A twist on traditional pasta bake----this Baked Tuscan Chicken and Gnocchi is perfect for the entire family and so easy to whip together! Packed with bold, savory flavors, this one pot recipe is the perfect easy meal option that is made with soft potato gnocchi, shredded chicken, tomatoes, chunks of kales, sundried tomatoes, grated parmesan, and topped with generous amounts of shredded Mozzarella cheese. Meatless, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, + Make ahead options.
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I seriously couldn't be more excited to share this Baked Tuscan Chicken and Gnocchi with you because I'm so in love with tuscan flavors and many of you have been loving the flavors too----so here we are with another rendition. This Easy Weeknight Creamy Tuscan Ravioli started my love for this seasoning blend and I haven't looked back since. And if you're a lover of gnocchi, then you'll love this oven-baked Garlic Chicken Broccoli Gnocchi Recipe and Skillet Baked Cheesy Pumpkin Gnocchi!
Making your own tuscan blend is super easy to make and you can also make it in larger batches and store it in an airtight jar as you would your regular seasonings + spices. Whenever I use a blend heavily, I tend to make larger batches that last me a while. Let's say yes to convenience---right? Besides, the pre-made blend will come in complete handy for my Creamy Tuscan Tortellini Soup and Creamy Tuscan 'Marry Me' Chicken recipes.
Overall, this chicken gnocchi dish is definitely comfort food in a bowl, includes simple steps, and can totally be personalized based on preference----i.e. sub with dairy-free products or eat without meat by subbing things like mushrooms, tofu, cauliflower, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, etc.
Basically, baked gnocchi is a dish that often contains a level of sauce and ingredients that are then baked together with gnocchi for a nice pillowy gnocchi that is surrounded by bubbling pools of sauce and topped with gooey cheese.
Gnocchi are basically Italian dumplings made with flour, eggs, and potatoes---unless they are egg-free like this one that I purchased from Delallo foods. When it comes to making your own gnocchi, the process is done is fairly a few steps. It starts with boiling and mashing the potatoes, combining the ingredients together and kneading them into a ball, shaping the dough, cutting them into pieces, and boiling and draining the gnocchi. For a great recipe, check out AllRecipes.com.
Gnocchi is the plural of gnocco, an Italian variety of dumpling that has been around since Roman times. Other common additions include semolina, formaggio (cheese), ricotta, spinach and polenta. In terms of how to say it----it's pronounced nyow·kee.
Here's what you need to make this Baked Tuscan Chicken and Gnocchi at home:
If you aren't the biggest fan of sundried tomatoes or just don't have them on hand, here are a few great alternatives for you to choose from so that you can still enjoy this delicious chicken gnocchi dish:
This is a very simple recipe, but it does have four components: sundried tomatoes, homemade Tuscan blend, gnocchi and the chicken itself. Cooking this baked dish is generally an easy process—in total about 30-35 minutes. You first start by cleaning and washing your chicken pieces (that's about 2-3 medium chicken breasts) to ensure that they are clean and ready to be seasoned. I like to wash my chicken with both vinegar and lemon (or lime) to help keep things clean and sanitized.
Once your chicken is clean, then it’s seasoning time! I’m all about seasoning every “layer” of my food, therefore, the chicken gets direct seasoning and so does the sauce. Let everything marinate for 5-10 minutes, however, marinating your chicken overnight brings about even more flavor. Just store seasoned chicken in a safe, sealable bag like ziplock and add to a less crowded area of the fridge. Then you bake the breasts and once cooked through, shred them with two forks. You'll need 2-3 cups of shredded chicken for this recipe.
To get started on the sauce----In a medium deep skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and once fully heated, add the minced garlic, sautéing until fragrant and translucent, about 1-2 minutes. Then add in the halved tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, and remaining ingredients until a velvety sauce is formed.
Lastly, you'll stir in the shredded chicken and gnocchi until coated and top everything with the mozzarella cheese. Bake until the cheese is fully melted, golden, and the sides are bubbly. Wallah!
Here, I’ve curated a list of cooking + baking essentials that I use to achieve my favorite baked goods or cooked meals, especially with this Baked Tuscan Chicken and Gnocchi. Everything from my fave baking sheet, dutch ovens, immersion hand-blender, mixing bowls, and more. SEE THEM HERE!
Sure, you can find pre-made seasoning blends at the grocery store. But there's nothing like the fresh, customized flavor you get by making your own blend. The herbs and spices in the Tuscan spice mix for this recipe are inspired by the fresh herbs that grow in Italy, mixed with a bit of heat from smoked paprika.
You can Store the seasoning blend in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month. Use it on anything from simple roasted vegetables to salad dressing to herb oil for dipping bread.
When it comes to creating pulled or shredded chicken, there are two most effective ways to do so. Firstly, you would need to ensure that your chicken is fully cooked and cooled and then you shred the chicken in one of the following ways:
Forks: For this method you would need two forks. If using this method, place your cooked chicken breast onto a plate or cutting board and use both forks to separate the chicken meat and 'shred' as you separate. Continue doing this until all of your chicken is shredded.
Stand Mixer: If you're looking to avoid using arm strength, then the method of a stand mixer might be just for you. This is by far the fastest and easiest way to shred chicken and you simply place all of your cooked chicken breasts in the bowl of stand mixer. Add the paddle attachment and mix on low. In just 15-20 seconds you’ll have shredded chicken. That easy!
The herb-roasted tomatoes offer a delicious umami-packed flavor foundation for this one pot chicken and gnocchi dish.
You can make them ahead of time in the oven, then keep the tomatoes in the fridge unit you're ready to make the rest of the dish. They'll stay fresh for up to three days in an airtight container.
When it comes to most pasta dishes, I often enjoy them with a side of bread of some sort. Most times, I make my own homemade Garlic Bread, however, you can choose to spruce things up with many other options such as: A delicious Salad, Sautéed Greens, Grilled Veggies, Toasted Bread.
You can totally use your fave greens like spinach, collard greens, asparagus, broccoli, etc. for a nice twist! When it comes to vegetables, there are so many benefits as we all know. While some veggies pack a greater punch when it comes to nutrients, we’ve curated a special list of our Our Top 12 Favorite Healthy Green Leafy Vegetables! Most of these are super popular while others are under utilized in many dishes. Lettuce Eat, Shall We?
Absolutely! To make this dish dairy-free, you'll need to substitute the cheese with dairy-free cheese shreds and the heavy cream with full-fat coconut milk. For a gluten-free option, just be sure that the gnocchi is GF-friendly.
Of course! Cook the gnocchi ahead of time and let it cool completely before storing in an air-tight refrigerator for 3-5 days. Prep kale and chop, storing it in an airtight container overnight. Add halved tomatoes in an airtight container as well. Also, cook and shred your chicken breast 2-3 days prior and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. On the day of, remove everything to room temp., about 15-20 minutes and continue with making the tuscan sauce and then the assembly STEPS before baking everything together.
While this Baked Tuscan Chicken and Gnocchi is perfect as is---I definitely wanted to give options for those of you who don't eat meat or just might make this dish more than once and want to switch things up with a meatless option from time to time! Here are a few great ingredients that you can substitute with the chicken in this creamy dish.
Other ingredient ideas include:
Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. To re-heat, simply heat in the oven for the best results or microwave for a minute or two until heated through.
If you tried this Baked Tuscan Chicken and Gnocchi or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you.