How to Make Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup

This quick Olive Garden chicken gnocchi soup is best when served with homemade breadsticks!

In our house, every season is soup season. We love making soup because it’s a great way to use up vegetables and we’ll have leftovers for days. And of all the different soup recipes out there, there’s nothing as comforting as chicken soup. I made this Olive Garden chicken gnocchi soup once and knew I needed the recipe in my soup rolodex!

If you ask me, this copycat version is even more delicious than the original, and fast enough to make a great weeknight meal. You might even have enough time to whip up some of Olive Garden’s famous breadsticks or other Olive Garden copycat recipes.

How to Make Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup at Home

ingredients for copy cat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup measured out on a kitchen counter, view from aboveJamie Thrower for Taste of Home


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrot, shredded
  • 1 cup celery, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and cut in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 package potato gnocchi, 16 ounces
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chives, sliced


Step 1: Saute vegetables

sautéing onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a dutch oven pot on the stoveJamie Thrower for Taste of Home

In a Dutch oven, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic, plus a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally for 8 minutes until vegetables soften but still have a bite.

While vegetables are cooking, bring the chicken stock up to a simmer in a separate pot.

Step 2: Make roux

adding flour to the vegetables in the pot to make a rouxJamie Thrower for Taste of Home

Add flour to the vegetables and stir well for 1 minute. Gradually pour in the simmering stock, whisking constantly. The mixture will begin to thicken. Keep whisking for about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken and gnocchi and cook for another 5 minutes, continuing to stir.

Step 3: Finish with cream and spinach

adding cream and spinach to the dutch oven pot in the stoveJamie Thrower for Taste of Home

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add cream, spinach and thyme, and mix well.

Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Served garnished with pepper and chives and enjoy!

Tips for Making Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup

How can you make this Olive Garden soup thicker?

This recipe uses a roux as the thickener, combining flour, butter and warm broth to do the heavy lifting. If you follow the recipe and use heavy cream, you’ll get the thick and creamy chicken soup of your dreams! Another way to thicken your soup is to use cornstarch as a thickener, whisking a tablespoon of cornstarch with some broth before whisking it into the simmering soup.

Don’t forget that your soup will thicken as it cooks, so you can always keep it simmering to thicken it to your liking. And whatever leftovers you have will thicken even more as they cool and set.

Can you use other kinds of chicken in copycat Olive Garden chicken gnocchi soup?

Yep. This soup takes so well to substitutions. You can substitute shredded chicken for the classic cubes—either store-bought or homemade—and it will be an equally delicious soup.

Can you make your own gnocchi for this copycat soup?

Yes! Part of what makes this Olive Garden chicken gnocchi soup so quick and easy is the store-bought gnocchi, which work well in this recipe and other gnocchi dishes. But sometimes you want to go above and beyond, so if you’d like to doubly impress your guests, then try your hand at homemade gnocchi.

Can you use frozen spinach in copycat Olive Garden chicken gnocchi soup?

No, we don’t recommend it. The one substitution you’ll want to stay away from is using frozen spinach in lieu of fresh spinach. Frozen spinach is great for many uses, but the texture will be a bit mushy for this soup. The fresh spinach thrown in at the end will wilt immediately but stay quite fresh and light since it’s not overcooked.

How else can you cook chicken gnocchi soup?

If you’re looking for an even less hands-on version of this soup, the slow cooker is where it’s at. You can set it in the morning, and return in the evening to add the roux and spinach.

How should you store chicken gnocchi soup?

Once the soup has cooled, store it in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat on the stovetop with a splash of water or broth if needed.

Copycat Olive Garden Soups, Salad and Breadsticks
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Risa Lichtman
Risa Lichtman is a chef and writer living in Portland, Oregon. She is the owner/chef of Lepage Food & Drinks, a small food company featuring Jewish seasonal foods, providing takeaway all around Portland. She has previously published poems in Poetica Magazine, the anthology The Art of Bicycling, Maggid: A Journal of Jewish Literature, and The Dos Passos Review. She lives with her wife Jamie, their dog Isaac, and their cat Sylvia. Follow her at @risaexpizza, or find her delicious food offerings on @lepagefoodanddrinks.