Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup is a rich, savory soup filled with fresh vegetables, seasoned chicken, smokey bacon, and pillowy textured gnocchi. It is the perfect cozy, hearty soup to warm you up on a chilly evening. This recipe is completely dairy-free, made with luscious cashew cream. It is rich and flavorful with incredible depth that’ll leave you wanting more and more.
If you’re here you’ve most likely tried Olive Garden’s Infamous Chicken Gnocchi Soup and want to make your own version at home. Not only is this recipe better than the restaurant version, but it is also incredibly creamy and dairy-free!
This soup is luscious, rich, savory, and so satisfying! It’s absolutely perfect if you are looking for a cozy meal to warm you up during those flighty winter months.
Watch this step-by-step video: Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup Recipe
This Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup recipe comes together so easily!
I like to make this soup in my dutch oven and allow the flavors to blend over low heat for a couple of hours. However, you can just as easily make this soup creamy chicken gnocchi soup in the the crockpot, which is perfect if you want to simply throw the ingredients together and have a perfectly rich soup ready for dinner.
Gluten-Free Gnocchi Recipe
I love making gnocchi from scratch. It is a very romantic endeavor that takes hours in the kitchen and involves me spouting lots of adoring words to the potatoes and cassava flour so that the gnocchi comes out just right. For this recipe, I opted to skip this step and use my favorite pre-made gnocchi from Trader Joe’s. They have two types, Kale Gnocchi and Cauliflower Gnocchi, which is my absolute favorite and gluten-free. For this recipe, you can simply toss the gnocchi in frozen and allow it to cook and absorb the delectable flavors of the soup.
What do you need to make Chicken Gnocchi Soup?
- Mirepoix: the flavor base for the soup. A mix of chopped carrots, celery, and onions.
- Peppers: Poblano and Jalapeno
- Chicken Breast: 1 pound cut into large cubes, which will then be shredded once fully cooked.
- Bacon: applewood smoked bacon is the best for this soup and gives the soup a subtle smokey flavor. (feel free to omit the bacon)
- Aromatics: Fresh Oregano, Rosemary, and Garlic add depth to the soup
- Chicken Broth: I use 4-5 cups of chicken broth. The ingredients will first simmer in chicken broth until it is time to add the cream.
- Cashew Cream: I LOVED how the cashew cream impacted this recipe. I usually use coconut cream as my dairy-free go to but decided to use cashew cream in order to avoid the detectable coconut flavor that comes with using coconut cream. I am so happy I did! The cashew cream took on all the flavors used in the soup and made the soup mouthwatering and creamy! Even if you are not dairy-free, I would recommend using cashew cream instead of heavy cream; it was phenomenal! Cashew cream is simple to make and here is my quick method recipe to making the perfect cashew cream.
- Gnocchi: There are many pre-made gnocchi options available. I prefer the frozen options and like to use Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi.
How to make this Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup in the Crockpot?
If you are making this soup in the dutch oven, simply follow the recipe instructions below. If you are making this soup in the Crockpot, you will need to alter a few steps.
To get the best flavor, first, pan sear the chicken slightly to form a golden crust and maximize the flavor. In a medium pan over medium-high heat, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil has heated, add chicken. Season the chicken with cayenne pepper, oregano, and Italian seasoning. Saute the chicken for only 3-4 minutes, making sure to add the bacon chunks during the last minute.
Remove the chicken and bacon from the heat and add the chicken to the Crockpot with the remaining ingredients (except the cashew cream, kale, and gnocchi). Cook the soup on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
After the soup is cooked and ingredients are soft, use two forks to shred the chicken (while inside the soup). Next, add the cashew cream, kale, and frozen gnocchi to the Crockpot. Cook the soup on high for 1 hour. Season with Salt and Pepper. Enjoy!
Quick Way to Make Cashew Cream
- For this recipe, place 1 cup of raw unsalted cashews into a medium bowl.
- Boil 2 cups of water and pour the hot water over the cashews. Allow the cashews to soak for at least 15 minutes.
- When ready, place the cashews (drained) in a blender with 1/2 cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth). Slowly add broth until you reach a creamy, smooth consistency.
For a more detailed recipe or for tasty variations on this cashew cream, check out my post: How to Make Cashew Cream.
Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- 1 lb Boneless Chicken Breast
- 1/2 Red Onion, chopped
- 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 3 large Carrots, chopped
- 3 Celery Stalks, chopped
- 1 Poblano Pepper, chopped
- 2 Jalapeno Peppers, chopped Optional
- 4 cups Chicken Broth
- 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 2 tbsp Fresh Oregano
- 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary
- 1 1/2 cup Cashew Cream
- 1 cup Kale
- 2 Packages Frozen Gnocchi (I use TJ's Cauliflower Gnocchi)
- 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Red Crushed Peppers
- Salt and Pepper, as desired
- In a large Dutch Oven pot over medium heat, add 1-2 tbsp olive oil then add 1/2 red onion, chopped. Sauté the onions for about a minute, then add 5 cloves of minced garlic. Sauté the garlic and onions for about 3-5 minutes to caramelize the onions.
- Add the cubed chicken breast and pan sear for about 2-3 minutes. Season with cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, dried parsley, and salt and pepper.
- Add cubed bacon and sauté for about 1-2 minutes. Next add the chopped celery, poblano pepper, jalapeño peppers, and carrots. Mix all the ingredients together and pour in 4 cups of chicken broth and add the fresh oregano and rosemary.
- Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a low heat and simmer for 2-3 hours, or until the vegetables are soft and chicken is tender/ making sure to stir occasionally.
- Next, add the cashew cream, gnocchi, and kale. Cover the pot and simmer on low for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir the soup before serving and garnish with chopped green onion. Enjoy!
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