This easy parmesan spinach gnocchi recipe is ready in under 30 minutes with just one pot. Perfect for busy weeknights! Vegetarian.
There’s no question that soft, pillowy gnocchi is one of the greatest inventions of all time.
And while gnocchi sure does shine with a bit of simple browned butter or a light tomato sauce, sometimes you just have to COVER THAT ISH IN CHEESE, y’know?
Enter this quick and easy gnocchi sauce! All you need:
- Parmesan Cheese (note: strict vegetarians should look for parmesan cheese made without rennet)
Additions and Substitutions
This easy spinach gnocchi recipe is very forgiving – use whatever you have on hand! Some of our favorite ways to riff on this recipe:
- We used store-bought gnocchi here, but it’s excellent with homemade gnocchi! We frequently make quick and easy homemade gnocchi with leftover mashed potatoes, or you can try your hand at an authentic Italian recipe like this one.
- No gnocchi? Make the sauce as instructed and serve over spaghetti (or any pasta you have on hand!), grilled chicken, zucchini noodles, or your favorite grains (rice, quinoa, and farro are all great here!)
- Stretch this recipe and amp up the sauce by adding sautéed onion, fresh pesto, sautéed mushrooms, roasted veggies (broccoli, parsnips, brussels sprouts, and squash are some of our favorite mix-ins!) or fresh tomatoes.
- Use fresh or frozen spinach here, or swap the spinach for kale or arugula.
- Lighten your sauce up by swapping the flour and milk for our favorite Magic Cauliflower Cream Sauce! This quick, packed-with-veggies sauce is amazing in this recipe.
- If you’re not vegetarian, top this gnocchi with some shredded chicken, chorizo, bacon, grilled salmon, or garlicky shrimp to add some extra protein.
- For extra texture, pan-fry your cooked gnocchi in some butter to crisp them up, then spoon the sauce over top.
How to serve this gnocchi
This creamy gnocchi sauce is similar to an alfredo and is fairly rich, so we love serving it with lighter sides to balance it out! (Pro tip: To lighten up the sauce itself, swap the milk and flour for our Magic Cauliflower Cream!)
Some of our favorite sides:
If you eat meat, serve this gnocchi with grilled chicken, grilled salmon, garlic baked shrimp, or some sausage.
VIDEO: How to make parmesan spinach gnocchi
Easy parmesan spinach gnocchi with a quick, creamy sauce!
- 16 ounces potato gnocchi
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1–2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 3 heaping cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese (strict vegetarians: look for parmesan cheese made without rennet)
- Cook the gnocchi according to package directions. Drain, set aside, and return the empty pot to the stove.
- Melt butter over medium heat.
- Add garlic to butter and sauté for about a minute until garlic is fragrant.
- Add flour to butter and whisk to form a roux. Cook for 30 seconds or so to cook out any raw flour taste.
- Slowly add milk to roux, whisking constantly to break up any lumps. Cook for 3-4 minutes until sauce has just begun to thicken.
- Stir chopped spinach into sauce and cook 3-4 minutes more until spinach has wilted and sauce has thickened.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove pot from heat.
- Add parmesan cheese to sauce and stir to combine.
- Return cooked gnocchi to sauce and stir to combine. Serve immediately.
No gnocchi? Serve this sauce over spaghetti or any dried pasta, rice, farro, or grilled chicken.
Additions and Substitutions. This is a forgiving recipe: use what you have! Add diced onion or sliced mushrooms when you add the garlic in step 3, or stir in extra veggies after the sauce is finished. We love adding roasted veggies (parsnips, broccoli, butternut squash, etc.) and fresh tomatoes. Frozen spinach is fine here if you don’t have fresh. You can also use arugula or kale! Use goat cheese, white cheddar, asiago, fontina, or havarti in place of the parmesan. Almond milk and coconut milk work fine here, but we do not recommend using heavy cream or half and half unless you like a very rich sauce.
For a healthy twist, swap our favorite Magic Cauliflower Cream for the flour and milk in this recipe!
Depending on the size of your gnocchi (and your personal preferences!) you may have a little more or less sauce than you need. To thin out a too-thick sauce or to stretch your sauce a little further, stir in a bit of extra milk until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
Please don’t skip the salt! With so few ingredients, seasoning is VERY important in this recipe. Taste the sauce and season as you go for best results. If a sauce ever tastes flat or bland, add more salt a pinch at a time, then stir and taste until it pops. If you don’t want to use salt, you can stir in some lemon juice, goat cheese, nutmeg, fresh herbs, or fish sauce for extra flavor.
Strict vegetarians should look for parmesan cheese made without rennet.
- Calories: 396
Keywords: alfredo, pasta, sauce