Pregnancy has come with some odd cravings. They definitely haven’t all been nutritious and some of them leave my husband looking at me all disgustedly. Example: Mac & cheese with hotdogs and ketchup all mixed up in the same bowl. Yep.
Mostly, I crave familiar comfort foods from when I was growing up.
Honesty hour: I wasn’t vegan until age 24, so my favorites growing up weren’t vegan either. To be completely honest here, I’ve had cravings for things that aren’t vegan. However, I’m not giving up my ethics and I want to have a vegan-from-conception baby, so veganizing some of my old favorites has been the only option.
Veganizing Olive Garden’s chicken and gnocchi soup is just what I did. This soup tastes exactly the way I remember it tasting when I’d eat at Olive Garden with my family or on dates early in mine and Alex’s relationship.
The only significant difference you can expect if you make this is that I intentionally left out the celery from the original. You won’t find celery in my kitchen. Alex and I even joke that it’s not vegan because we dislike it so much.
Chick'n & Gnocchi Soup (Olive Garden Copycat)
- 1 package Gardein meatless chick'n strips cooked and chopped into bite-size pieces
- 3 tbsp butter I use Earth Balance vegan butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 1/2 cup carrots shredded
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups vegetable broth or vegan chicken broth *
- 1 1/3 cup vegan half & half **
- 1 pound potato gnocchi
- 3 cups baby spinach stems removed
- 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped
- In a large soup pot, melt the butter and mix with the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add chopped onion, shredded carrots, and minced garlic. Season with pepper and cook over medium-low until tender, stirring frequently. This should take about 10 minutes to make sure the onion and carrots are tender.
- Add the flour into the pot with the vegetables and stir continuously for 3 minutes.
- Add in the broth and half & half and stir
- Add the cooked meatless chick'n strips and bring the contents of the pot to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper***.
- While the soup base is cooking, cook the gnocchi separately according to the instructions on the package.
- Once soup base has finished cooking, add cooked gnocchi and spinach. Simmer until the spinach has wilted. Stir in basil.
- Serve and enjoy.
Tiffanie · November 14, 2020 at 4:49 pm
Just made this tonight and it is so delicious! I accidentally left out the celery because it wasn’t in the directions, so I made it just as you intended, I may add it next time. Such a perfect fall comfort food. Thank you!
heybrittney · November 14, 2020 at 4:53 pm
So glad to hear that you enjoyed it, Tiffanie, and glad to hear you plan to make it again. If you like celery, I say go for it! 🙂 I just personally can’t stand it, haha.
Thank you for the kind review. 🙂
Anna · July 6, 2020 at 9:50 pm
So delicious! Olive Gardens chicken gnocchi is something I’ve really missed since going vegan and this really hit the spot. I added celery and used Califia “better half” half & half. It made it a little sweet but I added extra onion powder and garlic salt to make it more savory. The “not chicken” base also helped. Will definitely be making again!
heybrittney · July 7, 2020 at 9:12 am
Thanks, Anna! I’m so glad to hear this hit the spot. Their chicken and gnocchi used to be my very fave too.
My husband and I joke around here that celery isn’t vegan because we both can’t stand the taste, haha, but I’m glad to hear it worked for you!