An easy homemade gnocchi recipe using leftover mashed potatoes.
Don’t forget to read the recipe notes before you start – they’ll help you make the best gnocchi possible!
For the sauce: For these photos, I melted 4 Tbsp. of unsalted butter in a skillet with fresh rosemary, basil, salt, and pepper, then tossed it with the gnocchi and a splash of the gnocchi’s cooking liquid. The gnocchi are topped with shaved parmesan, an extra dusting of fresh ground black pepper, and fresh basil. I also love these gnocchi with tomato sauce, browned butter and sage, garlic alfredo, or my parmesan spinach gnocchi recipe!
A note about potatoes: I’ve tested this gnocchi with a variety of different mashed potatoes – it’s worked fine whether your potatoes are riced, mashed with lumps, peeled, or with some skins. (For more on mashing techniques, check out Mashed Potatoes 101!)
The key is in the technique here – your instincts matter a whole lot more than the ingredients list.Some general tips for success:
Leave out or reduce the egg if you like – the egg can make your gnocchi a little denser, so feel free to adjust if you’re worried about your gnocchi being too heavy. I like using a whole egg because it’s just easier (I hate having a leftover half-egg to deal with) but you can reduce the egg. Use just an egg yolk, or whisk an egg together and add just half to the gnocchi. You can leave the egg out entirely, but I find it’s a useful binding agent that helps the dough come together with less kneading. No egg also means you’ll need less flour, so keep an eye on your dough.
To form ridges on the gnocchi, roll the cut gnocchi pillows over a gnocchi board or down the tines of a fork. The ridges help the gnocchi collect plenty of sauce, and they give them a nice textured look. When I’m in a hurry, I don’t bother with this extra step (the gnocchi in these photos were just rolled out, cut, and boiled!)
Authentic Italian Gnocchi are exceptionally light and airy, usually made with riced potatoes. Because we’re starting with prepared mashed potatoes, these gnocchi may naturally be a bit heavier (although I find that with a bit of practice, these gnocchi are still quite light). If you’re looking for an authentic, just-like-Grandma-made Italian gnocchi recipe, try something like this. But if you just have some leftover mashed potatoes you want to repurpose, I think you’ll be more than happy with the ease and texture of this recipe.
To freeze these gnocchi, line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat (you could also use waxed paper) and lay gnocchi out in a single layer. Freeze for 2-3 hours, then throw the frozen gnocchi in an airtight container (I use my reusable Stasher Bag!) for up to 3 months. To cook, drop frozen gnocchi directly into boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes until gnocchi float to the top of the water.