This Chicken Gnocchi Soup is restaurant quality, but SO easy to make! It’s ultra creamy, packed with bacon and vegetables, and ready in under an hour.
This chicken gnocchi soup is a hug in a bowl! It’s creamy and comforting, absolutely jam-packed with nutrients, and tastes like everyone’s favorite soup from Olive Garden! Win. Win. WIN!
- Bacon – use thick-cut bacon, because it’s easier to slice before cooking than “regular”. Bacon adds a great smoky flavor and crispy, yet chewy texture. Replace the bacon with 1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter if you’d like to keep this free from pork.
- Onion, Carrots, and Celery – a “mirepoix” is a common base for soups to provide flavor and texture. Any variety of onion (white, red, yellow or shallots) may be used.
- Garlic – adds a nutty flavor. Use fresh cloves or even pre-minced jarred garlic. If using fresh, I love my garlic press to mince the garlic.
- Spices: Italian Seasoning, Salt, and Pepper – this simple seasoning blend adds the perfect amount of flavor without overpowering the other ingredients. Want a kick? Throw in some red pepper flakes.
- Chicken Broth – the base for our soup to create a broth that’s thick, but not too thick. Vegetable broth may be used as a substitute. Water may also be used, but the broth won’t be as flavorful and you’ll definitely need to add additional seasonings.
- Half and Half – a dairy product that’s half cream half milk. If half and half isn’t available — make your own! Use 1 cup cream and 1 cup milk of choice to replace the pint called for in the original recipe.
- Gnocchi – an Italian “dumpling” made with flour, egg, salt, and potato. Store-bought or homemade will work and if you’d like to make this dish gluten free, use or make a gluten-free variety! Frozen gnocchi will also work.
- Chicken – use store-bought rotisserie chicken for easy prep! Any leftover, cooked chicken will work; you’ll need about 1 pound (about 4 cups cubed or shredded).
- Spinach – chopped into bite sized pieces for the best texture! Chopping is optional, but I personally find uncut spinach in soups to have a really stringy texture. Spinach adds a ton of nutrients without really impacting the flavor which is great! Kale may be used if you enjoy kale.
- Cream Cheese – adds a rich, tangy flavor and creamy texture. Be sure to cube and bring the cream cheese to room temperature so it melts quickly and evenly into the soup.
- Cheese: Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago – aka the “salad blend” by Belgioioso. Feel free to use any combination of those cheeses if you can’t find the salad blend. These cheeses add a nutty, sharp, salty flavor to the soup which is absolutely delicious!
How to make
- Cook bacon in a large stockpot, remove, then sauté onion, carrots, celery, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper until the vegetables have softened.
- Stir in chicken broth and half-and-half, then bring to a simmer.
- Add in gnocchi, chicken, spinach, and cream cheese, then simmer according to gnocchi box directions until the gnocchi is cooked.
- Stir in the cheese blend and crispy bacon, then taste and re-season, if necessary.
Should i use homemade or store-bought gnocchi?
Homemade or store-bought, fresh or frozen gnocchi may be used in this soup recipe… the choice is yours! I use “regular” store-bought for ease. Regardless of what you use, be sure to cook in the soup broth according to recipe or box directions.
Should i cook gnocchi before adding to soup?
No. The gnocchi should be stirred in uncooked; it cooks in the broth and soaks up all those delicious flavors! Again, be sure to follow the simmer directions that will be found on the back of the box.
Can i make this in the slow cooker?
This one-pot wonder is quick, but if you’d like a throw and go recipe to make before work, then make it in the crockpot instead!
- Place diced bacon into a large skillet, then cook, stirring regularly, over medium heat until the bacon is crispy. Remove and set aside.
- Grease a 6 quart crockpot with cooking spray, stir in the veggies, spices, chicken broth, and half-and-half, then cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.
- Uncover, stir in the gnocchi, chicken, spinach, cream cheese, and cheese blend, then cover and cook on HIGH for 15-45 minutes or until the gnocchi is cooked to your liking (time varies on gnocchi used).
- Stir in the crispy bacon, taste and re-season, if necessary, then serve and enjoy!
- Omit the bacon. Use 1/4-1/2 cup unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil instead.
- Use raw chicken. Use 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs to replace the cooked chicken. Once the broth and half-and-half are simmering, add in the raw meat, cover, and simmer until cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. Continue with recipe as directed.
- Swap out the gnocchi. Use your favorite pasta instead!
- Try another protein. Try Italian sausage (links or crumbled).
- Make it dairy free. Use dairy-free creamer to replace the half-and-half, vegan cream cheese for the regular cream cheese, and omit the parmesan.
- Make it gluten-free. Use your favorite gluten free gnocchi!
What to serve with chicken gnocchi soup
This soup needs bread for dunking and a side salad to keep things fresh!
- Beer Bread
- Garlic Bread
- Rhodes Rolls
- Air Fryer Biscuits
- Leafy Green Salad with any of these Salad Dressings!
How to store
Leftovers will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. I don’t recommend freezing the soup, because the texture of the gnocchi may be affected.
Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Equipment for this recipe
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon roughly chopped
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 (32 oz) carton chicken broth
- 2 pints half and half room temperature
- 1 (16 oz) box gnocchi store-bought or homemade, fresh or frozen
- 1 pound cooked and cubed chicken about 4 cups cubed (I used 1 store-bought rotisserie chicken)
- 1 (5 oz) bag spinach roughly chopped
- 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese cubed and softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan, romano, and asiago cheese blend
- Heat a large stockpot over medium heat, add in bacon, then cook until crispy.
- Reserve grease, but remove bacon, set aside and crumble.
- To the hot grease, add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Saute for 10 minutes, or until the carrots have softened, stirring regularly.
- Stir in chicken broth, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom, then stir in half-and-half and bring to a simmer.
- Stir in gnocchi, chicken, spinach, and cream cheese, then simmer according to gnocchi box directions until the gnocchi is cooked.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the cheese blend and crispy bacon, then taste and re-season, if necessary.
- Serve and enjoy!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.