Chicken Gnocchi Soup

There is nothing quite like a bowl of piping hot soup and if we are being honest, I don’t really care what the outside weather is doing- hot or cold. This Chicken Gnocchi Soup recipe is one of my favorites to whip up quick.

overhead close up of chicken gnocchi soup in a brown bowl


It is hearty enough to be served as an entree or with a side salad, or as an appetizer. And even though it has a rich, creamy base, it is stuffed with fresh veggies so I feel like it has some “good for you” attributes.

Chicken Gnocchi Soup Recipe

This recipe has been likened to a copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup, but truth be told, I’ve never had it! So if you do try it, let us know in the comments if it is the same or not- other readers would love to know.

My recipe uses fresh veggies cooked until just soft, but still toothy with a snap, a basic creamy base, Italian seasonings and the secret ingredient: nutmeg. And of course, gnocchi, but I’ll elaborate on that more in a minute.

two bowls of chicken gnocchi soup on a serving platter

This chicken gnocchi soup comes together easily, but because of the cream base, make sure to never heat it past medium heat or else it runs the risk of separating.

What is Gnocchi?

Gnocchi are small Italian dumplings made from flour, egg, cheese and most commonly potato. You’ll see mine is listed as potato gnocchi and this is because some are made with other things like cauliflower.

Tradtionally, they are about the size of a qaurter and rolled to have ridges on one side. When cooked, they are a little doughy and chewy, some describe them as pillowy.

pan fried gnocchi in  cast iron

Gnocchi are technically a pasta and therefore most of the time boiled to cook, however they are quite delicate and it is easy to overcook them. This is why I pan fry! Even for this Chicken Gnocchi Soup!

Pan frying gnocchi has become my go-to technique to prevent soggy pasta. Browning gives them more flavor and a crunchy outside with a tender inside. I use the same technique for tomato pan-fried gnocchi and gnocchi carbonara.

angle view of creamy chicken noodle soup

Cooked Chicken

This soup recipe calls for cooked chicken, which you can get in several ways. The first and my favorite, is to grab a pre-cooked rotesserie chicken at the grocery store. They are seasoned, juicy and ready to shred.

cooked chicken going into a soup base

You can also make a few chicken breasts or thighs in the instant pot or use any chicken leftover from other recipes, just remember that the soup will take on any seasonings or flavors already on the chicken.

You can quickly make a whole chicken in the instant pot that tastes just like a rotisserie chicken, too. And if chicken isn’t your jam, feel free to swap out cooked Italian sausage cut into bite-sized pieces or even cooked and drained ground turkey.

close up of browned gnocchi in soup

How to Make Chicken Gnocchi Soup

I know the ingredient list looks long, but most of it is simple, kitchen staples.

ingredients for chicken gnocchi soup
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Veggies: White onion, carrots, celery and garlic, fresh spinach
  • Flour
  • Chicken
  • Seasonings: Italian seasoning, nutmeg, salt and pepper, while I usually use fresh herbs, dried is just fine and will plump up in the broth
  • Base: chicken broth (or swap out vegetable broth) whole milk and cream- use the full fat versions. Light options might not allow for the base to combine.
  • Potato gnocchi
  • Parmesan cheese
  1. Gently saute vegetables until they are starting to soften, but not fully cooked.
  2. Next, make a paste from the oil and flour, adding in broth, seasonings and chicken until it starts to mix.
  3. While it warms, heat more oil in another skillet and brown gnocchi, getting a nice crispy on the outside.
  4. Lastly, add both cream and milk, cheese, fresh spinach and browned gnocchi to the pot, heat until just warm and serve.
step-by-step how to make gnocchi soup

Make Ahead & Freezing

This soup can be made ahead of time and reheated, however I highly suggest waiting to add the gnocchi until right before serving. Any soup with pasta will get bloated and gummy.

Unfortunately, this soup isn’t freezer friendly. It has too much dairy and when thawed separates and gets mealy.

bowl of creamy soup

Chicken Gnocchi Soup Variations

Chicken gnocchi soup is pretty forgiving in amounts.

  • Dairy: I have played around with variations on milk and cream. Some were too thin and others too thick, but ultimately event that can be swapped around as long as it equals 2 1/2 cups. I have not experimented with non-dairy creamers, if you do, let us know how it goes!
  • Potatoes– Instead of gnocchi, add diced potatoes. Make sure they are uniform size and add them with the other veggies. When sauteing to make sure they are cooked through.
  • Vegetables- Add more or less of any of the listed vegetables, but also consider zucchini or asparagus, added with other veggies, or even green peas, but add those right at the end.
  • Protein- Chicken seems to be the protein of choice, but feel free to add the same amount, more or less of any cooked meat. Sausage cut into discs, ground beef and even turkey sausage are all great swaps.
  • Pasta/Rice- If you don’t want to use gnocchi, swap out dry small pasta like ditalini, adding with enough cooking time to soften, or even a 1-2 cups of cooked rice, adding both right at the end.
chicken gnocchi soup for pinterest

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bowls of creamy gnocchi soup for pinterest
bowl of chicken gnocchi soup

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

4.43 from 7 votes
A hearty, creamy soup, this Chicken Gnocchi Soup recipe is the BEST! It's easy to throw together and it's ready in under an hour!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6



  • Heat the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic, cooking for 4-5 minutes or until slightly soft, but still a little taunt.
    combing celery, onion, garlic and garlic in a dutch oven
  • Add the flour, stirring until it forms a paste to make a roux.
  • Add the chicken, Italian seasoning, nutmeg and chicken broth. Bring to a low simmer for 10 minutes.
    adding chicken to the soup
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a separate large skillet over medium high heat. Add potato gnocchi, browning on all sides. Remove and set aside.
    browning gnocchi
  • Season broth with Parmesan cheese, Kosher salt and white pepper, then add milk and cream, bring to a low simmer again.
  • When hot, add spinach, browned gnocchi and lemon zest and serve immediately.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings!


Calories: 436 kcal, Carbohydrates: 40 g, Protein: 11 g, Fat: 27 g, Saturated Fat: 14 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 72 mg, Sodium: 783 mg, Potassium: 402 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 5 g, Vitamin A: 3134 IU, Vitamin C: 5 mg, Calcium: 174 mg, Iron: 4 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 436
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: chicken gnocchi soup, olive garden
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
close up of chicken gnocchi soup
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    This soup looks scrumptious! And I especially like the idea of pan-frying the gnocchi. Makes sense that it would work well, since it is potato based. Going to give it a try!

  2. 5 stars
    I love chicken gnocchi soup! It has been way too long since I have had it. Your version looks absolutely incredible, especially with how you toasted the gnocchi. Yum!