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
  • 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
  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.


  1. stacey says:

    1st try didn’t turn out great but do not think it is the recipes fault. will have to try again.

  2. sally says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I made a big dish of lasagna and had some leftover ricotta. This recipe should be perfect for the amount of ricotta I have leftover:)

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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! :)

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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 :-)

  12. Anonymous says:

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

  13. 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!

  14. Anonymous says:

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

  15. 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!

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

  17. 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


  18. 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! :)

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

  20. 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)?

  21. 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. ;)

  22. Anonymous says:

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

  23. 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.

  24. 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?

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