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Gnocchi with Lemony Sage Brown Butter Sauce

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My easy ricotta gnocchi recipe meets its match with the most heavenly 5-ingredient lemony sage brown butter sauce. It’s a breeze to make in just 30 minutes completely from scratch!

Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sauce

I mean, the name for this one pretty much says it all. ♡

If you love gnocchi (soft, light, pillowy, irresistibly delicious homemade gnocchi) and if you love a mouthwatering brown butter sauce (simmered until the butter is perfectly toasty, and then brightened up with fresh lemon juice and lots of crispy, earthy, fried sage leaves), there’s no question about it. You are going to love this homemade gnocchi and lemony sage brown butter sauce recipe.

It’s our hands-down favorite way to prepare gnocchi in our little home. And when made with my super-simple ricotta gnocchi recipe, this entire dish can be made 100% from scratch and on the table in just about 30 minutes or so. We love it because it’s rich and decadent enough to be served for any number of special occasions. (Believe me, everyone around the table will flip that you made gnocchi from scratch!)  Yet it’s also so simple enough to be made on an impromptu weeknight when you’re craving some cozy comfort food.

Basically, this gnocchi is here for you anytime.

Let’s make some!

20-Minute Ricotta Gnocchi

Gnocchi with Lemony Sage Brown Butter Sauce Ingredients:

Alright, let’s talk ingredients. To make this gnocchi recipe, you will need:

  • 20-minute ricotta gnocchi: One batch, made easily with ricotta, egg yolks, flour (“00” or all-purpose), Parmesan, salt and pepper.
  • Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter, then later adding salt to taste. (But salted butter will totally work too.)
  • Fresh sage leaves: I recommend using lots of fresh sage leaves in this recipe.
  • Lemon: We will use both the zest and juice of one small lemon.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes: This recipe just calls for 1/4 teaspoon to add some subtle flavor. But feel free to add more if you would like more significant heat.
  • Parmesan: The more the merrier when serving this dish.
  • Salt and pepper: As always, for seasoning.

Gnocchi Recipe

How To Make Gnocchi with Lemony Sage Brown Butter Sauce:

To make this gnocchi with lemony sage brown butter sauce recipe, simply:

  1. Cook the ricotta gnocchi. I’ve detailed out the full recipe instructions here — it’s super quick and easy, and 100% worth making from scratch.
  2. Prep the sauce. Once the gnocchi are prepped, go ahead and melt the butter in a separate pan. (I recommend a nice large sauté pan that is big enough to hold all of the gnocchi.)  Add in the sage leaves and crushed red pepper flakes, and cook until the butter is lightly brown. As always, keep a very close eye on the butter because it can go from lightly brown to burnt very quickly!
  3. Combine. Once the butter is lightly brown, remove the pan from the heat and add in the gnocchi, lemon zest and lemon juice. Toss to combine. Then give the mixture a taste and season with however much salt and pepper is needed. (I usually add in a generous pinch of each.)
  4. Serve. Then dish it up while the gnocchi and sauce are nice and warm, garnished with lots and lots of fresh Parmesan cheese.

Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter Sauce

Possible Variations:

Want to customize this recipe a bit? Feel free to add in:

  • Protein and/or veggies: Cooked chicken, steak, pork, shrimp, or scallops would go well with the gnocchi, and/or any sauté-friendly veggies that you felt like adding in. I would just recommend doubling the sauce recipe if you choose to add extra proteins and/or veggies.
  • Nuts: Toasted pine nuts, almonds or walnuts would also be delicious.
  • Garlic: If you would like a more garlicky sauce, feel free to add in a few cloves of minced garlic.
  • Extra fresh herbs: Chopped fresh rosemary, basil and/or thyme would also be delicious additions to the fresh sage.
  • White wine: If you happen to have some good dry white wine on hand, add a swirl to the pan for some extra depth of flavor. (Just add it in gradually, since it will bubble up!)

Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sauce

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Gnocchi with Lemony Sage Brown Butter Sauce

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.6 from 10 reviews
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 -6 servings 1x


My 20-minute ricotta gnocchi recipe meets its match with the most heavenly 5-ingredient lemony sage brown butter sauce.  Feel free to also add in a bit of garlic to the sauce, if you would like.


  • 1 batch 20-Minute Ricotta Gnocchi
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 20 large fresh sage leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 small fresh lemon
  • freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste


  1. Cook the ricotta gnocchi according to recipe instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Once the butter has nearly melted, add in the sage leaves and crushed red pepper flakes.  Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until the butter has turned a light brown color and the sage leaves are crispy.  (Keep a very close eye on the butter so that it does not burn!)
  3. Remove pan from the heat.  Add in the cooked (and drained) gnocchi, plus the zest and juice (about 1-2 tablespoons) of the lemon.  Toss to combine.  Then taste and add however much salt and pepper is needed.  (I used a generous pinch of both.)
  4. Serve warm, garnished with lots and lots of Parmesan cheese.

This post includes affiliate links.

Brown Butter Gnocchi

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14 comments on “Gnocchi with Lemony Sage Brown Butter Sauce”

  1. This looks amazing. Hope we can try it when we are hanging with the Wains this weekend. Safe travels!

    • Made the gnocchi with my 4 year old, it was a blast. I probably should have added a few more tbsps of flour (or patted down my ricotta even more) because things were still pretty sticky. But once dusted and rolled in lots of extra flour things held together well, kid had fun rolling and cutting. Gnocchi were ugly as heck but delicious, especially with this sauce. Had half for dinner and froze the other half (uncooked gnocchi and sauce separately), I’ll be curious to see how that holds up!

  2. If we’re using store-bought gnocchi, how much should we use?

  3. This sounds AMAZEBALLS! I always love your recipes so this immediately goes on the ‘to try’ list.

  4. Made IP ricotta for the first time today. When I was searching what ricotta is used for I found this gnocchi recipe and brown butter recipe today. My 16mth old twins and hubby loved it. It turned out great and was easy. I’ve never made gnocchi or pasta so I was really pleased!

  5. If we’re going to add wine to the sauce, when should we add it? I’m not sure if it will affect the browning of the butter if we add it early on. If after the browning, do we do it on or off heat? Does it need to cook off any?

  6. I made this using store bought gnocci and it was so yummy!

  7. It was a nice recipe. Very quick, easy to make and delicious. The lemon flavour was dominant, maybe we didn’t brown the butter enough. Regardless, would definitely cook it again.

  8. Made this for dinner tonight and the family loved it! We added chicken, so I doubled the sauce recipe as suggested. It was delicious.

  9. My garden has so much fresh sage that I had to try this recipe. I used cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe’s. We all loved it. The brown butter and crispy sage were awesome! The lemon added just that little something that really made the dish come together. Thank you for this quick, easy and delicious meal.

  10. Can you use gluten free flour?

  11. This was AMAZING! My hubby and I finished it all. I’ve made gnocchi and a brown butter sauce before but the results were meh, so I had low expectations going in. Now this was my 3rd time making gnocchi, so I’m also probably getting more comfortable with the steps. I made both the ricotta gnocchi and this sauce. The gnocchi was light and very quick to make. The sauce was just lemony goodness. We will definitely be making this again.

  12. Oh my god, waaaay to lemony!! Maybe we have different understandings of what a small lemon is here in Australia. I really wish I had taste tested as I went before pouring in all the lemon juice. Would suggest that people do not make my mistake. Regrets. The lemon overpowered the butter and sage. ? It was almost inedible…

  13. These were easy and fabulous, this recipe is a winner!