Gnocchi made easy with Pesto and Zucchini

Looking for a delicious and easy vegetarian meal? Try making gnocchi with zucchini and pesto! This recipe is quick, flavorful, and satisfying.

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Gnocchi is an Italian dish that has gained worldwide popularity in recent years. It is a versatile and easy-to-make dish that can be served as a main course or a side dish. One of the most popular variations of gnocchi is courgette pesto gnocchi, which combines the classic pesto sauce with the lightness of courgette.

Looking for a delicious and easy-to-make Italian dish? Try our recipe for gnocchi with zucchini and pesto! This dish combines pillowy gnocchi with sautéed zucchini and a flavorful pesto sauce for a mouthwatering meal. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a special occasion, this recipe is sure to become a favorite. Get the full recipe and step-by-step instructions now.

gnocchi with zucchini and pest

Short history

Gnocchi is a traditional Italian dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. The word gnocchi is derived from the Italian word “nocca,” which means knuckle or knot, and refers to the small dumplings made from potatoes, flour, and eggs.

The exact origin of gnocchi is difficult to trace, but it is believed to have originated in Northern Italy, where potatoes were a common staple food. In the 16th century, the dish spread throughout Italy and became a popular meal for the lower classes due to its low cost and simple preparation.

In the early 20th century, Italian immigrants brought gnocchi to America, where it became a beloved comfort food. Today, gnocchi is enjoyed all over the world and can be prepared in a variety of ways, from traditional potato gnocchi with tomato sauce to more modern versions with pesto, cream sauce, or even baked in the oven.

Recipe variations to explore

Here are five delicious recipes that you can make with gnocchi:

Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella

Boil the gnocchi according to the package instructions. In a separate pan, sauté some garlic in olive oil. Add a can of crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper to taste. Let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the gnocchi to the sauce and stir to combine. Top with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Gnocchi with Pesto and Roasted Vegetables

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Toss some chopped vegetables (such as zucchini, bell peppers, and onions) with olive oil and salt. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Cook the gnocchi according to the package instructions. In a separate pan, heat up some pesto sauce. Add the cooked gnocchi and roasted vegetables to the pan and stir to combine.

Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage

Cook the gnocchi according to the package instructions. In a separate pan, melt some butter over medium heat. Add a handful of chopped fresh sage leaves and cook until the butter turns golden brown and the sage leaves are crispy. Add the cooked gnocchi to the pan and stir to coat in the butter sauce. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Gnocchi with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Cook the gnocchi according to the package instructions. In a separate pan, sauté some sliced mushrooms in butter until they are golden brown. Add some heavy cream and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooked gnocchi to the pan and stir to coat in the creamy mushroom sauce.

Gnocchi with Sausage and Kale

Cook the gnocchi according to the package instructions. In a separate pan, cook some sliced sausage until browned. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, sauté some chopped kale in olive oil until wilted. Add the cooked gnocchi and sausage back to the pan and stir to combine. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Serving options

Gnocchi is a traditional Italian pasta that is made with potato, flour, and egg. It can be served in a variety of ways, depending on personal preference and the occasion. Here are some ideas for how to serve gnocchi:

  1. With tomato sauce: Gnocchi pairs well with a classic tomato sauce, which can be made from scratch or using a store-bought version. You can also add some fresh herbs, such as basil or oregano, for extra flavor.
  2. With pesto: Another popular way to serve gnocchi is with pesto, a sauce made from basil, garlic, pine nuts, and olive oil. You can also add some grated parmesan cheese for a richer flavor.
  3. With butter and sage: For a simple yet delicious way to serve gnocchi, toss them in melted butter and fresh sage leaves. This is a great option for those who prefer a lighter sauce.
  4. Baked with cheese: If you like your pasta dishes cheesy, try baking the gnocchi with some grated Parmesan or mozzarella cheese. You can also add some breadcrumbs for a crunchy texture.
  5. In a soup: Gnocchi can also be added to soups, such as minestrone or chicken noodle soup, for a heartier meal. Simply cook the gnocchi separately and add it to the soup just before serving.

No matter how you choose to serve gnocchi, be sure to cook it properly first. Gnocchi should be boiled in salted water until they float to the surface, which usually takes about 2-3 minutes. Drain the gnocchi well and then toss it with your desired sauce or toppings.

The best kind of drinks that go well with Gnocchi

Gnocchi, which are small dumplings made from potatoes, can be served with a variety of beverages depending on personal taste and the accompanying sauce or toppings. Here are some common beverage options:

  1. Red Wine: A robust red wine, such as Chianti, Barolo or Cabernet Sauvignon, can pair well with a hearty gnocchi dish topped with a rich tomato sauce or meat-based ragù.
  2. White Wine: A crisp white wine, such as Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, can be a good option for lighter gnocchi dishes, such as those with a simple butter and herb sauce.
  3. Beer: A light, refreshing beer such as a Pilsner or a Belgian wheat beer can complement the flavors of a gnocchi dish with a creamy or cheesy sauce.
  4. Sparkling Wine: For a celebratory meal, a sparkling wine such as Prosecco or Champagne can be a good option to pair with gnocchi.
  5. Water: Water is always a good choice to accompany a meal, especially if you want to cleanse your palate between bites and fully enjoy the flavors of your gnocchi dish.

Here are some interesting facts about gnocchi:

  1. Gnocchi is a traditional Italian dish made of potato, flour, and eggs. The word “gnocchi” comes from the Italian word “nocca,” which means “knuckle” or “knot.”
  2. Gnocchi is believed to have originated in Northern Italy, where potatoes were first introduced in the 16th century. However, there are also theories that suggest that gnocchi may have been introduced by the Etruscans, an ancient civilization that lived in Italy before the Roman Empire.
  3. Gnocchi can be made with different types of flour, such as all-purpose flour, semolina, or cornmeal. Some variations of gnocchi also include other ingredients like ricotta cheese or spinach.
  4. Gnocchi is often served with tomato sauce, pesto, or melted butter and grated Parmesan cheese. It can also be baked or fried.
  5. Gnocchi is a versatile dish that can be served as a main course or as a side dish. It is also a popular comfort food in Italy.
  6. In some regions of Italy, gnocchi is traditionally eaten on Thursdays, known as “gnocchi day.” The tradition dates back to the Catholic practice of abstaining from meat on Fridays, so people would eat gnocchi on Thursdays as a hearty meal before the fasting day.
  7. Gnocchi is also a popular dish in Argentina, Uruguay, and other Latin American countries, where it is often served with a tomato or meat sauce.
  8. The world’s largest plate of gnocchi was made in Argentina in 2011. It weighed 1,250 kg and was 6 meters long.

How to serve:

Courgette pesto gnocchi can be served as a main course or a side dish. It pairs well with a fresh salad or roasted vegetables. You can also add some grilled chicken or shrimp for a protein boost.

How to decorate:

To make your courgette pesto gnocchi look even more appetizing, you can garnish it with some fresh basil leaves, grated Parmesan cheese, or some toasted pine nuts.

Health benefits:

Courgette pesto gnocchi is a healthy option for any meal. Courgettes are low in calories and high in fiber, making them a great choice for weight loss. They are also rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which help to support overall health. Additionally, the pesto sauce is made with olive oil, which is rich in healthy fats that help to lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation.

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gnocchi with zucchini and pest

How to make easy gnocchi with pesto and zucchini

This recipe is a delicious and easy-to-make vegetarian dish that combines potato gnocchi with fresh pesto sauce and sautéed zucchini. The gnocchi are boiled until tender, then tossed with homemade or store-bought pesto, which adds a burst of vibrant flavor. Meanwhile, the zucchini is quickly cooked in a pan with olive oil and garlic until tender and lightly browned, providing a perfect complement to the creamy gnocchi and fragrant pesto. This dish is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a satisfying lunch, and can be easily customized with additional vegetables or protein.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 384 kcal


  • Large pot: You’ll need a large pot to boil the gnocchi. Make sure the pot is big enough to hold the gnocchi comfortably, without overcrowding them.
  • Colander: Once the gnocchi are cooked, you’ll need to drain them. A colander is perfect for this job.
  • Skillet: You’ll need a skillet to cook the zucchini. Make sure the skillet is large enough to hold all the zucchini without overcrowding them.
  • Wooden spoon: A wooden spoon is great for stirring the zucchini as they cook. It won’t scratch your skillet and won’t melt like a plastic spoon.
  • Garlic press: If your recipe calls for garlic, a garlic press is a handy tool to have. It makes mincing garlic a breeze.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: If you’re following a recipe, you’ll need measuring cups and spoons to ensure you add the right amount of ingredients.
  • Serving dish: Finally, you’ll need a serving dish to plate your gnocchi and zucchini. Choose a dish that is large enough to hold everything without overcrowding it.


  • 500 g store-bought gnocchi
  • 2 medium zucchinis sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp pesto
  • 50g grated Parmesan cheese


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they float to the surface. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced zucchini and cook for 5-7 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the cooked gnocchi to the skillet with the zucchini and toss to combine.
  • Stir in the pesto and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until everything is heated through.
  • Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the top and serve.
  • Enjoy your delicious store-bought gnocchi with pesto and zucchini!



Here are a few tips and tricks to make the perfect courgette pesto gnocchi:
 Use fresh courgettes for the best flavor.
 Don’t overcook the gnocchi; it should be firm to the bite.
Use a non-stick pan to cook the gnocchi.
Use a fork to make ridges on the gnocchi to help it hold the sauce better.
Add a splash of olive oil to the cooking water to prevent the gnocchi from sticking together.
Drain the gnocchi quickly and shake off the excess water to prevent it from getting too mushy.
Serve the gnocchi immediately after cooking for the best flavor and texture.
If you enjoyed making courgette pesto gnocchi, you might also like these similar recipes:
– Butternut squash gnocchi
– Sweet potato gnocchi
– Spinach and ricotta gnocchi
– Pumpkin gnocchi
– Beetroot gnocchi
Keyword basil, garlic, gnocchi, olive oil, parmesan cheese, pepper, pesto, pine nuts, salt, zucchini pasta

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Recipe Rating

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! And very easy to make this recipe! Thank you for sharing with us!