Creamy Gnocchi Chicken Soup (Dairy-Free)

I stumbled upon a recipe similar to this one while searching for soup recipes. The first thing I noticed is that Olive Garden is the creator of a soup almost exactly like this one. As of right now whilst typing this, I haven’t been to Olive Garden in well over a decade and though I have been before, I hadn’t tried this soup until I made it myself. So this one is comparable; with one huge detail….it’s dairy-free! Presently, I am sensitive to dairy so adapting this soup to my particular needs was of the utmost importance. Let’s get into exactly how it’s made!

What do I need to make Dairy-Free Gnocchi Chicken Soup

I use store-bought gnocchi for this soup but of course, if you are able to make your own I would HIGHLY recommend it because gnocchi really is easy to make and it makes a world of difference. Part of what I love about this recipe is the fact that it is not labor-intensive. The bulk of the time is spent leaving the chicken to cook own and after that, the rest of the time is spent adding the other elements in stages so they can cook.

A heavy cream alternative is used and that is what makes it dairy-free. If you don’t have sensitivities to dairy then you can use regular heavy cream in its place.

chicken stock, spinach, gnocchi, herbs, heavy whipping cream alternative, onions, chicken

Gathering the ingredients

There are a few different ways this soup can be made…on the stove (like I did), with a slow cooker, or with an instant pot, I suppose-if you have experience using an instant pot. I am still in love with the old school method of slow cooking whenever I can whether that be with a stove or other device so that’s what I tend to do.

What kind of chicken should I use?

I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the soup and I would also recommend skinless chicken thighs with the bone in. Additionally, chicken breast can be used. Using meat with the bone in is a great way to impart some really delicious flavor.

raw chicken thighs in a pot

The process of making Dairy-Free Gnocchi Chicken Soup

The order that the elements are added is extremely important for this dish. The chicken needs to be browned on both sides first, this way some of the fat is rendered and the chicken gets a chance to caramelize before tenderizing. It’s cooked low and slow along with the herbs and spices in the beginning. Then the carrots and onions and garlic are added, and finally the gnocchi, and spinach.

onions, garlic, carrots

Enjoy this Dairy-Free Gnocchi Chicken Soup!!

Creamy Gnocchi Chicken Soup (Dairy-Free)
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Creamy Gnocchi Chicken Soup (Dairy-Free)

Creamy Gnocchi Chicken Soup (Dairy Free)

  • Author: Handy Chef
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Dairy-Free Gnocchi Chicken Soup is a creamy hearty soup filled with carrots, spinach, herbs, and big flavor.



1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

16 oz gnocchi

4 carrots, chopped

4 cups chicken stock

34 garlic cloves

4 cups spinach

1 cup onion

1 handful fresh thyme

1 handful fresh oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper

salt to taste


  1. Season chicken with white pepper and salt. Brown in a large pot with a couple tablespoons of olive oil for 2-3 minutes on each side. Pour in chicken stock, cover, and simmer on low-medium heat for 1.5 hours.
  2. Add carrots, onion, garlic, and heavy cream and simmer on low for an additional 30 minutes. Add gnocchi and allow to cook for about three minutes or according to packaging. If fresh gnocchi is being used, cook time will be significantly reduced. Add spinach, cooking until spinach has just wilted.  


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