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Light, pillowy gnocchi – what’s not to love about these little potato dumplings? With a tender texture and subtle flavor, they are the perfect blank canvas for absorbing any sauce you pair them with. Making gnocchi from scratch at home is easier than you might think. The process is straightforward and hands-on time is less than an hour from start to finish.
Homemade gnocchi has a melt-in-your-mouth quality that puts store-bought versions to shame. Potatoes lend a creamy base, while egg and flour bind everything together when the dough is kneaded. Once shaped, the dumplings can be cooked right away or frozen for later. Served with a simple brown butter sage sauce or cheesy baked gnocchi gratin, this is comfort food at its finest!
Why You’ll Love Homemade Potato Gnocchi
- It’s surprisingly easy to make from pantry staples.
- Much lighter and more tender than dense store-bought gnocchi.
- Boil right away or freeze for quick meals later.
- Endlessly versatile – pair with any pasta sauce you love.
- Cooks in just 2-3 minutes, great for fast dinners.
- Delicious topped with brown butter sage sauce or pesto.
- Can be baked into a cheesy, crispy gnocchi gratin.
- Made completely gluten free by using GF oat or rice flour.
Tips for Potato Gnocchi Success
- Use starchy russet potatoes for the right texture.
- Make sure potatoes are fully cooled before mixing dough.
- Add flour gradually to avoid making the dough too dry.
- Gently knead just until the dough comes together.
- Boil gnocchi in small batches to avoid crowding the pot.
- Cook in rapidly boiling water and stir initially to prevent sticking.
- Freeze formed gnocchi in a single layer on sheet trays before storing in bags.
- Toss cooked gnocchi with sauce to coat, instead of pouring sauce on top.
Key Ingredients for Fabulous Homemade Gnocchi
The foundation of great gnocchi is fluffy, tender potatoes. Russets are high in starch, which helps bind the dough together. Avoid waxy potatoes that would make the gnocchi gluey. Be sure to rice the cooked potatoes while still hot for the best texture.
After potatoes, flour is the main component of gnocchi dough. All-purpose flour strikes the right balance of gluten structure without making the dough tough. For softer gnocchi, substitute up to half the flour with semolina. For gluten free, use GF oat or rice flour.
An egg lightly binds the potatoes and flour together. Just one egg makes a big difference in creating a cohesive, workable dough. The hint of richness from the egg yolk also boosts flavor.
How to Make Homemade Potato Gnocchi
Cook and Rice Potatoes
- Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
- Drain and let steam dry for 5 minutes. Peel while hot and rice into a bowl.
Make the Dough
- Stir flour and salt into potatoes until combined. Make a well and add the egg.
- Gently knead just until a soft dough forms, adding flour as needed.
Shape into Gnocchi
- On a floured surface, divide dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a long 3/4 inch thick rope.
- Cut ropes into 3/4 inch long pillow-shaped dumplings using a knife or bench scraper.
Cook the Gnocchi
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add gnocchi in small batches and stir gently at first to prevent sticking.
- Cook 2-3 minutes until gnocchi float to the top. Remove immediately with a slotted spoon.
Delicious Ways to Serve Gnocchi
- Classic tomato sauce – top with homemade marinara or meat sauce
- Pesto – basil, sun-dried tomato or other flavors
- Brown butter and sage – simple and incredibly tasty
- Cheesy baked gratin – for a crispy, melted cheese topping
- Sausage and peppers – spicy sausage, onion, bell pepper
- Creamy mushroom sauce – earthy flavor complement
- Chicken and spinach – protein packed and delicious
- Gorgonzola cream sauce – rich pairing with tangy cheese
- Russet, yellow or red potatoes instead of Yukon Gold
- All-purpose, bread, semolina or GF flour for the flour
- Extra egg yolk instead of whole egg
- Nutmeg, garlic powder or Parmesan for seasoning
- Spinach, sun-dried tomato or herbs added to dough
- Beet, carrot or squash puree swapped for some potatoes
FAQs About Making Potato Gnocchi
How do I make gnocchi pillow-shaped?
Cut rolled ropes into short 3/4 inch pieces. Use your finger or the tines of a fork to press indentations on each side while shaping.
Can I freeze uncooked gnocchi?
Yes! Place in a single layer on sheet pans and freeze until firm. Transfer to freezer bags. Boil frozen gnocchi directly in water.
How long does gnocchi last in the fridge or freezer?
Fresh gnocchi keeps 3-4 days refrigerated. Frozen gnocchi lasts 2-3 months at 0°F.
What sauce pairs best with gnocchi?
Simple butter or olive oil sauces work well. Tomatoes, cream, cheese, mushrooms and herbs are all tasty. The flavorful dough absorbs any sauce nicely.
How do I prevent gnocchi from sticking together?
Boil in small batches, keep water at a rolling boil, and stir very gently at first to prevent sticking. Cool on floured trays after cooking.
Homemade Potato Gnocchi
- Large pot for boiling potatoes and cooking gnocchi
- Mixing bowl for dough ingredients
- Wooden spoon or rubber spatula for mixing
- Fork for ricing hot potatoes if no ricer
- Rolling pin and flour for shaping dough
- Knife or bench scraper for cutting gnocchi
- 2 lbs russet potatoes about 3 medium
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for shaping
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- Simmer potatoes in salted water until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and let steam dry for 5 minutes. Peel.
- Rice potatoes into a bowl while still hot. Let cool completely.
- Stir flour and salt into potatoes until combined. Make a well and add egg. Mix until a dough forms, adding flour as needed.
- On a floured surface, divide dough into 4 pieces. Gently roll each into a 3/4 inch thick rope.
- Cut ropes into 3/4 inch pillow-shaped dumplings using a knife or bench scraper.
- In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Working in batches, add gnocchi and stir gently to prevent sticking. Cook 2-3 minutes until gnocchi float to the top.
- Remove cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon to a lightly floured tray to prevent sticking. Cool and serve with your favorite sauce. Enjoy!