Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Savory Chicken Gnocchi in Light Tomato Cream Sauce

Savory Chicken Gnocchi in Light Tomato Cream Sauce
Easy and elegant, savory and stylish, gnocchi (pronounced nyÓ-kee) dishes are always a big hit with friends and family.  If you're not familiar with these delightful little dumplings, let me bring you into the loop!

The actual word gnocchi may come from the Italian words nocchio (a knot in wood) or even nocca (knuckle).  Fitting words, as they're tiny little dumplings, about the size of a person's knuckle!  They've been served in Italian and Middle Eastern dishes since Roman times, and can be made from semolina, wheat flour, cheese, potato and/or bread crumbs. You'll see lots of variations in recipes and they're easy, fun and quick to make. I've seen various cheeses, veggies and spices incorporated into them and they always look delicious!  (For more info see:

Gnocchi met Hollywood fame in the early 1990's in The Godfather III, when Andy Garcia and Sofia Coppola realized they were in love while rolling potato gnocchi in a restaurant kitchen.  So, I guess you could say that they're a sexy aphrodisiac too!

If you're not into making them from scratch, the grocery stores usually have a plain potato or wheat flour variety available for practically pennies.  They just need to boil for a few minutes until they float to the top of the water and you're set!  Today, I used Trader Joe's potato variety, so that I could have dinner ready in a flash.  I just added some simple chicken, an easy and light tomato cream sauce, and lots of fresh veggies and lemon zest to finish it off.  It's easy, delicious, fast, economical and fun.  Just the way cooking should be!

Savory Chicken Gnocchi in Light Tomato Cream Sauce  

Savory Chicken Gnocchi in Light Tomato Cream Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 20 minutes / Servings: 4

  • 2 large chicken breasts, cubed
  • 12 oz. potato gnocchi
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup Trader Joe's Organic Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup (or other premium tomato based soup)
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 1/4 cups Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Roma Tomato, Chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add chicken, red bell pepper and Italian Seasoning and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook on medium heat for 7-10 minutes until peppers are soft and chicken is cooked through.  Whisk in tomato soup and heavy cream, reduce heat to low and let simmer until combined and thickened, about 5 minutes.
  2. While sauce is thickening, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on high heat. Add gnocchi, stir and boil until the gnocchi floats, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat, drain and add to chicken mixture.
  3. Stir in 1 cup Parmesan cheese until combined and melted.
  4. To Serve:  Spoon 1/4 of the mixture into 4 bowls.  Top with fresh tomato, basil and lemon zest.  Finish with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Savory Chicken Gnocchi in Light Tomato Cream Sauce


    1. Sounds delicious Hoop! I'm stopping at trader joe's on the way home from work tonight, I can't wait to pick up the ingredients and try this! I have some pre-cooked chicken from the other night, so I might just use that up too instead of cooking some new stuff. Great idea!!

    2. Great Paula, I'd love to hear your twist on this!