I’m about to blow your dang mind with the recipe for Crispy Chicken, Bacon and Pesto Gnocchi Skillet!
We’re talking 20 minutes, 1 skillet, and 5 ingredients. You are going to INHALE this delicious recipe!
Packaged gnocchi is sizzled in a mixture of olive oil and bacon drippings until tender on the inside and crispy on the outside, then tossed with fresh pesto, cooked bacon, and chicken. Easy as that, and yes – just as good as it sounds!
Crispy Gnocchi vs Boiled Gnocchi
You may have seen crispy gnocchi recipes that require you to boil gnocchi before pan-frying, but it’s completely unnecessary. True, it will feel all kinds of wrong pouring dry, hard gnocchi into a skillet, but I promise that in 5-6 minutes the gnocchi will totally transform. Honestly I could forgo the bacon, chicken, and pesto portion of this recipe and eat an entire pan of crispy gnocchi with a little salt all on its own. Maybe a fried egg on top? HOLD ME. That is to say, once you try pan-fried crispy gnocchi, you will never go back.
Feel free to add vegetables to this skillet dinner if you please – halved cherry tomatoes added at the end to warm through would be tasty, while Ben thought chopped, blanched asparagus would be nice too – though we both agree this dish is 5 stars all on its own. Serve with a side salad (or that egg!) and you’re set.
How to Make This Recipe
Start by adding chopped bacon to a cold, 12″ nonstick skillet then place the skillet over medium heat and cook until browned. Scoop the bacon into a bowl, reserving the fat in the skillet.
Turn the heat up slightly then add chopped chicken breasts and season with homemade seasoned salt and pepper. Saute until cooked through then scoop into another bowl and set aside.
Add enough extra virgin olive oil into the skillet to equal 2 Tablespoons fat total, then add a 12oz package gluten-free gnocchi and arrange into an even layer in the bottom. At this point you will be CERTAIN that I am nuts and there’s no way these dry, hard gnocchi will morph into yummy, crispy, perfectly cooked gnocchi – but just you wait!
Let the gnocchi sizzle until the bottoms are golden brown, 2-3 minutes, then stir and continue to saute until the gnocchi are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, 2-3 more minutes. Use a fork to pierce a gnocchi to test for doneness.
Just a note, I have only tested this recipe using Delallo Gluten-Free Gnocchi (found in HyVee’s Health Market.) That said, I’ve made crispy gnocchi skillets in the past before going gluten-free with several different brands that all work fine.
Last step is to add prepared pesto, plus the cooked chicken and bacon, then stir until everything is heated through.
Note: I’m including a small batch basil pesto recipe in the recipe card below, or you can use your favorite jarred pesto. I tested this recipe once using Classico pesto and much preferred homemade. Use what’s best and most convenient for you though.
Scoop the Crispy Chicken, Bacon and Pesto Gnocchi Skillet into bowls then dig in. Like I said, you could add any kind of sauteed or roasted vegetable into the mix, but this dish is 100% devourable all on its own. Enjoy, enjoy!
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Crispy Chicken, Bacon and Pesto Gnocchi Skillet
Crispy Chicken, Bacon and Pesto Gnocchi Skillet is a simple and satisfying gluten free dinner recipe. All you need is 5 ingredients, 20 minutes, and 1 skillet!
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 chicken breasts, chopped into hunks
- seasoned salt and pepper
- 1-2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 12oz package shelf-stable gluten-free gnocchi (I like Delallo)
- 1/4 cup prepared pesto (store-bought or homemade recipe below)
- For the Small Batch Pesto (make 1/3 cup):
- 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves, torn
- 1 Tablespoon walnuts
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
- big pinch salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- squeeze fresh lemon juice
- If making homemade Small Batch Pesto: Add basil, walnuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, and salt to a food processor then pulse until the ingredients are finely chopped. Very slowly stream in extra virgin olive oil while the food processor is running until pesto is smooth - don't over process or your pesto can turn bitter. Stir in a little bit of lemon juice at a time until desired taste is reached - the pesto shouldn't taste lemony, just fresh. Set aside.
- Add bacon to a cold, 12" nonstick skillet then place over medium heat. Cook until bacon is browned then scoop into a bowl and set aside, reserving bacon fat in skillet. Turn heat up slightly.
- Season chicken with seasoned salt and pepper then add to the skillet and cook until chicken is no longer pink in the center. Scoop into a bowl then set aside.
- Add enough extra virgin olive oil to the skillet to equal 2 Tablespoons fat total then add gnocchi and arrange into a single layer. Saute until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy, 2-3 minutes, then stir and continue to saute until the gnocchi are tender and golden brown all over, 2-3 additional minutes.
- Turn heat down to medium-low then add pesto, chicken, and bacon into the skillet. Stir to combine and heat ingredients through then scoop into bowls and serve.
- Click here for my homemade gluten-free seasoned salt >
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.