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Simple Gnocchi and Pesto

I found myself buying store bought gnocchi after wanting to create a recipe from Ree Drummond. I believe it was a gnocchi mac and cheese something or other. But I never followed through with buying the rest of the ingredients. I go through these phases every couple of weeks; I look at what’s in the pantry, the expiration dates, what should I incorporate into my next recipes, etc. And here we are: Simple Gnocchi and Pesto.

So there I was, staring at the gnocchi, wondering did I even save her recipe to my phone? Then later that evening we had ordered take out Pho. I’m not sure about your local store, but there has been times recently when I can’t find basil. The idea of working basil into my recipes is great but when I go to the grocery store, it’s no where to be found- what do I do?!

As I’m preparing my Pho into the bowl, adding my bean sprouts, a little sauce, I’m looking at this nice mini bunch of basil and I was like hmmmmmm…..let’s save this for tomorrow and see what dish I can cook with it!

close up picture of gnocchi
Bye Pinenuts, Hello Hazelnut Pesto!

The next day, I had a bunch of veggies to use up, a little bit of Italian Sausage, and some hazelnuts. Then I created a perfect quick pesto to go along with this easy gnocchi dish.

Other Variations:

To make this easy, you can use store bought gnocchi or if you’re up for it, you can make homemade potato gnocchi. Trader Joe’s also has frozen cauliflower gnocchi and kale . Both are delicious with marinara or any kind of tomato sauce. If you don’t want to use Italian Sausage, you can use ground chicken or chopped up chicken breast. I like to enjoy vegetarian versions as well.

gnocchi in a yellow bowl

Now Let’s Make Simple Gnocchi and Pesto!

gnocchi in a yellow bowl

Simple Gnocchi and Pesto

This Simple Gnocchi and Pesto dinner is made with store bought Potato Gnocchi, Vegetables and Italian Sausage. It also features a quick Homemade Hazelnut Pesto that makes this dish complete!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 282 kcal



  • 1 package gnocchi store bought
  • 1/2 red onion sliced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms any kind, sliced
  • 1/2 cup broccoli
  • 1 cup kale chopped, shredded
  • 1-2 links Italian Sausage remove the casing
  • 1-2 tablespoons quick pesto or any pesto of your choice
  • parmesan cheese optional
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil extra virgin

Quick Pesto

  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 1/2 cup italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts raw
  • dash kosher salt to taste


  • In a large stock pot with boiling and salted water, cook the gnocchi according to the instructions on the package and drain.
  • Using a food processor, combine and chop up all the ingredients for the pesto. Set aside.
  • In a large pan, preheat on medium to low heat and when ready, add the olive oil. Squeeze the sausage out of the casings into the pan, breaking up the meat with your spatula. Continue to cook for about 10 min.
  • Add the onion and broccoli. Stir and let cook for 5 min. Then add the mushrooms and kale. 
  • When sausage is just about done, add the cooked gnocchi into the pan. Gently combine and about 1-2 tablespoons of the quick pesto. 
  • Top with a dash of parmesan. Enjoy!


Some tips:
Please note, there is 2 nutrition labels below. The first one is for the Quick Pesto and the second one is for the Gnocchi.
This gnocchi recipe was created intuitively with items that I had on hand. The veggies can be swapped out for cauliflower, bell pepper, zucchini, etc. 
The Quick Pesto can be made with a nut of your choice or you can also used a store bought pesto.
Fresh Parmesan and Gnocchi puns are optional! 
For a vegetarian option, you can totally leave out the meat and add extra vegetables of your choice.


Calories: 282kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 7gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 260mgPotassium: 321mgFiber: 3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 2612IUVitamin C: 38mgCalcium: 90mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Easy Meals, Gnocchi, Italian Sausage, Pesto, Quick Meals
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
gnocchi in a yellow bowl
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