This creamy pesto gnocchi is filled with all the delicious things that summer has to offer; fresh zucchini, pungent shallot, spinach, herbaceous pesto - and of course the gnocchi! Almost the best of all - this beauty only takes you 10 minutes to make.
And for the fall equivalent - which takes a little bit more time as you make the gnocchi from scratch - is this pumpkin gnocchi with fried sage. Both are so delicious in their own way!
Why you’ll love this recipe
You will love this zucchini pesto gnocchi because
- It has all the delicious summer flavors
- which only takes 10 minutes to make
- It can be a one-pan dish
- The gnocchi makes this dish very comforting
- while the vegetarian keeps it light and summery
- herbaceous pesto makes it easy to get a lot of flavor with one ingredient
While you can make the gnocchi and pesto from scratch, you don't have to. In the summer I like to keep things easy, as it can be sweltering in the kitchen at that time.
- Gnocchi - store-bought or homemade, you decide
- Zucchini - the perfect summer vegetable!
- Shallot - to bring a delicate umami to the dish
- Frozen peas - I prefer frozen as they are easier to avoid getting mushy
- Spinach - for added nutrients and of course it's yummy
- Pesto - lots of flavor in one little jar. Store-bought or homemade, both are fine.
- Pistachios - or pine nuts
- Fresh parsley - never too many herbs!
- Lemon zest and juice - for a pop of freshness
Cook gnocchi according to package instructions. Meanwhile, continue with the rest.
Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the shallot and cook for 2 minutes (1) before adding the zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (2), cook for another 1-2 minutes or until zucchini has softened (3).
Add in the peas, spinach, and pesto (4).
If not already roasted - in a small non-stick pan, dry roast pistachios/pine nuts until fragrant. About 2-3 minutes.
Add the gnocchi to the vegetables and stir to combine.
Bonus: If you want to pan-fry the gnocchi a little, make sure you cook them for 30 seconds to 1 minute less than the instructions.
Increase the heat on the skillet and either take out the vegetables or shove them to the side if you're feeling lazy. Cook gnocchi undisturbed for 1 minute, then turn them and cook for another 30 seconds (5). Combine with the vegetables.
Top with roasted pistachios, fresh parsley, lemon zest, and a splash of lemon juice (6). Enjoy!
Cooked gnocchi are best served right away, but you can store this creamy pesto gnocchi in the fridge for 2 days or in the freezer for 3 months.
Transfer to an airtight container. To re-heat from the refrigerator, reheat your gnocchi on the stovetop. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat some oil or butter over medium heat.
Add the gnocchi after reducing the heat to a medium-low. Add 1-2 teaspoons of water to the sauce. Stir continuously while cooking the gnocchi for 2-4 minutes. After that, serve and enjoy!
If the pesto gnocchi is frozen, reheat it directly from frozen. Do as above, but add a lid to it so that the gnocchi thaws. Cook until warmed through.
Can you reheat gnocchi?
Yes, you can! I prefer to reheat on the stovetop. You may need to add a splash of water to redistribute the sauce. If frozen, add a lid. Read under the heading 'Storage' for more tips.
Is gnocchi pasta or not?
It tastes and feels like pasta in many different ways, but gnocchi is usually made with potatoes (if it's not pumpkin gnocchi), semolina or plain flour, and pasta is made with 'only' flour. Both usually have eggs.
And they have the same purpose in a dish, so I say yes, it's a type of pasta.
Is potato gnocchi healthier than pasta?
Regular pasta is more carb-heavy than potato gnocchi. Pasta has about twice as many carbs per serving (but gnocchi has more sodium). Potatoes in general also have more nutrients.
Is gnocchi fried or boiled?
You can do both. Store-bought gnocchi is a bit more sturdy than homemade gnocchi, so you can more easily fry them on the stovetop.
You can under-boil the gnocchi for about 30 seconds or 1 minute and then add to a skillet to finish off as I've done in this recipe. You can also only boil, or only fry.
Only boil: follow package or recipe instructions.
Only fry: fry like you would in the mixed-version, but it takes considerably longer. Around 15 minutes.
I love to at least fry a little, as the gnocchi gets a nice charred, golden crust. Perfect.
According to Cambridge University, gnocchi is pronounced /ˈnjɑː.ki/ or no-kee in US English. Don't have to make more of a fuss about it!
For a new version of this dish, try using sun-dried tomato pesto instead. It will quickly transform into a different dish. Instead of zucchini, use halved, fresh cherry tomatoes. Instead of parsley and pistachios, try basil and pine nuts.
Not many alterations are needed in order to make a completely different dish. Both creamy pesto gnocchi dishes are so delicious!
Did you like this recipe? Here are more quick summer dishes I think you’d love:
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