Olive Garden Chicken & Gnocchi Soup: What To Know Before Ordering

Does gnocchi belong in soup? With its doughy texture and chewy consistency, some may argue that it's served best as a standalone dish. However, Olive Garden proves that such a combination can exist with its highly acclaimed chicken and gnocchi soup. And this dish has its fair share of fans. In fact, it's ranked as our second favorite Olive Garden dish and is the second most popular soup on a Mashed poll. Needless to say, this chicken and gnocchi combination soup won't disappoint.

Still on the fence? If you're a fan of any of the other soups, or if the gnocchi is a bit intimidating at first, you can get this as a "Half and Half," according to The Krazy Koupon Lady. Nonetheless, you can enjoy this soup as an entree on its own, an appetizer, or as a plate to share between your family and friends. So what else do you need to know before ordering this dish at your next Olive Garden stop? Keep reading to find out.

What is Olive Garden's Chicken & Gnocchi Soup?

Olive Garden's Chicken & Gnocchi Soup is described as "a creamy soup made with roasted chicken, traditional Italian dumplings and spinach" on the chain's website. It is listed under the category of "homemade soups," which include pasta e fagioli, minestrone, and Tuscan soup.

And this label is actually true, as Delish reveals that every restaurant makes this dish from scratch every morning along with its other three types of soup. This may come as a surprise to some, as Redbook Magazine states that the chain mainly serves prepackaged foods that are just heated up in the kitchen. Nonetheless, frozen or not, you can't deny how good this dish is — for its quality and the price. Like with its salads and breadsticks, Olive Garden offers never-ending soup, according to its website. So if you're not in the mood for pasta the next time you're at Olive Garden, getting unlimited bowls of soup isn't a bad trade-off.

How does it taste and is it worth the price?

As stated before, Olive Garden's Chicken & Gnocchi Soup has a pretty high approval rating amongst the chain's selection of soups and menu items in general. This dish didn't only rank second on our list of Olive Garden foods, but it scored the same place amongst the soup ranks on Greatest. The reviewer describes the dish overall as "a warm hug on a cold day." Furthermore, they recommend pairing the soup with the chain's famed breadsticks, describing the duo as a "beautiful partnership." How can you possibly say no to that?

The Chicken & Gnocchi Soup stands at $7.79 at its location in Westbury, New York. However, this price can vary by location, as Real Menu Prices lists the cost at $5.49. Regardless, for the massive-sized gnocchi, which Greatest likens to gumballs, this dish is definitely worth a try at least once. Come on, you can always get your chicken parmigiana another time.

What's it made out of?

Olive Garden doesn't exactly disclose the exact ingredients of its Chicken & Gnocchi Soup dish, but Christina Musgrave from Tasting with Tina developed a recipe that is pretty dang similar and is available for viewing on Mashed. This replica dish contains olive oil, onion, celery, carrots, spices and seasoning, shredded chicken breast, potato gnocchi, chicken stock, half and half, and fresh spinach.

But hey, we won't even be offended if you don't like our recipe. There are a plethora of other copycats of the soup on the internet, like this one by Creme de la Crumb. If you don't have ready-made gnocchi on hand, you can use our recipe for potato gnocchi and simply toss the finished pasta into the broth. This recipe is a firsthand example of how making gnocchi does not have to be scary! There are even some plant-based versions available on the web, like this one by Midwest Foodie.

When was it released and is it a permanent staple?

We're not entirely sure when the Chicken & Gnocchi Soup began to grace Olive Garden's menu with its presence. All we know is that it has consistently been popular since its release, with copycats — like this one on CopyKat Recipes — available on the internet since 2010. But according to The Daily Meal, soups were first added to the chain's menu was when it changed its slogan to, "When you're here, you're family." Prior to this, it mainly served pasta and salads, and its slogan was, "Good Times, Great Salad, Olive Garden." As of today, it's current motto is, "We're All Family Here."

With its soaring popularity, it is unlikely that this dish will be removed from the Olive Garden menu any time soon. It is also only one of four soups on the menu, so if the chain were to remove it, customers would only have three soups to choose from.

Nutritional information

A lot of Olive Garden's name has been made through its pasta. However, it doesn't have many varieties that are gluten-free, aside from its rotini pasta, which is listed on its website. Unfortunately, as you might expect, the gluten-free label does not apply to its gnocchi. This dish is not vegetarian-friendly either, as evidenced by the "chicken" in its name. But as stated before, there are copycat recipes out there that you can tailor to your own dietary needs, such as this gluten-free version by Common Sense Home. All you need to do is add in some rustic decor to your home, and you'll have a dining experience similar to that of Olive Garden's chain restaurant.

Olive Garden's Chicken & Gnocchi Soup dish comes in at 230 calories per serving and contains 12 grams of fat, according to the chain's website. However, if you are looking for a side that has lower salt content, you might want to avoid this dish, as it has 1,290 milligrams of sodium.