Monday, January 16, 2012

Gnocchi in Parmesan Garlic Sauce

Remember that time I made homemade gnocchi?? Well, one batch I smothered in an incredible vodka sauce and the other batch I froze. Then I forgot about it until… oh the other day. Yah, turns out gnocchi freezes REALLY well (if you check the date on those posts – we’re talking almost a full year, well)! hah

Anyhow, I wanted to do something different than the typical red sauce, and was feeling the whole garlic parmesan combo.

I wanted to keep it a litte lighter though, so instead of adding cream, I added a little bit of the starchy cooking liquid. It. turned. out. amazing. Hubs couldn’t believe their wasn’t any cream in it! It was creamy, garlicky, and delicious (my kind of pasta!).

You guys, this meal is SOOOOOO easy. 4 ingredients (not including salt & pepper) and it came together in about 15 minutes!  Easy. Peasy. Deliciousness.

Next time I think I’ll add just a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to give it a bright finish (and because I’m obsessed with citrus!)!

Hello gorgeous…

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Gnocchi in Parmesan Garlic Sauce

Yield: 3-4 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10-15 minutes

Total Time: 15-20 minutes

Gnocchi, Parmesan, Garlic, and butter - does it get any easier?!


1 pound gnocchi (or other pasta)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/4 cup cooking liquid*
fresh cracked pepper

*Cooking liquid is just the water that you cooked your pasta in. it's salted and starchy and makes for a great thickener.


Cook gnocchi according to the package instructions (I like to salt the water). Be sure to reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the garlic and saute for 1 minute (stirring constantly. Add the cooked and drained gnocchi, top with parmesan, and cooking liquid. Stir until nice and creamy. Reduce heat to a low simmer and allow the liquid to reduce (about 3-4 minutes). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Voila! Dinner is served! Pair this is a nice bright salad and call it a day!

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96 Responses to “Gnocchi in Parmesan Garlic Sauce”

  1. 1

    Kathryn — January 16, 2012 @ 9:56 am

    I am obsessed with gnocchi and so I’m always looking for new ways to sneak it into my diet – this looks absolutely delicious! I wish I had a big bowl of it right now.

    • Kristina replied: — January 17th, 2012 @ 11:51 am

      well get on it – this sauce is SOOOO simple! Great weeknight meal if you buy the pasta

  2. 2

    Jessica Lynn — January 16, 2012 @ 10:15 am

    Goodness gracious, we love gnocchi over here. I keep saying I’m going to make it, but honestly, it’s just easier to buy it. So…the next time I buy it I’ll try this recipe, because if there’s one thing I love more than gnocchi, it’s Parmesan and garlic!

    • Kristina replied: — January 17th, 2012 @ 11:47 am

      oh girl… you are in Italy – just BUY it 😉 haha

  3. 3

    Julie @ Table for Two — January 16, 2012 @ 10:29 am

    I love gnocchi! It’s so soft and chewy and one of my favorite pastas. This parmesan garlic sauce sounds so perfect for it!

  4. 4

    Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy — January 16, 2012 @ 11:08 am

    This looks so delicious. I just had a massive gnocchi failure last week that I still haven’t quite recovered from, so I’ll have to make this in the future. It’s just a little too soon… *sniffle*

    • Kristina replied: — January 17th, 2012 @ 11:50 am

      awww sorry to hear that!!!! i have plenty kitchen disasters if it makes you feel better!

  5. 5

    Jessica — January 16, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

    Oh yum! I wanted this when I saw it on instagram and I want it now too!

    • Kristina replied: — January 17th, 2012 @ 11:47 am

      come over! 😉 PS- cannot even wait for March!!!!

  6. 6

    Leslie — January 16, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

    Starched cooking water is magic! GOod to know they lasted in the freezer for a year!!!!

    • Kristina replied: — January 17th, 2012 @ 11:47 am

      yes. it. is! 🙂

  7. 7

    Maria — January 16, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

    Gnocchi is my favorite meal, ever! LOVE the sauce!

    • Kristina replied: — January 17th, 2012 @ 11:49 am

      SOOOOO easy. (The best kind of meal) 🙂

  8. 8

    Cassie — January 16, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

    Great idea, I would never think to freeze gnoochi. The sauce sounds dreamy!

    • Kristina replied: — January 17th, 2012 @ 11:49 am

      i was shocked that it lasted so long! haha

  9. 9

    Jessica @ How Sweet — January 16, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

    this looks soo, soo good!

    • Kristina replied: — January 17th, 2012 @ 11:49 am

      thanks, lady! 😉

  10. 10

    Hillary — January 16, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

    I can’t wait to try this! I just made your other gnocchi recipe last week and it was amazing.

    • Kristina replied: — January 17th, 2012 @ 11:48 am

      yay! SO glad you liked!!!

  11. 11

    Jaclyn — January 16, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

    You literally just made my mouth water.

    • Kristina replied: — January 17th, 2012 @ 11:48 am

      YES! mission accomplished! 🙂

  12. 12

    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — January 17, 2012 @ 7:41 am

    This looks fantastic! I love gnocchi,I need to try your recipe, looks amazing!!

  13. 13

    Stacy — January 17, 2012 @ 8:19 am

    This looks amazing!! I love the sound of the sauce!

  14. 14

    Creamy Garlic Gnocchi with Roasted Peppers and Peas — January 19, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

    […] Kismet:  My Life As a Mrs. had just posted an amazing, easy recipe for Gnocchi in Parmesan Garlic Sauce […]

  15. 15

    Super delicious Gnocchi! - Recipes - — February 9, 2012 @ 11:13 am

    […] […]

  16. 16

    Julia — February 11, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

    What do you mean by “cooking liquid?”

    Regardless, I came across your blog on Pinterest and every meal for the upcoming week is from you blog. So wonderful!

    • Tina replied: — September 13th, 2012 @ 8:44 am

      “Cooking Liquid” is the starchy water you cooked the gnocchi in.

  17. 17

    Jordan — February 14, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

    My girlfriend and I made this on our first Valentine’s Day together. Quite the bonding experience and quite the meal. Thanks!

  18. 18

    Byran Newell — June 18, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

    Found this site because I was looking for a gnocchi recipe my ex gf used to make. Used the suggestion of the cooking liquid as the basis for mine—it came out ah-maze-ing.

    I used butter, 4 cloves of garlic, rosemary, white wine, mushrooms, and the starchy cooking liquid. Generous sprinkling of salt. Holy hell—I can’t wait to make it again. Thank you for the inspiration!

    BTW—I was going to add lemon as you suggested, but turns out the wine gave it the needed acid punch. I just used the cheap two buck chuck from Trader Joe’s.

    • Tina replied: — June 19th, 2012 @ 8:52 am

      NICE! Love the twist you did on it… I’ll have to try it out! 🙂

  19. 19

    David Remoli — August 24, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

    Made it with pancetta.and halfed the butter since Used the grease. Added some spinach and this meal was amazing….oh yeah and quick!

  20. 20

    Heather Bing — September 3, 2012 @ 6:33 pm

    I just made this tonight, and it was delicious–thank you for sharing! My fiance can’t have dairy so I substituted a soy parmesan instead and it was still fantastic.

  21. 21

    Amanda — September 7, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

    Yes, what exactly is “cooking liquid”? I’ve never even heard of this.

    • Tina replied: — September 13th, 2012 @ 8:45 am

      “Cooking Liquid” is the starchy water you cooked the gnocchi in…

  22. 22

    Jay — September 12, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

    I’m pretty sure when she says “cooking liquid” she is talking about the leftover liquid you cooked the pasta in, similar to what one does with soba noodles.

    • Tina replied: — September 13th, 2012 @ 8:45 am

      exactly. 🙂

  23. 23

    Grace — October 4, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

    I just made this for dinner and it was delicious! I did take it upon myself to add a dash of dried basil, some crushed red pepper, and a squirt of lemon juice though.

  24. 24

    Sarah — October 17, 2012 @ 9:58 am

    Found this recipe on Pinterest & I’m going to try it tonight! Thinking about adding some sauteed onions too. I’ll let ya know how it all turns out! 🙂

  25. 25

    Katie — October 18, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

    I was thinking about adding chicken? Do you think that would make it too heavy??

  26. 26

    A Tale of Two Gnocchi | Southern Ginger — December 17, 2012 @ 7:35 pm

    […] The problem was I couldn’t decided between two sauces. So I made them both.  Sauce #1 was a Parmesan Garlic Sauce, which I made exactly as directed.  It was incredibly rich, and neither of us could believe it […]

  27. 27

    Lori — December 26, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

    I just made this for dinner tonite, I can’t even put into words how good and easy this is. I did add about 2 tablespoons of EVOO, but it didn’t need it, it was perfect, hubby just raved. Thank you so much!

  28. 28

    Pitmom61 — January 3, 2013 @ 6:48 pm

    I added frozen peas and bacon – awesome is right, hard to believe there’s no cream in this at all!

  29. 29

    Kayla — January 5, 2013 @ 5:19 pm

    Made this tonight, only used a little parm and subbed some toscano cheese with black pepper (Trader Joes). I also increased the cloves of garlic to 3. Fantastic. Lots of great ideas in the comments. I will definitely add some white wine next time & serve with breadsticks. Boyfriend wants me to add chicken to it next time too. I think chicken and roma tomatoes or spinach. YUM. Great recipe! And the awesome part was that it was super quick and would be easy on nights I “don’t feel like cooking/” Thanks for sharing!

  30. 30

    Lorraine — January 9, 2013 @ 12:12 am

    Does it have to be un-salted butter or can i use reg. butter?

    • Tina replied: — January 9th, 2013 @ 11:14 am

      You can use salted butter… it’s just a little more tough to gauge the saltiness of the dish. I would just be careful about adding any additional salt (to the water and to the pasta) b/c the cheese is naturally salty plus the salted butter… it can get overwhelming quickly!

  31. 31

    Julie D — January 22, 2013 @ 12:15 am

    I absolutle love to cook and try new things in the kitchen, I have a great family of (mostly) willing testers, so new ideas are always welcome.

    I’ve never prepare gnocchi before in my life, I don’t
    Even remember if I’ve even eaten it myself before! But it’s always looked so appealing to the sort of things I love to cook and eat. So- I finally decided to go for it, and to ease into the new item I bought a reputable brand of fresh made refrigerated gnocchi – honestly? The shelf like on the refrigerated stuff is excellent!! Plenty of time to work up my nerve while huntinging for the ideal sauce to go over it.

    I’m the sort that can gauge a recipe’s potential just after reading the ingredients and how-to – this sauce looks like it will be EXACTLY what I’ve been picturing in my mind but didn’t have the guys yet to just wing it!

    That said- I’m still at a loss as to what to serve WITH the gnocchi and this fabulous sauce?!! Serving-size-wise in my house and the package size I have means it will be a side dish. So what’s a perfect pairing to go with a pillow fresh gnocchi tossed in a light butter garlic sauce?!

    You’d think this would be the easy part, but I really want
    The gnocchi to stand out in its own right, do not overpower it with something big/heavy/strongly spiced – but also not boring so that everyone just says, “Meh. It wasn’t horrible.”

    • Tina replied: — January 23rd, 2013 @ 10:35 am

      It’s all up to your personal preference! I’d do some sort of lemon-herb marinated chicken (Grilled) and a simple green vegetable (ie: fresh green beans)…

  32. 32

    Jim — January 26, 2013 @ 10:49 pm

    So easy and so creamy and delicious. You’re right – it seems like a real cream sauce even though there’s none in it. Loved it!

  33. 33

    Julie D — January 30, 2013 @ 1:56 pm

    Thanks for the dinner ideas – that is right up our alley! And I’m sorry for the glaring typos in my first post – mobile device posting vs actual pc posting – SO sorry about that!

  34. 34

    Laverne — January 31, 2013 @ 10:51 pm

    Thanks so much for the great, easy recipe. I had bought mini gnocchi at Cost Plus World Market and was trying to find a sauce.
    I followed your recipe exactly and it was delicious, even for a husband who thought he didn’t like gnocchi. YUM!!

  35. 35

    Margie — February 1, 2013 @ 8:37 pm

    My kind of sauce, I don’t care much for tomato-bsed sauces. Guess what we are having for tea tonight!

  36. 36

    jUDY — February 3, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

    Awesome!!! Thanks!

  37. 37

    Drew — February 4, 2013 @ 7:18 pm

    I just made this for my lovely bride tonight and she was blown away. We’d just picked up a pound of Parmesan Reggiano and I was wondering what to do with it first. This was definitely an amazing and easy recipe.

  38. 38

    Tovey — February 23, 2013 @ 8:26 am

    just made that for lunch, very very nice. well done!

  39. 39

    Jena — March 13, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

    i just made this!! it was amazing thank you for the recipe

  40. 40

    Sandie Patton — June 3, 2013 @ 12:47 pm

    Well another great Pasta sauce…
    Everyone loves it and I have passed it on also


  41. 41

    Olivia and Madi — June 10, 2013 @ 10:39 pm


    tee hee

  42. 42

    Joanna S. — July 2, 2013 @ 10:13 am

    This is the most ridiculous recipe I have ever tasted!!! I didn’t want to save any for my husband!

  43. 43

    Si — July 11, 2013 @ 11:31 am

    What can you substitute “cooking liquid” with?

  44. 44

    FiFi — July 16, 2013 @ 11:24 pm

    What is cooking liquid?

    • Tina replied: — July 17th, 2013 @ 4:01 pm

      it’s the water that you cooked the pasta in… it’s starchy and salted and it is a great thickener.

  45. 45

    Shanon — July 23, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

    Seriously, best sauce ever. Just made this with grilled bratwurst sliced up, and California mixed veggies. Put the gnocchi and sauce over it all. I added a whole cup of the cooking sauce to make it juicier and it was great. The whole family raved!

  46. 46

    Lauri Monetti — August 16, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

    Thank you! I was looking for a simple recipe that I could tweak with some items in my fridge. I did use salted butter. I sauteed mushrooms first, then added spinach and threw 2 tablespoons of minced garlic on top. Wow, it was great. I’ll be using this again.

  47. 47

    Kara — August 29, 2013 @ 10:30 am

    thanks soooooo much. it turned out amazing…… I can’t wait to make it again

  48. 48

    Emma — August 30, 2013 @ 8:06 am

    So easy! So delicious! Thanks 🙂

  49. 49

    J — August 30, 2013 @ 9:19 am

    Thanks for the recipe! I made gnocchi for the first time tonite. Even my husband, who usually doesn’t like gnocchi, said it was great. 🙂

  50. 50

    Shahzaadee — September 12, 2013 @ 6:57 am

    Thank you for this! I’m going to get my hubby to try making it 🙂

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