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This Italian Chicken and Dumplings is a flavorful twist on a classic comfort food! It’s the perfect dinner recipe for a cold winter day!
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But one recipe that really screams comfort food and feels like growing up in the south, is my Aunt’s Southern Chicken and Dumplings. I haven’t had her Chicken and Dumplings recipe in many, many years, but when I think of cold weather comfort food, I think of that.
I am working hard to bring you more of the traditional southern, Tex-Mex, Cajun recipes I grew up on, and my Aunt’s Southern Chicken and Dumplings recipe is high on the list! However, in the meantime, I’m bringing you another chicken and dumplings recipe, inspired by my Italian side of the family!
Italian Chicken and Dumplings
This Italian Chicken and Dumplings recipe has graced our dinner table every winter for several years now. It’s completely different than the classic Southern Chicken and Dumplings I grew up on, but totally not in a bad way!
First of all, you save a little time in the kitchen by using store bought potato gnocchi (aka Italian dumplings) in lieu of homemade dumplings. You then stir in pesto sauce to add an explosion of flavor. The end result? A comforting, tasty and healthier chicken and dumpling soup!
This Italian style chicken and dumplings with leftover chicken may not be like my Aunt’s famous recipe, but it has definitely become quite popular in our house!
What are some of your favorite comfort foods? Please share in the comments below!
Helpful Cooking Tips and Information:
Italian Dumplings Ingredients:
Gnocchi – This recipe calls for store bought gnocchi, but you can certainly make your own.
Leftover chicken – I love keeping cooked, shredded chicken in my freezer for quick easy dinners. Since shredded chicken is a staple in so many of my chili and soup recipes, I’ll usually boil up a big package of chicken breasts, shred them and then portion out the meat in 2 cup servings and place the meat in freezer safe zip top baggies.
Or, sometimes I pick up a few rotisserie chickens and pick off the meat to freeze for later. Cooked, shredded chicken can be frozen for 3-4 months.
Chicken stock – I usually try to keep my freezer stocked with homemade chicken stock (so that I can control the amount of salt), but if you buy store bought stock, look for “no salt” or “reduced sodium” brands.
Other Italian Chicken and Dumplings ingredients:
- Canola oil
- Yellow onion
- Bay leaves
- Black pepper
What to serve with Italian Chicken and Dumplings?
We typically serve this Italian Chicken and Dumplings with dinner rolls and a salad. My Copycat Olive Garden Salad, Kale Caesar Salad or Pear and Pomegranate Salad would all be lovely served with this dinner recipe.
And if you want to make this Italian Chicken and Dumplings for a dinner party or Sunday Supper, might I suggest this Lemon Ricotta Cake for dessert!?!
- 1 (17.6-ounce) package gnocchi
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (about 2 chicken breasts)
- ¾ teaspoon each Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 ribs celery, very thinly sliced
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (8-ounce) package white mushrooms, sliced
- 1 to 2 dried bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3-4 cups reduced sodium chicken stock, divided*
- 1/3 cup prepared pesto (store bought or homemade)
- 1 lemon, zested for gnocchi and juice in soup
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add gnocchi to boiling water. Cook until the gnocchi floats to the top of the water. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat canola oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions become translucent and vegetables are softened; about 5 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Sprinkle flour over vegetables to form a roux. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of stock, making sure to scrape off the bottom of the pot. Continue stirring, until roux and broth are completely mixed together.
- Stir in remaining 2 cups chicken stock, shredded chicken and bay leaves. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until heated through.
- While soup simmers, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the prepared gnocchi and ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes in the butter until gnocchi is golden brown. Top the toasted gnocchi with the lemon zest.
- Turn heat off soup and stir in pesto sauce, lemon juice and ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper (or more to taste). Serve the soup in shallow bowls and top with lemon butter gnocchi dumplings.
*Leftover soup will thicken quite in the refrigerator, so additional broth may be needed when reheating.
Adapted from the Food Network