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5 Ingredient Recipes, Cooking Tips, Dinner, Sides

My Easy Tutorial on How to Make Gnocchi

I have been completely overwhelmed by news of the pandemic lately. Anyone else? It probably doesn’t help that I actually work in journalism, but still, I needed a break. So teaching a class on how to make gnocchi online seemed like a way to blow off steam. I called it “Cooking with Kes” and wow, what a blast we had.

cooked gnocchi with roasted green beans
homemade gnocchi on a plate

Now the only sucky thing about it is how Instagram Live immediately shut off after I hit 60 minutes, and I lost the entire live class. How awful is that? You can still watch it over on Facebook, but it’s pretty funny to watch. I was clearly way more into talking to my phone where my Instagram audience was. Whatever, you live and you learn.

The class was fun to teach. Why? Because this recipe is just so darn easy, and my online students were surprised by how easy it is to make gnocchi. I’m telling you right now folks, cooking truly is a lot easier than you think. And I’m here to make the recipes as simple as possible for you.

What to eat with gnocchi


Gnocchi is a great side dish to go with any meal of yours! You can cook it up with a variety of different sauces, or simply sautéd with butter or olive oil. My all-time favorite way to enjoy gnocchi is with butter, brown sugar, and a dash of ground sage. I’m also obsessed with this New York Times crispy gnocchi skillet recipe and make it often.

Gnocchi can sometimes replace pasta in some of your meals, like making cheesy chicken pasta or even to go with some meatballs.

ingredients for homemade gnocchi

Grab your ingredients.

To make gnocchi, you only need three simple ingredients! You’ll need to grab:

  • 1 medium-sized potato (white or sweet, your pick!)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
poking holes in a sweet potato with a fork

Poke the potato with a fork

Create holes all around the potato using a fork. This well help it to cook evenly in the microwave.

wrapping up a sweet potato in a moist paper towel

Wrap up the potato


Using a damp paper towel, wrap up the potato tightly. Place it on some kind of dish or shallow bowl, then set in the microwave. Microwave on high for 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the potato. If it’s a potato about the size as the one picture, I recommend 9 or 10 minutes for the best results.

scooping out a cooked sweet potato

Scoop out the potato

And would you look at that—a cooked potato! Seriously, if you’re ever craving a baked sweet potato but don’t want to put in all the work, this is can be an easy go-to snack.

Using a spoon, scoop out the insides of the potato into a large bowl. Compost the skin.

adding ingredients for homemade gnocchi in a bowl
mixing gnocchi dough

Add the ingredients

Add in the three ingredients into a bowl, then mix with that large spoon. The dough will be dry, this is okay! Trust me, it will get sticky, you want it to be dry at first.

forming gnocchi dough

Shape the dough into a circle

The dough won’t look perfect and will still seem dry. Again, trust me on this one. If we press into it too much, the dough will get really dense. Once it can stick together and you can pick it up, form it into a circle and move it to a clean surface covered in flour.

cutting up gnocchi dough into smaller sections

Cut into eight pieces

First cut the dough circle in half, then half again, then half again! The pieces won’t be perfectly even, but it will be close. Plus, not everything is going to look perfect when you cook at home, so just embrace the chaos.

Side note, yes, my hands are super dirty in this photo. It seemed silly to clean them, only to roll out the dough in the next step.

rolling out gnocchi into balls, then into logs

Roll out the dough

First, roll each of the pieces into smaller spheres. See how they don’t look as dry? The moisture from the potato and the stickiness from the egg will do that! You just have to trust the process.

Once each ball is rolled, you then can roll each ball into longer logs by running your hands back and forth over the spheres on a clean, floured surface. The little logs should range in size between your pinky and your thumb.

slicing gnocchi
homemade gnocchi

Slice the gnocchi using a pizza cutter

This will be the fastest way to get gnocchi pieces! As you can see, not all of them are perfectly shaped. This is okay! I typically shoot for my gnocchi pieces to be about an inch long.

forming gnocchi with a fork

Press them into shapes

Now, this step is totally optional, and if you want to skip because of how time-consuming it is, you can! However, if you’re looking for a cute Instagram photo to show off the dinner you just made, then you’re going to want to do this step. Form each piece into a little dumpling. Then using the back of a fork, press each gnocchi into it and twist it off so you can get all sides. Or just press into one side—it’s totally up to how you want them to look!

plate of sweet potato gnocchi with green beans

Boil them, then sauté with whatever you’d like!

Place the gnocchi in boiling water for at least 1 minute, or until they start floating. Using a slotted spoon, take them out and place them into a bowl. You’re only going to want to boil a handful at a time so they don’t stick to each other.

Then, it’s time to cook them! You can roast them in the oven with a sheet pan of goodies, or you can sauté them with some sauce. Some of my favorite ways to enjoy homemade gnocchi include:

  • 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, dash of ground sage
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese, dash of salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of pesto (with chicken or cherry tomatoes!)
  • Any leftover sauce, like marinara or Alfredo.

Want to freeze them for later?

You don’t have to cook all of the gnocchi now if you don’t want to! Here’s what to do to properly freeze them:

  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper
  • Place the gnocchi on the paper, making sure they are separated and not touching each other.
  • Place in the freezer for at least three hours, or until the gnocchi is frozen.
  • Store in a freezer bag or a freezer-safe container. They should last up to 6 weeks.

When you’re ready to have the gnocchi, simply dump them in boiling water to cook—right from being frozen! It will take a bit longer for them to boil, just wait for them to float and they are ready.

Gnocchi

Learn how to make homemade gnocchi with this easy three-ingredient recipe.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: gnocchi
Servings: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized potato white or sweet
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Instructions

  • Poke holes all around the potato using a fork.
  • Wrap the potato in a damp paper towel, then place on a dish or a shallow bowl.
  • Microwave the potato for 9-10 minutes, or until the potato is squishy and soft like a baked potato. Time will vary depending on potato size.
  • Scoop out the inside of the potato into a large bowl and discard the skin.
  • Add the cracked egg and the flour to the bowl, then mix with a spoon into a shaggy dough.
  • With clean hands, shape the dough into a circle. It will seem really dry, this is okay!
  • Move the dough to a clean, floured surface and cut into eight pieces. You can do this by cutting the circle in half, then the pieces in half, then those pieces in half.
  • Roll each piece into a sphere. The dough will start to form nicely into a smooth dough.
  • Roll out each sphere with your hands into long logs. They should be about the width of your pinky.
  • Using a pizza cutter (or a knife), cut 1-inch long gnocchi pieces from the logs.
  • If desired, form the pieces into dumplings, then press them into the back of a fork to give them that fun, gnocchi design.
  • Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook the gnocchi pieces in small batches at a time for 1 minute each, or until the gnocchi start to float. Take them out with a slotted spoon and move them to a bowl.
  • Once all boiled, turn on a skillet and cook the gnocchi in whatever sauce your heart desires, or simply with some butter or olive oil. See in Recipe Notes for a list of easy sauce options.

Notes

Now that you have gnocchi ready to cook, here are a few ways you can cook them for an easy dinner or side dish:
  • 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, dash of ground sage
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese, dash of salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of pesto (with chicken or cherry tomatoes!)
  • Any leftover sauce, like marinara or Alfredo.

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how to make gnocchi

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