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Creamy Pesto Gnocchi Recipe

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Comforting creamy pesto gnocchi ready in less than 10 minutes. What else could you wish for when it comes to fast and delicious cooking!

This gnocchi with pesto recipe is probably the quickest dish I can think of. OK, eating bread with cheese goes even faster, but this is actually cooking. An incredibly aromatic and tasty dish for any busy day of the week.

And if you love gnocchi as much as we do, you could try the Gnocchi Gorgonzola as well.

gnocchi with pesto and cream in a small white bowl.

Why love this pesto gnocchi recipe?

  • So delicious! Comforting, soft yet slightly crispy fried gnocchi, coated in a flavorful, creamy pesto and cream sauce.
  • Family-friendly: everybody will love this dish. Even kids who might not be much into green stuff will love this milder, creamier version of it.
  • Good value: you will only need four ingredients.
  • Quick: ready in less than 10 minutes.
  • Easy: fry the dumplings in butter for a few minutes and stir with the other ingredients.

collage of two pictures of a bowl of potato dumplings with a jar of pesto and a glass of water beside it.

What will you need?

  • Gnocchi:
    • I prefer those sold in the refrigerator section of the supermarket.
    • Frozen are fine as well, and there is no need to defrost them. Instead, separate them if they stick together and fry them until deeply golden and slightly crispy on the outside. Add 1-2 minutes of cooking time if necessary.
    • I don’t recommend dried ones. If you must use them, cook them first, let them dry slightly, and then fry them. However, I don’t find them very tasty; they are often mealy and stodgy.
  • Pesto:
    • Any kind you like. Regular basil is fantastic but take any other type you have and love. Either homemade or bought, anything goes. I also love this recipe with mint or sage pesto, homemade; of course, I’ve never seen such “exotic” varieties sold anywhere. If you like pesto so much you could try our Pesto Ricotta Pasta.
  • Heavy cream
  • Butter: one tablespoon for frying the potato dumplings.

bowl of uncooked gnocchi, butter, pesto, parmesan on the table.

How to make gnocchi with pesto?

Fry gnocchi:

  1. Heat a large nonstick pan or large cast-iron skillet on high heat.
  2. Let the butter melt and foam shortly.
  3. Pan-fry the potato dumplings gently on medium-low heat, stirring a few times in between, to make sure that they get golden and crispy on both sides.
  4. They should be firm and crispy on the outside and fluffy and soft on the inside. Don’t overcook them, or they will not be fluffy anymore.

collage of two pictures of frying gnocchi in a pan.

Make sauce:

  1. While the dumplings are on the stove, mix pesto and cream. Use about 3-4 tablespoons pesto to taste.


  1. Pour the sauce over the fried dumplings and mix gently but thoroughly. Check for salt, but you will probably not need any; pesto is usually quite flavorful. Add only a little salt if you find it necessary.

close up lots of small fried gnocchi sprinkled with parmesan.

How can I play with the recipe?

  • Fry some bacon cubes together with the gnocchi.
  • Use sun-dried tomato pesto instead of the green one.
  • Add some blanched peas.
  • Or some cooked green beans. Think about the popular Ligurian pasta dish, which combines potatoes, green beans, and pesto. The potato dumplings will stand-in for the regular potatoes, and I can assure you that the combo is so good. And faster to cook than the original, as you will not need to peel and cook the potatoes.
  • Replace cream with cream cheese, ricotta, or mascarpone. In this case, the sauce will be too thick. Add some milk to make it thinner.
  • Sprinkle the dish with Parmesan before serving.

potato dumplings with creamy green sauce in a cast iron pan with a spoon in it.

How many servings?

The pesto gnocchi will serve two as a main dish and four as a starter.

What to serve with pesto cream gnocchi?

  • A simple green salad with vinaigrette
  • Air fryer asparagus
  • Green beans (as mentioned above, I love the combination of potatoes, green beans, and pesto)
  • Sauteed vegetables like kale, broccoli, mushrooms.

bowl with herbed potato dumplings and a jar of pesto on the table.

What about leftovers?

The dish is best served immediately. However, leftovers will keep 1-2 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Then, they can be enjoyed straight from the refrigerator or reheated. If serving cold, let them come to room temperature for about 10 minutes and stir them briefly before serving. It will be like eating a delicious noodle salad.

You can reheat the leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add a small splash of milk and stir when reheating.

More Italian dishes:

close up of fried potato dumplings with green sauce and parmesan.
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overhead shot of pesto gnocchi in a small bowl with a fork sticking in them.

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi Recipe

Creamy and flavorful pesto gnocchi ready to be served in less than 10 minutes. This might be one of the fastest recipes I know.
5 from 3 votes
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Course: Main Course, Pasta Recipes
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 638kcal
Author: Adina


  • cast-iron skillet or nonstick pan


  • 1 bag of gnocchi about 500-600 g/ 1.1-1.2 lbs. (Note 1)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 3-4 tablespoons pesto (Note 2)
  • Parmesan optional


  • Fry gnocchi: Heat a large nonstick pan or cast-iron skillet on high heat. Let butter foam shortly. Fry dumplings on medium-low heat, stirring a few times in between, until golden and crispy on both sides. They should remain fluffy on the inside, don’t overcook them.
  • Mix heavy cream and pesto.
  • Finish: Pour sauce over gnocchi in the pan and stir gently to coat the dumplings with the sauce. Add a pinch of salt if necessary. Sprinkle with Parmesan if desired. Serve immediately.


  1. Either refrigerated, frozen, or vacuum-packed. Not dried ones.
  2. Your favorite sort, either homemade or bought.


Calories: 638kcal | Carbohydrates: 100g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 1155mg | Potassium: 33mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 916IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 10mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @thefastrecipe or tag #thefastrecipe!

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