How to Make the Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup Recipe at Home

One of the most ordered soups at the Olive Garden is the chicken gnocchi soup. It’s delicious, cozy, and comforting. Knowing how to make this soup at home will save you time by ensuring you don’t have to go to the restaurant whenever you want soup. Are you wondering what the Olive Garden chicken gnocchi soup recipe is? Read on to find out.

Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup Recipe

First, ensure you have the following ingredients.

  • 3-4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs: They should be precooked and shredded.
  • Vegetables: 1 cup each of chopped carrots and celery. This is your vegetable mix which is essential in most types of soup.
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp butter: They help the vegetables cook without burning while infusing them with flavors.
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion: Yellow or white will do.
  • 6 garlic cloves, grated: Always use fresh garlic as it’s more flavorful.
  • 5 cups chicken stock: It’s the base of our soup. If you can use homemade broth, the better.
  • Thyme: Use fresh thyme for additional flavor. If you only have dry, half a teaspoon will do. Crush it well before adding it to the soup.
  • 16 ounces potato gnocchi: You can opt for store-bought or make your own at home.
  • 1/4 cup flour: Helps thicken the soup and gives it consistency.
  • 2 cups half-and-half: Adds creaminess to the soup.
  • 1 cup fresh spinach: Roughly chopped. It adds color plus vitamins, and minerals to the soup.
  • Salt and pepper: To taste

Cooking Instructions

  1. Place a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add your butter and oil. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook for about 3 minutes or until they are tender and fragrant,
  2. Add the garlic and let it cook for another 30 seconds. Be careful to avoid burning it.
  3. Add the flour, stir, and cook for a minute or two.
  4. Add the broth slowly as you stir and scrape the pan at the bottom.
  5. Next, add in the half-and-half and stir until well combined, then add the chicken and bring it to a boil. This should take about 15 minutes.
  6. Add the gnocchi and cook until done. This should be about 5 minutes, but you should check the package for specific cooking time.
  7. Add the spinach and cook for a minute or two, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve and enjoy.

What Is Gnocchi?

You may have come across many recipes calling for gnocchi. According to BBC Good Food, these are dumplings made of flour or semolina and potatoes. They are tiny and take the shape of shells, flat discs, or ovals. You cook gnocchi the same way as pasta.

Do You Need to Cook Gnocchi Before Putting It in Soup?

You don’t need to cook gnocchi before putting it in the soup. The potato dumplings cook quickly, and that’s why we are adding them last minute. Pre-cooking them can make them too soft, causing them to break apart.

Can You Make This Recipe Ahead?

You can make this soup ahead and store it in the fridge. But if you do that, don’t add the gnocchi and spinach. When ready to serve, prepare the gnocchi separately and add to the soup once it becomes warm. For the spinach, you can add it as the soup warms up.

How Do You Store This Soup?

Chicken gnocchi soup can stay in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Store it in an airtight container and warm it on the stovetop or microwave when ready to eat. Note that the gnocchi will soften and become mushy as you warm the soup. To enjoy this dish, it’s best to take it fresh.

You can also freeze the soup by placing it in an airtight container and storing it in the freezer. It can last about three months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stovetop. Again, if the soup had spinach and gnocchi, expect the texture to change after freezing it.

Variations of the Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Although this is a copycat of the Olive Garden recipe, you can make some adjustments to your liking. For example, if you can’t find gnocchi, you can use pasta. Orzo is a great substitute. Also, you can add more vegetables like zucchini, asparagus, peas, broccoli florets, and mushrooms. While this recipe calls for spinach, if you aren’t a fan, you can use any other greens you like, such as kale.

Useful Tips for Making This Chicken Gnocchi Soup Recipe

Here are useful tips that you should keep in mind.

  • Don’t skip the sautéing process. It adds flavor to the soup. In addition, ensure the vegetables are small and almost the same size to help them cook evenly.
  • You can make the gnocchi at home if you have the time. If you’re buying from the store, get mini gnocchi. They’re the perfect size for this soup.
  • Go for chicken thighs instead of breasts. According to Livestrong, thighs have more fat content than breasts. This makes them great for soup because the higher fat content adds flavor to the soup. But even the breast will still do.
  • Allow the soup to simmer under medium heat. Too much heat can cause the soup to separate. Also, keep stirring it constantly to avoid separation.
  • Use fresh spinach for the best results. Avoid frozen spinach, which is likely to turn mushy and ruin the soup’s texture.
  • This soup can thicken fast because of the half-and-half and the flour. Always have extra broth on hand to add to the soup if you don’t like the thickness at the end of cooking.
  • Use low-sodium chicken broth to control the salt level in your soup.

Can I Make This Soup Gluten-Free?

If you’re on a gluten-free diet, use cornstarch slurry in the soup instead of flour. Mix equal parts of water and cornstarch and pour in the soup. Keep mixing until you get the desired consistency. Also, you can use gluten-free gnocchi sold in grocery shops. Cauliflower gnocchi is tasty and suitable for anyone on a low-carb diet.

How Can I Tell the Gnocchi Is Ready?

When the gnocchi is ready, it will float to the top. However, we suggest using your senses too. If the dumplings look light and fluffy, they’re ready. You can pierce with a fork and check for tenderness.

What to Serve With Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Here are some great sides to pair with the bread.

  • Garlic bread
  • Cheesy vegetable quesadillas
  • Smoked salmon bagel
  • Caprese salad
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Oven-roasted beans and lemon

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