Hello & welcome to solsarin. Our discussion is “Crock Pot Chicken Gnocchi Soup”. Please stay with us until the end of the text.
Crockpot Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Simple, delicious, and indulgent – this easy to make Crockpot Chicken and Gnocchi Soup checks all the right boxes! Soft, pillowy gnocchi mixes perfectly with white meat chicken, veggies, and the most comforting creamy broth.
Why This Gnocchi Soup Is So Good
This is a re-make of an old recipe that was inspired by a friend and what I love about this soup is, well, there are several things.
It is wildly similar to the genius and ever-popular gnocchi soup from Olive Garden.
It reminds me a little bit of the chicken wild rice soup in that we just start pretty basic with carrots, celery, onions, chicken, spices, and broth in a crockpot. And you know how I love me some chicken wild rice soup slash any soup in a crockpot. Minnesota represent!
Unlike the wild rice soup, this chicken gnocchi soup is made thick by evaporated milk and a quick cornstarch slurry. So if you’re looking for thick and creamy soup while avoiding the butter/flour/cream route of a roux base, this is your magic.
GNOCCHI. Those tiny dumplings of happy feelings that are mixed in throughout the chicken gnocchi soup make the whole thing come together. Every time I make this soup, Bjork a) raves, and b) talks for at least 5 minutes about how much he loves “the dumplings.”
I could almost actually call this Chicken and Dumpling soup except the Chicken and Dumpling soup of my youth (a Herman’s bakery special in Cambridge, MN) had approximately zero vegetables and was practically untouchable in its level of homey perfection, so I will not go there.
Let’s just give ourselves a pat on the back for the carrots, celery, and sautéed garlic spinach that are present at this soup party. And the bacon. I always invite the bacon.
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 large carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons dried italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 1 cup spinach chopped
- 16 ounces gnocchi
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Other Ingredients You’ll Need For This Soup
We’ve already covered the ever-convenient storebought gnocchi, but here’s what else you need to make this soup happen:
- Mirepoix (carrots, celery, onion)
- Chicken broth
- Evaporated milk (trust me)
- And BACON (yes, yes, yes)
How to make Chicken Gnocchi Soup in a Crockpot
- Pour the chicken broth into the slow cooker.
- Add the chicken breasts.
- On top of the chicken, add all of the veggies except for the spinach.
- Sprinkle the seasonings on top of the veggies.
- Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours.
- Remove the chicken and shred it with two forks.
- Return the chicken to the slow cooker.
- Stir in the gnocchi and spinach.
- Whisk the heavy cream and cornstarch together.
- Stir the heavy cream slurry into the soup.
- Cook for an additional 30 minutes.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cooking Time: 3 to 4 hours on low or 1.5 to 2 hours on high with an additional 30 minutes on high after adding the cornstarch and milk and another 15 minutes on high after adding the gnocchi and spinach.
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- As with any of our recipes, carb counts, calorie counts and nutritional information varies greatly. As a result, your nutritional content depends on which products you choose to use when cooking this dish. The auto-calculation is just an automated estimate and should NOT be used for specific dietary needs.
- All slow cookers cook differently, so cooking times are always a basic guideline. Recipes should always be tested first in your own slow cooker and time adjusted as needed.
Do I have to use evaporated milk?
You can use something other than evaporated milk, but I found that evaporated milk has the creaminess of half and half or heavy whipping cream without actually needing to use up a bunch of half and half in the soup.
My soup leftovers seem less soupy and more thick. What should I do?
The leftovers soak up a lot of the moisture because of the gnocchi, so you might need to add more evaporated milk depending on how soupy you want it and/or how long you’ll be keeping it around.
Can I make this with dairy-free milk?
It won’t be as creamy with a dairy-free milk, but it should still work. We’d recommend unsweetened almond milk or canned coconut milk and adding an additional tablespoon of cornstarch to the soup.
Can I make this soup in the Instant Pot?
Yes! Add the chicken, mirepoix, basil, Italian seasoning, poultry seasoning, salt, and broth to the Instant Pot. Cook for 20 minutes on high pressure. Let out the steam using quick release. Remove the chicken to shred and then add it back to the pot.
Stir in the cornstarch mixture, evaporated milk, and gnocchi. Use the “Saute” function to simmer the soup for another 20 minutes or so to thicken it all up. Add in the bacon and spinach, and stir to combine.
Can you freeze this soup?
Honestly, I’ve never had a ton of luck with freezing soups that have dairy. I’d probably skip freezing this one!
How do you know when the gnocchi is cooked?
The almost one hour of time that it sits in the soup should do the trick, but if you want to be sure, I’d recommend just taking out one of the gnocchi and cutting it down the middle to ensure it’s cooked and tender.
Creamy Crockpot Chicken Gnocchi Soup
This chicken gnocchi soup recipe is dreamy comfort food made slow cooker simple. It’s packed with tender veggies and flavorful chicken, dotted with pillowy gnocchi, and all wrapped up in a velvety soup that will have everyone scraping the bowl.
If you love comforting soups, Instant Pot creamy wild rice, carrot red pepper, or healthy tortellini chicken noodle varieties are all guaranteed to please!
The best part of this soup is the smooth, creamy base. Or maybe it’s the bites when a soft, pillowy gnocchi lands on your spoon. No, wait, I think it’s actually the tender, perfectly-seasoned, slow-cooked pieces of chicken.
Thank goodness we don’t really have to decide. The true best part is that all this comes together in one tasty package.
And, for the busy home cooks among us, it’s one of those glorious meals beautifully suited to the crockpot or slow cooker. You literally get simmered-all-day flavor with minimal effort.
Ingredients and shopping tips
Here’s what you’ll need to make this creamy crockpot chicken gnocchi soup. And trust me, you want to make this happen tonight! As always, you can see the full recipe below for detailed amounts and instructions.
- About 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 small onion – white or yellow
- 3-4 medium carrots
- 1-2 stalks celery
- 3 cups or so baby spinach
- Garlic cloves
- Chicken broth or stock – preferably low-sodium so you can control the salt content to taste
- Cornstarch – I consider this a pantry staple; if you don’t have it on hand, look for it in a small box or jar in the baking aisle
- Two (12 ounce) cans evaporated milk – also in the baking aisle
- One 1 lb. package dried potato gnocchi – typically sold with the boxed pasta. If your store carries mini gnocchi, as shown below, they are especially nice for small bites of soup, but I’ve made this with full-size gnocchi, as well, with great results
- Seasonings: dried basil, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper
- Place the raw chicken, chopped onion, carrots, celery, minced garlic, basil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in a large crockpot or slow cooker. Pour chicken stock or broth on top. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
- While keeping the crockpot on, shred the chicken, either directly in the pot or by removing to a cutting board. It will be ready to fall apart easily. If you took the chicken out to shred, return the pieces to the crockpot.
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water to make a thick slurry.
- Scrape that into the crockpot, along with both cans of evaporated milk and the gnocchi. Stir well to combine, then re-cover the crockpot and cook for another 20-30 minutes. The soup should be slightly thickened; the gnocchi, tender.
- Just before serving, stir in the spinach and let it wilt for 2-3 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, as desired. Serve with crumbled cooked bacon or fresh herbs for garnish. Enjoy!
- Be very sure to use cold water when making the cornstarch slurry. Adding cornstarch directly to a hot or warm liquid can lead to clumps or a gritty texture.
- If you prefer a thicker soup, try increasing the amount of cornstarch and water to 3 tablespoons each. You can also simply let the soup cook longer after adding the milk and gnocchi, with or without the crockpot lid.
- If the soup becomes too thick for your taste, simply add water or additional broth, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well.