This Creamy Kale Gnocchi will be your new favorite weeknight dinner! This easy dish comes together in a few minutes and is packed with flavor.
Gnocchi and kale are delicious together - there's something about the heaviness of the potato starch and lightness of the kale that are so delicious! These ingredients shine in a light cream sauce topped with crisp breadcrumbs and tangy lemon zest.
This gnocchi is in a light cream sauce. It's similar to an Alfredo sauce, but much lighter! I chose to use half and half instead of heavy cream to keep this sauce lighter. It creates a delicious texture that's light enough for a spring or summer dish while being filling enough for a dish full of fall flavor.
I used a traditional gnocchi found in the pasta aisle in this recipe, but you can also use homemade gnocchi! You can check out my guide on how to make homemade gnocchi here. Gnocchi from the frozen food aisle would also work in this recipe.
If you'd like, you can always add protein to this recipe. Italian sausage, grilled chicken, or grilled shrimp would all be delicious in this dish.
Why You'll Love this Recipe
Delicious - This Creamy Kale Gnocchi recipe is so delicious. Each bite is packed with flavor that your family will truly love! It's really a perfect dish for the whole family. Great for entertaining too!
Approachable - This recipe is approachable and is easy to make. You only need a few kitchen tools to make this great recipe. The best part of this pasta recipe is easy enough to make for a weeknight, but also fancy-feeling enough to make for a date night!
Easy - This dish looks like it came from the kitchen of a restaurant, but is so easy to make!
Here are the simple ingredients you will need for this creamy kale gnocchi recipe:
- Breadcrumbs - Don't skip this! The crisp breadcrumbs add texture to this dish
- Olive Oil - Always use good quality olive oil
- Gnocchi - I used regular sized gnocchi, but you can use mini gnocchi as well
- Baby Kale - You can also use regular kale
- Garlic - Minced
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- Chicken Stock - This adds flavor and creates a base for the sauce. You can also use chicken broth or chicken bone broth
- Half and Half - This keeps the sauce lighter
- Lemon Zest - Don't skip this! It adds brightness and flavor to this pasta dish. You could also add a squeeze of lemon juice right before serving, but I highly recommend zesting a lemon!
- Parmesan Cheese - for serving
Let's make this recipe together!
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté breadcrumbs in olive oil, until golden brown. Set aside.
Cook gnocchi in a large pot of water on medium-high heat according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
While gnocchi is cooking, add remaining tablespoon of olive oil and baby kale leaves to a skillet over low heat. Once kale starts to wilt, add garlic, salt, and pepper. Add chicken stock and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add cooked gnocchi and half and half to the pan. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Top with lemon zest and parmesan cheese and serve.
Expert Tips and Tricks
Here are some expert tips to make this delicious gnocchi recipe perfect.
Complete the Meal - Complete the meal with an arugula salad and a glass of white wine!
Utilize Leftovers - Use leftovers for meal prep. Add grilled chicken and a handful of spinach or arugula for a delicious prepared lunch for the entire family!
Let Sauce Thicken - Let the sauce start to thicken up before serving. This might take a few minutes, so be patient!
Here is some kitchen equipment you will need for this recipe. You can find all of these products on Amazon.
Large Skillet - You'll want a high quality large skillet with enough room to make the sauce and add the pasta.
Pasta Bowl - I love serving pasta in good quality pasta bowls. They're perfect for a variety of dishes, so they're super versatile!
Zester - I recommend getting a zester to zest lemon and garlic. It's a great way to add a pop of freshness to your cooking.
Here are some common recipe substitutions and variations for this easy recipe.
Make it Spicy - Add some spice to this dish with red pepper flakes for a delicious kick.
Pre-made gnocchi - Use Trader Joe's Kale Gnocchi, Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi, or sweet potato gnocchi to add even more flavor to the dish.
Pasta Substitution - You can also make this recipe with any other dry pasta that you have on hand. You can also make this by substituting cannellini beans, navy beans, or kidney beans for pasta.
What To Serve With
Here are some easy recipes to serve this creamy kale gnocchi with:
- Baked Jumbo Shrimp
- Baked Salmon Steaks
- Spinach Stuffed Salmon
- Oven Baked Chicken Leg Quarters
- Seared Filet Medallions
- Chicken Limone
- Pistachio Crusted Salmon
- Broccolini with Whipped Goat Cheese
Frequently Asked Questions
Gnocchi is delicious with a variety of sauces. It's great with olive oil and cheese, a simple tomato sauce, pesto, and a variety of cream sauces.
Boiling vs frying gnocchi depends on your desired texture of the final dish. Boiling gnocchi will result in a soft, pillowy gnocchi, and frying gnocchi will give each bite a crunch.
Gnocchi is technically a dumpling made from potatoes, not flour. Although it's a dumpling, it's prepared and served in sauces like a pasta would be.
Recipe Storage and Reheating
Here are storage and reheating instructions for this recipe.
Refrigerator Storage: Store in an airtight continuer and eat leftovers within 4-5 days.
Freezer Storage: Freeze in a freezer-safe, airtight container and keep for up to 3 months. When you're ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator and reheat as instructed below.
Reheating Instructions: The best way to reheat this recipe is to heat in a skillet with a little olive oil over low heat until warm.
Other Recipes to Try
Creamy Kale Gnocchi
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 16 oz Gnocchi
- 2 cups Baby Kale
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 1 cup half and half
- Lemon Zest for serving
- Parmesan Cheese for serving
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté breadcrumbs in olive oil, until golden brown. Set aside.
- Cook gnocchi according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- While gnocchi is cooking, add remaining tablespoon of olive oil and baby kale to a skillet over low heat. Once kale starts to wilt, add garlic, salt, and pepper. Add chicken stock and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add gnocchi and half and half to the pan. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken, stirring occasionally.
- Top with lemon zest and parmesan cheese and serve.