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Spinach Gnocchi

Isn't this time of year amazing?  It was such a horribly hot summer here and I'm really enjoying Fall.  Out here in the Midwest, our leaves are at their peak.  We got in another 18 holes of golf this weekend and it might be the last, since the rest of the month is so busy.   I have a big charity auction dinner to cook and a trip to Chicago to visit our boys in college.

When I say gnocchi, what do you think of?  Most people picture the more well known potato gnocchi, but gnocchi in Italy can mean anything that is like a little soft dumpling.  These gnocchi do not contain any potato at all.  

Some spinach gnocchi contain ricotta cheese and I've made those but I prefer this version, with no ricotta. They are lighter. Be sure to use freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese - it makes a big difference.  These little beauties can be a side dish or the main event for a light lunch or dinner.  Toss them in a little olive oil and/or butter. They're delicious.  And look how easy they are to make - it takes just minutes and you can make them ahead, put them in the fridge earlier in the day and then cook them when you want them.

Make your own fresh bread crumbs for this.  Just take any bread and grind it in your food processor.  Fresh bread crumbs!  It makes a difference.  Do not use the fine dry bread crumbs in the canister from the grocery store.  Just don't do it.   When I grind bread crumbs, I grind a whole bunch, divide them into zip locks and freeze them.  Then I have fresh bread crumbs whenever I need them.  So easy.

Spinach Gnocchi



for a printable recipe, click here

make about 10-12 gnocchi

* Be sure to use freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese - the already grated cheese in the grocery store will not work as well.


  • 10 ounces of fresh spinach
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • a few grindings of pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese or Grana Padano 
  • 1/2 cup freshly ground bread crumbs  


Thoroughly wash the fresh spinach and place in a steamer basket.  Steam until wilted.  Remove and place in clean towels and wring out as much liquid as you can.  Chop finely.

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.  Shape the mixture into balls and place on a cookie sheet or any prep pan.  The mixture will be very wet.  Flour your hands or roll the gnocchi in a little flour to shape them into balls. (At this point you can stick them in the fridge for a few hours).

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  With a slotted spoon or a handled strainer, place a few gnocchi at a time in the simmering water and cook for about 2 minutes.  Remove with the slotted spoon to a serving dish and keep warm by tenting with a piece of foil.  Repeat with remaining gnocchi.

You can dress these gnocchi with just some olive oil, sea salt and some more grated cheese.  This is my favorite way to eat them.

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Reader Comments (48)

This looks like my kinda dinner! I love spinach gnocchi!

October 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGaby

I am making this for dinner soon! I love the fall photos as well.

October 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

This looks delicious. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. It just so happens that I made spaghetti and meatballs yesterday and I have leftover fresh breadcrumbs. This will definitely be on our menu this week!!!

October 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlilyicious

Thanks for this recipe - will put it on my menu as I love spinach. I actually "gasped" when I saw your Fall pictures. We can only dream of them here in Texas; we get a little color but not like this!!

October 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJudy B.

What a genius of a recipe! I can't wait to try this one!!

October 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlisa Barry

Love your fall photos. I grew up in the U.P. and also lived in the Grand Rapids area briefly. I miss the apple orchards and the long mid-western fall that seems to last forever. We already have snow here in Fairbanks.
Oh, and I will be trying this recipe. I just made carrot gnocchi from Mark Bittman's new book. I loved them as well.

October 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

I have never made my own breadcrumbs! Do I dry the bread before I grind it in the processor?

October 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShawnee

Hey that doesn't looks that difficult! I guess I can give this one a try. I've making a lot of spinachy food and this one looks great to incorporate it and still keep it interesting!
N wow! I too feel that fall is a little piece of heaven that god sends our way before throwing in those harsh cold winter nights. My favorite part of the yr too!

October 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPrerna@IndianSimmer

Beautiful fall photos, so crisp and clean... mmmmmm I can smell the fall air. Oh they make me so miss the changing of the seasons! Your gnocchi sounds fabulous, something I remember from grandmas kitchen. I love spinach gnocchi but never had them without ricotta.

October 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterredkathy

The spinach gnocchi looks great... the fall colors are so beautiful

October 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbergamot

your photos are awesome!

October 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjude

I have never made or even eaten spinach gnocchi! Yours looks so delicious! Great recipe! Also, the photo's are brilliant! Autumn in the tropics is no different to Summer...or Winter... or maybe even Spring. We just have the Wet season and the Dry season so I love seeing these pics!

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermarcellina

Hey! These are cute! They must be really healthy:) I like to make these little spinach rolls, and we all love them. Must try your recipe as well!!

Greets from BFC !!!

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterbigFATcook

From The Italian Dish:

Shawnee: You do not have to dry the bread crumbs to make fresh bread crumbs. Just grind them up!

October 19, 2010 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

These sound so delicious! :)

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLena

This recipe is definitely going in the favorites file, and I'm not even a huge spinach fan!

And the photos are gorgeous! I'm about 2 hours south of Chicago, and we've had some beautiful color but it's been so dry that as soon as the leaves fall, the color is gone.

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

My gnocchi always sinks to the bottom of my stomach! I will try this - it somehow seems lighter and I love the spinach in it. This autumn has been a dream - as your photos remind me.

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClaudia

I love spinach gnochhi and have not made it in years. I will def'ly make your recipe. Grazie mille! So glad to be following you! Ciao bella, Roz

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterroz

Love this!! Looks beautiful and delicious!

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

These look great! I'm definitely going to give them a try!

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Now why haven't I ever made these before. So beautiful and sooo spinachy. :)

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngela@Spinachtiger

I can't wait for the trees to start changing colors here.. Beautiful fotos Elaine. I love all types of gnocchi and this is no exception. Goloso ; )

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaula - bell'alimento

Absolutely love this idea! I love spinach and gnocchi - so why not put them together? Thanks so much for sharing! :)

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

These gnocchi look fabulous! Thanks for the tip about freezing the breadcrumbs! I freeze loaves of bread all the time, but never thought to actually freeze the crumbs!

October 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy

Beautiful photos of the fall colors, Elaine! And the gnocchi look delicious.

October 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLydia

Your photos are gorgeous!

October 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHalf Assed Kitchen

Here in Philadelphia our favorite, and 2nd most famous chef, Marc Vetri, does a legendary spinach gnocchi dish. Similar to the above but with 18 hours of sitting in the fridge to extract all possible excess moisture, for over-complicators like myself.

The recipe can be found online without a great deal of effort. The book is Il VIaggio Di Vetri.

October 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTJ

These are brilliant and beautiful! I don't own a pasta machine, so it's quite a relief to see that these don't require one - I should have thought to make these sooner, but I will definitely be putting this lovely recipe of yours to good use. So glad I found your blog, Elaine. It looks like I can make my Italian mother-in-law very proud by learning some classic Italian dishes from you!

I LOVE gnocchi!! I had no idea it was that simple to make! Great looking recipe!

This is a fantastic gnocchi recipe. I love spinach gnocchi.

I’d love for you to submit one of your beautiful photos, and a link to your post, to my new vegetarian food photo gallery showcasing beautiful and flavorful vegetarian food.

October 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVegolicious

Your images are beautiful! I'm also hungry for gnocchi, spinach....yum.

October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Great dish! I have printed this out and prepared this last night, and i was really appreciated by my husband..thanks ..this is all because of you! I have bookmarked and hope you keep updating!

October 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChef Job Description

Do you ever freeze these? How are they after freezing?

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBobT

I'm not very good at the fork rolled gnocchi and this recipe looks so simple and delicious! I love how beautiful Michigan is in the fall.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

I just love this time of year..and, I love gnocchi and this dish looks awesome! Your colorful phot's are always so gorgeous to feast ones eyes on Elaine! Just gorgeous!

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterYankee Soaper

Magnificent! The recipe,the pictures, everything!

November 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Ambrosino

Made these gnudi's last week - no breadcrumbs or flour! I will definitely try your version - they look firm! Love your autumn pictures...

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterOriana

Hello! I just found your amazing blog. While I'm living in Rome I'm trying to cook as much as I possibly can with a 14 month old baby....there are so many things on your blog I will make!! What a great resource you've put out there. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.

November 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

In Trentino Alto-Adige (in the north of Italy) people call these gnocchi "Canederli", and they are covered with melted butter. If you are not afraid of the butter you should try them.
The recipe is here:

In Emilia, people call spinach gnocchi "Chicche", and eat them with tomato sauce and parmigiano.

June 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMario Grazia

I was looking for a spinach gnocchi recipe and I came across yours. I want to make them for a dinner party and was wondering if once all the ingredients are mixed together, can they stay in the fridge uncooked until the next day, or will that ruin it? Thanks

August 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElissa

Elissa: You know, I've never done that with this particular recipe but I could totally see doing that. There's no reason why they shouldn't be fine if you wrap them well. Let me know how it goes!

August 20, 2011 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

I could spend all day on your blog...the recipes and photos are great. I can't wait to try these. I had something similar while on our trip through northern Italy recently.

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren (Back Road Journal)

I just made these exactly as directed and they came out very hard. It was my first time and was disappointed. Wonder what I might have done wrong because even the dough was dry.

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdel

From The Italian Dish:

Del: That's interesting because when I make them, the dough is quite moist. I wonder if you put too much flour in them? That's all I can think it could be.

December 8, 2011 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

these look wonderful, and I love that they do not have the potato... healthier and leaner. Perfect! Thanks so much for sharing and I just love your blog :)

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura @ A Healthy Jalapeño

This recipe looks like an absolutely delicious idea for a fall evening. It's nice to see a gnocchi without potato, it makes for a healthier meal. Thanks for sharing.

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOrGreenic

Love the spinach gnocchis. Since it's an easy to follow recipe, I tried it with gluten-free oatmeal and everyone in the family loved it. Thank you!

January 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNatty

I'm just learning to cook, and I found that this recipe was perfect - quick, delicious, and healthy. My parents loved it too. Thanks for sharing :)

November 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRT Samy

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