This quick and easy copycat version of Olive Garden’s Chicken Gnocchi Soup is creamy, delicious and comes together in thirty minutes. Ideal for a quick weeknight meal or any other time you want something hearty, filling and satisfying. Don’t forget to serve it with some bread to sop up all that creamy goodness. You know it’s a good recipe when your family says “you should sell this”.
HERE’S HOW TO MAKE IT
Shred a store bought rotisserie chicken into bite size pieces, discarding skin and bones – should yield 2-2 1/2 cups of chicken white and dark meat. I like to shred the chicken with my hands instead of cubing the meat with a knife. Dice a medium onion, a celery rib and grate a medium carrot. Have the other ingredients readily available and all liquids measured and ready to go.
Heat a wide heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat and coat the bottom of the pot with extra virgin olive oil. I usually drizzle olive oil in a zig-zag format from one end of the pot to the other instead of measuring. Add the chopped onion, celery and carrot and sauté until onion is transparent, about 3 – 5 minutes, stirring frequently. When you add the vegetables, they should sizzle upon contact with with hot pan.
Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn’t stick or burn.
Note: This squeeze garlic is a life saver in the kitchen! It’s a quality product and I always have an unopened bottle in my pantry. When the produce selection is lacking or when I’m in a hurry, this squeeze garlic saves the day!
Add 4 cups of chicken stock, shredded chicken meat, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon white ground pepper, 1 teaspoon ground thyme and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Stir to blend well and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Make a slurry by whisking together a little liquid (about 1/3 cup of chicken stock or half & half) with 1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch. A slurry is a thickener often used in cooking and can be applied when making custards, sauces and soups.
Slurry vs. Roux? A roux is equal parts of butter and flour that is cooked at the beginning to thicken a sauce or soup. It adds extra fat and if you don’t cook the flour properly, it can ruin the dish. A slurry is cornstarch dissolved in liquid and added at the end of the cooking process to thicken a sauce or soup. Unlike a roux it doesn’t add extra fat and you don’t need to cook it out. Each method has its benefits and they are valuable to know. Depending on the recipe, you may use one of these thickening technique.
Add gnocchi, half & half and cornstarch slurry. Stir well to combine, bring to temperature then cover and simmer for 5 minutes. The gnocchi cooks in a few minutes and the cornstarch slurry will quickly thicken the soup. Add baby spinach and stir to combine. Cover and cook just until the spinach has wilted, but retains the bright green color. Overcooked greens can turn gray that’s why you add them at the end.
Once the spinach has wilted and the soup is creamy, taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. When for a large family, I find it’s always best to add less salt at the beginning and adjust at the end. Remember each person can also salt their individual serving.
Serve in a big bowl with a piece of bread to sop up all the creamy goodness just like at the Olive Garden. Delish. Enjoy the soup and all the praise!
Chicken, Gnocchi and Spinach Soup (Olive Garden Copycat)
A delicious copycat version of Olive Garden's delicious Chicken Gnocchi Soup. This recipe uses store bought rotisserie chicken so you can enjoy a hearty and tasty soup in 30 minutes.
- 1 store bought rotisserie chicken, meat pulled and shredded (about 2 cups of meat)
- enough extra virgin olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 celery rib, diced
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced or mashed
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt prefer Diamond brand
- ½ teaspoon white ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground thyme
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 14 – 15 oz. package potato gnocchi
- 2 cups half & half can substitute with whole milk
- ⅓ cup liquid – stock, half & half, heavy cream or water
- 1 ½ – 2 Tablespoons corn starch
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
Shred the chicken meat into bit-size pieces and discard the skin and bones. Set aside.
Heat a wide pot over medium-high heat and coat the bottom of the pot with extra virgin olive oil. Add the chopped onion, celery and carrot and sauté until onion is transparent, about 3 – 5 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
Add chicken stock, shredded chicken meat, kosher salt, white ground pepper, ground thyme and ground nutmeg. Stir to blend well and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Make a slurry by whisking together about 1/3 cup of liquid with 1 ½ – 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch. This will help thicken the sauce. Set aside.
Note: the liquid could be chicken stock, half & half, whipping cream or water.
Add gnocchi, half & half and cornstarch slurry. Stir well to combine, bring to temperature then cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add baby spinach and stir to combine. Cover and cook just until the spinach has wilted.
Once the spinach has wilted, taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Serve immediately and enjoy!