Creamy Chicken & Gnocchi is a bold, yet comforting combo of tender chicken, pillowy gnocchi, and flavorful spinach and mushrooms. A great recipe for date night or any night!
A Creamy, Restaurant-Style Gnocchi Recipe that’s So Easy!
Okay, you guys, I have to say this recipe is super special. It’s just extra everything – extra creamy, extra savory, extra crave-able. If you need a no-fail dinner recipe that everyone (yes, even spinach haters!) will rave over, creamy chicken and gnocchi is that dish.
What makes this recipe so special? Three words: layers of flavor. By cooking the main elements (chicken, spinach, mushrooms, gnocchi, and sauce) in stages with their own seasonings, you’re creating complex flavors that layer together beautifully at the end.
Best of all, while making those layers of flavor might sound like a lot of work, it’s actually incredibly easy. This one-skillet wonder might just be your new favorite dish to eat and cook!
This simple dish only needs a few everyday ingredients to come together, but the results are positively restaurant-worthy. Here’s what you’ll need to make Creamy Chicken & Gnocchi.
- Chicken Thighs: Look for skinless and boneless chicken thighs – bone-in thighs won’t cook through in time, and the skin wouldn’t get crispy in the sauce.
- Seasonings: Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper.
- Olive Oil: For sautéing.
- Butter: For lightly sautéing the spinach. Garlic: Fresh garlic, minced. You could substitute garlic powder, but the taste won’t be quite as bright.
- Baby Spinach: Or regular spinach torn into bite-sized pieces, with long stems broken off.
- Butter: For (you guessed it) sautéing.
- Mushrooms: Cleaned, sliced cremini or baby bella mushrooms.
- Salt and Pepper
- Butter: For sautéing the garlic.
- Garlic: Freshly minced, or use garlic powder in a pinch.
- Cream and Broth: Heavy cream and chicken broth make the sauce rich and tasty.
- Parmesan Cheese: A small amount of grated parmesan cheese brings the sauce together.
- Salt and Pepper
- Gnocchi: Homemade is great, but I use pre-made, store-bought potato gnocchi most of the time. It’s convenient! 😉
Let’s Make Chicken & Gnocchi!
This is a simple one-pot dish that will make your weeknight (or weekend, or date night, or whatever!) so much better. Here’s how to make comfy, creamy chicken & gnocchi:
- Season and Cook the Chicken. Combine the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small dish, and mix them with a spoon or fork. Rub this mixture onto the chicken thighs, coating them evenly, and cook them in a large skillet over medium-high heat. They’ll take about 3 minutes on each side to get browned and crispy, and about 10 more minutes to cook through and become tender.
- Cook the Spinach. Transfer the cooked chicken to a clean plate, and then add some butter to your skillet. Once it melts, add the garlic and cook for one minute, followed by the spinach. Cook the spinach just until it wilts, adding a pinch of salt for seasoning.
- Brown the Mushrooms. Move the spinach to a clean plate. Melt more butter in your skillet, and this time cook the mushrooms until they are tender and browned. Mushrooms typically give off plenty of liquid at first, and then brown nicely after it evaporates, so be patient. Once they’re browned, season with a bit of salt and pepper and set them aside.
- Build the Sauce. Finally, melt butter for the sauce in the same skillet. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two, followed by the heavy cream and chicken broth. Bring the sauce to a simmer, and add the parmesan cheese to melt. This can take a few minutes – don’t stop stirring until the cheese is fully melted. Taste the sauce, and season as needed with salt and pepper.
- Make the Gnocchi. Cook gnocchi according to package directions, and drain in a colander.
- Mix It All Up! Add your cooked gnocchi to the skillet of sauce, and stir gently. Then add the cooked chicken, the spinach, and the mushrooms. Stir to combine, and you’re done!
Can You Cook Gnocchi in Sauce Instead of Boiling?
Sometimes this works really well – it depends on the brand and type of gnocchi you choose. I recommend checking your package instructions for the best way to prepare the specific brand and type that you have. If you’re using fresh, homemade gnocchi, you should boil them before adding them to the recipe.
A few helpful Hints are always a good thing, right? Here’s the inside info on making this perfect chicken and gnocchi dish. You’re going to love it!
- Spinach Options: I usually use spinach in this recipe, but you could substitute kale or another cooking green if you prefer. For even more texture, quickly blanch some broccoli or cauliflower and add that instead!
- Gnocchi Options: This recipe is great with store-bought potato gnocchi, homemade gnocchi, and even low-carb cauliflower gnocchi.
- Skillet: Use a large, heavy skillet for this recipe so that you can get a good sear on the chicken, and so that you can comfortably stir together the finished dish.
- Thicker Sauce: For a thicker sauce, you can mix two tablespoons of cornstarch with two tablespoons of cold water, and add this to the skillet along with the heavy cream and chicken broth. This will help to thicken the sauce and give it a creamy consistency.
- Garlic: If you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce the amount of garlic in the recipe or omit it entirely.
- Heat: For a little heat, try adding some diced jalapeños or a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sauce.
Yummy Serving Suggestions
Serve up your creamy chicken gnocchi with all of your favorite pasta night sides. These recipes would be perfect:
- Garlic Knots: No one can help reaching for another soft, golden brown garlic knot, and you won’t be able to resist making them once you try this quick recipe! Refrigerated dough makes it so easy to whip up homemade Easy Garlic Knots, even on a busy weeknight
- Salad: Throw a little dressing over some mixed baby salad greens, or go for something a bit fancier with this tasty Caprese Stuffed Avocado. Everyone will be wowed by the flavors of zesty Caprese salad, served in a healthy avocado half.
- Brussels Sprouts: Easy Roasted Brussels Sprouts are a wonderful side with pasta, full of flavor and nutrients. The crisp-tender roasted texture is unbeatable!
How to Store and Reheat the Leftovers
- Store leftover chicken and gnocchi for up to two days in the refrigerator.
- Reheat it in a covered skillet over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally. If it seems a bit dry, add a splash of cream or milk and stir well.
Can I Freeze Chicken & Gnocchi?
- Yes, you could freeze this dish, but honestly, it can be a little risky in terms of flavor and texture. If you freeze it in an airtight freezer container or bag, it should last for around three months and be safe to eat. However, the creamy sauce and gnocchi may have a less-than-stellar texture when thawed and reheated, so I recommend only making as much as you can eat without freezing the leftovers.
Creamy Chicken & Gnocchi
For the Chicken
For the Spinach
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups baby spinach
- pinch of salt
For the Mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
For the Chicken
- In a small bowl, mix together the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Rub the seasoning mixture onto the chicken thighs, coating them evenly.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs to the skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until they are browned and crispy.
- Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook the chicken for 10 minutes, until it is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
For the Spinach
- In the same skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 20 seconds or until it is fragrant. Add the spinach and a pinch of salt and sauté until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Remove the spinach from the skillet and set it aside.
For the Mushrooms
- In the same skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they are tender and browned. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and set them aside.
For the Gnocchi
- Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi according to package directions. Drain in a colander and set aside until assembly.
- In the skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 20 seconds or until fragrant. Add the heavy cream and chicken broth to the skillet and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the grated parmesan cheese and whisk until it is melted. Taste and, if necessary, season the sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.
- In the skillet with cream sauce add the cooked gnocchi and stir gently to coat the gnocchi in the sauce. Add in the cooked chicken, spinach, and mushrooms to the skillet and stir to combine.
- Serve the creamy chicken gnocchi hot and enjoy!