If you are looking for diet foods, you’ve come to the wrong place. My family isn’t likely to find themselves on any specific diets anytime soon. Instead, I try to feed us a variety of foods to fulfill our nutritional needs. If you’re looking for a delicious meal that’s packed full of vegetables and is easy to put together, then you’ve come to the right place.
inspiration can be found anywhere
My husband always orders the chicken and gnocchi soup from Olive Garden. One day, I came across a copy cat recipe. We decided to give it a try. We slaved in the kitchen that day, working together to build this pot of soup. We had a great time. The soup was gone too quickly.
Since then, we’ve developed our own version of chicken and gnocchi soup. From that recipe, I developed this delicious pasta bake.
Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Pasta Bake recipe
- 2 tbsp butter, divided
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 cup diced celery, optional*
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups of milk (or 1 3/4 cups water and 2/3 cup powdered milk)
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 2 cups carrots, diced**
- 12 oz bag frozen chopped spinach
- 16 oz gnocchi, cooked according to package directions & rinsed with cold water
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded chicken
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan
Melt a tablespoon of butter with the olive oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan. Cook onion (and celery if using) until soft and translucent. Stir in garlic. Cook until fragrant (just a minute or two).
Melt in second tablespoon of butter. Whisk in flour. Slowly whisk in the milk and broth. Stir in the seasonings. Bring to a simmer. Simmer until it is starting to thicken, stirring regularly.
Stir in the spinach and carrots. Return to a simmer. Simmer, continuing to stir with regularity, until sauce is thickened and the spinach is fully thawed. Remove from heat.
PREHEAT oven to 350°
In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, gnocchi, and diced carrots. Fold in the sauce and gently stir until everything is coated.
Line a 13×9 baking dish with parchment or grease well with butter. Pour gnocchi mix into prepared baking dish. Spread out evenly. Sprinkle the shredded Parmesan on top.
Cover with foil and bake in 350° oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and return to oven for additional 5-7 minutes.
*if I have celery in the house I use it, but the bake doesn’t suffer from the absence of it
**substitute a bag of frozen carrots. Partially thaw them to soften, then dice them.