Gnocchi with Spicy Chicken Italian Sausage and Asparagus is the perfect one-pot meal to fill the whole family when you’re in a pinch for time. Spending quarantine solo? This comfort food is easy, delicious, and great for leftovers that you won’t get tired of.
I love making quick meals in my skillet. Technically, Gnocchi with Spicy Chicken Italian Sausage and Asparagus requires a pot and one skillet but after you boil your gnocchi, all the action takes place in the skillet! You’ll enjoy each savory bite of this hearty meal.
Looking for more convenient weekday dinners? Definitely check out my Butter & Sage Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Tomato Soup or Thai Yellow Curry Meatballs.
What is gnocchi?
Gnocchi is an Italian pasta that is actually more similar to dumplings. They most often consist of potatoes. I like to think of them as potato dumplings. Gnocchi is essentially cooked mashed potatoes, flour and eggs. They are light, fluffy, and bite-sized.
Some gnocchi recipes add ricotta to the dough but I’ve seen it prepared many ways. For the sake of time, I went with store-bought gnocchi. Nonetheless, all forms of gnocchi are delicious!
Customizing Your Gnocchi with Spicy Chicken Italian Sausage and Asparagus
Firstly, let’s discuss the basic structure of this meal. The key to this recipe is gnocchi, meat, and at least one vegetable. While it’s no secret that I love convenient meals, I like to incorporate fresh ingredients with ready to go pantry staples. It elevates the flavor and has even helped me fool some unsuspecting family members and dinner guests.
I love the crunch of the fresh asparagus and think it pairs well with the sausage and gnocchi. However, you can mix and match your protein and veggies dependent on what you’re craving.
I like asparagus in this dish because it sautés in record time. Asparagus is versatile and super tasty but it can be an acquired taste. It can be replaced with broccoli, kale, artichokes, spinach, or even peas.
If you want to up your veggie intake consider adding mushrooms, bell peppers or basil as secondary elements to this recipe.
I add protein for a more hearty meal. Chicken Italian sausage is a healthier alternative to traditional Italian sausage. It is leaner meat with less sodium. You get the taste without a higher fat content. Pro Tip: If you want your sausage to have a more crumbled texture, remove the chicken sausage from the casing before cooking.
Other protein alternatives are chicken thighs and turkey Italian sausage.
For an added yum factor, add cheese. I went with parmesan cheese but goat or feta cheese are great choices. If you want something especially creamy and cheesy, consider mozzerella.