April 7, 2014

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan. This creamy pesto alfredo sauce is incredible!!

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!

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan. This creamy pesto alfredo sauce is incredible!!

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!

Easiest way to cook bacon ever!!

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.

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan. This creamy pesto alfredo sauce is incredible!!

Next, measure 1 cup of chicken broth in a slightly larger (at least 2-cup) measuring cup. I’ll explain why in a minute.

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan. This creamy pesto alfredo sauce is incredible!!

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.

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan. This creamy pesto alfredo sauce is incredible!!

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. :)

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan. This creamy pesto alfredo sauce is incredible!!

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.

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan. This creamy pesto alfredo sauce is incredible!!

Next, melt one tablespoon of butter over medium heat in a large skillet.

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan. This creamy pesto alfredo sauce is incredible!!

Like so.

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan. This creamy pesto alfredo sauce is incredible!!

Dump in your gnocchi, arrange in one layer, and let cook for 5 minutes without stirring.

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan. This creamy pesto alfredo sauce is incredible!!

Until the bottoms are golden brown and toasty.

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan. This creamy pesto alfredo sauce is incredible!!

Next dump in your broth and pesto mixture…

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan. This creamy pesto alfredo sauce is incredible!!

Top with your cooked, chopped bacon…

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan. This creamy pesto alfredo sauce is incredible!!

And season generously with salt and pepper.

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan. This creamy pesto alfredo sauce is incredible!!

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.

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan. This creamy pesto alfredo sauce is incredible!!

Then pour in your luscious cream.

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan. This creamy pesto alfredo sauce is incredible!!

Stir to combine, then serve up this creamy, dreamy, delicious masterpiece.

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan. This creamy pesto alfredo sauce is incredible!!

You can dig in as is, or go the extra mile and top with a little shaved parmesan to make it fahn-cy.

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan. This creamy pesto alfredo sauce is incredible!!

If you like, top this with some grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken, or heck, even some 5-minute chicken for a perfect hearty meal.

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Bacon & Parmesan. This creamy pesto alfredo sauce is incredible!!

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.



Make for: Dinner / Main Dish
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22 Comments



 
 

1
Averie @ Averie Cooks April 7, 2014 at 3:51 am

Love the gnocchi but the real gem is your stash of freezer pesto! And that it stays soft enough you can just scoop as needed! Need to do this!! pinned

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2
Anele @ Success Along the Weigh April 7, 2014 at 6:58 am

I have a red mark on my forehead from slamming my face into the screen. How embarrassing!

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3
Cookbook Queen April 7, 2014 at 9:37 am

Comfort food at it’s best!! Love simple skillets like this!!

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4
Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps April 7, 2014 at 1:02 pm

So creamy! I’m going especially gaga over the pesto and bacon! Mmmmm dinner perfection.

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5
lesliemac23 April 7, 2014 at 2:51 pm

I would add in some halved cherry tomatoes at the end. Yum – can’t wait to make it.

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6
Tieghan April 7, 2014 at 10:47 pm

Pesto skillet sounds so good. Love this!

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7
Jaclyn April 8, 2014 at 1:52 am

I love gnocchi and I’m going to be dreaming about this version until I try it! Looks awesome!

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8
Lois April 8, 2014 at 7:20 am

I left a comment on the cliqueme yesterday but then realized I don’t know how those comments get ‘responded’ to! And I really want to know the answer to my question…………..SO…………does it matter if the jar the pesto is in is glass or plastic? I’ve been laboriously portioning out the pesto and freezing it in little packets. OH MY!!! How much easier to do it your way! I just don’t know about the jar. Also – 2nd question that I just thought of (LOL) – when you cook & then freeze the bacon, is it still crispy when you thaw it out to use as a garnish type topping? Thanks! :))

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9
Lauren April 8, 2014 at 7:44 am

Ok, YUM. Yum yum yum. I need to make this right now.

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10
Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction April 8, 2014 at 12:15 pm

I love gnocchi and pesto together!

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11
Jenny Flake April 8, 2014 at 11:04 pm

I can’t get enough gnocchi!! This looks perfect! Mmm :)

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12
Christine April 9, 2014 at 9:13 am

I made this last night along with the 5 minute brown butter chicken and it turned out amazingly good! Thanks so much for the recipe. I followed it exactly and it was pretty darn easy. Cooked the chicken first then moved on to the gnocchi then combined them. Really, really good. Certainly a keeper. I was also wondering about putting my newly opened glass jar of pesto in the freezer. Didn’t want to take a chance so it’s in the fridge for now. Thanks again Amanda, love your blog!

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13
Todd April 11, 2014 at 4:39 pm

This is different I’ll have to try it.

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14
Linda April 14, 2014 at 8:24 am

May be a stupid question but do you boil the gnocchi before browning them? I’ve never bought gnocchi before so I have no idea. This looks amazing can’t wait to try it.

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15
Amanda April 20, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Hi Linda! I don’t! They cook in the sauce. :) Hope this helps! :)

16
Kala April 24, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Making this tonight with penne pasta and half and half and cannot WAIT. Thanks for the pesto tip and easy recipe!

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17
Shannon May 7, 2014 at 11:55 am

I officially am not a gnocchi fan, because if the amazing sauce these were in couldn’t make me like gnocchi, nothing will. We will definitely be using the sauce recipe again with a normal pasta because it was so delicious. :)

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18
Betsey H May 13, 2014 at 6:19 pm

Tried this tonight ising some frozen gnocchi (boiled first) and homemade pesto. It was actually a meal I used to use some up some odds & ends of the ingredients. Ot was a hit – including for my 4 year old! Great recipe but definitely not good for those on a diet!

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19
Kristi July 6, 2014 at 9:54 pm

Is there a way to get pics with the recipes? I copy a ton of your recipes but would love to have a pic with the recipe too. Thanks so much!

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20
Marlene Seymour July 16, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Where can one purchase potato gnocchi? I am GF/SF and all I see packaged are ones made with flour & wheat.

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21
Lauren August 28, 2014 at 8:22 am

Made this last night and it was DELICIOUS. Will definitely make again. I added grilled chicken to the dish when I added the cream so that everything incorporated with the sauce and it was perfection. Thanks!

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22
Terri September 19, 2014 at 11:56 am

Sounds awesome, Amanda!

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