How To Make Handmade Pan Fried Gnocchi

You’ve got to whip up a batch of handmade pan fried gnocchi! This dish is the ultimate Italian comfort food!

handmade gnocchi with spinach artichoke sauce on a plate

It is dense, flavorful, and really rather rich. You will hear people refer to it as pasta, but the fact is it is an Italian dumpling. It is most often made with potato and flour, unless you get your hands on a fresh batch made from an Italian grandmother. Then it also has ricotta cheese in the dough. AND it’s outrageously delicious!

Gnocchi can be served as a main entree or as a side dish, and it is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.

What does gnocchi taste like?

It is best when it is handmade from scratch. The difference is significant and well worth the extra effort! After just one bite of handmade gnocchi, you will never entertain the thought of eating store bought gnocchi again!

ricer tool with peeled baked potatoes on a cutting board

It is tender and light, with a mild flavor that compliments other flavors well. This makes it extremely versatile. The perfect vessel to carry a wide variety of sauces.

It is important to be a bit choosy when selecting the ingredients for your gnocchi. Using just any old flour, potato, and cheese will not get you the most optimum results when making this dish.

Pick a good quality russet potato, it will add less water to the dough and help it keep it’s shape.

All-purpose flour will work well enough, but make sure it is organic. You will find a big difference in the taste of the final product by making this choice.

And be sure to spend a little extra when purchasing the cheeses for this Italian treat. A high quality Italian ricotta and parmesan have a completely different flavor than their more popular, less expensive counterparts.

Since you’ve gone to all the trouble and expense of making such careful selections for ingredients, you should also get your hands on some farm fresh eggs for good measure. And, of course, for added flavor as well.

Are gnocchi hard to make?

People seem to be more intimidated by the thought of making this rich, hearty Italian pasta dish than they are by trying new recipes in general.

Yet, handmade pan fried gnocchi are not hard to make at all. They do take a bit more time than store bought, but that is true of any dish cooked from scratch.

handmade pan fried gnocchi with sauce ready to be served

The simplest gnocchi recipes out there contains only 3 ingredients; potatoes, flour, and eggs. They are tasty enough, and if that is all you have in the house you shouldn’t let that hold you back from making a batch of these scrumptious little pasta dumplings.

However, do go all the way and add in some ricotta and parmesan cheese in order to make a truly spectacular gnocchi. The cheeses make all the difference in the world.

You can take your gnocchi making experience to an even higher level by adding in some seasonings, or even a little fresh spinach if you like.

And if you’re a social creature this dish is absolutely perfect for a ‘let’s make dinner’ party!

You know, the kind of party where a few good friends get together and create incredibly tasty food from scratch. They enjoy the good company that this activity provides, as much as the good food.

And perhaps even share a glass of wine or two while they’re working, which is the Italian way!

How to make handmade pan fried gnocchi

The steps to making handmade gnocchi are really pretty elementary.

Here is a basic breakdown of the process …

  1. Prepare the dough
  2. Roll the dough out into a rope
  3. Slice the dough rope into bite size pieces (gnocchis)
  4. Score the gnocchi pieces with a fork
  5. Allow the gnocchi to rest at room temperature
  6. Boil the gnocchi until it floats
  7. Pan fry the gnocchi until lightly browned
  8. Top with your choice of sauce
sliced gnocchi dough on a cutting board
scored gnocchi dough on a cutting board with a fork
handmade gnocchi lined on a tray waiting to be cooked


It’s impossible to count the times that the words, “I didn’t score my gnocchi, I’m not that fancy” have been spoken.

Scoring gnocchi is not done to make it ‘fancy’, so don’t allow yourself to be fooled into thinking it is not important. Gnocchi is scored so that the little dumpling-like bits of pasta have a way to grab onto the sauce they are served with.

This makes the dish much more flavorful, and is a step that should not be skipped.

The fact that it makes it more attractive is simply a bonus!

Can you fry gnocchi without boiling it?

Boiling gnocchi before you pan fry it is a necessary step. It cooks the dumpling and gives them a soft, pillow-y interior.

Pan frying them after they have been boiled will give them a firm, slightly crispy exterior. And it is an optional step, although a highly recommended one.

handmade gnocchi frying in a pan

If you won’t be serving them right away, you can roll them in a light coating of oil after they have been boiled and place them in the refrigerator to be fried on another day.

To fry them, be sure that there is enough butter or oil in the pan to keep the gnocchi from sticking, and that the pan is very hot. Cooking them this way is a process that goes quickly. You will need to stay right there with them to make sure that they sear nicely.

You don’t want them to stick to the pan. They will need to sit in the oil just long enough to brown them a bit. As soon as they have browned a bit, you will need to be flip them to brown the other side.

What kind of sauce should I top my handmade pan fried gnocchi with?

The choices for sauce toppings for this dish are absolutely ENDLESS!

You can try a variety of different sauces until you find a favorite, or you can choose several that you like and rotate them according to the mood you find yourself in on gnocchi making day.

homemade spinach artichoke sauce in a bowl

This recipe uses a creamy artichoke spinach sauce that is out of this world. There’s no doubt you’ll find yourself making it often!

It is prepared with your choice of plant milk, making it much healthier than the heavy cream based versions that are more readily available online. Yet, it will not disappoint. It is just as tasty and can be thickened to a consistency of your liking.

Here are just a few other great sauce choices for topping your gnocchi …

  • red tomato sauce
  • creamy mushroom sauce
  • butter garlic herb sauce
  • basil pesto sauce
  • alfredo sauce
  • bolognese sauce
chopped onions and a knife on a cutting board
a bulb of garlic and a garlic press on a tabletop
spinach artichokes and garlic to make sauce

Meet me in the comments and let me know how your gnocchi came out and which sauce you chose to serve it with.

I’d love to hear all about it!

pinnable image for handmade pan fried gnocchi

If you try these recipes and love them, please give them 5 stars! It supports my work more than you may realize, and I appreciate that a great deal!

You can also show your support by tagging me on Facebook @sustainableslowliving or Instagram @slowlivingbydianegail when you post a pic of your finished dishes.

handmade pan fried gnocchi with sauce ready to be served


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Handmade pan fried gnocchi is the ultimate Italian comfort food. This recipe makes a hearty, flavorful version of these little dumplings using potatoes and cheese.


  • 2 cups pre-baked russet potatoes (peeled, riced, and cooled to room temperature)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, whole fat
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (organic, plus extra for shaping and scoring)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor. Blend them using the dough hook attachment until they form a ball and separate from the sides of the bowl.
  2. Form the dough into a large log and lay it on a well-floured surface.
  3. Slice the log into five sections.
  4. Roll each section out into a 1 1/2 inch thick rope.
  5. Slice the ropes into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
  6. Score each piece with a fork. To do this place the tip of your thumb under the gnocchi, flour the back of the fork, and roll the fork over the surface of the gnocchi. You will be rolling the gnocchi over the tip of your thumb and the fork over the surface of the gnocch at the same time. This action will create a divet in the back of the gnocchi and grooves in the front.
  7. Lay the gnocchi out on a tray lined with parchment paper and allow them to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
  8. Drop the gnocchi into a large pot of boiling water. Stir immediately. Allow to cook until gnocchi begin to float.
  9. Drain gnocchi well.
  10. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet, on medium high, until a gnocchi dropped in it immediately begins to sizzle.
  11. Pour gnocchi into the skillet and allow to brown lightly on one side before flipping them.
  12. Flip gnocchi and lightly brown the other side.
  13. Serve immediately, topped with your favorite sauce.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 601Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 227mgCarbohydrates: 89gFiber: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 23g

Nutritional data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 3/19/2021. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

homemade spinach artichoke sauce in a bowl


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This creamy artichoke spinach sauce is out of this world. There's no doubt you'll find yourself making it often!

It is prepared with your choice of plant milk, making it much healthier than it's heavy cream based counterpart. Yet, it is just as tasty and can be thickened to a consistency of your liking.


  • 4 tbls unsalted organic butter
  • 1 medium onion (rough chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (pressed)
  • 2 cups plant milk (your choice, unsweetened)
  • 1 tbls vegetable broth paste
  • 2 tbls lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 1 14oz can quartered artichoke hearts (drained well, rough chopped)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 oz fresh spinach leaves (rough chopped)
  • 1-3 tbls tapioca starch


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan.
  2. Sautee onion and garlic in butter until onion is translucent.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients except tapioca starch.
  4. Stir well.
  5. Add tapioca starch one tablespoon at a time using a fine mesh strainer to spread it evenly over the top of the sauce. It is very important to use the strainer as it will keep the tapioca starch from clumping. After each tablespoon of starch is added, allow 1-2 minutes to assess if the thickness of the sauce is as you would like it. Use only as much tapioca starch as you need to reach the desired consistency.
  6. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 247Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 335mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 7gSugar: 3gProtein: 9g

Nutritional data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 3/19/2021. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


  1. I would have never guessed that’s gnocchi was some thing we could make it home! Thank you for breaking down the steps, now I feel inspired to try!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *