Spinach Pan Fried Gnocchi

Easy to make and tossed in a creamy mascarpone sauce, this Spinach Pan Fried Gnocchi recipe will be your new favorite dinner recipe!

overhead of pan fried gnocchi in a skillet


Gnocchi Recipes

The other day I realized that I have no gnocchi recipes on the site. Like zero. Which is odd because it is one of my favorite types of pasta.

I tried a recipe similar to this recently where the gnocchi was pan fried and I am not sure I’ll cook it any other way moving forward. There is literally no reason whatsoever to boil gnocchi. Seriously.

gnocchi with spinach and tomatoes

This recipe creates a gentle crust on the outside with a chewy middle. Tossed is mascarpone, lemon and parmesan cheese, it also boosts fresh spinach and sundried tomatoes. Best part? It all comes together in less than 15 minutes from prep to plate.

Pan Fried Gnocchi Pasta

Gnocchi is considered to be a pasta, but due to its bundle-like shape, some folks don’t realize that and put it in a category all its own. Pronounced ˈnäkē, it is probably one of the most mispronounced foods out there only compared to Worcestershire sauce.

wooden spoon with creamy gnocchi

In reality, gnocchi is a dumpling made from flour and historically, potatoes, which is why the most common form is potato gnocchi. You might also find them made with ricotta cheese, cauliflower, squash, sweet potatoes and even pumpkin.

Making homemade gnocchi is pretty easy, but also time consuming to roll out all of those little dumplings by hand, so I typically get store bought. I like the air locked packages in the pasta aisle.

gnocchi side dish
Pictured with Caprese Chicken

They are shelf stable and still soft and fresh, not dried. Fresh gnocchi are also a good option, but can cost a lot more and if your family eats as much as mine, you’ll need 2-3 packages to feed them all.

How to Cook Gnocchi

One of the biggest issues with gnocchi is cooking it. Because it is a pasta, most folks want to boil it and that is perfectly acceptable.

how to pan fry gnocchi

However, it only needs a quick dunk in hot water (if fresh). Any longer and those pillowy little nuggets turn into a soggy mess. You can also bake it, like gnocchi sorrentina, or pan fry, like this recipe.

Pan frying gnocchi might be the only way I prepare them from now on. It is quick and relatively foolproof. They get a little crust on the outside while the interior is chewy and toothy.

Just toss it in sauce and spinach and you are good to go.

gnocchi with spinach in a frying pan

Gnocchi Sauce

Pan fried gnocchi can be served with many different sauces, although the most popular are marinara, bolognese and pesto. Even though the pasta is fairly heavy, it does complement other heavy sauces. I’ve even seen it made with carbonara, but knowing how carbonara is made, this doesn’t seem quite right.

fried gnocchi recipe

For this recipe, we just use mascarpone whisked with water and lemon to create a simple cheese sauce. Top with parmesan cheese and you’ve got dinner.

I like this pan fried gnocchi with just spinach and sundried tomatoes, but you can top it off with cooked shrimp, grilled chicken or even seared scallops.

gnocchi with tomatoes and spinach for pinterest

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gnocchi recipe for pinterest
skillet of gnocchi in a cream sauce

Spinach Pan Fried Gnocchi

4.78 from 9 votes
Easy to make and tossed in a creamy mascarpone sauce, this Spinach Pan Fried Gnocchi recipe will be your new favorite dinner recipe!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6



  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.
  • Add gnocchi, tossing to brown on all sides for about 5 minutes.
    pan fried gnocchi
  • In a small bowl, whisk mascarpone with zest from one lemon and fresh lemon juice from one lemon, 1/2 cup water, Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.
  • When gnocchi is mostly lightly browned, add 1/2 fresh spinach. Use tongs to toss with gnocchi until it fully wilts. Add remaining spinach until wilted, then garlic, cooking 1 minute longer. Reduce heat to low.
    spinach with gnocchi
  • Toss gnocchi and spinach with mascarpone sauce until smooth and creamy.
  • Add drained and blotted sundried tomatoes and top with Parmesan cheese.
  • Serve immediately and make sure to come back to let us know how it was in the comments or ratings!


*I like to use oil packed sun dried tomatoes because they stay the most tender. You can use them out of a pouch too to skip this step. Make sure you drain them well and then blot with a paper towel so there is isn’t excess oil.


Calories: 567 kcal, Carbohydrates: 75 g, Protein: 16 g, Fat: 25 g, Saturated Fat: 13 g, Cholesterol: 41 mg, Sodium: 1068 mg, Potassium: 1452 mg, Fiber: 9 g, Sugar: 15 g, Vitamin A: 3107 IU, Vitamin C: 31 mg, Calcium: 202 mg, Iron: 9 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 567
Course: Main Course, Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: gnocchi recipe, how to cook gnocchi, pan fried gnocchi
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!

Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

4.78 from 9 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 3 stars
    Way too much lemon! Gnocchi fry better in butter. I would half the lemon juice, fry in butter, and use cream instead of marscapone.

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious – We enjoyed this for dinner and the flavours were amazing, and it was a simple to prepare dish!

  3. 5 stars
    What a delicious way to enjoy gnocchi! Such a satisfying meal. I loved the addition mascarpone cheese and sun-dried tomatoes!

  4. 5 stars
    That mascarpone sauce sounds right up my alley and gnocchi is my favorite comfort food ever! Can’t wait to try it!