Crispy Gnocchi with Basil Pesto

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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

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Crispy Gnocchi with Basil Pesto

Crispy, pan-fried gnocchi with basil pesto-an easy meal that tastes good any night of the week!
4.54 from 13 votes


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

For the Gnocchi:


  • 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.
  • 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 ¼ to ⅓ cup of the pesto. You might have leftover pesto. Serve warm and garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.


Calories: 305kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 9mg, Sodium: 586mg, Potassium: 97mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 731IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 195mg, Iron: 5mg

Have you tried this recipe?

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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. 4 stars
    The pesto was great and the crispy gnocchi was a great addition! We had it with meatballs and a bit of spinach.

  2. Hi!
    Just found your recipe and was wondering how many people it serves?
    I would like to make it for a dinner party for 6 as a side dish.

    Thank you!:)

  3. We loved this! The gnocchi took much longer than four minutes to brown for me for some strange reason, but otherwise the recipe went off without a hitch. I used a commercially prepared pesto, which made for a super easy prep. Thanks so much.

    1. 4 stars
      You need AdBlock Plus. I did not see any pop ups.

      This recipe looks so quick and delicious! I can’t wait to try it.

  4. Maria, Have you ever tried this with tortellini? That’s all I have, and my kids are begging for this recipe- we haven’t had in over a year now!
    So good!

  5. Update to my question- I went with the tortellini I had on hand and it worked! Happy kids! Thanks for a yummy recipe!

  6. An ingredient is really missing: the Genoese pesto recipe includes two cheeses, Parmigiano Reggiano (or Grana Padano, depending on personal tastes) and grated pecorino FIORE SARDO (which is a sheep’s cheese) which is missing.
    And please, use the pepper only for carbonara and cacio & pepe. Pepper has nothing to do with pesto.

  7. 5 stars
    Delish ! I pulsed the basil last in my blender so it wouldn’t be over-worked
    My 1st time making pesto was a success !!
    Next time I will try it with fresh boiled gnocchi as I found the pan-fried didn’t hold the fresh pesto
    Luved it !

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