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!
Instant Pot Best Chicken Gnocchi Soup
The same Italian chain restaurant that does the Zuppa Toscasna does a varation of this rich and creamy, gnocci and chicken-laden soup. Except this one is the one you want the recipe for. For those who've never had it, gnocchi are Italian potato dumplings.
- 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!
Made this tonight, made a couple substitutions, but it turned out terrific! Spinach gnocchi for the gnocchi, coconut milk for the cream, and no Boursin, but you’ve convinced me to buy some-still, turned out Great!
Where did you get spinach gnocchi?!
Delicious! This was a huge hit with my family. Thank you for creating the recipe.
This was really good. Thicker than soup but nontheless we loved it. I made a huge batch and would like to freeze some of it. Is it one to freeze and be tasty down the road?
Ester Joy Nolte
I made this tonight and, wow, what a dish of soup!! A definite company dish. I used bacon, no wine, loved the Chicken better than bouillion. I used a 1.8# pkg of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Definitely enough, but I had only 1# pkg of potato gnocchi and 2 would be much better. I did not use the cream and flour….I used corn starch and a little water to thicken it like gravy. Also, no boursin. One of the best IP recipes I’ve tried……5 stars!!!
I plan on making this tonight but I live alone so would like to freeze some leftover …would this freeze okay? thanks
I already have cooked shredded chicken, how long would I pressure cook just the veggies and broth and add chicken after and complete the recipe?
Wow, this is so incredible; so fantastic, I’d give it 10 stars if I could. I love all the fresh ingredients, and it’s become one of my most favorite comfort foods. It’s great on a cold winter day, but it’s June and I’ve got a strong craving for it now. Thank you, Jeffrey, for a phenomenal recipe.
I made this today and it was a hit. Very thick and rich like stew. When I make it again (and I will) I won’t shred the chicken but cut it into small bite size pcs. Other than that I’ll stay with the recipe as written.
This was DELICIOUS. I made it exactly as is and it was perfect. My family loved it.
Could this be frozen? I’m making meals ahead for a new mommy and I know she likes chicken gnocchi soup.
I’ve frozen three batches that are more suitable for “dinner for one”. Freezes great! Defrost in fridge overnight; stove top for reheat. Delicious!
Review from my daughter who eats bowls of this at OG… it’s actually better!!! I had to sub cream cheese with boursin herbs but it is delicious. Make this! 🙂
Made this last night for dinner and my husband literally exclaimed that it was amazing when he went for seconds. He normally likes my cooking but I haven’t received that type of response in quite a while! My kids ate it up too. What a great comfort soup. Just like Olive Garden but so much better! I omitted the pancetta since I didn’t have it on hand, forgot the herbs, used two packages of gnocchi and added more chicken stock and it still ended up being fantastic!
If I wanted to put turkey meatballs in this instead of chicken how long would I pressure cook? Thanks!
I am dairy free. I know how to substitute the half & half, but how about the Boursin cheese?
They have a dairy-free option now!
A lot of times I use cream cheese and then add some of the spices for Jeffery’s “boursin. Work nicely.
Made this for dinner with a few substitutions: it’s going to be dinner over rice. Left out the gnocchi: made it thicker, less soupy: used cream cheese instead of boursin: and tweaked the spices a bit. Family can’t wait to eat!!
The flavors in this are just amazing! I tried making keto gnocchi, & it didn’t impress, so in goes a pound of broccoli. Instead of regular flour I used 1/4C. Lupine flour & 1/4 tsp. zanthan gum, used a blend of BTB chicken & garlic stock & skipped the wine. Used 1 small carrot, & switched to white onion. Total comfort food that is also Keto friendly! Thanks again!
Excellent!!! Thank you so much!
6qt or 8qt IP
Made this with the bacon but without chicken (forgot to buy). I fried the bacon and onions together and then added the carrots and celery (3 of each), then the sherry and two cups of spinach. Added 4.5cup broth and herbs and cooked 4mins. Afterwards added the flour to some milk and mixed in, then added the 1lb of sweet potato gnocchi. No cheese or cream added. Just served it at the table with Creme fresch in case anyone wanted to add some to their bowl. Saved tons of calories and tasted awesome!
This is the best Chicken Gnocci recipe hands down!
Can you make this without using a pressurecooker? If so, how?
Guess I’ll have to write another book!