gnocchi recipe
Pasta Recipe

Homemade Gnocchi Recipe – Simple & Delicious!


Welcome to our homemade gnocchi recipe guide, where we’ll show you how to make gnocchi from scratch with just four ingredients. This easy recipe will allow you to create soft, delicate, and utterly delicious gnocchi for a memorable dinner.

Gnocchi has a rich history that dates back to the 16th century. The dish originated in Italy and has since been prepared in various ways depending on regional and familial traditions. But no matter the variation, the key ingredients for our simple gnocchi recipe are potatoes, flour, salt, and an egg.

So, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the world of homemade gnocchi. With our step-by-step instructions, you’ll master the art of making gnocchi in no time.

The History of Gnocchi

Gnocchi, which means “little lumps” in Italian, originated in the 16th century when potatoes were imported to Italy from America. The term “gnocco” refers to something hard like the knuckles of a finger. Gnocchi were created as small pieces of dough that are boiled and tossed with various sauces.

“Gnocchi are like comfort food—light pillows that melt in your mouth.” – Chef Fabio Viviani

The dish became popular during times of poverty when potatoes and flour were the main ingredients used to make a delicious meal. By combining these humble ingredients, Italian cooks were able to create a filling and satisfying dish that fed many mouths.

Today, gnocchi is considered a staple in Italian cuisine and is enjoyed in various forms throughout the country. Regional variations of gnocchi exist, each with its unique twist on the traditional recipe. The history of gnocchi showcases its versatility and adaptability as it has been embraced by different cultures and adapted to suit local tastes and ingredients.

Next, we will explore the characteristics of the perfect potatoes for making gnocchi.

Choosing the Right Potatoes

When it comes to making the best homemade gnocchi, selecting the right potatoes is crucial. The perfect potatoes for gnocchi are the Yukon Gold and Russet varieties. These potatoes are known for their dense and creamy texture, which results in light and fluffy gnocchi.

Yukon Gold potatoes, with their golden flesh and buttery flavor, are a popular choice for making gnocchi. They have a lower water content compared to other varieties, making them ideal for creating the perfect texture.

Russet potatoes, also known as Idaho potatoes, are another excellent option. They have a high starch content and a fluffy texture when cooked. This makes them suitable for making light and airy gnocchi.

On the other hand, new potatoes, which are young and harvested early in the season, are not the best choice for gnocchi. They have a higher water content and can absorb more flour when making the dough, resulting in a heavier and less desirable texture.

By choosing the right potatoes, such as Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes, you can ensure that your homemade gnocchi turns out light, fluffy, and delicious.

Comparison of Potato Varieties

Potato Variety Texture Flavor Water Content
Yukon Gold Smooth and creamy Buttery Low
Russet (Idaho) Fluffy Mild Medium
New Potatoes Tender Eart

The Perfect Gnocchi Dough

Creating the perfect gnocchi dough is the key to achieving light and fluffy dumplings. With just a few simple ingredients and some expert tips, you’ll be on your way to mastering the art of making gnocchi.

To start, gather the following ingredients:

  • Potatoes
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • An egg

Begin by boiling the potatoes until they are tender. Once cooked, drain and allow them to cool slightly before peeling. Mash the potatoes thoroughly or pass them through a potato ricer for a smooth consistency.

gnocchi dough

On a flat surface, create a well with the flour and salt. Next, add the mashed potatoes and crack the egg into the center of the well. Using your fingers, gently mix the ingredients together until a soft dough forms. Be careful not to overwork the dough, as this can result in a dense and chewy texture.


When mixing the dough, use a light hand and only combine the ingredients until they are evenly incorporated. Overmixing can cause the gluten in the flour to develop, resulting in tough gnocchi. Remember, a soft and tender dough is what you are aiming for.

Once your gnocchi dough is ready, it’s time to move on to shaping and cooking the dumplings. But before that, let’s explore the various ways to shape and cook gnocchi.

Shaping and Cooking the Gnocchi

Once you’ve formed the gnocchi dough, it’s time to shape and cook these delightful Italian dumplings. Follow these tips to ensure your gnocchi turn out perfectly shaped and cooked:

  1. Let the dough rest: After forming the dough, allow it to rest for 20 minutes. This will help the dough relax and become easier to work with when shaping the gnocchi.
  2. Roll and cut the dough: Take small portions of the dough and roll them into thin ropes, about 1/2 inch in diameter. Then, cut the ropes into bite-sized pieces, approximately 3/4 inch.
  3. Shape the gnocchi: To achieve the classic gnocchi shape, use a fork. Hold the fork with the tines facing downwards and lightly press each piece of dough against the back of the fork. As you press, gently roll the gnocchi down the tines. This will create ridges on one side and a slight indentation from your thumb on the other.
  4. Cooking the gnocchi: Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Carefully drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and cook until they float to the top, which usually takes around 1-2 minutes. Cooking time may vary, so it’s best to keep an eye on them. Floating gnocchi indicates that they are cooked through and ready to be enjoyed.
  5. Drain and sauce: Once the gnocchi are cooked, drain them using a slotted spoon and transfer them to a bowl. Toss the cooked gnocchi with your favourite sauce, whether it’s a rich tomato sauce, a butter and sage sauce, or a creamy Alfredo sauce.

To give you a visual idea of the shaping process, here is an image of gnocchi being formed:

shaping gnocchi

Now that you’ve mastered shaping and cooking gnocchi, you’re ready to move on to the next step: serving gnocchi with different sauces. Discover delicious sauce combinations in the next section!

Serving Gnocchi with Different Sauces

Gnocchi, with its soft and delicate texture, is the perfect canvas for a variety of sauces. Whether you prefer a classic tomato sauce or like to experiment with different flavors, there are endless options to enjoy with your homemade gnocchi.

1. Tomato Sauce for Gnocchi

A simple tomato sauce is the most popular choice when serving gnocchi. The rich flavors of the tomato complement the tender gnocchi perfectly. You can make your own tomato sauce from scratch using fresh tomatoes, garlic, onion, and herbs. Alternatively, you can use a high-quality store-bought tomato sauce for a quick and easy option.

2. Pesto Sauce for Gnocchi

If you’re a fan of vibrant and fresh flavors, try tossing your gnocchi with pesto sauce. Pesto, made from fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, adds a burst of herbaceous goodness to the dish. You can make pesto from scratch or use a ready-made pesto sauce for convenience.

3. Butter and Sage Sauce

For a more indulgent and comforting option, consider a butter and sage sauce. Melted butter adds richness to the dish, while sage leaves provide a fragrant and earthy flavor. Simply cook the sage leaves in butter until they become crispy, then toss the cooked gnocchi in the flavorful sauce.

4. Creamy Sauce

If you prefer a creamy and luscious sauce, opt for a creamy sauce to accompany your gnocchi. This can include a white cheese sauce, Alfredo sauce, or a combination of cream and Parmesan cheese. The creamy sauce adds a velvety texture and richness to the gnocchi, creating a comforting and satisfying dish.

Remember, the choice of sauce is personal and can be tailored to your individual taste preferences. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients and flavors to create your own signature gnocchi sauce.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to get creative with your gnocchi sauces. Consider adding vegetables, herbs, or even protein like cooked sausage or bacon to elevate the flavors of your dish.

Now that you have explored the different sauce options for serving gnocchi, let’s move on to some useful tips to ensure gnocchi success in the next section.

Tips for Gnocchi Success

Creating perfect gnocchi is a combination of using the right ingredients, following proper techniques, and knowing how to store them correctly. Here are some essential tips to ensure your gnocchi turn out light, fluffy, and delicious every time.

Choose the Right Potatoes

The type of potatoes you use can greatly affect the texture and flavor of your gnocchi. Opt for Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes, which have a dense and creamy texture. These varieties have lower water content, resulting in light and fluffy gnocchi.

Avoid Overworking the Dough

When mixing the dough, be gentle and avoid overworking it. Too much kneading can activate the gluten in the flour, resulting in dense and chewy gnocchi. Mix the ingredients until just combined, ensuring a soft and pliable dough.

Use Egg Yolks

For lighter gnocchi, use only egg yolks instead of whole eggs. The yolks add richness and moisture to the dough without contributing to its heaviness. This simple swap will help create airy and delicate gnocchi.

Cook Gnocchi Properly

Boiling the gnocchi in salted water is crucial for preventing them from becoming mushy. Once the gnocchi float to the top, remove them immediately using a slotted spoon or skimmer. Overcooking can lead to a dense and unappetizing texture.

Proper Storage

If you have leftover cooked gnocchi, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. To store uncooked gnocchi, place them on a tray in the freezer for 20 minutes to prevent sticking, then transfer them to an airtight freezer bag. Frozen gnocchi can be cooked directly from frozen, extending their shelf life for up to one month.

Incorporating these tips into your gnocchi-making process will elevate your dish, ensuring light, fluffy, and flavorful gnocchi every time. Impress your friends and family with your newfound gnocchi-making skills!

Recipe Variations and Serving Suggestions

Gnocchi is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in various ways. Whether you prefer to serve them on their own or bake them for a delicious twist, there are plenty of recipe variations to explore. Here are some ideas to inspire your culinary creativity:

Serving Gnocchi with Sauce:

Gnocchi pairs perfectly with a variety of sauces, allowing you to tailor the dish to your taste preferences. Consider trying these classic options:

  • Tomato Sauce: A simple tomato sauce made with fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil is a popular choice. It complements the soft and pillowy texture of the gnocchi, creating a comforting and satisfying meal.
  • Bechamel Sauce: Baked gnocchi with a creamy cheese white sauce, also known as bechamel sauce, adds a rich and decadent touch to the dish. The smooth and velvety sauce enhances the flavors of the gnocchi, making it an indulgent treat.
  • Cheese Sauce: If you’re a cheese lover, try topping your gnocchi with a double cheese tomato sauce. Combine melted mozzarella and Parmesan with a tangy tomato sauce for a gooey and mouthwatering cheesy delight.

Adding Delicious Toppings:

To elevate the flavors of your gnocchi, don’t be afraid to experiment with different toppings. Here are some suggestions to enhance your gnocchi experience:

  • Roasted Vegetables: Toss your gnocchi with a medley of roasted vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes. The caramelized flavors of the roasted veggies add a delightful sweetness and depth to the dish.
  • Herbs and Spices: Sprinkle fresh herbs like basil, parsley, or thyme over your gnocchi to impart a burst of freshness. Additionally, a pinch of red pepper flakes or grated nutmeg can add a subtle kick or warm aroma to your gnocchi.
  • Crumbled Bacon: For a savory and slightly smoky touch, crumble some cooked bacon over your gnocchi. The crispy bacon bits provide a delightful contrast in texture and flavor.

Baked Gnocchi Recipes:

If you’re looking to try something different, consider baking your gnocchi for a delightful change of pace. Baked gnocchi creates a crispy exterior while maintaining a soft and tender center. Here’s a simple baked gnocchi recipe to get you started:

Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Grease a baking dish with butter or olive oil.

Prepare your favorite sauce, such as tomato sauce or a creamy cheese sauce.

Cook the gnocchi in boiling water until they float to the surface, then drain them.

Transfer the cooked gnocchi to the greased baking dish and pour your sauce over them.

Sprinkle grated cheese, such as mozzarella or Parmesan, on top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.

Feel free to customize this recipe by adding extra ingredients like vegetables, herbs, or spices. Let your imagination guide you in creating a gourmet baked gnocchi dish that suits your taste.

Storing and Freezing Gnocchi

When it comes to homemade gnocchi, it’s important to know how to store them properly to maintain their freshness and taste. Whether you have leftovers or want to prepare a batch in advance, here are some tips on storing and freezing gnocchi.

Storing Uncooked Gnocchi

If you have leftover uncooked gnocchi, it’s best to store them in an airtight container. This will help prevent them from drying out and absorbing unwanted odors in the fridge. The gnocchi can be stored this way for a couple of hours before cooking them. Keep in mind that the cooking time may be slightly longer as the gnocchi will have dried out a bit.

Storing Cooked Gnocchi

Cooked gnocchi should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Make sure the container is tightly sealed to prevent the gnocchi from drying out or absorbing any flavors from other foods in the fridge. Cooked gnocchi should be consumed within three days to ensure the best taste and texture.

Freezing Gnocchi

If you want to freeze your gnocchi for future use, it’s important to follow the right steps to maintain their quality. Start by placing the uncooked gnocchi on a tray and putting them in the freezer for about 20 minutes. This helps them firm up and prevents them from sticking together during freezing. Once the gnocchi are firm, transfer them to an airtight freezer bag, remove any excess air, and seal the bag tightly.

Frozen gnocchi can be stored in the freezer for up to one month. When you’re ready to cook them, there’s no need to thaw the gnocchi. Simply drop them directly into boiling water and cook them as usual. The cooking time may be slightly longer compared to fresh gnocchi, so make sure to test their doneness by checking if they float to the surface.

By following these storage and freezing tips, you can enjoy homemade gnocchi anytime you want, whether it’s freshly cooked or from the freezer. It’s a convenient way to have this delicious Italian dish on hand whenever you’re craving it!

Summary Table: Storing and Freezing Gnocchi

Storage Method Time Instructions
Storing Uncooked Gnocchi A couple of hours Place in an airtight container to prevent drying out.
Storing Cooked Gnocchi Up to 3 days Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Freezing Gnocchi Up to 1 month Freeze uncooked gnocchi on a tray, then transfer to an airtight freezer bag.


In conclusion, homemade gnocchi is a delightful and versatile dish that can easily be prepared at home using a handful of ingredients. By following the tips and techniques provided in this article, you can effortlessly create light and fluffy gnocchi that are perfect for any occasion.

Whether you choose to enjoy them with a simple and classic tomato sauce or get creative with various toppings, homemade gnocchi is guaranteed to impress your family and friends. The satisfaction of preparing your own delicious pasta dish from scratch is unparalleled. So why not give it a try and experience the joy of making homemade gnocchi?

With just a few simple steps, you can elevate your culinary skills and treat yourself to a memorable dining experience. So take some time to gather the ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and embark on a culinary adventure that will leave you with a delightful plate of homemade gnocchi to savor and enjoy.


What is the history of gnocchi?

Gnocchi originated in the 16th century when potatoes were imported to Italy from America. The dish became popular during times of poverty when potatoes and flour were the main ingredients used to make a delicious meal.

What are the best potatoes to use for gnocchi?

The best potatoes to use for gnocchi are Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes. These varieties are dense, creamy, and have a lower water content, making them ideal for creating light and fluffy gnocchi.

How do I make the perfect gnocchi dough?

To make the perfect gnocchi dough, you will need potatoes, flour, salt, and an egg. Boil the potatoes until tender, then mash or pass them through a potato ricer. Mix the flour and salt together on a flat surface, create a well in the center, and add the potatoes and egg. Gently mix the ingredients with your fingers until a soft dough forms.

How do I shape and cook the gnocchi?

After the gnocchi dough is formed, let it rest for 20 minutes. Then, cut small portions of the dough and roll them into ropes. Cut the ropes into bite-sized pieces and shape them by sliding each piece on a fork and lightly pressing with your thumb. Boil the gnocchi in salted water until they float to the top, which usually takes 1-2 minutes.

What sauces can I serve with gnocchi?

Gnocchi can be served with a variety of sauces. The most popular option is a simple tomato sauce. Other options include pesto, butter and sage, or a creamy sauce. The choice of sauce depends on personal preference and can be customized according to individual taste.

What are some tips for gnocchi success?

To ensure success with your gnocchi recipe, use Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes for the best texture and flavor. Avoid overworking the dough and use egg yolks instead of whole eggs to achieve light and fluffy gnocchi. Cook the gnocchi in salted boiling water and remove them as soon as they float to the top to prevent them from becoming mushy.

Can I vary the recipe and serve gnocchi in different ways?

Yes, gnocchi can be served on their own with your favorite sauce, or baked in the oven as a baked pasta dish. Some popular variations include baked gnocchi with a creamy cheese white sauce or a double cheese tomato sauce. Gnocchi pairs well with a variety of ingredients such as cheese, vegetables, and herbs.

How should I store and freeze gnocchi?

Leftover cooked gnocchi can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days or frozen for up to one month. Uncooked gnocchi can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of hours. Cooked gnocchi should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and consumed within three days. Uncooked gnocchi can be frozen by placing them on a tray in the freezer for 20 minutes, then transferring them to an airtight freezer bag. Frozen gnocchi can be cooked directly from frozen without thawing.

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