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Baked Tuscan Chicken and Gnocchi

April 27, 2023
Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea
If you're in need of a flavorful + rich weeknight meal to enjoy with the entire family then this Baked Tuscan Chicken and Gnocchi is just the thing you need!

Baked Tuscan Chicken and Gnocchi

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.

Baked chicken and gnocchi on a plate with a side of bread and two spoons on a black table.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links via Amazon for products that I wholeheartedly love and receive commission from.

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.

What is Baked Gnocchi?

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.

What is Gnocchi and How Do You Make It?

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.

How Do You Pronounce Gnocchi?

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.

Jump to:
Ingredients on a black table including heavy cream, shredded cheese, tomatoes, herbs and seasonings, and garlic.

Ingredients for Baked Tuscan Chicken and Gnocchi

Here's what you need to make this Baked Tuscan Chicken and Gnocchi at home:

  • Gnocchi. You can make them yourself or purchase a quality store-bought version. For a gluten-free version, simply use gluten-free gnocchi.
  • Chicken Breasts. One of the stars of this dish. I decided to shred them after it being cooked for a nice bite; Can also be diced in chunks.
  • Kale. I like to add additional greens to this dish. You can sub with spinach, collard greens, etc.
  • Chicken stock. Use store-bought low-sodium broth or make your own! You can also use vegetable stock as well.
  • Heavy cream. I recommend organic–always! Of course, for a vegan option, just use full-fat coconut cream/milk.
  • Olive oil. A must for sauce. For a dairy-feee
  • Garlic. I prefer fresh, but you could substitute with 1 Tablespoon garlic powder in a pinch for a bold flavor. You can also roast a garlic bulb for greater flavor.
  • Tuscan seasonings. I like to create my own personal blend of dried thyme, smoked paprika, parsley, basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and dried rosemary.
  • Parmesan. I love to freshly-grate my cheese, however, you can use your favorite shredded brand---quality does matter! You could also use pecorino romano. For a vegan option, So Delicious Dairy-Free or Violife cheese shreds tastes great.
  • Lemon juice. You'll need ½ a lemon freshly-squeezed. You can also use 2 tsps of store-bought lemon juice if that's what you have handy!
  • Sundried tomatoes. Choose an organic bottle of sundried tomatoes or make your own roasted tomatoes.
  • Tomatoes. You can add as many tomatoes as you'd like to fill this dish. I used grape tomatoes, however, heirlooms, roma, etc. works too! Just chop them up into nice bite-sized pieces.
  • Tomato paste. This adds additional flavor + color to the dish.
  • Mozzarella Cheese. Makes things nice + gooey at the top; plus, adds such rich cheesy flavor. I freshly-grate a brick of organic cheese or you can use shredded. For a dairy-free option, sub with DF mozzarella shreds.
Ingredients on a table including gnocchi, shredded chicken, tomato paste, and sundried tomatoes.

5 Reasons Why You'll Love this Chicken Gnocchi Dish

  • It's packed with flavors from the sauce, shredded chicken and gnocchi that is entirely delicious, but can also be enjoyed with meatless and works for any type of eater.
  • Super easy to make and quick.
  • Full of savory, comforting, + delicious flavor! (The best reason!)
  • Very kid-friendly.
  • Comes with dairy-free and gluten-free options for those with sensitivities.
  • Done in just under 35 minutes---hello weeknight meal goals!

What Can I Use Instead of Sundried Tomatoes?

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:

  • Roasted herb tomatoes
  • Tomato puree
  • Roasted bell peppers
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce or paste
  • Fresh tomatoes
Baked chicken and gnocchi in a skillet on a black table.

How to Make Baked Tuscan Chicken and Gnocchi

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!

SHOP MY FAVORITE TOOLS FOR COOKING, ESPECIALLY FOR THIS DISH!

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!

Baked chicken and gnocchi in a skillet, scooped with a spoon on a black table with pieces of bread.

Homemade Tuscan Seasoning Blend

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.

Closeup shot on baked chicken and gnocchi scooped with melted, gooey cheese.

How to Best Shred Chicken

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!

Herb Roasted Tomatoes

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.

Common FAQs

What Are Delicious Foods to Pair This One Pot Chicken + Gnocchi With?

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.

What Can Be Used in Place of Kale?

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?

Can I Make this Chicken Gnocchi Bake Dairy-Free or Gluten-Free?

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.

Can I Make this Chicken Gnocchi dish Ahead of Time?

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.

Baked chicken and gnocchi on a black plate with a side of bread and a fork on a black table.

Best Meatless Options for this Chicken + Gnocchi

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:

  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Beans (like White beans, Black beans, etc.)
  • Mushrooms
  • Tofu or Tempeh
  • Cauliflower
  • Roasted veggies (like Broccoli, Asparagus, etc.)
  • Vegan meatballs
  • Jackfruit
  • Other plant-based meat alternatives (store-bought)

More Delicious Tuscan-infused Recipes to Try!

  • One Pot Creamy Vegan Tuscan Kale Pasta
  • Creamy Tuscan Lobster Pasta
  • Comforting Tuscan White Bean Chickpea Soup
  • Hubby’s Date Night Vodka Ravioli [without the Vodka]

How to Store Leftover Baked Tuscan Chicken and Gnocchi

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. 

Chicken and gnocchi scooped out of skillet with a spoon.

Made Our Recipe(s)?

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.

Baked chicken and gnocchi on a plate with a side of bread and two spoons on a black table.

Baked Tuscan Chicken and Gnocchi

April 27, 2023
5 from 5 votes
If you're in need of a flavorful + rich weeknight meal to enjoy with the entire family then this Baked Tuscan Chicken and Gnocchi is just the thing you need!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 (16 oz.) packages potato gnocchi, homemade or store-bought
  • 2-3 cups cooked + shredded organic chicken breasts  (See Post for more info!)

TUSCAN SAUCE:

  • 2 Tbsps Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5-6 organic sundried tomatoes
  • ½ lemon, freshly-squeezed
  • 1 ½ Tbsps homemade tuscan blend
  • 1 tablespoon organic tomato paste
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups organic kale, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups organic heavy cream
  • ½ cup chicken stock (You can also use veggie stock)
  • 2 cups organic shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup freshly-grated parmesan

HOMEMADE TUSCAN BLEND:

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tsps dried parsley
  • 2 tsps dried basil
  • 2 tsps dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

To Make the Tuscan Sauce:

  • In the medium deep skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil until heated. Add in the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add in 1-2 Tbsps tuscan blend seasonings and stir until well combined. Add in the sundried tomatoes, halved tomatoes, and tomato paste, stirring until combined. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, until grape tomatoes are "seared" and softened a bit.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and slowly add in the heavy cream, lemon juice, and chicken stock, stirring until combined. Let it slightly bubble for 2-3 minutes and then add in the grated parmesan, stirring until fully melted and sauce thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in the chopped kale stirring until combined followed by the shredded chicken and gnocchi. Stir everything together until chicken and gnocchi are fully coated.

Bake Everything Together:

  • Remove the skillet from heat and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese atop everything until fully covered.
  • Bake (without being covered) for 15-20 minutes or so, or until cheese has fully melted, the top is browned slightly, and the sauce is bubbly at the sides.
  • Remove from oven and serve with your favorite salad or bread.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: 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. 
  • MAKE AHEAD: See FAQ section for details!
  • GREENS: To add a bit more flavor to this dish, you can always feel free to add in your favorite greens such as spinach, broccolini, collards, or asparagus. 
  • MEATLESS OPTION: You can enjoy this baked gnocchi dish without chicken and can add additional greens to the mix or just enjoy as is without the chicken.
  • DAIRY-FREE + GLUTEN-FREE OPTIONS: See FAQ section for details!

Nutrition

Calories: 643kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 183mg | Sodium: 1194mg | Potassium: 772mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 6469IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 431mg | Iron: 4mg

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  1. My boyfriend and I made this last night for dinner! Quick, easy, and delicious! We loved it! It has all the delicious flavors of the popular “Marry Me Chicken” Tuscan dish, but takes like a fraction of the time!! Thumbs up 100%!

    • Hi Aaliyah! OMGG--this makes me so happy to hear that you both enjoyed this recipe! Thanks so much for giving it a try! 🙂

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