Easy Ricotta Gnocchi

$2.58 recipe / $0.65
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.83 from 17 votes
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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

Close up of Easy Ricotta Gnocchi in bowl

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Easy Ricotta Gnocchi

4.83 from 17 votes
These soft, pillowy ricotta gnocchi are easier than you'd expect. They're fast and delicious, making them the perfect weeknight meal.
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Servings 4
Prep 20 mins
Cook 5 mins
Total 25 mins

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)
  • 3/4 tsp salt ($0.05)
  • 10 cranks fresh cracked pepper ($0.03)

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta cheese, olive oil, egg, salt, and freshly cracked pepper.
  • Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until it forms a soft sticky dough (about 1.5 cups)
  • Begin boiling a large pot of water. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in about another 1/2 cup of flour or until the dough no longer sticks to your hands. The dough should still be very soft in texture.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Top drained gnocchi with your favorite sauce or garlic butter, salt, and pepper. Enjoy!

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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 422.85kcalCarbohydrates: 55.13gProtein: 16.3gFat: 14.68gSodium: 631.58mgFiber: 1.7g
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Top view of simple ricotta gnocchi

Step By Step Photos

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

whisked ingredients in mixing bowl with whisk
Whisk them together until it’s smooth…

flour added to wet ingredients in mixing bowl
Add 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.

dough ball on floured surface
Turn 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.

Dough ball being shaped into gnocchi
Start 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.

gnocchi being scored with fork
This 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.

gnocchi added to pot of boiling water
Once the water is boiling furiously, add the gnocchi. They will cool the water down considerably so make sure you have the heat on high…

boiling gnocchi, beginning to float to top
As they cook they’ll begin to float…

floating gnocchi in pot of water
And 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 garlic in skillet
Melt some butter with minced garlic in the still warm pot.

gnocchi added to butter and garlic in skillet
Add 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.

finished gnocchi in bowl topped with cheese and parsley
Top with a little cheese and parsley. Mmmmmmmm.

close up of a fork of gnocchi with red sauce
Or top with your favorite red sauce… How did I live without gnocchi?!

To Freeze Your Gnocchi:

gnocchi placed on baking sheet lined with parchment paper ready to freeze
After 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.

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Comments

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  1. I just made these and I totally think they are better than potato gnocchi now. Also, fun fact, technically this is called “gnudi”.

  2. This was a fun way for me to switch up our weeknight meals and my first attempt ever making gnocchi. I made it as written and then used a brown butter and sage sauce. Will be making again.

  3. Hi! Love all of your recipes!

    Would it be possible to substitute whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour?

    1. Whole wheat is much more dense and will make them tougher. With this recipe we suggest sticking to all purpose.

  4. Your not kidding when you say “easy”!
    This recipe was super easy and quick , they turned out delicious! 

    1. We haven’t tried it with ricotta. You could certainly give it a try but it will have a stronger taste.

    1. I haven’t tried that, but my first guess would be that it wouldn’t work the same because they are too different in texture and moisture content.

      1. You could experiment with using cottage cheese you put through a blender- I have substituted that for ricotta in other lasagna and baked goods recipes. But I have no idea really!

  5. To make this keto friendly, can almond or coconut flour be substituted in the Sam portion as AP flour?

    1. Unfortunately that’s really hard to predict. Almond and coconut flour have very different properties than wheat flour, so it will likely change the texture quite a bit and I don’t know that they gnocchi will hold together well.

  6. Hi, I am thinking of making these, and wanted to ask what the metric equivalent of 1 15 oz ricotta is? Is it 1 cup and 15 oz? The measures I am getting online are really varied, and just wanted to ask to make sure.

    Thank you! Looking forward to trying more of your recipes!

    1. I’m sorry about the confusion. It’s one 15oz. container of ricotta, not one cup and 15oz. :) And I believe that for ricotta they are using weight ounces, not fluid ounces.