With that big string of non-stop holidays and parties coming up, I thought it might be time to share an ultra easy dish for those hurried weeknights we all have. You know the ones. One kid has to be picked up at 4, another has to be dropped off on the other side of town at 5 then picked back up at 6. And, somehow, you have to feed everyone.
This quick and easy gnocchi uses leftover chicken (or turkey!), or you can also use a rotisserie chicken from the local grocery store. When I was developing this recipe, I tried out a few other similar recipes on other sites. Cooking Light provided me with the secret to making this dish ULTRA-fast. Their Cheesy Skillet Gnocchi recipe calls to saute the gnocchi without boiling it first – genius! The final texture of the gnocchi will depend more on the quality of the gnocchi you use than on pre-boiling them. If you have time you can make your own gnocchi with this recipe from a VERY old post of mine. It’s a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes, and I am a huge fan of repurposing leftovers. However, if you just laughed when I suggested making your own, then make things ultra easy and use store-bought. I tested this recipe so many times that I’ve tried it with homemade gnocchi, fresh locally-made gnocchi, fresh store-bought gnocchi from the chain grocery store down the street and with shelf stable gnocchi which is available in most any grocery store. All of them were good, but the shelf-stable and fresh grocery store-bought versions were noticeably firmer than the homemade and locally-made versions.
The sauce is made by mixing half and half with grated Pecorino Romano, which I like here because of it’s saltiness. You can certainly use almost any hard grating cheese such as parmesan or even aged gouda. Using a grated cheese (think powder) instead of a shredded cheese here helps the cheese melt into a sauce instead of clumping together, and mixing it with the half and half first helps it form a smooth creamy texture. The sauce should cling to the other ingredients and is not very thin. However, if you like it to be a little looser, then add two tablespoons of water before serving.
Turkey or chicken, homemade gnocchi or shelf-stable, this is going to be a big hit. You can have it on the table in 10-15 minutes, and EVERYONE will love it! Enjoy!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil - divided
- 1 - 16 oz package fresh gnocchi
- 8 ounces fresh crimini mushrooms, sliced or quartered
- 2 cups diced cooked boneless, skinless chicken
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmagiano Reggiano cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Stir the grated cheese into the half and half and set aside.
- Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the mushrooms and saute until they are golden brown. Move to a bowl and add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil. Add the gnocchi and saute, turning frequently until the gnocchi are golden brown, about five minutes.
- Add the chicken to the pan and cook until it has heated through, about three minutes. Return the mushrooms to the pan and add the peas. Cook until everything is very hot, about two minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in the half and half/cheese mixture. Stir until the sauce has thickened and the cheese has melted into the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.