Sheet-Pan Caprese Chicken Gnocchi Recipe

The Italian dish caprese salad is simple and timeless. The delicious combination of ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and fresh basil is a testament to the Italian tradition of allowing great ingredients to shine without much else added. While this easy salad can be served in its traditional form, there are so many ways to take the flavor combination and apply it to other dishes. We love to eat caprese sandwiches or caprese tortellini salads, not to mention pizzas and flatbreads.

If you're looking for a quick and easy dinner that's ready in less than 30 minutes, try this sheet-pan caprese chicken gnocchi. Created by recipe developer Taylor Murray, this dinner could be just the thing to break you out of your weeknight meal rut without compromising on taste or nutrition. The recipe is endlessly adaptable, as well, and can be adjusted to suit any taste or dietary preference.

Gather the ingredients for sheet-pan caprese chicken gnocchi

This recipe is primarily a chicken dish, so start with some boneless, skinless chicken breasts. If you want to switch it up, skinless or skin-on thighs would work, as well. The dish is supplemented with store-bought, pre-packaged gnocchi, which works so well roasted on a sheet pan. These premade gnocchis are firm and stand up to baking, so if you want to substitute with homemade, take that into consideration. To bring the caprese-inspired flavors to the dish, we need a combination of cherry tomatoes (which hold up better to roasting than slices of whole tomato), mozzarella pearls, and fresh basil. A big handful of arugula adds a nice, vegetal flavor and a burst of color to the dish, and fresh garlic helps round out the whole recipe. Finally, we finish with some good-quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 

Step 1: Heat the oven

Preheat the oven to 425 F and place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven while it heats.

Step 2: Season the chicken

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil.

Step 3: Brown the chicken

Place breasts skin side down on the tray and return to the oven. Roast until browned on the bottom, about 6 minutes.

Step 4: Make the gnocchi mixture

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss garlic, tomatoes, gnocchi, and remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 5: Flip the chicken

Remove the chicken breasts from the oven and flip.

Step 6: Add the gnocchi mixture

Add tomato mixture to the tray, evenly scattering it around the chicken.

Step 7: Roast the tray

Roast until the gnocchi are golden brown and tomatoes are soft, about 18 minutes.

Step 8: Slice the chicken

Remove from the oven and slice the breasts on a cutting board.

Step 9: Add the remaining ingredients

Add arugula, basil, and mozzarella to the sheet tray and toss to combine.

Step 10: Drizzle with balsamic and serve

Return the sliced chicken to the pan and drizzle with balsamic vinegar to serve.

Can I replace the gnocchi in this sheet-pan caprese chicken gnocchi with another ingredient?

While store-bought potato gnocchi can be a great ingredient to save time in the kitchen without sacrificing flavor, there are plenty of ways to substitute without straying too far from the original recipe. This dish could work with plain roasted potatoes, which should be added raw to the tray with the chicken in the first step. Cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F and the potatoes are softened.

This dish could also work with plain, cooked pasta and would take on more of a pasta salad feel. In this case, add the cooked pasta to the tray at the end when you add the mozzarella and greens. You may need to add a touch more olive oil to the pan to make sure the pasta is nicely dressed. If you want to skip the carbohydrate side altogether, you could simply make this recipe with no gnocchi, pasta, or any kind of starch and instead double the amount of arugula.

How can I store this sheet-pan caprese chicken gnocchi?

Due to the fragile nature of some of the ingredients, this dish is best served right away. The warm tomatoes combine with the fresh arugula to wilt it every so slightly. As such, this dish won't do well if refrigerated and reheated later. If you need a great, make-ahead meal, try a simple slow cooker recipe or a tasty soup. If you find yourself needing to store the dish, keep the tomatoes, gnocchi, and chicken separate from the other ingredients and leave off the balsamic entirely. Gently heat the ingredients in the oven at 400 F for just a few minutes, then add the remaining ingredients as the recipe calls for. If using this method, there may be a small sacrifice to the texture of some of the ingredients — namely, the gnocchi. The light crunch and sear that the gnocchi gets from roasting on the tray will not last long once refrigerated, but the dish will still taste good overall.

Sheet-Pan Caprese Chicken Gnocchi Recipe
5 from 26 ratings
Sheet pan recipes are weeknight saviors, and this one brings together crispy, roasted chicken with the iconic flavors and ingredients of caprese salad.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
24
minutes
Servings
4
Servings
Plate of sheet pan caprese chicken gnocchi
Total time: 34 minutes
Ingredients
  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1 ¼ pounds total
  • 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups whole cherry tomatoes
  • 1 (16-ounce) package shelf-stable or refrigerated potato gnocchi
  • 1 + 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1 cup sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 ½ cups mozzarella balls
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F and place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven while it heats.
  2. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil.
  3. Place breasts skin side down on the tray and return to the oven. Roast until browned on the bottom, about 6 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss garlic, tomatoes, gnocchi, and remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Remove the chicken breasts from the oven and flip.
  6. Add tomato mixture to the tray, evenly scattering it around the chicken.
  7. Roast until the gnocchi are golden brown and tomatoes are soft, about 18 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and slice the breasts on a cutting board.
  9. Add arugula, basil, and mozzarella to the sheet tray and toss to combine.
  10. Return the sliced chicken to the pan and drizzle with balsamic vinegar to serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 550
Total Fat 20.9 g
Saturated Fat 7.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 158.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 41.1 g
Dietary Fiber 3.8 g
Total Sugars 3.7 g
Sodium 493.8 mg
Protein 47.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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