So excited to share this super easy, ultra creamy pesto alfredo sauce, poured over dreamy, fluffy gnocchi and topped with crisp bacon and shaved parmesan. It’s warm, hearty, delicious, and perfect for busy weeknights. The combo of bacon, creamy basil pesto, and parmesan send this decadent sauce over the top!! It’s seriously too good to eat in public. Gnocchi are basically potato dumplings, so serve this to your meat-and-potatoes loving family for a sure-fire winner!
Here’s all you need — just a few simple ingredients you can keep on hand at all times: Heavy cream, basil pesto, chicken broth, potato gnocchi (find this on the pasta aisle), bacon, and salt and pepper. And YES, you can totally use fat-free half-and-half instead of heavy cream here! I’ve totally done it and you cannot tell the difference. So feel free to use the lighter stuff in honor of bathing suit season!
To start, you’ll need some cooked, crumbled bacon. My favorite way to cook bacon is in the oven at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. Comes out flat and evenly crisp ever single time. I then place the bacon between two paper towels to pat off any excess grease, chop the pieces that I need and freeze the rest. Bacon freezes wonderfully and is perfect for making ahead of time and pulling out of the freezer for later on busy weeknights.
Next, measure 1 cup of chicken broth in a slightly larger (at least 2-cup) measuring cup. I’ll explain why in a minute.
Pesto is another one of those things that freezes AWESOMELY. Whether you make it in huge batches at the end of summer or buy it at the store, I hardly ever have the need to use a whole jar of pesto at once. Fortunately, it freezes great and stays soft enough so I don’t have to worry about freezing it in batches. I just scoop out what I need straight from the jar. I always have pesto in my freezer for “throw together dinner” nights.
Scoop out 1/4 cup of pesto into the chicken broth. You’ll know you have 1/4 cup when the chicken broth rises from 1 cup to 1 1/4 cups. That’s why you needed a 2-cup measuring cup. Easy peasy! Now you don’t have to wash a second measuring cup. :)
Stir the broth and pesto together, breaking up the larger frozen chunks of pesto by pressing them against the sides of the cup, then set aside.
Next, melt one tablespoon of butter over medium heat in a large skillet.
Dump in your gnocchi, arrange in one layer, and let cook for 5 minutes without stirring.
Until the bottoms are golden brown and toasty.
Next dump in your broth and pesto mixture…
Top with your cooked, chopped bacon…
And season generously with salt and pepper.
Stir to combine, and when the sauce comes to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes until the gnocchi is soft and the sauce is thickened.
Then pour in your luscious cream.
Stir to combine, then serve up this creamy, dreamy, delicious masterpiece.
You can dig in as is, or go the extra mile and top with a little shaved parmesan to make it fahn-cy.
If you like, top this with some grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, or heck, even some 5-minute chicken for a perfect hearty meal.
Hope you enjoy this one! :)
Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup basil pesto
1 tablespoon butter
1 (16 oz) package potato gnocchi
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste (I use 1/2 teaspoon each)
1/4 cup heavy cream
shaved or shredded parmesan, cheese (optional)
1. Add pesto to chicken broth and stir to combine.
2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi in a single layer and cook for 5 minutes until toasted. Pour in the broth pesto mixture, add cooked bacon, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
3. When the sauce comes to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes until the gnocchi are tender and the sauce is thickened. Pour in heavy cream and stir to combine. Serve warm with chicken or a salad and bread. Enjoy!
Makes 4 servings. Click here for Nutritional Information.