Ben gifted me an Apple Watch for my birthday earlier this summer and I am HOOKED. We’d gotten him one earlier this year because of the heart rate monitor and ECG feature, which helps us breathe easier since Ben has a history of heart arrhythmia, but the activity tracking feature on the watch has really motivated us both. With one glance at your wrist you can easily see how many hours you’ve stood (or not) in a day, how many minutes you’ve been active (heart rate above a certain number,) and how many calories you’ve burned.
Ummm, if you’re looking for inspiration to get off your butt and get moving, the Apple Watch will deeefinitely do it! Let’s just say this ol’ gal doesn’t move as much as she thought and the watch has motivated me to fit more workouts into my week. Another fun feature is challenging other watch wearers to complete daily activity goals, etc. Hey, I’ve spent my whole life trying to convince myself that I’m not competitive, but put me in an week-long activity challenge against Ben and my brother, who also got a watch after hearing about how much I loved mine?
THEY’RE GOING DOWN.
Anyway, since I’ve been extra active I feel zero guilt downing bowl after bowl of this decadent, gluten free dinner recipe – Cheesy Gnocchi Florentine, aka HEAVEN IN A SKILLET. This quick and easy dish is like pumped up mac and cheese packed with spinach, tomatoes, sausage, gluten free gnocchi and, of course, cheese. Get your shovels ready!
Last week I polled my Facebook friends (are we connected yet? I usually share four recipes a day and most are oldies but goodies from the archives,) on whether they wanted to see more summery recipes, or if we’ve moved onto quick, one pan recipes for the busy fall and back-to-school season. The overwhelming majority voted for the latter, so here we are: one skillet, 30 minute (if that) Cheesy Gnocchi Florentine.
Ground Italian sausage is browned with shallot or onion, Italian seasoning, and garlic then canned diced tomatoes, packaged gluten free gnocchi, and half & half are added. Simmer until the gnocchi are tender then stir in lots of baby spinach, and finish with a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese. It is SO easy, and it is SO good. Such a tasty treat and again, made in just one skillet. You can’t beat it!!
This recipe is very rich and decadent so I loved the pieces of juicy tomato that brightened and lightened up each bite. If you’ve got fresh herbs like parsley or basil laying around, you could add a scattering at the end, but part of the impressiveness of this dish is that it’s so simple. A “dump and cook” kind of dish, if you will. Add a big side salad and you’re set.
Alright, let’s cook!
How to Make Cheesy Gnocchi Florentine:
Start by browning 3/4 pound ground sweet Italian sausage (here’s my recipe) with 1 chopped shallot in a large, 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Once browned, add 1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning and 3 cloves pressed or minced garlic then saute until very fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
Next add a 15oz can Italian-style diced or petite diced tomatoes plus 1 cup half & half, and a 12oz package gluten free gnocchi. I used Red Gold brand diced tomatoes, which I snipped with kitchen shears to turn into “petite diced”, and the label said tomatoes flavored with basil, garlic, and oregano – ie Italian-style. Just look for something similar and you’ll be set.
Bring the mixture to a simmer then turn the heat down to medium and continue simmering until the gnocchi are nearly tender, 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
This is the gluten free gnocchi I used, by the way. The package says “mini gnocchi” but they are standard sized in my experience!
Note: non-gluten free gnocchi generally come in 16oz packages (vs 12oz) so if you don’t need to eat gluten free and are using regular gnocchi, you will need to up the amount of half & half and/or add some chicken broth to cook the extra 4oz of gnocchi.
Once the gnocchi are nearly tender, add 4 cups lightly packed baby spinach that’s been roughly chopped then continue to cook until the gnocchi are fully tender and the spinach has wilted, 1-2 more minutes. If you feel the gnocchi needs more liquid to fully cook through, add a few glugs of chicken broth.
Last step is to take the skillet off the heat then stir in 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. I am telling you – this gnocchi dish is good without the cheese, but it is STELLAR after it’s stirred in. Ah, the power of cheese!
Scoop the Cheesy Gnocchi Florentine into bowls then dig in!! I hope you love this easy, decadent, and delicious gluten free dinner recipe! Enjoy!
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Cheesy Gnocchi Florentine
Cheesy Gnocchi Florentine is a quick, easy, and delicious weeknight meal! This gluten free dinner recipe is made in one skillet, in 30 minutes.
- 3/4lb ground sweet Italian sausage
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 15oz can Italian-style diced or petite diced tomatoes (see notes)
- 1 cup half & half
- 12oz package gluten free gnocchi (see notes)
- 4 cups lightly packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup chicken broth (optional)
- Heat a large, 12” skillet over medium-high heat then add Italian sausage and shallots and brown. Add garlic and Italian seasoning then saute for 1-2 minutes or until garlic is very fragrant. Add canned tomatoes, half & half, and gluten free gnocchi then bring mixture to a simmer. Turn heat down to medium then continue simmering until gnocchi are nearly tender, 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add baby spinach then stir to combine and continue cooking until spinach is wilted and gnocchi are tender, 1-2 minutes, adding splashes of chicken broth if necessary if sauce gets too thick. Remove skillet from heat then sprinkle in mozzarella cheese and stir to combine. Serve immediately.
- Look for diced tomatoes that are flavored with basil, garlic, and oregano, ie "Italian Style".
- Note: regular, non-gluten free gnocchi are usually sold in 16oz packages. If you don't need to eat gluten free and are using regular gnocchi, you may need to add more half & half and/or chicken broth to the dish.
- Click here for my Homemade Ground Italian Sausage recipe >
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.