Creamy Pesto Chicken, Gnocchi and Vegetables

Creamy Pesto Chicken, Gnocchi and Vegetables


400g fresh potato gnocchi
20gm butter
4 tbsp olive oil
500g chicken tenderloins
3 green shallots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
300ml thickened cream
200gm cauliflower florets
200gm broccoli florets
100gm basil pesto
1 tbsp toasted pine nuts, to serve
5gm basil leaves


1. In a large frying pan, heat the butter and half the olive oil. Fry the gnocchi over a medium-high heat, until they’re golden brown and crispy, 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

2. Heat the rest of the oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Turn the chicken and add the shallots to pan. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside.

3. Add the cream to the pan. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and cauliflower. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until just tender.

4. Add the gnocchi and pesto. Season well. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes.

5. Add the chicken and any juices to the pan. Simmer gently for 2-3 minutes, long to make sure the chicken is well cooked but not so long the vegetables are overcooked.

6. Remove from heat and stir most of the basil leaves through the sauce, leaving some to sprinkle on top with the pine nuts.

7. Serve with some crusty bread to sop up the cream sauce.


Standard packet gnocchi works excellently for this dish. Frying them is a great alternative to boiling them, it takes longer but is worth it. You can, of course, make your own gnocchi if you have the time and the inclination.

Green shallots, aka green onions or (in the US) scallions are the long thin ones with a small section of thin white root and a tubular green top. They’re often sold as spring onions, but spring onions have a bulbous white root and are basically immature onions. For the record, shallots (aka eschalots or French shallots) are the small oval shaped onions with a purple, pink and/or golden brown outer skin.

I use store bought pesto in a jar and go for the classic basil, pine nuts and parmesan mix (there are variants available). Again, you can make your own if you’re up for it.

I like the visual effect of chicken tenderloins but you could use chunky chopped breast or boned thigh fillets just as well.

The pine nuts and basil are by no means compulsory, I just like to add them to echo the pesto.

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