This hearty and comforting chicken and gnocchi soup is simple to make in your slow cooker and delicious to eat. It’s a tasty, easy dinner the whole family will love!
Filling and satisfying soups that are also complete meals are the best way to feed your entire family and keep warm on a cold day. My stove top, crock pot, and Instant Pot recipes like this Instant Pot Sausage Spinach Soup are easy, kid-friendly, and taste incredible!
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One-Pot Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup Recipe
I don’t think it gets much better than a copycat soup recipe that ends up tasting better than the original! This Olive Garden-inspired chicken gnocchi soup is creamy, delicious and so simple to make. It actually reminds me of zuppa toscana soup. It’s a family-friendly soup made in one pot which makes it an easy meal for a cozy weekend or a busy weeknight. Then again, it looks and tastes gourmet enough to serve a special crowd!
This hearty crockpot soup has a cream base but it’s not too thick. It’s flavor-loaded but leaves room for the tender pieces of chicken and gnocchi to shine through. The veggies and Italian seasoning add a ton of beautiful flavors and everything comes together so perfectly in every spoonful!
What Is Gnocchi?
Gnocchi are tiny Italian dumplings made mostly of flour, potato, cheese, and sometimes a couple of binding ingredients like egg or breadcrumbs. They can be made plain or have additional herbs and seasoning for added flavor.
They’re typically eaten as a main dish, along with the sauce, much like pasta. It’s a bit of a process to make them from scratch, however when it’s done right, it completely worth the wait!
For this recipe, we’re using store-bought gnocchi which is readily available in most grocery stores and is an effortless shortcut that gets the job done!
- Chicken broth – I prefer to use low sodium chicken broth and it’s what I recommend, however if you use regular or homemade chicken stock you’ll be just fine.
- Chicken – Boneless and skinless chicken breasts will give you the most meat, however you could opt to use chicken thighs or even leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken.
- Veggies – Carrots and celery along with onion will create the mirepoix flavor base of this soup. A quick hack would be to use a mirepoix mix which is celery carrots and onions already diced and ready to go.
- Aromatics – You’ll need 3 cloves of garlic along with some diced onion for this soup. Yum!
- Seasoning – Italian seasoning, salt, and red pepper flakes. If you prefer less spice, you can substitute with black pepper instead.
- Gnocchi – As I say homemade gnocchi is amazing, however store bought potato gnocchi is a great option as well.
- Spinach – Fresh spinach will wilt nicely in the heat and absorb a ton of the flavor.
- Heavy cream & cornstarch – When mixed together and added at the end it gives the soup broth its thick, creamy consistency.
Step By Step: How To Make Chicken And Gnocchi Soup
Enjoying a bowl of this restaurant-style soup is just a few steps away! With a little extra time, the low and slow method is worth the wait!
Step 1: Add the chicken broth and place the chicken breasts on the bottom of the slow cooker. Then add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic over top.
Step 2: Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt, and red pepper flakes. Close the lid and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6.
Step 3: Remove the chicken and transfer it to a food processor for shredding. You can also use a bowl and two forks if you’d prefer.
Step 4: Return the chicken to the slow cooker and add the gnocchi and spinach.
Step 5: Mix the heavy cream and cornstarch and pour it into the crockpot and stir everything to combine well.
Step 6: Cook for another 30 minutes until the gnocchi is tender.
Tips & Variations
1. Skip cooking the chicken altogether and use a rotisserie chicken. Just shred it and add it in with the gnocchi and spinach.
2. Swap the spinach for Kale if you’d like. Just don’t use the frozen stuff. Keep it fresh!
3. Using store-bought gnocchi is quicker, but making homemade gnocchi is wonderful too!
4.Substitute whole milk, low fat or skim milk instead of heavy cream for a lower calorie option. Substitute non-dairy milk if preferred.
6. Substitute thyme for Italian seasoning.
7. Add 3-4 slices of chopped, cooked bacon. Because well, it’s bacon.
How Do I Serve This?
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Due to the dairy and gnocchi, it’s not a very freezer-friendly soup. This is because the dairy starts to separate and it changes the consistency which looks unappealing and ends up tasting watered down.
If you’re only heating a small bowl, go ahead and use the microwave. Otherwise, on the stovetop over low heat is how I like to reheat mine.
Slow Cooker Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- Slow Cooker
- 4 cups chicken broth low sodium
- 1 ½ pounds chicken breasts boneless skinless
- 2 large carrots peeled and sliced
- 2 stalks celery sliced
- 1 small onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 16 ounces gnocchi
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Add the chicken broth to the slow cooker.
- Then, place in the chicken breasts and add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic over top.
- Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning, salt, and red pepper flakes.
- Cook on high for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low
- Remove the chicken from the crock pot and shred it. (I like to use the food processor but you can shred it with two forks as well).
- Return the chicken to the slow cooker and add the gnocchi and spinach.
- In a medium bowl, mix the heavy cream and cornstarch together thoroughly and pour it over everything in the slow cooker and stir to combine well.
- Cook for an additional 30 minutes on high or until the gnocchi are tender.