Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons butter

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 cup brown onion , diced

1/2 cup celery , diced

2 garlic cloves , minced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups half and half

1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth (**See NOTES section below for tip)

1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup fresh spinach leaves , chopped (may substitute frozen, chopped spinach-drained well)

1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1 cup cooked chicken breast , diced

1 package (16 ounces) potato gnocchi (found in pasta aisle)

Salt and ground black pepper , to taste

Instructions

Place the butter and olive oil in a large soup pot. Melt butter on medium-high heat. Add diced onion and celery. Sauté until onions are translucent and tender (about 3-4 minutes), stirring occasionally.

During the last minute, add the minced garlic.

Add flour to the pan, stir well, to combine (this makes a “roux”). Continue to cook this for an additional minute.

Add the half and half, then the chicken broth to the soup pot. Mix well, to combine, and continue to cook, stirring frequently until the soup begins to thicken.

Once soup has begun to thicken, add shredded carrots, chopped spinach, fresh thyme leaves, diced chicken and gnocchi. Simmer on low for 5-10 minutes, until soup is heated and thickened, and gnocchi have fully cooked. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Serve hot… and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you prefer a thinner soup, simply add an additional can of chicken broth to soup. (I like it thick and creamy, so only used one can!)

Nutrition Information:

Calories:  300 | Protein: 15g | Carbohydrates: 25g | Dietary Fiber: 2g | Sugars: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 700mg

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use frozen gnocchi in this recipe?

Yes, you can use frozen gnocchi, but ensure they are fully thawed before adding them to the soup.

What is a “roux,” and why do we make it in this recipe?

A roux is a mixture of fat (butter in this case) and flour used to thicken sauces or soups.

It helps achieve the creamy consistency in the soup.

Can I substitute half and half with a lighter alternative?

Yes, you can use whole milk or a combination of milk and heavy cream for a lighter option.

Is there a specific type of gnocchi I should use?

You can use any potato gnocchi available in the pasta aisle of your grocery store.

Can I make this soup in advance and reheat it?

Yes, this soup reheats well.

Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat gently on the stove.

What’s the best way to cook chicken for this soup?

You can use pre-cooked rotisserie chicken or cook chicken breasts by grilling, boiling, or baking before dicing.

Can I add other vegetables to this soup?

Certainly! Mushrooms, peas, or corn can be great additions.

Adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Is it possible to make this soup vegetarian?

Yes, you can make it vegetarian by using vegetable broth and omitting the chicken.

Add more veggies for a hearty option.

How long does it take to cook the gnocchi?

Gnocchi cook relatively quickly, usually in 5-10 minutes.

They’re done when they float to the surface.

Can I freeze this soup?

It’s best not to freeze soups with dairy, as it can separate when thawed.

However, you can freeze the soup without the dairy and add it when reheating.

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