Baked Gnocchi with Sausage and Spinach // Video
Tender Baked Gnocchi in a savory cream sauce with spicy sausage and spinach, comforting and hearty. This gnocchi pasta recipe is cooked in one skillet for easy clean up….what’s more comforting than that?
Originally published October 2014 and updated January 2020.
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Have you ever had gnocchi? If I were Giada, I would describe these as “little pillows in my mouth”. But I’m not Giada so I won’t even dare say that. But, Giada, I love you. I really, really do…I just don’t want to eat a pillow.
What I do want to eat is a soft, little ball of creamy mashed potato. That’s what these remind me of. Definitely not a pillow. It looks like a little pillow but it’s potato and they’re mouthwatering.
BAKED GNOCCHI WITH SAUSAGE AND SPINACH
Gnocchi are a type of pasta made of flour, potato and egg. They can be a little fussy to make from scratch so this recipe calls for store bought gnocchi. Gnocchi can be a little bland tasting but, done well, gnocchi can be pillowy, light and heavenly with a melt in your mouth texture that’s downright addicting.
Gnocchi is pronounced “nyawk-kee” if you want to be Italian; nok-ee or noh-kee if you’re American. I say “nyolk-ee” so I don’t know where I’m from.
This easy gnocchi bake is simple to make and totally amazing. You don’t even need to cook the gnocchi in advance as they cook right in the creamy sauce while it bakes.
HOW TO MAKE BAKED GNOCCHI
First, you’ll need to brown the sausage and make the sauce before combining everything together in one skillet.
Then, the gnocchi are bathed in a rich cream sauce that’s comes together in just a few minutes. Next, it’s baked in the oven until everything is bubbling and happy. Seriously happy. When you look in the oven and see the golden brown topping bubbling away….it will make you smile. It made me smile….but I had a glass of wine in my hand so I may be a little biased as to why I was happy.
You’re going to make the whole recipe in one skillet (I love this cast iron skillet, I use it for EVERYTHING). You will only have one skillet (and a bowl) to clean when this is all over. You will send me a thank you email telling me how wonderful I am for creating such a recipe because this is new technology here. It’s not. I know….but most of the time I have 37 pots to clean when I’m done dinner so when I hit a one-pot meal out of the park…I give myself a huge pat on the back.
I used spicy sausage in my recipe….even though this spicy sausage was not spicy at all. It just adds a little bit of a tingly background note to the dish without being spicy and making you sweat while you eat.
If you want to use a mild sausage, you certainly can switch it out. That would be super tasty as well. It’s your meal. Make it what you want.
I also used low fat milk for the sauce but if you want it a bit richer without adding heavy cream, I sometimes use Half and Half in place of the milk.
WHAT TO EAT WITH BAKED GNOCCHI
Because this gnocchi is on the rich side, I like to serve it alongside a fresh green salad like this Loaded Iceberg Wedge or with a big pile of green beans. Sometimes we like to mix in leftover peas if we have some lying around.
My family loved this so much….there may have been a bit of a brawl over the leftovers. Or I may be exaggerating.
I know there was disappointment the next day when Katie took the leftovers to school and someone was looking for them at lunchtime. Life is tough. I know. I ended up whipping up this Baked Bolognese Gnocchi Skillet just to keep the peace.
If you’re looking for a few more Baked Pasta recipes, we also are loving this easy Baked Ziti recipe….it’s freezer friendly and perfect for potlucks. This Chicken Tetrazzini is also a crowd pleaser as is this Easy Cheesy Tortellini al Forno.
This Slow Cooker Baked Ziti is great for busy weeknights, too.
Baked Sausage, Spinach and Gnocchi Skillet
This one pot Gnocchi Skillet is a family friendly meal even the kids rave about!
- 8 ounces spicy italian sausage casings removed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large vidalia onion diced
- 8 ounces white mushrooms sliced (about 4 cups)
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups 2% milk
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 17 .5- ounce package potato gnocchi I used DeLallo
- 1 cup loosely packed baby spinach
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
Preheat oven to 425˚ F. Heat the olive oil in a deep ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned, transfer to a large bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in the skillet and add the onions and mushrooms, cooking until softened and the mushrooms start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Transfer the onion mixture to the bowl with the sausage with a spoon and set aside.
- Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat, add the flour and cook, whisking, approximately 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk and chicken broth until smooth. Bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking constantly and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon salt and the nutmeg.
- Add the sausage, onion, mushrooms, gnocchi and spinach to the sauce and stir until coated and the spinach wilts. Stir in 1/2 the parmesan cheese and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until bubbling and golden, approximately 20 minutes.
- Serve immediately.