Learn how to make this Olive Garden inspired cauliflower low carb chicken gnocchi soup recipe with a handful of pantry keto friendly and gluten free ingredients. The perfect comforting soup recipe you make in 30 minutes or less!
Soups are the perfect comforting food (I could literally eat this low carb beer cheese soup or low carb Italian wedding soup recipes year round) for busy weeknights or a slow and cozy weekend meal. I’ve had a lot of fun recently playing around with new ways to use up the cauliflower gnocchi I have in my freezer.
Besides making these loaded cauliflower gnocchi style nachos, I really wanted to see how these would hold up in a soup recipe (obviously it did well since I am sharing this recipe).
If you have never jumped on the Trader Joe’s cauliflower Gnocchi train yet, you really should. They are very versatile and are perfect for these mostly-homemade, from scratch style recipes you can keep in your back pocket. This would also be a great addition to my Keto Meal Prep Recipes too!
Below I’ve broken down all the soup recipe ingredients, possible substitutions to fit your diet or lifestyle, and will also answer common questions about cauliflower gnocchi in particular too. Grab all the tips, tricks, and techniques and let’s dive in!
Don’t forget to also check out the full video tutorial too!
What is cauliflower gnocchi and where can I buy it?
Cauliflower gnocchi is a different play on traditional potato gnocchi you commonly see in Italian cooking. Traditionally these are a potato and flour style dumpling that’s made to be covered in sauce (similar to pasta). With the recent shift in popularity of low carb, whole 30, and gluten free diets, cauliflower gnocchi had hit grocery stores nation wide.
I prefer the brand from Trader Joe’s because it has a very clean and basic ingredient list of cauliflower, potato starch, cassava flour, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. You can find this product in the freezer section specifically. There are several other brands that have come to the market as well (I believe stores like Walmart and Target sell this too).
What does it taste like?
If you’re like me and are not the biggest cauliflower fan, then you’re still in luck. If cooked the right way and added to delicious recipes (like this creamy chicken gnocchi soup), then you will absolutely enjoy it. The gnocchi on it’s own is obviously nothing special (and yes, has a cauliflower taste). I like to get it crispier, season it with salt and pepper, and then add it to the soup specifically.
Is Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi low carb keto friendly?
While the ingredients are “clean and simple” and cauliflower is common on many keto diets as a substitute, the macros for one serving (1 cup) is 15 net carbs. This would be considered high for a traditional keto style diet (if you need more information about keto diets, check out this guide to help you learn more).
It is low carb friendly however. The ingredients fit a plant based or Whole 30 diet (though it is a recreation which is not compliant). On average, I had 3-4 gnocchi in each bowl of soup I ate, so the serving size is traditionally lower in this soup as well than it is if you sat down and ate a full bowl of the gnocchi on its own. Do what works best for you!
Cauliflower Gnocchi Soup Ingredients:
Cauliflower Gnocchi – I used a whole, 12 oz. bag of Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi. I actually opted to pop mine in the air fryer before adding it to the soup. I just prefer this for flavor, but you could also pre-cook it a bit in a frying pan on the stove too. Be sure to season it and add some flavor!
Olive Oil – Fat needed to sauté the veggies in your soup. Swap with whatever else you prefer.
Mirepoix – AKA Carrots, celery, and onion. The classic trifecta of veggies you add to every soup for maximum flavor.
Garlic- I add it to everything. Why not?
Spinach – I like to run a knife through a few handfuls of baby spinach. Cut the tails off for better texture and keep the pieces small so they wilt better into the soup. You could swap with kale or omit if preferred.
Boneless Chicken Thighs – While you can use any form of chicken (breast meat, leftover rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken, or pre-cooked etc.) for this soup, I really prefer thigh meat. Darker meat is usually a little richer in flavor and works really well for cooking full pieces in the broth base of this soup.
By cooking the raw chicken directly in the soup base, then shredding it cuts down on prep time too and makes this soup come together really fast. It also would make it effective for cooking in your instant pot or slow cooker too. The thigh meat will stay nice and tender specifically with this method, so I prefer it.
Chicken Broth or Stock – Use what you prefer here! I used about 4 cups of pre-made broth.
Spices: I liked classic salt and pepper and a blend of dried Italian spices for some added flavor.
Cream Cheese – Adds thickness and texture to the soup. I don’t have to add a lot for this to mix in nicely and bring the soup together. Not a fan of adding dairy? Swap it out for a little xanthan gum, arrowroot powder, or even cornstarch depending on your dietary needs.
Half & Half – Believe it or not, half and half doesn’t have too many more carbs than heavy cream and is definitely less calorie dense. Calories STILL matter on a low carb keto diet. You can absolutely use regular cream as well if desired.
The soup is so quick and easy to make and honestly is delicious immediately after making. I like to cook this right on the stove but you could easily adjust to cook in a slow cooker or instant pot too.
- Start by sautéing the mirepoix and garlic. I season this mixture to help develop aromatics, so the spices always go in as well.
- Once the veggies are cooked, I pour in the chicken broth and bring the temperature up to a nice, steady simmer. Once simmering, add in the boneless chicken thighs (whole) and cook them on medium heat until they reach 165 F. internally. (If making in a crockpot, I would stop at this point to cook it).
- Remove them from the pot and shred them and put them back in the soup. Add in the cream cheese and half and half and mix until thickened and seasoned right.
- Finally, add in your slightly cooked and crispy cauliflower gnocchi and chopped spinach. Give it a good stir and mix it all well before serving!
- Enjoy this comforting recipe and be sure to save to Pinterest! If you make this dish, please leave a rating on your experience below (feedback is always appreciated).
- 1, 12 oz. Bag of Cauliflower Gnocchi
- 1 lb. Chicken Thighs
- 4 cups Chicken Stock or Broth
- 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 Carrot, diced small
- 1 Celery Stalk, diced small
- 1/2 cup Onion, diced small
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 cup Spinach, chopped
- 4 oz. Cream Cheese
- 2/3 cup. Half and half
- 1 tsp Salt and Pepper
- 1 tsp. Italian Seasonings
- Cook your cauliflower gnocchi in the airy fryer or frying pan to help get it slightly crispy. This isn't something you have to do, but it does add a lot to the overall texture and I highly suggest it. Once browned a bit, set them aside.
- In a pot, add the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the celery, carrot, onion and garlic. Mix in the salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to develop the aromatics. Cook about 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock/broth into the pot and bring it up to a simmer. Add the chicken thighs (whole) and let them cook through (165 F. internal). Remove them once they're cooked and shred the chicken.
- Place the chicken back into the pot and mix in the cream cheese and half and half. Whisk the cream cheese so it breaks apart and thickens the mixture.
- Finally, stir in the cooked cauliflower gnocchi and stir in the spinach until it wilts. Remove it from the heat and serve!
If you'd prefer this to be dairy free, omit the cream cheese and half and half entirely. You can thicken it a bit with arrowroot powder, xanthan gum, or cornstarch if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 322Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 550mgCarbohydrates: 12gNet Carbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 21g