OLIVE GARDEN’S | Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

Creamy Chicken Soup with Spinach, Celery, Onion, Carrots & Homemade Gnocchi

by RRR
A bowl of Olive Garden's Chicken and Gnocchi Soup, featuring a creamy broth filled with tender, diced chicken, soft potato gnocchi, and finely chopped spinach.

Olive Garden’s Chicken and Gnocchi Soup: A Bowl of Comfort

with a Side of Laughter

Ah, Olive Garden, the Italian-American sweetheart of chain restaurants. It’s the place you go to when someone in your family shouts, “I don’t know, where do YOU want to eat?” and you just can’t bear to cook. Born in the 1980s, a time of big hair and even bigger portions, Olive Garden has been serving up comfort on a plate (or in a bowl) for decades. It’s the culinary equivalent of that one sitcom rerun you’ve seen a hundred times but still watch because it’s just that comforting.

Now, let’s talk about the real star of the show: soup season. That magical time of year when the weather can’t decide if it’s summer or fall, and you’re equally confused about your wardrobe choices. Soup season is the culinary equivalent of your favorite fuzzy socks – it just makes everything better. And what’s the MVP of soup season at Olive Garden? The Chicken and Gnocchi soup, of course!

This soup is like a hug from your Italian grandma you never knew you had. It’s creamy, it’s dreamy, and it’s packed with more comfort than your favorite sweatpants. Let’s break it down: tender, juicy chicken that’s been cooked to perfection, soft, pillowy gnocchi that are basically little clouds of potato heaven, and spinach that’s hanging out in there pretending it makes the whole thing healthy. All of this swimming in a creamy, rich broth that’s so good you’ll want to bathe in it (but please, for the love of cleanliness, don’t).

But why do we love this soup so much? Well, it’s like the culinary equivalent of a best friend – always there to comfort you on a bad day, celebrate with you on a good day, and never judges you for wearing stretchy pants to a public place. It’s the perfect balance of hearty and soul-soothing, with each spoonful reminding you that life is, indeed, pretty darn good.

The Great Gnocchi Debate

To use powdered potatoes or to not use powdered potatoes, that is the question! It’s a topic that can turn a mild-mannered dinner conversation into a full-blown culinary controversy, dividing foodies into camps faster than you can say “al dente.”

On one side, you’ve got the purists, folks who believe that gnocchi should be made in the traditional way, with real, starchy, freshly-boiled potatoes. They’ll argue, with a passionate twinkle in their eye, that the texture and flavor you get from using real spuds are as essential to gnocchi as cheese is to pizza. For them, making gnocchi is not just cooking; it’s an art form, a sacred ritual passed down through generations of Italian nonnas.

Then, on the other side, you have the pragmatists, the busy bees of the culinary world. These are the folks who whisper, “Hey, it’s 2024, who’s got time to boil and mash potatoes?” They champion the use of powdered potatoes for their convenience and consistency. With a nod to modern life’s hustle and bustle, they argue that if powdered potatoes can give you fluffy gnocchi without the hassle of peeling, boiling, and mashing, then why not embrace the shortcut?

The controversy really heats up when you consider the texture. Traditionalists will say that gnocchi made from real potatoes has a unique, incomparable lightness and a depth of flavor that just can’t be replicated with powder. On the flip side, the convenience camp will point out that powdered potatoes offer a level of uniformity and foolproof texture that can be a real lifesaver, especially for gnocchi newbies.

But here’s a fun twist: what if we’re all just overthinking a bowl of potato dumplings? Whether you’re a staunch traditionalist or a modern-day pragmatist, maybe the true secret ingredient to any great gnocchi is a dash of love, a sprinkle of patience, and a good company to share it with.

So, whether you’re team #RealSpuds or team #PowderPower, remember: the best gnocchi is the one that brings a smile to your face and a bit of warmth to your heart. And hey, if the gnocchi debate gets too heated, just distract everyone with garlic bread. Works every time!

For more delicious soup recipes from Olive Garden, try the Pasta e Fagioli or the amazing Minestrone.

Buon Appetito!

A bowl of Olive Garden's Chicken and Gnocchi Soup, featuring a creamy broth filled with tender, diced chicken, soft potato gnocchi, and finely chopped spinach.

Olive Garden's Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

Serves: 6-8 large Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 440 calories 28 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 2 cups powdered potatoes (Idahoan is great)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large pinches of kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 4.5 lb. roasted chicken, white and dark meat pulled and chopped
  • (should yield about 4 cups of chicken meat)
  • 1 small, sweet onion; diced
  • 3 large, crisp celery stalks; sliced thinly on a bias
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 oz. Baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 2 TBL EVOO
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 7 cups chicken stock (pref. homemade)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • Kosher salt & cracked black pepper, to taste


To make the gnocchi:

Mix the powdered potatoes, salt, and nutmeg.  Add the boiling water and stir until combined.  Add the 2 egg yolks and 1 cup flour and mix well.  Knead the mixture on a floured surface for 1 minute.  Scoop 1 TBL of mixture and roll into a ball, with floured hands.  If the potato mixture sticks to your hands, simply roll it in more flour.  Place the potato ball on waxed paper and press a thumb print into it.  Continue until all potato gnocchi have been formed.

Once the gnocchi have been formed, simmer 2 inches of salted water in a deep saucepan.  Carefully drop the gnocchi into the simmering water, working in batches. As each of the gnocchi floats to the top, remove it from the simmering water using a slotted spoon or kitchen spider.  Set aside on clean waxed paper.

To make the soup:

In a very large stock pot or soup pot, heat the EVOO until it shimmers.  Once the oil shimmers, add the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic and sauté until the onions become translucent.  Add 1/3 cup of flour and stir to form a roux.  Whisk in the chicken stock, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the chopped chicken, spinach, heavy cream, nutmeg and salt and pepper.  Stir, cover and simmer for 5 minutes more on medium heat.

Add the gnocchi into the soup and gently stir so as not break up the gnocchi.  Simmer for 3 additional minutes to allow the gnocchi to naturally thicken the soup.


Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Welcome to the official website of Restaurant Recipe Recreations. "Triple R" is a Youtube Channel dedicated to teaching you how to prepare your favorite, signature dishes from the most popular restaurants.