This easy one pan lemon chicken gnocchi recipe has tender pan-fried chicken and pillowy gnocchi nestled in a luxurious lemon cream parmesan sauce. It's ready in about 30 minutes!
I've been making my easy one pan gnocchi recipes since 2017 (check out my very first one, this Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Gnocchi), and as long as people are loving them, I will continue coming up with new ones. I'm hoping this gnocchi with pan seared chicken breasts will become a regular on your table.
It's fast, creamy, comforting, and one pan means fewer dishes! Yes, the gnocchi cooks right in the sauce - there is no need to boil it separately.
Gnocchi with chicken is a great combo... you may also like my Chicken Bacon Gnocchi.
What kind of gnocchi to use?
I use the shelf stable gnocchi that's typically found in the dry pasta aisle, but you can also find similar in the refrigerated pasta section. I don't recommend using fresh homemade gnocchi for the one pan technique as it can disintegrate as the sauce cooks. The gnocchi releasing starch is integral to the thickening of the sauce, so if you opt for cauliflower gnocchi, be mindful that the sauce won't thicken the same (perhaps try adding a cornstarch slurry or roux to thicken it up).
Recipe notes & tips:
- You may sub the chicken breasts for chicken thighs if you prefer.
- Lemon pepper seasoning is a blend of dried lemon zest, pepper, and sometimes includes salt and other spices. If you don't have any, you can season the chicken with salt & pepper, but the overall dish will taste less lemony. I buy McCormick brand lemon & pepper seasoning.
- I don't recommend subbing the cream for something like half-and-half or milk. With lower fat alternatives, the sauce is more prone to curdling from the acidity of the lemon juice. You could try using coconut milk, but the flavor will be a bit different.
- Your sauce may end up slightly lighter in color depending how long your chicken takes to sear/how many brown bits are left in the bottom of your skillet.
- You can skip the spinach if you want!
- Tools used to make this recipe: I use tongs to make turning the chicken easy, and a splatter guard makes for easier clean-up. An instant read thermometer ensures chicken isn't overcooked or undercooked (it's safe to eat at 165F).
More delicious gnocchi recipes to try:
- Creamy Pesto Gnocchi
- Chicken Alfredo Gnocchi Bake
- Easy Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce
Questions about this lemon chicken gnocchi recipe? Talk to me in the comments below! Made this? I'd love it if you wrote me a review or shared this recipe with a friend. 🙂
Lemon Chicken Gnocchi
- 2 chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning see note
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 1 pound uncooked potato gnocchi
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Cut the chicken in half lengthwise so you've got 2 thinner cutlets. Season each side with the garlic powder and lemon pepper. If the lemon pepper seasoning you're using doesn't contain salt, be sure to salt the chicken as well.
- Add the oil and butter to a skillet over medium-high heat and let the pan heat up for a few minutes. Sear the chicken for about 5 minutes/side or until it's golden and cooked though. Transfer the chicken to a plate (tent with foil to keep warm if you wish).
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic to the skillet and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the chicken broth and lemon juice and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add in the cream and gnocchi. Give it a good stir and ensure the gnocchi is submerged in the liquid. Let it bubble gently, uncovered, for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the gnocchi is cooked and the sauce has thickened. The gnocchi will release starch as it cooks, thickening up the sauce, so do not pre-cook the gnocchi. Keep in mind the sauce will thicken more as it cools, so don't let it get too thick (add a splash more broth if needed).
- Take the pan off the heat and add in the parmesan cheese and spinach. Toss until the spinach has started to wilt and it's nicely mixed in. Add the chicken back into the skillet (along with any juices from the plate) and spoon some sauce over top. Serve immediately.
- Lemon pepper seasoning is a blend of dried lemon zest, pepper, and often salt and other spices. If you don't have any, you can season the chicken with salt & pepper, but the overall dish will taste a bit less lemony. I use McCormick brand lemon & pepper seasoning.
- Sub the cream for something lower fat at your own discretion (I don't recommend it). The citrus is likely to curdle lower fat alternatives.
- Chicken is safe to eat when an instant read meat thermometer reads 165F.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.