This creamy potato gnocchi skillet recipe is a weeknight favorite for me, and is a perfect comfort food. It is ready in just 30 minutes and doesn’t require a ton of prep work, making it a great meal choice for those nights when there is homework to be done, sports to be practiced, and little time to be spent at the stovetop. It uses store bought gnocchi, so there is not a lot of room to mess it up, either! Plus, this is a one pan meal, so you get to skip the dishes when preparing this weeknight dinner meal!
If your family is anything like mine, they love pasta! It is always nice when I can switch up the type of pasta I serve to include different textures, ingredients, or sauces. This dish has spinach, bacon and cheese to complement the potato pasta. The flavors are dreamy, and it is a bit more filling than your average pasta!
Why You'll Love This Gnocchi Skillet
- Faux Fancy – This meal looks and tastes like something you might order at a fancy restaurant, but it is actually quite simple. I love finding ways to make easy foods feel special, whether for an occasion, or just Wednesday night dinner with the family.
- Freezer Friendly – You can prepare your gnocchi skillet and portion and freeze it for workday lunches, or nights when you know you won’t have time to cook. If you know a mama-to-be, you can prepare her a batch and freeze it for her to enjoy during those first hectic weeks with baby.
Ingredients For Potato Gnocchi Recipe
- Bacon – A little bacon grease goes a long way when it comes to flavor. This recipe begins with 4 slices of diced bacon to create a smoky bottom note.
- Garlic – Garlic is the star of the sauce in this dish, so go for fresh, minced garlic. Dried or powdered garlic won’t give the sauce the same punch of flavor.
- Shallot – The shallot is like the sweeter, more delicate tasting cousin of the onion. I like that this recipe utilizes shallots and chives because they bring the element of onion without being onion. Some picky eaters, especially kids, won’t even try a dish if they see or smell onion. Shallot sneaks by and pleases everyone!
- Gnocchi – You need 1 pound of prepackaged gnocchi. You can absolutely make your own if you prefer. In this case, you will want to keep an eye on the cooking times so that you don’t overcook it. Personally, I think that dried gnocchi works just as well and takes less than half the time.
- Chives – Dried chives add a delightfully subtle earthy pungency to the dish. If you prefer to use fresh chives, simply add them in when you add your spinach and cheese, instead of in the earlier step.
- Salt and Pepper – Just the bare necessities!
- Half & Half – This sauce is part broth, part half and half, creating a creamy, cheesy, savory white sauce your guests will love!
- Chicken Broth – You can use chicken or veggie broth, according to your preferences. You only need a half cup, so when choosing which broth to get, consider how you might want to use the rest of the leftover container!
- Spinach – Packed with protein, magnesium, folate and iron, spinach is truly a superfood. Not only that, it tastes great and adds an element of color to the dish.
- Parmesan – Garlic and parmesan are what make the sauce for this dish. Choose your favorite shredded parmesan to melt into this tasty white sauce!
- Optional Garnishes – You may choose to garnish the completed dish with fresh parsley, more chopped bacon, or more shredded parmesan!
How to Cook Gnocchi
1. In a skillet, over medium heat, sauté the bacon, shallot and garlic until shallot begins to soften and bacon turns pink. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the gnocchi to the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes on medium-low heat.
3. Stir in salt, pepper, dried chives, broth and half & half. Simmer for another 5 minutes until the gnocchi begins to plump and soften.
4. Fold in the spinach and parmesan cheese. Simmer for another 3-5 minutes or until all ingredients are tender and incorporated.
5. Garnish with bacon and cheese as desired and serve immediately.
Step by Step Instructions
First, start by preparing your bacon. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and sauté your chopped bacon, sliced shallot, and minced garlic for about 2-3 minutes. Your bacon should turn pink in color, and the shallot should begin to soften and have a slight golden brown color. It should start to turn slightly translucent. Garlic will be fragrant.
Next, add your dried gnocchi to the skillet. Isn't it great that you don't have to pull out a baking sheet or knead the dough? Homemade gnocchi is perfection, but sometimes busy nights calls for some short cuts! Reduce the heat a little bit, to medium-low, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. You don't need to boil water, because the sauce you'll make below will cook the gnocchi!
Now it is time to start on your broth. Add your broth and half and half to the skillet. Stir in your salt, pepper, and dried chives. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 5 more minutes, until your gnocchi has just begun to soften.
Finally, add your spinach and parmesan cheese to the skillet. Stir gently and leave to simmer for an additional 3-5 minutes. Your gnocchi skillet meal is complete when all of the ingredients are tender, and cheese has melted.
Once cooking is complete, remove from heat and garnish with desired optional toppings. Serve with grated parmesan if needed with warm bread or salad.
- You can keep the potato gnocchi leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop, or in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between.
- This meal can be frozen for up to 3 months. To enjoy from frozen, reheat in the microwave, or in the oven at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F.The biggest risk with cooking gnocchi is overcooking it, which can result in sticky, slimy pasta. To avoid this, check the tenderness of your pasta and take care not to continue cooking it once it is the desired consistency. Another way to tell that your gnocchi is done is that it may float in your mixture if your liquid is deep enough.
- You can also use Italian sausage instead of bacon if desired and add some red peppers.
Do you have to boil potato gnocchi before pan-frying?
No. Your gnocchi will cook perfectly in the skillet. If you do boil your gnocchi before adding it to the skillet, or if you are using freshly made gnocchi, you will want to lower your cooking times and keep an eye on it, so as to avoid overcooking the pasta.
What is the difference between skillet gnocchi and regular?
While gnocchi can be prepared either way, you may find that skillet gnocchi has a much nicer texture. Boiled gnocchi is easier to overcook, and can end up slimy or too soft. This skillet gnocchi comes out perfect every time!
What do you eat gnocchi with?
Serve this gnocchi skillet meal alongside salad, soup, warm bread, or roasted veggies!
Looking for more pasta dishes? Try these:
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Potato Gnocchi Skillet
- 4 strips Bacon diced
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- 1 small Shallot sliced
- 1 lb. Potato Gnocchi dry & prepackaged
- 1 tsp Dried Chives
- ½ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Pepper
- 1 cup Half & Half
- ½ cup Chicken or Vegetable Broth
- 1 ½ cup Spinach
- ⅓ cup Parmesan Cheese shredded
- Optional Garnish- Parsley Bacon, Parmesan
- In a skillet, over medium heat, sauté the bacon, shallot and garlic until shallot begins to soften and bacon turns pink. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the gnocchi to the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes on medium-low heat.
- Stir in salt, pepper, dried chives, broth and half & half. Simmer for another 5 minutes until the gnocchi begins to plump and soften.
- Fold in the spinach and parmesan cheese. Simmer for another 3-5 minutes or until all ingredients are tender and incorporated.
- Garnish with bacon and cheese as desired and serve immediately.
Reheat by stovetop or microwave in 30 second intervals
May be frozen up to 3 months and reheated by microwave or oven at 350 F for 10-12 minutes or until internal temp reaches 165F