Gnocchi with Roast Chicken, Bacon, and Kale

Roast chicken, crispy bacon, tender kale, and sweet red onion are tossed with gnocchi and topped with lemon zest and Parmesan for this hearty meal.

Gnocchi with chicken, bacon and kale
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Julia Bayless
Prep Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
40 mins

This comforting gnocchi recipe with chicken, bacon, and kale has it all. Cook the kale and onion in the rendered bacon fat, imbuing them with that smoky flavor while saving the bacon bits for topping. Store-bought gnocchi and rotisserie chicken do much of the heavy lifting here, making this cozy dinner easy to pull off on a weeknight.


  • 1 (6-ounce) bunch Lacinato kale

  • 6 thick-cut bacon slices

  • 1 small (about 8-ounce) red onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

  • 1 (1-pound) whole rotisserie chicken, pulled into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)

  • 1 pound potato gnocchi, or one (1-pound) package refrigerated or frozen potato gnocchi

  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)

  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved (about 1/4 cup)


  1. Remove stems from kale, and chop stems (you should have about 3/4 cup); chop kale leaves (you should have about 6 cups). Set chopped stems and leaves aside until ready to use.

  2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium until crispy, about 8 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time. Remove skillet from heat; do not wipe clean. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate; let stand until cooled, about 5 minutes. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces; set aside.

  3. Heat bacon drippings in skillet over medium. Add onion and kale stems; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and kale stems are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in kale leaves, and cook until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken, and toss with onion and kale; cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes.

  4. While onion and kale are cooking, bring a large pot of boiling salted water to a boil over medium-high; add gnocchi, and boil until gnocchi float to the surface, about 3 minutes. Drain well. Add gnocchi to chicken mixture in skillet, and toss. Stir in lemon zest, salt, pepper, and reserved bacon. Divide gnocchi mixture evenly among 4 bowls, and top evenly with Parmesan.

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