With store-bought gnocchi mixed with a homemade pesto and a few other ingredients, you’ll have a delicious dinner on the table in no time with this Crispy Sheet Pan Pesto Gnocchi.
Traditionally, gnocchi is known for its pillowy nature and comforting richness. If handmade, they’re a labor of love. Here, we do a twist on a classic dish, pesto gnocchi, but keep the hands-on time to a minimum, and transform the texture of the gnocchi from soft to crisp and golden. It’s an entirely new flavor profile from an old favorite. If you’re a fan of the crispy edges of lasagna, this dish with the gnocchi’s golden edges will be right up your alley. The best part? It’s made on a sheet pan which makes cleanup an absolute breeze.
If you’re short on time, you can certainly use your favorite store-bought pesto but you can always taste the extra love with homemade. This is vegetarian as is, but if you’d like to add a protein, spicy Italian sausage or crispy pancetta would be lovely here. Also, don’t like goat cheese? Sub for fresh mozzarella.
And because I know you’ll ask — this method does not work as well for cauliflower gnocchi. Since they have a higher water content, they won’t get crisp in the oven. The flavor is still great, but the texture won’t be the same. You can, however, sautee the cauliflower gnocchi in olive oil and pesto using the method here. Just add in the tomatoes and onions at the end, and allow them to sauté for an additional 5 minutes.
Also, you’ll have a lot of extra pesto here! It will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks and it also freezes well for ALL the recipes!! But if I were you, I would use the leftover pesto to make my Herby Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadews — YUM! It’s also great on sandwiches, wraps, or even on top of fried eggs!
Crispy Sheet Pan Pesto Gnocchi
For the Pesto:
- 2 cups packed fresh basil plus more for serving
- 4 cloves garlic peeled
- Zest and juice of one large lemon
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts plus more for serving
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp. Kosher salt
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- ⅓ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
For the Gnocchi:
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 18 oz. refrigerated potato gnocchi
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp pesto
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 4 oz. goat cheese crumbled
- 2 cups baby arugula
- Shaved parmesan
- Zest of one lemon
- Preheat oven to 400.
Make the Pesto
- In the bowl of a food processor, or high-powered blender, add the basil, garlic, lemon juice and zest, red wine vinegar, and pine nuts. Start the processor, blitzing the ingredients on low while slowly streaming in the olive oil. Continue to blend on medium-low until mostly smooth, scraping down the sides intermittently if needed. Once smooth, add the salt, red pepper flakes, and parmesan. Pulse a few more times until the cheese is just combined. Transfer to an airtight container and set aside while you prepare the rest.
Cook the Gnocchi
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add the onions, tomatoes and gnocchi onto the sheet pan.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, pesto, salt, dried oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes. Drizzle the pesto mixture over the contents of the sheet pan and toss to combine, ensuring the gnocchi are all coated.
- Spread the onions, tomatoes, and gnocchi in an even layer then transfer the sheet pan to the middle rack in the oven, and roast for 25 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through the cooking time to evenly roast the gnocchi .
- Once the gnocchi have baked for 22 minutes, remove from the oven, toss the gnocchi once more and crumble the goat cheese over top. Roast for 2 more minutes. Turn the broiler on and broil for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the gnocchi is crisp.
- To serve, add a small handful of arugula to each bowl. Add the gnocchi over the greens. Finish with a bit of lemon zest, shaved parmesan, a sprinkle of pine nuts and a pinch of pepper flakes.
Photography by Eat Love Eats.