Gnocchi

Homemade Potato Gnocchi – Step by Step

July 9, 2020 (Last Updated: July 11, 2020) by Emily

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How to make super soft, light and delicious Homemade Potato Gnocchi from scratch with this easy step by step guide. This guide will take you through the whole process from making the gnocchi to what sauce to pair it with and it couldn’t be easier.

An overhead shot of potato gnocchi on a marble cutting board

Gnocchi in Italy are traditionally served in small portions as a primo or first course instead of pasta.

They are super soft and light little potato dumplings that can be served with a whole array of sauces from meat sauces, tomato sauce or simple butter and sage.

Just like pasta, making gnocchi from scratch takes a little effort but the rewards are so worth it. Homemade gnocchi are just a step above anything you’ll ever buy in a supermarket and make the most comforting Italian meal.

I mean there are not many things more comforting in life than a big bowl of soft and light gnocchi in a beautiful sauce.

And don’t worry they are not hard to make but you do need to be aware of some key tips when it comes to the ingredients and the making process all of which are detailed below.

Ingredients you need

The ingredients for making potato gnocchi are super simple all you need is; potatoes, flour, egg and salt. See the important notes on each ingredients below.

  • Potatoes – they must be floury potatoes such as Yukon Gold, Russet or Maris Pipers waxy potatoes will not work.
  • Flour – I find Italian Tipo 00 Flour works best but you can also use all-purpose.
  • Egg – use a medium-sized egg for best results.
An overhead shot of all the ingredients you need to make potato gnocchi

How to make Potato Gnocchi – step by step

Clean the potatoes but do not peel them and place them in a large pot of cold water. Bring it to a boil and boil the potatoes until tender, about 30 minutes.

To check the potatoes are cooked try inserting a knife into the centre of the largest one, if it enters with ease it’s cooked. Try not to do this too often as the incisions will let water in.

Step by step photos showing how to cook and peel potatoes to make gnocchi

Once cooked, drain the potatoes. Peel the potatoes when they are cool enough to touch. The skin should just rub off easily.

When the peeled potatoes are still warm place them through a potato ricer.

How to make potato gnocchi dough

Tip the flour onto a clean work surface and place the potatoes on top. Start to incorporate the flour into the potatoes then add the beaten egg and salt.

Step by step photos showing how to make gnocchi dough

Knead the mixture until the dough is smooth and soft to touch without being sticky. Be careful not to overwork the dough or it’ll become tough. Leave out any extra flour that doesn’t incorporate, if you need more flour add a little at a time until the dough is no longer sticky.

How to cut and shape the gnocchi

Cut the dough into 4 then working with one quarter of dough at a time, shape it into 2cm / 1 inch thick logs. Cut each log into 1 inch / 2 cm pieces.

Step by step photos showing how to cut and shape potato gnocchi

You can use the gnocchi as they are or you can shape them using a gnocchi board or cheese grater.

To shape the gnocchi, sprinkle some flour or semolina onto a gnocchi board. Place one piece of dough on the board and roll the dough over the board away from you whilst pressing firmly with your thumb.

Cooking the gnocchi

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Add the gnocchi to the boiling water, once they float on the surface of the water they are cooked.

Two photos showing how to remove cooked potato gnocchi

Remove from the water with a slotted spoon straight into your prepared sauce, toss the gnocchi to coat in the sauce and serve.

Choosing the right sauce

You can serve your homemade gnocchi with whatever sauce you like whether it’s a rich meat ragu, fresh tomato sauce or creamy and luxurious brown butter. Check out our full collection of gnocchi recipes or see some of our favourites below:

A close up of gnocchi on a cutting board

Top tips and recipe FAQs

  • Potato type – As already mentioned you must use a floury potato such as Yukon Gold, Russet or Maris Piper. New or waxy potatoes will just not work and the dough won’t come together.
  • Peeling the potatoes – DO NOT peel the potatoes before boiling or they will absorb too much water which will affect your gnocchi dough.
  • Boiling Potatoes – add the potatoes to a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. If you add them to already boiling water it can shock the potatoes causing the skin to split and let in too much water.
  • Flour – Using Italian 00 Flour will give you a lighter texture but you can also use all-purpose (plain) white flour.
Do you need to add an egg?

No, traditionally gnocchi are made without egg but the dough is much harder to work with. If you want to can leave it out.

Can I prepare gnocchi in advance?

Gnocchi dough doesn’t last well for long because it becomes very sticky. You can prepare the gnocchi around 1 hour in advance but store them on a tray with semolina, covered and in the fridge.

Can I freeze gnocchi?

Yes, cut and shape the gnocchi then lay on a tray in an even layer covered with plastic wrap. Once frozen you can add them to a freezer bag to save room. The first stage of freezing stops them sticking together. Cook straight from frozen.

If you’ve tried this Homemade Potato Gnocchi Recipe or any other recipe on the blog please let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST 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!
A side shot of potato gnocchi on a white marble cutting board
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5 from 1 vote

Potato Gnocchi

How to make super soft, light and delicious Homemade Potato Gnocchi from scratch with this easy step by step guide. This guide will take you through the whole process from making the gnocchi to what sauce to pair it with and it couldn't be easier.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 – 10 servings
Calories 234kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs floury potatoes Yuokon Gold, Russet or Maris Piper (1 kg)
  • 2 cups flour Italian 00 flour or all-purpose (plain) (250g)
  • 1 medium egg
  • Salt

Instructions

How to prepare the potatoes

  • Clean the potatoes but do not peel them and place them in a large pot of cold water. Bring it to a boil and boil the potatoes until tender, about 30 minutes.
  • To check the potatoes are cooked try inserting a knife into the centre of the largest one, if it enters with ease it’s cooked. Try not to do this too often as the incisions will let water in.
  • Once cooked, drain the potatoes. Peel the potatoes when they are cool enough to touch. The skin should just rub off easily.
  • When the peeled potatoes are still warm place them through a potato ricer.

How to make potato gnocchi dough

  • Tip the flour onto a clean work surface and place the potatoes on top. Start to incorporate the flour into the potatoes then add the beaten egg and salt.
  • Knead the mixture until the dough is smooth and soft to touch without being sticky. Be careful not to overwork the dough or it’ll become tough. Leave out any extra flour that doesn’t incorporate, if you need more flour add a little at a time until the dough is no longer sticky.

How to cut and shape the gnocchi

  • Cut the dough into 4 then working with one quarter of dough at a time, shape it into 2cm / 1 inch thick logs. Cut each log into 1 inch / 2 cm pieces.
  • You can use the gnocchi as they are or you can shape them using a gnocchi board or cheese grater.
  • To shape the gnocchi, sprinkle some flour or semolina onto a gnocchi board. Place one piece of dough on the board and roll the dough over the board away from you whilst pressing firmly with your thumb.

Cooking the gnocchi

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Add the gnocchi to the boiling water, once they float on the surface of the water they are cooked.
  • Remove from the water with a slotted spoon straight into your prepared sauce, toss the gnocchi to coat in the sauce and serve.

Notes

  • Potato type – As already mentioned you must use a floury potato such as Yukon Gold, Russet or Maris Piper. New or waxy potatoes will just not work and the dough won’t come together.
  • Peeling the potatoes – DO NOT peel the potatoes before boiling or they will absorb too much water which will affect your gnocchi dough.
  • Boiling Potatoes – add the potatoes to a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. If you add them to already boiling water it can shock the potatoes causing the skin to split and let in too much water.
  • Flour – Using Italian 00 Flour will give you a lighter texture but you can also use all-purpose (plain) white flour

Nutrition

Calories: 234kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 635mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 24052IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 2mg
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
    July 14, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    I just love gnocchi! But I’ve tried to make them several times with results that ranged from bullets to moosh! But! You might just have tempted me to give it another go because these look SO yummy!!5 stars

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      July 23, 2020 at 9:43 am

      Aw that’s a shame, using the right kind of potato and not over-kneading are essential for light and delicious gnocchi. Hope you can give this recipe a go! 🙂

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