This lemon basil gnocchi with zucchini recipe is made with a cozy garlic butter sauce and comes together in just 20 minutes. Feel free to add in some chicken or shrimp too, if you’d like.
Meet the super-simple summertime meal we’ve been loving lately. ♡
Fresh zucchini is sautéed in a garlicky butter sauce, then tossed with pillowy soft gnocchi and lots of fresh basil, and finished with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan and freshly-cracked black pepper. It’s nothing fancy and takes all of 20 minutes to whip up. But it’s light and fresh and seasonal and SO delicious. We’ve made it a half dozen times these past few weeks while zucchini has been in peak season here in Barcelona and we can’t get enough of it!
Feel free, of course, to customize your sauté with any other ingredients you happen to have on hand that might sound good too. For example, sautéed chicken, sausage, or shrimp? Delicious, if you’d like to add some extra protein. A handful of extra greens or veggies? For sure, clean out that crisper drawer! A sprinkle of toasted pine nuts or almonds on top? Always lovely for a bit of crunch. A dollop of ricotta or some melty burrata? Hello, yum.
This is one of those basic flexible recipes that you can take in just about any direction you’d like. But however you make it, I’m certain you’re going to enjoy this one!
Lemon Basil Gnocchi Ingredients
Before we get to the full recipe below, here are a few notes about the ingredients you will need to make this gnocchi recipe:
Gnocchi: I just used a package of store-bought potato gnocchi for this recipe to keep things easy. But my favorite homemade ricotta gnocchi recipe would absolutely be delicious here too!
Butter: Half of which we will use to sauté the veggies, and half of which we will add at the end to make the dish extra saucy.
Zucchini: I used zucchini exclusively here, but a mixture of zucchini and yellow squash would also be lovely.
Garlic: Either pressed, minced or thinly-sliced — up to you.
Lemon: We prefer this dish extra-lemony in our house, so I added the juice of an entire medium-sized lemon. But feel free to add more or less if you prefer.
Parmesan cheese: We will stir lots of freshly-grated Parmesan into the dish and then sprinkle some extra on top of each individual serving.
Fresh basil: I highly recommend adding lots of fresh basil to this dish, which you can roughly chop or chiffonade.
Salt and pepper: It’s important to generously salt the boiling water to season the gnocchi. And then of course, don’t forget to taste and season the final dish with salt and pepper as needed.
Here are a few more ideas that you’re welcome to try with this dish…
Make it gluten-free: This dish is naturally gluten-free if made with a brand of gnocchi that is certified gf.
Add protein: Sautéed chicken, sausage, steak, shrimp or salmon would also be delicious with this dish. (You may just need to add extra butter, basil and Parmesan to make extra sauce.)
Add extra veggies: Feel free to toss in any other veggies or greens to the sauté too.
Add nuts: Toasted pine nuts, pistachios, or almonds would add a nice extra bit of crunch to this dish.
Add extra cheese: Can’t go wrong with adding a dollop or ricotta or some warm burrata to each serving too.
Add cream: Add 1/2 cup of cream to the final dish if you would like to make a creamy sauce.
More Easy Zucchini Recipes
Looking for more delicious zucchini recipes to try? Here are a few of my faves:
This lemon basil gnocchi with zucchini recipe is made with a cozy garlic butter sauce and comes together in just 20 minutes. Feel free to add in some chicken or shrimp too, if you’d like!
1 (1-pound) package of uncooked gnocchi
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 large zucchini (about 1.5 pounds), diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 medium lemon
2/3 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
2/3 cup roughly-chopped fresh basil leaves, plus extra for topping
fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
Prep the water. Bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil for the gnocchi.
Sauté the veggies. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and sauté for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nearly cooked through and tender. At this point, go ahead and add the gnocchi to the boiling water. Then meanwhile, add the garlic to the zucchini and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring the mixture frequently, until fragrant. Remove sauté pan from heat.
Mix together. Once the gnocchi float to the top of the surface of the boiling water, use a strainer to transfer them to the sauté pan with the zucchini mixture. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, lemon juice, Parmesan, basil, plus a few twists of black pepper and toss until evenly combined. If the mixture seems a touch dry, add in 1/4 cup (or more) of the starchy gnocchi water.
Season. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Serve. Serve immediately, garnished with extra Parmesan, fresh basil and black pepper. Enjoy!
What do you think about adding the zest of the lemon to this?
I just made this. I used zucchini and yellow squash. I added chicken, along with the juice of the whole lemon and some zest. Ir was absolutely delicious. I will definitely be making this again.
Could you possibly use Trader Joe’s frozen cauliflower gnocchi for this recipe? Would you recommend thawing first and just adding to the pan? Thank you! :)
I made this with thawed TJ cauliflower gnocchi and it worked perfectly.
Made this recipe tonight. Added shrimp to it. It was delicious. My husband even liked it. Used zucchini and basil from our garden. Will try it with chicken next. This one is a keeper.
Wow, we made this and absolutely loved it! Even adding shrimp, it took me less than 25 minutes to make, and the first time for a recipe is normally less than streamlined. ? Our kids loved it too, and had multiple helpings. Everyone complained when it ran out. I’ll make it again next week, but I’m going to double the recipe for leftovers! Thanks, Ali, this one’s absolutely a winner!
Made this tonight and it was fantastic. Better than 5 stars. My wife loved it too.
Absolutely, use the best ingredients you have available to you. Fresh basil is a must.We used a good parmesan but I suspect it would have been even better with Reggiano Parmesan.
I used penne pasta because that’s what we had and it worked fine. Used a 1:1 mixture of butter and olive oil for the saute to cut back on the saturated fat. I didn’t add the additional better at the end. It was delicious without it.
Thanks and we will be making it again.
This is such a quick easy recipe to make. My guests and husband raved about it and said keep it in the regular rotation. A great way to use some of the abundance of zuchinni from the garden. First time I made it as direted. Next time I will add some small tomatoes at the end for color or saute some red peppers in it.
My husband practically licked his plate clean!! I swapped in 8 oz of quartered white mushrooms for half the zucchini because there is a limit to how many “green foods” my family will eat. :o) I just used the first 2 Tbsp of butter for the saute and added in 1/2 c of heavy cream that I had sitting in my fridge at the end and have ZERO regrets about that call.
This looks delicious! Any idea on nutritional information?
Thanks so much!
Thank you so much for delicious ideas to use all the zucchini from our garden. We made it last night and it was wonderful. Even those who don’t love zucchini asked for more. Thanks for the kitchen inspiration!
Can you tell me the calorie count per serving? Thanks
Made this in the air fryer with T Joe’s cauli gnocchi and it was incredible!
This was easy and delicious! I will be making it again.
Thanks so much.
Awesome recipe! Hubby gave it 4+ stars out of 5; he’s a tough critic lol. I added shrimp I cooked in lemon water with peppercorns. Did add a splash of 1/2& 1/2 at the end; otherwise followed as written. Thanks for an awesome versatile recipe
So good!! Incredibly easy. I added frozen grilled chicken strips for a quick and tasty dinner.
These look delightful! Such pretty photos. Lots of love.
So delicious, and so easy on the cook! I love anything lemon. Used vegan Parmesan, as all the Parm available here has rennet, but otherwise followed the recipe with great results. Thank you for a great recipe!
Yum! Another delicious recipe from gimmesomeoven.com. Had almost all the ingredients on hand (except fresh basil so I used the last of the dried basil from last year’s garden). So tasty….loved the combo of lemon with the cheese and pepper. Will definitely make again.
I made this with Bow tie pasta instead of Gnocchi, used shrimp and zucchini, peppers and some onion. It was fabulous! Will definitely make again, thanks for the recipe!