20-Minute Ricotta Gnocchi

 The easiest homemade gnocchi recipe — made with just 4 main ingredients in 20 minutes (no potatoes required!), and just as light and delicious as ever!

20-Minute Ricotta Gnocchi

Love potato gnocchi?  Allow me to introduce you to its quicker-and-easier-to-make, ultra-light-and-pillowy, arguably-even-more-delicious cousin…

…ricotta gnocchi. ♡♡♡

After having been a big fan of this classic potato gnocchi recipe for years and years, a friend recently made the intriguing suggestion that I give ricotta gnocchi a try instead.  She promised that it was just as light and chewy and flavorful as the potato-based variety, but that it could be made in impressively half the time.  Also, with fewer dishes to wash.

Needless to say, I was intrigued.  So we gave it a try and turns out — she was right!

Ricotta gnocchi is so delightful, you guys!

Also, stunningly quick and easy to make.  You literally just stir four simple ingredients together, season with salt and pepper, roll out and cut the dough into bite-sized pieces, boil for a few minutes — and voila! — the most delicious gnocchi can be ready to go in basically the amount of time it takes to bring your big pot of cooking water to a boil.  We love tossing ours with a brown butter sage sauce, some fresh pesto, a spicy marinara, or making a cozy batch of gnocchi “mac” and cheese.  But of course, there are a million other delicious ways that you can serve these little guys too, so get creative!

Bottom line — whether you’re a beginner with making your own homemade gnocchi, or if you’re a potato gnocchi pro and are just looking for a quicker method, I highly recommend giving the ricotta version a try.  I think you’re going to love them!

Ricotta Gnocchi Recipe | 1-Minute Video

How to drain ricotta with paper towels

How to make gnocchi with ricotta cheese

Ricotta Gnocchi Ingredients:

To make this ricotta gnocchi recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Whole milk ricotta cheese: Try to buy the best-quality brand available.  We will then drain the ricotta quickly on paper towels to remove some of its excess moisture.
  • Flour: I love making this gnocchi recipe with “00” flour, which makes them extra light.  But normal all-purpose flour will also work great as well.
  • Egg yolks: Three of them!
  • Parmesan cheese: Freshly-grated for maximum flavor.
  • Salt and pepper: Of course. :)

Ricotta Gnocchi Equipment:

This recipe doesn’t require any special equipment!  You will just need a:

I also highly recommend using a kitchen scale to accurately measure the ingredients by weight instead of volume.  But that said, if you don’t have a kitchen scale, measuring cups will work well too.

How to make gnocchi

How To Make Gnocchi:

Alright, moving onto how to make gnocchi!  With ricotta version, you don’t have to mess with the extra time and dishes required to boil and peel potatoes.  Instead, just simply:

  1. Drain the ricotta: I learned this trick from Serious Eats. Instead of waiting 30 minutes for your ricotta to drain through a strainer, simply sandwich it between a few paper towels (sort of like how you drain tofu) and gently press so that the paper towels soak up the excess moisture.
  2. Mix your dough ingredients. Stir the drained ricotta and eggs together, then mix in the flour, Parm, salt and pepper until combined.
  3. Roll out and cut the dough.  Shape the dough into a round disk with your hands, then transfer it to a lightly-floured cutting board and sprinkle the dough with lightly with flour.  Using a knife or a bench scraper, cut the dough into eight even pie wedges.  Then using your hands, gently roll out each wedge out into an even log, approximately 3/4-inch wide.  Cut each log into individual bite-sized little gnocchi squares.  Lightly dust the gnocchi with flour once more and give them a quick toss so that they are all lightly coated with flour.  (This will help prevent them from sticking together.)
  4. Boil the gnocchi. Carefully transfer them to your pot of boiling water.  Then once they float — usually after about 30-60 seconds — they’re ready to go!
  5. Serve.  Serve immediately, tossed with your favorite sauce and whatever other ingredients sound good! ♡

Easy gnocchi recipe

How To Serve Gnocchi:

There are endless ways that you can serve gnocchi!  I typically like to either:

  • Toss gnocchi with a good sauce. Anything from a good tomato sauce, to a cream sauce, fresh basil pesto, brown butter sauce, or whatever sounds good to you!
  • Make gnocchi “mac” and cheese. I also love subbing gnocchi in for pasta to make a batch of “gnocchi and cheese”.
  • Toast (fry) your gnocchi. If you would like your gnocchi to be a bit crispier, just boil and drain them as usual.  Then pan-fry them in a few tablespoons of oil or butter for a few minutes until their edges are browned and crispy.
  • Add them to a soup. Gnocchi are also work great as little dumplings in soups of all kinds!  Feel free to add them (uncooked) directly into your soup broth.  Or you are welcome to cook the gnocchi first in a separate stockpot, and then add them to your soup.

Ricotta gnocchi

How To Freeze Gnocchi:

To freeze gnocchi, spread them out in an even layer on a lightly-floured baking sheet.  Then pop the sheet into the freezer for an hour or two, until the gnocchi have frozen.  Remove and transfer the gnocchi to a sealed storage container or ziplock bag.  Then freeze for up to 2 months.

To cook frozen gnocchi, simply add them to the boiling water straight out of the freezer and wait for them to float.  They will take an extra minute or two to cook, but the texture is still great in the end.

Gnocchi with brown butter sauce and sage

Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter Sauce

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20-Minute Ricotta Gnocchi
5 from 10 reviews

20-Minute Ricotta Gnocchi

  • Prep Time: 19 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 -4 servings 1x

Description

The easiest homemade gnocchi recipe — made with just 4 main ingredients in 20 minutes (no potatoes required!), and just as light and delicious as ever!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (one 15-ounce container) whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup (about 4 ounces) ‘00’ flour or all-purpose flour*
  • 3/4 cup (about 1 ounce) freshly-grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. Prep the water: Bring a large stockpot of generously-salted water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Drain the ricotta: While your water is heating, place 3-4 paper towels on a large plate and spread the ricotta on the paper towels in an even layer.  Place another layer of 3-4 paper towels on top of the ricotta.  Then press down gently to let the excess moisture soak into the paper towels, trying to soak up as much of the excess liquid as possible.  Transfer the ricotta to a large mixing bowl.  (If it sticks to the paper towels, just use a rubber spatula to scrape it off.)  The drained ricotta should now weigh about 12 ounces.
  3. Mix your dough ingredients. Add the egg yolks to the ricotta and stir briefly to combine.  Add in the flour, Parmesan, salt and pepper, and stir until evenly combined.  Avoid over-mixing.  The dough will be a bit moist and maybe a bit sticky, but it should be holding together well.  If it feels too wet, just add in another few tablespoons of flour.
  4. Roll out and cut the dough.  Shape the dough into a round disk with your hands, then transfer it to a lightly-floured cutting board and sprinkle the dough with lightly with flour.  Using a knife or a bench scraper, cut the dough into eight even pie wedges.  Using your hands, gently roll out each wedge out into an even log, approximately 3/4-inch wide.  Cut each log into individual bite-sized little gnocchi squares.  Lightly dust the gnocchi with flour once more and give them a quick toss so that they are all lightly coated with flour.  (This will help prevent them from sticking together.)
  5. Boil the gnocchi. Carefully transfer the gnocchi to the boiling water to cook.  Then once they float — usually after 30 seconds or so — drain the gnocchi.
  6. Serve.  Serve immediately, tossed with your favorite sauce and whatever other ingredients sound good!

Notes

*I really recommend weighing your flour for accuracy.  But if you are using a measuring cup, just be sure to use the scoop the flour into the measuring cup (versus scooping the measuring cup into the flour) to ensure that you don’t accidentally use too much flour.

Recipe slightly adapted from Serious Eats.

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