INSTANT POT CHICKEN GNOCCHI SOUP

Instant Pot Chicken Gnocchi Soup–A creamy soup with tender, moist bites of chicken, bacon crumbles, bright green leafy kale, Parmesan cheese and dumpling-like gnocchi. 

INSTANT POT CHICKEN GNOCCHI SOUP

All the flavors in this soup just mesh perfectly. I totally feel that this is restaurant quality soup! Make it for dinner, make it for potluck, make it for your neighbor, make it for book club, make it for the holidays…just make it.

Some notes on the recipe:

  • Chicken: I have made this Instant Pot Chicken Gnocchi Soup recipe with both boneless, skinless chicken breasts and boneless, skinless chicken thighs and with a combination of the two. Today I used thighs because that’s what I had on hand. You can throw in frozen chicken if you want. If your chicken is frozen (mine was) your pot will just take a bit longer to come to pressure. I love measuring out my ingredients when I make my recipes. I use this digital scale. 
  • The vegetables: I like dicing my onions fairly fine. I know some people in my family aren’t fans of big chunks of onions, so that’s what I do to combat complaining. The onions are purely there to build a flavor base for the soup. The carrots can be sliced or diced or grated. I have a handy dandy grater tool so that’s how I prepared my carrots. I sliced my celery into quarter inch pieces but you can do a fine dice if you want to hide them from picky kids.
  • Bouillon: For the base of the soup I used water plus my favorite Better Than Bouillon chicken base. It’s so handy to keep this in my fridge and use as needed. You can also use a carton or can of chicken broth.
  • Bacon: I have used both packaged real bacon bits when I’ve made this recipe and I’ve also cooked up my own bacon in the oven. It’s really a matter of preference (and time).
  • Half and Half: Half-and-half is a blend of equal parts whole milk and light cream. It averages 10 to 12% fat, which is more than milk but less than light cream. It can be found next to the heavy cream in your grocery store. If you don’t want to use half and half you can use half milk and half cream. Or you can use evaporated milk or even regular milk. With regular milk it won’t be as creamy and flavorful but it will work in a pinch. I like to warm my dairy before adding it to this soup to prevent curdling. I just warm it up in the microwave for 60 seconds.
  • Gnocchi: Gnocchi are like an Italian dumpling. They are potato dumplings, shaped like pillows. You can find them in the pasta section of your grocery store.  They only take a few minutes to cook. That’s why I added them in at the end with the dairy.

  • Kale: kale can be bitter but in this soup it’s really delicious. I challenge you to give it a try. If you just can’t stomach it, then you can leave it out or even use a bit of fresh spinach instead. If you’re unsure how to cut kale here is a video that demonstrates the process.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 tsp Better Than Bouillon chicken base
  • 1 1/2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs or a combination of the two
  • 2 medium carrots, grated or diced
  • 3 celery ribs, sliced into quarter inch pieces
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup half and half, warmed
  • 1 lb gnocchi
  • 4 kale leaves
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 6 pieces or crispy bacon, crumbled (or 3 oz bacon bits)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Turn your Instant Pot to the saute function on the middle setting. Heat up the olive oil for a couple minutes. Add in the onion and stir. Add in the minced garlic. Cook the onion until translucent. Pour in the water and Better than Bouillon. Keep the pot on the saute setting while you prepare and add in the rest of the ingredients so it can warm up (this way it will take less time to come to pressure).
  2. Add in the chicken, carrots, celery, oregano, basil, parsley, bay leaf, pepper and salt.
  3. Cover the Instant Pot and turn it to the manual setting (on high pressure). Set the timer for 15 minutes (if using thighs) and 10 minutes (if using breasts). Make sure the valve is set to “sealing.” When the timer beeps let the pot sit for 10 minutes and then release any remaining pressure by moving the valve to “venting.”
  4. Remove the lid and discard the bay leaf. Remove the chicken and place it on a cutting board. Shred or cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Stir the chicken back into the pot.
  5. In a small bowl stir together the cornstarch and 3 Tbsp of water until smooth. Stir the mixture into the Instant Pot. Turn the Instant Pot to saute (the middle setting) so that the cornstarch can thicken the soup.  Stir in the warmed half and half and the uncooked gnocchi.
  6. Lay a piece of kale on a cutting board and then cut off the leaf portion and discard the rib and stem. Cut the leafy portion into bite size pieces. Repeat this step with the other kale leaves. Add kale to the IP and stir. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
  7. Once the soup is thickened and the gnocchi is cooked through ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle each serving with some bacon.

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