gnocchi side dishes

What To Serve With Gnocchi?

Gnocchi is something decadent, subtle, yet filling. You can prepare it in various ways, including meat, vegetarian, or in a creamy sauce. However, as you might be aware, having a tasty side dish to go with it can make all the difference.

Keep reading to find out what to eat with gnocchi! You will be amazed at how many recipes go well with your favorite gnocchi meal.

What Is Gnocchi?

Gnocchi is a type of Italian dumpling made from dough. The dough usually contains semolina, wheat flour, eggs, cheese, potatoes, breadcrumbs, and other ingredients. This same dough is rolled out and then cut into smaller pieces.

Although many believe that gnocchi only contains potatoes, they almost always contain wheat, so they are not safe for people with a gluten allergy. After you cut your gnocchi, you should press them with a fork or cheese grater to make ridges on them.

Usually, gnocchi is the first course, but it might be a side dish. Some toppings include butter, sage, pesto, creamy sauces, and more. You can make your gnocchi at home or buy them ready to cook or freeze.

Gnocchi is consumed across the world, not just in Italy. In countries like Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, gnocchi is a tradition that families eat on the 29th of every month. You can see gnocchi at many restaurants across Europe.

Nutrition Facts

One cup of gnocchi with cheese (70 g) has the following nutritional content (*):

  • 125 calories
  • 48.3 g water
  • 5.94 g protein
  • 8.33 g fat
  • 6.49 g carbohydrate
  • 0.14 g fiber
  • 0.112 g sugar
  • 119 mg calcium
  • 0.553 mg iron
  • 7.7 mg magnesium
  • 102 mg phosphorus
  • 56.7 mg potassium
  • 186 mg sodium
  • 91 µg vitamin A
  • 44.8 mg cholesterol

While gnocchi does not contain much protein, they are also relatively low in fat and carbohydrate. To make your gnocchi dish healthier, add more ingredients, such as lean protein, vegetables, or tomato sauce. You can also make them gluten-free by using only potatoes and potato flour.

What Goes With Gnocchi

Below are some easy gnocchi side dishes that you can serve at any time!

#1. Sweet Marinara Sauce

Marinara sauce is a classic Italian recipe, and it goes perfectly well with the gnocchi. Our recipe below is sweet and spicy, but just the perfect balance of flavors.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 1 ½ can of crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your sweet marinara sauce:

  1. Clean your onion, dice it, and set it aside.
  2. Add two tablespoons of olive oil to a large saucepan. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the red wine, allowing it to deglaze, while using a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape up the bottom, and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes, and continue mixing for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the tomato paste, brown sugar, basil, oregano, parsley, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
  6. Pour the remaining olive oil, and continue simmering for a few minutes.
  7. Stir in ground beef or Italian sausage (if using any), and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  8. Serve your hot sweet marinara sauce over your gnocchi and finish off by topping with a few fresh basil leaves.

Tip: if not using meat, simmer your tomatoes for about 20 to 30 minutes and serve immediately.

#2. Garlic and Oregano Mushrooms

Mushrooms are always a good addition to any recipe because they are tasty and nutritious. You can add other herbs and spices to make the flavors stand out even more.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • ½ tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ⅓ cup chicken broth
  • ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your garlic and oregano mushrooms:

  1. Clean and slice your mushrooms and onion. Set them aside.
  2. Add the olive oil to a large saucepan. Stir in the garlic, mushrooms, and onions. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  3. Stir in the oregano, parsley, thyme, cumin, and chicken broth. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until your mushrooms and onions soften.
  4. Stir in the heavy whipping cream and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for a few more minutes.
  5. Add the cornstarch and mix until it thickens, which should take about 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Serve your garlic and oregano mushrooms warm on top of your gnocchi.

#3. Roasted Parmesan Asparagus

Another delicious vegetable to go with your gnocchi is asparagus. Not only does it add crunch, but it also adds flavors and aroma.


  • A bunch of asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your roasted parmesan asparagus:

  1. Wash, clean, and trim your asparagus. Set them aside.
  2. Clean and slice the shallot and set it aside with the asparagus.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 °F.
  4. Add the asparagus and shallot to a Ziploc bag with olive oil, breadcrumbs, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  5. Grease a baking pan and spread the asparagus and shallot on it. Pour the remaining olive oil mixture on top.
  6. Sprinkle your vegetables with lemon juice.
  7. Roast your asparagus in the oven for 10 minutes or until it softens and the cheese melts.
  8. Serve your roasted parmesan asparagus warm with gnocchi on the side.

#4. Balsamic Tomato Salad

A salad is also a great idea to pair with your gnocchi, as it can break through its density. This balsamic tomato salad is perfect because it adds sweet and acidic flavors.


  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your balsamic tomato salad:

  1. Wash, clean, chop your onion and place it in a large bowl.
  2. Wash, clean, halve the cherry tomatoes, and put them in the bowl.
  3. Stir in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic. Toss well.
  4. Add the oregano, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper. Toss again.
  5. Serve your balsamic tomato salad fresh on the side of your gnocchi.

Tip: you can also place your balsamic tomato salad in the fridge and store it for a couple of days.

#5. Homemade Pesto Sauce

Pesto is a classic sauce to go with your favorite pasta dish. Making it at home might seem scary, but it is much easier than you imagine.


  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup fresh parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your homemade pesto sauce:

  1. Place the basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender.
  2. Pulse everything until it blends and becomes a thick mixture.
  3. On a low setting, continue processing the ingredients as you slowly add the olive oil.
  4. Serve your homemade pesto sauce immediately on top of your gnocchi.

Tip: save your homemade pesto sauce for later by storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can keep your sauce for one week.

#6. Caponata

Caponata is something everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. After you make this at home, you will fall in love with it and make it often.


  • 1 large eggplant, cubed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 can roasted tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup pitted black olives, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your caponata:

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 400 °F.
  2. Wash and clean all your vegetables. Chop them and set them aside separately.
  3. Line a baking sheet and place the eggplant cubes on it.
  4. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and two tablespoons of olive oil. Proceed to roast the eggplant in the oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until it softens, but move it around halfway.
  5. Add the remaining olive oil to a skillet. Once it is hot, add the onion and bell pepper, and cook for about 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the garlic and the tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper.
  7. After a few minutes, add the black olives, capers, oregano, parsley, and red wine vinegar. Simmer at low heat for 10 more minutes.
  8. Stir in the eggplant and sugar, and cook for a couple more minutes.
  9. Allow your caponata to cool down and settle for at least one hour.
  10. Serve your caponata warm or at room temperature with a fresh baguette.

#7. Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Alfredo sauce is another one of the classic sauces. This recipe is easy to make and very decadent, and it will pair nicely with your gnocchi.


  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups fresh parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Follow these steps to prepare your homemade alfredo sauce:

  1. Add the butter, cream, and cream cheese to a saucepan. Simmer for a couple of minutes over medium-low heat or until the cheese melts entirely.
  2. Stir in the garlic powder, Italian seasoning, cumin, salt, and pepper. Whisk everything.
  3. Add the parmesan cheese and continue to whisk.
  4. Allow the sauce to simmer for 5 minutes or until it thickens to the consistency you like.
  5. Serve your homemade alfredo sauce immediately over your gnocchi.

Tip: you can store this homemade alfredo sauce in the fridge for a couple of days.


What to Eat with Gnocchi

Let’s make this alfredo sauce to go with gnocchi
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Sauce
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2


  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups parmesan cheese fresh
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a saucepan over medium-low heat, add butter, cream and cream cheese then simmer for a few minutes until the cheese and cream mixture become homogeneous.
  • Add the spices and seasoning in and mix well.
  • Finally, add parmesan cheese in and let the sauce simmer until the desired thickness is achieved.
  • Serve this alfredo sauce immediately over your gnocchi.

How Can I Pick The Perfect Gnocchi Sides?

Gnocchi is something you love to have at home or in a restaurant. Still, you should know what goes well with gnocchi before preparing your meal. These recipes are easy to follow and very satisfying for everyone.

If you want to complement your gnocchi but also want it to shine, go with a sauce. You can try the homemade pesto sauce for sweet and savory flavors or the alfredo sauce for creamy goodness. You can also go with the sweet marinara sauce that is dense and delicious.

For gnocchi that you are serving on its own, you can try a side dish instead. The garlic and oregano mushrooms are always on point. Otherwise, try the balsamic tomato salad, which is citrus and salty in a perfect way.

Finally, you can serve something traditional or brand new with your gnocchi. For a traditional side dish, go with the roasted parmesan asparagus that is crunchy and complex. You could also go with the caponata, a new recipe that promises to have you hooked.


Gnocchi does not have to be boring! They can become a family favorite and be different every time. You can prepare these recipes at the same time or on their own, but they are sure to make your meal better.

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*image by Magdanatka/depositphotos

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