Easy Homemade Potato Gnocchi

Easy Homemade Potato Gnocchi

With a few simple ingredients and a little muscle, go homemade with your own classic dumplings. Whether you dress them up in a light tomato pasta sauce or dazzle them in an herbaceous basil pesto, these pillow potato dumplings are a delicious pasta for all seasons and occasions. Once you see how easy it is to create tasty homemade potato gnocchi, you might never opt for store-bought gnocchi again!

Recipe: Homemade Potato Gnocchi

You'll need the following to begin:

  • 2 1/2 pounds of potatoes, approximately 4 large potatoes or 6 small potatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup or more for working dough
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • A dry, clean workspace

To make potato and cheese gnocchi, add 1/2 cup ricotta, and 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

*General rule of thumb: 1 medium-sized potato per serving or person. For every potato, use approximately 1/2 cup of flour.

Boil potatoes: Place the whole potatoes (with their skins still on*) in a large stockpot. Fill the pot with just enough water to cover the potatoes. Boil for about 20 minutes, or until fork tender. Be careful not to over-boil.

*If you skin the potatoes before boiling, they will absorb too much water. Dry potatoes are good. Watery potatoes are bad.

Drain well: Remove the potatoes from the pot and drain well. Allow them to cool in a colander or over a cheesecloth to get rid of any excess water.

Peel potatoes: Peel the boiled potatoes. Remove any brown spots.

Rice potatoes:Using a potato ricer, rice the peeled potatoes. If they appear watery at this point, allow them to rest on a dishtowel to absorb excess water.

Build the foundation: Create a mound of the riced potato on the middle of a wooden board or a clean, dry countertop. Top with the flour.

Salt the dough: Sprinkle with salt.

Make a well: Using your hands, scoop out the center of your mound to form a well.

Add the egg: Break the egg into the center of the well. Beat the egg with a fork.

*If you are making potato and cheese gnocchi, this is when you would add the cheese to the dough.

Incorporate the ingredients: Using a fork, slowly begin to pull in the flour and the potato to combine all of the ingredients.

Begin to form: Now, use your hands to bring the dough together and thoroughly combine the ingredients.

Knead the dough*: Once all the ingredients come together, it’s time to knead to form the dough. Be careful not to over-knead the dough. Also, be weary of adding flour at this point. Too much flour will give you tough gnocchi.

*The SECRET to perfect gnocchi lies in this step! Knead just enough for the dough to come together. It should have a loose, airy texture—no gooey or dense.

Cut the dough: Cut the dough into 8-10 strips, like slicing a bread loaf. Each strip should be about 1 inch wide and 4 inches long.

Roll dough into ropes: Roll each strip of dough by gently pushing with your fingers to spread. The goal is to make an even ropes without bumps or thinner spots. For shorter, heavier gnocchi, roll dough into thick ropes. For thinner gnocchi, roll into longer ropes.

Cut rope into 1" pieces. Optional: Create ridges or indents: If you like the look, you can use a fork to create ridges or indents gently with your thumb. This process isn’t necessary, but adds to the aesthetic of your final dish.

Keep gnocchi well-floured:To prevent sticking, place your cut gnocchi in a cool area. Toss them with extra flour while they are waiting to be cooked or frozen.

Cook the gnocchi: Before you cook, gently shake away any excess flour from your gnocchi. Place them in a large pot of well-salted boiling water. Cook gnocchi until they float to the top, about 2 to 4 minutes. Gently remove them with a slotted spoon and drain well. Toss them in a saucepan with your favorite sauce and cook together for about 2 minutes to marry flavors.

Do not wait longer than 45 minutes to cook gnocchi or they will begin to stick to each other.  

This recipe makes 4-6 servings. Click here for our straight-up recipe for homemade gnocchi (no step-by-step photos).

Storage Options

If you want to make the gnocchi ahead of time you have 2 options:

Freeze: Arrange the gnocchi on a baking sheet with excess flour to keep from sticking. Place baking sheet in the freezer for about 2 hours, or until they are completely frozen. Once they are frozen, remove them from the baking sheet and store until you are ready to cook. Do not thaw gnocchi before cooking. Place frozen gnocchi in boiling water to cook. Gnocchi can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Cook and refrigerate:Follow the cooking instructions above. Once cooked, gently remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon and place into a bowl of ice-cold water (an ice bath) to cool down. Drain well and toss lightly with a touch of olive oil to prevent sticking. Store in a covered container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When you are ready to serve, simply toss gnocchi with warmed sauce in saucepan.

Looking for homemade gnocchi with less work? Try our Potato & Cheese Italian Gnocchi Kit!