This creamy chicken with gnocchi is ultra comforting and so full of flavour!

This could well be the definition of comfort food. It’s so hearty, so cosy and tastes off-the-scale delicious! Follow me…

close up shot of creamy chicken with gnocchi in large white bowl

Chicken Thighs

I like to use boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. Thighs come out soft and juicy, and they’re fairly robust too, meaning they’re more difficult to overcook!

Whilst it’s hard for the creamy gnocchi not to become the main event of this dish, we still want the chicken to hold its own and really shine through. As such, it’s important to give it a good season before you fry it. Here I use paprika, onion & garlic powder, dried thyme and salt & pepper.

To cook the thighs we’ll be pan-frying them. This way they can build up a nice crust, which in turn develops more flavour. You can then also use the excess fat to continue through the dish, which adds heaps of flavour to the sauce!

Process shots: season thighs (photos 1&2), fry thighs (photos 3&4).

4 step by step photos showing how to prepare chicken thighs

Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi

With the creamy gnocchi I love adding a few extra goodies:

  • Pancetta – Pairs delightfully with the chicken (especially the paprika seasoning!).
  • Mushrooms – These soak in all the excess fat (aka liquid gold) from the chicken and pancetta!
  • Shallots & Garlic – Add a base flavouring.
  • Spinach – Bulks out the dish so you don’t need any extra sides.

From there, the base of the sauce is chicken stock and cream, then for a boost of flavour, we’re going to add some Dijon mustard and parmesan.

Cooking the gnocchi

Technically speaking you could cook the gnocchi in the sauce. However, there is LOTS of excess starch. As such, I like to part-boil the gnocchi and then finish it off in the sauce.

Process shots: fry pancetta (photo 1) fry mushrooms, shallots & garlic (photo 2), stir in stock, cream, parmesan and mustard (photo 3), simmer then stir in spinach (photo 4), stir in gnocchi (photo 5), add chicken (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make creamy chicken and gnocchi

Chicken and Gnocchi FAQ

Can I use chicken breast instead of thigh?

You can indeed! I’ve added a note on this in the recipe card below.

Where can I find pancetta?

You’ll find it in most supermarkets, often near the cured meats. If you don’t have it you could sub streaky bacon.

Do I have to add the spinach?

If you don’t like spinach you can simply leave this out.

close up shot of creamy chicken and gnocchi in large pan

Serving Creamy Chicken with Gnocchi

To serve, place the chicken back in the pan and simmer for 1-2 minutes to warm the chicken through, finish cooking the gnocchi and thicken the sauce. From there I recommend plating up right away so the gnocchi doesn’t overcook!

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this creamy chicken and gnocchi shall we?!

close up shot of creamy gnocchi and chicken in large white bowl

How to make Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi (Full Recipe & Video)

close up shot of creamy chicken with gnocchi in large white bowl

Print

Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi

This creamy chicken with gnocchi is ultra comforting and so full of flavour!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Western
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 798kcal
Cost £3 / $4

Equipment

  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Large Pan, Tongs & Wooden Spoon
  • Fine Cheese Grater
  • Large Pot & Colander
  • Jug (for stock/cream)

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 600g / 1.3lb boneless skinless Chicken Thighs (see notes)
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp EACH: Salt, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp EACH: Black Pepper, Dried Thyme
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

Creamy Gnocchi

  • 140g / 5oz diced Pancetta (see notes)
  • 200g / 7oz Baby Chestnut Mushrooms, halved or quartered (sub baby button mushrooms)
  • 2 Shallots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
  • 120ml / 1/2 cup Chicken Stock (use low-salt if sensitive to salt)
  • 240ml / 1 cup Double/Heavy Cream, at room temp
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 40g / 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 100g / 3.5oz Baby Spinach Leaves, roughly diced
  • 500g / 1lb fresh Gnocchi
  • Salt & Pepper, as needed

Instructions

  • Coat both sides of the chicken thighs with the seasoning mix. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs and fry both sides until lightly charred and cooked right through the centre (around 5 mins each side depending on size). If they start charring too aggressively just lower the heat slightly. Remove and place to one side.
  • Lower the heat slightly to medium, then add in the pancetta. Fry until it begins to crisp and leak out its fat, then stir in the mushrooms until they soak in most of the fat. Add the shallots and fry until soft & golden and the mushrooms soften and build up a golden crust. Add the garlic and fry for a minute longer.
  • Pour in the stock and cream, then stir in the mustard and parmesan. Bring to a simmer and gently bubble away until the sauce begins to thicken (usually 3-5mins). Add any resting juices from the chicken and stir in the spinach until it begins to wilt.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and cook for 1 minute, then drain and stir it through the sauce. Adjust seasoning if desired.
  • Add the chicken back on top and simmer for 1-2 mins to warm the chicken through, finish cooking the gnocchi and thicken the sauce. Serve up and enjoy!

Video

Notes

a) Chicken – I like using chicken thighs in this recipe, but you could sub breast if you prefer. I recommend using 2 large breasts and slicing them through the centre to create 4 even-sized breasts. From there continue with the recipe, adjusting the frying time to around 3-4mins each side. In all cases I recommend getting the chicken out of the fridge 30mins or so before needed, just to relax the meat and help it cook through evenly.

b) Pancetta – This is a great addition because it leaks out a lot of fat and the mushrooms soak in all that goodness! You can sub streaky bacon if you’d prefer.

c) Salt – I don’t add any extra salt to this, just some black pepper. If you’re at all wary of salt just use low-sodium stock.

d) Gnocchi – Usually takes 2 mins to cook. I like to do 1 minute in boiling water to part-cook it and remove the excess starch, then finish it off in the pan. Try to not overcook the gnocchi or it’ll turn mushy!

e) Calories – Whole recipe divided by 4.

Nutrition

Calories: 798kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.3g | Protein: 43.72g | Fat: 56.29g | Saturated Fat: 22.24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.283g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13.803g | Trans Fat: 0.119g | Cholesterol: 251mg | Sodium: 1200mg | Potassium: 1131mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5.16g | Vitamin A: 3927IU | Vitamin C: 12.2mg | Calcium: 199mg | Iron: 3.58mg

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