Tag Archives: copycat

Olive Garden chicken gnocchi soup And my soup obsession continues 

This is one of my favorite things on the menu at the OG. Yes I know it’s a soup recipe. Yes another one. Because there are so many soup recipes that just beg me to make them. Anytime I go to the OG this is a must. This and breadsticks and I am happy as a clam.  There are many recipes out there for this but chose this one seemed the most authentic.  I found this recipe on http://www.carriesexperimentalkitchen.com.     Now it does use boullion cubes and I am fine with that. I know some are appalled at such practices but let me say….if boullion cubes are gonna be the death of me…well so be it. 6 of one half dozen the other.  Also, I can make it during Lent as long as I don’t add the chicken. I did not add it this time and I probably will not ever because it is so perfect without it. The gnocchi is filling in its own right and I never missed the chicken.  The gnocchi is not hard to find in most stores. You can find it on the packaged pasta aisle. It is truly so easy to recreate this soup at home at a fraction of the cost. I know we are hedging upon warmer weather but that does not deter me to make my favorite soup recipes. I just may not make them as often. But when a soup is this filling and not labor intensive at all…I cannot find any reason not to make it during any weather. Of course, this comes from a soupahomic and that may just be my soup addiction talking.  Also, nothing pairs better with this chicken based soup like a nice refreshing glass of white wine…which makes it a win in my book!!!  Whatever your pleasure, if you love OG’s chicken gnocchi soup, feel free to indulge during the warmer months…I surely won’t tell anyone. Now…where are the breadsticks? 

Copycat OG chicken gnocchi soup 

Makes  16 1 cup servings (so can serve 16 but it’s so good I would say about 10) 

Stuff you need~

2 tablespoons butter 

1/3 cup thinly sliced celery 

1/4 cup minced onion (it’s says shredded but that did not work so well for me…yikes!!)

1/4 cup grated carrot 

1 tablespoon minced garlic 

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

1/4 teaspoon ground thyme 

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

8 cups water 

6 chicken boullion cubes (I use the knorr extra large and only use 4) 

2 cups heavy whipping cream 

2 cups cooked chicken (grilled, roasted, or rotisserie…again I don’t use it at all)

4 cups fresh, washed baby spinach 

16 ounce package gnocchi 

What to do with the stuff~

Melt butter in a large heavy bottom pot over medium heat and sauté onions, celery, carrots and garlic.  Sauté a few minutes or until celery is tender.  


 Now whisk in the flour until it is mixed in with sautéed veggies. Next, stir in water and the bouillon cubes. Add in the ground nutmeg and ground thyme and the chicken If you are using it. Bring this just to a boil and then reduce heat to allow mixture to simmer for 15 minutes. While simmering the soup, heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan.  Then add this to the soup along with the spinach and the gnocchi. 


Let the soup simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes. Ladle into individual bowls and prepare to be amazed. 




Homemade dinky doozies


All you need to make this yummy copycat recipe.

My oldest son LOVES cookies. Chocolate chip cookies. He loves cookie cakes. Specifically cookie cakes from Great American Cookie Company. He loves anything from there actually. So, we were pondering the other day how to make dinky doozies (he calls them double doozies…I am not sure why I think it is dinky doozies…were they called this back in the 80’s?) Anyhow, today I figured I would see if I could create these wonders at home. Cookie dough? Check. Vanilla icing? Check. What’s that you say? Did I make this stuff homemade ? Negative ghostwriter. Not when the good folks at Duncan Hines and Pillsbury do it so well! I wanted to see if I could whip these up and I think I did pretty good. No. They are not exact replicas, but they are very good. And I didn’t break the bank to make them. In fact, I did not even have to go to the store. I had the stuff at home.
This could not be more simple. So just get the stuff and make up a batch of dinky doozies/double doozies and get ready for the sugar rush.

Homemade Dinky Doozies

Makes about 6 dinky doozies

Stuff you need~

1 roll of chocolate chip cookie cough (I used Pillsbury)
1 container of vanilla buttercream icing

What to do with the stuff~

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat (these things are awesome and I highly suggest getting one or two if you bake). Using a medium cookie scoop (or spoon), fill a scoop with dough and place each scoop about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. One regular sized roll of dough got me about 12 cookies. (Considering I may have had a bite or two….er…I mean Toby the dog did it). Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Really, use your judgement and how soft your family likes their cookies. We are soft cookie people here. But not too soft as you want the icing to have a substantial base.
Now, once cookies are done, set then aside to cool. You want them Cool because you want the icing to stay the right consistency rather than melt. Make sense? Ok. Once they are cool, turn the cookies over so that the flat side is facing up. Now, just spread some icing over the flat side of the cookie. Like you are making a sandwich and spreading icing on it. Lol. Like so…

Now, take another cookie and put the flat side up against the other side of the icing. So icing should only be touching the flat sides. It is icing sandwiched between two cookies. Yeah, that’s right. Pure evil. Cue evil laughter. Muahahahahahah!

No words. Other than get a glass of milk and go!

Copycat OG’s Zuppa Toscano soup

I am pretty sure I continue to make soup and post about soup because I love soup (I have already copped to my soup obsession, so I won’t bore you with that whole song and dance again) and I am trying to bring on Fall.  It has been so hot and so dry here I just about can’t stand it anymore and I know we are all ready for a change in atmosphere.  Low and behold, I made this zuppa toscana and it rained.  And it may not get out of the 80’s today, so…I am not saying this soup has magical powers…maybe the rain and no more 100 degree weather coming after I made it is a coincidence…maybe not.  One thing I am positive about is that this copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana recipe is amazing!! Image

  O.M.G.  Sweet Mother of pearl, this stuff is awesome.  i will be honest and say I have never order the zuppa toscana when I eat at the OG.  I have always been a minestrone girl.  And then a chicken gnocchi girl.  Oh the chicken gnocchi.  I could write a song about my love for chicken gnocchi.  That is a blog post for another time.  That WILL be a blog post for another time in the very near future.  But back to the fabulous zuppa toscana (come on say it with me…zuppa toscana…don’t you feel fancy?)  This soup is hearty, a little spicy and just so good.  Oh and let me add, it is so flipping easy to prepare.  I started it earlier in the day and then finished it after I picked the kids up from school before going to a PTA meeting.  It fit right in there.  My hubby loved it.  And he is not as fond of soups as I am, so that is saying a lot.  I hope you will give it a try and let me know what you think.  I will be having the leftovers for lunch today…I honestly cannot wait. 

Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana (adapted from Mom on time out blog)


1 lb. mild Italian sausage, the actual sausage removed from the casing

6 slices of bacon 

5 medium size russet potatoes or red potatoes (i used red because that is what I had and I really liked the color it added to the soup and they tasted wonderful)

2 cups of kale, chopped 

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 quart water

2 14 oz. cans of chicken broth (I used reduced sodium)

1/2 large onion, diced 

3 cloves of garlic, chopped or minced 

1-2 tsp. red pepper flakes*

kosher salt and black pepper to taste


Ok…you can brown the italian sausage in a skillet like normal.  Trish (mom on time out blog) suggested you crumble the sausage (again…removed from its casing) on to a baking sheet and bake it at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.   I did this and let me tell you…that is the way to go.  After it is no longer pink, remove the sausage from the baking sheet with a spatula and drain on paper towels.  At the same time the sausage was baking, I placed my 6 slices of bacon on a rack in a baking pan and cooked it too. The bacon took longer than the sausage, probably 30 minutes longer.  Watch it carefully though.  I had no problems cooking either in the oven, but of course, you would want to keep an eye on it.  Again,  you can pan fry both if you feel more comfortable doing it that way.  

While that is cooking, dice your onion.  Then slice your potatoes.  Just make sure the slices are uniform.  1/8 ” to 1/4 ” is about right.  Again, you are looking for uniformity here so the potato slices cook evenly and mince your garlic.  Add your chicken broth and water to your soup pot or dutch oven.  Throw in your sliced potatoes, onion and garlic.  Cook on medium heat until the potatoes are fork tender.  Chop the kale by chopping into bite sized pieces.  Kale holds up to heat very well, much better than spinach I must say.  It is so good for you too!!  Super food and super yum!! Score!! Add the sausage, bacon, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. *Now I will tell you this, add the red pepper flakes sparingly.  My good friend Betsy turned me on to red pepper flakes a few years ago and I am definitely a fan, but they pack a punch so use sparingly.  I probably used 1 tsp. and that was plenty of heat for us.  

Simmer this on low for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The potatoes will start to fall about this time.  Turn the heat down to low and add in the kale and heavy cream.  Continue to let this simmer until heated through.  Then ladle that delicious stuff into soup bowls and if you are so inclined, grate a little fresh Parmesan on top and enjoy.