This one-pan dinner is crispy pan-fried gnocchi simmered in a simple cream sauce with lots of healthy spinach, salty parmesan and crispy prosciutto and all it's already in 30 minutes! The perfect budget-friendly dinner using only ingredients from Aldi.
You're gonna love this spinach gnocchi recipe because the gnocchi cooks right there in the sauce. No need to boil it separately. We also start with pan-frying it really quick to get the exterior nice and crispy and keep the interior soft and fluffy. No more soggy and slimy gnocchi recipes here!
One-Pot Spinach Gnocchi
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- Butter- for flavour when frying the gnocchi
- Olive oil- for temperature when frying. When oil is present with the butter the pan can get hotter without the butter burning.
- Gnocchi- I've used regular potato gnocchi but you can use sweet potato or butternut squash gnocchi if you have access to it.
- Single cream- creates a sauce just as rich and creamy as double cream without getting to thick and saving us some fat and calories. For my North American chefs, this is what you know as half and half. You can use double cream or heavy cream if that's what you have, but I suggest adding some water to the sauce as double cream will make it very thick.
- Garlic- a necessity when cooking an Italian inspired recipe
- Fresh thyme- dried thyme works here too.
- Spinach- you can use baby (already washed) spinach here or the heartier garden spinach. Just make sure that you're spinach is really clean and free from all dirt and grit.
- Fresh basil- fresh herbs really make all the difference here. You can use parsley instead, but it really is all about the fresh leafy green herbs.
- Proscuitto- if you want to keep this vegetarian, just skip the Prosciutto.
- Lemon (zest and juice)- Really important for brightening up the sauce. Cream sauce without lemon is usually very heavy.
- Parmesan- for serving with the gnocchi, rather than adding to the sauce.
- Italian style herbs and pasta mix seasoning- these are available in the spice section of Aldi.
Step by step directions
Frying the gnocchi
Step 1 & 2
- Fry the prosciutto in a dry non-stick frying pan until it's crispy. This will only take about 4 minutes. Remove the prosciutto to a plate and set aside until serving.
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Add in the olive oil. As mentioned above, using butter and oil together ensure you get the flavour of butter, but the high smoke point of the oil.
- Add the gnocchi to the pan once the butter has started to bubble. Cook the gnocchi for about 5 minutes being sure to toss and stir so that all sides get colour. Once they are golden, use a slotted spoon to remove the gnocchi to a small bowl or side plate, leaving the butter in the pan.
Making the sauce
step 3 & 4
- Add the garlic to the pan and saute gently for about 3-4 minutes until it's softened and fragrant. Add in the cream and bring to a simmer. Check the sauce for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper according to taste.
- Grate the zest of the lemon and add the zest and juice to the sauce along with the Italian seasonings. Whisk well and then add the spinach and gnocchi back to the pan. The spinach will wilt in the heat of the sauce and the gnocchi will continue to cook in the sauce. It will only need about 2 minutes to be fully cooked through.
- Divide the gnocchi into bowls and top with the chopped basil. Grate some parmesan and crumble the prosciutto over the bowls.
- Make it baked gnocchi- A great variation on this gnocchi would be to turn it into a gnocchi bake. To do that, simply make the recipe and instead of serving it, place it all into an oven-safe baking dish and top with 100g of parmesan and 200g shredded mozzarella. Bake it all in a hot oven preheated to 180ºC for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Add in extra veggies- mushrooms, asparagus, green peas. Veggies that are quick cooking are what you're looking for here.
Q. Can this be made ahead of time?
A. In all honesty, it's such a quick-cooking dish that I wouldn't bother. I know I titled it a 30-minute recipe, but depending on your level of kitchen experience and speed, you could probably get it done in about 15 minutes really. The beauty of a one-pot dinner.
Q. What kind of gnocchi should I be using?
A. Just regular shelf-stable gnocchi. Aldi stocks two types. The dried vacuum-packed stuff in the pasta aisle and the fresh gnocchi in the fridge aisle. I tried this recipe with both varieties and there is absolutely no difference, so go with whatever you have on hand.
If you have leftovers, let them cool completely before packing them up into an airtight container and placing them in the fridge for up to two days. As the gnocchi cools and sits in the fridge the sauce thickens up a lot. You will most likely need to add some water to the sauce as you heat it up. Start by adding a tablespoon at a time, so as not to thin the sauce too much.
These leftovers are not suitable for freezing.
More quick & easy Italian inspired recipes
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