Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Experience the warmth and flavor of Olive Garden’s iconic Chicken Gnocchi Soup right in your own kitchen with this homemade recipe. Delight in the creamy texture, hearty ingredients, and comforting aroma of this beloved dish that’s perfect for any occasion.


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 16 ounces gnocchi, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken works well)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste


  1. Sauté Vegetables: In a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add diced celery, onion, garlic, and carrots. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
  2. Prepare Broth: In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with a couple of tablespoons of chicken broth. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pot. Slowly whisk in the remaining chicken broth and add thyme.
  3. Cook Gnocchi: Bring the mixture to a simmer and add the gnocchi. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the gnocchi are tender and have risen to the surface.
  4. Add Chicken and Spinach: Stir in the cooked and shredded chicken and chopped spinach. Cook until the spinach wilts, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Finish with Cream: Slowly pour in the heavy cream, stirring constantly, and heat until just hot but not boiling.
  6. Season and Serve: Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with your favorite garlic bread for a complete meal.

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cooking Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Tips:

  1. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley for extra flavor and presentation.
  2. Serve with warm crusty bread or breadsticks for dipping into the creamy soup.
  3. Pair with a crisp green salad tossed in a light vinaigrette for a complete meal.
  4. For a festive touch, serve in bread bowls made from hollowed-out crusty bread loaves.

Storage Tips:

  1. Allow the soup to cool completely before storing.
  2. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  3. To reheat, gently warm the soup on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
  4. For longer storage, freeze the soup in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.


1. Vegetarian Option:

  • Replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth and omit the shredded chicken. Add extra vegetables like diced bell peppers, zucchini, or mushrooms for added flavor and texture.

2. Spicy Kick:

  • Add diced jalapeños or a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes for a spicy twist.

3. Creamy Mushroom:

  • Add sliced mushrooms sautéed in butter for a rich and earthy flavor.

4. Italian-Inspired:

  • Add Italian seasoning blend and grated Parmesan cheese for an Italian flair.

5. Creamy Potato:

  • Add diced potatoes along with the vegetables for a heartier soup.

6. Coconut Curry:

  • Substitute coconut milk for the heavy cream and add curry powder and a splash of lime juice for a tropical twist.

7. Lemon Herb:

  • Add lemon zest and chopped fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or parsley for a bright and refreshing flavor.

8. Smoky Bacon:

  • Cook chopped bacon until crispy and use the rendered fat to sauté the vegetables for a smoky flavor infusion.

9. Mediterranean Style:

  • Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and a sprinkle of feta cheese for a Mediterranean-inspired twist.

10. Tex-Mex Flair:

  • Add diced green chilies, canned corn, and black beans. Serve topped with shredded Mexican cheese blend, diced avocado, and a dollop of sour cream for a Tex-Mex twist.

11. Creamy Spinach and Mushroom:

  • Sauté sliced mushrooms and chopped spinach until wilted, then add them to the soup along with the shredded chicken. Finish with a splash of cream for extra creaminess.

12. Lemon Chicken and Orzo:

  • Replace the gnocchi with cooked orzo pasta and add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a bright and refreshing flavor profile.

13. Hearty Vegetable Medley:

  • Load up the soup with a variety of diced vegetables such as carrots, celery, peas, and green beans for a nutritious and colorful twist.

14. Cajun Chicken and Sausage:

  • Season the soup with Cajun spices and add sliced andouille sausage for a spicy andouille kick. Serve with a sprinkle of chopped green onions for garnish.

15. Creamy Tomato Basil:

  • Stir in a can of diced tomatoes and a handful of fresh basil leaves for a creamy tomato basil version of the soup. Finish with a swirl of heavy cream for added richness.

16. Cheesy Broccoli and Chicken:

  • Add bite-sized broccoli florets to the soup along with the shredded chicken. Stir in a generous amount of shredded cheddar cheese until melted for a comforting cheesy flavor.

17. Thai Coconut Chicken:

  • Replace the heavy cream with coconut milk and add Thai red curry paste, lemongrass, and ginger for a fragrant and exotic variation. The creamy coconut milk, aromatic spices, and tender chicken create a flavorful and comforting soup with a hint of Thai-inspired flair.

18. Cheesy Broccoli Chicken:

  • Add steamed broccoli florets and shredded cheddar cheese to the soup for a comforting and cheesy variation. The combination of creamy soup base, tender chicken, and cheesy broccoli creates a hearty and satisfying dish that’s sure to please the whole family.

19. Cajun Chicken and Sausage:

  • Add Cajun seasoning, cooked andouille sausage slices, and diced bell peppers to the soup for a spicy and flavorful variation. The bold flavors of Cajun seasoning and smoky sausage add a kick to the creamy soup, creating a delicious and satisfying dish with a Southern twist.


  1. Can I use store-bought gnocchi?
    • Yes, you can use either fresh or frozen store-bought gnocchi for convenience.
  2. Can I make this soup ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can prepare the soup ahead of time and reheat it before serving. However, it’s best to add the gnocchi and spinach just before serving to prevent them from becoming mushy.
  3. Can I use other types of pasta instead of gnocchi?
    • Yes, you can substitute gnocchi with other pasta shapes like small shells or mini farfalle.
  4. Can I use other meats instead of chicken?
    • Absolutely! You can use shredded turkey, cooked sausage, or even diced ham.
  5. Is this soup gluten-free?
    • No, this recipe contains all-purpose flour for thickening, so it’s not gluten-free. However, you can try using a gluten-free flour blend as a substitute.
  6. Can I make this soup dairy-free?
    • Yes, you can substitute the heavy cream with coconut milk or a dairy-free alternative for a dairy-free version.
  7. How do I adjust the spiciness level?
    • Adjust the amount of diced jalapeños or crushed red pepper flakes according to your preferred spice level.
  8. Can I freeze this soup?
    • Yes, you can freeze the soup for later consumption. Just be sure to cool it completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers.
  9. Can I add other vegetables to this soup?
    • Absolutely! Feel free to customize the soup with your favorite vegetables like diced potatoes, broccoli, or peas.
  10. Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh?
    • Yes, you can substitute dried herbs for fresh ones. Just remember that dried herbs are more concentrated in flavor, so you’ll need less quantity. Start with half the amount and adjust to taste.

Now, enjoy the rich flavors and comforting goodness of this homemade Chicken Gnocchi Soup, perfect for cozy nights or entertaining guests. Gather your ingredients, follow these simple steps, and savor every spoonful of this delightful dish!