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

Crispy Gnocchi with Basil Pesto

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

4.5 from 4 votes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Total Time
25 minutes


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:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb package potato gnocchi
  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
Crispy Gnocchi with Basil Pesto
Amount Per Serving
Calories 305 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Cholesterol 9mg3%
Sodium 586mg24%
Potassium 97mg3%
Carbohydrates 43g14%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 731IU15%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 195mg20%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Maria Lichty

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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CommentsLeave a reply

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. LOVE Gnocchi…what twist on a classic, never thought of going crispy ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. I’m trying this recipe and I just don’t see where you give the amount of garlic that needs to be put into the pesto…has anyone ask you before? I’ve looked through the comment and just don’t see it. Thanks for posting the recipe and I’m just gunna wing it on the garlic-hope to hear back though. Thanks!

  12. Tired this tonight! So good. The hubby loves the crunchy gnocci and was eating it plain, just like your hubby. Thanks for posting!

  13. I accidently crisped my gnoochi the first time I made it for my *now* husband, then boyfriend. I was trying to make a browned butter and sage sauce. He always requests it this way now. I cooked it “the normal way” and he said it was wrong! Great recipe! Excited to try it!

  14. Maria, if I wanted to combine your basil pesto recipe with your spinach pesto recipe so that there are pine nuts and some spinach what proportions of spinach and pine nuts would you recommend?

  15. So basically this should be retitled as a recipe for pesto sauce. Since there is no information on how to make the gnocchi oneself.

  16. omg I made this tonight!! So delicious!! I know this is a vegetarian recipe but I paired it with some chicken breast. I used some pesto and mixed it with some mayo and topped each chicken breast with the pesto mix and some freshly grated parm and baked them. Gnocchi and cucumbers on the side. Yum!!

  17. Wow, this was fantastic!! I have made a lot of gnocchi in my time, mainly following a recipe that I jotted down after watching a lady in Naples Italy make it. Never have I made it this way before, but what a brilliant idea for a delicious meal!! I used pecans instead of pine nuts, but did everything else as you said….well did add a few little garden tomatoes for garnish and color not to mention taste, but this would be devine even without that. Thanks for sharing this fabulous recipe!!

  18. This looks amazing! I’m allergic to all tree nuts (including pine nuts) – can you recommend a substitute, or would it be ok to leave it out? Or should I just stay away from this recipe? Thanks in advance! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. This was delicious! I sometimes don’t care for how chewy gnocchi, but pan frying it gave it a delicious crispy outside.

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