When I took a popular Italian chain restaurant’s Zuppa Toscana and transformed it into one of my most popular recipes, Sausage & Spinach Soup, I just knew I had to do the same with Chicken Gnocchi Soup.
My version is LOADED with juicy chicken, colorful veggies, a touch of bacon (perhaps) and plenty of gnocchi (small potato dumplings) in a cheesy, velvety cream-based soup. One slurp of the spoon and you’ll know where your loyalty to this soup will lie!
And the fact that the Instant Pot makes this a one-pot stop makes it that much more miraculous.
Here’s How I Made It! (scroll to the bottom for the fully-written recipe):
Grab an onion…
…and dice it up.
Take some carrots…
…and peel and dice.
Now for some celery ribs…
…chopped. All three of these veggies combined is called a mirepoix (“meer-pwah” – that’s a fancy French cooking word thing).
Reserve those leafy tops from the celery!
Now go to the Instant Pot, add some butter and give it heat.
…add in some diced pancetta (or bacon).
Cook in the butter…
…until it’s cooked and slightly crispy.
Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and let rest in a paper towel-lined bowl for the time being.
See the grease in the pot? LEAVE IT! Huge flavor enhancer! (If you didn’t use the pancetta, simply add the butter and jump right to the next photo).
Add in the mirepoix…
…and sauté in the pot. This is also when you’d deglaze/scrape up any of the caked-on browning from the pancetta. The bottom of the pot should be nice and cleared.
Then add in some garlic and sauté for a moment.
And follow with some sherry.
Deglaze once again and let simmer for a few moments.
Now add in the broth…
Time to add in that chicken!
Make sure it’s all submerged in the broth, secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
When done, take the chicken out with some tongs…
…and let rest in a bowl to cool before shredding (and discarding any skin, cartilage and bones if you cooked whole pieces).
Now bring the pot to a boil again…
…because it’s time to add in our gnocchi! Gnocchi is basically a small, dense, yet succulent potato dumpling.
Once the gnocchi begins to float, it’s done! Turn off the heat.
As the bubbles die down in the pot, let’s focus on making this soup creamy! Add cream to a bowl…
…along with flour…
…and whisk until combined into a slurry (don’t worry if it appears a little lumpy – it should).
Pour the slurry into the soup.
Stir well to get most lumps out (if some remain, they’ll soon disappear).
Get cheesy with some Parmesan…
…and Boursin! (What? Are you surprised or something?)
Stir until totally melded into the soup.
Now add in some spinach (I’m adding it now for kore of a bite but you can also add before pressure cooking after the chicken if you want it thinner).
Stir until wilted into the soup.
Finish it off with the reserved celery leaves…
…the pancetta (that you probably snacked on a bit while the soup was coming to pressure)…
…and the now-shredded chicken!
Give it all a final stir…
…ladle into bowls…
…try it out…
…and if this is how you’ve reacted, you’ve made it properly and I commend you!
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
- 8-10 ounces pancetta, diced (optional, and you can also use 1/2 pound of bacon cut into bits)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 3 ribs celery, diced, with leafy tops reserved
- 1 tablespoon (3 cloves) garlic, crushed or minced
- 1/2 cup sherry wine (optional)
- 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 5 1/2 cups chicken or garlic broth (I used 5 1/2 teaspoons Chicken Better Than Bouillon + 5 1/2 cups water)
- 1 1/2 – 3 pounds chicken breast and/or thighs (NOTE: I used a small, whole young chicken cut into pieces with bones in and the skin on, which we will discard after cooking. However, you can definitely use 1 1/2 – 3 pounds of boneless, skinless breasts or thighs if you prefer. For this recipe, I just like cooking the chicken with the skin on as it creates a richer, more colorful broth. ALSO – The more chicken used, the more of a stew-like consistency. Go for 1 1/2 – 2 pounds of you want it more soupy.)
- 2 cups heavy cream or half & half
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1-2 pounds gnocchi of your choice (I used potato gnocchi. This is usually found in the market at either room temperature near the deli section in an air-tight container or frozen in a bag – either is fine!)
- 8-10 ounces baby spinach
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 5.2 ounce package Boursin, any flavor (optional)
- Add the butter to the Instant Pot and hit Sauté and adjust so it’s on the More or High Setting.
- Once melted, add in the pancetta/bacon and sauté for 6-8 minutes until cooked and slightly crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined bowl and set aside but leave the bacon grease and melted butter in the pot.
- Next, add in the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté for 3 minutes. Deglaze/scrape the bottom of the pot from any browned bits. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute longer and then the wine and let simmer for 1 minute and deglaze the pot for anything that’s stuck on.
- Add the broth, seasonings and stir. Then, add the chicken and make sure it’s submerged in the broth.
- Hit Keep Warm/Cancel and then hit Pressure Cook or Manual at high pressure for 10 minutes. Quick release when done.
- Using tongs, remove the chicken to a bowl and shred with two forks. (NOTE: If you used a whole chicken, let cool for 10 minutes before pulling the meat and discarding any cartilage, skin and bones).
- Hit Keep Warm/Cancel and then hit Sauté and Adjust so it’s on the More or High Setting. Once bubbling, add the gnocchi and let boil for 2-3 minutes until the gnocchi floats. Hit Keep Warm/Cancel to turn the pot off and switch to Keep Warm.
- In a bowl, whisk together the cream and flour until thickened (it should look a little curdled/and slightly lumpy) and stir it into the soup. Stir for about a minute to get any small lumps out (and don’t worry – it will smoothen perfectly as the steps go on).
- Now, add the Parmesan and Boursin (if using) and stir until melded into the soup.
- Lastly, add in the spinach and the leafy reserved tops from the celery. Stir in until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Then, add back the pancetta/bacon and shredded chicken. Give it all a final stir.
- Ladle into bowls and enjoy with some crusty bread!