I’m back! Please excuse my absence these past couple weeks. We’re in full-blown newborn mode over here, and I have been taking all the time to soak up every second. These days are so fleeting, and I am loving every moment (yes, even the exhausting, sleep-deprived moments. It’s all worth it).
Today is the first day I have my act somewhat together in regards to the blog. I have an amazing recipe to tell you about! If you follow along on Instagram, you may remember seeing me testing this recipe a few weeks ago in my stories. I have totally been holding out on you!
To be frank, I thought I would have the baby much earlier than I did. Little Finn Thomas graced us with his presence a week late, and I was ready looooong before then. I figured I would have him, get my act together postpartum, and share this last week. Hah. Well, he dictated that schedule completely! As he will do many times over. That’s just life with a new baby, I guess!
SO, anyway, let’s get into this crazy-good gnocchi bake. It has all the flavors of French onion soup but in fluffy, cheesy gnocchi form! It’s so, so good.
This recipe has been living in my brain for months. I love anything with gnocchi. I love French onion soup. I love baked pasta dishes. I knew that this was the direction I wanted to take things in, but it didn’t come to fruition until a few weeks ago. Better late than never, though (which is totally the theme of my life at the moment)!
This is one of those meals that tastes like it takes way longer and more effort than it really does. The only time-consuming part of this recipe is waiting for the onions to cook down to their sweet goodness, but even that part of things is not difficult. The rest of the recipe is essentially creating a sauce directly in the pan and throwing all the other ingredients into the pan before it goes in the oven. It’s easy peasy!
To make things even simpler, I use store-bought rotisserie chicken in this recipe. You can certainly cook your own, or leave it out altogether. I will say that the chicken, while not found in French onion soup, adds some heft and savory meatiness to the dish. But I think it would still be quite delicious without it. Your call.
The resulting dish has a little bit of something for everyone: sweet onions, fluffy pillows of gnocchi, hearty chicken, crispy breadcrumbs, gooey cheese, and the most gloriously delicious sauce. It is heaven on a plate. Or in a pan!
One-pan wonders like this one almost always come out better than I am expecting. Something so delicious shouldn’t be so simple. It shouldn’t dirty only one pan.
But it does!
And this sleep-deprived mama will TAKE IT.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large sweet onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, stemmed and chopped
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup dry sherry, vermouth, or white wine (optional; sub with an extra ½ cup of beef broth if not using)
2½ cups low-sodium beef broth
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced (I used a store-bought rotisserie chicken for this)
1 (17-oz) package shelf-stable potato gnocchi
1½ cups grated gruyere cheese
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Place a large ovenproof skillet or braising pan over medium heat and add the butter. Once it is melted, add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
Add in the garlic, thyme, and sugar and stir to combine. Cook over medium-low heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the onions are soft and deeply golden brown.
Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to coat. Cook for a minute so the raw flour taste disappears and then slowly stream in the sherry/vermouth/wine, scraping up any brown bits that may have formed on the bottom and sides of the pan.
Cook for a couple minutes and then slowly stream in the beef broth. Bring the mixture up to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until the broth thickens up a bit. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Add in the cooked chicken and gnocchi and stir to combine.
Top everything with the grated cheeses and the breadcrumbs. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 20 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and golden in spots.
Serve hot and garnished with additional thyme leaves.