The kids love it, the husband loves it, it’s easy, it’s satisfying on so many levels — it’s a total win dinner. It’s one of my favorite recipes for gnocchi.
This cheesy gnocchi dish is easy enough to make quickly on a weeknight and tastes totally gourmet! I file this recipe under “modern comfort food,” which is what I call a sophisticated version of comfort food classics (such a mac and cheese) that are remixed with more depth of flavor using other hearty ingredients.
What is gnocchi, anyway?
Gnocchi (pronounced no-kee) is a type of pasta that resembles mini dumplings. It has a completely satisfying chewy texture, which gives all kinds of pasta dishes a new dimension.
Gnocchi are most commonly made using potato puree, but there are various ways to make gnocchi. I’ll be using store-bought gnocchi for this recipe (you can find it in both the dry pasta and refrigerated pasta sections). For an added challenge, try making your own delicious variations of gnocchi — you will not be disappointed!
Want to learn to make your own gnocchi?
Our on-demand video class will help you get started with gnocchi made from potatoes, butternut squash, and ricotta & spinach. Plus, you’ll get a few more tasty recipes for gnocchi dishes.
Easy, cheesy gnocchi with ham, peas and spinach
Makes four servings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- ½ pound smoked ham, cubed
- 1 package (17 ounces) gnocchi
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ¾ cup beef broth
- ¼ teaspoon seasoning salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 8 – 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped into ribbons
- ¼ cup heavy cream, plus more for thinning
- 3 slices provolone cheese
- ½ cup cheddar cheese
- 1½ cups baby spinach
In a large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté onions over medium-high heat until translucent and caramelized. This should take about 4 to 5 minutes.
Add ham and continue to sauté and brown for 1 two 2 minutes, stirring frequently, making sure not to burn the ham (but we do want that brown sear on them)!
Add gnocchi and stir to toast it. Let it absorb the bit of moisture in the pan. Then, add frozen peas and continue to stir for another minute.
Add broth, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (more or less depending on your preferred heat level) and half the chopped basil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 5 minutes until gnocchi is tender, stirring occasionally.
Uncover, add heavy cream and cheeses and stir until smooth and combined. Add a tablespoon or two of heavy cream to thin out the sauce if necessary.
Lastly, add the spinach, stir to combine. Cover, remove from heat and let sit for 4-5 minutes for spinach to wilt. Top with remaining basil. Spoon onto plates and garnish with more basil if desired.