Slow Cooker Chicken Gnocchi Soup


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This chicken gnocchi soup recipe is a classic Olive Garden copycat packed with traditional herbal flavors and hearty chicken texture and easily made in the slow cooker. Skip the restaurant visit and make this meal at home because it will surely be one you and your family will love.

Olive Garden chicken gnocchi may sound intimidating to recreate, but our simple recipe with easy instructions make it doable in no time. With a few pantry staples and 4 hours of cooking time, you’ll be glad you tried this restaurant favorite. We also make Minestrone Soup, Pasta Fagioli Soup, Zuppa Toscana in our crockpot.

chicken gnocchi soup on ladle.

Why This Recipe Works

For starters, it is budget-friendly, which is something we could all use, right? It doesn’t call for many ingredients, and the ones that are necessary to have are inexpensive to purchase. You save even more money by using what you already have on hand.

This is also a meal that can go a long way. Whether you choose to keep the recipe as is or duplicate it to make more, the leftovers are just as good as if were freshly cooked.

Eating out can really add up, so save a few dollars and have a go at making creamy chicken gnocchi soup from scratch.

Recipe Ingredients

ingredients for chicken gnocchi soup on table with text overlay.
  • Gnocchi: Storebought potato gnocchi is all you need for this recipe (or homemade gnocchi). Depending on your local grocery store, it can be found in the pasta aisle, the fresh section, or in the freezer department. You can use mini gnocchi if you can find them.
  • Chicken Breasts: You’ll need about a pound and a half of boneless skinless chicken breasts.
  • Spinach: Fresh baby spinach is added toward the end of the cooking time to make sure it keeps the perfect texture and taste. You can use kale if you prefer.
  • Shredded Carrots: Add a nice crunch and pop of color to the gnocchi soup.
  • Liquids: Heavy cream and chicken broth are used to create the creamy soup base.
  • Cornstarch: When combined with the heavy cream and broth, cornstarch helps add thickness to the soup.
  • Celery: A must-have vegetable for this copycat recipe.
  • Herbs and Spices: Salt, pepper, thyme, parsley, basil, nutmeg, and bay leaves give this soup the perfect combination of flavor and taste. Nutmeg is the wild card but really adds a pop of flavor to the soup! I often add it to macaroni and cheese as well.
  • Shallots: Part of the onion family, shallots add a mild flavor.

Step-by-Step Instructions

collage on how to make chicken gnocchi soup in crockpot

Step One – Slice the celery, dice the shallots, and add it to the bottom of the crockpot along with the carrots, minced garlic, herbs, and spices. Then pour in the chicken broth. Add the uncooked chicken in at this time and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6 hours.

Step Two – Shred or dice the chicken and replace it back into the slow cooker along with the gnocchi.

Step Three – Pour in the cornstarch and heavy cream mixture and stir. Let the soup cook for 20 minutes more on HIGH or until thickened.

Step Four – Add the fresh spinach. The chicken and gnocchi soup is ready to serve once the spinach has wilted.

chicken gnocchi soup over head shot in crockpot.

How to serve

If you want to recreate a full Olive Garden meal, consider serving the soup with a fresh Italian green salad and breadsticks. You can also serve with toppings of shredded parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, or extra shredded chicken.

side view of chicken gnocchi soup

Variations

  • Potato Substitution: Easily switch out the potato gnocchi for actual diced potatoes. (Add at the beginning of the cooking time).
  • Add Extra Vegetables: In addition to the carrots, spinach, and celery, consider adding other veggies such as peas, diced zucchini or squash, and asparagus.
bowl of chicken gnocchi soup with spoon

Recipe FAQs

Can you freeze chicken gnocchi soup?

Yes. It will keep for a couple of months when the leftovers are stored in an airtight container. If keeping the leftovers in the refrigerator, eat within 5 days.

How do you make this soup more creamy?

To create a more creamy soup, simply add more heavy cream.

Can I use cooked chicken instead?

Yes! Use leftover rotisserie chicken or other leftover chicken. Add at the beginning of the cooking time to add flavor to the broth.

bowl of gnocchi soup in front of slow cooker

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chicken gnocchi soup over head shot in crockpot.

Slow Cooker Chicken Gnocchi Soup

4.91 from 30 votes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 22 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 47 minutes
Servings: 8
Make chicken gnocchi soup right in your slow cooker that tastes just like Olive Garden!

Ingredients  

  • 1 ½ lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 5 cups chicken stock

WAIT TO ADD

  • 1 lb potato gnocchi, (can use mini gnocchi)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, (or kale)

Instructions 

  • Add shallots, carrots, celery, garlic, herbs and spices and chicken stock to the slow cooker, and. Add the chicken breast into this mixture.
  • Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6.
  • Remove the chicken and shred the chicken with two forks (or you can dice it).
  • Cook gnocchi per package instructions. Drain.
  • Add shredded chicken and gnocchi to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
  • Mix the cornstarch into the cream until dissolved, then add to the slow cooker and stir. Let the soup cook for 20 minutes longer on high, or until thickened.
  • Add spinach and when wilted it is ready to serve (about 2 minutes).

Notes

Can I freeze this?
Yes. It will keep for a couple of months when the leftovers are stored in an airtight container. If keeping the leftovers in the refrigerator, eat within 5 days.
Can I use cooked chicken instead?
Yes! Use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken. Add at the beginning of the cooking time to add flavor to the broth.
How can I make this creamier?
To create a more creamy soup, simply add more heavy cream.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 686mg | Potassium: 657mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 6175IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.

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9 Comments

  1. Bri says:

    5 stars
    This is my second or third time making this recipe. It’s very good but I’d say it’s different than olive gardens but it’s not bad at all. I like to add more celery and diagonally slice the carrots (if that makes sense). I also like to add extra cornstarch to the heavy cream mixture. Serving it with garlic bread is perfect. This is definitely part of my monthly dinner roster in the colder months.

  2. Kathy says:

    5 stars
    I love it but I’d like it thicker. I ended using twice as cornstarch but still not as thick as I’d like. Think next time I will use less broth. But it’s still IMHO a keeper! Love your recipes

  3. Emily says:

    2 stars
    It was just okay. Doesn’t even compare to the Olive Garden version, unfortunately. Way too watery, almost devoid of any flavor. Proportions on all the veggies and chicken was way off, too. I was looking forward to the creamy, slightly thick OG soup, but this was more like a thin stew.

  4. Sarah Nordstrom says:

    Will this feed 5 adults and a couple kids or does it need to be doubled?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      I think it would be cutting it close. You could add touch more of everything to stretch it out.

  5. Muffin says:

    5 stars
    Made this today, wish I could give more that 5 stars. It was SO delicious.

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      Great to hear! Thank you for making it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    5 stars
    My husband LOVED this recipe! So yummy and great for a fall day!

  7. Amy says:

    5 stars
    This is a very very good recipe. Tastes just like Olive Garden’s.