Baked Gnocchi with Sausage, Kale, and Pesto

By Maria Lichty

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Baked Gnocchi with Sausage, Kale, and Pesto-a simple casserole of potato gnocchi, sausage, kale, basil pesto, and lots of cheese! 

Baked Gnocchi with Sausage, Kale, and Pesto Recipe

Our boys are pretty good eaters and will usually eat whatever we fix, but we do have the occasional tears at dinnertime. It is usually when they are tired or don’t want to stop playing. You win some and you lose some.

We always win at dinnertime when we make Baked Gnocchi with Sausage, Kale, and Pesto. My boys love this recipe, Josh included! I know there will never be tears shed when I make this dish, well, maybe tears of joy:)

Baked Gnocchi with Sausage, Kale, and Pesto Recipe

Caleb likes to help me make dinner and every time I ask him what we should make he says gnocchi or sausage. They are his favorite foods. I decided to make a baked gnocchi dish with his favorite ingredients and it has become a favorite with all of my boys.

Baked Gnocchi with Sausage, Kale, and Pesto Recipe

I always use store bought gnocchi to keep things easy. I also use Jimmy Dean Premium Pork Sausage, my boys favorite sausage. We always keep a few packages in the freezer so we never run out! My boys eat this sausage morning, noon, and night and they love it in this baked gnocchi dish.

Baked Gnocchi with Sausage, Kale, and Pesto Recipe

I also add kale to the pasta, you know so I can sneak in some greens into my boys diet…and basil pesto for flavor. I like to use our spinach pesto because I always have some in the freezer. It always comes in handy! And of course the gnocchi gets loaded with lots of cheese!

Bake until bubbly and serve!! There will be smiles all around when this is comforting dish is on the dinner table!

Baked Gnocchi with Sausage, Kale, and Pesto

Add this simple and delicious Baked Gnocchi with Sausage, Kale, and Pesto to your dinner menu! It is great for busy weeknights or easy entertaining. Enjoy!

Baked Gnocchi with Sausage, Kale, and Pesto Recipe

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Baked Gnocchi with Sausage, Kale, and Pesto

This simple baked gnocchi dish is great for busy weeknights or easy entertaining.
4.70 from 10 votes


  • 1 pound package of potato gnocchi
  • 10 ounces Jimmy Dean® Premium Pork Regular Roll Sausage
  • 4 cups packed chopped kale
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook gnocchi according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium high heat for 8-10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently; drain and set aside. Place skillet back on the heat and cook the kale for 5 minutes, or until tender. Pour sausage back in the skillet.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in garlic and cook until lightly golden, about 1 minute. Whisk in flour until mixture thickens. Add the milk and whisk until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the pesto and ½ cup of the cheese. Whisk until smooth. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
  • Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Combine the gnocchi, sausage, and kale and pour into prepared pan. Pour the sauce evenly over gnocchi. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and gnocchi is bubbling. Let sit for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Have you tried this recipe?

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Disclosure-this post is sponsored by Jimmy Dean, but our opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that continue to make Two Peas and Their Pod possible. 

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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    1. Hi! This looks delicious!!
      Do you have any suggestions as to what to serve with this? I was thinking a side salad and garlic bread. What do you serve with it? Any side dishes?
      I plan to make this ahead for a dinner tomorrow night with our son, his wife and daughter.
      Thank you,

    2. A salad and garlic bread would be perfect. Search our site for easy green salad and garlic bread! Both are easy! Enjoy!

  1. 5 stars
    I’m late to the party with this recipe but made it tonight for the first time. Oh my goodness, it was so delicious! My husband (who is not a gnocchi lover) couldn’t stop raving about how good it was. It’ll definitely go into rotation for winter. Can’t recommend enough!

  2. 5 stars
    We’ve made this numerous times and it’s a favorite in our house! I forgot to buy mozzarella the most recent time I made it, so I added 1/2 cup of Parmesan to the sauce and 1/2 cup Parmesan to the top of the dish. I didn’t even miss the mozzarella, so I’m going to omit it in the future as well to save some calories. Yummy either way!

  3. 5 stars
    I surprised my picky husband with this recipe tonight. He absolutely loved it. I used a different sausage that was made from pork and chicken. ~

  4. 2 stars
    I made this tonight. My husband thought it tasted very strong. Perhaps it was the baby kale. I thought it was ok, but made a huge amount of dirty dishes–three pots–for a result that does not look or taste like the amount of effort. For other cooks, if you drain the sausage and kale on paper towels, you can wipe out the skillet and use it to make the cream sauce. That way you only have the skillet and the pasta pot for washing up.

  5. 5 stars
    Absolutely wonderful. A huge hit with the hubby. I used half and half with 1 tbs of flour. and I added some Marzanno tomatoes. I also used half a cup of Mozz and 1/2 cup of parm and split between mixing it in and topping. Other than that, it was exactly as stated.

  6. 5 stars
    I don’t care how many pots and pans a dish uses when it tastes this FREAKIN delicious! I use got Italian turkey sausage. Man o’ Manischewitz this is one satisfying dish!

  7. 5 stars
    This was very tasty. I followed except for maybe less cheese. Hubby really enjoyed. I think next time I will use spinach or some other green leaf. I was concerned about flavor as there was only the pesto and garlic. It was perfect! I used basil pesto. It would be nice to know nutritional values. Thanks for a greAt easy meal!

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