Learn how to make quick and easy Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup without the half and half. It takes only one pot, delicious ingredients, and less than 30 minutes for this comforting soup.
Chicken Noodle Soup has just received an upgrade! Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi Soup has been sitting in my ''recipe to-do list'' for a while now.
There is something about creamy chicken dishes that most of us love so much. If you love gnocchi, you will definitely appreciate a new, non-classic way of eating them in this recipe!
We like to serve this soup with Smoked Chicken and Beet Salad, delicious Roasted Pesto Potato Salad, and for a more fulfilling meal Hawaiian Macaroni Salad.
Why We Love This
- Pillowy gnocchi, juicy chicken breast, and fresh veggies make a fulfilling and healthy bowl of creamy soup without adding any heavy cream or cheese.
- It is my take on the widely popular Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup recipe. My version is healthier and lighter for the whole family to enjoy.
- If you are looking for the best soup recipe that is quick to make and healthy at the same time then I'm sure this may become your favorite weeknight meal. It consists of simple ingredients that don't require long cooking times.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Gnocchi (pronounced NYOW-kee) - I used packed gnocchi that can be found in most grocery stores. But any fresh-packed gnocchi (in Europe, these can be found in the fridge section near tortellini). You can use either fresh or frozen gnocchi - I didn’t find much of a difference in texture or flavor. Substitutions - small shell or orzo pasta.
- Butter - is optional but highly recommended. Butter in combination with olive oil adds that additional coating of rich creaminess to the soup. One tablespoon is to start but you can increase up to 2 if you feeling adventurous. I haven’t tried it, but believe that a good plant-based alternative ‘’butter’’ will work wonders too!
- Celery - sliced medium-thick, which will both add an incredible depth of flavor to the broth and keep the veg on the firmer side by the end of cooking. Celery cut too thin usually becomes very mushy in the soup.
- Shredded Chicken - This soup is very quick to throw together and precooked chicken makes it even easier. I like to boil chicken breasts or chicken tenders until no longer pink and shred them with a fork or an electric handheld mixer.
- Tender chicken pieces are the way to go, don't overboil the chicken. Alternatively use chicken thighs (the meat is darker and will change the overall look and feel of the soup but the meat is more tender). More substitutions: homemade baked chicken, or rotisserie chicken.
- Soy cooking cream or heavy cream - you can use this plant-based alternative to heavy cream or half and half anywhere you would use its dairy equivalent.
- Mushrooms - Cremini mushrooms are preferred because they have more flavor than plain white button mushrooms.
- Carrots - depending on the thickness of the veg I like to slice it into medium thin half-moons or medium cubes.
- Garlic - use two good size garlic cloves for optimal flavor. Garlic changes the whole flavor of the soup and if used too little, the whole richness of flavor will be gone.
- Spinach - fresh is preferred as the frozen will not work well and will change the whole texture of the soup. Frozen spinach leaves will be watery and become separated after thawing.
- Vegan gnocchi soup - this could easily be turned into 100% vegan. Protein: swap the chicken for white beans or a mix of beans and lentils. Or go for completely ‘’only veggies’’ soup.
- Dairy: besides butter, there is no dairy here and this too, can be swapped to a plant-based butter alternative or left completely out and more oil used instead. Plant-based cooking creams are no worse than dairy creams. They have enough creaminess and richness to them and if needed a thicker soup, that can be achieved by adding extra cornstarch.
For the full list of ingredients, please scroll down where you'll find the recipe card.
✅ Craving more soup? You'll love this Italian Sausage Soup and Cabbage Roll Soup and Pasta Fazool.
In a large pot or dutch oven melt butter and cooking oil over medium-high heat.
Add onion, carrots, celery, and mushrooms.
Saute for 2 minutes and add garlic, a generous amount of salt and black pepper, red chili flakes, thyme, rosemary, and Italian seasoning.
Saute for 2 more minutes.
Make cornstarch slurry. In a measuring jug combine cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water.
Pour in the warm broth and cornstarch slurry. Take it to a gentle boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the soup has thickened. Add in the gnocchi and chicken.
Simmer until gnocchi are softened (usually 3-5 minutes) and stir in the spinach. Once the spinach has reduced in half take the pot off the heat and stir in the soy cream.
Make sure the soup is not burning hot or simmering when you add in the cream as it may curdle. Let the creamy broth stand for 5 minutes and serve with fresh herbs, black pepper, more crushed red chili flakes, and garlic bread on the side.
- The soup will further thicken once refrigerated. Add milk, more cream, broth, or warm water when reheating to thin it out.
- Add gnocchi to the soup towards the end of cooking as instructed in the recipe. Do not cook them for any longer than 2-3 minutes (once they start to float they are ready), as anything more than that will make them overcooked and too soft.
- Tender gnocchi and not mushy gnocchi is what we want to have here,
Freezing and Storing Instructions
How long does chicken gnocchi soup last? Refrigerate this soup for 2-3 days, anything after that the soup will lose its richness and turn gnocchi into a very soft pasta-like texture.
To keep the soup fresh for longer, one way is to cook the gnocchi separately and add it to individual bowls when reheating the soup leftovers.
Freezing - as with most cream-based soups or sauces it is best to consume this recipe fresh, right after it’s made.
The cream will separate after thawing and the flavor will become watery and not rich as it should.
Thank you so much for reading on how to make chicken gnocchi soup without half and half.
Please feel free to comment with any questions you may have! I love reading your feedback.
When we add gnocchi to the soup it is usually done at the end of cooking. It only takes a couple of minutes for the gnocchi to rise to the top which indicates their doneness.
They should soften but still keep their firm texture and shape. I wouldn’t recommend cooking them in advance or any longer than required on the packaging.
No, you don’t have to boil gnocchi before adding it to the soup. Gnocchi only requires a couple of minutes in simmering water to float and soften.
The traditional way is to simmer gnocchi then serve right away with sauce and a little cheese. However here we are adding the gnocchi to the soup last without cooking it longer which helps to preserve gnocchi texture and shape.
Gnocchi can be bought fresh and vacuum-packed, in some places you can even find frozen gnocchi. Fresh gnocchi has a more gentle and lighter texture, but both of these taste very similar.
Once the gnocchi are opened from the vacuum pack they should be cooked right away or any leftovers refrigerated in a tightly packed container or vacuum-sealed bag (no more than 2-3 days).
Gnocchi are traditionally made with cooked mashed potatoes, eggs, and flour. In Italian: Gnocchi di patate).
But there are many variations of gnocchi such as Gnocchi Alla Romana (made with semolina) french style Gnocchi Parisienne (made with flour, eggs, and a mix of herbs, cheese), ricotta gnocchi, spinach gnocchi, and many more.
Easy Chicken Recipes
Easy Soup Recipes
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Chicken Gnocchi Soup (Without Half and Half)
- 1 pound potato gnocchi fresh or dried
- 1 and ½ cup chicken cooked and shredded
- 2 medium carrots grated or sliced
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes optional
- Salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon Black pepper + more for garnish
- 1 and ½ cup soy cream
- 2 cups fresh spinach baby or regular
- 5 cups warm low sodium vegetable or chicken broth or hot water mixed with bouillon cube
- 7 oz cremini mushrooms sliced thin
- 2 medium cloves garlic minced
- ½ medium brown onion small diced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 medium stalks of celery sliced medium thick
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Fresh rosemary thyme, parsley for garnish
- In a large pot or dutch oven melt butter and cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Saute for 2 minutes and add garlic, a generous amount of salt and black pepper, red chili flakes, thyme, rosemary, and Italian seasoning. Saute for 2 more minutes.
- Make cornstarch slurry. In a measuring jug combine cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water.
- Pour in the warm broth and cornstarch slurry. Take it to a gentle boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the soup has thickened. Add in the gnocchi and chicken. Simmer until gnocchi are softened (usually 3-5 minutes) and stir in the spinach. Once the spinach has reduced in half take the pot off the heat and stir in the soy cream. Make sure the soup is not burning hot or simmering when you add in the cream as it may curdle. Let the creamy broth stand for 5 minutes and serve with fresh herbs, black pepper, more crushed red chili flakes, and garlic bread on the side.
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