How to Make Homemade Gnocchi

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Homemade gnocchi is so much better than the shop-bought stuff – and this recipe comes with a tip that will save you SO much time!

Uncooked homemade gnocchi dumplings spread out on a worktop.

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I’ve made homemade gnocchi (potato dumplings) from scratch before.. In the blog post, I said “I’ll definitely be making gnocchi again next time I have a quiet Sunday ahead of me, and I feel like getting stuck into something in the kitchen”… but did I? Of course not. Homemade gnocchi can be seriously labour intensive – you need to peel the potatoes, cook the potatoes (preferably in the oven, which can take hours), and mash mash mash until there’s not a single lump left – and that’s just the potatoes. Then you have to make the actual gnocchi itself. There’s a reason that most of the gnocchi recipes I’ve posted since then have used shop-bought gnocchi.

Homemade gnocchi

I decided it was time to give homemade gnocchi another go. It really is much tastier than the shop-bought stuff – much lighter and fluffier! – and it is so worth it if you have the time (and the inclination).

However, my laziness meant that I did cut a pretty major corner this time – I used frozen mashed potato! Frozen foods are so great for cutting down on the hassle of cooking.

If you just wrinkled your nose in disdain, let me explain.

I know there are probably some kinds of mashed potato out there that use weird ingredients – milk powder, emulsifier, stabiliser, and all kinds of other non-ingredients that have no place in mashed potato. But if you can find a good quality one, it will save you so much time. I used frozen mashed potato from Iceland, which contains just potato, butter, milk, and salt and pepper – that’s it. That’s all I would be putting in my mashed potato anyway, and it makes this homemade gnocchi a whole lot more hassle-free.

Frozen mashed potato means that there’s no more peeling or pre-cooking required, and it’s even pre-mashed until it’s silky smooth. I mentioned last time that I had a few tiny lumps left in my gnocchi, which wasn’t great, but using Iceland’s frozen mashed potatoes eliminated this problem entirely.

Uncooked homemade gnocchi dumplings spread out on a worktop.

Once you’ve got your smooth and creamy mashed potatoes, you only need to add some flour and an egg to form your homemade gnocchi dough.

Shaping the gnocchi is pretty easy – just roll the dough into sausage shapes, and cut it into chunks. You don’t need to be too precise – my gnocchi wasn’t exactly perfectly even, as you can probably see! If you like, you can use a fork to add the indentations that you often find on gnocchi.

I didn’t <– lazy.

Personally, I think there are better things to worry about than the intricacies of the shape of your gnocchi, but I’m not Italian, so what do I know? Perhaps those grooves serve a very important purpose, but I think it tastes just as good without them, so… meh.

As always, after boiling my gnocchi I cooked it in a frying pan to crisp it up nicely. You don’t have to do this, but I really do think it will take your homemade gnocchi to another level. It’s so much nicer with crispy sides, and it even seems lighter and fluffier somehow. Definitely recommend!

In summary, here’s the general process of making your homemade gnocchi – in just 5 words.

Collage showing how to make homemade gnocchi.

I served mine with an easy kale pesto, made using Iceland‘s frozen kale (which is now a staple in my freezer – I love throwing a handful in when I’m boiling pasta for a nutrition boost). Obviously you can serve it however you like, if pesto isn’t your thing, but after making homemade gnocchi from scratch I just wanted to make something quick!

What do you reckon – is homemade gnocchi something you’ll ever try? Would you consider using frozen mashed potato to make life easier for yourself and cut the hassle?

Overhead view of homemade sautéed gnocchi on a plate with pesto and parmesan cheese.

How to make Homemade Gnocchi

An easy guide to making your own homemade gnocchi from scratch, including a handy tip that will save you heaps of time!

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5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 3
Calories: 379kcal
Author: Becca Heyes


For the homemade gnocchi:

  • 500 g mashed potato (~ 2 cups)
  • 120 g plain flour (~ 3/4 cup), plus a little more for rolling
  • 1 egg
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tbsp butter

For the kale pesto:

  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • Small handful kale
  • A few sprigs fresh parsley or coriander (cilantro)
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 9 cherry tomatoes, halved


  • If using frozen mashed potato, defrost it thoroughly in the microwave.
  • Combine the mashed potato, flour and egg in a large mixing bowl, along with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Using clean hands, mix well, and knead lightly to form a dough. If the dough is too sticky, just add a tiny bit more flour.
  • Roll out the dough (or just press it out with your hands) until it’s around 1.5 cm thick, and cut into 1.5cm strips. Roll each strip a little on the worktop to form a sausage, and cut into pieces – mine measured around 3cm long. Use a fork to add grooves if you wish (I didn’t bother).
  • When all of the dough has been used to form the gnocchi, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add some of the gnocchi – you’ll need to cook it in 2 or 3 batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. When the gnocchi floats to the surface (which should take less than a minute), give it another 20 seconds or so, then remove it from the water using a slotted spoon. Repeat until all of the gnocchi have been cooked.
  • The gnocchi are now edible, but I think they’re much nicer if you fry them a little first. Heat some oil and butter in a frying pan, and add some of the gnocchi (again, cook it in a couple of batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan). Cook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes each side, until golden brown and crispy.
  • Serve the gnocchi with your choice of sauce. I used a creamy kale pesto – if you’d like to do the same, just add the garlic, kale, coriander, and pine nuts to a mini food processor and blitz until a paste is formed. Add the extra virgin olive oil and cream cheese, along with a good pinch of salt and pepper, and blitz again. Serve the gnocchi with the pesto and a few cherry tomatoes.


There’s no shame in using frozen mashed potato to make homemade gnocchi. The good quality stuff has a very short ingredients list (just potatoes and salt!), and it saves so much time. Gnocchi is also a great way to use up leftover mashed potato from the night before, if you prefer!


Nutrition Facts
How to make Homemade Gnocchi
Amount Per Serving (1 portion)
Calories 379 Calories from Fat 113
% Daily Value*
Fat 12.5g19%
Saturated Fat 3.5g18%
Cholesterol 61mg20%
Sodium 602mg25%
Potassium 572mg16%
Carbohydrates 56.9g19%
Fiber 3.4g14%
Sugar 2.4g3%
Protein 9g18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.

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This homemade gnocchi would be amazing used in my toasted gnocchi salad!

Toasted gnocchi salad

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  1. What a great idea using frozen mashed potatoes! I might start freezing leftover mashed potatoes so that I have it ready when I want to make some gnocchi!

  2. I love gnocchi! It’s much easier than other pasta doughs (I’m a big pasta fan, and homemade is always best) so I use it in place of regular pasta often. I’ve even used the dough to make homemade raviolis that were so yummy. I usually serve them with butter and cheese, or a meaty tomato sauce. And gnocchi freezes so well, I almost always have some on hand in my freezer for a quick meal.

  3. I grew up going over to my grandmother’s house every sunday for sunday dinner with all my relatives and she used to make this. This is always great!

  4. I have just recently taken a pasta making course at Tante Marie and realised hoe easy yet so impressive gnicchi are to make and a world apart from shop bought. I might have to send them your idea and see if they try it out. I will have a go too and I especially love them pan fried with loads of butter!

  5. hi Becca… just found your blog. I am not a potato gnocchi fan, but I like making them. An alternative to the method u describe here is to mash the potatoes with a ricer, let them go completely cold and then add the flour, gradually. The idea being that there will be no steam/humidity in the cold potato mash and it will thus absorb far less flour, which makes for lighter gnocchi. I tend to go for 1 kg potatoes/150-170 g flour (without egg).

    I prefer pumpkin and carrot gnocchi, gnudi and ricotta gnocchi, especially in the time consuming but delicious version of British chef April Bloomfield- check it out (also the zuni cafe cookbook’s version is delicious)

    + for anyone into gnocchi: a good trick to know: shock them in icy water after cooking, drain dry them on a cloth: they can be stored for a couple of days in the fridge and, above all, they can be sauced and sauted much better, because they firm up big times. ciao, stefano

  6. What a clever clever use of Iceland mash! I’ve got some in the freezer and I might just have a go (although hubs like plain mash so much it might not be there by the time I go for it!). The pesto to go with it sounds delish too!