Two Peas and Their Pod

Crispy Gnocchi with Basil Pesto

Crispy Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Recipe

After I graduated college, I traveled to Italy with my brother and his best friend. I fell in love with the country…and gnocchi. Gnocchi is now one of my all-time favorite meals. We like to make homemade gnocchi at home, but sometimes there just isn’t enough time to make gnocchi from scratch. On busy nights, we like to make Crispy Gnocchi with Pesto, which is a quick and easy meal that still gives me my gnocchi fix. And it is a great recipe for this week because it is green and would be a fantastic dish to serve on St. Patrick’s Day.

Crispy Gnocchi with Basil Pesto

First, I made a simple basil pesto sauce to go with our crispy gnocchi. You can also use our Spinach Basil Pesto. Both are great with this recipe!

To make the gnocchi, I used a package of store bought gnocchi. You can find gnocchi in the pasta aisle-we like DeLallo brand. To make the gnocchi crispy, you pan fry it in olive oil until the outsides are golden brown and crispy.

Crispy Gnocchi with Basil Pesto

Josh likes to eat the gnocchi plain from the pan. Yes, he burns his fingers and mouth, but he never learns:) I try to keep him out of the pan, but it is hard. The gnocchi is delicious so I don’t blame him. We garnished the Crispy Gnocchi with Basil Pesto with a little Parmesan cheese and served bread on the side. We were in carb heaven!

If you are looking for a simple and tasty meal, give Crispy Gnocchi with Basil Pesto a try. And you probably should add it to your St. Paddy’s Day menu! It is the perfect green dish to serve up!

Crispy Gnocchi with Basil Pesto

Crispy Gnocchi with Basil Pesto

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Crispy, pan-fried gnocchi with basil pesto-an easy meal that tastes good any night of the week! This gnocchi is also good with our Spinach Basil Pesto!


To make the basil pesto:
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (1 lb.)package potato gnocchi (we used DeLallo)
Parmesan cheese, for serving


1. Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor or blender and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil and process until smooth. Add the cheese and pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

2. Cook the gnocchi according to package instructions. Drain completely. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the gnocchi in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until golden and crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Turn the gnocchi and cook, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp, about 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the pesto. You might have leftover pesto. Serve warm and garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

If you like this Crispy Gnocchi with Pesto, you might also like:

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114 Responses to “Crispy Gnocchi with Basil Pesto”

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  1. Rosa — March 14, 2012 @ 3:20 am

    Delicious! I love crispy gnocchi and pesto.



  2. Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 14, 2012 @ 3:52 am

    I could go to town on the basil pesto right now…yum!

    And congrats on your ebook almost being revealed. So exciting!

  3. Blog is the New Black — March 14, 2012 @ 5:27 am

    Looks delicious and comforting!

  4. megan @ whatmegansmaking — March 14, 2012 @ 6:23 am

    This looks great Maria! I don’t blame Josh for trying to eat the gnocchi out of the pan :)

  5. I adore gnocchi! I’ve never pan-fried them though, so I should try!

  6. Louisa — March 14, 2012 @ 7:05 am

    Ohh. I love gnocchi, but I’ve never thought of frying them like that, it sounds wonderful.

    I know what we’re having for dinner this weekend….

  7. I’ve never been to Italy, but I’d imagine that the pasta is the BEST there. I’ve browned my gnocchi before. I’ll definitely have to give that a try! P.S. I’m so stoked for your cookbook! 😀

  8. Dana — March 14, 2012 @ 7:46 am

    Sometimes I think gnocchi are too mushy and I realize now that I need to do more pan frying! Randy loves gnocchi and I don’t make them nearly often enough.

  9. Priyanka — March 14, 2012 @ 7:58 am

    Great recipe. I tried to make gnocchi ones and failed terribly make be I will try it again.

  10. Mmm this sounds fabulous. Pesto and gnocchi are best friends.

  11. baker street — March 14, 2012 @ 8:09 am

    The cover looks fantastic Maria! Can’t wait to get my hands on that book! :)

  12. Lora @cakeduchess — March 14, 2012 @ 8:11 am

    Making gnocchi from scratch is a lot of work. My kids love gnocchi and I love pesto:) The bonus book cover looks great with sweet Jessica’s cookies!

  13. Brian @ A Thought For Food — March 14, 2012 @ 8:36 am

    I love cooking up gnocchi. It may be one of my favorite dishes…. served with just a bit of pesto (have you tried mint pesto yet? It’s amazing!)

  14. Cookbook Queen — March 14, 2012 @ 8:38 am

    I’ve never had crispy gnocchi but now I can’t stop thinking about it!!!

  15. thelittleloaf — March 14, 2012 @ 9:28 am

    I love the idea of frying gnocci to make them crispy – I’ve had them baked but this looks even better. Yum.

  16. Cassie — March 14, 2012 @ 9:36 am

    I have never thought about crisping gnocci in a pan before adding sauce, brilliant idea, Maria! We love gnocci but rarely take the time to make it from scratch. This looks so good! Can’t wait for all of the cookie excitement!

  17. I had the best experience in Venice over a dinner of gnocchi that involved an Italian waiter kissing my arm from hand to shoulder while serving me dinner. I think gnocchi will always hold a special place in my heart after that! haha 😉

  18. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — March 14, 2012 @ 9:49 am

    We’ve never had gnocchi. I love that you’ve made it green with pesto for St Patricks day :)

  19. Look fabolous! I love gnocchi and I rarley ever have it! Love it with the pesto!!

  20. I have never made pesto, but you have totally inspired me to try it. This looks delicious!

  21. Jenny Flake — March 14, 2012 @ 9:58 am

    This looks so amazing Maria and your cookbook is so fun!! I can’t wait to see it!! xoxox

  22. Ben — March 14, 2012 @ 10:24 am

    Beautiful! And also so delicious. I have yet to make gnocchi at home, but yours is inspiring me.

  23. What a great idea to crisp up the gnocchi! I am going to have to try this soon for sure, sounds delicious!

  24. Erica — March 14, 2012 @ 11:16 am

    I have gnocchi on the menu next week! I never thought about crisping it up like this. Doing it ;). SO excited for the ebook

  25. Corrie Anne — March 14, 2012 @ 11:18 am

    SWEET!!! I love it, because we are so not corned beef & cabbage people – but I need something festive!!!

  26. Mi Vida en un Dulce — March 14, 2012 @ 11:50 am

    That pesto is fantastic. Here in Peru we have a kind of pesto made also with basil, but we add a local cheese, some spinach and pecans (we don’t have pines), but the Italian way is alway my favorite, like the one you made.
    I have to wait for your book until it’s available in Amazon, you know, living outsdide the US, that’s the only way to have one.

    • Two Peas replied: — March 14th, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

      You can buy our book on our site next week! It is an E-cookbook so it will be delivered right to your inbox! It is very cool:)

  27. Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats — March 14, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

    I recently tried gnocchi for the first time, and it was really mushy and soggy..(I hate soggy textures) I was really disappointed! But this crispy way of cooking it sounds great! Ill have to give it another try! Thanks :)

  28. Cookin' Canuck — March 14, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

    Gnoochi and pesto is such a wonderful combination. I, too, had a gnocchi epiphany when I visited Italy in my early 20s and I’ve loved it ever since.

  29. I love gnocchi and I love that this is such a quick solution to such a delicious savory dish. I’m going to have to try it soon.

  30. Aylin @ Glow Kitchen — March 14, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

    I’ve only had gnocchi with sweet potatoes and sage, but I need to improve upon that limited repertoire. this looks so delicious!

  31. Heather (Heather's Dish) — March 14, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

    you had me at crispy…holy yum!

  32. Sarah — March 14, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

    I have a package that would loved to be drenched in pesto! This looks great!

  33. Bev Weidner — March 14, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

    Um, I might freak out if this isn’t in my mouth RIGHT NOW.

  34. Deborah — March 14, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

    We both have pesto on the brain today!

  35. Kindra @ wickfreeforever — March 14, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

    gnocchi is so good! This receipe looks great, ill have to give it a whirl!

  36. Joanne — March 14, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

    This is such a fun play on green food for St. Patrick’s day! Can we call it fusion food since it’s at heart Italian?

  37. Sarah — March 14, 2012 @ 10:51 pm

    This will be my first St. Patrick’s day as a vegetarian and I was wondering what I would make. I guess now I know!! :) Looks delish!!

  38. Laurie {Simply Scratch} — March 14, 2012 @ 11:43 pm

    Crispy Gnocchi… basil pesto… SOLD! These look amazing and I’m so excited for your e-cookbook! XO

  39. Katie {Epicurean Mom} — March 15, 2012 @ 1:14 am

    Pesto and gnocchi is my face combo! Love the crispy addition!

  40. Katie {Epicurean Mom} — March 15, 2012 @ 1:14 am

    Oops, fave :)

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