This vegetarian Baked Gnocchi recipe is so quick and tasty. A super simple sauce, packed with spinach and tomatoes, is topped with mozzarella cheese for the perfect easy comfort food supper.
Oh hello laziest ever one pan dinner.
British ‘summer’ is proving a bit sketchy so far this year aka RAIN RAIN RAIN.
Another day of wet feet, through my inappropriate choice of footwear (but it’s JUNE FOR GOODNESS SAKE) and all I want is some kind of comfort food dinner.
Enter: Baked gnocchi = carby, cheesy, goodness.
In need of TLC in a bowl? Or a mega quick meal for small people? Or a way to eat molten cheese on a Wednesday night? This is your new fave dish.
✅ Ultimate comfort food – hug in a bowl
✅ Super quick, including cheat’s tomato sauce.
✅ Secretly includes at least 2 of your 5 a day
What IS gnocchi anyway?
Gnocchi is an Italian potato dumpling. Made with flour and mashed potatoes, they are usually boiled and served in a similar way to pasta.
In this baked gnocchi recipe, I use ready made gnocchi.
It works really well as they are quite dense, so soak up the sauce, and give a real comfort food texture.
How do you make the Baked Gnocchi recipe?
This is a one pan recipe (hurrah!) so choose a large shallow pan, that’s suitable for the oven as well as the hob.
Make a simple sauce with onions, garlic, and passata.
Add honey to take off a tart edge, spinach, salt and pepper and the gnocchi.
You DO NOT need to pre boil the gnocchi as it will cook in the sauce.
Allow everything to soften slightly, then top with the mozzarella and bake until crispy and golden.
A couple of notes on some of the ingredients I used:
- Garlic – I use preprepared frozen as I’m always looking for a shortcut.
- Onion – Again, I use preprepared frozen chopped onions (life changing).
- Passata – Buy a good quality passata, it does make a difference, especially as this sauce doesn’t cook down for long. If you can buy one with Italian herbs (basil/oregano) already add – do it.
- Honey – this offsets the slightly sour taste of passata, use a teaspoon of sugar if you prefer.
- Spinach – I use baby spinach, pre washed, buy frozen is fine. You’ll just need to either defrost first, or allow it to bubble into the sauce for 5 mins before adding the gnocchi.
- Gnocchi – I think there tends to be two types of gnocchi in supermarkets. Either are fine for this dish, in fact the drier one is possibly better as it will get softer in the oven:
- Kind of semi-dried – in vacuum packs
- In the chiller with fresh pasta – which is a little wetter
Variations on the recipe:
Baked Gnocchi with Chicken – Stir chunks of cooked chicken (or leftover cooked chicken) through the sauce before putting the cheese on top.
Baked Gnocchi with Bacon – Stir pieces of cooked bacon through the sauce before putting the cheese on top.
Creamy Gnocchi Bake – Stir 4 tbsp of double cream or creme fraiche through the sauce before putting the cheese on top.
Baked Gnocchi with Sausage – Stir chunks of cooked sausages through the sauce before putting the cheese on top.
Make the sauce more rich – If you have time, you can allow the sauce to cook for an extra 15 – 20 minutes before adding the spinach and gnocchi. (You may need to add a splash of water as it will become quite thick.)
What to serve with the Baked Gnocchi recipe:
- Garlic bread
- A green salad
- Some broccoli pan fried with a little garlic
- It would also make a great side for any simple protein, like marinated chicken
Fancy some more 30 minute dinner ideas?
- Grilled Halloumi Bake (vegetarian & gluten free)
- Teriyaki Chicken with Sticky Sauce (gluten free)
- Easy Egg Fried Rice Recipe (just 15 minutes!)
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. I’d love to know how you got on and what you thought of it if you make this Baked Gnocchi recipe.
Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below!
Also, if you fancy showing me a photo by tagging me on Instagram (@tamingtwins) I LOVE to see your creations and try and share as many of them as I can.
- 1 tsp Olive oil
- 3 Cloves Garlic Peeled and crushed
- 1 Large Onion Peeled and finely chopped
- 700 g Passata The type with added Italian herbs if possible
- 1 tsp Honey
- 80 g Baby spinach
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 800 g Fresh gnocchi
- 300 g Mozzarella Cheese
- 25 g Fresh basil
- Freshly grated Parmesan to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan (one that can go on the hob and also in the oven).
- Add the garlic and onions and cook for 5 minutes until softened.
- Add the passata, honey, spinach, salt and pepper and the gnocchi. (Also add the fresh basil if you're using, reserving a few leave to garnish).
- Stir everything (whilst still on the heat) for about 5 minutes until combined and the spinach is starting to wilt.
- Top with the drained mozzarella cheese, pulled into chunks.
- Put the pan into the oven for about 15 minutes until the cheese is delicious and golden and bubbling.
- Top with some fresh basil if you have some.
- Use passata with Italian herbs in to add extra flavour if you can.
- If your jar of passata is slightly smaller, don't worry.
- This dish will be quite saucy, we like it like that to dunk garlic bread in. If you prefer it less runny, use less passata.
- Add some grated parmesan to serve if you like.