Copycat Olive Garden Chicken and Gnocchi Soup
This classic Italian soup recipe is just like how they make it at Olive Garden... except it's not frozen!
If you're a fan of Olive Garden restaurant recipes, you're sure to enjoy this Copycat Olive Garden Chicken and Gnocchi Soup recipe. This creamy soup, packed with veggies like spinach and carrots is a warm treat that everyone will enjoy. Making this soup in your kitchen is much easier than you may think and only requires a few simple steps. This soup recipe is famous on the Olive Garden menu and now it can be famous in your home.
The creamy soup and filling gnocchi will satisfy any family member or dinner guest. This Italian-style chicken and dumpling soup is a recipe you will definitely want to keep. For the recipe, you can use premade chicken broth for a quick and delicious soup, but making your own adds another layer of rich flavor to this copycat Olive Garden soup.
- 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked (see note below)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4 cups half-and-half
- 3 cups chicken broth (see note below)
- 1 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup fresh spinach, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon dry thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dry parsley
- 1 pound packaged gnocchi
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley for garnish
Place a large soup pot over medium heat and melt the butter. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk to coat the vegetables and absorb the butter, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the half-and-half, stirring and simmering over low heat for 5 minutes until thickened. Gradually add the broth and whisk another 2 minutes.
Stir in the diced chicken, carrots, spinach, thyme and parsley, then drop in the gnocchi and continue to cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 – 8 minutes until gnocchi are cooked and float to the top. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into individual soup bowls and garnish with Parmesan and parsley if desired.
What is Gnocchi and Tips for Making It at Home
Chicken and gnocchi soup is essentially the Italian version of chicken and dumplings. Gnocchi are Italian dumplings made from flour or potatoes and are soft and filling. Traditional gnocchi are rolled using a cheese grater or fork tines when being prepared. This creates grooves and crevasses that enable each dumpling to be covered in sauce, giving the entire dish flavor.
Gnocchi can be used in many different types of dishes. Usually it is served with a thick and creamy sauce, but gnocchi can also be tossed in a lighter, olive-oil-based dressing. Chicken and gnocchi soup is a very popular way to serve this Italian dumpling. Another popular gnocchi dish is gnocchi with brown butter and sage, which is simple but delicious. The recipe above uses pre-made gnocchi, but if you try making your own instead, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Use a potato ricer. Not many recipes require a fancy kitchen gadget, but we do recommend using a ricer for gnocchi to get the best results. If you use a masher or food processer, your dumplings won’t hold together.
Don’t peel your potatoes before boiling. This will keep your potatoes from absorbing too much water. Keeping the water at a simmer rather than a rolling boil will also keep your potatoes from becoming too watery.
How To Make Your Own Chicken Broth:
You may use 1 cup of cooked and diced chicken that you already have on hand and use canned broth, or you can begin by cooking a raw chicken breast with
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 stalk celery, chopped
¼ cup chopped onion
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Cook at a simmer for 20 minutes, then strain and measure the liquids – this will give you the 3 cups broth needed for the recipe as well as the cooked chicken needed. Dice the meat into small cubes and proceed with the recipe.
The Other Best Olive Garden Soup
What's your favorite Olive Garden soup recipe?
Let us know in the comments!