A Squared: What's for Dinner Wednesday: Baked Skillet Gnocchi

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What's for Dinner Wednesday: Baked Skillet Gnocchi

Before we get into this recipe, can we talk a little bit about the weather in Chicago? It was 65 degrees out yesterday and I walked Clery after work and got overheated in my spring coat. And tomorrow it's going to snow. I have no words. Except that this snow better be long gone by the time my maternity leave begins!

So in the spirit of snow, let's talk about comfort food-- and more specifically, a skillet dinner which has become one of my go to meals during this pregnancy. It's been a while since I have made gnocchi, but it's always one of Alex's favorite dinners so I pulled this ingredient out of the archives recently to make a hearty (and meatless) one pan dinner that satisfied us both.

Gnocchi is a great base for a skillet dinner. It's hearty and holds up to a variety of sauces (from thick to thin), melted cheese, baking, sauteing... it's super versatile. I decided to keep things simple, but flavorful with this meal and paired tender gnocchi with sauteed tomatoes and shallots in a flavorful broth accompanied by a combination of creamy mozzarella and salty Parmesan cheeses. It all comes together on the stovetop and then a quick transfer to the oven turns it into a melty, browned and bubbly skillet.

I have to say that I think melted cheese makes any dinner better. But the simplicity of the ingredients and the recipe here make this one a real winner!


  • 16 oz. package of gnocchi
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 10 oz. grape tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs. garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup low sodium fat free chicken broth
  • 6 oz. fresh mozzarella pearls or mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan 
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook gnocchi according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a cast iron or other oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. When shimmering, add shallots and saute for 3-4 minutes. Stir frequently to ensure that shallots become golden and translucent, but not brown. Add the tomatoes to the pan and saute for 6-8 minutes, until tomatoes start to plump up and some may burst. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt, pepper, and add red pepper flakes.

Pour the chicken broth into the pan and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Remove from heat.

Stir the cooked gnocchi into the tomato mixture. Sprinkle the mozzarella and Parmesan evenly over the top of the gnocchi. Bake for 15 minutes until cheese is melted. If you'd like, broil for an additional 2-3 minutes to get the cheese extra brown and bubbly.

Remove from oven and top with basil. Serve warm.


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