If you love a good Zuppa Toscana, but also appreciate creamy soups, this sausage gnocchi soup will be right up your alley! While the sausage adds some spice, the cream-based soup offers smooth flavors.
If you’re anything like me, you only go to Olive Garden for the soup and salad. They have both the Zuppa Toscana, as well as the Chicken and Gnocchi soup. The only problem is that I can never decide which one I like more. Not that it’s really a problem, because they do have the bottomless soup option. So I usually alternate between flavors. One of each does the trick.
However, I got to thinking. What if I could take the spice from Zuppa Toscana and the creamy goodness of the Chicken and Gnocchi to make a single soup? What if I could have a spoonful of soup full of flavor and gnocchi? What if I never had a single bite of slightly dry chicken or too much potato?
Of course, I made it happen.
Compared to a traditional Zuppa Toscana, we’ll basically just substitute the potatoes for potato gnocchi and add cream and call it good.
Like most of my recipes, this begins by browning the meat in a skillet (or a big pot, to save on dishes) and adding the veggies to saute.
You’ll bring the liquids to a boil, add the gnocchi, and then throw in the rest of the ingredients.
My boyfriend greatly looks forward to this soup every time Fall comes around. We are always looking for new Fall soup recipes, Fall coffee recipes, and more (can you tell Fall is my favorite season?) 😉
Sausage Gnocchi Soup Ingredients
So let’s take a closer look at what you’ll need to make this yummy soup:
Pork Sausage – I recommend using a premium pork sausage. I used the “regular” kind in terms of heat. If you like spicy, feel free to go with the hot variety! OR, you can also use italian sausage if you prefer that flavor.
Gnocchi – Obviously you’ll need some gnocchi! Make sure to get the standard potato gnocchi. You can use either the frozen kind OR the kind that comes packaged in the pasta aisle. If you go with the latter kind, I’ve found I really like the De Cecco brand!
Onion – I’ve tested this recipe with both white & yellow onion and both times it turned out great!
Garlic – You can use anywhere between 2 and 3 tbsp. I personally think that 2 tbsp is the perfect amount, but if you’re a real garlic lover you can use more.
Heavy Cream – this will give the soup it’s rich and creamy consistency. You can use anything marketed as “heavy cream” OR “heavy whipping cream”!
Chicken Broth – every good soup needs broth of some kind! You can use homemade stock for a deeper flavor complex, or simply a package of store bought broth.
Bacon Bits – I just cooked up 4-5 slices of bacon and crumbled them into bite sized pieces. You definitely want to use the real deal bacon for this recipe! You can’t beat the flavor it adds.
Spinach – while we’re filling this soup with high calorie ingredients, we gotta offset it with something healthy! 😉 LOL. The spinach, added at the last minute, really does add a nice touch. I highly recommend using fresh spinach.
How to Make Sausage Gnocchi Soup
It’s really not too hard to make your own sausage gnocchi soup at home! Here are the steps you’ll want to follow:
Brown the sausage in a large pan. Add olive oil, onions, and garlic and cook for a few minutes until the onions are transluscent.
Take the meat and veggie mixture out of the pan and set aside. Next, add the cream and chicken broth to the pot and bring it to a boil. Cook the gnocci in the boiling liquid until done (always check the directions on your package to see how long to cook!) Then, add the meat mixture back to the pot.
Add in the bacon bits and spinach. Stir to combine until the spinach wilts; then serve immediately with garlic bread and a fresh salad!
This soup can be a bit delicate to get just right because of the gnocchi. Here are some more tips that may help.
- If you have a bit more time and want the flavors to “marry” and get stronger for LONGER than 30 minutes, you may not want to add the gnocchi right away. Let the meat and veggies simmer in the liquid until you’re ready to eat. Then add the gnocchi right before serving. This will ensure you don’t end up with mushy mess of gnocchi!
- You can also cook the gnocchi as the recipe describes, but simply strain it out and store in a sealed container in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. Then simply add back into the pot to heat it up!
- Just to be clear, the gnocchi is okay to simmer for a bit in the liquid, but the longer it stays in there, the mushier it gets. That’s why the recipe calls for a short simmering time. Follow the tips above if you want to simmer for even longer.
Ready to print this recipe and add it to your recipe book? See below!
Sausauge Gnocchi Soup
- 1 lb ground sausage
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 lb gnocchi
- 1 cup spinach, chopped
- 1/4 cup real bacon bits
- In a large soup pot, brown the sausage.
- Add the olive oil to the sausage. Add the garlic and onions. Saute until the onions are translucent, then transfer to a separate bowl.
- In the same pot, add the chicken broth and cream. Bring to a boil.
- Once the liquid is boiling, add gnocchi and cook. Follow the directions on the package to ensure proper cooking time. (Mine called for 2 minutes).
- Add the meat and vegetable mixture back to the pot. Cover and simmer the soup for 20-30 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
- Add the spinach and bacon bits. Allow them just enough time to heat up (about five minutes).
- Serve and enjoy!
- Make sure to brown the meat and saute the veggies in the same pot you boil the liquid. That’s a great way to save a dish AND keep all the flavors from the sausage!
- You can use mild sausage or hot sausage. The leftovers will have a stronger spice the longer they sit. The leftovers with the mild sausage had more heat than they did the first time I served it. I tried the recipe again with hot sausage and it was delicious, but the leftovers had a little bit too much heat. This is the kind of dish that the flavors will grow stronger with time!
- The fresher the gnocchi, the better. Frozen will probably be a little bit fresher than preserved in the pasta aisle. Although, I found the De Cecco brand from the pasta aisle to be good too!
- If you have longer than 30 minutes, simmer for an extended time so that the flavors have a longer time to marry each other.
- If you are short on time, you can also skip the simmering and just add the bacon and spinach right after cooking the gnocchi.
- Leftovers can be stored for a few days in the fridge and reheated in the microwave or on the stove. The sooner you eat this soup, the better, so that the gnocchi don’t get too mushy.
Before we finish, I thought I would answer a few common questions I see about gnocchi in general, as well as in this recipe.
What is the difference between gnocchi and pasta?
While gnocchi may be often served like pasta, it is actually more like a dumpling than a pasta. It is is made from potatoes, flour, and eggs. Wherease, pasta is made from flour and water.
What are the types of gnocchi?
They are actually quite a few varieties of gnocchi! The most common by far is classic potato gnocchi. However, you can also buy pumpkin gnocchi, cauliflower gnocchi, bread gnocchi, and more.
Can I use homemade gnocchi in this recipe?
If you are adventurous and try making homemade gnocchi, you can certainly try it in this recipe. Just be careful of overcooking it.
How do I make this recipe ahead?
If you are looking to have leftovers of this recipe, there are 2 ways you can do it.
- Make the soup as usual but leave out the gnocchi. Boil it separately when you are ready to eat, then add to the soup.
- Make the soup as is including the gnocchi. After the gnocchi is cooked through, strain it out and put in a sealed container until ready to eat. Then, simply add into the soup when heating it up.
Can I use spicy sausage in this recipe?
Yes, if you like the spicy variety, feel free to use it!
More Recipes to Try:
Sausage Gnocchi Soup is a delicious comfort food and a new family favorite. It is in my boyfriend’s list of top favorite recipes! The salty, flavorful sausage pairs so well with the crispy bacon and soft gnocchi. So now it’s your turn—make your own batch of sausage gnocchi soup and let me know what you think!