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Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup

December 29, 2022
Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea
If you're a soup lover, then you've got to make this Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup that comes jam-packed with a ton of flavor and texture!

Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup

This Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup is better than Olive Garden and is sure to keep you warm and comforted throughout the cooler months of the year and you're guaranteed to be satisfied. A great weeknight option or comforting weekend addition for the entire family, this soup boasts of it’s major flavor factor and comes loaded with tender, soft potato gnocchi, major garlic flavor, herbs + seasonings, chopped kale, and beautifully shredded chicken! Vegan + Gluten-Free options.

Bowl of Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup with a spoon

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Making soup is my personal self-care moment and I literally indulge in all kinds of textures and flavors. Growing up in a Jamaican household, soup is such a major staple especially once the temperature outdoors drops and you find yourself needing a bit of warmth and comfort. Haha. This Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup is specifically one of my latest faves and my husband definitely finished all leftovers within 24 hours (oh there's a soup form of my infamous Marry Me Chicken dish---'Marry Me’ Tuscan Chicken Gnocchi Soup that's a MUST)! YES---it's that delish! And if you're a lover of gnocchi then you'll love this oven-baked Garlic Chicken Broccoli Gnocchi Recipe and Skillet Baked Cheesy Pumpkin Gnocchi. Try this Cheesy Kale Garlic Bread as a delicious side! Plus, this Creamy Roasted Red Pepper + Tomato Soup is a delicious soup to try next!

The best part about this soup is that it reminds you of the Olive Garden chicken gnocchi soup, but better! People have attested to this. Oh and have you tried this Jamaican Chicken Soup? If not, you truly will love the complete nourishment that it provides and kick of spice. But you're also sure to love and lean into creamier based soups like my Creamy White Chicken Lasagna SoupCreamy Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup, and Roasted Carrot Soup + Cheesy Croutons which have been top contenders! Also, Indulge in the fiery goodness of our Spicy Vegan Chili--A bold and hearty dish that's a flavor explosion in every spoonful.

Also, I'm in complete love with this soup and I love the fact that you can add your favorite greens (i.e. kale, spinach, etc.) into the mix and create a really nice flavor.

This Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup is family-friendly, a crowd-pleaser (even for Olive Garden fans), super easy to make, only uses a few staple ingredientscreamy, velvety, flavorful. Plus, it comes with a vegan + gluten-free option.

What is Gnocchi and How Do You Make It?

Gnocchi are basically Italian dumplings made with flour, eggs, and potatoes---unless they are egg-free like this one that I purchased from Delallo foods. When it comes to making your own gnocchi, the process is done is fairly a few steps. It starts with boiling and mashing the potatoes, combining the ingredients together and kneading them into a ball, shaping the dough, cutting them into pieces, and boiling and draining the gnocchi. For a great recipe, check out AllRecipes.com.

Jump to:

What is the Chicken Gnocchi Soup at Olive Garden Made of?

Everyone loves a good soup, especially Olive Garden's Chicken & Gnocchi soup which is creamy soup made with roasted chicken, traditional Italian dumplings and spinach. This soup recipe is very similar with an addition of bold flavor that includes garlic, herbs + seasonings, and chopped kale. Definitely a crowd-pleaser!

Ingredients for Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup including heavy whipping cream, kale, and shredded chicken

How to Make Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup

To make this creamy gnocchi soup, you'll start by baking and shredding your chicken, if you haven't already. Then to finish the soup, you'll need a pot on the stove to sauté the garlic followed by the flour and seasonings. The shredded chicken, chopped kale, gnocchi, along with the remaining ingredients go into the pot for the soup. Let it simmer a bit more, add the cheese, and wallah! Nice, creamy results.

Ingredients for Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Here's what you need to make this Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup at home:

  • Chicken Breasts. One of the stars of this dish. I decided to shred them after it being cooked for a nice bite; Can also be diced in chunks.
  • Gnocchi. You can make them yourself or purchase a quality store-bought version from Delallo Foods. For a gluten-free version, simply use gluten-free gnocchi.
  • Flour. Used for the thickening of soup. You can sub with GF flour for that option.
  • Chicken stock. Use store-bought low-sodium broth or make your own! For vegan option, use veggie stock.
  • Heavy cream. I recommend organic–always! Of course, for a vegan option, just use full-fat coconut cream/milk.
  • Butter. I recommend unsalted. You can always substitute with olive oil, grapeseed oil, or coconut oil. For a vegan option, use vegan butter.
  • Garlic. I prefer fresh, but you could substitute with 1 Tablespoon garlic powder in a pinch for a bold flavor. You can also roast a garlic bulb for greater flavor.
  • Herbs + Seasonings. A great addition of flavor. Adds such savoriness from the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, parsley, and basil.
  • Kale. Any kind of kale will work! You can also sub with spinach, collard greens, broccoli, or bok choy.
  • Parmesan. I love to freshly-grate my cheese, however, you can use your favorite shredded brand---quality does matter! For a vegan option, So Delicious Dairy-Free or Violife cheese shreds tastes great.

How to Best Shred Chicken

When it comes to creating pulled or shredded chicken, there are two most effective ways to do so. Firstly, you would need to ensure that your chicken is fully cooked and cooled and then you shred the chicken in one of the following ways:

Forks: For this method you would need two forks. If using this method, place your cooked chicken breast onto a plate or cutting board and use both forks to separate the chicken meat and 'shred' as you separate. Continue doing this until all of your chicken is shredded.

Stand Mixer: If you're looking to avoid using arm strength, then the method of a stand mixer might be just for you. This is by far the fastest and easiest way to shred chicken and you simply place all of your cooked chicken breasts in the bowl of stand mixer. Add the paddle attachment and mix on low. In just 15-20 seconds you’ll have shredded chicken. That easy!

Tips For Making Good Soup Every Time:

Now, if you're intimidated with making soup or are concerned that it won't turn out as delicious, no worries. In my experience with making many different types of soup and watching the adults around me make a TON of soup (it's a staple in the Jamaican culture), I've learned a few things along the way that can help you make really good soup, including this Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup:

  • Chop your veggies and ingredients into bite-sized pieces for greater ease when eating.
  • ALWAYS sauté your veggies, especially the garlic, onions, etc.
  • Make your own stock if you can or use water as your base with seasonings + herbs for a great taste. If using store-bought stock/broth, always purchase high-quality ones.
  • Let it simmer. While you might be tempted to cook your soup on high for a faster cook time, it's definitely BEST to let everything simmer and allow the flavors to "fuse" together slowly.
  • If using meat, always sear your meat in the pot first prior to adding it to the soup to cook the rest of the way.
  • If adding dairy or an alternative, always stir it in last or during the final few minutes.
  • To thicken (if needed), always mix your thickener (flour, arrowroot, starch, etc.) in a small bowl with some of the hot broth from your soup before adding it to the entire pot of soup. This prevents lumps and gives you a nice creaminess.
Two bowls of Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Top Reasons Why You’ll Love This Creamy Gnocchi Soup

Once you make and eat this Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup—– you’ll fall in absolute love. Haha. More importantly, here are also the reasons why you’ll love it the most:

  • It’s super easy to make.
  • Simple set + forget it—-Simmer, Simmer, Simmer over the stovetop!
  • Only requires ONE pot.
  • Makes for a great weeknight meal with a full vegan + gluten-free option.
  • So creamy and full of texture.
  • Great for meal prepping and make aheads for the week!
  • Super flavorful.
  • Perfect Fall + Winter vibes!
  • Did I mention, it’s just delicious?

How to Thicken Soup in General

While many soups are thickened for texture, what you use as a thickening agent is solely up to you. All in all, it depends on how you like it! Use 1 tablespoon at a time mixed with 1 tablespoon of water to dilute. Then pour the mixture into the soup, simmering for an additional few minutes to activate the thickener.

Some thickening agents you can use are:

  • Cornstarch (GF)
  • Arrowroot starch (GF)
  • Potato starch (GF)
  • All-purpose flour
Two bowls of Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Why Won't My Cheese Melt in the Soup?

It's so important to use freshly-grated parmesan cheese for the creamiest results in your creamy garlic chicken gnocchi soup. While you can use shredded cheese, it won't melt as seamlessly because it has a special "coating", which prevents it from melting smoothly.

NOTE: If you only have shredded cheese, then I recommend adding it the soup while it's simmering in the last 5 minutes or so, stirring until melted and then topping it immediately after serving it into bowl(s).

What Can I Add to This Creamy Soup?

I like to add some extra texture to creamy soups like this Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup. While the ingredients in this creamy soup is perfect as is, I wanted to share a few more ideas of ingredients that you can add incase you make this soup more than once and want to switch things up!

Other ingredient ideas include:

  • Roasted broccolini or broccoli instead of kale
  • Crispy bacon (if you're not plant-based, of course)
  • Grated cheese like Parmesan, mozzarella, pecorino romano, etc. (vegan or regular if you're not vegan!)
  • Crispy sage leaves (for the topping)
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Beans (White beans, etc.)
  • Top with Homemade Croutons for a nice crunch
  • Seafood (like shrimp, lobster, etc.)
  • Sausage
Closeup of two bowls of Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Common Q + A's for this Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup

How to Store Leftover Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup?

Leftovers can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, for optimal freshness. Can also be frozen for 4-6 months. To defrost, simply place soup in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature before re-heating on the stove top to serve.

Can I Make this Gnocchi Soup Entirely Vegan and/or Gluten-Free?

Yes! Of course. To make this soup vegan, be sure to omit the chicken and substitute the butter with vegan butter, heavy cream with full-fat coconut cream/milk, gnocchi with a vegan-friendly version, chicken stock with veggie stock, and cheese with nutritional yeast and/or dairy-free cheese shreds.

To make this soup GF-friendly, simply substitute the gnocchi with a gluten-free version and ensure that other ingredients are GF-friendly and you use GF bread on the side, if using.

What Can be used in Place of Kale in this Creamy Soup?

Although, kale is the most common veggie used in this Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup, you can definitely use other greens such as spinach, collard greens, bokchoy, etc. for a nice twist!

When it comes to vegetables, there are so many benefits as we all know. While some veggies pack a greater punch when it comes to nutrients, we’ve curated a special list of our Our Top 12 Favorite Healthy Green Leafy Vegetables! Most of these are super popular while others are under utilized in many dishes. Lettuce Eat, Shall We?

Do you have to cook gnocchi before putting in soup?

While many people might argue that you need to cook the gnocchi prior to adding it to your soup, I don't agree when it comes to this soup. Of course, if it's a soup that takes longer to cook, then I recommend adding your gnocchi in at the final 10 minutes or so. However, since this soup cooks rather quickly, I add it in with the remaining ingredients and when its boiling, you'll know that the gnocchi is done as they come to the surface.

How do you know when gnocchi are cooked in soup?

As I've mentioned before, once the gnocchi is fully cooked through, they will float to the top.

Is gnocchi just pasta?

Basically, gnocchi are a type of pasta consisting of soft, fat and chewy dumplings. Traditionally, it's made of semolina or plain wheat flour, egg, and mashed potato.

How do you keep gnocchi from getting soggy in soup?

One of my favorite tricks to this is to sauté my gnocchi prior to adding in the remaining ingredients. "Frying" the gnocchi will give it a nice crispy crust and prevent it from getting stuck together and soggy in the soup.

Can I Make this soup in a Slow Cooker?

Yes, absolutely! You'll go through the normal steps as you would if it were in a pot or dutch oven, however, you'll want to add the gnocchi, kale, and cream last once you've cooked everything for 3-4 hours.

What Kind of Pre-cooked Chicken Should I use?

For soups like this creamy soup, I love using pre-cooked chicken breasts that can either be shredded or chopped into cubes. It definitely makes things easier and the cook time for this soup a lot quicker.

More Comforting Soup Recipes to Try this Season!

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you tried this Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you.

Bowl of Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Up close shot of creamy soup in a brown wood bowl on a grey wood table with two gold spoon and side of bread.

Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup

December 29, 2022
4.79 from 64 votes
If you're a soup lover, then you've got to make this Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup that comes jam-packed with a ton of flavor and texture!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4 servings

Ingredients

SOUP:

  • 1 (16 oz.) package potato gnocchi, homemade or store-bought (I like to use Delallo foods)
  • 2 cups cooked + shredded organic chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsps unsalted butter
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 4 Tbsps organic all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups organic chicken stock/broth
  • 1 ½ cups organic heavy cream
  • 2 cups organic kale, de-stemmed + chopped
  • 1 cup freshly-grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

TO MAKE THE SOUP:

  • In a medium-sized dutch oven pot over medium high-heat, add the butter. Once heated and the butter has melted, add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add the flour, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, parsley, and basil, stirring until combined.
  • Add in the chicken stock, stirring frequently to avoid lumping until thickened. Add in the heavy cream, chopped kale, thyme sprigs, shredded chicken, and gnocchi, stirring to combine. Let everything simmer for about 10-12 minutes or until the gnocchi is fully cooked through, floats to the top, and tender.
  • Add in the grated parmesan, stirring until cheese has melted and the soup becomes creamy. Simmer for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, discard thyme leaves, and serve immediately into prepared bowl(s), top with a side of bread or salad, if desired.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Leftovers can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, for optimal freshness. Can also be frozen for 4-6 months. To defrost, simply place soup in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature before re-heating on the stove top to serve.
  • SPICES/HERBS: If desired, you can reduce the amounts slightly. Please know that this recipe is bold in spice/herb flavor, so feel free to adjust based on your tastebuds.
  • HOMEMADE GNOCCHI: To see how to make your own gnocchi, see my post for details!
  • GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: To make this soup GF-friendly, simply substitute the gnocchi with a gluten-free version and ensure that other ingredients are GF-friendly and you use GF bread on the side, if using.
  • VEGAN OPTION: To make this soup vegan, be sure to omit the chicken and substitute the butter with vegan butter, heavy cream with full-fat coconut cream/milk, gnocchi with a vegan-friendly version, chicken stock with veggie stock, and cheese with nutritional yeast and/or dairy-free cheese shreds.
  • EQUIPMENT: Here, I’ve curated a list of cooking + baking essentials that I use to achieve my favorite baked goods or cooked meals, especially with this Creamy Garlic Chicken Gnocchi Soup. Everything from my fave baking sheet, dutch ovens, immersion hand-blender, mixing bowls, and more.

Nutrition

Calories: 627kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 197mg | Sodium: 1115mg | Potassium: 490mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5126IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 408mg | Iron: 3mg

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Script text: Xx, Shanika

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  1. Delicious! Followed aside from additional garlic & subbing spinach. Moved to my ‘Greatest Hits’ recipe folder. Really easy & quick too. Thank you!

    • Hi Lynn! Wow----I'm so thrilled that you enjoyed this recipe! Truly a fave in our house! Thanks so much for giving it a try! 🙂

  2. I made this recipe first for friends giving and all my friends loved it, so I made it again on a random Saturday and it struck me how easy it is to make when your not surrounded by pie. It’s delicious and was super easy to adapt to be vegetarian 🙂

    • Hi Lily! That makes me so happy that you and your friends enjoyed this soup! Thanks so much for giving it a try! 🙂

  3. Girl, your blog is one of the best made blogs out there. It's easy, informative and just all around put together so well! From someone who often struggles with navigating food blogs, I thank you from the bottom of my heart (and tummy). 🙂
    I saved your blog so I can come back and make a lot more of your recipes. THANK YOU!

    - @rskyexo <3

    • Hi Rhiannon! WOW---that truly means the world! Thanks so much! I truly can't wait to hear what you think about other recipes! 🙂

  4. 2nd time making it and it's absolutely delicious. Especially on a cool fall day. Will definitely be making this again!

    • Hi Teddi! I'm so thrilled that you enjoyed this soup! Thanks so much for choosing to make it! 🙂

  5. I just made this and wanted to write a review immediately. It is absolutely delicious and so simple to make!!! Simply perfect for a cold, dreary, fall evening!

    My only adjustment was unsweetened coconut milk for the heavy cream, since that’s what I always have on hand.

    I will definitely make it again!

    • Hi Leah! Wow----I'm so thrilled that you enjoyed this soup! It really is an easy, delicious option! Thanks so much for giving it a try! 🙂

    • Hi Angela! Wow----I'm so happy that you enjoyed this soup! It's truly a fave in our house! Thanks so much for giving it a try! 🙂

  6. Ok, this is my 2nd time making this soup and it is scrumptious. So flavorful, so easy. This will definitely be added to our fall/winter rotation. So excited to try more recipes!!!

    • Hi Bri! Awww, yay! I'm so happy that you enjoyed this soup! Definitely a staple in my house as well! Thanks so much for giving it a try! 🙂

  7. So good. I changed it up using veggie broth and a plant based creamer (2 vegan kids) but alas they went out so I added the chicken and used ghee instead of butter. VERY hearty and perfect for a cold night. I’ll be making this again. 🥰

    • Hi Simon, I'm SO happy to hear that you enjoyed this soup! It's truly a staple in our house and having it vegan and meatless is just as great as adding the chicken too! Thanks so much for giving it a try! 🙂

    • Hi Haley! I'm so happy to hear that you loved this recipe! I'm so sorry to hear that it didn't freeze well. Was there a particular you had with it when thawing it out? Was the liquid a bit thick? If so, I always recommend adding a cup or so of stock to help with making things creamy again when reheating over the stovetop. 🙂

  8. This recipe is the one! I'm falling I love with each one of your recipes but this one hit differently. A nice warm soup to enjoy by the fireplace. My family enjoyed this as much as I did. I will definitely make this again! I recommend everyone try this one. The gnocchi was a great touch to it. We enjoyed this with some fresh French bread rolls on the side. This was be perfect for a soup bowl.

    • Hi Shawn! Wow! This truly brings me joy! Thanks so much for giving my recipes a try! This soup is definitely the perfect one for the fireplace! I'm so happy that your family enjoyed it and I hope that this one becomes a real staple! 🙂

  9. I'm a university student so soups are always my go-to for cheap and hearty meals that make lots of portions. I made this last night and it was AMAZING. I had some white wine and bread with it and it was incredibly filling. I used about 10 cloves of garlic instead of 6-8 because I love garlic and, since I used coconut cream instead of heavy cream (as it is a cheaper alternative and I couldn't find heavy cream), I used about a half cup more of parmesan. A big thing about this soup is also the type of chicken stock you use. The higher the quality of stock, the less likely you will have to add extra seasoning. For instance, I used a cheaper powder-based stock so I added more salt and pepper to the broth. Overall, this soup was easy to make and SOOOO good.

    • Hi Julia! Wow! This truly makes me SO happy to hear that you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for sharing your adjustments/subs, especially the addition of garlic, which I totally agree! I'm a huge garlic fan too. Haha.

      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try! 🙂