One of my favorite places in the world is Italy, and from my encounters, I am not alone. The people, the culture, the history, the architecture, and oh, the food!
One of my favorite souvenirs to bring back from my travels, are authentic recipes. They allow me to not only share some of the smells and tastes with my family and friends, but I also get to “relive” my trip.
And although many wouldn’t consider Olive Garden as “authentic” Italian, you can’t deny that whatever you want to call it, it’s quite good! Anyone who has ever been to Olive Garden, always ends up leaving with a favorite dish.
For me, it’s the Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup. It reminds me of one of my most amazing and memorable travel adventures I have ever had.
I was booked for a group tour to visit the Amalfi coast while in Sorrento, Italy, a few years back but ended up skipping it because *gasp* I had work I needed to finish that morning that couldn’t be deferred.
I can’t tell you how upset I was with myself (and this is a big reason why I try to travel without the burden of work as much as possible”.
But anyway, when I wrapped up what I needed to do, I didn’t want to let the day go to waste so I decided to walk to the bus station to see if perhaps I could catch the bus to see at least one of the coastal towns close by.
I hadn’t gotten 3 blocks from my hotel when I was stopped by a young man trying to get customers for the restaurant he worked at.
I was on a mission to get to the bus station in the central part of town and this was on a bare street next to nothing – no view, not even any other sops or buildings! I politely declined, determined to find myself an Italian adventure.
The young gentleman persisted in his pleading and said that his mother makes fresh pasta daily for the restaurant and if I wanted to come take a look, she was making something now.
To to make a long story short (because I know you’re here for the recipe and not my story), but his mother ended up teaching me how to make fresh gnocchi from scratch.
She sent what we made to the kitchen where the chef made one of the most amazing dishes I have ever had with it.
After a leisurely 2 hour meal, I realized I no longer had time to visit the neighboring towns according to the bus schedule. I was a little sad while walking back to my hotel, but quite satisfied with the experience I had just had.
I walked maybe 1 block when someone pulled up next to me on a scooter. It was another son of the Gnocchi mom, who asked if I needed a ride anywhere.
Grabbing my chance at luck, I said I’d love it if he showed me around his town and just like that, my Best Day in Italy Ever continued with the most amazing scooter tour of the Amalfi coast – complete with an intimate tour of Sorrento with stops at his family farm, a Limoncello orchard and a local restaurant with the best homemade Chianti I’ve ever had.
I couldn’t have planned a better day if I tried!
It’s still my best travel adventure to date that introduced me to Gnocchi and has made it one of my most favorite Italian dishes ever.
How can I make my Olive Garden Gnocchi Soup more authentic?
If you’d like to make my Olive Garden Gnocchi Soup Recipe below even better, why not try making the potato Gnocchi from scratch?
It isn’t as tricky as you think and if you get the kids involved, it could become a favored memory for years to come! Who knows, maybe you’ll start a new family tradition.
If you don’t have the time or skills to make gnocchi from scratch, that is completely ok and your chicken gnocchi soup will taste great regardless – promise.
Depending on how much time you have and what is available at your local store, you can use whatever type of gnocchi best works for you. That means fresh, packaged, frozen or home made are all OK!
What kind of cooked chicken should I use?
You can use almost any type of cooked chicken you would like for this recipe. To keep the recipe as authentic as possible, you can use cubed boiled or baked chicken breast or thighs.
If you’re in a pinch for time, you could pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and simply pull meat off that. This option is also great for those that like a more tender chicken as sometimes baked chicken breast can get tough or chewy.
Does Gnocchi soup freeze well?
Can you freeze this Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup leftovers? Yes, you sure can! This soup freezes well and can be stored in an air-tight container for a couple months this way (but we bet it won’t last that long!).
We recommend packaging the soup in individual size portions when freezing so you can enjoy this easily on a busy weeknight. Simply rewarm in a soup pan. If the soup has thickened, just add a small amount of water.
Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup Recipe
Just thinking of the onions, carrots, celery, and chicken breast in that delicious creamy soup at Olive Garden has my mouth watering already. Click to watch the full recipe video here.
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 small Onion, diced
- 2 stalks Celery, diced
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 cups Half and Half Cream (*use Heavy Cream for a more rich soup)
- 4 cups Chicken Broth
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, to taste
- 1 medium carrot, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 cups Spinach, packed
- 1 cup Chicken, cooked and chopped
- 16oz Gnocchi, uncooked
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
Place the olive oil and butter in a stockpot over medium heat.
Once hot, add the onion, celery and garlic. Stir and cook for 3 minutes or until translucent.
Stir in the flour to form a roux and allow to cook until golden or light brown, stirring occasionally for about 2-4 minutes.
Stir in 1 cup of the half and half cream and Italian seasoning to form a thick soup base.
Add the chicken broth, then the remaining half and half.
Bring to a boil. Reducing heat to simmer, add carrots and spinach.
Stir to combine and then add the cooked chicken and gnocchi.
Continue simmering until the gnocchi is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Season to taste with the salt and pepper.
Makes 6 servings.Print