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This creamy pesto gnocchi recipe makes a fantastic side dish or meatless main course. It’s super easy (made in one pan) and takes only 20 minutes from start to finish!

If you like this method, try my Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce or Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Gnocchi next.

a bowl of creamy pesto gnocchi

Why you’ll love it

The pesto parmesan sauce in this quick gnocchi recipe is very simple to make and really tasty. In fact, the whole dish has just six ingredients in total! Pesto is already delicious, but adding more garlic and a splash of cream turns it into a next-level delicious sauce.

Since the gnocchi cooks right in the sauce, there’s no pre-cooking involved in this one pan gnocchi with pesto. It releases starch to beautifully thicken up the creamy and bright sauce. That means fewer dishes to wash, which is a win on busy weeknights!

What you’ll need

  • Pesto – since it’s the star of the sauce, choose a quality brand you love! My favorite is DeLallo.
  • Heavy cream – it makes the sauce have a silky and luxurious texture
  • Wine or chicken broth – use a dry white wine like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc for a touch of elegance
  • Garlic – for more savory flavor
  • Gnocchi – for all my one pan gnocchi recipes I use shelf-stable gnocchi (find it in the pasta aisle). The refrigerated kind works too.
  • Parmesan – grate your own for best results
ingredients for pesto gnocchi in measuring cups

Pro tip

I don’t recommend using homemade gnocchi because the one pan method can make it fall apart, so I would make the sauce separately if you want to go that route.

How to make pesto gnocchi

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

making creamy pesto sauce in a skillet and adding gnocchi

To a deep skillet, add the pesto, cream, white wine/broth, and garlic. When it gently bubbles, add in the gnocchi. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.

adding parmesan to a skillet with creamy pesto gnocchi and stirring it in

Uncover, then stir. Continue to cook it for a few more minutes while stirring often. When desired consistency is reached, stir in the parmesan cheese. Season with salt & pepper.

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

  • I’m big on grating my own parmesan cheese since it just tastes and melts better. I use this Microplane zester.
  • Quickly mince garlic with a garlic press, and store leftover cloves in a garlic saver that’s shaped like a head of garlic.
  • Here are the angled measuring cups pictured.

Substitutions and variations

What to serve with pesto gnocchi

Leftovers and storage

  • Store leftover gnocchi for 3-4 days fridge in an airtight container.
  • Reheat over a low heat, and add splash of cream or broth to leftovers to revive the sauce.
  • I don’t recommend freezing this one because it’ll change texture. 
closeup of a pan with creamy pesto gnocchi and a wooden spoon

Questions about this easy pesto gnocchi recipe? Let me know in the comments! I’d love it if you left a star rating and review below, or tag me on Instagram.

a bowl of creamy pesto gnocchi
4.94 from 44 votes

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi

This creamy pesto gnocchi recipe makes a fantastic side dish or meatless main course. It's super easy (made in one pan) and takes only 20 minutes from start to finish!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound uncooked potato gnocchi
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Add the pesto, cream, wine, and garlic to a deep skillet over medium heat.
  • Once the sauce starts to gently bubble, stir in the gnocchi. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Uncover the pan and give it a good stir. Continue to cook it for a couple more minutes, stirring often (the sauce will thicken quickly as the gnocchi releases more starch).
  • Once the sauce is thickened to your liking, stir in the parmesan cheese. If the sauce gets too thick at any point, add in another splash of wine or cream. Season with salt & pepper as needed and serve immediately.


  • Serves 4-6 as a side dish. 
  • The gnocchi cooks right in the sauce. No need to pre-boil it! The starch released helps thicken the sauce up quickly.


Calories: 517kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Cholesterol: 94mg, Sodium: 744mg, Potassium: 71mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 1295IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 228mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

Leave a star rating and comment below!

This recipe was originally published on September 18, 2020. It’s been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!

Hi! I’m Natasha.

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  1. Jorja Corbett says:

    Can you use frozen gnocchi?

    1. Natasha says:

      That should be fine. You may want to cook it for slightly longer over a slightly lower heat.

  2. Andrea says:

    5 stars
    Yummy!! I used veggie stock rather than wine/chicken stock and it turned out delicious! Thankyou!

    1. Natasha says:

      Fantastic!! 😀 Thanks, Andrea!

  3. Shayna says:

    Could I use tortellini instead of gnocchi? It looks delicious!

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Shayna! I think you could, but I don’t know for sure if the liquid quantities will work with the tortellini or not (like if the sauce will thicken properly using the one pan method), but I think it should be fairly close. You could always try this similar recipe that’s meant just for regular pasta and cook the tortellini separately: Let me know how it goes! 🙂

      1. Shayna says:

        5 stars
        It was so good! I had to change the amounts because the tortellini was about 1.5 lbs, but it was great! I love one pot meals. No one else likes pesto in my house, so I love to make a big dish like this and have leftovers!

        1. Natasha says:

          So glad you liked it!! 😀

  4. Gina says:

    5 stars
    This is delicious! I made it last night and my husband ate 3 helpings. Super fast, easy and flavorful weeknight meal.

    1. Natasha says:

      I love that!! 😀 Thanks for letting me know, Gina!

  5. Theresa says:

    5 stars
    I’ve made this twice with basil pesto made from my garden. It’s excellent! I used a little less Parmesan the second time. I would like to know if I could halve the recipe?

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m thrilled you enjoyed it!! Yes, I would halve every ingredient. And cook time may slightly decrease since the pan will be a bit less full.