How to Make Homemade Gnocchi: The Ultimate Guide

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Homemade gnocchi is fun and easy to make at home! Skip the takeout and learn how to make this classic Italian pasta dish for yourself from the comfort of your home! 

What is Gnocchi? 

Gnocchi is an Italian pasta made with potato, flour, and egg. It is shaped like a small dumpling. Gnocchi is typically served with a red or white sauce. Gnocchi texture is airy and tender. It melts in your mouth and is delicious! 

You can serve gnocchi with red sauce, white sauce, or pesto. I recommend serving with homemade sauce and meatballs or short ribs. Check out my homemade meatball recipe here

dough and a knife on floured surface

How to make homemade gnocchi 

Step 1: Make the potatoes 

Boil potatoes in a pot of salted water and cook until they are soft, about 20 minutes. Drain  water and let the potatoes cool completely. When cool, peel the potatoes. 

Step 2: Make the dough 

Make dough by first mashing potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Make sure you mash out any  lumps! You don’t want your gnocchi to be lumpy! Add in flour and mix well. At this point, it’s  best to use your hands.  

Finally, add in the egg and mix until a dough is formed. Once you have the dough, place on a  floured surface and then roll until a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

hands kneading dough

Step 3: Make the gnocchi 

Remove dough and place on your floured surface. Cut dough into 4 pieces, and roll out each  piece into a long log, until it’s about 1/2 inch thick in diameter. 

Once your dough is rolled in 4 long logs, cut in 1 inch pieces. The gnocchi should be twice as  long as they are thick. There are three ways to make gnocchi: 

  1. Press in edges with your fingers 
  • Squeeze the middle of the gnocchi and make the dough resemble the shape of a pillow.
  1. Shape using a fork 
  • Roll the gnocchi down the curved side of the fork, indenting the sides of the gnocchi.
  1. Use a gnocchi roller 
  • Roll gnocchi over the roller until there is a uniform texture on all sides.

Each option is good and will still make delicious gnocchi! 

hand rolling homemade gnocchi

Step 4: Cook the gnocchi 

Cook gnocchi in batches. Drop gnocchi into salted boiling water, and cook for 2-3 minutes at a  time, or until they rise to the top of the water (that’s how you know they are done!)  

Remove cooked gnocchi carefully with a slotted spoon. Place directly into a pasta bowl. It’s ok  if some water gets into the bowl – this will help gnocchi stick to the sauce better. Repeat this  process until all of the gnocchi are cooked. 

Step 5: Serve and enjoy! 

Serve gnocchi with your favorite red sauce, white sauce, or pesto. Top with grated parmesan  cheese and fresh basil. 

homemade gnocchi in red sauce with basil

Frequently Asked Questions: How to Make Homemade Gnocchi

Is gnocchi a main dish or side dish? 

Gnocchi can be a main or side dish. In Italy, pasta is normally served in an earlier course before the meat. If you are serving a traditional Italian meal, serve gnocchi and then serve your meat to your guests. However, it is delicious as a main meal with protein added to gnocchi with sauce. 

How long does gnocchi last? 

Once you make gnocchi, it should last for at least 3 days in the refrigerator. We recommend finishing cooked gnocchi within a week of making it. 

Can you serve gnocchi with meat? 

Yes! Gnocchi is delicious with chicken, steak, or other beef like short ribs.  

What kind of sauce do you serve gnocchi with? 

You can serve gnocchi with red sauce such as meat sauce or marinara, or you can serve with a white sauce like alfredo. You can also serve gnocchi tossed in olive oil with fresh sage or basil. 

man rolling homemade gnocchi

Tips and tricks for making homemade gnocchi:

  • We recommend all-purpose flour for making gnocchi. We love using King Arthur flour
  • If your gnocchi doesn’t look perfect, that is ok. It takes time and practice to form pasta. Just do your best and know that it will taste absolutely delicious. 
  • Be careful when you remove cooked gnocchi from the boiling water. Carefully do this with a slotted spoon so you don’t make uncooked gnocchi rise to the top of the water. 
  • Don’t be afraid to get some pasta water into your serving bowl when you transfer the cooked gnocchi. The pasta water will help your gnocchi bind to their sauce! 
  • Serve gnocchi with a quality sauce, freshly grated cheese, and fresh basil. Keep it simple! 
homemade gnocchi with red sauce and red wine

Kitchen Equipment:  

Gnocchi Roller

I love using a gnocchi roller to make homemade gnocchi. While it’s not necessary, I love the texture that the gnocchi roller adds to your pasta. Check out this one on Amazon. 

Pasta Bowl

If you’re taking the time to make homemade pasta, you need to make sure it’s served in a large pasta bowl! I love this one from Amazon. It’s just big enough to hold all of your beautiful pasta and showcase your hard work! 

More Pasta Recipes: 

Looking for more pasta recipes? Check out these recipes below for more delicious Italian meals! 

15 Minute Vodka Sauce Recipe: This sauce would be great with homemade gnocchi! This restaurant quality vodka sauce is delicious and comes together in 15 minutes. What’s better than that? 

Bruschetta Pasta: You’ve had bruschetta on bread, but have you had it on pasta? This delicious dish of roasted tomatoes is a perfect pair with pasta and fresh basil. 

Quick Ragu Sauce: Every home cook needs a quick meat sauce recipe in their pocket. This quick ragu sauce is a 30 minute wonder that’s full of flavor that your whole family will love! 

Homemade Gnocchi Recipe 

Ingredients 

  • 2 potatoes 
  • 1.5 cups flour 
  • 1 egg 

Directions 

  1. Heat a large pot of salted water on the stove until boiling. 
  1. When water is boiling, add potatoes and cook until soft, about 20 minutes. 
  1. Remove potatoes from the water and cool in a colander. Let potatoes cool completely, then cut and remove the skin. 
  1. In a large mixing bowl, mash potatoes until they are smooth and no lumps are present. Add in flour and mix well. Next, add in the egg and continue to mix until a dough is formed. Note: You will need to use your hands! 
  1. On a floured surface, roll dough into a ball. Cover dough and rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 
  1. Right before the dough is done resting, heat a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. 
  1. Remove dough from refrigerator. Cut into four pieces. Roll out each piece into a long log, about 1 thick. 
  1. Cut 1 in pieces off of the dough log, then press the edges in to form the gnocchi. You may also roll the gnocchi on a fork, or use a gnocchi roller to shape each piece.  
  1. Continue until all of the dough is used to shape gnocchi. 
  1. Cook in batches by dropping gnocchi into boiling water and cooking for 2-3 minutes. You know they are done when they float to the top of the water. Use a slotted spoon to remove the gnocchi that float to the top to a large pasta bowl. Be careful not to stir too much so the bottom gnocchi does not rise to the top. 
  1. Repeat the cooking process until all of the gnocchi is cooked. Serve with your favorite sauce, cheese, and basil. 

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