Gnocchi lovers get ready for an easy, comforting meal made for weeknights! This one pan creamy chicken and gnocchi recipe features tender chicken breasts nestled in a creamy sauce with pillowy gnocchi, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes.
It's as easy as our Tuscan Sausage sheet pan gnocchi and as comforting as this creamy sausage gnocchi soup and Boursin chicken. There's just something about those little dumplings that warm my soul!
One Pan Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Recipe Inspiration
Like chicken gnocchi soup, this creamy chicken gnocchi recipe features a creamy base, pillowy potato gnocchi, and tender chicken. That combo creates the ultimate comfort food.
It's a great recipe for weeknights because it's made in one pan (one pan to clean!) and the whole family loves it thanks to the pasta (#carbs) and rich sauce. One pot meals will forever have a place in my heart because they're easy, healthy, and delicious (the cornerstone of our favorite easy recipes).
Here’s a handful of reasons why I know you’ll love this recipe too:
- It's easy to customize to be gluten-free and dairy-free if that's important to you.
- Each bite is creamy and full of umami (savoriness).
- Each component can be pulled out separately to feed toddlers and kids.
Want a few other gnocchi recipes? You might also enjoy this sweet potato gnocchi with cream sauce or our guide on how to make cauliflower gnocchi (with 3 ingredients).
Grab these Ingredients
Here are the simple ingredients for this recipe. Most are pantry staples and easy (and affordable) to find in grocery stores. Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements.
- Seasoning: a mixture of salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, and red pepper flakes season the chicken to give it tons of flavor. Italian seasoning and fresh thyme add flavor to the creamy sauce.
- Chicken: we opted for chicken breast because we had that on hand, but we also love to make this with boneless skinless chicken thighs (like the juicy chicken thighs in our creamy chicken tortilla soup).
- Butter and oil: the combination of both fats sears the chicken and gives the dish flavor. Opt for a vegan butter for dairy-free (more on this in the variations section).
- Shallot and garlic: both of these aromatics are the base of the recipe and create a flavor to build on.
- White wine and lemon: the acid in white wine and lemon juice balances out this dish and helps deglaze the pan after you sear the chicken, but you can swap this for more chicken broth if you don't have it on hand or don't want to use it. Store leftover wine in the fridge and use it to make cast iron skillet chicken thighs or french onion chicken bake.
- Gnocchi: we used a store-bought, shelf-stable gnocchi found in the pasta aisle of the grocery store. Delallo has a great gluten-free one with quality ingredients. You could also use fresh gnocchi or try our sweet potato gnocchi or cauliflower gnocchi if you're feeling ambitious. Here's a list of Amazon's gnocchi best sellers.
- Parmesan cheese: the salty richness gives the luxurious cream sauce a ton of flavor. Bonus points for letting the parmesan rind simmer in the sauce. Nutritional yeast is a dairy-free option.
- Heavy cream: another creamy thickener to richen the sauce, but coconut cream works well too for a dairy-free option.
- Fresh spinach and sun-dried tomatoes: add greens, fiber, color, and extra flavor, just like in our creamy tuscan chicken.
Pro tip: the starch in the gnocchi seeps into the sauce at the end to thicken it, so cauliflower gnocchi may not yield the same thickening results (though we didn't test this). You could create a cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce if needed.
How to Make One Pan Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi
The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through the steps with some photos and a video so you have a clear idea of what to expect. This one-pan creamy chicken gnocchi is pretty simple, but these steps will make sure it turns out every time.
Video: watch how to make creamy chicken and gnocchi.
Place the chicken in a bowl and drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top. Season chicken with all of the spices and toss gently to coat it all.
Place chicken in an even layer in a deep skillet, like a cast iron skillet, and pan fry until golden and cooked all the way through, 4-5 minutes per side, until the internal temperature reaches just below 165°F to allow for carryover cooking while it rests. Remove the cooked chicken to a clean plate or cutting board.
Melt butter in the same skillet then saute the shallot and garlic until soft and fragrant. Deglaze the pan with white wine or chicken broth, scraping the brown bits from the bottom. Add the chicken broth and simmer to reduce for 3-4 minutes.
Stir in the heavy cream and uncooked gnocchi and simmer to let the gnocchi cook through and allow the sauce to thicken.
Stir in the parmesan cheese then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the spinach, lemon juice, and sun-dried tomatoes.
Nestle the chicken back into the pan with the creamy sauce and gnocchi and serve right away with fresh herbs, if desired.
Substitutions and Variations
- Chicken breasts: use chicken thighs or skip the steps to sear the chicken and go right to making the cream sauce, then stir in shredded rotisserie chicken with the spinach and tomatoes.
- More veggies: try adding baby bella mushrooms to the sauce when you're cooking the shallots and garlic. You could also use Tuscan kale is a great swap for baby spinach.
- Dairy-free: use vegan butter, nutritional yeast, and coconut cream.
- Gluten-free: find a gluten-free gnocchi (we like Delallo) or try cauliflower gnocchi or sweet potato gnocchi (like Trader Joe's). Cauliflower gnocchi may alter the thickening of the cream sauce so see the recipe notes below for options.
See this sheet pan gnocchi for an oven version made with Italian sausage.
Tools for this Recipe
Here are some basic kitchen tools we used for this recipe (may contain affiliate links).
- I use a cast iron skillet or non-toxic deep skillet, like the Always pan, for all of our one-pot meals.
- Keep clean up to a minimum and use a splatter guard when searing chicken.
- An instant-read meat thermometer is one of my most used kitchen tools to determine when chicken is done, so you don't end up with rubbery chicken.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Remember the gnocchi will continue to release starch and thicken the sauce over time. I don't recommend freezing leftovers because the texture of the sauce will change as it defrosts because of the dairy.
Reheat in a saute pan over medium-low heat, adding additional chicken broth or cream to thin out the sauce as needed.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Slice the chicken in half lengthwise if your chicken breasts are especially large (6 ounces or more) to help them cook quickly and evenly.
- Pound chicken breasts into an even thickness so they cook evenly.
- Add a few tablespoons of water to the skillet with the chicken if it's starting to burn or overheat before the chicken is cooked through all the way.
- Use an instant-read thermometer and pull the chicken out around 160°F, or just before, to allow for carryover cooking.
- Tent the chicken with foil and bring it to room temperature for 20 ish minutes before searing.
- Use high-quality chicken stock or broth. The better the quality, the richer and more flavorful the sauce.
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Gnocchi Recipes
Use this fluffy potato pasta in a soup like creamy sausage gnocchi soup or creamy chicken gnocchi soup.
Tuscan sausage sheet pan gnocchi is the baked version of this dish, without the creamy sauce, and our sweet potato gnocchi with cream sauce is the sweet potato version (with chicken sausage).
More One-Pan Recipes
We have an entire category dedicated to our one-pot recipes, but a few of our (and readers) favorites are one pot taco pasta and creamy one pot buffalo chicken pasta.
Not in the mood for pasta? This sweet potato beef taco skillet and these sweet and spicy pork lettuce wraps are delicious too.
One Pan Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi
- 1 teaspoon EACH: kosher salt, paprika and dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegan butter
- 1 medium shalloot thinly sliced
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup white wine (or chicken broth)
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 16 ounces potato gnocchi gluten-free if needed
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (dairy-free option)
- 1 cup heavy cream or full fat coconut cream (dairy-free option)
- 2 cups chopped baby spinach
- 4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes drained from oil (we used julienned tomatoes)
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- Deep skillet or saute pan
- Mix the salt, pepper, paprika, red pepper flakes and oregano in a small bowl.
- Slice the chicken breast in half lengthwise to make them thinner, so they cook faster. Pat them dry well, place them in a large bowl, and drizzle them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle the seasoning on top and toss to coat.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet, like a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Pan fry the chicken until golden and cooked all the way through, 4-5 minutes per side. If the chicken is starting to burn or get too crispy before it’s cooked all the way through, add 3-4 tablespoons of water to the pan at a time. The target internal temperature for the chicken is 165°F, so i like to remove the chicken at 155 - 160°F to allow for carryover cooking. Remove the cooked chicken to a clean plate.
- To the same skillet, add the butter and melt over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until soft, 2-3 minutes, then add the minced garlic and Italian seasoning and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
- Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping any brown bits from the bottom. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat down to a simmer and reduce the liquid for 3-4 minutes to thicken the sauce and allow the alcohol to cook off.
- Stir in the heavy cream or coconut cream and the uncooked gnocchi and simmer until the sauce thickens and gnocchi is cooked through, 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the spinach, a squeeze of lemon and parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast). See notes for making a slurry to thicken the sauce if desired.
- Add chicken back and top with fresh parsley, thyme or rosemary.
Tried this with the recommended coconut cream replacement, and I added mushrooms. I also used the olive oil from the tomatoes for my marinade and skillet. The flavor of the chicken was great. The coconut cream made the recipe way too sweet for me but my husband liked it. I will be using regular cream next time.
Molly Thompson says
Thanks for the feedback, Elise! You could also try a different brand of coconut cream. Sometimes some are sweeter than others.