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.

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114 Responses to “Crispy Gnocchi with Basil Pesto”

  1. Margarita — March 15, 2012 @ 1:16 am

    Delightful pillows of goodness!

  2. Terri — March 15, 2012 @ 1:39 am

    Looks stunningly delicious! Would love a lesson in gnocchi making one day, too. :)

  3. shelly (cookies and cups) — March 15, 2012 @ 8:22 am

    Gnocchi is a guilty pleasure for me! That pesto sounds amazing.

  4. Kiran @ — March 15, 2012 @ 10:31 am

    Congrats once again on the e-book, Maria! How exciting :)

    I could eat a few plates of those delicious gnocchi. Just had some a few months ago, for the very first time. I am hooked!

  5. Katherine Martinelli — March 15, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

    Mmmm I love gnocchi and especially this idea of dressing up store-bought gnocchi by pan-frying it and serving it with delicious pesto. Seems like the ultimate weeknight meal. Congrats on the upcoming cookbook – can’t wait!

  6. i like things with texture so crispy gnocchi is definitely right up my alley since I don’t normally like it boiled.

    great site!

  7. Great idea for gnocchi! I love it in all forms, but never thought to do it this way! Thanks for the lovely idea.

  8. Terri — March 15, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

    Yeah for the mention of DeLallo’s! I live about 20 minutes from their store (outside of Pittsburgh) and love to shop there on the weekends. I just used DeLallo’s gnocchi to make Gnocchi Mac & Cheese this past weekend. Now I have to try them crispy.

  9. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — March 15, 2012 @ 4:33 pm

    LOVE gnocchi and these looks amazing…

  10. Cindy @ Once Upon a Loaf — March 15, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

    We are big gnocchi fans but CRISPY? Sounds great! Can’t wait for your e-book, either!

  11. antique engagement rings — March 15, 2012 @ 10:54 pm

    It looks great.. love pesto!

  12. Katie — March 16, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

    I loved the recipe! It was crispy and the pesto sauce was amazing! I did have some leftover pesto, but it does make for a good spinach and pine nut salad. Thanks!

  13. Jasanna — March 16, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

    I’m going to look for this in our Albertsons. Yum!

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  15. Jennifer — March 17, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

    I adore gnocchi… This looks incredible!

    So much delicious inspiration on your site! Thank you!

    • Two Peas replied: — March 18th, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Jennifer!

  16. Darla | Bakingdom — March 18, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

    Gnocchi is one of my very favorite foods ever, and I adore crispy, yummy, pan seared gnocchi. SO amazing! Can’t wait to try this!

  17. Aubrey R. — March 18, 2012 @ 4:23 pm

    LOVE Gnocchi…what twist on a classic, never thought of going crispy :) Pan-frying adds a nice substance to store bought Gnocchi which can get a little mushy. And fresh pesto on just about anything is fabulous!

  18. Sweetsugarbelle — March 18, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

    Im embarrassed to admit I’ve never tried gnocchi! I need to fix this STAT!

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  20. Megan {Country Cleaver} — April 3, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

    Oh these sound great! I hate when I boil them and they go soggy. No bueno. I bet these are great with a little crispness on the edges.

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  22. Lauren — April 11, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

    I made this with some prepared pesto and it was delicious! Definitely the best gnocchi I’ve made at home!

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  24. Gina — April 22, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

    Crispy gnocchi sounds so exciting to me!! I can’t wait to try! Fresh pesto from my garden is my family’s favorite! Thankus for sharing one of your favorite meal ideas. ite

  25. Gina — April 22, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

    Crispy gnocchi sounds so exciting to me!! I can’t wait to try! Fresh pesto from my garden is my family’s favorite! Thankus for sharing on of your favorite meal ideas.

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  28. Annsley — June 14, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

    This looks amazing! I just made a garlic scape pesto and have a lot of leftovers. I’ve been looking for ways to use it up and this sounds perfect! I don’t have a potato ricer so I always buy the premade gnocchi and it always is good, but not great… Maybe the browning us the trick! I’m so excited to try this!! :)

    • Two Peas replied: — June 14th, 2012 @ 11:05 pm


  29. Amy — July 22, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

    I made these last night and it was super easy (I cheated and used Bertolli pesto, which is my favorite) and it was incredibly delicious. I love the crunch on the gnocchi. My husband and I both agreed that this was going to have to become a regular meal in our home. Thanks for sharing!

  30. Melissa — July 26, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

    I made this recipe today! It was delicious. This was my first time making gnocchi and what a great introduction. Thanks for sharing a great recipe.

  31. Natarsha — December 27, 2012 @ 11:27 am

    Looks so yummy! I ll try this.

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  39. Jasmine — December 13, 2013 @ 10:19 pm

    I’ve just recently started to experience the deliciousness of Gnocchi and been looking for a simple recipe for me to use. This is perfect! not only to satisfy my Gnocchi cravings but also put use to all the sweet basil i have growing in the backyard.

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