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Gnocchi with Sausage and Red Pesto

Soft potato gnocchi with spicy Italian sausage and a creamy red pesto sauce. This is a hearty one-pot meal that is ready in less than 30 minutes.

Gnocchi with sausage and red pesto in a blue skillet.
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I love meals that come together quickly and use minimal dishes.

This gnocchi skillet meal is perfect because it is uses simple ingredients, is cooked in one pan and is ready in less than 30 minutes. It is also filling and delicious.

It has a bit of spice from the Italian sausage which is balanced nicely with the rich and creamy tomato pesto. If you don’t like spice be sure to choose a mild Italian sausage, or you can substitute with ground beef, turkey or pork.

Why this recipe works

It is quick – From start to finish this meal is ready in about 30 minutes.

Simple ingredients – There is nothing fancy about the ingredients. You should be able to find all of them at your local grocer.

Easy clean up – Because this entire meal cooks in just one skillet, clean up is easy and quick.

It’s filling – Gnocchi is quite filling, and when combined with the sausage you have a dish that is filling enough to serve on its own.

If you like this 30 minute recipe you might also like easy cheese enchiladas, creamy chicken spaghetti, or honey garlic chicken pasta.

Gnocchi with red pesto and sausage on a plate with a bowl of parmesan cheese on the side.

Ingredients

For a complete list of ingredients see the printable recipe at the bottom of this post.

Gnocchi – This is sold in most grocery stores, it will often be found in the pasta aisle, or sometimes near the fresh produce. I used plain potato gnocchi. If you are gluten free make sure you look for packages that specifically indicate gluten free as most varieties contain wheat flour.

Italian sausage – You can use sausage in casings and simply remove the casing, or you can buy a pound of ground Italian sausage. I used mild, but you can use anything from mild to extra spicy.

Red pesto – This is pesto that that has been made with sun-dried tomatoes and sometimes contains roasted red peppers as well. It is flavourful and rich so you don’t need as much as you may need with other sauces. You should be able to find it with the bottled or canned pasta sauces.

Ingredients for sausage gnocchi skillet.

If you are feeling ambitious, and want the best gnocchi, try making your own authentic gnocchi from scratch. It isn’t as difficult as you think and it is delicious.

Instructions

One – Remove the sausage from the casing, add it to the pan and cook on medium heat while breaking it apart with a spoon. When it is no longer pink add the mushrooms.

Two – Cook a few minutes longer until mushrooms begin to soften.

Three – Add the pest, broth and cream and stir to combine. Next add the gnocchi. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes until gnocchi is plump and soft.

Four – Add the chopped spinach, stir to combine until spinach is wilted then sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Steps to make sausage skillet gnocchi.

Serving Suggestions

When I’m cooking a 30 minute meal it is usually because I don’t have time to prep a big meal, or I’m being lazy and just don’t want to. Which means we generally eat this on its own.

However, the creamy sauce is perfect for dipping some crusty bread or some homemade garlic knots.

You could also serve it with a simple green salad or a Caesar salad.

Gnocchi with red pesto sauce and Italian sausage in a blue skillet.

FAQS

Is gnocchi gluten free?

Sometimes yes and sometimes no. There are many brands of gnocchi that are gluten free (and they usually taste the best), just make sure you check the packaging.

Do I need to pre-cook gnocchi before adding to the skillet?

There is no need to boil the gnocchi before adding to the skillet. It will cook just fine in the sauce.

More Quick Meals

More Quick Pasta Meals

Instant pot bacon Mac & cheese – by The Busted Oven
Sausage and broccoli rabe pasta – by Cook What You Love

Recipe

Gnocchi with sausage and red pesto in a blue skillet.

Gnocchi with Sausage and Red Pesto

Soft potato gnocchi with spicy Italian sausage and a creamy red pesto sauce. This is a hearty one-pot meal that is ready in less than 30 minutes.
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Save Recipe Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 809kcal
Author: Deanna

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Pound Italian sausage mild or spicy
  • 2 Cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 (7 oz) Jar red pesto
  • 1 Cup chicken broth low or no sodium
  • 3/4 Cup half and half or heavy cream
  • 1 Pound shelf stable gnocchi
  • 2 Cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 Cup shredded parmesan cheese plus extra for garnish

Instructions

  • Add the olive oil to a 3 quart skillet and heat over medium high heat. Remove the sausage from the casings and add to the pan. Break it up with a wooden spoon and cook until no longer pink.
  • Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for a few mintues longer until mushrooms begin to soften.
  • Add the pesto, chicken broth and cream to the pan and stir to combine then add the gnocchi and stir.
  • Reduce heat to medium and cover the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes or until gnocchi is plump and soft.
  • Add the spinach and stir to allow the spinach to wilt, then sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Notes

You can use sausage in the casing and remove the casing, or you can use ground Italian sausage.  
If you don’t like Italian sausage you can replace with equal portion of ground beef, pork or turkey. 

Nutrition

Calories: 809kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 1948mg | Potassium: 637mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1897IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 221mg | Iron: 7mg
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