This Vegan Tomato Gnocchi with Meati Chicken Cutlets is a one-pot wonder, blending rich tomato creaminess with the satisfying texture of plant-based chicken. Easy to make and even easier to clean up, it's the perfect quick comfort food.
Imagine pillowy gnocchi swimming in a luscious tomato-cream sauce punctuated by the hearty, meaty goodness of plant-based Meati Classic Chicken. If you've never tried Meati products, I'm happy to introduce them below.
You can find Meati products at Sprouts or Whole Foods, but to find them near you, go to their website.
If you want another delicious recipe featuring Meati products, try Crispy Meati Chicken Noodle Bowl With Gochujang Sauce.
What is Meati?
If you're new to the Meati brand, you're in for a treat! This revolutionary plant-based protein is made from fungi, specifically mycelium, offering a texture and flavor remarkably similar to traditional chicken. It packs a punch regarding protein content, fiber, and various essential nutrients. Check out all about Meati here. It's ideal for anyone looking to diversify their high protein sources.
Gnocchi are Italian dumplings made from potatoes, flour, and sometimes eggs. Traditionally, the dough is rolled out, cut into small pieces, and then rolled again to create a ridged shape that holds the sauce well. They are usually boiled in salted water until they float to the top, indicating that they are cooked. Some variations even pan-fry them after boiling to get a crispy texture.
In Italian cuisine, gnocchi is often served as a first course or an alternative to soups. They pair well with various sauces, from rich and creamy to light and herbal. Their versatility makes them a beloved choice in both traditional and modern dishes, and they're particularly good at soaking up flavors, making them a perfect element in this vegan one-pot creamy tomato dish with Meati Chicken.
Many store-bought gnocchi brands are vegan-friendly versions that do not contain eggs or dairy. To ensure that the gnocchi you're purchasing is vegan, I recommend checking the ingredients list on the packaging.
Here's a sneak peek of the ingredients - the exact quantities are in the recipe card.
For the Protein:
- Meati Classic Cutlet Chicken or substitute with extra-firm tofu
- smoked paprika
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- black pepper
For the Sauce and Veggies:
- vegan butter
- vegetable broth
- coconut cream
- tomato sauce
- vegan gnocchi
- baby spinach
- red pepper flakes and basil for garnish
Notes on ingredients
I use a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, which I then purée using either a bullet or blender. I enjoy the delicious flavor it brings to this dish.
Substitute the can of coconut cream with either a can of coconut milk or a thick plant-based milk like oat milk. The consistency may not be as thick and rich but it will still be delicious.
Use any mushrooms you would like. I've tried them all in this dish, and they all work well.
I prefer using shelf-stable gnocchi for its convenience and long shelf life so I can make this quickly whenever the mood strikes.
Consider the visual process pictures below the 'recipe preview reel.' For the director's cut, hop over to the recipe card with detailed directions.
Cook Meati: Heat some oil in a large pan. Add your Meati Chicken or tofu. Add smoked paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, and salt. Cook until it's browned and set aside.
Vegetables and Spices: Add more oil if needed in the same pan, add onions, garlic, and mushrooms—add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are softened.
Vegan Butter: Add the vegan butter and stir well with the vegetables until well combined.
Flour: Add approximately three tablespoons of all-purpose flour into the mixture and stir until it blends seamlessly.
Vegetable Broth: Gradually add the vegetable broth and heat it through. As you add, the broth will blend in and thicken naturally.
Creaminess: Add coconut milk. Stir well and let it simmer for a few minutes to combine flavors.
Tomato Puree: Blend in the tomato sauce until fully incorporated.
Add Gnocchi and Spinach: Add the gnocchi to the pan and incorporate well into the mixture. Then add the spinach. Cook until the gnocchi softens and the spinach wilts, about 5 minutes.
Taste and Serve: Give it a taste test, and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add the red pepper flakes. Incorporate the cooked Meati Chicken or tofu back into the pan, if desired, or place on top.
Now you're ready to serve your vegan one Pan Creamy 'Chicken' and Gnocchi!
Stir constantly when adding flour so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan, and have the veggie broth ready to add after the flour is well incorporated.
Add the veggie broth very slowly - not all at once. After adding a little, wait until it becomes creamy, and then add more.
Taste as you go. Always taste your dish at different stages and adjust seasonings as necessary. Add more salt, pepper, or spiciness if necessary.
Variations & Substitutions
- Protein Choices: If you can't find Meati Chicken, extra-firm tofu or tempeh makes a good substitute.
- Non-Tomato Lovers: You can skip the tomato sauce and choose a more neutral cream sauce.
- Veggies Galore: Feel free to toss in any other veggies you love or need to use up. Zucchini is great in this recipe.
- Sauce Base: Oat milk can be used instead of coconut cream for a lighter sauce. You can also opt for coconut milk in a can for less calories.
It comes close to mimicking the fibrous texture and moistness of chicken. The flavor may be somewhat neutral, designed to absorb spices and sauces much like real chicken. However, individual experiences can vary, so some people might find the taste to be quite similar to chicken, while others might notice subtle differences in flavor or texture. It often depends on how the cutlets are seasoned and prepared, as well as personal taste preferences.
Yes, fresh gnocchi can be used, but it cooks faster than the shelf-stable variety, so adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove.
The texture of the gnocchi and the Meati will change slightly upon reheating. I do not recommend freezing.
You'll need to opt for gluten-free gnocchi and flour, but otherwise, this recipe can easily be made gluten-free.
Meati is typically found in the plant-based or alternative meat section of grocery stores like Sprouts or Whole Foods. Find it near you here.
Despite using coconut cream as the base, the Vegan One-Pot Creamy Tomato Gnocchi with Meati Chicken has no coconutty flavor, as the rich tomato and savory Meati Chicken elements effectively mask the coconut taste.
For the Meati
- Meati Classic Cutlet Chicken or substitute with 1 box extra-firm tofu
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
For the Sauce
- 1 onion, diced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 4 tablespoons vegan butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 1 can of tomato sauce or a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, pureed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 16-ounce package of shelf-stable, uncooked vegan gnocchi
- a handful of baby spinach
- red pepper flakes and basil for garnish
Prep the Ingredients:
- Dice, mince, and slice the onion, garlic, and mushrooms
- Cut the Meati cutlets in half to get four even pieces.
- Puree the can of fire-roasted tomatoes (if using).
Cook the Meati:
- Combine all the spices together and season the Meati on both sides of the cutlets.
- Heat a little oil in a large pan over medium heat.
- Place cutlets in the hot pan and cook until they are browned, then set them aside.
Vegetables and Spices:
- Add more oil to the same pan if needed.
- Add the onions, garlic, and mushrooms.
- Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Cook until the vegetables are softened.
Make the Roux:
- Place the vegan butter into the pan, ensuring it melts and blends seamlessly with the vegetables.
- Add the flour and stir it thoroughly with the vegetables until the mixture is well combined, and the flour is fully incorporated.
- Slowly add the vegetable broth while stirring to avoid lumps.
- After you have added all the veggie broth, add the can of coconut cream.
- Stir well and let it simmer for a few minutes to combine flavors.
- Add the can of pureed fire-roasted tomatoes.
- Mix in the salt and pepper.
- Let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Combine the gnocchi with the mixture and gently stir until well incorporated.
- Stir in the spinach and stir to mix it in well.
- Cook until the gnocchi softens and the spinach wilts, about 5 minutes.
- Give it a taste test and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Add the cooked Meati Chicken back into the pan with the gnocchi mixture. (Alternatively, you can place it on top of the gnocchi without mixing it in for a nice presentation)
- Stir everything well.
- Garnish with red pepper flakes and basil if using.
*I prefer a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, which I then purée using either a bullet or blender. I enjoy the delicious flavor it brings to this dish.
Nutrition information is only an estimate.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 30
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: American, Italian-Inspired
- Diet: Vegan
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 258
- Sugar: 4.4 g
- Sodium: 1429.1 mg
- Fat: 19.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 17.5 g
- Protein: 5.7 g
- Cholesterol: 5.2 mg
Keywords: gnocchi, one pot, quick meal, creamy