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Dairy-Free Chicken and Gnocchi Soup {Olive Garden Copycat + GF}

A creamy and fuss-free Olive Garden copycat, this dairy-free Chicken and Gnocchi Soup is the ultimate comfort food. A healthy, dairy-free, and gluten-free take on a classic, this amazing soup can be made in the Instant Pot, crockpot, or on the stovetop. 

a bowl of dairy-free chicken and gnocchi soup with parsley on top

We’re a family of soup lovers!

Ok, actually, I’m the one who really loves soup. The three males in my house basically just tolerate it. Except when it comes to Chicken Gnocchi Soup; that is something we all love.

Unfortunately, it has dairy and flour in it, two things we try to avoid because of my oldest son’s delicate butterfly stomach.

I made it my mission to recreate our favorite soup, but with no dairy or gluten. Guess what? Nailed it! Bonus: we made it Instant Pot-friendly too!

Soup is pretty much my favorite thing. Whole30 soups are so delicious, comforting, and healthy that I actually put together a guide on 15 Whole30 Soups to keep you warm and cozy.

Check out all my Instant Pot Soup recipes for more inspiration. 

What is in Dairy-Free Chicken and Gnocchi Soup?

  • Chicken (you knew that was in there, right?)
  • Cauliflower gnocchi (we’ll talk more about this below!)
  • Carrots, celery, onion, and garlic (my perfect storm of happiness)
  • Spices – smoked paprika (in everything I make), parsley, thyme, and tarragon
  • Chicken broth (try making your own chicken bone broth!)
  • Non-dairy milk (I used Nut Pods, but check the recipe notes for other options)
  • Arrowroot powder

carrots, spices, chicken, gnocchi, and other ingredients for dairy-free chicken and gnocchi soup

If you don’t want to make your own homemade bone broth, check out this post on where to buy bone broth. In a very dorky move on my part, I’ve created a free download where you can compare protein and sodium content as well as the price per ounce for various brands. #nerdalert

Make your prep even easier by learning how to freeze celeryhow to freeze garlic and how to freeze onions.

Is Gnocchi Allowed on Whole30?

No! Damnit. Cue the collective sobbing. Even though all the ingredients in the cauliflower gnocchi are compliant, it is a recreation of pasta and that’s a no-no.

Fine. Whatever. Let’s go pout in our rooms.

Doing a Whole30 round and need help getting started off on the right foot? Download my totally free Trader Joe’s Whole30 Shopping List and Whole30 Costco Shopping List. I have done all the work for you with checking ingredients and figuring out safe foods.

Are Potatoes Paleo?

No. Yes. Maybe. It depends.

As with anything in life, there are super strict “there is only way to do things” kind of people. They’re the ones who reminded the teacher on Friday afternoon that she forgot to assign homework.

And then there are “this food makes me feel good, I like it, and it doesn’t bother my stomach” people.

Depending on what camp you fall into, you may or may not eat potatoes and also follow a paleo diet. If what you are doing works for you, keep on keepin’ on.

Where Can I Buy Free-Range Organic Chicken Breasts?

I used some of the chicken breasts that we got in our monthly Butcher Box orderButcher Box sources only organic and free-range meat for their customers and ships them to your home once a month.

Can I Make Chicken and Gnocchi Soup if I Don’t Have an Instant Pot?

Sure thing! As always, I’ve included slow cooker and stovetop cooking instructions. But seriously, get an Instant Pot. You have no idea what you’re missing.

How to Make Dairy-Free Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

*A detailed and printable recipe card is available at the bottom

Toss the cut chicken breast in the arrowroot powder, stirring to coat.

Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, gnocchi, chicken, and spices in the Instant Pot. Pour the chicken broth over ingredients and stir to combine.

3 photos showing ingredients for making dairy-free chicken and gnocchi soup

Lock the lid into place and set the steam release handle (valve on top) to “Sealing”. Press Manual>High Pressure>6 minutes. <—–If you have any questions about those terms, check out this post on recipes for Instant Pot beginners.

When the Instant Pot is done cooking, allow for a natural release for 5 minutes, and then use a clean kitchen towel and flip the steam release handle to “venting” to remove any additional pressure.

Remove the lid and add in the milk. Stir and serve.

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • If you use fresh herbs instead of dried, you’ll need 1 tbsp fresh to equal 1 tsp of dried.
  • No Nut Pods? Use half coconut cream and half almond or cashew milk.
  • I bought Trader Joe’s (frozen) Cauliflower Gnocchi for this recipe. Feel free to sub in your favorite gluten-free gnocchi. Don’t have a Trader Joe’s or gluten-free gnocchi available locally? I found a few different options on Amazon (Delallo, Little Pasta Organics, and Bionita).
  • Due to the use of coconut cream in this recipe, there will be some natural separation in the broth when this dairy-free chicken and gnocchi soup cools down. It’s perfectly normal and will incorporate better when reheated.
  • You can use the same amount of tapioca starch in place of the arrowroot powder if needed.

an overhead photo of a bowl of dairy-free chicken and gnocchi soup

More Recipes Like This

Dairy-Free Chicken and Gnocchi Soup WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS

One serving of Dairy-Free Chicken and Gnocchi Soup has 2 WW Freestyle SmartPoints.

a bowl of dairy-free chicken and gnocchi soup with parsley on top
Print Recipe
4.5 from 2 votes

Dairy-Free Chicken and Gnocchi Soup {Olive Garden Copycat + GF}

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Pressurizing/depressurizing time25 mins
Total Time21 mins
A creamy and fuss-free Olive Garden copycat, this dairy-free Chicken and Gnocchi Soup is the ultimate comfort food. A dairy and gluten-free take on a classic.

Ingredients

Instructions

Instant Pot Instructions

  • Cube the chicken breast and toss it with the arrowroot powder, stirring to coat.
  • Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, gnocchi, chicken, and spices in the Instant Pot. Pour the chicken broth over ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Lock the lid into place and set the steam release handle (valve on top) to “Sealing”. Press Manual>High Pressure>6 minutes. <—–If you have any questions about those terms, check out this post on recipes for Instant Pot beginners.
  • When the Instant Pot is done cooking, allow for a natural release for 5 minutes, and then use a clean kitchen towel and flip the steam release handle to “venting” to remove any additional pressure.
  • Remove the lid and add in the milk. Stir and serve.

Stovetop Instructions

  • Cube the chicken breast and toss it with the arrowroot powder, stirring to coat.
  • In a heavy pan (like a dutch oven), heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, and onions stirring to combine. After about 10 minutes of cooking, add the garlic. Add chicken. Cook for 5-10 more minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth and parsley, tarragon, thyme, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. (NOTE: you'll need 5 cups of chicken broth to make this on the stovetop).
  • Crank the heat up to medium-high, add the gnocchi and milk and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Stirring constantly, cook on medium-high for 2-4 minutes.  Reduce the temperature to medium and cook until the gnocchi is floating on the top.

Crockpot Instructions

  • Cube the chicken breast and toss it with the arrowroot powder, stirring to coat.
  • Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, gnocchi, chicken, and spices in the Instant Pot. Pour the chicken broth over ingredients and stir to combine. (NOTE: you'll need 6 cups of chicken broth to make this in a slow cooker).
  • Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours.
  • 30 minutes prior to serving, add the gnocchi and milk. Stir and put the lid back on and put the crockpot on high. Soup is ready to serve when the gnocchi are floating on the top.

Notes

If you use fresh herbs instead of dried, you'll need 1 tbsp fresh to equal 1 tsp of dried.
 
No Nut Pods? Use half coconut cream and half almond or cashew milk.
 
You can use the same amount of tapioca starch in place of the arrowroot powder if needed.
Nutrition Facts
Dairy-Free Chicken and Gnocchi Soup {Olive Garden Copycat + GF}
Amount Per Serving (1.5 cups)
Calories 142 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 32mg11%
Sodium 280mg12%
Potassium 746mg21%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 12320IU246%
Vitamin C 22.8mg28%
Calcium 117mg12%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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12 comments on “Dairy-Free Chicken and Gnocchi Soup {Olive Garden Copycat + GF}”

  1. I was recently diagnosed with a gluten and dairy allergy. My favorite foods have always been anything creamy or cheese based, my doctor recommended looking into alternatives to gluten and dairy. Tonight I stumbled across your site and this recipe, I can’t wait to try it! I’ve tried making cream soups in the past with unsweetened coconut milk but it just didn’t taste right at all. I’ve never tried nut pods but I do make my own stock and bone broth. I bought the GF gnocchis, I don’t have an insta pot but I rely on my slow cooker a lot. Any advice or life hacks for someone starting out in this crazy world of food would be appreciated! I feel like I am relearning how to cook and eat again. Thank you for posting relatable comfort food recipes! I have hopes of getting back into the kitchen 🙂

    • Hi Kerri, ugh, I feel you! It can seem super overwhelming at first when you’re trying to figure out new foods to try. A great thing to keep in mind is that anything labeled as “whole30” and *most* things labeled as “paleo” will be both gluten AND dairy-free. Always check the labels of course!

      I do have a free whole30 meal plan if you’d like to take a look. It can hopefully inspire some meal ideas you’ll love. You can find it here: https://www.sustainablecooks.com/whole30-meal-plan/

  2. Hey girl! Do I add my TJ’s frozen cauliflower gnocchi while it is still frozen or do I thaw it first? Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  3. absolutely did not work. the gnocchi turned into mush. i was a little worried when it said cook for 6 minutes but thought i’d give it a go. now i know. 

    • So sorry it didn’t work for you Kayla. Which brand did you use? Was it frozen? Shelf-stable?

      We’ve made it many many times and have never had those results.

  4. My gnocchi disappeared! Once I mixed in the milk it was all gone. Any suggestions for trying again? 

    • What brand of gnocchi did you use Amanda? Were they frozen? Shelf-stable?

      • I used the Trader Joe’s brand cauliflower gnocchi, so it was frozen! It could have been me, I’m new to the Instant pot and everything I make seems to go terribly wrong! 

      • I’ve had loads of other people try this recipe and that has not happened. But I also know of people who just can’t make their pressure cooker models work for them (and it is not their fault).

        Would you be willing to try a rice test for me? I had another reader do it and that is how we found out her IP was either a knock off or something was majorly wrong.

        Add 2 cups of rice and 2 cups of water or broth to your Instant Pot. Stir. Put the lid on and set the nozzle to “sealing”. Press “manual”, then “adjust” until the “normal” light under the display lights up. That shows you’re cooking it under normal pressure.

        Then, press the + or – button until the time display says “6”. Wait for it to beep and the display *should* show it as “ON”. It will take like 4 minutes to come up to pressure and then start counting down the time. When it beeps and it’s done, use a kitchen towel to flip the vent to “venting”. It will take 1-3 minutes for the pressure valve to drop and you can open the lid. Inside *should* be perfectly fluffy rice.

        Give that a shot and let me know how it goes!

  5. This should be called “you’ll never stop soup.” The creaminess is like a chowder, but flavor is marvelous. Never really liked gnocchi till this soup.