Gnocchi … those cute little potato dumplings that make a great pasta alternative. But have you ever tried adding them to a soup? Add chicken, veg and fairly low-calorie evaporated milk as well, and this Olive Garden copycat crockpot chicken gnocchi soup is one of the tastiest soups I’ve ever had!
Everyone loves a good chicken soup, but when you add the word ‘creamy’ into the mix, and it can be made in a slow cooker, you know you’re really on to a winner!
I discovered this crockpot chicken gnocchi soup recipe a very long time ago, but still make it regularly. It’s hearty, healthy, and absolutely delicious. Not to mention that it can almost make itself while you’re at work, like all the best slow cooker recipes.
When we ate this hearty chicken gnocchi soup, it was thick enough to be almost like a casserole – rich and creamy (but NOT too calorific!), warming, and flavoursome. BUT that’ s only because I was serving it for Sunday lunch and wanted it to be a proper meal. The beauty of this soup is that you can serve it like this, or keep it a lot thinner and serve it more like a regular soup.
A great comfort food dish… but lighter!
The other great thing about this crockpot chicken gnocchi soup is that although this is a lovely comfort-food style creamy soup, it’s pretty light. You see, I used evaporated milk in it and not cream.
The last time I had evaporated milk was over tinned fruit back in the eighties, but trust me, its rich texture means it’s perfect for this. And for mac and cheese, ice cream, cheese sauce, milkshakes and all sorts of other things … 🙂
Plenty of veggies… and soooo creamy!
So … what else is so great about this Olive Garden soup recipe? Well, it’s got plenty of veggies in the form of carrots, celery, onion and spinach in it (tick), and lots of chicken protein and yummy gnocchi carbs, making it a complete meal (tick).
AND it pretty much makes itself because you dump it in the crockpot and run away (tick). Oh, and did I mention it’s lovely and creamy?
For those of you who have ever been to Olive Garden in the US, yes, they do sell a popular soup quite a lot like this creamy chicken soup. I can’t promise it’ll taste exactly like it, but it’s a pretty good Olive Garden copycat recipe!
How to serve this delicious soup:
Consider serving this soup with some toasted fresh crusty bread drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with a bit of salt. I used my favourite packaged focaccia bread.
Let me know if you try making this soup in an Instant pot (affiliate link)!
Or you wouldn’t go far wrong using a traditional Crock-Pot like this for this recipe (affiliate link)!
Crockpot chicken gnocchi soup (Olive Garden copycat)
A hearty, creamy and nutritious soup stuffed with chicken, gnocchi and vegetables... just like the one you love at Olive Garden! Delicious!
- 1.5 pounds chicken breasts skinless boneless
- 1 onion large, chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and sliced
- 4 sticks celery chopped
- 4.5 cups chicken broth (UK=chicken stock)
- 1 tablespoon mixed Italian herbs e.g. basil, thyme, oregano
- 1 can evaporated milk (mine was 400 grams/14 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in a little water
- 16 ounces gnocchi
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and crushed or chopped
- 7 ounces spinach fresh
- salt and pepper to taste
Place the chicken, onion, carrots, celery, stock and herbs in the crockpot and cook on low for six hours minimum (or high for four).
Shred the chicken in the pot, then stir in the evaporated milk, cornstarch, and gnocchi. Replace the lid of the pot.
Now heat up a little oil in a frying pan and cook the garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the spinach to the pan and cook until wilted (a couple of minutes). Add the spinach and garlic to the crockpot along with plenty of salt and pepper to taste.
Adjust the thickness of the soup to your liking (if too thin, add a little more cornflour mixed with water, if a little thick, add some water). Then serve in big bowls with toasted bread drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt (if desired).
If you’d prefer your soup to be more like a hearty chowder or casserole, just add a tablespoon or two more of cornflour.
The soup is lovely heated up the next day, but I find some of the liquid is soaked up by the gnocchi in the fridge, so you might want to add some water when you re-heat it to thin it out again.