Ricotta Gnocchi Recipe

Simple Ricotta Gnocchi Recipe

You would not believe how excited we are to share this ricotta gnocchi recipe with you! We’ve talked about it for months, tried it more times than we can remember (this is seriously a huge go-to recipe for us) and it has been sitting at the top of our Drafts folder, ready to post for weeks! We’ve tried to get it posted, live and in front of you more times than we can say, but for some reason or another, we’ve held it back.

I think we just wanted to make sure we gave it the attention it deserves – like I said, this one is close to our hearts.

Why You Need to Try Your Hand at Our Ricotta Gnocchi Recipe:

It’s easy. We promise. The dough literally takes less than 15 minutes to make.

How to Make Ricotta Gnocchi

In a large bowl, we combine lemon zest, parmesan cheese, an egg and ricotta cheese with flour — The dough comes together within 20 to 30 strokes of a spoon. Then we turn it out onto a work bench, divide the dough into four then roll into long ropes.

The ropes are cut into bite-size pieces and thrown onto a baking sheet with flour.

How to Make Ricotta GnocchiIt’s at this point when you can either boil or freeze the gnocchi for later– That means the twenty minutes you spend for dough making and flour clean-up means fresh gnocchi later. Think of the love you would receive if you pulled this out on a Wednesday night! All you need is a pot of boiling, salted water and you’re home free.

How to Make Ricotta Gnocchi

Make Ahead – Make Ricotta Gnocchi Now, Freeze It and Enjoy Later

The beauty of this recipe is that it really only takes 15 to 20 minutes hands-on time. After that, you can cook it (which takes only minutes) or save it for another day.

To freeze, throw onto a baking sheet with a little flour. (The flour helps to prevent the gnocchi from sticking to each other). Slide the baking sheet into your freezer and wait until they are hard – about 1 hour. Then, throw into freezer bags or an air-tight container.

When you’re ready to cook, just cook in boiling water until they begin to float. Easy!

Simple Ricotta Gnocchi Recipe

Adding a Buttery Crust to Ricotta Gnocchi

Gnocchi is delicious tossed in a little olive oil and parmesan cheese.

You could also add a buttery crisp crust.

How to Make Ricotta Gnocchi

To do this, melt some butter in a pan with one smashed clove of garlic. Once the gnocchi float to the top of your pot of boiling water, throw them into the butter and cook until browned on all sides.

You can even add fresh herbs to the butter, too – sage or rosemary would be lovely.

Or, add a can of sweet San Marzano tomatoes, season with a little salt and pepper then serve like we did.

Simple Ricotta Gnocchi Recipe

We love how the tomatoes are light enough, they don’t weigh anything down. Yum!

Did you enjoy this Ricotta Gnocchi Recipe? If so, you may also enjoy these:

4.7 from 7 reviews
Simple Ricotta Gnocchi Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Making restaurant-quality ricotta gnocchi is easy to do at home. You can make the dough in under twenty minutes then cook or freeze for later. Directions for making the dough, cooking gnocchi and freezing are all shown below.
Created By:
Yield: 4
You Will Need
  • 3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for your work bench
  • 1/2 cup (28 grams) packed finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup (250 grams) whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
Simple Butter and Tomato Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium crushed garlic clove
  • 1 (14 ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes
  • Extra parmesan cheese for serving
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Add about 3 tablespoons of flour then set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, use your fingers or a whisk to mix lemon zest with 3/4 cup (95 grams) flour and the Parmesan cheese. (The lemon zest can clump, make sure you break it up so that it’s evenly mixed in). It is important to not add wet ingredients until the dry ingredients are well mixed.
  3. Now, make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the ricotta cheese and egg. Using a wooden spoon (or your fingers), stir until the dough comes together. The dough should come together within 20 to 30 strokes of your spoon. (Be careful not to overwork the dough. If you do, the dough could become tough and heavy).
  4. Transfer the dough onto a well-floured work bench then using your hands bring it together and shape into a square. (If the dough is tacky, add a little more flour). Cut the dough into 4 even pieces.
  5. Now, gently roll each piece into 12-inch long ropes ( and about 3/4-inch thick). While rolling, add a little extra flour as needed to prevent the rope from sticking to your hands or the work bench.
  6. Use a bench scraper or knife to cut ropes into 3/4-inch wide pieces. Transfer gnocchi to baking sheet with flour and shimmy or shake the sheet so that the flour lightly coats each piece.
  7. (If freezing, place baking sheet with gnocchi into freezer and freeze about 2 hours until gnocchi are hardened. Then, transfer frozen gnocchi to plastic container or resealable bag. When you are ready to cook gnocchi, remove from freezer and continue with the directions below).
  8. To cook (refrigerated or frozen) gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add gnocchi and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until gnocchi begin to float.
  9. If making our Butter and Tomato Sauce - While the gnocchi cook in the water, melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic clove and cook 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Remove and discard garlic clove.
  10. Remove gnocchi from the water using a slotted spoon then add to the butter and allow to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Then, add can of tomatoes and heat through, about 1 minute. Serve with Parmesan cheese shavings on top.
Notes and Tips
Recipe Adapted and Inspired by Michael Symon

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27 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Cindy January 10, 2016, 2:09 pm

    I am so excited to try this Ricotta Gnocchi recipe. Gnocchi has always been my all time favorite pasta but the potato version always feels so rich.

    Any chance you have the nutritional facts for this recipe?

    • Zac March 27, 2016, 2:37 am

      It’s paleo and gluten free

  • Diane August 17, 2015, 2:52 pm

    OMG! I am so excited! I made this recipe gluten free and they were spectacular! I added a few gratings of nutmeg and some freshly ground salt & pepper. Half the batch I added some thinly sliced, fresh from the garden, basil. Delicious little pillows of heaven! I haven’t even tried them in the browned butter yet! So happy when I can eat something not easily obtained in the marketplace. Thank you!

    • Lesley September 9, 2015, 3:21 pm

      Did you just use a Gf flour or did you add
      xanthan or something?

    • Sheryl January 22, 2016, 12:10 pm

      I have made these gluten free as well, and they turned out great! Any good quality all-purpose gluten-free flour works well. I have used Cup 4 Cup and Better Batter. Both already contain xanthan gum.

  • Kristy May 15, 2015, 5:06 am

    I made this tonight and it was devine! A great recipe for a mid week meal.

  • Donna Bachhuber April 27, 2015, 12:02 pm

    I have tried to find a ricotta cheese gnocchi recipe since my aunt died. Unfortunately, she didn’t leave her recipe. I tried the flour ones and they were too heavy and tough. I love your recipe. Thanks.

    • Joanne April 27, 2015, 3:40 pm

      We are so happy you have found us 🙂

  • Charlie March 31, 2015, 10:45 pm

    Made this tonight, it was sooooo delicious, and incredibly easy! Thank you for this wonderful recipe, I’ll definitely be making this again- and will be sure to freeze some too!

  • Kathi Peacock October 18, 2014, 9:35 pm

    These are soooo delicious. The lemon zest adds just a perfect touch! Thanks for the amazing and simple recipe!

  • Rhonda July 23, 2014, 7:50 am

    First try and perfect gnocchi , simple to follow and delicious. Will make again..Thank you.

  • Justine June 7, 2014, 8:16 am

    I was wondering if it’s okay to skip the lemon zest?

    • Joanne August 8, 2014, 11:49 am

      Yep, you can omit it if you prefer.

  • Kelli November 9, 2013, 7:12 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this. This recipe inspired me to try making gnocchi again after a gnocchi-fail a number of years ago. It really was easy and turned out great. I made a goat cheese version of the gnocchi that I love as well: http://www.nomappetit.com/?p=359

    Love your blog!

    • Joanne November 11, 2013, 11:05 am

      Thanks so much! Using goat cheese is a fabulous idea!

  • ray August 15, 2013, 9:09 am

    Tried this last night. I skipped the browning part and it came out great anyway

  • Theresa April 24, 2013, 4:23 pm

    I wish making ricotta gnocchi were this easy!….. I watched my great grandmother (a true Sicilian) make these for the large family get together. It was an assembly line production with her 4 daughters. They are all gone now and as a labor of love for my husband and close friends, I spend 4 hours at a time making these for the freezer… I do this once every few years because it is a long project.
    My great grandmothers recipe, 1 container good quality ricotta, 2 eggs, 1 ricotta container full of all purpose flour. As like the recipe above roll out the dough and make the cuts. This is where it gets time consuming. Each piece, with your index and middle finger, press in the middle and then roll it… This creates a lip that allows the sauce to penetrate the gnocchi. A word of warning…. This version takes 4 hours to make… I know because I just made 2 batches over the last 2 days and it took a little over 8 hours. At least I know my husband won’t starve while I am layed up from surgery… I will just have to worry about his Cholesterol!
    On a closing note, if you don’t have time to make a homemade marinara.. Get a bottle of ‘Raos’ marinara at your supermarket. It’s a little pricey but worth every penny… I personally buy it by the case direct from Raos. Good luck and Bon Appetite!

  • Rachel March 13, 2013, 8:27 pm

    I made these this evening and they were easy and delicious as promised. I made them with part skim ricotta and a gluten free flour blend and they came out great. I will also use less lemon zest next time. Thanks for this great recipe!

  • Ashlee February 17, 2013, 10:38 am

    Yet another fantastic recipe from inspired taste! I’ve yet to make something from your site that I didn’t absolutely love. Besides tasting amazing, this recipe is incredibly easy and is pretty fast to make. I will use less lemon zest next time, but that is purely a matter of personal preference. Finally, an easy and delicious pasta recipe!!

  • Marcella October 24, 2012, 7:51 pm

    I’ve bookmarked this recipe! It looks amazing. I never really like the traditional potato-based gnocci because it’s just a bit too… potato-y for me, but I love,love,love ricotta so this is a must-try!

    • Joanne October 25, 2012, 11:03 am

      Hope you enjoy 🙂

  • Lana October 19, 2012, 10:34 pm

    Slide show worked for me, Looks great and easy can’t wait to try it!

    • Adam October 20, 2012, 2:42 pm

      Awesome, thanks for letting us know!

  • Deborah Rosen October 19, 2012, 3:55 pm

    Looks awesome! Repinned it so I can try it later. FYI: your slide show isn’t working for me.

    • Joanne October 19, 2012, 4:05 pm

      Thanks! Sorry about the slider – Not sure why is isn’t working. We’ll look into it.


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