Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup

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This Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup is so delicious. Seared pieces of chicken breast cooked in an aromatic buttery base  of carrots, celery, and onion, also known as French Mirepoix or the Holy Trinity in Italian kitchens. Then finished off with light cream, homemade potato gnocchi, and a sprinkling of fresh spinach. Serve this creamy soup with a hard, crusty bread for a drool-worthy, but simple dinner fit for your most honored guests.

Our little granddaughter recently told me that this was her favorite dish when eating at Olive Garden. Since I had never tried chicken gnocchi soup, I decided it was time to search out the recipe. Of course, as is the case with most recipes, there are enough options out there to make your head spin!

But grandma was on a mission.

I intend to make this soup with our granddaughter the next time she stays for a visit and have nicknamed it Emma’s Gnocchi Soup.

Our Granddaughters Favorite Soup from Olive Garden

I sorted through recipes that sounded good and took bits here and there to create an adaptation that was my own. My first try turned out good, but the flavor was off a tad as I used an herb mixture that was too strong for the soup. So, I made a few changes and worked more on my homemade gnocchi, and voila! Here is a recipe I hope you will find delightful. My husband and I loved it–even when served as leftovers.

 

Ingredients for Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup

  • skinless, boneless chicken breast or tenders (2 cups diced)
  • vegetable oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

The French Mirepoix

  • sweet onion
  • carrots
  • celery
  • minced garlic
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • butter
  • thyme
  • dried oregano
  • dry white wine (chardonnay works well)
  • white wine vinegar

Creamed Mixture

  • chicken bouillon cubes + water to make chicken broth
  • half and half cream (divided)
  • all-purpose flour
  • homemade potato gnocchi (See the recipe below)
  • fresh spinach
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • red pepper flakes

Homemade Potato Gnocchi

  • medium Russet potatoes
  • large egg
  • dried parsley
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ground nutmeg
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • all-purpose flour

 

Instructions for Making this Recipe

Ingredients for this Recipe

Gather all your tools and ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table. For this recipe, you’ll want to make the Homemade Gnocchi first, (see the recipe at the bottom of this post) or use some that has been frozen ahead of time. You’ll also need a sharp knife and cutting board, a box grater, and a soup pot.

If possible, you will want to use a potato ricer to make the gnocchi. I’ve also made it using a grater but the ricer turned out a lighter finished product. 

 

Prepare the Ingredients

With a chef’s knife and cutting board, slice the chicken breast (or tenders) into bite-size pieces.

Chop Fresh Spinach for this Soup

Using a second cutting board and clean knife, dice the celery. Mince the onion and garlic. Chop the fresh spinach.

Peel and shred the carrot with a medium-sized grater.

 

Brown the Chicken and Vegetables

Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken pieces until lightly seared on all sides, about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. When browned, remove chicken from the pot.

Saute Vegetables for Soup, French Mirepoix, or Italian Holy Trinity

Prepare the mirepoix or holy trinity by adding the remaining extra-virgin olive oil and butter to the pot on low heat. When melted, add the prepared onion and celery and saute for 4-5 minutes until tender and translucent. Stir in the shredded carrots and minced garlic along with the dried crushed thyme and oregano. Cook for another 2 minutes.

Pour in the dry white wine and white wine vinegar to the vegetable mixture and cook until the wine has reduced by half.

If you’d prefer not to use wine in this recipe, you may simply add the white wine vinegar to the vegetables and move on to the next step. However, the white wine adds another flavor level to this recipe, and I highly encourage you to try it. 

 

Prepare the Creamed Soup

Add Chicken and Chicken Broth to Vegetables

Add the cooked chicken and the chicken broth to the seasoned vegetables. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the soup simmers, prepare the thickening agent by whisking together 1/2 cup of half and half cream with the all-purpose flour. Stir until thoroughly combined.

Gradually add the half and half cream to the soup, along with the thickening agent. Cook on medium-low heat and stir until the soup begins to thicken.

Add Prepared Gnocchi to Soup

Add in the prepared (or frozen) potato gnocchi. Continue cooking on low heat for 3-5 minutes, until the gnocchi has cooked through. Do not allow the soup to come to a full boil, however, but keep it at a low simmering boil.

Finish Soup by Adding Chopped Spinach

To finish, stir in the chopped spinach and season with red pepper flakes, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Simmer for 1-2 minutes until the spinach is tender.

Remove from heat and allow the soup to set a few minutes before serving.

Serve Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup with Hard Crusty Bread

Serve with a hard, crusty bread, such as my Tangy Sourdough Bread or Rustic Sourdough Baguettes.  This recipe makes enough soup for 4-6 people.

Wine Suggestion: a favorite chardonnay or pinot noir goes well with this soup. Consider: Chateau Montelena’s Chardonnay or Meiomi Pinot Noir.

 

 

Steps for Making Homemade Potato Gnocchi

Ingredients to Make Homemade Potato Gnocchi

Gather ingredients for making gnocchi, so you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

 

Step 1 – Bake the Potatoes

To make homemade gnocchi, begin by poking the Russet potatoes with a knife or fork to prevent them from exploding in the oven. Wrap potatoes in aluminum foil and bake in a 375 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, until they are soft when pressed. Allow potatoes to cool for 10 minutes and then remove the peel, being careful not to burn your fingers.

For Light and Airy Gnocchi Rice Baked Potatoes While they are Hot

Press hot baked potatoes through a potato ricer. Using a potato ricer when the potatoes are still hot will produce a fluffier, lighter gnocchi.

If you don’t have a potato ricer, you may grate the potatoes using a box grater or simply mash the baked potatoes with a fork or potato masher. I will mention, however, that grating hot potatoes is hard on your fingers, and that using a ricer will save you much pain. Hot, hot! 

Place the riced potatoes onto a large work surface, spreading them out to cool completely.

 

Step 2 – Make the Dough

In a small bowl, whisk together the large egg, dried parsley, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and freshly ground nutmeg.

Place Egg and Seasonings in Center of Riced Potatoes

On a lightly floured work space, gather the cold potatoes into a mound with a well in the center. Pour the egg mixture into the well and begin kneading with both hands, gradually adding the Parmesan cheese and up to 1 cup of the all-purpose flour to make a smooth but slightly sticky dough.

Your goal here is a light and airy gnocchi. It should take 2-3 minutes to form. Keep in mind that the longer the dough is kneaded, the heavier it will become. Scrape your fingers and work surface to clean the dough off as you knead.

 

Step 3 – Form the Gnocchi

Lightly dust the remaining flour on a clean work surface. Cut the dough into six equal parts and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap.

 

Slicing Rounds from Rope

Roll one piece of dough and shape it into a 1/2″ rope, flouring the dough as needed. Slice the rope into 1/2″ thick rounds. Repeat until all of the ropes have been formed and sliced. Cover the sliced dough to keep it from drying out.

Forming Gnocchi on a Gnocchi Board

Sprinkle the rounds with flour and roll each piece into a ball. With the tip of your thumb, press the dough lightly against the gnocchi board and roll it downward, making a deep indention on one side and a ridged surface on the other.

If you don’t have a gnocchi board, you may use the back of a fork for this, pressing the dough as it’s rolled downward on the tines.

 

Finished Gnocchi Ready for Cooking or Freezing

Place the rolled gnocchi on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Repeat until all rounds are formed. At this point, you may freeze the gnocchi or cook it immediately. This will make enough gnocchi for 2 soup recipes or approximately 32 ounces.

See more Soup Recipes Here. Browse our Favorite Italian Recipes Here.

 

Recipe for Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup

This Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup is so delicious. Seared pieces of chicken breast cooked in an aromatic buttery base of vegetables, then finished off with light cream, homemade potato gnocchi, and a sprinkling of fresh spinach.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Chicken Breast, Half and Half Cream, Potato Gnocchi, Spinach
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
To Make Gnocchi: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6

Equipment

Potato Ricer
Gnocchi Board
Cuisinart Cookware
Glass Mixing Bowls

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast diced
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup sweet onion minced
  • 1 cup celery thinly sliced
  • 1 cup carrots peeled and shredded
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine chardonnay works well
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 4 cubes chicken bouillon + 4 cups water to make chicken broth
  • 2 cups half and half cream divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 16 oz Potato Gnocchi Fresh or frozen - See recipe below
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Homemade Potato Gnocchi

  • 4 medium Russet potatoes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg freshly ground
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour as needed

Instructions

  • Gather all your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Prepare the Soup Ingredients

  • With a chef's knife and cutting board, slice the chicken breast (or tenders) into bite-size pieces.
  • Using a second cutting board and clean knife, thinly slice the celery. Mince the onion and garlic. Chop the fresh spinach.
  • Peel and shred the carrot with a medium-sized grater.

Brown the Chicken and Vegetables

  • Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken pieces until lightly seared on all sides, about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. When browned, remove chicken from the pot.
  • Prepare the vegetables (mirepoix) by adding the remaining olive oil and butter to the pot on low heat. When melted, add the prepared onion and celery and saute for 4-5 minutes until tender and translucent. Stir in the shredded carrots and minced garlic along with the dried thyme and oregano. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the dry white wine and white wine vinegar to the vegetable mixture and cook until the wine has reduced by half.

Prepare the Creamed Soup

  • Add the cooked chicken and the chicken broth to the seasoned vegetables. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the soup simmers, prepare the thickening agent by whisking together 1/2 cup of half and half cream with the all-purpose flour. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Gradually add the remaining half and half cream to the soup, along with the thickening agent. Cook on medium-low heat and stir until the soup begins to thicken.
  • Add in the prepared (or frozen) potato gnocchi. Continue cooking on low heat for 3-5 minutes, until the gnocchi has cooked through. Do not allow the soup to come to a full boil, however, but keep it at a low simmering boil.
  • To finish, stir in the chopped spinach and season with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and the red pepper flakes. Simmer for 1-2 minutes until the spinach is tender.
  • Remove from heat and allow the soup to set a few minutes before serving. Serve with a hard, crusty bread.  This recipe makes enough for 4-6 people.

STEPS TO MAKE HOMEMADE POTATO GNOCCHI

  • You'll want to prepare the Homemade Potato Gnocchi prior to making the soup. The gnocchi may be made days or weeks ahead and stored in the freezer in plastic bags.
  • Gather ingredients for making gnocchi, so you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Step #1 - Bake the Potatoes

  • To make homemade gnocchi, begin by wrapping the Russet potatoes in aluminum foil and baking in a 375 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, until they are soft when pressed. Allow potatoes to cool for 10 minutes and then remove the peel, being careful not to burn your fingers.
    *Remember to poke the potatoes with a knife or form several times before baking to reduce risk of explosion.
  • Press hot baked potatoes through a potato ricer. Using a potato ricer when the potatoes are still hot will produce a fluffier, lighter gnocchi.
    If you don’t have a potato ricer, you may grate the potatoes using a box grater or mash the baked potatoes with a fork or potato masher.
  • Place the riced potatoes onto a large work surface, spreading them out to cool completely.

Step #2 - Prepare the Dough

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the large egg, dried parsley, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and freshly ground nutmeg.
  • On a lightly floured work space, gather the cold potatoes into a mound with a well in the center. Pour the egg mixture into the well and begin kneading with both hands, gradually adding the Parmesan cheese and up to 1 cup of the all-purpose flour to make a smooth but slightly sticky dough.
  • It should take 2-3 minutes to form the dough. The longer it is kneaded, the heavier it will become. Your goal is to make a light and airy dough. Scrape your fingers and work surface to clean the dough off as you knead.

Step #3 - Form the Gnocchi

  • Lightly dust the remaining flour on a clean work surface. Cut the dough into six equal parts and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap.
  • Roll one piece of dough and shape it into a 1/2″ rope, lightly flouring the dough as needed. Slice the rope into 1/2″ thick rounds.
    Repeat until all of the ropes have been formed and sliced.
  • Sprinkle the rounds with flour and roll each piece into a ball. With the tip of your thumb, press the dough lightly against the gnocchi board and roll it downward, making a deep indention on one side and a ridged surface on the other.
    If you don’t have a gnocchi board, you may use the back of a fork for this, pressing the dough as it’s rolled downward on the tines.
  • Place the rolled gnocchi on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Repeat until all rounds are formed. At this point, you may freeze the gnocchi or cook it immediately. This will make enough gnocchi for 2 recipes of soup or approximately 32 oz.

Notes

*Unless otherwise indicated, all butter used on this recipe site is salted. 
**Prepare the Homemade Potato Gnocchi prior to making this soup. You may prepare Gnocchi days or weeks ahead and freeze in plastic bags. 

Nutrition

Calories: 670kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 1765mg | Potassium: 801mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 5125IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 217mg | Iron: 6mg
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2 thoughts on “Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup”

  • 5 stars
    This soup looks and sounds really good. I really want to try it. Love all the step by step photos, very helpful! I’ve never baked potatoes to make gnocchi but I can imagine that gives them more flavour. I boil mine and now don’t peel them before pressing them through the ricer. (I used to) I just cut them in half and press with the peeless section down. The peel stays in the ricer. Saves me from burning my fingers!

    • That’s a good idea about the potato peels. I do like working with the baked potatoes. Hope you’ll give the soup a try. We really love it. It may be my favorite soup right now!

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