Gnocchi

Easy Pesto Gnocchi

May 31, 2020 (Last Updated: July 10, 2020) by Emily

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Pesto Gnocchi is one of the most comforting meals that you can whip up in just 10 minutes flat. Made with homemade basil pesto and soft pillowy gnocchi, it truly couldn’t be easier or more delicious!

An overhead shot of pesto gnocchi in a rustic bowl sitting on a wooden surface

Basil pesto has got to be one of the most delicious sauces ever created, right?

It’s just incredible and can be used in so many ways from in salads, with Italian chicken cutlets (my fav), tossed with broccolini, pasta and gnocchi just to name a few.

What’s even better is that it takes no more than 5 minutes to whip up and it’s super easy.

In fact, this pesto gnocchi recipe takes no more than 10 minutes from start to finish and that’s including making the basil pesto from scratch!

It’s such a simple dinner to whip up when you need food that’s both effortless and delicious!

Ingredients you need

The ingredients for this recipe are super simple, all you need is fresh basil (Italian), pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, olive oil, and of course gnocchi! (see the photo below that shows all the ingredients you need).

An overhead shot of ingredients needed to make pesto gnocchi

Top tip: If you want to go all out then why not try making your own homemade gnocchi! We have a super easy step by step guide for making them from scratch!

Step by step recipe instructions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, make the pesto by adding all ingredients to a bowl and blitz with an immersion blender to a smooth saucy consistency (photos 1-4).

Step by step photos showing how to make basil pesto sauce
Step by step photos showing how to toss pesto with gnocchi

Cook the gnocchi according to packet instructions or until they float to the top of the water (reserve a little cooking water).

Drain the gnocchi once cooked and add back to the pot. Add the pesto sauce and stir until thoroughly coated. Serve with extra parmesan cheese (photos 5 & 6).

Variations to try

There are so many ways you can adapt this recipe, see some of our favourites below.

Add a spicy kick – add a sprinkling of red pepper flakes either on top of the pesto gnocchi or into the basil pesto itself. We often had a little chilli in our pesto dishes in Italy and it’s such a delicious addition.

Make it creamy – you can mix the pesto with ricotta to make a super creamy and delicious pesto sauce. You’ll need some reserved cooking water to thin the sauce slightly if it’s too thick.

Add veggies – you could add in extra veggies such as cooked bell peppers, zucchini, broccoli or spinach.

Top tips for making this recipe

  • What nuts to use – pine nuts are traditionally used to make basil pesto but you could also use almonds, cashews, walnuts or pistachios. I’ve tested pesto with all of those nuts and it’s delicious!
  • Don’t overcook – Gnocchi cooks much quicker than pasta, you know that they are ready once they all float to the top of the water.
  • Olive oil – Use a good extra virgin olive oil if possible it’ll give the pesto the best flavour.
  • Cheese – You can use Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano to make the pesto.
  • leftovers – leftover pesto will last well in the fridge for 3-4 days (it may oxidase but just give it a stir). Leftover gnocchi will last for around 1-2 days but is best eaten immediately.
A close up of gnocchi and pesto sauce on a fork

More easy Italian recipes you might like

If you tried this Pesto Gnocchi Recipe or any other recipes on the blog please be sure to leave me a comment below to let me know how you got on, I love hearing from you. You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKINSTAGRAMPINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

Step By Step Photos AboveMost of our recipes come with step by step photos, helpful tips and tricks to make it perfectly first time and even video!
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5 from 1 vote

Pesto Gnocchi

Pesto Gnocchi is one of the most comforting meals that you can whip up in just 10 minutes flat. Made with homemade basil pesto and soft pillowy gnocchi, it truly couldn't be easier or more delicious!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 413kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 1 lb gnocchi (500g)
  • 2 cups fresh basil (30g)
  • ½ cup parmesan fresh grated (50g)
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • cup olive oil extra virgin (80ml)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Meanwhile make the pesto by adding all ingredients to a bowl and blitz with an immersion blender to a smooth saucy consistency.
  • Cook the gnocchi according to packet instructions or until they float to the top of the water (reserve a little cooking water).
  • Drain the gnocchi once cooked and add back to the pot. Add the pesto sauce and stir until thoroughly coated. Add a splash of reserved water to emulsify if needed.
  • Serve with extra parmesan cheese.

Notes

  • What nuts to use – pine nuts are traditionally used to make basil pesto but you could also use almonds, cashews, walnuts or pistachios. I’ve tested pesto with all of those nuts and it’s delicious!
  • Don’t overcook – Gnocchi cooks much quicker than pasta, you know that they are ready once they all float to the top of the water.
  • Olive oil – Use a good extra virgin olive oil if possible it’ll give the pesto the best flavour.
  • Cheese – You can use Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano to make the pesto.
  • leftovers – leftover pesto will last well in the fridge for 3-4 days (it may oxidase but just give it a stir). Leftover gnocchi will last for around 1-2 days but is best eaten immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 586mg | Potassium: 62mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 731IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 192mg | Iron: 5mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We’d love you see what you’re getting up to in the kitchen!

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Angela
    June 9, 2020 at 11:41 am

    Oh I am so happy to see this recipe! Everyone should know about pesto and its utter deliciousness!! It might be my food heaven! and it goes with so many things! But tossed through fluffy gnocchi…oh yes please!!5 stars

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