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Looking for a delightful, homemade Italian dish that’s perfect for one? This Potato Gnocchi recipe is your answer! Crafted to yield a small, light, and tender batch of gnocchi, it’s incredibly satisfying and surprisingly easy to make. With just four basic ingredients, these delightful dumplings are a testament to the simplicity and elegance of Italian cuisine. Whether you’re a fan of rich, creamy sauces or prefer something lighter like olive oil and Parmesan, this gnocchi will adapt beautifully. It’s the perfect comfort food that’s versatile and straightforward, ideal for a cozy dinner at home.

Potato gnocchi truly are the ultimate comfort food! These delightful little dumplings are versatile enough to match with a wide range of sauces and toppings. Whether you’re in the mood for a decadent Alfredo sauce or prefer the zesty zing of a classic tomato sauce, or a hearty meat sauce, these gnocchi adapt seamlessly to suit your taste preferences. For a simple yet exquisite option, I love tossing them with just a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh Parmesan cheese – it’s absolutely divine!

Why You’ll Love This Gnocchi Recipe

  1. Ease of Preparation: Simple to make with clear, step-by-step instructions.
  2. Versatile Pairings: Pairs well with a range of sauces, from creamy to tangy.
  3. Perfect for One: Ideal portion size for a satisfying single serving.
  4. Doubles Easily: Can be doubled to serve two or save for another meal.

What Is Gnocchi?

Gnocchi (pronounced nyo-key) are small Italian dumplings, traditionally made from potatoes, flour, and eggs. They’re known for their pillow-like texture and ability to absorb flavors from a variety of sauces and toppings.

a rimmed baking sheet filled with uncooked potato gnocchi lightly dusted with flour.
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Ingredients

potato gnocchi ingredients on a kitchen counter.

This section provides a quick rundown of the ingredients used in this easy Gnocchi recipe. For complete measurements and step-by-step instructions, please scroll to the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.

  • Potato: The key to excellent gnocchi lies in the choice of potato. Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes are ideal for their texture and starch content. Whether baked or boiled, both cooking methods work well. For this recipe, you need 1 cup of cooked, mashed or riced potatoes. While weighing the cooked potatoes (about 200 grams) is best for accuracy, you can also use 1 cup tightly packed mashed potatoes as an estimate. This amount is typically equivalent to 1 medium Russet or 2 small/medium Yukon Gold potatoes. If you don’t have a scale, measure 1 cup of mashed potatoes, tightly packed, and be prepared to adjust the flour quantity as needed to achieve the right dough consistency. If you’ve got extra potatoes, consider using them in Clam Chowder, Zuppa Toscana, and Hash Browns.
  • Egg yolk: A single egg yolk is crucial for binding the ingredients, ensuring the gnocchi dough is manageable and holds its shape when boiled. The yolk contributes to the gnocchi’s light, tender texture and imparts a lovely golden hue. Using the whole egg is not recommended for this recipe. Save the egg white and use it in one of our egg white recipes like Meringues and Coconut Macaroons.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour is the go-to choice for this recipe, aligning with the goal of using commonly available pantry items. While some gnocchi recipes might specify Italian “00” flour or cake flour, all-purpose flour is sufficient to make delicious gnocchi. Please note, this recipe hasn’t been tested with alternative flour types.
  • Salt: Essential for flavor, salt brings out the best in gnocchi. In this recipe, Diamond Crystal kosher salt is used, known for its consistent and reliable results in cooking.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

Cooking Potatoes For Gnocchi

When preparing potatoes for gnocchi, you have two effective cooking methods:

Baking Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C).
  2. Thoroughly scrub a Russet potato and make several fork piercings to let steam escape during baking.
  3. Bake the potato for about 45 minutes. Check if it’s fully cooked by inserting a paring knife or fork – it should feel soft.
  4. Once done, cut the potato in half lengthwise to let out steam and cool it down to a manageable temperature.
  5. Scoop out the potato flesh and place it in a bowl for further use.

Boiling Method:

  1. Take a medium-sized potato (or two smaller ones) and place them in a medium pot, covering them with cold water.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, maintaining a gentle boil.
  3. Cook the potatoes for about 12-15 minutes, but this could vary based on their size. Check their doneness with a fork.
  4. After boiling, remove the potatoes from the water, peel them, and then transfer the peeled potatoes to a bowl.

Both methods are designed to ensure the potatoes are perfectly cooked for making gnocchi, yielding the right texture and consistency for your dough.

How To Make Potato Gnocchi For One

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make this easy Gnocchi recipe. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Cook the Potatoes: Choose either a medium Russet potato or one to two small Yukon Gold potatoes and cook them by baking or boiling. Boiling is the recommended method. Refer to the previous section for detailed instructions on both methods.
  2. Prepare the Potatoes: After cooking, peel the potatoes. The skins should come off easily, especially if boiled. Mash the potato flesh using a potato ricer or, as an alternative, a potato masher works well for small quantities.
potatoes in a bowl mashed with a potato masher.
  1. Forming Gnocchi Dough: Measure 1 cup (200g) of the mashed potatoes, ensuring it’s tightly packed in the measuring cup. This precision is key.
mashed potatoes packed into a measuring cup.
  1. Combining Ingredients: Spread the mashed potatoes on a clean surface. Evenly drizzle the egg yolk over them and sprinkle with salt.
mashed potatoes topped with egg yolk and salt on a cutting board.
  1. Adding Flour: Place the flour in a mesh sieve and gently dust it over the potatoes. Note: 1/2 cup of flour is usually sufficient, but you might need to add a bit more if the potatoes are particularly moist.
flour, egg yolk and salt over mashed potatoes on a cutting board.
  1. Use either a pastry cutter or a bench scraper to incorporate the flour into the potato. This method helps to evenly mix the ingredients with minimal gluten development, preventing the gnocchi from becoming too dense.
a pastry cutter cutting flour into potatoes.
gnocchi dough on a wooden cutting board.
  1. Shaping the Dough: Gently form the dough into a rectangular shape. Fold and flatten it with your hands repeatedly until the flour is fully integrated. Add more flour if the dough gets sticky.
a ball of gnocchi dough on a wooden cutting board.
  1. Dividing Dough: Split the dough into three somewhat equal portions.
3 balls of gnocchi dough on a cutting board.
  1. Rolling Gnocchi: On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough piece into a rope about 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick. Add a bit more flour and work the dough more if it falls apart.
rolling potato gnocchi dough into long ropes.
  1. Cutting Gnocchi: Cut the ropes into 3/4-inch pieces. Gently press each piece against a fork to create grooves. Place the cut gnocchi on a floured baking sheet to prevent sticking.
uncooked potato gnocchi on a floured cutting board next to a fork.
  1. Resting the Gnocchi: Cover the gnocchi with a towel and let them rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Boiling Gnocchi: Bring a 3-quart pot of salted water (about 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt for a 3-quart pot) to a boil. Gently add the gnocchi and stir once with a slotted spoon.
  3. Cooking Gnocchi: Cook until the gnocchi float to the surface, which typically takes 1-2 minutes. Remove them using a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
potato gnocchi cooking in a large pot of boiling water.
  1. Serving: Toss the cooked gnocchi with olive oil and either refrigerate for up to 3 days or immediately sauté in butter or olive oil until heated through and lightly browned. Finish with grated Parmesan cheese.
gnocchi with butter and sage in a green bowl next to a brown napkin.

Expert Tips

  • Prepare and Read Through the Recipe: Before starting, read the entire recipe and the Ingredient Notes. Gnocchi is straightforward to make, but reviewing the process photos and pro tips can answer many potential questions. Since homemade gnocchi is quick to prepare, it’s wise to have all your ingredients ready beforehand.
  • Choosing the Right Potatoes: The best types of potatoes for gnocchi are Russet and Yukon Gold. Their texture and starch content are ideal for creating the perfect gnocchi.
  • Measuring Potatoes: Aim for 1 cup of cooked, mashed, or riced potatoes, equivalent to roughly 200 grams. This amount is typically one medium Russet or two small/medium Yukon Gold potatoes. Without a scale, pack the mashed potatoes tightly in a dry measuring cup, and be prepared to adjust flour quantity for the dough consistency.
  • Use Warm Potatoes for Dough: For fluffier gnocchi, prepare the dough while the potatoes are still warm. Warm potatoes blend more easily and result in a smoother dough.
  • Resting the Dough is Crucial: After shaping the gnocchi, let them rest on a flour-dusted baking sheet for at least 10 minutes. Resting dries out the gnocchi slightly, ensuring they maintain their shape during cooking.
  • Vegan Gnocchi Option: Omit the egg yolk for a vegan version. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to the dough to help bring it together effectively.
  • Doubling the Recipe: To make gnocchi for two, simply double the ingredients. This maintains the balance of flavors and textures in a larger batch.

Serving Suggestions

Potato gnocchi can be savored in a variety of delightful ways:

  • Tomato-Based Sauce: Enjoy gnocchi in a classic Italian style with Tomato Sauce or Pomodoro Sauce.
  • Gnocchi Alfredo: Use our small batch Alfredo sauce recipe for a creamy twist.
  • Pesto Gnocchi: Perfect with homemade or store-bought pesto for a fresh taste.
  • Pan-Fried with Butter and Parmesan: Simple yet satisfying, topped with grated cheese.
  • Chicken Gnocchi Soup: Add gnocchi to chicken soup for a hearty and delightful meal.

Storing Potato Gnocchi

Refrigerating Leftovers:

  • Store any leftover gnocchi in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will remain good for up to 3 days.

Freezing Uncooked Gnocchi:

  • To freeze, spread the gnocchi on a parchment-lined, lightly floured rimmed baking sheet to prevent sticking.
  • Freeze them on the sheet for 2 hours, then transfer to a freezer bag or airtight container. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Thawing Frozen Gnocchi:

  • Thaw the gnocchi in the refrigerator prior to boiling.

Note on Freezing Cooked Gnocchi:

  • Freezing cooked gnocchi is not recommended. The texture tends to become mushy once frozen and then thawed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are gnocchi always made using potatoes?

While potato gnocchi are the most well-known, there are various gnocchi types that do not contain potatoes.

Do gnocchi need to have ridges?

Traditional gnocchi feature ridges, formed using fork tines or a special wooden paddle called a rigagnocchi. These ridges are believed to help sauce adhere better to the gnocchi.

Can I make gnocchi with leftover mashed potatoes?

Yes, leftover mashed potatoes work well for making gnocchi. However, you might need to add more flour than usual since mashed potatoes are softer than those prepared specifically for gnocchi.

Can I freeze gnocchi?

Yes, freeze them on a tray before boiling, then store in a freezer bag for up to 2 months.

Should gnocchi be chewy or soft?

Properly cooked potato gnocchi should be light and spongy, not tough or chewy.

How do I prevent gnocchi from being too dense?

Avoid overworking the dough and use just enough flour to keep it from sticking.

Is gnocchi considered a type of pasta?

While gnocchi is often served like pasta and found in the pasta aisle, it’s traditionally made from potatoes, categorizing it more as a dumpling than pasta.

potato gnocchi on a fork above a green bowl filled with additional gnocchi topped with tomato sauce.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

If you’ve tried this easy potato gnocchi recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Potato Gnocchi For One

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Easy step-by-step recipe for making a small batch of light and tender potato gnocchi. Made with just 4 ingredients, this incredibly delicious Italian dish can be enjoyed with many different sauces.

Ingredients  

  • 1 medium Russet potato (or use 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes), scrubbed and rinsed
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

Instructions 

Cook the potato

  • Place the potato in a medium-sized pot of cold water. Bring to a boil and boil the potato until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the potato from the pot and let it cool, then remove the skin. It should peel right off.
    See notes below if you would like to bake the potato instead.

Make the gnocchi dough

  • Mash the potato flesh using a potato ricer or, as an alternative, a potato masher works well for small quantities.
  • Measure 1 cup (200g) of the mashed potatoes, ensuring it's tightly packed in the measuring cup. This precision is key.
    Pro Tip: Use the back of a spoon to press the potatoes into the measuring cup.
  • Spread the mashed potatoes on a clean surface. Evenly drizzle the egg yolk over them and sprinkle with salt.
  • Place the flour in a mesh sieve and gently dust it over the potatoes. Note: 1/2 cup of flour is usually sufficient, but you might need to add a bit more if the potatoes are particularly moist.
  • Use a pastry cutter or a bench scraper to incorporate the flour into the potato.
  • Gently form the dough into a rectangular shape. Fold and flatten it with your hands repeatedly until the flour is fully integrated. Add more flour if the dough gets sticky.
  • Split the dough into three equal portions.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough piece into a rope about 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick. Add a bit more flour and work the dough more if it falls apart.
  • Cut the ropes into 3/4-inch pieces. Gently press each piece against a fork to create grooves. Place the cut gnocchi on a floured baking sheet to prevent sticking.
  • Cover the gnocchi with a towel and let them rest for 10 minutes.

Cook the gnocchi

  • Bring a 3-quart pot of salted water (about 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt for a 3-quart pot) to a boil. Gently add the gnocchi and stir once with a slotted spoon.
  • Cook until the gnocchi float to the surface, which typically takes 1-2 minutes. Remove them using a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Toss the cooked gnocchi with olive oil and either refrigerate for up to 3 days or immediately sauté in butter or olive oil until heated through and lightly browned. Finish with grated Parmesan cheese.

Notes

  • Prepare and Read Through the Recipe: Before starting, read the entire recipe and the Ingredient Notes. Gnocchi is straightforward to make, but reviewing the process photos and pro tips can answer many potential questions. Since homemade gnocchi is quick to prepare, it’s wise to have all your ingredients ready beforehand.
  • Choosing the Right Potatoes: The best types of potatoes for gnocchi are Russet and Yukon Gold. Their texture and starch content are ideal for creating the perfect gnocchi.
  • Measuring Potatoes: Aim for 1 cup of cooked, mashed, or riced potatoes, equivalent to roughly 200 grams. This amount is typically one medium Russet or two small/medium Yukon Gold potatoes. Without a scale, pack the mashed potatoes tightly in a measuring cup, and be prepared to adjust flour quantity for the dough consistency.
  • Use Warm Potatoes for Dough: For fluffier gnocchi, prepare the dough while the potatoes are still warm. Warm potatoes blend more easily and result in a smoother dough.
  • Resting the Dough is Crucial: After shaping the gnocchi, let them rest on a flour-dusted baking sheet for at least 10 minutes. Resting dries out the gnocchi slightly, ensuring they maintain their shape during cooking.
  • Vegan Gnocchi Option: Omit the egg yolk for a vegan version. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to the dough to help bring it together effectively.
  • Doubling the Recipe: To make gnocchi for two, simply double the ingredients. This maintains the balance of flavors and textures in a larger batch.
To Bake The Potato:
Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Scrub a russet potato and pierce it all over with a fork to allow moisture to escape while baking. Bake for 45 minutes and use a paring knife or fork to test for doneness. The potato should be soft and completely cooked. Remove from the oven and slice the potato in half lengthwise to release its steam. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the potato flesh and transfer it to a bowl.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 451kcal, Carbohydrates: 85g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 184mg, Sodium: 1278mg, Potassium: 974mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 247IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 60mg, Iron: 5mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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3 Comments

  1. I made this with the Walmart Gluten Free Flour and it took more than called for, I did not measure after what they called for. I just went off of consistency of light pastry dough. Totally impressed as to how it tuned out. I made a sauce of olive oil, butter, basil, garlic powder and a dash of salt and pepper to taste. I love it.