This One Pan Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi is the ultimate comfort food - and its unbelievably easy! Pillowy soft potato dumplings, shredded chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, and sweet corn are coated in a luxurious garlicky and cheesy cream sauce. This 20-minute meal feels restaurant-quality but couldn't be easier to make at home!
🥔 What is Gnocchi?
Gnocchi (pronounced "KNEE-oh-key") is a type of pasta from Italy. These small and soft dough dumplings are made from cooked potatoes and flour, rolled into long ropes, and shaped into bite-sized pieces. Sometimes they're pressed with a fork to create ridges, which allows the gnocchi to catch more sauce.
There are no limits to how gnocchi can be enjoyed. Boil, bake, or pan fry them - they'll become soft and bouncy on the inside while absorbing the flavor of the sauce. Gnocchi's mild taste makes it versatile enough to go with any sauce, but it's especially tasty in carbonara or a decadent cream sauce like this one.
Delish Chicken and Gnocchi
In this easy gnocchi chicken dish, store-bought gnocchi is coated in a perfectly creamy garlic parmesan sauce. The sauce feels rich and decadent, but is surprisingly light and healthy since it's made without heavy cream.
Round out this one pot dish with shredded chicken, bright corn and tomatoes, and plenty of Italian herbs. This hearty and cozy pasta is perfect for those cold fall and winter nights, but it feels fancy enough to serve to your loved ones on Valentine's Day or date night. Plus, it's kid-friendly!
Not to mention, this healthy Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi is great as a weeknight meal. It has minimal ingredients, a 20-minute cook time, and only requires one skillet! One pan meals are a major timesaver - keep recipes like my One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta, One Pot Sausage and Couscous, and One Pan Sausage Shepherd's Pie on rotation for those unavoidable busy nights!
Why You'll Love It
- Quick and easy: This one skillet, 20-minute dinner is a breeze to whip up! Simple pantry and fridge staples allows this gnocchi and chicken dish to come together quickly. And luckily, clean-up is just as easy!
- Family friendly: Creamy gnocchi with chicken is satisfying with plenty of fun flavors and textures. The familiar yet delicious ingredients are sure to please even your pickiest eater!
- Cozy: Nothing beats comfort food like Dduk Mandu Guk (Korean Rice Cake and Dumpling Soup) or Turkey Alfredo on a cold winter's day. Save this One Pan Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi recipe for when you're in need of a little extra comfort.
- Gnocchi: I use store-bought shelf-stable potato gnocchi for this One Pan Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi. It cooks quickly and the starch in the dumplings thickens the sauce without additional flour. You can find it in a vacuum-sealed package in the pasta aisle.
- Cooked chicken: This is a great recipe for leftover or rotisserie chicken. I prefer shredded chicken breast in this recipe, but chicken thighs work just as great.
- Onion and garlic: Classic allium ingredients to flavor the creamy sauce.
- Chicken broth: I cook exclusively with bone broth. It's rich in collagen, supports digestion, and has anti-inflammatory components. If using regular chicken broth, I recommend using low sodium or unsalted.
- Whole milk: Creates a creamy sauce without being too heavy. But feel free to use half and half or heavy cream for more richness.
- Parmesan rind: I love using high-quality blocks of Parmesan cheese for recipes like Cavatappi Mac and Cheese, Air Fryer Parmesan Potato Wedges, and Vietnamese Garlic Noodles. Always make sure to save the rinds! They add a subtle nutty and cheesy flavor to homemade broths and sauces.
- Herbs: Dried basil, oregano, and parsley are a powerful trio that adds Italian flair to any dish. Feel free to substitute with Italian seasoning blend.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: A bite of tart flavor that helps cut through the richness of the cheese sauce. Choose the ones packed in oil for the best flavor and texture.
- Frozen corn: I like to use fire-roasted corn for a touch of charred flavor.
- Parsley: for garnish
- Cooking oil: Avocado oil is my favorite oil for cooking, frying, and sautéing because of its high smoke point (500°F).
Substitutions & Variations
- Shelf stable potato gnocchi works best in this recipe - even sweet potato gnocchi would work. You could use refrigerated or frozen gnocchi but it'll cook faster and release less starch, resulting in a runnier sauce.
- If using fresh basil, oregano, or parsley, double the amount listed in the recipe.
- Parmesan rinds are a must-have in my freezer. If you don't have any, substitute with 2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese and add it in at the same time as the corn.
- Add more vegetables! Fresh or frozen spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, kale, mushroom, or peas would all be great additions.
- Don't have cooked chicken ready? Cut a boneless skinless chicken breast or thigh into 1-inch pieces, then pan-fry in oil until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF (71ºC). Then use the same pan to cook the Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi.
- For more brightness, deglaze the pan with ¼ cup white wine or lemon juice after sautéing the onion and garlic.
- Switch up the protein by replacing chicken with bacon, chorizo, crumbled Italian sausage, or shrimp.
- For a dairy free version, replace the Parmesan with nutritional yeast and use coconut cream in place of milk.
- To make gluten free Creamy Gnocchi Chicken, use gluten free gnocchi. You could also use an alternative gnocchi like cauliflower, pumpkin, spinach, or ricotta, but it'll also result in a runnier, less creamy sauce. I recommend letting the sauce simmer in the pan for 2-3 minutes on its own first, then add in the gnocchi.
👩🏻🍳 How To Make One Pan Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi
⬇️ Please scroll down to the recipe card to see full ingredient amounts and instructions.
STEP ONE: First, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion with a pinch of salt, cooking until edges are lightly translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Then stir in garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant.
STEP TWO: Then add chicken broth, milk, Parmesan rind, herbs, and season with salt and pepper to the pan. Bring to a boil.
STEP THREE: Add the uncooked gnocchi and boil for 3-5 minutes over medium-high heat, constantly stirring to prevent the pasta from sticking to the pan. As it cooks, the liquid will begin to thicken.
STEP FOUR: Once the gnocchi is soft and tender, turn the heat down to low. To the pan, stir in the sun-dried tomatoes with its oil, corn, and shredded chicken. Remove the Parmesan rind and season to taste. Serve immediately and garnish with fresh parsley.
💭 Top Tips
- Cook in a large, wide skillet: It'll allow for more evaporation, resulting in a creamier sauce. I prefer using a wide skillet with tall straight edges for most of my pasta dishes. My favorites are the Caraway Sauté pan or brasier pan.
- Use shelf-stable potato gnocchi for best results. They have the right amount of starch to thicken the cream sauce. Refrigerated and vegetable gnocchi are more fragile and tender, so they easily disintegrate if overcooked. They also have less flour which can result in a thinner sauce.
- Don't boil the gnocchi first: Add the pasta directly from the package into the sauce. We want as much of the potato starch as possible to thicken the sauce. Plus, gnocchi cooks quickly so no need to cook it first.
- Find sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil: They're extra flavorful and juicy. Plus, the oil is great to use in sauces, salad dressings, or pizza.
What To Serve With One Pan Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi
- Salads: Pair this decadent pasta dish with a light and refreshing salad. My favorites are Watermelon Beet Salad, Winter Citrus Salad, and Spinach and Strawberry Salad.
- Greens: When in doubt, roasted vegetables are a great way to round out a meal. Try easy recipes like Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Glaze or Bang Bang Brussels Sprouts. Or keep things simple with Roasted Carrots and Green Beans.
- Dessert: Special occasions are never complete without a delicious dessert to end the night. Pumpkin Brownies (Vegan), Ube Cheesecake Bars, or Almond Cupcakes are some of my go-to's.
🥡 Storing & Freezing
Storing: This One Pan Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi is best enjoyed fresh. But if you have any leftovers, leave them to cool to room temperature before placing inside an air-tight container. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezing: While you can freeze uncooked gnocchi, I don’t recommend you freeze this cooked dish. The texture will change and the dairy will separate upon thawing.
Reheating: Microwave individual servings in a bowl in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval. Add a splash of broth or milk if it looks dry.
Alternatively, you can add leftovers to a small pot or pan on the stove over medium heat. If the sauce looks a little thick, add a little liquid to loosen. Gently stir until warmed through.
Make Ahead: I do not recommend making Creamy Chicken Gnocchi in advance. The pasta and sauce will change in texture as it sits.
📖 Recipe FAQs
On its own, potato gnocchi tastes plain and a little bland, similar to cooked plain pasta. Its superpower is in the light and delicate texture. But there’s also a good side to the blandness — it lets the gnocchi act like a blank canvas, making it a great ingredient for carrying other flavors. This is especially true for this flavor-packed gnocchi with chicken and cream sauce.
The best way to cook gnocchi is to follow the directions on the package. A good rule of thumb is to cook gnocchi in a large pan of boiling, salted water. When the gnocchi rises to the top, it’s cooked and you should remove it. It should take around 2-4 minutes to reach this stage. When gnocchi sinks back to the bottom of the pan, it’s overcooked.
Gnocchi is a potato dumpling. Although it's often categorized as "pasta", it belongs in its own category.
Potato gnocchi, the most familiar, is made from potatoes, flour, and sometimes eggs.. Gnocchi alla Romana is made with semolina, milk, and cheese and has a denser texture. It's often served in rounds, baked or pan-fried. Gnocchi di Zucca, made from pumpkin or squash puree, has a subtly sweet taste and is typically served in a butter sage sauce.
With its soft texture and mild taste, gnocchi can be served with a wide variety of sauces. Popular choices are tomato sauce, pesto, brown butter and sage sauce, cream sauce, or meat sauce. You can serve gnocchi with virtually anything!
It can be served as a side or main dish, depending on what else is included in the dish. Since this One Pan Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi contains meat and vegetables, it's hearty enough to be a main dish.
🍽 Looking For More Pasta?
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One Pan Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- ¼ onion chopped; about ½ cup
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 1½ cups chicken broth
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 inch Parmesan rind (see notes)
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 lb gnocchi shelf-stable recommended (see notes)
- 3 tablespoon sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- ½ cup frozen corn
- 1½ cups shredded cooked chicken (or rotisserie chicken)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parsley to garnish
- In a large and wide pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion with a pinch of salt. Sauté until edges start to become translucent, about 2-3min. Then add garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Pour in the chicken broth, milk, Parmesan rind, herbs, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then add gnocchi. Cook over medium-high heat uncovered for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until gnocchi is tender and sauce becomes creamy.
- Turn the heat down to low and remove the Parmesan rind. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes with oil, corn, and shredded chicken breast. Season to taste and garnish with fresh minced parsley. Serve immediately.
- Gnocchi: Shelf stable potato gnocchi works best in this recipe - even sweet potato would work. You could use refrigerated or frozen gnocchi but it'll cook faster and release less starch, resulting in a runnier sauce.
- Parmesan rind: When purchasing blocks of Parmesan cheese, always make sure to save the rinds! They add a subtle nutty and cheesy flavor to broths or sauces, and they freeze well. You can substitute with 2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese and add it in with the corn.
- Instead of milk, feel free to use half and half or heavy cream for more richness.
- If using fresh basil, oregano, or parsley, double the amount listed in the recipe. You could also substitute with ¾-1 teaspoon Italian seasoning mix.
- Don't have cooked chicken ready? Cut a boneless skinless chicken breast or thigh into 1-inch pieces, then pan-fry in oil until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF (71ºC). Then use the same pan to cook the rest of the recipe.
- For a dairy free version, replace the Parmesan with nutritional yeast and use coconut cream in place of milk.
- To make this gluten free, use gluten free gnocchi. You could also use an alternative gnocchi like cauliflower, pumpkin, spinach, or ricotta, but it'll also result in a runnier, less creamy sauce. I recommend letting the sauce simmer for 2-3 minutes on its own first, then add in the gnocchi.