I’m so excited to bring you the Best Lightened Chicken Gnocchi Soup. This soup is rich, creamy, super flavorful, and packed with wholesome ingredients. It also takes less than 30 minutes to make and works beautifully for meal prep. It’s the ultimate cozy dish for winter!
It’s Soup Season
Between this crazy chilly weather and a very persistent cold, I’ve been craving all the warm, comforting soup.
My mom recently introduced me to Chicken Gnocchi Soup. After one bite, I instantly fell in love. When I asked her for the recipe, I was a bit alarmed to learn how much heavy cream was in the soup. I decided to make it my mission to lighten up this soup but not lose it’s flavor or creamy goodness that gives it it’s charm.
Trust me when I say I succeeded. In fact, I created an even better version of the soup, in my humble opinion! It’s still rich, velvety and creamy. But I amped up the flavor with some secret ingredients and loaded it with veggies for extra nutrients. I’ve tested this bad boy over 5 times and it’s a winner!
Ingredients in the Best Lightened Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Here’s what you’ll need to make this soup:
- carrots, celery, and onion, also known as a mirepoix (a fancy french cooking term that simply means cooking down these veggies in olive oil to form an automatic base for the soup.) It adds texture, flavor, and veggie goodness!
- garlic, I mean, garlic makes everything better right! It adds a nice pop of flavor that helps the veggies shine.
- Umami mushroom seasoning blend + Worcestershire sauce, my two secret ingredients for maximum flavor! Umami mushroom seasoning is made from a divine mixture of kosher salt, dried porcini and white button mushrooms, dried onion, mustard seed, red and black pepper, and thyme. It adds an explosion of flavor to the soup. It’s pretty easy to find now. Some spots to get it are Target, Trader Joe’s, and Amazon. The Worcestershire sauce also packs an umami punch to add more depth of flavor to the soup.
- Italian seasoning, adds some extra automatics and freshness to the soup.
- salt and pepper, seasoning is key to any good dish! But be careful with your salt – there is salt already in the umami seasoning blend, so you only need a touch more to get the perfect balance for the soup.
- bay leaves and fresh thyme, adds extra flavor and aurora to the soup! There are tons of aromatics in the soup to build layers of flavor and make it truly tasty!
- low sodium chicken broth, the base of the soup. Together with the spices and automatics, it creates a flavorful broth!
- half and half + cornstarch, the half and half gives the soup it’s creamy goodness while the touch of cornstarch helps thicken the soup and provide a velvety texture
- gnocchi, it’s the kind in the pantry-section (not frozen). It adds substance and texture to the soup so it’s filling and perfect for a full meal.
How to make this lightened chicken gnocchi soup.
Another reason to love this soup is it’s easy to make. The soup is complete in under 30 min too!
- Sauté the veggies: Start by heating olive oil in a dutch oven. Add in the carrots, celery, and onion and cook for 4-5 minutes or until translucent.
- Add in the spices: add in the fresh garlic and spices and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Time for broth and aromatics: Next, pour in the broth, Worcestershire sauce, and herbs and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the flavors develop.
- Let’s make it creamy (+ gnocchi): meanwhile, combine the cornstarch and half and half and mix until no lumps are present. Once the soup has simmered, bring to a low boil. Add in the half and half mixture and gnocchi and cook until the gnocchi is cooked through and pops to the top and the soup is thickened slightly.
- Warm the spinach and chicken: Reduce the heat to low. Add the spinach and chicken and cook until warmed and the spinach wilted.
- Finish with lemon: Take off heat. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for brightness.
How is the soup lightened?
Here’s what I did to lighten this soup up:
- Cut the cream by half. I actually think it provides the perfect creamy texture without being too heavy.
- Load up the veggies. I increased the amount of celery, carrots, and good ole spinach for extra vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
- Use low sodium chicken broth. It cuts the sodium in half without sacrificing flavor.
- Add more chicken. I also added a fair amount of pulled chicken breast meat which adds a healthy amount of lean protein.
- Other idea? I tested the recipe with both regular and gluten-free gnocchi. Both work great!
other cozy recipes
This Lightened Chicken Gnocchi Soup is delicious comfort food at it’s best. Plus, made easily healthier through some clever swaps!
If you make this Lightened Chicken Gnocchi Soup, please leave a comment below. I absolutely love to hear from you guys and your thoughts on my recipes. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or pin it on pinterest so I can see your creations!
Lightened Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large carrots peeled and sliced
- 4 medium celery stalks sliced
- 1 small to medium yellow onion diced
- 3-4 garlic cloves finely minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1 ½ teaspoons umami mushroom seasoning blend
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- A few dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 3-4 fresh thyme stalks
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups half and half
- 2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 16 oz store-bought gnocchi found in pantry isle (not frozen)
- 3 cups pulled chicken breast I used a rotisserie chicken, shredded
- 2 cups baby spinach roughly chopped
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg optional
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. Once hot, add the diced onion, diced carrot, and diced celery. Sauté the veggies for 4-5 minutes until the onion becomes translucent and the other veggies softened. Add in fresh garlic, salt, pepper, umami seasoning, and Italian seasoning and cook for about 1 minute.
Next, add the chicken broth, whorechestire, bay leaves, and fresh thyme. Bring the soup to a boil and then cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for 15 minutes so the flavors develop. Remove bay leave and thyme.
While the soup are simmering, whisk together half and half and cornstarch.
Bring the soup back to a low boil. Add in the half and half mixture and gnocchi. Allow the soup to cook for about 3-4 minutes or until the gnocchi is cooked through (and popping up at the top) and the soup is thickened slightly.
Reduce the soup heat to low and add the spinach and shredded chicken to the soup.
Finish the soup by stirring in the fresh lemon juice and fresh ground nutmeg. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired. Serve the soup with warm whole wheat bread, if desired.