easy ricotta gnocchi

$2.58 recipe / $0.65

So, have you had gnocchi yet? No? Well, you better get on that.

Gnocchi are wonderful little chewy pasta pillows. They’re light, fluffy, slightly chewy, and completely satisfying. Totally nosh-tastic. And they go with anything. Top them with red sauce, cheese, pesto, or just a simple garlic butter. Gnocchi are definitely going on my “must have in the freezer at all times” list (instructions for freezing at the end of the post).

Oh, and did I mention how simple they are? There are variations made with potato but since mashing potatoes is one of my all-time least favorite activities, I went for the ricotta version. The dough comes together in a matter of minutes then you just roll it out, cut it and pop it into boiling water. Once in the water they take less than five minutes to cook. SERIOUSLY.

One more thing…. (there are just so many good things to say about these little guys) You can totally take this recipe in a thousand directions. This recipe is for the most basic, plain flavor. You can add parmesan cheese, garlic powder, nutmeg, or other herbs. You can make gnocchi in a thousand flavors! I know I’m going to. You can look forward to many many gnocchi recipes in Budget Bytes future.

The pricing below is just for the gnocchi themselves since there are so many ways to eat them. They are pictured after being sauteed in garlic butter and topped with just a bit of cheese and parsley. OMG, just talking about them makes me want another bowl.

Easy Ricotta Gnocchi

Simple Ricotta Gnocchi

4.3 from 4 reviews

easy ricotta gnocchi
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 (15 oz.) container ricotta cheese $1.99
  • 1 large egg $0.18
  • 1 tsp olive oil $0.04
  • approx. 2 cups all-purpose flour $0.29
  • ¾ tsp salt $0.05
  • 10 cranks fresh cracked pepper $0.03
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta cheese, olive oil, egg, salt, and freshly cracked pepper.
  2. Add the flour, ½ cup at a time, until it forms a soft sticky dough (about 1.5 cups)
  3. Begin boiling a large pot of water. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in about another ½ cup of flour or until the dough no longer sticks to your hands. The dough should still be very soft in texture.
  4. Divide the dough into six pieces. Roll each piece out into a rope about 1 inch thick. Cut the rope into 1 inch sections. If desired, roll each piece of dough on the back of a fork to give it a ridged texture.
  5. When the water is boiling vigorously, drop the dough pieces into the water. As the gnocchi boil they will begin to rise to the surface. Once all of them are floating on top, let them boil for about 30 seconds to one minute more to ensure thorough cooking. Drain in a colander.
  6. Top drained gnocchi with your favorite sauce or garlic butter, salt, and pepper. Enjoy!

 

simple ricotta gnocchi

Step By Step Photos

wet ingredientsStart with the ricotta, olive oil, egg, salt, and pepper in a bowl. I used part-skim ricotta but that’s completely up to you.

whisk togetherWhisk them together until it’s smooth…

add flourAdd the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until you have a soft dough. You’ll need to use a spoon rather than a whisk to add the flour. I added about 1.5 cups before I got the soft dough.

more flourTurn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in just enough flour to make the dough not stick to your hands. I kneaded in about another 1/2 cup. The dough will still be very soft.

shape pastaStart boiling the water at this point. Divide the dough into about 6 pieces and roll them into ropes about one inch wide. Cut the ropes into one inch sections. You can either boil the pasta as is at this point or you can roll it on the back of a fork for more texture.

roll on forkThis is what I mean by roll on the back of a fork. One side stays smooth and one side gets little ridges in it. Honestly, you can’t see the texture much after thy puff up during cooking so you can skip this if you want to, but this is the classic gnocchi shape.

boil gnocchiOnce the water is boiling furiously, add the gnocchi. They will cool the water down considerably so make sure you have the heat on high…

boil gnocchiAs they cook they’ll begin to float…

floating gnocchiAnd when they’re done they’ll all be floating! I let them boil for about 30 seconds more after they are all floating just to make sure they’re cooked through. I didn’t want a raw flour taste.

Drain the gnocchi in a colander and then top with your favorite sauce! Or…

butter and garlicMelt some butter with minced garlic in the still warm pot.

garlic butter gnocchiAdd the gnocchi and coat with the garlic butter. If you have a non-stick pan, you can turn the heat on and let the gnocchi get a little crispy on the edges. I tried to fry mine but they just stuck to the pot no matter how much oil I added… but they were still delicious.

cheese n parsleyTop with a little cheese and parsley. Mmmmmmmm.

red sauceOr top with your favorite red sauce… How did I live without gnocchi?!

To Freeze Your Gnocchi:

freeze gnocchiAfter shaping the gnocchi (and BEFORE boiling), place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and pop it in the freezer. After an hour in the freezer, transfer them to a zip lock bag and keep in the freezer ’till you’re ready to eat them. To prepare from frozen, simply drop the frozen gnocchi in boiling water and boil until they float.

76 Comments

  1. Brilliant! I need to try making these. I LOVE your blog. Thanks for yet another great idea!

  2. They look amazing! I’ve made the potato version, good but a lot of work. These look so easy!

  3. You made my week, possibly me whole year. My Italian grandma is always nudging me to make gnocchi for my husband (“It’s what wives are supposed to do,” she tells me). Now she’ll be happy and I’ll be happy that it won’t take me all day.

  4. Mmmmm I love gnocchi! Your pictures are making me crave that pillowy goodness!

  5. Melanie ;-) says:

    Love the Gnocchi!

    I usually do sweet potatoes in mine with ricotta and some potato flour(gluten free). Roasted sweet potatoes, so no real mashing required LOL. I love the ricotta in them, its jus a heavenly combination and adds a lightness that makes me want to eat waaaay more than I should.

    Yours sound fantastic, and aren’t they just they greatest little life changing bundles? Flavoured butters, rich sauces of the creamy, meaty or simple red variety! Just perfect.

    They do freeze wonderfully too. I love making them with a friend, makes the time pass faster when you get to the cutting rolling and ridging stage :-)

    Keep it up Beth, you are an inspiration to us!

  6. Looks AWESOME, Beth! Thanks for all the recipe inspirations – I made 3 of your recipes all last week! The baked oatmeal, taco chicken bowls, and INCREDIBLE yellow rice. YUM. I’m totally adding the gnocchi to my list for this week :)

  7. Your food blog is still my favourite food blog :-)

  8. Another thing to add to my (long) list of recipes I want to cook from this blog! I thought seriously about making potato gnocchi a while ago but never got around to it because of the effort (I did make spaetzle, though!). This looks so much easier.

  9. Can’t wait to make this tomorrow…also, ricotta gnocchi are called gnuddi.

  10. I am going to have to try these! I have only ever had the frozen ones from Trader Joe’s and I wasn’t sure what to think about them. Something tells me that homemade will be quite an improvement. Thanks for your post!

  11. ive been wanting to try making gnocchi for a fair while now but i love how easy and tasty your version looks so think this might well be the recipe i settle on for my first time! :) lovely!

  12. I’m making this tonight. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Made these tonight. Fried some fresh sage in garlic butter then tossed in the gnocchi. Absolutely divine.

  14. Anonymous says:

    i made these tonight! they were amazing!

  15. Awesome, Beth! You are so right, I need to get on this. Gnocchi has been on my list for so long… Thanks for the delicious reminder!

  16. I made these for dinner last night, wanted to surprise my girlfriend. She walks in while I’m scooping the Ricotta and says “You know I’m not really a fan of ricotta, right?” Well, I didn’t know that, but after she tried them, she absolutely loved them and was so surprised at how delicious they were. I’ve eaten potato gnocci before and these are every bit as fluffy and smooth as the potato ones. So simple, this is genius!!! Thank you for the amazing recipes, Beth!

  17. ahh this website is so yummy!!!
    <3

  18. These were very good. I have always made potato gnocchi before but had a container of ricotta to use up, so made these.

    Very easy to make. I never rolled them over the fork, never had enough time. And I usually make my gnocchi 1/2-inch diamter. Those were the only minor changes I made.

    I served them with osso buco…the sauce from the osso buco was a very nice accompaniment for the gnocchi.

    Oh, I never needed as much flour as the recipe called for. I live in Calgary, AB, Canada, and we have a very dry climate. Thus, our flour is very dry and it absorbs more liquid, hence not as much flour is needed.

  19. I absolutely cannot WAIT to make this!! I recently learned how to make homemade ricotta cheese and will be using it to make this gnocchi :)

  20. Do they puff up a lot after cooking? I just want to know so that I freeze the right portions because I plan to make a ton of this :)

  21. I made these the other night. The only thing I’d do differently is to cut the pieces smaller – I think I made them a bit too big. They do freeze well, also. Thanks!

  22. Mariah – They do puff up quite a bit while they’re in the water but after they drain they kind of deflate a bit. In the end they are still a bit fatter than when the dough is raw, though. They’re pretty filling too!

  23. Also: when I was boiling them in the water, I added asparagus, and then sauteed the gnocchi + asparagus with garlic and olive oil. It tasted fabulous.

  24. I was JUST researching pickling today… I’ll definitely have to try this recipe. Thanks!

  25. Carys says:

    These were so simple and really tasty! I love potato gnocchi but always found the idea of making them from scratch a bit daunting, so these are a great way for me to enjoy gnocchi! Thanks again for so many great recipes!

  26. Anonymous says:

    WOW… I could tell just by looking at the picture that they were handmade! YAY! Can’t wait to try this…

  27. Using ricotta is so much easier than potatoes! Great recipe!

  28. Carolyn says:

    Fantastic recipe. I’ve watched a lil old Tuscan woman make these before, but I didn’t have the recipe, so thank you. Just a few tips from Seraphina, the Tuscan gourmand:

    1. Drain the ricotta in a strainer lined with paper towels for an hours or two.

    2: Throw the dough in the fridge for 15-20 minutes, it makes it easier to slice.

  29. I just made this and it is so amazing! So filling but not filling like sometimes pasta does for me! It is amazing and I can’t wait to try it with red sauce and garlic butter sauce! I tried with a creamy red sauce! And so good! Thank you!

  30. Cass says:

    Yummmm made these for dinner tonight. They were so good, tasted pretty similar to potato based gnocchi but with a slight cheese taste. Heaps easier to make than potato based gnocchi too. I served them with some diced bacon & onion fried up.

  31. I just made this and it was DELICIOUS. I just tossed them with garlic butter and it tasted like delicious garlic breadsticks in pasta form. It was also SUPER easy and quick!

  32. Anonymous says:

    I hope this isn’t blasphemy for me to ask… but could I use cottage cheese instead of ricotta??? :)

  33. It’s not blasphemy :) I don’t think it will work, though… cottage cheese is separated into curds whereas ricotta is a confluent mixture. That being said, I’ve never tried it!

  34. To be honest, I’ve never liked any of the gnocchi I’ve had…until now. :-) These are so tasty! You’re also right about them being comforting. I wanted bowl after bowl.

  35. Anonymous says:

    So I have never had Gnocchi to be honest, but I love pasta! So I made these last night, and they turned out pretty well. But I have a question, are they supposed to taste pretty dough like or does that mean i added too much flour? They tasted more flour dough than I expected, but like I said… I never had Gnocchi before.

  36. Anon – maybe try adding a pinch more salt and boiling for one minute longer. A few people have had better luck with boiling just a bit longer and I think the amount of salt in the particular brand of ricotta makes a big difference as well.

  37. I have been a gnocchi fan for years now but never dared to try and make my own… till I saw this little gems on Pinterest. AMAZING doesn’t even being to describe these! I will NEVER buy gnocchi in the grocery store again! Even my 13yo gnocchi snob son LOVED these! Thanks so much for sharing!

  38. I tried these this past weekend. I made half the dough plain which were great. The other half I added some store bought pesto to the dough….these were AWESOME! As you said…there are so many possibilities!!!

  39. Ann Marie says:

    I’ve always loved gnocchi, but thought they would be too much work to make myself. This recipe was so easy and tasted amazing! Thank you!

  40. My neighbor just e-mailed me this link. Can’t wait to try it aaannndd, it looks like I’ll be visiting you blog again. I like!

  41. I made these last weekend with home made yoghurt cheese (home made yoghurt strained through cheesecloth for 6-12 hours), and they turned out great! I mixed some grated parmesan into the mix, added some garlic salt, and they were fantastic. They froze really well, and I had them tonight fried with bacon, and topped with more parmesan and a blorp of yoghurt. Delicious!

  42. Could I use a food processor?

  43. I haven’t tried making this with a food processor but I’d be a bit afraid of over working the dough… although I’ve made pie crusts in a food processor and they turned out great. I guess you just have to make sure to pulse it and not over do it. If it works out, please let me know!

  44. This has become a real favorite of mine – thanks!

  45. Anonymous says:

    I saw on another post that these were fluffy. I have never tried these before until now and mine were not fluffy at all. they were pretty dense. Did I do something wrong?

  46. I’ve only made them a couple of times, but have found that they are fluffiest just after boiling. They tend to get more dense as they cool and drain. If the dough gets over worked they will also be more dense and chewy. Gnocchi have an interesting texture, kind if between fluffy and chewy.

  47. Anonymous says:

    I did knead the dough a lot. I’ll be trying these again soon. Thanks!

  48. made these tonight and they tasted more like flour than anything else. i think i may have added too much at the end. we ended up throwing most of it out because it tasted so bad. is the dough going to still be sticky before you boil them? i felt like i had to keep adding flour to the dough because i didn’t want it sticking to my hands but i’m sure i went too far. not sure if i’ll try this one again because i failed so miserably at it.

  49. Hmm, nope, my dough wasn’t sticky. There aren’t many ingredients so I’m perplexed about why your dough seemed so wet. What size egg did you use? Maybe the difference between an extra large and large egg could be the culprit (I used a large egg)? Also, maybe try adding a touch more salt.

  50. Anonymous says:

    I substituted whole wheat flour and cake flour for the all- purpose. The wheat flour made them a darker color, of course. I had to work to get the fork tine marks on them. My dough was soft but I didn’t want to add too much flour. Taste was quite yummie. Definately will make again.

  51. Ashley P says:

    Hi Beth, I love gnocchi, so I’m really glad to have found this recipe. Do you know if I can substitute whole wheat flour in for the all-purpose flour?

  52. Ashley- I haven’t tried it with all WW flour, but in general subbing WW flour for AP flour causes some textural changes. They will probably be more dense and chewy.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Just made this tonight, it was so yummy! Thank you for sharing!

  54. I made this tonight with my 5yo’s help — SO yummy! And he ATE it! He’s almost never eats dinner. I added tomatoes and finely sliced spinach, and he picked out the tomatoes. ;)

  55. Anonymous says:

    Really great recipe, thanks! However, it took me a bit longer than 25 min to make these. (Maybe because it’s the 1st time I ever made it)?

  56. I was wondering if you could use part skim or even fat free ricotta?

  57. Part skim would probably work okay, but I’m guessing that fat free would just change the texture of the gnocchi too much. …although I’ve never actually tried it! :)

  58. Anonymous says:

    how long can these last in the freezer? sorry my anal self likes to label all freezer stuff with an expiration date :D

    -Sara

  59. Mine never last more than a month, but I’m guessing probably 2-3 months :)

  60. Anonymous says:

    I’ve made potato gnocci many times, but this was my first time making ricotta gnocci. We LOVED it. I had some ricotta I’d used for something else that had been seasoned with parsley, garlic and a bit of lemon zest. That made the gnocci really flavorful. We tossed the finished gnocci with carmelized balsamic onions, topped with a drizzle of olive oil and parmesan. They were even amazing reheated the following day~still light. Thanks for a great recipe!

  61. Anonymous says:

    made these tonight. very easy and tasted good. i ate them with a red sauce, parmesan and crushed red pepper. thank you!!

  62. Tried this recipe today. Didn’t have ricotta so I used cottage cheese. Yes it changed the texture and was a bit tricky to roll out but oh so yummy! Thanks for this great recipe!

  63. Anonymous says:

    Made my own ricotta cheese instead of store bought, loved adding herbs & cheese! Great recipe!

  64. I just found your blog and I am so excited. I was having a really rough day yesterday and I needed something good… I have loved gnocchi forever but have always thought they were too complicated to make. I have seen numerous recipes but never felt brave enough. Thank you, thank you for posting this recipe and for making me feel like I could do it. I made these and they were just the best! Seriously, they came together so nicely and were the best part of my day. I will definitely be making them again.

    So happy to have found your blog and I can’t wait to try more recipes. Thank you :-)

  65. Anonymous says:

    i’ve know about your blog now for a while and i must say i love it!
    i acctually just made the dough and im going to be eating them a little later. thanks so much!
    :3

  66. Anonymous says:

    i just made these for dinner and they were SO GOOD!!!! thanks so much…i put them in chicken broth then added some leftover chicken and a little cream….it ended up SO good and delisious!
    THANKS SO MUCH
    ~Alexandra

  67. I made the gnocchi last night (fantastic by the way) and I couldn’t help but think that there is a way to make this into a dessert. Maybe instead of adding salt you add sugar, fry it like a doughnut, and drizzle it with frosting or sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.
    My husband also thought maybe to add some sausage and sauteed bell peppers to gnocchi. But he is sausage man!
    Well, I don’t know, your the genius!

  68. Malorie says:

    Made these tonight, was able to get them crispy in the pan, YUM!

    I might use sauce next time, they were a little drier than I thought they would be.

  69. Ella says:

    Tried this recipe out today. It was delicious! However I had some problems getting the dough to stop sticking to my hands. I had to add way more flour than you called for. Probably about 3 cups. Why would it take so much more? Will that effect the flavor?

    • The reason you may have needed more flour could have been something as simple like the ricotta you used may have had a higher moisture content than my ricotta. They can be quite different from brand to brand :) It may have made the flavor a little more “floury”, but as long as you thought it was delicious, it’s all good! :)

  70. Alana says:

    This recipe is AWESOME! It was good with the red sauce, but over the top sauteed in garlic butter. I love that it doesn’t take forever to make. Oh, and it’s toddler approved as well!

  71. Makenzie says:

    I’ve made this dozens of times because it’s seriously the best gnocchi I’ve ever tasted. Today I made it from frozen and it was still amazing. I was actually too lazy to form the pieces when I made the dough so I just microwaved the ball of frozen dough for 20 seconds and formed it then. Just as good as fresh.

  72. Kara says:

    Success! I tried to make potato gnocchi once years ago and failed miserably, so I swore never again. Your recipe made me give them another shot. I used yogurt cheese since I made yogurt on Sunday, and served them in browned butter with garlic. Delicious! I doubled the recipe so will have some in the freezer. Lovely future meal. Thanks!

    • Kara says:

      Btw, I meant to rate these higher (more stars) but made an error on my phone’s small screen).

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