This Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup is a rich, savory soup filled with fresh vegetables, seasoned chicken, smoky bacon, and pillowy textured gnocchi. It is the perfect cozy, hearty soup to warm you up on a chilly evening. Enjoy this soup with our Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits or Red Lobster Copycat Biscuits.

I’ve updated the recipe and photos, making the recipe simpler to make and quicker too! Before jumping to the recipe please note that information below contains HOT TIPS for this recipe. We try to answer all your questions to guarantee you make the recipe perfect every time.

a large pot of chicken gnocchi soup with a spoonful of soup hovering above the pot to show close up of soup

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 is an easy chicken gnocchi soup recipe that takes about 35 minutes to make!

a small white bowl of dairy free chicken gnocchi soup

This recipe is my take on the popular olive garden soup and I amp up the flavor by adding peppers, applewood bacon, and lots of colorful vegetables. It is a healthy chicken gnocchi soup made without the loads of cream or cheese. You can even add in more veggies, like mushrooms or broccoli if you would like to make this soup even heartier.  

ingredients to make chicken gnocchi soup

What do you need to make This Dairy-Free Chicken Gnocchi Soup?

  • Mirepoix: A mix of chopped carrots, celery, and onions.
  • Peppers: Poblano and Jalapeno. These peppers are totally optional but add a bit more flavor and color to the soup. I don’t find the soup to be spicy at all (a 3 on a scale of 1-10), but if you are sensitive to spice, omit the peppers.
  • Chicken: To make this a quick and easy 30-minute soup recipe, use precooked chicken. You can use leftover chicken, or buy a rotisserie chicken like I did! It makes creating this chicken gnocchi soup a breeze! If you prefer to cook the chicken with the soup you’ll need 1.5 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 smoky flavor. (feel free to omit the bacon)
  • Aromatics: Fresh Oregano, Rosemary, and Garlic add depth to the soup
  • Chicken Broth: I use 4 cups of chicken broth. The ingredients will first simmer in chicken broth until it is time to add the cream. If you soup is too thick –because yes, this soup does turn into more of a hearty thick stew, then add more chicken broth at the end until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Cashew Cream: I LOVED how the cashew cream influenced this recipe. I usually use coconut cream as my dairy-free go-to, but chose to use cashew cream 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 recommend using cashew cream instead of heavy cream; it was phenomenal! Cashew cream is simple to make. Here is my quick method recipe for making the perfect cashew cream.
  • Gnocchi: There are many pre-made gnocchi options available. In this recipe, I have tried frozen gnocchi and regular room-temperature packaged gnocchi. You can also go the extra mile and make gnocchi from scratch! It is actually way easier than it sounds!
image steps to show how to make chicken gnocchi soup

How To Make Chicken Gnocchi Soup

  1. Start by prepping the ingredients: chop the carrots, onion, garlic, celery, bacon, poblano pepper, and jalapenos pepper. Shred your precooked chicken into bite-sized pieces. You’ll need about 2.5 cups of cooked chicken. Prepare the cashews for the cream by bringing 2 cups of water to a boil, then pouring it over a bowl of raw cashews. Allow the cashews to soak for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Once your ingredients are prepped, add cooking oil to a large Dutch oven or pot and saute the onions for about 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant and translucent. Then, add the carrots and onions and saute for another 2 minutes. Finally, add the garlic, sliced peppers, and bacon. Saute for 5 minutes.
  3. Mix in the seasonings and saute for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Then, add the sliced chicken breast, fresh herbs, and broth. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. (If your chicken is raw, simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.)
  4. Then, stir in the gnocchi. Reduce the heat to medium heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. While the soup is simmering, make the cashew cream. Drain the cashews, add them to a blender, along with 1.5 cups of water. Blend until smooth.
  5. Pour the cashew cream into the soup. Mix well, then add in the raw spinach. Let the soup simmer for 5 more minutes, or until warmed through. If the soup is too thick, add additional broth.
  6. Stir the soup before serving and garnish with chopped green onion. Enjoy!

large dutch oven pot of chicken gnocchi soup

Quick Way to Make Cashew Cream

  1. For this recipe, place 1.5 cup of raw unsalted cashews into a medium bowl.
  2. Boil 2 cups of water and pour the hot water over the cashews. Allow the cashews to soak for at least 15 minutes.
  3. When ready, place the cashews (drained) in a blender with 1.5 cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth). Slowly add broth until you reach a creamy, smooth consistency.

For a more detailed recipe or tasty variations on this cashew cream, check out my post: How to Make Cashew Cream.

Substitutions and Recipe Variations

  • DAIRY OPTION: If you prefer to skip the cashew cream, you can use heavy cream instead.
  • DAIRY-FREE OPTION TWO: Use canned coconut milk instead of cashew cream if you desire a nut-free option. Keep in mind that using coconut milk will give the soup a coconut flavor.
  • VEGGIES: Spinach is a great addition to the soup, but you can also use any leafy green like chard or kale.
a small white bowl of dairy free chicken gnocchi soup

Common Questions

Should you cook gnocchi before adding it to the soup?

No, do not cook the gnocchi first. Add the gnocchi to the soup and allow it to simmer and cook with the soup.

What to do if my gnocchi soup is too thick?

If your chicken gnocchi soup is too thick, stir in more broth until you reach your desired consistency. Let the soup simmer for a few minutes so that it is warmed through. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired.

Storage and Rewarming

Store any leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. When rewarming, you may need to add a bit of water to the mixture to thin out the broth. Gnocchi is highly absorbent and continues to absorb the liquid its stored in. Rewarm on the stovetop or place in a microwave safe dish and microwaved until warmed through

large dutch oven pot of chicken gnocchi soup

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.

  1. 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 salt, pepper, oregano, and Italian seasoning. Saute the chicken for only 3-4 minutes, making sure to add the bacon chunks during the last minute.
  2. Remove the chicken and bacon from the heat and add the chicken to the Crockpot with the remaining ingredients (except the cashew cream, spinach, and gnocchi). Cook the soup on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours.
  3. After the soup is cooked and the ingredients are soft, use two forks to shred the chicken. Next, add the cashew cream, spinach, and gnocchi to the Crockpot. Cook the soup on high for 30 hour. Season with Salt and Pepper. Enjoy!
a large pot of chicken gnocchi soup with a spoonful of soup hovering above the pot to show close up of soup

I hope you enjoy this Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup

If you try the recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments. Leave a quick review & star rating β˜… below! Take pictures, tag #goodfoodbaddie, and share them with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest! I love seeing my recipes come to life in your kitchen.

If you would like more tasty soup recipes, try these!

large dutch oven pot of chicken gnocchi soup

Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup is a rich, savory soup filled with colorful vegetables, seasoned chicken, smokey bacon, and pillowy textured gnocchi. It is the perfect cozy, hearty soup to warm you up on a cold winter evening.Β 
4.91 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 453kcal
Author: Capri Lilly

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cup Precooked Chicken (Rotisserie Chicken) or 1.5 lb boneless chicken breast (2-3 chicken breast)
  • 4 Slices of Bacon
  • 1 Small Onion, chopped
  • 6 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 3 large Carrots, chopped
  • 3 Celery Stalks, chopped
  • 1 Poblano Pepper, chopped optional
  • 1 Jalapeno Peppers, chopped optional
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Oregano
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning or Herbs de Provence
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper optional
  • Pinch of Red Crushed Peppers optional
  • 1 1/2 cup Cashew Cream
  • 2 cups Raw Spinach or Kale
  • 16 oz Potato Gnocchi (2 packages of gnocchi)
  • Salt and Pepper, as desired

Instructions

  • Start by prepping the ingredients: chop the carrots, onion, garlic, celery, bacon, poblano pepper, and jalapenos pepper. Shred your precooked chicken into bite-sized pieces. You'll need about 2.5 cups of cooked chicken. Prepare the cashews for the cream by bringing 2 cups of water to a boil, then pouring it over a bowl of raw cashews. Allow the cashews to soak for at least 15 minutes.
  • Once your ingredients are prepped, add cooking oil to a large dutch oven or pot and saute the onions for about 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant and translucent. Then, add the carrots and onions and saute for another 2 minutes. Finally, add the garlic, sliced peppers, and bacon. Saute for 5 minutes.
  • Mix in the seasonings and saute for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Then, add the sliced chicken breast, fresh herbs, and broth. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. (If your chicken is raw, simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.)
  • Then, stir in the gnocchi. Reduce the heat to medium heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. While the soup is simmering, make the cashew cream. Drain the cashews, add them to a blender, along with 1.5 cups of water. Blend until smooth.
  • Pour the cashew cream into the soup. Mix well, then add in the raw spinach. Let the soup simmer for 5 more minutes, or until warmed through. If the soup is too thick, add additional broth.
  • Stir the soup before serving and garnish with chopped green onion. Enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition (per serving):Β 
Servings: 8
Fat: 18.7g
Calories: 453Β 
Protein: 23.5g
If you are making the recipe in the crockpot, follow the instructions above in my blog.
How To Make Cashew Cream

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 453kcal

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31 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve made this soup twice now! My husband and I love it so much! It’s so easy to make in the crockpot and taste incredible!

    1. Hi Kaluhu! The bacon comes through so nicely in this soup! Adds so much depth to the flavor! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Mila, same! I love Gnocchi. It’s so light and pillowy yet soaks up and holds a TON of flavor!

    1. Hi Jazz! Me too. Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi is so good and easy to add to any dish!

    1. Hi Adri! It’s so worth it! I’ve been using it in everything that calls for heavy cream lately. Its such a good dairy-free option and takes on the flavors of whatever you mix it with.

  2. I just love How hearty this soup is! Full of all of those delicious veggies, and the best part is that it is gluten and dairy free. Perfect for these cold winter nights!

4.91 from 11 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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