can secure a good alternative. The steps are easy to follow through. I’m definitely going to try cooking this dish in the near future.

  8. The Chicken Gnocchi Soup from Olive Garden is one of my all time favorites. Thanks for posting a recipe for it! I’m saving this and will make this soon. It’s my favorite!!

    I usually eat gnocchi with butter or some kind of sauce. I prefer it in a soup, it doesn’t dry out as much in a nice soup base. I might have to try and make my own sometime, I never thought about homemade ones. Can’t wait to try it out.

    • I made this a few days ago and it turned out just like the Olive Garden version. It tasted just the same. Great for me because the Chicken Gnocchi Soup at Oliver Garden is my absolute favorite. I’m surprised at the amount of people who have never heard or eaten potato gnocchi, it was a staple in my house growing up.

  9. I actually didn’t know gnocchis were made from potato. I thought they were made with the same ingredients as regular spaghetti pasta. Good to know!

    I like the idea of putting gnocchis in soup instead of the traditional noodles or dumplings. I’ve only had gnocchi as a pasta dish. So, I will definitely try this recipe next time I want to eat soup. Thanks!

  10. I think I might try my hand at making these, and adding them to soup sounds fabulous. I like things like barley in my soup, because I like the texture, this will add texture and flavor to soups as well. I saw Martha Stewart make some of these on a cooking show that she did not too long ago. I wish I had a great deal of money because I would spend a lot of time in my kitchen cooking up some tasty things. I would probably cook these gnocchi today if I could. Gnocchi in chicken soup sounds so delicious.

  11. As handy as I am in the kitchen, I haven’t been able to get the hang of making good gnocchi. I’m determined to keep trying, and this recipe looks quite tasty. I noticed that in the recipe, it doesn’t list gnocchis in the ingredients, but in the instructions, it has you add them in Step 5.

  12. This soup sounds really good and it’s something I usually have the ingredients for on hand. I will have to make the gnocchi first of course though. Definitely going to be adding this into the meal rotation.

  13. The first gnocchi I had was a sweet potato gnocchi. It is made basically the same way, you just incorporate mashed sweet potato. I was in love. They were homemade, so I doubt I will get them again anytime soon since they are labor intensive.

    • I came back to this entry to get the recipe again because my family absolutely adores this soup and it is absolutely freezing here. I am so glad that I saw your comment because I have never thought of making sweet potato gnocchi before…thank-you so much!

  14. What cozy recipe, it’s perfect for this cold snap. I love the Olive Garden’s version of gnocchi soup, this one looks just as good and it’s probably half the fat. Do you know if this freezes well? I’d love to cook up a big batch then freeze if for lunch.

  15. Is it just me or does this have a very matzo ball soup feel to it? Only we supplement the matzo ball with the gnocchi. Either way the broth makes the soup. With an Italian flair or a a Hebrew one, it still makes a delicious soup.

  16. This soup looks really warm and filling – just one thing though – how much gnocchi is required for this dish? The recipe didn’t state this. Thanks!

  17. I haven’t had this in years, and would like to try making the gnocchi from scratch at some point. However, for this soup, I might buy them, since I’d be making the rest from scratch. The directions are clear, and the recipe looks easy to follow, so hopefully I’ll be eating this soon!

  18. This sound absolutely divine and I would like to applaud you for always making me hungry whenever I visit Foodal. I have never herd of Gnocchi before. I would presume that freshly homemade Gnocchi would taste better, but then again it a lots more convenience to just buy it. So, is there a big different between the two taste wise? Do you happen to have an awesome recipe for how to make your own homemade Gnocchi?

  19. Oooh these look delicious! I have never tried authentic gnocchis before, but I’ve always wanted to. They are so cute, and look so tasty! The soup looks amazing by the way. Thank you so much for the recipe, it looks so easy to make, and so scrumptious! I can’t wait to show this recipe of to my friends!

  20. Well, this is a revelation! I was brought up to create pretty much everything from scratch and whilst I’d happily buy ready prepared pasta, i’ve never bought prepared gnocchi. And as a result have stopped trying to make them since they always disintegrate when I cook them! If it’s not cheating to buy pasta, why not gnocchi too? What am I thinking? I’ve put them on the shopping list for this week!

  21. The first sentence of this post is hysterical, and so true. I’ve never tried Gnocchis before, but I’ve always wanted to. I’ll have to make a point of preparing or ordering them very soon.

  22. I’m still full from my dinner but I’m almost getting hugry again just by looking at the pictures. I’ve always loved gnocchi, they are very tasty and versatile but I had never though about using them to make a soup. This recipe sounds amazing, if I concentrate I can almost feel the delicious flavor in my mouth and I’m sure it will be appreciated by my family. Thank you!

  23. To begin with, that is no ordinary soup. It looks just delicious. I was picturing just a basic chicken broth kind of thing, but wow, this stuff looks great. I like that these little goodies have a bit of fiber and protein as well. I should make a nice sized batch of this and have it on hand for lunch.

    Can I freeze it? Would it be best to make and freeze the soup and then make and add these little gems as needed?

    I can think of lots of nice sauces and things to add to these for some unique sides. Great idea.

  24. Well all this does is make me even that much more excited for the fall and the cooler weather that comes with it. I just so happen to love all soups, most all of them anyways, and I cannot wait to bring into the routine when it comes to dishes to make. This looks like a good one too, and to be honest I do not use gnocchi enough as it is, so this will definitely be nice. I am putting this one on the list, so thank you.

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