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Olive Garden’s Chicken Gnocchi Soup: Copycat Recipe

cream soup with gnocchi, chicken and spinach served with bread close-up in a bowl on the table. Horizontal

Olive Garden’s Chicken Gnocchi Soup: Copycat Recipe

One of Olive Garden's most popular menu items is the hearty and comforting Chicken Gnocchi Soup. This delicious, creamy soup features tender pieces of roasted chicken, soft traditional Italian dumplings, and flavorful spinach.

While enjoying this soup with Olive Garden's endless breadsticks is great, you can easily replicate this recipe at home and feed the entire family for less money. Furthermore, if you are short on time, you can use rotisserie or leftover chicken and store-bought gnocchi for this recipe. We promise it will taste just as good as the Olive Garden original.

Caucasian family about to start an easter dinner at home
Enjoy unlimited helpings of copycat Olive Garden-style Chicken Gnocchi Soup with your loved ones at home.

Unlike many of today's restaurants, Olive Garden was established as a chain restaurant in 1982 rather than starting as an individual restaurant. The Italian family-themed chain restaurant experienced almost immediate success.

Olive Garden was initially famous for its unlimited salad helpings. Eventually, the restaurant began offering unlimited soups and breadsticks as well. No one is quite sure when its Chicken Gnocchi Soup first appeared on the menu. However, this savory soup has gained such popularity that people have been trying to recreate this hearty dish using online recipes since 2010.

In a recent Mashed poll, Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi Soup was ranked as the second most popular item on their menu, surpassing even some of their most well-known entrées. Furthermore, many people order this soup as an entrée because it is so filling and delicious.

Homemade Italian cream soup with potato gnocchi, Traditional Italian chicken gnocchi
Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi Soup has been on the menu for quite some time. The dish's popularity has resulted in a multitude of online copycat recipes since 2010.

What Ingredients Are In Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi Soup?

Olive Garden does not disclose the exact ingredients of this popular soup, but it does list some basic ingredients. Chicken, potato gnocchi dumplings, and a medley of vegetables such as onions, celery, and carrots are all simmered together in a flavorful chicken broth. The soup is enriched with heavy cream. Spinach is also a key ingredient in this soup, while garlic, thyme, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper provide well-balanced seasoning. Our copycat recipe incorporates these ingredients to replicate Olive Garden's soup as closely as possible.

Uncooked potato gnocchi. Tasty italian food. Top view.
Potato gnocchi is one of this soup's key ingredients, along with spinach and chicken.

Nutritional Information

While the calories aren't too offensive, the sodium count in Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi Soup is through the roof, which is one more reason to make it at home yourself. Here's a quick peek at the nutrition facts:

  • Calories: 230
  • Total Fat: 12g
  • Cholesterol: 55mg
  • Sodium: 1290mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 22g
  • Protein: 11g

Can I Make My Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup in a Slow Cooker?

You can definitely make this copycat soup in a slow cooker. We suggest using cooked, diced chicken. You will also need to sauté the garlic and vegetables before adding them to the slow cooker.

Using the ingredients and portions specified in the recipe below, follow these steps to prepare this Olive Garden copycat soup in a slow cooker.

  • Place the garlic and vegetables in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  • Next, add the liquids and all the other ingredients except the gnocchi, heavy cream, and spinach. You will add these three ingredients just before serving.
  • Cook this soup on low for three to four hours.
  • Add the gnocchi during the last hour of cooking.
  • Before serving, add the half-and-half and spinach, which should wilt quickly.

Finally, enjoy your copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup!

Tips for Making the Best Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Follow these simple tips to create the best version of our copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup at home.

  • Use high-quality plain potato gnocchi for the best texture and flavor.
  • If you are adventurous, you can make your own gnocchi.
  • Cornstarch can thicken soup. If you need to thicken your copycat soup, whisk a tablespoon of cornstarch with some broth before adding it to the simmering soup.
  • We recommend using fresh spinach in this recipe rather than frozen spinach. Unfortunately, frozen spinach will likely become mushy in this soup. The fresh spinach added at the end wilts immediately but stays fresh and light since it will not overcook.
Fresh spinach in a bowl on rustic wooden background
We suggest using fresh spinach instead of frozen spinach for our copycat recipe. Fresh spinach maintains its texture better than frozen spinach.

Helpful Chicken Tips for Copycat Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Since chicken is a key ingredient, here are some specific chicken tips for preparing this copycat soup recipe.

  • We recommend using pre-cooked, diced, boneless, skinless chicken for easier preparation. If cooking yourself, dice the chicken before cooking for quicker cooking time. Cook in olive oil until done, then season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • You can also buy pre-shredded, cooked chicken from the supermarket. It is pricier but more convenient. It is worth noting that using shredded chicken instead of cubed chicken will change the texture of the soup.
  • Another option is to shred a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. Many grocery stores reduce the price of rotisserie chicken at the end of the day. As a result, you might be able to find it at a discount just before closing time.
Rotisserie chickens for sale at a Costco store. A sign is visible on the chickens to inform customers that they are hot.
If you are short on time, use shredded rotisserie or pre-cooked chicken instead of preparing it from scratch.

What to Serve With Your Copycat Chicken Gnocchi Soup

While this hearty soup is satisfying by itself, you might want to consider adding some sides to complement your homemade Olive Garden-style soup. Here are some ideas for sides that would make great additions to your meal.

If you are feeling really hungry and need more than just sides, we have several options. Consider pairing this soup with our Easy Lasagna recipe. Or perhaps this one-pan Healthy Italian Vegetable Bake is more your speed. 

And, of course, you can never go wrong with a delicious Chicken Parmesan that the whole family will love. If you need more Olive Garden food, try some of these other Olive Garden recipes to pair with your soup. This soup would be great with Olive Garden's bruschetta or vegetable lasagna.

Granddaughter cooking dinner with her happy grandma
Whether you serve this copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi soup as the main course or as an appetizer, the serving options are endless.

How to Store Leftovers of Your Copycat Chicken Gnocchi Soup

After the soup has cooled to room temperature, store it in airtight containers. You can keep this soup in the refrigerator for up to a week. Furthermore, store it in the freezer for up to three months. When you are ready to enjoy it again, simply reheat it on the stovetop with a splash of water or broth if needed.

Frozen food in the freezer. Frozen vegetables, soup, ready meals in the freezer
Your copycat Chicken Gnocchi Soup can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

Final Thoughts

When you do not feel like making the trip to Olive Garden and dining out with the whole family, you can prepare a satisfying copycat Chicken Gnocchi Soup at home. Not only is it a convenient alternative, but it is also much cheaper than dining at the popular chain restaurant. Yes, even with the unlimited breadsticks.

If you are short on time, you can make this soup without compromising on flavor by using pre-cooked chicken and store-bought gnocchi. If you are a fan of slow cooking, you can easily adapt this recipe for the slow cooker with a few simple adjustments. However you choose to prepare this tasty copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup, you will feel like you are dining at the restaurant as the whole family requests unlimited servings.

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cream soup with gnocchi, chicken and spinach served with bread close-up in a bowl on the table. Horizontal

Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi Soup: Copycat Recipe

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  • Author: Bobbie Morris
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x


This copycat recipe reproduces the delicious Chicken Gnocchi Soup from Olive Garden.


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 package (16 ounces) potato gnocchi
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion, celery, and carrots. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes.

  2. Add the minced garlic to the pot and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

  3. Add the diced chicken breasts to the pot and cook until they are no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.

  4. Pour in the chicken broth and add the dried thyme, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Bring the soup to a simmer and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

  5. Stir in the heavy cream and bring the soup back to a simmer.

  6. Add the potato gnocchi to the pot and cook according to the package instructions, usually about 2-4 minutes until they float to the surface.

  7. Once the gnocchi are cooked, add the fresh spinach leaves to the pot and stir until wilted.

  8. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

  9. Serve the soup hot, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

  • Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35-45 minutes
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