Chicken & cauliflower gnocchi soup – inspired by Olive Garden but it’s dairy-free, gluten-free and made with “better for you” ingredients!
My Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi addiction continues. I actually pumped the brakes a bit with the cauliflower gnocchi. Then recently when there was a shortage of it at the stores, it’s like I was obsessed again. Maybe it’s the chase 😂 Either way I’m happy because it’s been back in stock!
This chicken & cauliflower gnocchi soup is super easy! Just cook the cauliflower gnocchi which ever method you prefer. Click here for my blog post that discusses my three favorites ways to prepare it. I’m team air fry! This post also includes all the other recipes I have using the gnocchi.
Once you cook the gnocchi, just set it aside. I like throwing them in the soup right before serving because they absorb liquid pretty quickly! The soup itself is also quick and simple. I just baked two chicken breasts and cut it into tiny pieces to throw into the soup. It also has some diced onion, celery, shredded carrots, garlic, thyme, chicken stock, spinach and plant-based half and half.
How I made it creamy and dairy-free:
I wanted something to use instead of cream to give the soup a creamy/thicker texture. The ripple half and half definitely did the trick! It’s a perfect dairy-free option. I found mine at Whole Foods. If you can’t find this product – I’d suggest unsweetened nut pods creamer. Just make sure it’s not flavored. If you’re not trying to avoid dairy you can just use regular heavy cream!
Now a days – I’m not too into chain restaurants. However, when I was younger I LOVED Olive Garden. I mean I still do love their soup, salad and breadsticks. I’m not ashamed to say it. I also worked there for a year – it was my first serving job!
This soup is pretty dang close to their classic chicken and gnocchi soup. The next thing I want to re-create is their salad with that amazing vinaigrette they use. Delish!
Let me know if there’s any other restaurant recipes you’d like to see me re-create!Print
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bag Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi cooked using one of the methods on this post*
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped into small pieces
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 cup celery, diced
2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
4 cups chicken stock
1 & 1/3 cup Ripple plant-based half and half* or regular half and half or heavy cream
salt and pepper
Add the oil to a large soup pot with the onion, celery, carrots, garlic and thyme.
Let cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add in the chicken pieces, chicken stock, salt and pepper. Let simmer on high for about 15-20 minutes.
Reduce to a low a simmer and stir in the half and half as well as the spinach.
Let cook until spinach is wilted.
Add the cauliflower gnocchi last.
Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Ladle into bowls and serve!
*my favorite way to prepare the gnocchi is air frying is because it’s quick and they come out crisp. They absorb a lot of liquid in soup so getting them crispy is good! You can also bake or cook them in a skillet – all methods are in this post. *if you can’t find Ripple plant-based half and half – you can use nut pods unsweetened creamer. Or for a dairy option just use heavy cream!
*this soup is creamy but the broth isn’t thick. If you want a thicker broth add a little bit (1-2 tbsp) of tapioca starch or cornstarch with the plant based half and half and stir into the broth.