The College Housewife » Recipes » savory » Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Bake

Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Bake

This Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Bake is a comfort food classic for those cold winter months. This cozy bake is made with pillow-soft gnocchi, rosemary garlic marinated chicken and a rich cream sauce studded with tender baby spinach that will leave you licking your plate clean!

A huge thank you to Roth Cheese for keeping The College Housewife up and running and for providing us with the tastiest cheeses!

chicken and gnocchi alfredo bake

 

Why you’ll love this gnocchi bake

It’s a ‘Fancy casserole’! This is one of those delightful winter recipes where you want something that tastes like it’s from your favorite restaurant, makes you feel cozy inside and is easy to put together. These stuffed pesto pasta shells and butternut squash lasagna have been on repeat so far and I am SO excited to add this easy and creamy chicken gnocchi bake to the mix.

A wonderful crowd pleaser! It’s a great recipe for a crowd if you have family coming over for dinner. This dish has one of those flavor profiles that just work with everyone. Creamy, cheesy, garlicky and pillows of soft gnocchi. The cream sauce has an added boost of flavor with Roth Grand Cru® cheese! It’s my go-to cheese for all white cream sauces. It adds a mild alpine-style nuttiness that boosts anything savory to the next level.

Totally customizable! I like to think of this as gnocchi alfredo baked with some chicken and nutritious greens, but you can totally swap out the gnocchi, if it’s not your jam. Cauliflower gnocchi is a great substitute for something a little bit lighter. Or a short pasta shape, like penne or rigatoni, would work just as well.

Craving more gnocchi recipes? Be sure to make creamy mushroom gnocchi, cauliflower gnocchi chicken soup and pumpkin beer gnocchi soup.

pouring cream sauce on top of chicken and gnocchi in skillet

Ingredients for baked chicken gnocchi

For ease of preparation, the ingredient list is broken up into two parts – the chicken and the cream sauce.

Chicken

  • Chicken breasts
  • Rosemary 
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt + pepper
  • Unsalted butter
  • Spinach
  • Pre-made gnocchi

Cream Sauce:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Garlic
  • All-purpose flour
  • Whole milk
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Rosemary
  • Roth Grand Cru® cheese
  • Salt + pepper
  • Fresh parsley

Scroll below for the recipe card and measurements.

roth cheese, gnocchi, spinach, lemon, rosemary, garlic, butter

How to make creamy chicken gnocchi bake

  1. Marinate chicken: In a medium bowl, mix together chicken breasts with rosemary, 3 garlic, olive oil and lemon. Cover and let marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Cook chicken: Once the chicken is marinated, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and sear on both sides, until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Drain the excess fat from the pan.
  3. Wilt spinach: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Move chicken breasts to one side of the skillet. Stir in chopped spinach to the other side and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to wilt, about 1-2 minutes. Set skillet aside.
  4. Make the cream sauce: Melt the butter in a separate skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook, whisking constantly, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in cayenne pepper, nutmeg, rosemary, and grated Grand Cru cheese until slightly thickened. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Cook gnocchi: Cook gnocchi according to package directions. Drain in a colander and set aside until casserole assembly.
  6. Assemble the casserole: In the skillet with chicken and spinach, top with cooked gnocchi and cream sauce. Gently stir together. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and the sides are bubbling. Serve hot, garnished with parsley if desired.

four step grid making chicken gnocchi recipe in skillet

Serving suggestions

This is a complete dinner with a hefty dose of protein, carbs and greens. To lighten things up and add some balance, I love to pair it with a light vegetable side like broccolini or harvest salad. A chilled glass of Pinot Grigio never hurt either! 😉

Recipe tips:

  • Swap out the chicken breasts for thighs! Chicken thighs will add just another level of richness. You will need approx 1.5 lbs of chicken thighs. Adjust the cooking time to 4-5 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
  • Use one skillet, for easy clean-up! I wrote this recipe using two skillets – one for the chicken and spinach, the other for the cream sauce. To save yourself a step, you could always remove the chicken and wilted spinach from the first skillet and make the cream sauce in the same pan. Just add the chicken and spinach right back in.
  • Make sure your skillet is oven-safe. The chicken and gnocchi bake gets cooked in the oven in the very same skillet, so just make sure your skillet is oven-approved.
  • Serve it right away. Although I am all about make-ahead recipes, I find you really get the most enjoyment out of this casserole when served immediately. The cream sauce is perfection.

chicken gnocchi bake with roth cheese

Chicken gnocchi bake FAQ

Should you boil gnocchi before baking?

I have always made this recipe with boiled gnocchi. Times will vary based on the brand you buy, so make sure to follow the cooking time on the back of the package.

Is gnocchi a potato or pasta?

Technically speaking, gnocchi is a dumpling made out of potatoes. Gnocchi is made with a mixture of flour, riced potato and egg yolk. Very similar to pasta but a bit softer and chewier.

What does gnocchi taste like?

Basically soft potato pillows that melt in your mouth. It is fairly plain, just like pasta, and absorbs whatever sauce you cook it in. If you don’t like gnocchi, you could try cauliflower gnocchi or swap it out with a small pasta noodle, like penne or rigatoni.

Looking for more cozy casserole recipes? Check these out!

If you make this Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Bake recipe, be sure to tag me on Pinterest and Instagram!

I seriously love seeing what you guys are making and sharing your creations with the College Housewife community!

Originally published in December 2019, updated February 2022 with updated info and recipe card.

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon heart heart icon heart solid heart solid icon
chicken and gnocchi alfredo bake

Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Bake

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Bake is a comfort food classic for those cold winter months. This cozy bake is made with pillow-soft gnocchi, rosemary garlic marinated chicken and a rich cream sauce studded with tender baby spinach that will leave you licking your plate clean!


Ingredients

Scale

Chicken:

35 medium chicken breasts

1 tbsp minced rosemary

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp olive oil

Juice from one lemon

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tbsp unsalted butter

34 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped

1 (17.5 oz) package pre-made gnocchi

Cream Sauce:

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole milk

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of grated nutmeg

1 tbsp minced rosemary

1 1/2 cups grated Roth Grand Cru® cheese

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


Instructions

  1. Marinate chicken: In a medium bowl, mix together chicken breasts with rosemary, 3 garlic, olive oil and lemon. Cover and let marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Cook chicken: Once the chicken is marinated, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and sear on both sides, until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Drain the excess fat from the pan.
  3. Wilt spinach: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Move chicken breasts to one side of the skillet. Stir in chopped spinach to the other side and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to wilt, about 1-2 minutes. Set skillet aside.
  4. Make the cream sauce: Melt the butter in a separate skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook, whisking constantly, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in cayenne pepper, nutmeg, rosemary, and grated Grand Cru cheese until slightly thickened. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Cook gnocchi: Cook gnocchi according to package directions. Drain in a colander and set aside until casserole assembly.
  6. Assemble the casserole: In the skillet with chicken and spinach, top with cooked gnocchi and cream sauce. Gently stir together. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and the sides are bubbling. Serve hot, garnished with parsley if desired. 

Notes

Chicken Thighs: Use 1.5 lbs chicken thighs. Adjust the cooking time to 4-5 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Cheese: If you can’t find Grand Cru cheese, gruyere works as a great substitute.

Keywords: cheese, casserole, chicken

 

4 Comments

  1. Maggie
    January 28, 2022 / 7:43 pm

    This recipe is heaven in a cast iron skillet!! So rich and creamy. I’m already craving it again!

  2. Maggie
    January 28, 2022 / 12:25 am

    This recipe is heaven in a cast iron skillet!! It is a fan favorite in this household. It is so flavorful and rich! I am already wanting to make it again!!

  3. Rachel
    December 15, 2021 / 1:57 pm

    I made this and it was very yummy! Loved the sauce and how tender the chicken was! Do you think cooked pasta could be supposed for the gnocchi in this dish?

    • Katy
      January 24, 2022 / 7:36 pm

      I think cooked pasta would be a delicious substitute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

We Won!
Seen In