This easy-to-make Slow Cooker Chicken Gnocchi Soup is the ultimate comfort food. It is both creamy and flavorful, combining tender chicken breasts, vegetables, pillowy gnocchi, and spinach in a rich, savory broth. It’s the perfect hassle-free recipe for lunch or dinner for those chilly days ahead.
Table of Contents
- Hearty and Comforting Slow Cooker Soups
- Why You'll Love The Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- What is gnocchi?
- How to Make Chicken Gnocchi Soup in a Slow Cooker
- Recipe Variations
- What to Serve with Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- How to Store Leftovers
- How to Reheat the Soup
- More Winter Warming Soups
Hearty and Comforting Slow Cooker Soups
Slow cooker soups are a delicious and convenient way to enjoy a warm, hearty meal. They are easy to make too! Just add your favorite ingredients to a crockpot in the morning and come home to a bowl of flavorful soup by dinnertime. Slow cooker soups are the ultimate comfort food!
Whether you prefer a south-of-the-border Chicken Tortilla Soup, a chunky Hamburger Soup, or a creamy White Chicken Chili, these soups are perfect for transforming a chilly day into a cozy, flavor-packed meal. Simply set it, forget it, and let the slow cooker work its magic!
Why You'll Love The Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup
There are so many reasons! Here are the top ones:
A Nostalgic Favorite with a Homemade Twist: If you're a fan of the classic gnocchi soup from Olive Garden, prepare to fall in love with this homemade rendition. This recipe captures the essence of the beloved restaurant favorite, delivering that familiar, comforting taste right to your kitchen. It's the perfect copycat recipe for when you're craving that signature Olive Garden flavor, but want the satisfaction of making it from scratch.
Effortless Cooking, Gourmet Results: One of the best parts about this soup is its simplicity. Utilizing a slow cooker, this recipe offers a hassle-free approach to gourmet cooking. Just add the ingredients, set the timer, and let the magic happen. This makes it an ideal choice for busy weekdays, lazy weekends, or whenever you want a delicious meal without the effort.
Bursting with Freshness and Flavor: Each spoonful of this soup is packed with a symphony of flavors. Fresh vegetables, aromatic herbs, and a blend of spices come together to create a soup that's as nutritious as it is delicious. The fresh chicken breasts, tender gnocchi, and vibrant spinach not only add depth to the taste but also make it a visually appealing dish.
Tailor it to Your Taste: What's fantastic about this recipe is its versatility. Whether you prefer a lighter soup using half-and-half or a richer version with cream, the choice is yours. Feel free to throw in additional vegetables or adjust the seasoning to suit your palate. This soup is your canvas!
A Healthier Homemade Option: Opting for a homemade soup means you control what goes into your meal. By using whole, fresh ingredients, you're choosing a healthier option compared to processed or restaurant-prepared meals. This soup is free from the preservatives and additives often found in store-bought versions, making it a wholesome choice for your family.
Comfort in a Bowl: There's something incredibly comforting about a bowl of warm, creamy soup. This Chicken and Gnocchi Soup is not just a treat for your taste buds but also a hug for your soul. It's the perfect pick-me-up for cold days or when you need a little comfort food.
Leftovers that Keep on Giving: Like many soups, this Chicken Gnocchi Soup tastes even better the next day. This makes it a fantastic option for meal prep or for those who love leftovers. The flavors continue to meld and deepen, offering a different experience with every bowl.
An Aromatic Feast: As this soup simmers in your slow cooker, it fills your home with an irresistible aroma. The scent of Italian seasoning and garlic is enough to make your mouth water. It's not just a meal; it's an experience for all the senses.
Get ready to indulge in a bowl of creamy, comforting goodness. It's not just a soup; it's a warm embrace in culinary form.
Here's what you'll need for this crockpot chicken gnocchi soup recipe. The exact measurements are in the printable recipe card below.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Shredded carrots
- Yellow onion
- Garlic cloves
- Italian Seasoning
- Dried basil
- Ground nutmeg
- Bay leaf
- Black pepper
- Chicken broth
- Half and half or cream
- Potato gnocchi
- Fresh spinach
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh parsley
What is gnocchi?
Gnocchi (pronounced "nyawk-kee") is a traditional Italian pasta, with its roots steeped in culinary history that dates back hundreds of years. These delightful little dumplings are a testament to the simplicity and elegance of Italian cuisine.
At its core, gnocchi is made from just a few basic ingredients, primarily potatoes, flour, and eggs. The potatoes are cooked, mashed, and then mixed with flour and egg to form a dough. This dough is then rolled into long, thin ropes and cut into small, bite-sized pieces. Each piece is typically pressed with a fork or a special gnocchi board to create the classic ridges that hold onto sauces beautifully.
What sets gnocchi apart from other types of pasta is its wonderfully soft and pillowy texture. When cooked correctly, gnocchi should have a light, tender, and slightly chewy consistency, offering a unique mouthfeel that's both satisfying and comforting.
The flavor of gnocchi is subtly earthy and neutral, making it an excellent canvas for a variety of sauces and toppings, from rich, creamy concoctions to lighter, herb-infused broths.
How to Make Chicken Gnocchi Soup in a Slow Cooker
Here are the simple steps and photos for the process of making the soup in a crockpot slow cooker.
- Place chicken breasts in the bottom of a large crockpot.
- Add carrots, onion, garlic, and celery on top.
- Sprinkle in seasonings.
- Pour chicken broth over all the ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until the chicken is fork tender.
- Remove the chicken and place on a cutting board.
- Shred the chicken.
- Remove and discard the bay leaf from the soup then whisk the half and half and cornstarch together and slowly stir into the soup.
- Add the gnocchi to the creamed broth.
- Add the shredded chicken back into the soup. Now increase the slow cooker to high heat, cover, and cook an additional 15-30 minutes or until the gnocchi is done and the soup has thickened.
- Just prior to serving, add the spinach to the cooker and cover for a few minutes until it has wilted.
When the chicken and gnocchi soup is done just serve it hot right out of the crock pot.
Serve the soup in a bowl and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and some sprigs of parsley. This wonderfully rich and creamy soup is the perfect remedy for cold winter days served with a loaf of crusty bread on the side.
Chicken & Gnocchi Soup is wonderfully adaptable, allowing you to tweak it to your personal taste or dietary needs. Here are some delicious variations you can try:
Chicken Options: If you have leftover cooked chicken or a rotisserie chicken on hand, feel free to use it. Simply shred or chop the chicken and add it to the slow cooker. This is a great way to save time and make use of leftovers.
Meat Variations: For a different meaty twist, try using sliced Italian sausage links in place of, or alongside, the chicken. If you're a bacon lover, cooked bacon bits can be sprinkled in at the end of the cooking time for a smoky, savory touch.
Potato Swap: Want to switch things up from gnocchi? Substitute the gnocchi with diced potatoes. Add them at the beginning with the other vegetables for a more stew-like consistency.
Vegetable Additions: The soup is already packed with nutritious veggies, but why stop there? You can add green beans, mushrooms, peas, diced zucchini, or yellow summer squash for extra flavor and texture. If you prefer, kale can be used instead of spinach for a heartier green.
Cream Alternatives: For a lighter version, use evaporated milk instead of half and half or cream. However, remember that whole, low-fat, or skim milk might curdle due to lower fat content. You need at least 10% milkfat to ensure a smooth texture.
Pesto Twist: For a herby kick, stir in 2 tablespoons of pesto at the end of cooking, or drizzle it on top as a garnish. This adds a vibrant, fresh flavor to the soup.
Dairy-Free Option: If you're avoiding dairy, use a plant-based unsweetened half and half substitute. Also, omit the Parmesan cheese or opt for a dairy-free cheese alternative.
Gluten-Free Adaptation: For those on a gluten-free diet, simply use gluten-free gnocchi. This ensures that the soup is fully gluten-free while still delivering the same delicious taste.
Feel free to mix and match these variations to create a soup that perfectly suits your palate and dietary preferences. Each variation brings its unique twist, making this a versatile dish that never gets boring.
What to Serve with Chicken Gnocchi Soup
This Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup is a hearty and fulfilling dish in itself, but pairing it with the right sides can elevate your dining experience to a whole new level. Here are some delightful accompaniments that complement the soup beautifully:
Crusty Bread or Dinner Rolls: There's nothing quite like fresh, warm bread to dip into the creamy soup. A crusty baguette, artisanal bread, or soft dinner rolls are perfect for soaking up every last drop of this flavorful soup.
Caesar Salad: A Caesar salad, with its creamy dressing, crisp romaine lettuce, and crunchy croutons, is another excellent side that pairs well with the soup. It's a classic choice for an Italian-themed meal.
Green Salad: Balance the richness of the soup with a light, refreshing green salad. Opt for a simple salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a light vinaigrette. This adds a crisp, fresh element to your meal.
Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or bell peppers add a nice texture contrast and an extra dose of nutrition. Their natural sweetness and earthiness are a great match for the soup.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich: For a truly comforting and indulgent meal, serve the soup with a classic grilled cheese sandwich. The combination of gooey, melted cheese and crisp, golden bread pairs wonderfully with the creamy soup.
Bruschetta: For a lighter, yet flavorful side, try bruschetta. The combination of toasted bread topped with a mixture of tomatoes, basil, and olive oil will add a fresh and zesty flavor to your meal.
Each of these sides not only adds to the meal but also brings its own flavors and textures, creating a well-rounded and satisfying dining experience. Mix and match these options to suit your taste and occasion, and enjoy the perfect meal with this soup.
How to Store Leftovers
Allow the chicken & gnocchi soup to cool to room temperature. Pour it into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Can you freeze chicken gnocchi soup?
Yes! Chicken gnocchi soup freezes well for up to 3 months. Here's how to freeze the soup:
Allow the soup to cool to room temperature. Place the cooled soup in a freezer-safe container or individual servings in plastic freezer bags. If using bags, lay them flat on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, stack them in the freezer. Thaw the soup in the fridge overnight.
How to Reheat the Soup
Warm the soup in a saucepan on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally.
More Winter Warming Soups
- 15 Bean Soup with Ham
- Chicken Black Bean Soup
- Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder
- Mexican Pork Stew
- Old-fashioned Vegetable Beef Soup
Find lots of slow cooker recipes right here on 2CM!
Slow Cooker Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 2 large chicken breasts
- 1 cup carrots shredded
- ½ yellow onion diced
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup half and half or cream
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 12 ounces potato gnocchi
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach or regular spinach, chopped
- Garnish: grated Parmesan cheese, parsley
- Place chicken breasts in the bottom of a large crockpot. Add carrots, onion, garlic and celery on top. Sprinkle in seasonings.
- Pour chicken broth over all the ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until the chicken is fork tender.
- Remove the chicken, place on a cutting board, and shred the chicken.
- Discard the bay leaf from the soup then whisk the half and half and cornstarch together and slowly stir into the soup.
- Add the gnocchi and the shredded chicken back into the soup.
- Increase the slow cooker to high heat, cover and cook an additional 15-30 minutes or until the gnocchi is done and the soup has thickened.
- Just prior to serving, add the spinach to the cooker and cover for a few minutes until it has wilted. Garnish and serve hot!