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Zuppa di Gnocchi e Pesto

Due to a very popular coupon show on television, there’s this misconception that couponers eat very poorly. We seem to exist on candy bars, Yakisoba noodles, and mustard. Clearly, we could not live a very long period of time on that type of diet. Protein and vegetables are very important to a healthy diet. And I can assure you that the people you see on television are eating meats and produce. You just won’t see them buying it on television because it would drive their out of pocket up.

But I’m here to assure you that you can eat a healthy diet and coupon at the same time. The recipe I’m going to share with you today illustrates this nicely. Soup. Hearty, satisfying soup that will make everyone smile.

I love soup. Any kind of soup. Bisque, stew, chowder. The heartier, the better. I also love soups that are affordable to make. So, when I saw Mama Rosie’s frozen pasta products free after catalina this week at Stop and Shop, I knew it was time to whip up a new recipe to share with you.

Zuppa di Gnocchi e Pesto is a great way to incorporate pantry and freezer staples into a hearty meal. For this recipe (which is at the end of this post) I grabbed chicken broth and jarred pesto out of my pantry, and chicken breast and gnocchi out of my freezer. A simple combination of great flavors that create a soup which will surely please the entire family.

If you have your own pesto that you made from your summer garden bounty, all the better. That did not work out for me this year. Or any other year, now that I think about it.

While the soup was bubbling away, I threw this lovely bread mix into the oven. There’s something about fresh baked bread that makes everyone in this house very happy. Aidan had been at a band competition all day and when he walked into the house afterwards he said “Whoa, what’s cooking?”.  I get lots of mommy gold stars when I bake bread.

How beautiful is that? If you prefer mini raviolis over the gnocchi, feel free to substitute. 

And here’s an extreme close up because it really warrants it. This is good chow.

So starts fall. Soup, pumpkin, fresh baked goods, and many other warm your soul recipes. This is my favorite time of the year and I plan on sharing lots of wonderful new recipes with you over the upcoming weeks. While I get physical therapy to help my body heal, kitchen therapy is my own way of healing my heart and soul. Enjoy!

Zuppa di Gnocchi e Pesto

3 large chicken breasts on the bone
1 large yellow onion (quartered)
8 cloves of garlic (in skins)
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 pkg Mama Rosie’s Gnocchi
1 8.1 oz jar Classico Pesto (you can use any type)
2 32oz cartons of Progresso Chicken Broth (once again, use any type)
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Preheat oven to 350. Place breasts in roasting pan. Break apart quartered onion and scatter around and on top of breasts. Toss garlic, skins and all, around the chicken. The garlic will not flavor the chicken at this point. We are merely roasting them and will add them to the broth in a bit. Drizzle olive oil on chicken. Salt and pepper to taste and roast for 35-45 minutes or until the center is white and no longer pink. 
Once cooked, allow the chicken to cool so that it can be shredded by hand. Scoop out roasted onion and garlic to use in broth. While the chicken is cooling, pour broth into a Cuisinart or blender along with the onions and roasted garlic (skins removed after roasting of course) and three tablespoons of the pesto. Pulse until there are no large chunks of garlic left. About 3 five second pulses should do the trick. The roasted garlic will give the soup a velvety feel in your mouth. Definitely don’t skip this step. It’s so worth it. 
Back to the chicken. After shredding it, mix in the rest of the pesto. Stir well and set aside. In a large pot, bring the broth/garlic/pesto mixture to a boil. Add gnocchi and cook until they float. In soup bowls, place a pile of chicken in the center. Ladle the hot broth over the chicken and garnish with chopped tomatoes. Mangia bene! (eat well)


  1. DELICIOUS! I love fall food!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is a beautiful recipe and presentation for all of us and especially your family! Well done Melanie! Glad to see you using your coupon and foodie skills to provide a healthy and hearty meal for your family. Well Done!!

  3. Man that looks scrump-dilly-icious. I’ll be making it tomorrow. Thanks!

  4. thanks for the idea!! planning meals and just added this to my list 🙂 did you have leftovers? it’s just my husband, me, an almost 2 year old and newborn… so there are bound to be leftovers. i’m wondering about how you think the gnocchi would hold up?

  5. Yum!!!! I love gnocchi,!! great recipe, glad to see you cooking

  6. Valoree H., IL says:

    This was fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Heidi- Just cook them separately in broth and add them at the end. That way they won’t be soggy. 🙂

    Valoree- I’m glad you liked it!

  8. That sounds like Heaven! Food for the soul!! YUMM!!

  9. Oh that looks sooo good. Im bummed this year..and you will hate me for saying this, but we dont have cold weather in Hawaii and being from Maine, as soon as Halloween decorations come out, I yearn for cold, crisp air, leaves scratching the ground and the smell of wood burning stoves…so sad. I will have to pretend and just suck it up and eatsoup while sweating. Funny the things you miss!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  10. Melanie, looks amazing, thank you!!

  11. That looks so awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  12. Now look what you did! You made me drool all over the keyboard 🙂 Just printed it out and can;t wait to try it!

  13. Did you steal this from Giada?! You are so right! People must think us thrifty folks live on frozen waffles and high fructose corn syrup. Thanks for this great recipe and for showing the world that frugal and fabulous go together! Coupons make our lives better. It’s funny that so many people ignore them. It’s free money!!

  14. Looks fantastic!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Made this last night and it was FANTASTIC!

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