Creamy gnocchi with sausage is an easy skillet dinner with browned chicken sausages, roasted cherry tomatoes, and tender baby spinach in a delicious cream sauce.
Every now and then it is nice to mix our normal Pasta Night up with something a little bit different.
Dried gnocchi are so easy to cook and are a delicious alternative to pasta when you want Italian comfort food.
This easy skillet dinner recipe uses fluffy gnocchi with a rich and creamy sauce over browned chicken sausages.
Tender baby spinach and juicy roasted cherry tomatoes add a pop of color and the perfect flavor accents.
BONUS: That simple red and green color palette makes this a simple, budget-friendly Christmas dinner idea for a small group.
Why This is the Best Recipe
Dried gnocchi is a fun alternative to a pasta recipe when you want something a little bit different. I think this is the best creamy gnocchi with sausage recipe because:
- Easy to Make: The timing of my recipe helps you finish all the elements in the skillet at the same time. Gnocchi boil super quickly and the dinner is ready to toss together in no time.
- Light Chicken Sausages: Prepared chicken sausages come in a wide variety of flavors. You can completely tweak this dish by choosing a new flavor of sausage. We loved the bourbon apple chicken sausages!
- Roasted Tomatoes: The addition of sweet roasted cherry tomatoes adds a wonderful acidic complement to the rich and creamy sauce.
- Full of Flavor: A hefty sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes and Italian herb blend gives the creamy sauce a lovely depth of flavor.
This delicious dinner recipe only needs a few simple ingredients:
- Chicken Sausages: I used a prepared bourbon apple sausage but Italian herb, chorizo, or hot sausages would all taste delicious too.
- Dried Gnocchi: You can find gnocchi by the pasta section at most grocery stores. I stock up on them every time I'm at Trader Joe's.
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Baby Spinach
- White Wine
- Chicken Stock
- Heavy Cream
- Minced Garlic
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Dried Italian Herb Blend
- Olive Oil
Roast the Tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Toss the cherry tomatoes in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast the tomatoes for 10 minutes or until the skins burst. If the tomatoes finish before the rest of the dinner, just turn the oven off and let them keep warm inside.
Boil the Gnocchi
Place a large pot of water on to boil.
Gnocchi only take about 2 minutes to cook in boiling water. Check the recipe card below for the timing of adding them to the water so they are finished and fresh for tossing in the cream sauce at just the right time.
Brown the Sausage
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
Cut the chicken sausages into slices on an angle and add them to the skillet with the chopped onion.
Cook until the sausages brown on both sides and the onions are translucent.
Build the Cream Sauce
Once the onions have softened, add the minced garlic, Italian herb blend, and crushed red peppper flakes to the skillet. Stir and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
As the sausages brown, they'll leave browned bits clinging to the bottom of the skillet.
Pour the white wine into the pan and use it to help lift the browned bits where all the flavor is hiding. Let the wine come to a boil and reduce by half.
Meanwhile, add the cornstarch to the chicken stock and whisk it together with a fork to avoid any lumps. Pour the mixture into the skillet and cook until the sauce begins to thicken.
Add the heavy cream to the skillet, stir it in, and bring it to a bubble.
NOTE: If you prefer to use less wine, you could use chicken stock to deglaze the pan and add the cornstarch to the wine and add it second.
Wilt the Spinach
Add the baby spinach to the skillet and gently stir it into the sauce.
The heat from the cream sauce will help to reduce the baby spinach in volume.
Cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until the spinach is just wilted.
Add the drained gnocchi to the skillet and toss in the sauce.
Add the grated parmesan cheese and stir.
If you love the ease of this dish, you really want to take a peek at my creamy orzo with chicken recipe.
I used tender chunks of chicken and a creamy orzo pasta with similar flavors to this gnocchi recipe.
Just before serving, add the roasted cherry tomatoes to the skillet.
My family enjoyed this easy skillet recipe for a Sunday family dinner but I immediately noticed the festive red and green color palette and decided it would be a fun meal to enjoy on St. Nicholas' Feast Day in December.
It would make a delicious and easy Christmas family dinner for a small group. You could also double it and serve with garlic bread and a garden salad for a larger group.
More Gnocchi Recipes
If you enjoy cooking with dried gnocchi, you will also enjoy these easy recipes:
Roasted gnocchi are crispy and golden brown on the outside and fluffy on the inside. It is one of my new favorite recipes.
This gnocchi soup with lemon and dill comes together quickly and is such a great pantry recipe to keep on hand.
Make my classic beef bolognese sauce, it is perfect for spooning over a batch of boiled gnocchi instead of pasta.
Creamy Gnocchi with Sausage
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil plus a drizzle more for the tomatoes
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 4 chicken sausage links sliced, we used a bourbon apple flavor
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp dried Italian herb blend
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 (16 oz) package dried gnocchi
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring it to a boil. Place a large skillet on the stovetop.
- On a baking sheet, toss the cherry tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle them with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast them for 10 minutes. If they finish before the gnocchi are ready, simply turn the oven off and leave them inside to keep warm.
- Place the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced chicken sausage and chopped onion to the skillet. Cook until the onion is softened and the sausage starts to brown, about 4 - 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, dried Italian herb blend, and the crushed red pepper flakes to the skillet and stir. Cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add the white wine to the skillet and scrape up the browned bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. Cook until the liquid has reduced by half.
- Add a hefty pinch of salt to the now boiling water. Cook the gnocchi according to the package directions, about 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Measure the chicken broth in a small measuring cup and whisk in the cornstarch with a fork. Pour the mixture into the skillet and stir. Cook for 1 minute or until the sauce starts to thicken.
- Add the heavy cream to the skillet and stir. Add the baby spinach over the top and stir it in. It will look like a lot of spinach but will wilt down quickly. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until the spinach has mostly wilted.
- Add the gnocchi to the skillet and gently stir to coat in the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium low and warm the gnocchi through. Add the roasted tomatoes over the top and serve with a sprinkle of the grated parmesan cheese.
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