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If you love Olive Garden’s Chicken Gnocchi Soup then you’ll love this Dutch Oven copycat, whipped up on the woodstove when you don’t have power or on the stovetop of course. A creamy, hearty soup with fresh vegetables, juicy chicken, and soft potato gnocchi is the perfect winter soup.
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Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi
We don’t go out to eat often but I am a sucker for Italian food. Okay, I know Olive Garden is the most American Italian food that you could ever imagine, but for this country girl it’s what we had access to. That is until a few years ago when they left our closest city. Next thing you know, I’m craving Olive Garden and have no restaurant to go to.
Add in winter and the possibility of loosing power with every wind or snow storm, and it’s best to have some recipes in your arsenal to cook without power. We have a woodstove. Not a wood cook stove, that’s different. But just a woodstove we use for heat in the winter months. So in order to avoid sandwiches for days, I’m taking the time now to create some delicious meals we can whip up on a moments notice on the woodstove. This recipe can also be made over an open fire or on the stovetop.
What is gnocchi?
Gnocchi is a mixture of potatoes, flour, and eggs. I liken it to a dumpling, but made primarily from potatoes. Many pasta companies make gnocchi as well as pasta, and it can be made gluten-free. Gnocchi is very quick to cook up and can be used instead of pasta or potatoes if desired in recipes such as minestrone soup, for a creamier outcome.
Where do I buy gnocchi?
Most grocers will have this in the pasta aisle as it is shelf stable. Some grocers such as Whole Foods may have it freshly prepared in the produce or cheese section. Sometimes it can even be found frozen. I use the shelf stable kind as my freezer is typically full of meat and my refrigerator with fresh produce.
Can I use precooked chicken?
Sure! If you have leftover chicken or canned chicken, feel free to pop that in the dish. White or dark meat works well here. You can even change things up and use pork instead. One thing about cooking on a woodstove is allowing the flavors to simmer together. If you can cut some corners with time in the way of prepping ingredients, you’ll have more time to let the flavors simmer together.
Alternate methods of cooking this chicken gnocchi soup
Slow Cooker: Sauté the vegetables and cook the chicken through first. Then add to a slow cooker with herbs and broth. You can leave on low for about 3 hours. The last hour, add the gnocchi, spinach, and cream.
Stovetop: Still use a Dutch oven and sauté the vegetables and herbs, cook the chicken, add the broth, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the gnocchi, spinach, and cream. The stovetop version is great for a quick meal on a weeknight as it’s ready in under 30 minutes.
Instant Pot: Cook the chicken cubes first on sauté mode with a Tablespoon of olive oil. Remove and set aside. Sauté the vegetables. Add all the ingredients into the Instant Pot except for the cream and cook at high pressure for just 5 minutes. Manually release the pressure and add the cream just before serving.
Watch Chicken Gnocchi Soup Video for the Woodstove Instructions
Handling the leftovers
Can this soup be frozen?
Technically yes and it can be frozen for a few months. However, you may notice the dairy separating. Once reheated and stirred it will taste just fine, the site can just be a little off-putting. But I assure you it’s still good! Best results are hand reheating on the stovetop over low heat.
You can refrigerate leftovers in an air tight container for up to 5 days.
Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- 5 quart dutch oven
- Cutting board
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup carrots diced, small
- 2 celery stalks diced, small
- 1 medium yellow onion diced, small
- 1 teaspoon sea salt fine
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1.5 pounds chicken breast diced into bite sized pieces
- 32 ounces chicken stock unsalted
- 16 ounces gnocchi DeLallo
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 3/4 cup heavy cream milk or half'n'half
- fresh parmesan cheese optional
- In a 5 quart Dutch oven over medium heat on the stovetop, sauté the carrots, celery, and onions with 2 Tablespoons olive oil for 5 minutes until tender. Add the herbs and spices. Sauté for 1 minute longer.
- Add diced chicken breasts and sauté until cooked through. About 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and gnocchi. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Stir in fresh spinach, cream and cheese if desired for about 3 minutes. Serve with bread, more cheese, and fresh black pepper.