Creamy sausage gnocchi soup is a hearty, flavorful dish that combines rich, savory sausage with soft, pillowy gnocchi in a creamy broth. It's seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices, including Italian seasoning and fresh thyme, which add depth and flavor to the soup.
Reasons to Love Sausage Gnocchi Soup
- Hearty and comforting. The combination of creamy broth and hearty sausage provides a rich, satisfying flavor that is hard to beat and the gnocchi (the best part) adds a pillowy texture. Together they give you cozy and comforting vibes for a cold day or when you're feeling under the weather.
- Ideal for family dinner because everyone, even kids and toddlers, can't get enough of the savory sausage and small dumplings. The whole family will love this one!
- It's easy to make (less than 30 minutes) and made in one pot, which makes it extra convenient for weeknights.
What is Gnocchi?
Gnocchi is soft small dumpling that is traditionally made from potato starch, semolina flour, or a combination of both. They are typically round or oblong in shape and have a soft, pillowy texture. Potato gnocchi is a popular pasta in Italian cuisine and is often served with a variety of sauces. They can also be used in soups like this one, baked in a casserole or used in sheet pan sausage and gnocchi.
Gnocchi is one of my favorite things to make, and relatively easy. If you don't happen to have a batch of homemade cauliflower gnocchi ready (it never lasts long in our house), you can also purchase traditional gnocchi or gluten-free gnocchi in the pasta aisle of the grocery store. You could also use the frozen cauliflower gnocchi everyone loves from Trader Joe's!
Grab These Simple Ingredients
Here are the key ingredients to make this cozy soup. Skip down to the recipe card for exact measurements.
- Sausage: This is the main protein in the soup and provides a rich, savory flavor. You can use any type of sausage that you prefer. We used mild Italian sausage, but spicy Italian sausage if a great option for a bit of a kick.
- Gnocchi: These are small dumplings made from potato and they add a soft, pillowy texture to the soup. They can be found in the pasta section of the grocery store. Use our cauliflower gnocchi made with cassava flour for a grain-free option.
- Chicken stock: This is the liquid base of the soup and helps to create a creamy consistency. You can use chicken broth, beef broth, or vegetable broth, depending on your preference.
- Cream: This adds richness and creaminess to the soup and helps to thicken the broth. You can use heavy cream, half and half, or even evaporated milk. Full-fat canned coconut cream is a great dairy-free option.
- Flour: This is used to make a roux at the beginning fo the soup to give it the best creamy consistency. Use a 1:1 gluten-free flour, like Bob's Red Mill, to keep this soup gluten-free.
- Vegetables: We're using a variety of vegetables to the soup including onions, carrots, and celery. You could also use diced red bell pepper for extra veggies.
- Spinach: a bit of spinach at the end adds more nutrients and fiber!
- Spices: A blend of herbs and spices, such as Italian seasoning, thyme and red pepper flakes can add depth and flavor to the soup.
How to Make Sausage Gnocchi Soup
This is an overview with step-by-step photos, to make creamy Italian sausage gnocchi soup. Jump down to the recipe card below for the full recipe and printable instructions. You can also view the video tutorial below to watch instead of reading.
Add a bit of olive oil to the bottom of a large pot or large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the Italian sausage (or spicy sausage) and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-10 minutes, or until the sausage is browned all over and no pink remains. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked sausage to a separate bowl or plate. Drain excess fat from the pot, leaving about 1 tablespoon to cook the vegetables.
Return the pot to the heat stove over medium-high heat and add the onion and celery, using a spatula to scrape any brown bits from the sausage off the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until soft and the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
Turn the heat down to medium-low and sprinkle the flour or gluten-free flour on top of the sauteed veggies and stir to coat the veggies in flour.
Slowly pour in the chicken stock, stirring constantly, then turn the heat up to medium-high and continue to stir and cook until the soup is thickened.
Pour in the diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, paprika, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Stir well then carefully add the ground sausage back in and bring the soup to a gentle boil.
Once it's boiling, add the cream, spinach, and gnocchi and cook for about 5 minutes, until the cream is dissolved, the spinach is wilted and the gnocchi floats to the top. Season with salt and pepper to taste then serve warm with fresh thyme and parmesan cheese.
Frequently Asked Questions
The leftovers soak up a lot of moisture because of the gnocchi. Add more chicken stock until you reach your desired consistency.
Thanks to a few different brands, this recipe can be easily made gluten-free. Use a 1:1 gluten-free flour, like Bob's Red Mill, and gluten-free gnocchi for a completely gluten-free dinner. Delallo has great gluten-free gnocchi or you can use our cauliflower gnocchi recipe.
You can easily make it in a pressure cooker. Use the saute function to cook the sausage and veggies as directed then add the broth, tomatoes and spices, close the lid and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes. Quick release the steam then carefully remove the lid. Turn on the saute function again and add the gnocchi and spinach. Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes then stir in the cream.
Expert Tips for the Best Sausage and Gnocchi Soup
- Use high-quality ingredients: The quality of your ingredients will have a big impact on the overall flavor of the soup. Use good-quality sausage (ideally without added sugar) and fresh vegetables.
- Cook the sausage and vegetables before adding the broth: To build flavor and depth, cook the sausage and vegetables in a little bit of oil before adding the broth. This will help to caramelize the vegetables and enhance their flavor.
- Don't overcook the gnocchi: Gnocchi can become mushy if they are overcooked, so make sure to add them right at the end. You'll know they're done when they float to the top of the soup.
- Add a variety of herbs and spices: To add depth and flavor to the soup, try adding a blend of herbs and spices, such as oregano, basil, and thyme.
- Adjust the thickness of the broth to your liking: If the broth is too thick, you can thin it out by adding a little bit of water or broth. If it's too thin, you can thicken it up by cooking it down a bit longer or creating a slurry with cornstarch and water and simmering it with the soup to thicken.
Storage and Freezer Instructions
There are a few different ways that you can store sausage and gnocchi soup:
- Refrigerate: Allow leftovers to cool to room temperature first. Then, transfer the soup to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: To freeze the soup, allow it to cool to room temperature and then transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Make sure to leave some headspace to allow for expansion as the soup freezes. It freezes well for up to 3 months.
- Reheat: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator (if frozen) then reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave. If the soup has thickened up too much during storage, add a little bit of water or broth to thin it out.
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
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Creamy Sausage Gnocchi Soup
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil divided
- 16 ounces Italian sausage (mild or spicy)
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 3 ribs celery diced
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour or 1:1 gluten-free flour
- 6 cups chicken broth/stock
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 (16-ounce) package store-bought or homemade gnocchi (we used gluten-free)
- 1 cup heavy cream or canned coconut cream
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach roughly chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Large Pot or Dutch Oven
- Drizzle a Tablespoon of olive oil into the bottom of a large pot or large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, or until the sausage is browned all over and no pink remains. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked sausage to a separate bowl or plate. Drain excess fat from the pot, leaving about 1 tablespoon to cook the vegetables.
- Return the pot to the heat stove over medium-high heat and add the onion and celery, using a spatula to scrape any brown bits from the sausage off the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until soft and the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and add 2 more Tablespoons of olive oil then sprinkle the flour or gluten-free flour on top and stir to coat the veggies in flour.
- Slowly pour in the chicken stock, stirring constantly, then turn the heat up to medium-high and continue to stir and cook until the soup is thickened.
- Pour in the diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, paprika, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Stir well then carefully add the ground sausage back in and bring the soup to a gentle boil.
- Once it's boiling, add the cream, spinach, and gnocchi and cook for about 5 minutes, until the cream is dissolved, the spinach is wilted and the gnocchi floats to the top. Season with salt and pepper to taste then serve warm with fresh thyme and parmesan cheese.