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Better Than the Original: Olive Garden Copycat Chicken Gnocchi Soup

FlourishAnyway is a mom, a psychologist, and a picky eater who enjoys cooking. She believes that food nourishes the soul.

If Olive Garden is your favorite restaurant, now you can enjoy chicken gnocchi soup at home. This soup is loaded with chicken, little potato dumplings and flavor!

If Olive Garden is your favorite restaurant, now you can enjoy chicken gnocchi soup at home. This soup is loaded with chicken, little potato dumplings and flavor!

How This Recipe Was Created

I became a recipe copycat—an inventor of sorts—as a result of having to count gnocchi to ensure they weren't giving me less than they should. No one should have to do that. Here's my story, and my very own secret recipe.

Mmmm. . . there's nothing better than Olive Garden's chicken gnocchi soup, a creamy chicken soup with spinach, celery, and potato dumplings called "gnocchi." Served with their bottomless salad bowl and those amazing breadsticks, it makes for a hearty meal.

While there are haters who complain that Olive Garden is fake Italian food, I am not among them. However, sometimes after waiting 45 minutes for a table, I am not pleased to have to verify that my soup does indeed have gnocchi and chicken in it.

If I made this soup at home, however, I could pack it with all the gnocchi and chicken I wanted. Even the last bowl would be filled with them. It sounds like a challenge to me! Let's improve upon a favorite!

Start with fresh, good quality ingredients like Perdue Honey Roasted short cuts and organic vegetables and chicken broth.  Your ingredients make all the difference!

Start with fresh, good quality ingredients like Perdue Honey Roasted short cuts and organic vegetables and chicken broth. Your ingredients make all the difference!

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

45 min

55 min

8 bowls

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable supreme or thyme
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup carrots, coarsely grated
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 package (approx. 17.6 oz) gnocchi
  • 2-9-oz, packages Perdue Grilled precooked chicken strips, chopped in bite-sized pieces
  • Parmesan cheese, shredded for sprinkling on finished soup (if desired)

Cook's Tip: How To Remove An Onion Skin Quickly

To quickly remove the papery outer shell that encases the onion, cut both ends off the onion. Place the onion under cool running water to peel off the outside layers. They come right off.

Instructions

  1. Pre-cut fresh celery, onion, carrots, and chicken and set each aside.
  2. In a large pot, sauté the onion in butter over medium to high heat until tender.
  3. Add celery, salt and pepper, nutmeg, fresh minced garlic, vegetable supreme (or thyme), and flour. Stir briefly over heat to form a roux.
  4. Add chicken stock, carrots, and spinach and cook for 10 minutes, stirring on occasion.
  5. In a small bowl, thoroughly combine cornstarch and heavy whipping cream. (Cornstarch will not combine well in a hot mixture so you must add it to the cream while cool.) Gradually pour the mixture into the soup pot, stirring constantly.
  6. Add gnocchis and chicken. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  7. Serve warm in bowls and sprinkle freshly shredded Parmesan cheese on top, if desired. Goes great with bread sticks and an endless supply of salad!
Although I'm curious about the authentic recipe, the copycat recipe doesn't require counting gnocchis.  Decrease the amount of gnocchis and chicken if you don't want such a hearty soup.

Although I'm curious about the authentic recipe, the copycat recipe doesn't require counting gnocchis. Decrease the amount of gnocchis and chicken if you don't want such a hearty soup.

Rate This Recipe

Get Really Fancy With a Few Italian Words and Phrases

EnglishItalian

salad

le insalata

soup

la zuppa

bread stick

il grissini

wine

il vino

Let's eat!

Mangiamo

tasty

gustoso

More please?

Più per favore?

You have spinach in your teeth.

Hai spinaci tra i denti.

This is fine dining.

Questo è raffinato.

So many gnocchis! So many pieces of chicken!

Tanti gnocchis! Tanti pezzi di pollo!

I imitate and improve upon favorite restaurant recipes like this one from Olive Garden.

I imitate and improve upon favorite restaurant recipes like this one from Olive Garden.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 FlourishAnyway

Comments

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 28, 2020:

Peggy - If I weren't doing a vegan diet this month, I'd make this myself. It's one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 28, 2020:

I am going to make this but make some substitutions. I'll use noodles for the gnocchi, and half and half for the whipping cream without having to go to the grocery store. This time I pinned your recipe so that I can easily find it again. Thanks!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on April 05, 2020:

Audrey - This is one of my favorites! I think it's about time that I make it again too!

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on April 04, 2020:

Nothing comforts me like a hearty bowl of homemade soup. Thanks for this wonderful recipe. I'll be enjoying this soon. Stay well, my friend.

Margie's Southern Kitchen from the USA on April 04, 2018:

You never know what you get at a restaurant, but homemade you know what is going into it! See you soon!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on April 03, 2018:

Margie - My family went to Olive Garden last week and someone had this soup. Zero gnocchis. They made us a new batch quickly but then that made me suspect about whether it was coming out of a can. Shoulda stuck with the homemade version that you can control. I still like Olive Garden, it's just unpredictable. Hope you try this soup.

Margie's Southern Kitchen from the USA on April 03, 2018:

I will definitely try your special version of this soup. I always enjoy homemade recipes the best! Yummy!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 28, 2017:

Eleanor - Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for not only trying it but telling us how you liked it.

Eleanor on July 28, 2017:

I tried this and it was EXCELLENT.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 02, 2016:

rajan - Thank you for stopping by. It's one of my favorite soups. Hope you are able to try it one day!

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 01, 2016:

The soup certainly looks very tempting and who knows I might give it a shot one of these days. Thanks for sharing this recipe and of the salad and dressing as well.

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on February 09, 2016:

What a great idea!! I'll add a link too. Thx for thinking of this.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 09, 2016:

Minnetonka Twin.- These two recipes taken together make a great meal! Adding a link to your recipe.

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on February 09, 2016:

Thanks for the great copycat recipe for Olive Garden's soup. I especially love their never-ending salad bowl with the warm breadsticks. Thanks for stopping by my hub for the copycat recipe for it. Have a great week :)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 24, 2015:

Peggy - Thanks so much! Hope you get a chance to try it. Have a fantastic week.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 23, 2015:

We have not eaten there often but love the never ending salad bowl. Your soup recipe sounds rich and delicious. Up votes!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 23, 2015:

Jackie - Thanks for stopping by. Olive Garden is one of my favorites too!

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on February 23, 2015:

I will have to try this; I just love OGs soups and bread sticks! Thank for sharing this!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 04, 2015:

ezzly - It's one of our family's favorite recipes. Enjoy!

ezzly on February 04, 2015:

Oh I'm so showing this to my hubby he loves Olive Garden ! Thanks :)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on December 08, 2014:

ologsinquito - Thanks once again. You are so generous. Have a wonderful holiday week!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on December 08, 2014:

pstraubie48 - Thanks so much for the visit and share. Hope you are doing well

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on December 08, 2014:

What a lovely soup for this time of the year.

Your steps are so clear and easy to follow that I will be giving this a try very soon.

Bookmarking to try later.

Pinning and sharing.

Angels are on the way to you today.

ologsinquito from USA on December 08, 2014:

This is a good time of year to share this one again. :)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on December 08, 2014:

anglnwu - Absolutely, it does! Thanks for stopping by!

anglnwu on December 07, 2014:

I bet it tastes even better on a cold day. Gnocchis with spinach and celery sounds very good!!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on November 06, 2014:

vespawoolf - I'm making a pot today. There's nothing like it. I hope you'll give it a try. Thanks for stopping by.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on November 05, 2014:

I've never had Italian Garden's chicken gnocchi soup, but after reading the list of ingredients in your copy cat soup, I'd like to try it! And it's cheaper and healthier to make it at home. Thanks for sharing.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 09, 2014:

Redneck Lady Luck - I sure hope you will. It's a good soup, and I know you'll just love it. Thanks for stopping by.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 09, 2014:

ologsinquito - Thanks for stopping by and taking another look. Have a great week

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on October 08, 2014:

I just realized that I have never had Gnocchi. I am sadly lacking because looking at your recipe it looks delicious. Definitely have to give either Olive Garden or your version a try.

ologsinquito from USA on October 08, 2014:

I missed your last article, but I'm not really into Halloween. Anyway, I really liked this one. Hope you're well.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 30, 2014:

Rebecca - it is a very good soup that I make often. Thank you for sharing and commenting!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on September 30, 2014:

clever way to share a wonderful recipe. I would love this, I bet. I'll share on my Healthy and Yummy board!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 14, 2014:

Nadine - Glad this inspired you. I am hungry for it, too! Enjoy!

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on September 14, 2014:

You have answered my question about what I should cook tonight. Ive copy and pasted your recipe in a notepad and printed it out. Many thanks.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 11, 2014:

teaches12345 - Definitely try it! I tried it on recommendation of someone else and loved it. Now I am hooked.

Dianna Mendez on September 10, 2014:

I have not had this soup at Olive Garden but after reading your post, I am trying it next time I visit. I enjoyed the video on hand gestures and meanings. The Spanish culture has so many similar meanings - talk with the hands! Your photo is so yummy looking -- Più per favore?

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 10, 2014:

Roberta - Thanks so much for your vote of confidence.

RTalloni on September 10, 2014:

Mangiamo! Your recipe looks wonderful and homemade has to be the best on every level.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 09, 2014:

PegCole17 - I used to use evaporated milk in soups but found heavy whipping cream is heartier and richer, adding both flavor and thickness. I love it and have have substituted it into my homemade potato soup, onion, broccoli, and other soups. I have a number of creamy soups that I enjoy making and fall is the perfect time to enjoy them. Hope you find it filling and satisfying.

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on September 09, 2014:

Oh my goodness! This is wonderful to find as I scrolled through hubs today. It's my hubby's favorite thing to order when we go to Olive Garden. I would never have thought to use whipping cream but it sounds divine. I'll definitely pin this one to my favorite recipes board so I can use it when the weather cools down.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 06, 2014:

Heidi - I love their bread sticks too! I can make a meal of them but always eat them with butter rather than olive oil. Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on September 06, 2014:

Hey there! Catching up on my HubPages reading and saw this awesome hub of yours. I LOVE Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi Soup! And through your poll, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who could make a meal of OG breadsticks. :)

While I'm glad that I now have the "copycat" recipe in the event that OG ever goes out of business, I will probably continue to just drive there and let the professionals do it for me.

Fabulous hub as usual. Have a great weekend filled with gnocchi and breadsticks!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 31, 2014:

CrisSp - Let me know where to show up. I'll bring bread sticks!

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on August 30, 2014:

Mama Mia! :)

I'm stealing this from you! Lol! Definitely on my list now specially that it's now getting colder outside. Maybe, I'll have this for our Thanksgiving dinner menu this year instead of our regular pumpkin soup. Hmm...sounds good and you're invited! :)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 30, 2014:

Sunshine625 - Thanks for stopping by. I bet your cooking is fantastic.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on August 30, 2014:

I have eaten at an Olive Garden in many years. I did like their breadsticks and salad, but the rest is fake italian food...yep, I'm one of those people :) My italian cooking is much better as I'm sure your soup is.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 30, 2014:

WriterJanis - Thanks! Hope you can try it! I know you'll like it!

Janis from California on August 30, 2014:

This sounds so delicious. Can't wait to try it. I love copy cat recipes.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 30, 2014:

Suzanne - Hope you give it a go. It's a favorite around here. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on August 30, 2014:

Interesting recipe and looks fairly simple to do. I haven't tried Olive Garden Gnocci but with the cheese added it could be the perfect winter dish! Voted useful.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 30, 2014:

btrbell - Glad you're excited about this! Hope you get to try it! Have a great holiday weekend.

Randi Benlulu from Mesa, AZ on August 29, 2014:

Thank you so much for sharing this. I love this soup and am happy to get the copycat recipe. I have made a copycat of the Zuppa Toscana and it came out great! Up++ and thank you!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 29, 2014:

Relationshipc - Thank you for your wonderful comment. There is nothing quite like good hearty home cooking, and I'm glad you have your mother-in-law to cook Italian dishes for you!

Kari on August 29, 2014:

My husband is Italian. He lived in Italy for his most of his childhood and speaks fluent Italian. I can tell you that he likes the Olive Garden, so there's got to be something there. But, it is not exactly like his mothers cooking. And I don't think she's ever made a salad or breadstick for us. ;)

This is the beauty of home cooking. You can make it stuffed with as much of your favorite ingredient as possible. It's always better at home.

The soup looks amazing! And, "You have spinach in your teeth," is definitely something everyone who eats Italian food should know!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 29, 2014:

Mindi - Thanks for stopping by. Isn't it amazing the stuff you can buy there? I love it, especially their Prime membership. Have a great weekend!

Amanda Littlejohn on August 29, 2014:

Nice tasty looking recipe and I'll bet its yummier than Olive Garden's version!

Who ever would have thought that you could get gnocchi delivered by Amazon? Amazing.

Bless you :)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 28, 2014:

Shyron - That is exactly my mama's sentiment, as she sends the stuff back to the kitchen when she has to count gnocchis. She shows the server and waits for a fresh batch. I say just make it at home and put all the good stuff you want in it. Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing. Have a great weekend.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 28, 2014:

DealForALiving - I'm so glad you will be trying this! Enjoy! Thank you for stopping by to say hello!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 28, 2014:

Audrey - Thank you for reading and commenting. Have a terrific Labor Day weekend!

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on August 28, 2014:

Flourish, this looks delicious. If you can count Gnocchis then it is plain chicken soup.

Not much into recipes but this does interest and I like both chicken soup and Gnocchi.

Voted up, UBI and shared.

Sam Deal from Earth on August 28, 2014:

I love love love this soup and can't wait to try out your recipe. Thank you for sharing with the masses!

Audrey Howitt from California on August 28, 2014:

Well this looks wonderful I must say--I am vegetarian and gluten free which is often a tough row to hoe--I don't crave meat, but I do crave pasta sometimes

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 28, 2014:

Writer Fox - Awesome!

Writer Fox from the wadi near the little river on August 28, 2014:

Hi Flourish,

No, I'm not a vegetarian. I'm a Kosher fox.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 28, 2014:

othellos - Many thanks! I didn't look at competitors' recipes, just went by my taste buds and experience. I appreciate your stopping by!

Mario Psomas from Europe on August 28, 2014:

Excellent recipe with so many details that make it superb. Olive Garden's copycat recipes are all over around the web but yours is seldom found. Not to comment that most of those people never tasted the original! Thumb-up & Awesome:=)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 27, 2014:

ologsinquito - I bet for those who do not enjoy gnocchi a, they could add noodles or potatoes, although I haven't tried Thanks for sharing!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 27, 2014:

Susan - Thanks for reading and I hope you will give it a go. I have had a never ending salad bowl at my house since Olive Garden has started selling their dressing. I have never eaten so much salad in my life. Hope you have where you are too!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 27, 2014:

Writer Fox - Good idea for vegetarians. I've made soups with vegetable stock and they are rich and full flavored. Anyone who hasn't tried vegetable stock doesn't know what they are missing. I'm sure there is a joke in there somewhere about the vegetarian fox but I will leave it alone, Writer Fox! ;-)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 27, 2014:

Ms Dora - Thanks so much. Olive Garden is a favorite around here but the legit times can sometimes be a bit much for me. Have a wonderful rest of the week!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 27, 2014:

Linda - I appreciate your stopping by. Hope you get to try it!

ologsinquito from USA on August 27, 2014:

Even though I'm not a gnocchi fan, I know a lot of people are, so I'm voting up, pinning and sharing. I'll trust you that it tastes a lot like the original. :) Very nice article.

Susan W from The British Isles, Europe on August 27, 2014:

Mmm...what a mouth watering recipe! I'm a huge fan of gnocci and Olive Garden produces some fine food! This recipe is just as good as the original I bet, and I will give it a try some day this week. Coupled with bread and a never ending salad bowl - what filling meal. Your step by step images really help speed up the process for us when cooking it. I can't wait!

Great profile pic change by the way! :-)

Writer Fox from the wadi near the little river on August 27, 2014:

This really looks delicious. I want to try this as a veggie version without the chicken!

Voted up!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on August 27, 2014:

Haven't been to an Olive Garden in years, but you bring back lots of memories. Thanks for sharing your recipe which looks Oh so delicious and the Italian conversation, I'm sure, would only make it memorable. Great recipe article!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 27, 2014:

This sounds like a great recipe, Flourish! The result looks delicious. Thanks for sharing the Italian words and phrases, too.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 27, 2014:

stricktlydating - Thank you for the compliment!

StrictlyQuotes from Australia on August 27, 2014:

Whatever you write about, the way you write it always makes me smile!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 27, 2014:

Rose - Thanks for the compliment!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 26, 2014:

Copycat recipe or not, the soup sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 26, 2014:

Bill - If someone as traveled as you are can enjoy Olive Garden (like I do), that is certainly a thumbs up for Olive Garden. Glad you liked the read. Have a great week!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 26, 2014:

Liz - I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Thanks for reading and have a great week!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 26, 2014:

Sha - I like how expressive many Italians are. Thank you for reading and sharing your experiences.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on August 26, 2014:

Hi Flourish. You made me smile with this one. I actually enjoy Olive Garden although I'm willing to bet that your home made soup is better that anything I can get at Olive Garden :) Nice touch with the phrases and gestures. Perfetto! Ciao!

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on August 26, 2014:

Mmm-this sounds yummy. I never had the soup but I think I would love it. I love the instructions on peeling an onion too- I'll have to try this!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 26, 2014:

This recipe sounds delicious! I love the touch at the end with the Italian hand gestures. I'm part Italian. My mother always tells me if I didn't have hands I wouldn't be able to talk. Ha ha. If you surmised my Italian doesn't come from her side of my gene pool you'd be correct.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 26, 2014:

Bill - I can make chicken a zillion different ways, as I don't eat red meat and try not to eat pork either. Some of the recipes I have scared up from scratch. Thanks for stopping by.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 26, 2014:

carrie Lee Night - The chicken broth and butter often have higher than desired levels of salt, too, for those who are sodium minded. In those cases, there are always low-sodium options. Thanks for the feedback.

Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on August 26, 2014:

Thank you for sharing a delicious sounding recipe :). The only suggestion I have is not using chicken short cuts...they are loaded with salt. Slow cooking chicken and shredding it off the bone would be a lot better, but I know for the working professional short cuts would work wonders :). Yum Yum

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 26, 2014:

You changed your profile picture! Well it's nice to see what you look like. Now all I need is a name, because I know your real name isn't Flourish. LOL

Any recipe with chicken in it is a good recipe, so thanks for this. Have a great Tuesday my friend.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 26, 2014:

Devika - Thanks for reading. Glad you found the recipe tempting!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 26, 2014:

Frank - Never been to Olive Garden? For a chain restaurant, I enjoy it. Try lunch there. Thanks for reading.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 26, 2014:

bearnmom - Glad you enjoyed the video. Please be sure to write down those recipes for your family. Even if they do not appreciate them now some day they will! Believe me! Thank you for reading and commenting.

Laura L Scotty from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 26, 2014:

My family doesn't cook Italian like I did. Instead, they go to Olive Garden. Thank you for the recipe for gnocci soup. The video was over the top with entertainment. Now that I'm turning 70 I no longer cook like I did but I remember my recipes that were handed down from my mother-in-law the original Nunny.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on August 26, 2014:

Flourish I never been into an Olive Graden.. seen it.. but there are far better Italian Restaurants in my neighborhood then a chain type eatery with the same signature foods... well after reading this hub and some of the com ments maybe I will let my pride move to the side and give old Olive a try :) Frank

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 25, 2014:

Awesome! A great recipe with such scrumptious ingredients.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 25, 2014:

Faith Reaper -- You are so funny. My dad spent a career in food science so we sometimes have made a challenge over the years of trying to figure out what is in our favorite restaurant recipes. Then we try to tweak them for our own tastes. Our favorite was a spinach queso dip that we paid way too much money for at a chophouse. Did a takeoff on the restaurant's dish and now it is a family favorite. Thank you for sharing and commenting. Have a great week, my friend!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 25, 2014:

Rachael - Having personally experimented with different flavorings, I have found the nutmeg is the secret ingredient, and the McCormick's vegetable supreme is great if you can get it (otherwise settle for thyme). McCormick stopped producing the old vegetable supreme. I haven't seen the other recipes but I am sure they have to be somewhat comparable.