Make An Easy Homemade Whole Wheat Gnocchi Recipe

Make this easy homemade whole wheat gnocchi recipe once and it will be a favorite dish in your kitchen forever. It’s made with just a few simple ingredients and it delivers delicious pillowy gnocchi to the table.

hand made whole wheat gnocchi on a plate

Homemade gnocchi is so much better than the frozen version you can buy at the grocery store. And after many years of my son working in a top notch Italian restaurant I can tell you that, as a rule, they are not serving freshly made gnocchi either. It is too time intensive and the price point would be formidable for the average diner.

The best and most reliable way to get this tasty Italian pasta, cooked from scratch, on your dinner table is to make it yourself.

What is whole wheat gnocchi?

It takes a little time to make a gnocchi dough and a little more to turn that dough into tasty little pasta dumplings. But there’s no doubt that it’s well worth the effort.

a close up of a homemade whole wheat gnocchi dumpling on a fork

There are many different ways to make gnocchi. All good gnocchi recipes produce a soft and chewy dumpling like pasta that everyone loves. The most basic recipe out there uses just flour and potatoes. Others add salt, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and/or egg.

There is a delicious recipe for handmade pan fried gnocchi made with all-purpose flour and both ricotta and parmesan cheese right here on the blog.

The recipe in this post is made with whole wheat flour, as opposed to white flour, and omits the cheese. Both versions are truly stellar so take your pick. 

Ingredients needed to make this dish

One of the great things about this flavorful dish is that the ingredients are readily available in just about every kitchen. Here’s a list of what you’ll need to get this homemade pasta deliciousness on your dinner table.

ingredients to make whole wheat gnocchi on a counter
  • WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR – Grab a good quality flour. It pays to go organic.
  • POTATOES – Russet potatoes are a great fit for this recipe.
  • EGGS – Farm fresh eggs are preferred for this recipe. The eggs ‘hold it all together’. They should be room temperature for this recipe.
  • SALT – It’s always best to use a good quality salt in your kitchen.

Keep in mind that the quality of the ingredients you use in your kitchen increases the nutritional value of the dishes you cook. Invest in the best ingredients you can afford. It will pay off in the flavor of the final dish.

How to make whole wheat gnocchi

I’ll show you step by step how to make gnocchi here in this post. There is also a printable recipe card available for your convenience at the end of the post.

You’re going to need to precook the potatoes to make this dish. Allow yourself enough time to cook them and let them cool off before you plan to start putting your gnocchi dough together.

It is not usually a good idea to boil potatoes for gnocchi but because this recipe uses whole wheat flour it is the best way to go. Boiling the potatoes will add extra moisture to the dough. And while that usually creates a mushy gnocchi dumpling, in this case, the whole wheat flour will need that extra moisture. Whole wheat flour tends to be thirsty.

Once you’ve peeled, boiled, strained, and cooled your potatoes you’re ready to make a tasty batch of homemade whole wheat gnocchi. Gather all of your other ingredients and settle in to the kitchen to get it done. 

Place the prepared potatoes in a large bowl. Mash them with a potato masher or a fork. You want them to be completely mashed but not overmashed. You’re not trying to make mashed potatoes here. You don’t want them to take on a gummy texture.

riced potatoes in a bowl for a whole wheat gnocchi recipe

The truth is if you have a potato ricer in the kitchen it is the best tool to use for this step. I no longer have one in my kitchen. And I didn’t want to let that stop me from making a batch of soft, pillowy whole wheat gnocchi yumminess so I’m marching on here.

Most people don’t have a potato ricer. So they too will have to march on. However, if you’re inclined to add one to your kitchen tool arsenal they are handy to have around. 

The next step to making this dish is to add in the rest of the ingredients. So toss the whole wheat flour, eggs, and salt into the bowl.

ingredients for a homemade pasta recipe in a bowl

Use your hands to mix it all together until it forms a ball. It will be a soft dough. Be sure not to overmix the dough. this will make your gnocchi tough.

Turn the dough ball out onto a clean dry surface and cut it into 4 equal pieces. A bench scraper works nicely for this step.

dough ball cut into four pieces for an gnocchi dumpling recipe

Roll each piece of dough out into a long rope. Shoot for a 1″ diameter, it is the perfect size for these scrumptious little dumplings. 

Then cut each rope into 1″ long pieces of dough, you can use the bench scraper for this too.When you’re working with the dough it’s important to remember that it will expand quite a bit as it cooks. So don’t cut your dumplings too big.

ropes of dough cut into pieces to make gnocchi dumplings

Now it’s time to get to the fun part; rolling the gnocchi. This step is too often skipped in the home kitchen when making this dish. It is an important part of the process and makes a great deal of difference in the final product.

You can read more about why that is below in the tips and tricks section of this post. But for now, trust me, you WANT TO ROLL YOUR GNOCCHI.

You can use the back of a fork to do this very easily. Or you can pick up a gnocchi board to do the job.

If you’re using a fork it will take just a little practice to get your gnocchi properly rolled. And that’s okay. Your first batch doesn’t have to be perfect. Allow yourself time to get the technique down.

Set one of the gnocchi dumplings at the top of the backside of the tines of a fork. Then slowly roll it down the tines of the fork while simultaneously pressing your thumb into the backside of the dumpling to creat an indentation.

rolling a gnocchi dumpling on a fork

It’s a bit tricky. But really VERY EASY once you get the hang of it. If you absolutely can’t get the gnocchi rolled, simply press the dough ball into the tines of the fork to create the ridges on the front, press your finger into the backside of the dough and fold the edges of it back toward you to create a divet, then gently peel the dumpling off the fork.

homemade whole wheat gnocchi dumplings sitting on a counter

This will get the job done. And if you practice rolling the dumplings every so often while you’re working you’ll get the technique down in no time.

the back side of homemade gnocchi dumplings sitting on a counter

Once the dumplings are rolled, you’ve made it through the time consuming parts of making this dish and you’re almost ready to snag a taste. But first, we need to cover the cooking process. So, let’s get those little dumplings cooked.

Put a large pot of water on the stove, toss in a generous pinch of salt, and turn up the heat. Once it comes to a rolling boil, go ahead and drop your uncooked gnocchi dumplings into the boiling water. You will want to do this in 3 or 4 batches.

Allow the gnocchi to boil lightly in the large pot of salted water until they float to the top. Then use a slotted spoon, or better yet a skimmer spoon, to remove them from the pot. 

removing homemade gnocchi from a boiling pot of water with a skimmer spoon

Voila! You have successfully made a tasty batch of whole wheat gnocchi. I’ve shared a few suggestions on how you can serve these great little dumplings a bit further down in this post. Be sure to check it out! 

Tips and tricks for making this recipe

There are a few things you can keep in mind when making this whole wheat gnocchi recipe that will make your dish turn out perfect every time.

close up of handmade whole wheat gnocchi on a dish
  • Adjust the amount of flour that you use to give the dough the best consistency. You want the dough to be moist but not sticky.
  • Never use a food processor to mix the dough. It will produce a gummy final product.
  • Never use a hand blender to mash the potatoes. It too will produce a gummy final product. A potato ricer is the very best tool to use. If you don’t have one a potato masher or a fork is the way to go.
  • You can substitute just about any flour for this recipe. It will likely change the recommended amount but don’t be afraid to experiment with it. Just go easy when adding additional flour to the recipe as once it’s in there it can’t be taken out. Add just a little at a time. You want the dough to be tacky to the touch. But it shouldn’t stick to a clean surface.
  • You can substitute the russet potatoes with other varieties when making this dish. It is best to stick with varieties that have more starch in them. Idaho and Yukon are both great choices.
  • You can also use sweet potatoes to make this dish. They tend to have a little more moisture in them than would be ideal. But if you add a little more flour it will work. And … well … sweet potato gnocchi, need I say more?!?!
  • Rolling the gnocchi to create the ridges in the front of the dumpling and the indentation in the back is one of the most important steps in this recipe. It is these ridges and this indentation that cause the sauce they are served with to cling to the dumpling. They make a huge difference and without them the final flavor of the dish will be unpleasantly overwhelming. Don’t skip this step. If you feel intimidated by the process make small batches of dough and break yourself in gently. It will pay off in the end.

How to serve this dish

When I was putting together all of the great ways to serve gnocchi to share with all of you in this post, I started off thinking that I would share my favorite way to make gnocchi first.

topping a plate of whole wheat gnocchi dumplings with cheese and spices

But as I thought about all of the different ways that I’ve enjoyed this dish over the years, it became clear that I really don’t have a favorite way to eat gnocchi. It’s a great dish that can be enjoyed so many different ways. 

So, get some made and start experimenting with different ways to eat this dish. Probably the simpliest way to enjoy this pasta is to top it with a little olive oil or butter and season it with some salt, black pepper, and garlic. Easy and tasty. If you go this route, I suggest using equal parts of olive oil and butter as opposed to just one or the other.

I prepared the batch I made for this post this way. I also added some crushed red pepper, because I was feeling spicy. And a bit of parsley to add some more color to the plate. I also melted a little mozzarella cheese over the top because I had it in the fridge … and why not?!?!

Another way to go is to top your gnocchi with garlic butter medallions. So delicious, and they can be made ahead and kept in the freezer to use whenever the homemade whole wheat gnocchi bug bites you.

If you’re a veggie lover like me it’s easy enough to add them to your gnocchi. I find that the best way to do this is to cook the veggies separately and then toss them in with the gnocchi before serving.

There are seemingly endless choices for veggies to serve with this dish. Here are a few of my favorites for you to consider; zucchini, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, brussel sprouts, bell peppers, and onions. Don’t be afraid to toss a little chopped, fried bacon in the mix if you like. A bit of Italain sweet sausage never hurt either. 

Another simple way to go is to top your gnocchi with your favorite pasta sauce. Marinara sauce, pesto sauce, alfredo sauce, or vodka sauce are all great choices. I’ve got delicious recipes for pumpkin alfredo sauce and also one for a no cook pasta sauce on the blog that are both fantastic with this dish if you want to go that route.

This dish is also great with a nice brown butter sage sauce. And it’s really delicious with mushroom gravy. Yep, you heard that right; mushroom gravy.

It only makes sense. Gravy is complimentary to both bread (aka; wheat flour) and potatoes. Give it a try. Trust me!

If you prefer your little gnocchi dumplings have a bit of a crisp to them, cook them in some olive oil in a frying pan until the outside of them is a nice golden brown before topping them.

And you can also consider making your favorite pasta casserole with gnocchi instead of the pasta you usually use. Or a big pot of your favorite soup with some gnocchi tossed in to boost the heartiness factor a bit.

How to store whole wheat gnocchi

Storing this dish is pretty simple. Once it’s cooked you can store it in the refrigerator for about a week. Toss it in some olive oil first so that it doesn’t stick together or you’ll be struggling with a big chunk of gnocchi dumplings when you try to reheat it.

a plate of whole wheat gnocchi dumplings topped and ready to eat

When you’re ready to reheat it from the fridge you can toss it in some boiling water, toss it in a frying pan, or toss it in a saucepan full of the sauce you’re serving it with. Easy peasy.

I’ve read on other blog posts that you can toss the dumplings in flour before they are cooked and store them in the refrigerator for a few days until you are ready to cook them. I’m going to be honest, that doesn’t seem like it would work to me. 

I don’t make my gnocchi ahead of time. I prefer to simply schedule in the time it takes to make this dish and enjoy the process. The process, in this case, is part of the experience.

You can, however, freeze gnocchi. It freezes well and that’s kind of a big deal because it means that each time you make a batch of gnocchi you can double up and put one in the freezer to have on hand for future meals. Frozen gnocchi is a great choice for easy weeknight meals. And if it’s already mixed, rolled, and cooked, it’s easy to get on the table. 

To freeze gnocchi simply spread the little gnocchi dumplings out on a parchment lined sheet pan after they’re cooked and put them in the freezer. Once they’re fozen, put them in storage bags and they will keep that way for 3 or 4 months.

You don’t need to thaw gnocchi before you prepare it to serve either. Just go ahead and toss it in some boiling water to heat it through, prepare it as desired, and you’re good to go.

pinnable image for whole wheat gnocchi recipe

If you try this recipe and love it, please give it 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 and/or Instagram @slowlivingbydianegail when you post a pic of your finished dish.

hand made whole wheat gnocchi on a plate
Yield: 6 Servings

Whole Wheat Gnocchi Recipe

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours 2 seconds
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes 2 seconds

Delicious handmade whole wheat gnocchi recipe that you'll want to make again and again. 4 healthy, whole ingredients is all it takes to make these hearty Italian dumplings.


  • 1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Peel potatoes and cut into 2" chunks.
  2. Boil until tender. Drain.
  3. Allow to cool completely.
  4. Run the potatoes through a ricer. If you don't have one, use a hand held potato masher or a fork.
  5. Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl.
  6. Add remaining ingredients.
  7. Mix together well.
  8. Create a dough ball with the mixture and divide it into 4 parts.
  9. Roll each part out into a 1" thick rope shape.
  10. Cut each rope into 1" segments.
  11. Take each segment and roll it down the tines on the back of a fork. Create ridges in one side of the segment and a divet in the other side with your finger as you roll it.
  12. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  13. Place the gnocchi dumplings in the pot, one rope at a time.
  14. Allow them to cook until they float to the top.
  15. Remove them from the pot using a skimmer spoon or a slotted spoon.
  16. Top as desired and serve.
  17. ENJOY!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 125mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 6gSugar: 1gProtein: 8g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 2/13/2024. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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