This potato gnocchi recipe is a great substitute for traditional noodles in just about any pasta dish. Made with 4 ingredients, they are super easy to make! 

Gnocchi on a floured surface

This homemade potato gnocchi recipe is sure to impress. They will elevate your dish and make you look like a seasoned Italian chef. I mean, you are one anyway, right? Surprisingly simple to prepare, this recipe only requires a bag of russet potatoes and a few ingredients you probably already have on hand.

What Exactly is Gnocchi? 

There’s a big debate amongst foodies about whether or not gnocchi is part of the dumpling or pasta family. Typically, pasta is made from eggs and flour. Because gnocchi is made from eggs, flour, and potatoes, their texture comes out more chewy and gummy than pasta. Gnocchi is a great substitute for pasta in just about any dish, but they have the texture of a dumpling. Therefore, we would argue that gnocchi is a hybrid of the two. See? There’s no need for war!

Selecting the Right Potatoes for Gnocchi

Yukon gold potatoes are the basis of any perfect gnocchi. Why? They are most similar to the gold-fleshed potatoes native to Italy — the birthplace of this magnificently simple, yet delicious pasta sauce conduit. We also find that the flesh has a sweeter and nuttier flavor that elevates the gnocchi beyond a simple boiled ball of dough. If you must, you can use russet potatoes as well. Just remember that they are a bit blander than Yukons.

potatoes on a baking dish

Making this Homemade Potato Gnocchi Recipe

Follow this step-by-step guide and you’ll get perfectly chewy and tender gnocchi every time. 

  • Bake the Potatoes: Bake the potatoes at 400°F for about 1 hour and allow them to cool down a bit. 
  • Rice the potatoes: Cut the potatoes in half and spoon out the flesh into a large bowl. Run the potatoes through a ricer. 
  • Make the Dough: Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and drizzle them over the potatoes. Sprinkle the salt and flour over the potatoes and work the dough until well-combined with your hands. 
  • Shape the Gnocchi: Cut off a small piece of dough with a knife or bench scraper, roll it into a string, and slice half-inch-sized pieces from it. Run the tines of a floured fork across each gnocchi to create a nice pattern. 
  • Boil the Gnocchi: Bring a pot of water to boil and toss the gnocchi in. Cook them until they float to the top. Toss the gnocchi in your favorite tomato sauce, pesto, or cream sauce. Bon appetit!

Hot Tip: Leave enough flesh on and use the potato skins to make a batch of crispy potato skins stuffed with cheese and bacon. I mean, you shouldn’t waste food, right?

5 Tips for Nailing this Potato Gnocchi Recipe 

These 5 foolproof tips for making perfect gnocchi will help ensure that you get restaurant-quality potato gnocchi that’s got that perfect al dente bite. 

  • Bake the potatoes versus boil them. Some chefs boil their potatoes for gnocchi, but we wouldn’t recommend it. Why? Too much moisture can impact your dough and ruin the texture of your gnocchi. Baking or air frying your potatoes ensures that you don’t run into this problem.
  • Don’t over rice your potatoes. With the help of a potato ricer, you’ll rice the potatoes into tiny crumbles. However, take special caution to not compress or smash the crumbles more than necessary. This will keep your gnocchi nice and light.
  • Create perfect dough. Whisk your eggs first. Then, pour over your riced potatoes. In a separate bowl, combine your flour and salt. Finally, sprinkle the salt and flour mixture over the potatoes, kneading the dough just enough to combine all the ingredients. Layering the dough ingredients like this makes for a consistent dough with no lumps!
  • Only boil the gnocchi until they float. To prevent overcooking the gnocchi, only boil them just until they float. Once they rise to the top of the water, they are fully cooked.
  • Use a gnocchi board. Instead of using the tines of a fork, you can use a gnocchi board to get that pretty ridges pattern on the outside.

Hot tip: Some chefs like to give the gnocchi a little pan fry when they come out of the boil. If this sounds like you, heat a skillet over medium heat with a little olive oil. Crisp up boiled gnocchi to your desire, then toss with your sauce as per usual. 

Tips for Cooking Gnocchi

To cook your gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Dump roughly 15-20 gnocchi into the pot at a time. Once they float to the top, give them roughly 10-15 more seconds of cooking time before removing them with a slotted spoon. Place them on a serving platter spread with olive oil (or a little of the pasta sauce you plan to serve them with) to prevent sticking. Continue cooking your batches until you run out of dough.

What to Eat Gnocchi With

The possibilities are endless. Toss gnocchi in a simple marinara or alfredo sauce. Or, be extra authentic and brown some butter and sage, add your gnocchi, and season to taste with salt and pepper. A generous grating of fresh parmesan cheese and olive oil will do the trick for you purists out there. You can also make our favorite chicken gnocchi soup.

A bowl of chicken gnocchi soup in a bowl

Make Ahead & Storage Tips

Gnocchi is one of the best foods to make ahead of time! Here’s how to store them for later use:

  • Freezing Gnocchi: Place the gnocchi in a single layer on a well-floured surface. Then, generously sprinkle more flour right on top of them to prevent any sticking. Once the gnocchi hardens at room temperature, transfer them to a Ziplock bag or an airtight container and pop them in the freezer. Frozen gnocchi should keep for up to 3 months.
  • Refrigerating Gnocchi: Cook your gnocchi according to instructions. Allow them to cool down. Then, place gnocchi in an airtight container for up to five days in the fridge. Reheat them in a skillet or the microwave.

Hot Tip: When you are cooking frozen gnocchi, boil them in smaller portions than you would fresh ones. Frozen gnocchi cool down boiling water, so it’s best to leave some extra room to prevent sticking.

FAQ

Is it better to bake or boil gnocchi?

It’s better to boil the gnocchi instead of baking them. Baking them will dry them out and turn them super dry. That said, it’s perfectly acceptable to boil the gnocchi and then pan fry them for additional texture.

Do you have to boil gnocchi before sautéing?

Yes, you must boil the gnocchi before sautéing them. If you don’t boil them first, they will not attain that perfectly gummy and chewy texture that you’re looking for.

Is gnocchi pasta or a potato dish?

Gnocchi is somewhere in between a pasta, potato dish, and dumpling. The addition of flour makes them somewhat pasta-like, but the texture is much closer to that of a dumpling.

What does potato gnocchi taste like?

Potato gnocchi has a neutral, earthy taste. It’s much like pasta and can be considered a blank canvas for you to dress with various sauces, cheeses, veggies, and meats.

Do you have to cook gnocchi in water?

Yes, you have to cook gnocchi in boiling water if you want them to attain an al dente texture. If you don’t cook them in water, they will turn out dry and they won’t be tender to the bite.

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About Author

Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.