slow cooker tuscan chicken meatballs with gnocchi

Posted on

slow cooker tuscan chicken meatballs with gnocchi

Dinner, Lunch, Recipes


This recipe for Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Meatballs with Gnocchi is something you NEED to make right now. I KNOW you will love it! This dish has juicy chicken meatballs, soft pasta, and a creamy tomato sauce that tastes like sun-dried tomatoes. It’s great for busy nights when you want something tasty and healthy that takes little work. It’s great for busy nights when you want something tasty and healthy that takes little work.

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!

Before diving into the cooking process, ensure you have all the necessary ingredients. This recipe is perfect for carb lovers and those who adore rich, flavorful meals.

For the Meatballs:

Ground chicken or turkey, if you prefer a lighter option

Onion and garlic for foundational flavours

Sun-dried tomatoes in oil for that intense, tangy kick

Fresh basil to brighten up the mix

Garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper for depth

Grated Parmesan for a cheesy touch

An egg to bind all the ingredients

Panko or fresh breadcrumbs for texture

Olive oil, or even better, oil from the sun-dried tomatoes for frying


For the Sauce:

A splash of dry white wine to deglaze and add acidity

Chicken broth for the base

Heavy cream or a lighter option like half-and-half

More sun-dried tomatoes for consistency in flavor

Fresh baby spinach leaves for color and nutrients

Grated Parmesan to finish with a cheesy richness

Fresh potato gnocchi, which cooks perfectly in the creamy sauce


Start by using a mini chopper to process the onion, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes into a coarse paste. You could also finely chop these if you don’t have a processor. In a large bowl, combine this mixture with the ground chicken, egg, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, and seasoning. Mix well—your hands are the best tool here! Then, form the mixture into small, bite-sized meatballs using a cookie scoop for consistency.


Heat the oil in a pan or directly in your slow cooker if it has a sauté function. Brown the meatballs for about five minutes; they should get some color but don’t need to cook through completely.


After browning:

  1. Add a splash of wine to the pot, let it simmer briefly to lift all those flavorful bits, then add the chicken broth.
  2. Transfer everything into the slow cooker if you still need to do so.
  3. Set your slow cooker on HIGH for 2-3 hours or on LOW for 4-5 hours.

In the last 20 minutes of cooking, stir in the gnocchi, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, cream, and Parmesan. This is when your kitchen starts to smell amazing! Finally, add the spinach, stirring it through until it wilts. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.


Ladle the hot, creamy meatballs and gnocchi into bowls, sprinkle with extra Parmesan, and watch your family dive in! The result is a wonderfully satisfying dish that combines the best of Italian flavors with the ease of slow cooking.


Store any leftovers in the fridge and reheat them gently; adding a splash of water or broth can help keep the sauce creamy.

Not a fan of sun-dried tomatoes? Swap them out for a few tablespoons of pesto for a different but equally delicious flavor profile.

What to Serve with Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Meatballs with Gnocchi

This hearty Tuscan dish is wonderfully versatile and pairs well with various sides that complement its rich flavors. Here are some ideas to round out your meal:

  1. Caesar Salad: Serve a fresh Caesar salad before the main course to add a touch of crispness and lightness to your meal. The tangy dressing will balance the richness of the Tuscan meatballs.
  2. Steamed Vegetables: For a healthier side, consider lightly steamed broccoli, asparagus, or green beans. These vegetables will provide a crunchy, fresh contrast to the creamy and savory flavors of the dish.
  3. Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables: Roasted bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant seasoned with olive oil, garlic, and herbs can complement the Italian flavors in the Tuscan chicken meatballs.
  4. Polenta: Creamy polenta is another excellent base for this dish, especially if you prefer a gluten-free option to gnocchi.

Health Benefits of Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Meatballs with Gnocchi

This dish satisfies the taste buds and offers several health benefits, making it a wholesome choice for a family dinner.

  1. High in Protein: Both chicken and Parmesan cheese are good sources of high-quality protein, essential for muscle repair, growth, and overall health.
  2. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Spinach, a key ingredient in this recipe, is loaded with iron, magnesium, and vitamins AC, and K. Sun-dried tomatoes are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and lycopene, an antioxidant known for its heart health benefits.
  3. Good Source of Fibre: If whole wheat or multigrain gnocchi is used, the dish can be a good source of dietary fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health.
  4. Customizable for Healthier Options: You can modify the recipe to fit dietary needs. For example, low-fat cream or milk can reduce the calorie content, while whole wheat breadcrumbs or gluten-free gnocchi can cater to different dietary restrictions.


I’d love to hear how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below, share a photo on social media, or save this recipe on Pinterest. If you enjoyed this dish, check out my other slow cooker recipes for easier, delicious meals.

Enhance your culinary experience by exploring related recipes. Consider pairing this dish with a vibrant Lemon Garlic Parmesan Chicken for a touch of citrus, or dive into the comforting embrace of a French Onion Mac and Cheese.

For those who adore the simplicity and richness of poultry, the Chicken and Yellow Rice or the healthful Chicken Quinoa Salad make excellent meals for other days of the week.


slow cooker tuscan chicken meatballs with gnocchi

Indulge in a flavorful Tuscan dish with juicy chicken meatballs, creamy tomato sauce, and soft gnocchi. Perfect for busy nights!

  • Author: Gabriela cardenas
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours (on low) or 2 hours (on high)
  • Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes (on low) or 2 hours 20 minutes (on high)
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Slow cooke
  • Cuisine: Italian


For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground chicken or turkey
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil for frying

For the Sauce:

  • Splash of dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound fresh potato gnocchi


  1. Process onion, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes into a coarse paste. In a bowl, mix with ground chicken, basil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, Parmesan, egg, and breadcrumbs. Form into meatballs.
  2. Brown meatballs in olive oil. Deglaze pan with wine, then add broth. Transfer to slow cooker.
  3. Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or LOW for 4-5 hours. In the last 20 minutes, add gnocchi, sun-dried tomatoes, cream, and Parmesan. Stir in spinach until wilted. Adjust seasoning.
  4. Serve hot, garnished with extra Parmesan.


  • Store leftovers in the fridge; reheat gently with a splash of water or broth to maintain creaminess.
  • Substitute sun-dried tomatoes with pesto for a different flavor.
  • Pair with Caesar salad, steamed vegetables, roasted Mediterranean vegetables, or creamy polenta for a complete meal.

Keywords: Tuscan chicken meatballs, slow cooker gnocchi recipe, creamy tomato sauce, easy Italian dish, Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Meatballs

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!


You might also like these recipes