Tuscan Sun-Dried Tomato Gnocchi with spinach and artichokes in a light garlic cream sauce. This 30 minute creamy gnocchi recipe shines with flavors of the Mediterranean, and will be an instant dinner hit.
Gnocchi just speaks volumes to my Italian soul. Because truly, what's not to love about plump balls of pillowy pasta swimming in a tasty sauce? While my Creamy Tomato Gnocchi has always been a personal (and reader!) fav, this one gives it some serious competition.
This easy gnocchi is Friday dreams meets Monday reality. It tastes like total comfort in a bowl and had me convinced for a moment that I was back in Italy. (A girl can dream!)
Plus, it's equally delicious made with classic potato + flour gnocchi as it is with cauliflower gnocchi.
How to Make Sun-Dried Tomato Gnocchi
This recipe calls for minimal ingredients that deliver BIG flavor. And while it's vegetarian, you can certainly add a protein such as chicken, shrimp, or scallops. Alternatively, small white beans are a fantastic plant-based addition.
Also, did I mention this creamy gnocchi recipe is ready in just 30 minutes? And only requires 1 PAN? Talk about a weeknight success!
- Gnocchi: This pillowy pasta is classically made with potatoes, flour, and egg yolk. You can easily make gnocchi from scratch, which is actually a great activity to get the whole family involved in. Otherwise, you can purchase it fresh in the cooler case of most grocery stores, or in vacuum-sealed packages in the pasta aisle. I personally love DeLallo Potato Gnocchi, as well as Trader Joe's Cauliflower Gnocchi.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Make sure to purchase jarred sun-dried tomatoes in oil, as opposed to the dried bags. The oil is wonderfully flavored, and can be used in place of EVOO for sautéing the aromatics.
- Spinach: To slip in extra fiber, iron, and vitamin A, fresh baby spinach will help you hit your daily veggie quota.
- Aromatics: I love using shallots and garlic here, however you can also use yellow onion.
- Artichokes: Look for jars of marinated artichoke hearts, which are far more flavorful than those packed in water. If you don't want big chunks of artichokes, just give them a rough chop before adding to the pasta.
- Heavy Cream: For luxurious creaminess, a little heavy cream goes a long way. Alternatively, you can use cashew cream, which is far lower in saturated fat and calories. See the recipe notes below for directions.
This creamy gnocchi recipe goes a little rogue compared to most. Mainly because we are NOT following the instructions on the packages of gnocchi that tell you to boil them. Why? Because then you end up with mushy, gummy gnocchi and it just doesn't do the pasta justice.
So instead of boiling, we are PAN-FRYING, BABY.
1. How to Cook Gnocchi
Most types of gnocchi are at their best when roasted or pan-fried. (Yes, you read that right - NO boiling.)
The direct heat from a skillet, along with a good dose of olive oil, helps the gnocchi crisp up on the outside while remaining tender and chewy within. The texture will vary slightly depending on the brand and style of gnocchi you use, so just keep in mind that you may need to adjust cook-time.
Here's how it's done:
- Start by heating a good glug of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. (Note: It's really best to use a non-stick pan here, if you have one.)
- Add gnocchi, and use a wooden spoon to separate any that are stuck together.
- Cook, without disturbing, for 3 minutes, until slightly browned. Stir, and continue cooking, stirring only occasionally, to allow the gnocchi to brown on all sides, for another 6 to 8 minutes.
- Once the gnocchi is browned and tender, transfer to a bowl.
2. Prepare Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
To the same skillet you cooked the gnocchi in, add remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil, along with shallots and garlic. Cook 3 minutes, until aromatic. Next, stir in red pepper flakes and Dijon mustard.
Add sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. Cook, stirring often, until spinach wilts. Next stir in artichokes, heavy cream, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes.
3. Add Gnocchi to Sauce
Add cooked gnocchi to skillet with sun-dried tomato sauce; toss to coat. Stir in fresh thyme, and serve immediately. If desired, garnish with freshly grated Parmesan.
This sun-dried tomato gnocchi recipe is super versatile. Whether you add protein, extra veggies, or pesto, you're in for a treat.
- Creamy Chicken Gnocchi: You can add strips of seared or grilled chicken breasts, or shredded rotisserie chicken for extra protein. Alternatively, you can add sautéed shrimp or scallops for extra protein.
- Creamy Mushroom Gnocchi: Sauté 8 ounces of sliced baby bella mushrooms in a skillet and add them to the sauce towards the end of cooking. I love adding mushrooms to this pasta!
- Pesto Gnocchi: For extra flavor, add 2 Tbsp. of prepared pesto to the sauce at the end of cooking.
How to Store and Reheat:
- To Store: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat: Rewarm gently in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of vegetable broth or water to help rehydrate the sauce.
More Easy Weeknight Pasta Recipes:
If you give this sun-dried tomato gnocchi recipe a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.
Tuscan Sun-Dried Tomato Gnocchi
- Large skillet
- 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 (1-lb.) pkg. potato gnocchi (such as DeLallo brand) (sub 1 ½ bags Trader Joe's frozen cauliflower gnocchi)
- ½ cup finely chopped shallots
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- ½ cup julienne-sliced sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
- 3 packed cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 (12-oz.) jar marinated artichoke quarters, drained and roughly chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream (sub cashew cream - see notes)
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- Heat 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil in a large skillet (preferably non-stick) over medium heat. Once hot, add gnocchi and use a wooden spoon to break apart any that are stuck together. Cook, undisturbed, for 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Stir, and continue cooking, stirring only occasionally, to allow the gnocchi to lightly brown on all sides, for another 6 minutes. Once the gnocchi is browned and tender, transfer to a bowl.
- To the same skillet over medium heat, add remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil, along with shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook 3 minutes, until aromatic. Stir in Dijon mustard and sun-dried tomatoes. Next, add spinach, and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in artichokes, heavy cream, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes.Add cooked gnocchi back to skillet; toss to coat. Stir in fresh thyme, and cook 1 more minute. Divide into 4 bowls.