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Creamy Pesto Gnocchi Recipe (Vegetarian)

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This creamy pesto gnocchi recipe features soft pillowy gnocchi tossed in a bright and flavorful pesto sauce with parmesan cheese. A 20-minute dinner that is easy enough for a weeknight meal, but fancy enough to enjoy on a special occasion.

The creamy sauce is made by melting butter, parmesan cheese, and adding in some of the gnocchi cooking water to thicken the sauce without using cream. You can add in your favorite pesto to this recipe – and top it off with extra parmesan cheese for a kick.

creamy pesto gnocchi recipe vegetarian meatless gnocchi recipe with creamy basil pesto sauce recipe

It’s pesto season on our homestead – our basil plants are producing like crazy. I made this creamy pesto gnocchi after harvesting so much basil that was begging to be turned into a delicious sauce. I included a homemade pesto recipe below, but using a store-bought pesto is also totally fine – keep it simple!

Gnocchi are one of my favorite pastas, I love every soft bite. The word gnocchi comes from the Italian word for “little knots” which are perfect descriptions of these little dumplings. I used a store-bought potato gnocchi, which you can find in any major grocery store, or if you can make them from scratch.

This Creamy Pesto Gnocchi Recipe Is:

  • Bright
  • Fresh
  • Creamy
  • Herby
  • Soft & Pillowy
  • Comforting
  • Satisfying
  • Vegetarian

creamy gnocchi with pesto made with basil garlic olive oil water walnuts in a food processor and lemon juice

Easy Weeknight Gnocchi Dinner Recipes

This creamy pesto gnocchi is what I call an Easy Weeknight Meal – which is on your table in about 30 minutes.  These quick and simple recipes are perfect for those nights when you want a healthy homecooked meal but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. I have a whole section of The Herbeevore dedicated to Easy Weeknight Meals, that are great for the whole family. From soups and stews, to pastas and proteins – a healthy meal can be on your table in no time.  Even faster than ordering takeout!

What’s In This Creamy Gnocchi with Pesto Sauce Recipe?

I stock up on organic produce with Misfits Market  – they have a fantastic selection of in-season fruits & veggies, healthy pantry items, and great food finds for a fraction of grocery store prices! You can get $10 off your first $30 box by clicking here!

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: I like to use this fruity olive oil which has a fantastic flavor and deep color- it’s inexpensive & I like to keep a few liters stocked up in my pantry.  For the quality of oil you get, it’s an excellent value.
  • Garlic
  • Gnocchi – I love this classic potato gnocchi with is super light, super tender, and so good in this sauce.  Make sure to save the cooking water too which will thicken the sauce.
  • Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed is best
  • Pesto Sauce – I used homemade (see my recipe below), but I absolutely love this pesto when I get store-bought. A tip for buying pesto – check first in the refrigerated section of your grocery store, rather than the jarred pasta sauce section. I find that fresh pesto has so much more flavor than jarred.
  • Butter
  • Parmesan Cheese – gives that extra bit of flavor and richness to this dish. Whether you use a sharp real cheese parmesan, or a vegan version, adding a little extra into the sauce (and for garnish) makes this dish delicious.
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

creamy pesto sauce with gnocchi with parmesan cheese basil pasta cooking water homemade or storebought pesto for pasta and fresh basil

How Do I Make This Creamy Gnocchi with Basil Pesto?

For the Creamy Pesto Gnocchi

  1. Cook gnocchi according to package instructions. Once finished cooking, remove from heat and leave in the cooking water for a few minutes (save the water, as it will be used to thicken the sauce).
  2. In a pan, add the olive oil over low heat. Add the chopped garlic and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until the garlic begins to brown. Using a slotted spoon, drain the gnocchi and add into the pan with the garlic. Toss well to combine.
  3. Add the butter, Squeeze in the lemon juice, and stir in the pesto. Sprinkle in the parmesan cheese, and pour 2/3 cup of the gnocchi cooking water. Stir well, the sauce will thicken as it cooks – if sauce is too thick, add 1/4 cup of cooking water at a time to thin out the gnocchi. 
  4. Once gnocchi is stirred together with the pesto and parmesan cheese and a thick sauce has formed, serve the gnocchi. Top with an extra sprinkle of parmesan cheese and fresh chopped basil, if desired.

For the Pesto (If Making Your Own)

  1. To a food processor, add the basil, walnuts, garlic, lemon, parmesan cheese, and water. 
  2. Secure lid, and pulse until basil leaves are well chopped. If the leaves are stuck to the sides, remove lid, scrape the sides with a wooden spoon, and pulse again.
  3. Turn the food processor on, and stream in the olive oil. 
  4. Remove lid, and add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Make This Gnocchi Recipe Vegetarian for a Healthy Version

This vegetarian pesto gnocchi is a simple way to get extra veggies in your diet. I’m all about making recipes plant-based when I can. Vegetarian cooking does NOT have to be bland, boring, or flavorless… It’s quite the opposite when done right. By building meals around vegetarian pantry staples and swapping in a few plant-based ingredients you can make healthier meals for you and your family.

I made a list of my 125 favorite vegan pantry ingredients that we use on a weekly basis, and check out all my vegetarian recipes here that are on The Herbeevore. These easy and healthy recipes are fantastic meatless meals for your table.

More Creamy 30 Minute Pasta Recipes You’ll Love!

White Wine Mushroom Sauce Pasta Recipe

Creamy Red Pepper Pasta Recipe

Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

Instant Pot Noodles with Peanut Sauce

Creamy Vegan Lemon Pasta Recipe (Dairy Free, Plant-Based)

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Get the Same Ingredients for this Creamy Pesto Gnocchi Recipe

 

As always, if you make this vegetarian creamy pesto gnocchi recipe be sure to leave me a comment, rate this recipe, and tag me @theherbeevore on Instagram so I can feature you.  I love seeing all your photos of my recipes!

Let’s keep in touch – make sure to sign up for my newsletter to get free recipe inspiration. And don’t forget to follow over on Pinterest, Instagram , & my YouTube channel – I’d love to connect with you there! 

gnocchi with pesto recipe healthy homemade pesto sauce potato gnocchi recipes vegetarian pasta dinner recipes with basil sauce for pesto

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi

The Herbeevore
This creamy pesto gnocchi recipe features soft pillowy gnocchi tossed in a bright and flavorful pesto sauce with parmesan cheese. A 20-minute dinner that is easy enough for a weeknight meal, but fancy enough to enjoy on a special occasion. The creamy sauce is made by melting butter, parmesan cheese, and adding in some of the gnocchi cooking water to thicken the sauce without using cream. You can add in your favorite pesto to this recipe - and top it off with extra parmesan cheese for a kick.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Dinner, Pasta
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 2 servings
Calories 435 kcal

Equipment

  • Large Saucepan

Ingredients
  

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 ounces gnocchi save cooking water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 cup pesto sauce store bought or see recipe below for homemade version
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup gnocchi cooking water
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Homemade Basil & Walnut Pesto (If Making Your Own)

Instructions
 

For the Creamy Pesto Gnocchi

  • Cook gnocchi according to package instructions. Once finished cooking, remove from heat and leave in the cooking water for a few minutes (save the water, as it will be used to thicken the sauce).
  • In a pan, add the olive oil over low heat. Add the chopped garlic and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until the garlic begins to brown. Using a slotted spoon, drain the gnocchi and add into the pan with the garlic. Toss well to combine.
  • Add the butter, Squeeze in the lemon juice, and stir in the pesto. Sprinkle in the parmesan cheese, and pour 2/3 cup of the gnocchi cooking water. Stir well, the sauce will thicken as it cooks - if sauce is too thick, add 1/4 cup of cooking water at a time to thin out the gnocchi.
  • Once gnocchi is stirred together with the pesto and parmesan cheese and a thick sauce has formed, serve the gnocchi. Top with an extra sprinkle of parmesan cheese and fresh chopped basil, if desired.

For the Pesto (If Making Your Own)

  • To a food processor, add the basil, walnuts, garlic, lemon, parmesan cheese, and water.
  • Secure lid, and pulse until basil leaves are well chopped. If the leaves are stuck to the sides, remove lid, scrape the sides with a wooden spoon, and pulse again.
  • Turn the food processor on, and stream in the olive oil.
  • Remove lid, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Video

Notes

Save Money on Fresh Groceries & Pantry Staples!

I get all the fresh produce for my recipes from my garden and from Misfits Market - they sell produce & pantry staples (even wine!) at a super discounted price. We get Misfit Market boxes every month and love picking out our favorite seasonal produce for delivery. You can get $10 off your first $30 box by clicking here! 
Give Misfits Market a look if you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it!

Nutrition

Calories: 435kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 8gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.03gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 980mgPotassium: 28mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1275IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 140mgIron: 4mg
Keyword creamy basil gnocchi, creamy gnocchi recipe with pesto, creamy gnocchi recipes, creamy pesto gnocchi, gnocchi with basil sauce, gnocchi with pesto recipe, vegetarian gnocchi recipes
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This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Herbeevore and our beehives!

 

Posted in 30 Minute Dinners, American, Dinners, Italian, Pastas, Summer Recipes, The Herbeevore Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes, Winter Recipes

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