Upgrade your chicken soup with pillowy Italian gnocchi for extra comfort when it's cold outside

This easy-to-make soup comes together in less than 30 minutes

By Ashlie D. Stevens

Food Editor

Published December 12, 2021 4:30PM (EST)

Chicken and vegetable soup with gnocchi (Getty Images/James Baigrie)
Chicken and vegetable soup with gnocchi (Getty Images/James Baigrie)

I'm not quite sure when it happened, but suddenly we've reached that height of soup season again. All I want to eat is light soup for lunch, hearty soup for dinner, leftover soup for breakfast. Then the cycle starts again, perhaps with some variation. 

But sometimes my desire to eat soup outpaces my desire to actually make soup, and that's where this doctored-up chicken number comes in handy. Instead of going the typical noodle or rice route (both of which I adore), this recipe leans on pre-packaged gnocchi, which are pillowy, Italian potato dumplings that take only a few minutes to become tender. 

Since it's paired with shredded supermarket rotisserie chicken, the bulk of the "cooking" being done here is sweating down the onion, garlic and carrots to create a more flavorful stock. To keep things feeling fresh — which is sometimes hard to do with winter meals — this soup is finished with a healthy amount of lemon zest and some fresh parsley. 


Recipe: Chicken and Gnocchi Soup 

Serves 4 to 6


  • 2 cups of rotisseries chicken meat, shredded or chopped 
  • Olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup of chopped white onion
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 1 cup of chopped carrots 
  • 1 packet (16 to 17 ounces) of store-bought gnocchi
  • 8 cups of chicken stock 
  • Zest of one lemon 
  • Handful of chopped parsley 


1. In a large stock pot, add a glug of olive oil, along with the white onion and garlic. Cook on medium-low heat until both have softened and begin to get fragrant. Add the carrots and more olive oil, if needed, and season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium-low heat until they begin to soften, about four minutes. 

2. Add the chicken stock to the pot, followed by the rotisserie chicken meat. Allow the soup base to simmer for at least 10 minutes so the flavors can meld.

3. Add the gnocchi to the soup, cover the pot with a lid and remove it from heat. Allow the gnocchi to "steam" for 4 minutes. (They will rise to the top of the soup when they are done.) Season with salt and pepper to taste, followed by the lemon zest and parsley. Stir to fully combine and serve. 

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By Ashlie D. Stevens

Ashlie D. Stevens is Salon's food editor. She is also an award-winning radio producer, editor and features writer — with a special emphasis on food, culture and subculture. Her writing has appeared in and on The Atlantic, National Geographic’s “The Plate,” Eater, VICE, Slate, Salon, The Bitter Southerner and Chicago Magazine, while her audio work has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered and Here & Now, as well as APM’s Marketplace. She is based in Chicago.

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