This gnocchi with tomato sauce recipe is a simple one pan meal that takes store-bought gnocchi to the next level! Plenty of melty Parmesan and mozzarella make this dish extra delicious.
Try my Easy Baked Gnocchi next for another simple, cheesy recipe.
If you've read this blog for any length of time, you will have seen that I make a lot of gnocchi recipes. They're easy, popular with readers, made in one pan, and crazy delicious. Usually they have a cream-based sauce, but I wanted to do a simple tomato sauce without any cream. I figured it was high time we had gnocchi with red sauce.
I ended up testing this recipe 3x. The first time I used tomato sauce and it ended up being a little too ketchup-y for my liking. The second time I was close; the tomato sauce was subbed for diced tomatoes, and I also decided to add some mozzarella and Italian seasoning to the mix. The taste was almost there, but there was just way too much sauce. Also, I had an issue with the gnocchi sticking to the bottom of the pan, so I decided to cook it entirely uncovered for the next test. Third time's the charm...
I've been using the last of my fresh garden basil up, and this recipe calls for a small handful. Fresh basil is one of my favorite cooking ingredients ever. I just want to throw it in everything.
This recipe can be a main course or a meatless side depending on what you're feeling. It's easily made vegetarian if you sub the chicken broth for veggie broth.
As we head into the cooler months, I'm looking forward to making more soups with gnocchi such as my Parmesan, Mushroom, and Spinach Gnocchi Soup, this Sausage, Kale, and Gnocchi Soup, my Creamy Tomato Gnocchi Soup, or this Easy Chicken Gnocchi Soup.
What kind of gnocchi to use?
I use the shelf-stable gnocchi that you can find in the dry pasta aisle. I’ve had readers test similar recipes with fresh homemade gnocchi, and the one pan technique does not seem to work as well (it's delicate and can fall apart). The refrigerated gnocchi you can find in some supermarkets should work as well.
- You can definitely add a splash of cream if you want to make the sauce a little richer.
- Have some fresh herbs on-hand? Feel free to throw them in along with the basil.
- Want to make it a spicy tomato sauce? Add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or some red pepper flakes.
Other one pan gnocchi recipes you may like:
- Creamy Tuscan Sausage Gnocchi (One Pan, 20 Minutes)
- Chicken Bacon Gnocchi
- One Pan Gnocchi alla Vodka
- 15 Minute One Pan Creamy Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Gnocchi
- Creamy Tomato Gnocchi
- One Pan Creamy Gnocchi with Sausage
Hope you will enjoy this easy tomato sauce for gnocchi!
Questions? Ask me below in the comments.
Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 (14 fluid ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup chicken broth or veg broth
- 1 dash Italian seasoning
- 1 pound potato gnocchi
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Small handful fresh basil sliced thin
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Add the oil and butter to a deep skillet over medium heat. Once it's hot, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, and Italian seasoning to the pan. Give it a stir.
- Stir in the gnocchi. Let it cook, stirring fairly often so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan, until it's cooked through (about 5-7 minutes). The sauce will thicken as the gnocchi releases starch.
- Give the gnocchi a taste, and if it's cooked, stir in the mozzarella, parmesan, and basil until the cheeses melt. Season with salt & pepper as needed and serve immediately.
- There is no need to pre-cook the gnocchi. It'll cook in the sauce.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Chris Gallagher says
To pull this recipe up to another level, try oven roasting fresh plum tomatoes beforehand. Halve them and arrange in a deep baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and dust generously with black pepper and sea salt crystals. Roast in a preheated oven (390F) until slightly charred, about 40 minutes. Cool and chop.
I have never reviewed a recipe before but this was so delicious I felt I needed to. I doubled the recipe but kept to the same dimensions as I was thinking I could use leftovers for my kids' lunches tomorrow. No chance of that. It was demolished!
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Aw that's wonderful to hear, Tracey! Thank you so much for your review!
Nice and easy recipe. Turned out great and tasty. Had to improvise a bit as didn't have the broth and fresh basil. Replaced by using a bit more ready made pasta sauce and dried basil leaves to compensate. Added bits of left over finely chopped eggplant, onion and spring onion. For the gnocchi used a combination of packed and refrigerated gnocchi. Used cheddar cheese only and still turned out yummy. Will definitely make again.
I'm glad you enjoyed it!!
Diane Van Der Meer says
Awesome, made as per recipe!
Thank you!! Glad you liked it!! 😀
I love the basics of this recipe, but do you get heartburn? Sauce needs a little sugar and to be cooked down longer - very acidic. That said I will make again with some tweaks. Happy eating!!
You can definitely add a bit of sugar to balance tomato sauces out if your tomatoes are particularly tart/acidic. I sometimes add a splash of cream too to balance the flavors.
I agree, it's too acidic. I added 2 tablespoons of sugar and a splash of cream and it was still slightly acidic. I just think it needs more cooking time.
A delicious, easy, and quick recipe that is great to make after work! I halved to serve two portions and omitted the parmesan cheese, only used mozzarella and it turned out great. Also used vegetable stock to make it vegetarian!
I'm so pleased you enjoyed it!! 🙂
Delicious, easy to make.
This recipe is so simple and so so so delicious!! I make it often and my family and friends love it! Just ate it and I had to comment because it is just so good.
Thank you so much!! That makes me happy, Jess! 😀
Jason Gilbert says
Excellent flavor. Simple. I added a little more cheese and a little more broth, but it would have been great without any modifications.
I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Jason! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂
Made this recipe several times and it's a keeper! I've wanted to try it with the cauliflower gnocchi that you find at Trader Joe's, what adjustments would I have to make since it would be frozen and wouldn't release as much starch as potato?
I'm so glad you enjoy it, Liz! That's a good question. I don't live in the States, so I don't have access to Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi or else I would have experimented since it's popular and people have used it in my various gnocchi recipes. You may want to add a touch less liquid, but beyond that I really can't say without testing, unfortunately.
Only my second time making gnocchi.
This is such a simple recipe, with powerful flavour.
I added ground beef to mine to make it a gnocchi bolognese, and used beef broth instead of chicken. This recipe is superb. Will definitely make again.
So glad you enjoyed it, Emma!! I have another ground beef gnocchi recipe you may also like here: https://bit.ly/2PKsVM1
So delicious!!! Easy to make and just wow! I added a dollop of burrata on each plate and it was SO GOOD!
Fantastic!! Thanks for taking the time to review the recipe.
Christine Bligh says
Loved this recipe,I added mushrooms and fresh herbs, along with basil, I added rosemary, thyme and a bit of sage.
This was my first time cooking with gnocchi. The recipe is delish! The cheeses melted together in a wonderfully decadently rich sauce. I didn't even bother with the butter or the broth (substituted water as so little needed) and I kicked it up with some extra crushed red peppers.
I'm so happy you enjoyed it!! 😀
This was super yummy! I didn’t have any Italian seasoning, so just used dried oregano and basil as well as a few fresh basil leaves. I also added about 100ml of cream. Didn’t have mozarella so just used Parmesan. Such a delicious recipe! I used gnocchi that was from the fridge section of the supermarket and it cooked perfectly. Will definitely be making this again! Thank you! So good!
I'm so glad you enjoyed it and were able to tweak it! 🙂
The first time I made this I made a huge mistake and added 1 cup each of the cheeses. It was nothing but a ball of cheese. So, I made it again and only used a quarter cup of each cheese and I ended up taking out about half the melted cheese. It was very globby - if that's a word. I also ended up using an additional quarter cup of vegetable broth to thin it out. The starch in the gnocchi makes it thick and the cheese makes it even thicker so it needed thinning. It has good flavor but IF I were to make this again I don't think I would add the cheese in but use it as a topping - sparingly.
Hmmm I wonder why yours turned out so thick! I'm glad you were able to tweak it to your liking, though.
Can you make dish ahead of time and reheat?
You can, but it may get a little gloopy since the gnocchi will continue to release starch. I'd re-warm it on a low heat.
Andrew de Weerd says
One of the most delicious dishes I have tasted. Even my picky kids ravaged it. We put more chicken broth in (for extra kick) and more tomatoes (we needed more sauce with more Gnocchi) but otherwise stayed true to the recipe. I'm surprised that this is "American" cuisine however, when ingredients include Gnocchi, Mozzarella, Parmesan and Italian Herbs which are "Italian"?
That makes me so happy that it was a hit for your family! Yes, the cuisine is always a bit tough since I can't please everyone haha. If I put "Italian", I would get feedback that I am not using authentic techniques or ingredients. It's happened before. 😉
Leslie Carlson says
I read fried gnocchi is nicer
Can I fry ahead and mix it together after
You could, but the sauce may not thicken up the same.
So good, as always!!! I added Italian sausage!
Wonderful!! Sausage makes everything better! 😉
Just made it this evening! Same recipe expect for the cheeses. I added Gorgonzola to the sauce before adding the gnocchi. Sprinkled Parsley. Delish! Also made chicken on the side:)
Absolutely gorgeous. I decided to impose a “meatless day” in our weekly menu and my husband actually liked it! I added onions, red pepper, carrot, courgette, and spinach about half way through cooking the gnocchi. The sauce was really lovely.
That's a great idea, and I'm so happy you two enjoyed it! 🙂
Such an easy recipe and you don’t even have to cook the gnocchi first. A one pan dish made in minutes! We love oregano and use this instead of the Italian seasoning. Sometimes I use Swiss cheese instead of Parmesan as we are on a low salt diet.
Great served with fresh basil & a simple green salad.
I'm so pleased you like it, Linda! Love your suggestions.
First time making gnocchi and this sauce was simply perfect to go along with it! Thank you so much! It was also really customizable so I could take out some cheese to create a more personalized flavor 🙂 thanks again for sharing!
I'm so happy to hear that, Ida! 🙂
Do you know the nutrition info/calories for this dish?
Hi Lucy! Just added it for you. Keep in mind that the actual ingredients you use can and do vary.
Do the cannee tomatoes need to be put?
Not sure what you’re asking?
Lovely recipe, thank you for sharing it! I'm a college student, so I'm a bit of a novice at cooking, but this was very easy to follow and super delicious! Oh and also very cheap, which is much appreciated!
I'm so happy you enjoyed it, Quinn!! Thanks for taking the time to comment. 😀
Oof, this was delicious! I’ve never thought to cook the gnocchi in the sauce (I always boil first then add) but WOW it’s a game changer. Thank you!
I'm so pleased you liked it and the one pan technique worked for you! Thanks for taking the time to comment, Natalie! 🙂
With [...] it's great to find recipes like this.
My daughter also approves (she will eat tripe, but not mushrooms - strange one).
Haha that's funny... I guess we all have our quirks! Glad you enjoyed the recipe! (I edited your comment because bloggers have been told that using buzzwords associated with the current events may impact our search rankings, so I am erring on the side of caution).
Yolanda Pledger says
Glad you liked it!! Thanks for commenting!
This is a keeper! Perfect for quick meal prep. Taste great too for family with fussy 2 yo boy. Thanks Natasha!
Awesome!! You're welcome! XO
This may be a silly question! Can you refrigerate leftovers for the next day?
All the best,
Hi! Absolutely. I recommend warming them up on a low heat.
Hi Natasha, will this still work with pre-cooked gnocchi?
Did you cook them or just buy them that way? I mean I think it probably should work... like they will still release starch. Let me know!
Blah blah says
Glad you liked it!!
Have not tried yet planning to this weekend, could you use ground Italian sausage along with the recipe? I am making this for 10 people, so how would I adjust the recipe?
Hi Barbara, you could add sausage, or just try my creamy sausage gnocchi recipe here: https://www.saltandlavender.com/one-pan-creamy-gnocchi-with-sausage/ - readers love it. Hmmm 10 people it really depends... like is this all people will be eating? I'd double it for sure. The problem is that I'm not sure your pan will be spacious enough to do the double batch. You may want to do two separate batches to be safe. Or use something like a Dutch oven.
I am making this tonight, I planned to use two of my large deep skillets will definitely check out the sausage recipe! Will let you know how it turns out
Good!! I hope it goes well! 🙂
Delicious and super fast. Definitaly will make it again. Thanks! 😁
You're welcome!! So happy you enjoyed it! 🙂
If I don’t have tomato paste, can I sub it with tomato sauce?
You could try. The flavor won’t be as concentrated though.
Thanks for this! I tried this with Pizza express tinned passata. Wasn't too bad but needs a tweak!
Super fast recipe! Perfect comfort food! I'd prefer it wish fresh summer tomatoes though. I think the canned ones leave a pretty intense taste (depends on your taste of course).
So glad you enjoyed it! Yes, it would definitely be delicious with summer tomatoes. Can't wait... my fav time of year!
If the package of gnocchi says to cook in boiling water can i still cook it in the tomatoe sauce or will i ruin it?
Pretty sure most gnocchi will say to cook in boiling water, but I just skip that step and cook it right in the sauce. It’s always worked for me. Let me know if you like the recipe ♥️
If I wanted to add pre-cooked chicken to this, where would I do it?
Try adding it in when the gnocchi is about half cooked (step 3) - that should give it enough time to warm thru.
Where did you get those plates?! I love them
Restoration Hardware. Not sure they sell them anymore. Sara Paloma nesting bowls. 🙂
Hi there I just wanted to let you know that this recipe was a hit with my very fussy 9 year old son!
I have been following your recipes for a while now and have saved many of them and decided to start with this one and I'm so glad I did!
Thank you for making a week night meal very eady and thumbs up to every one in the family especially number 9!
Yay that's awesome!! So glad he liked it. Thanks for taking the time to write me a comment! XO 🙂
Excellent. We’re WFPB, so I omit oil and butter, sub veg broth, and use no cheese but some Anthony’s nutritional yeast. Thanks for your perseverance to get a good recipe.
So glad you were able to tweak it, Jen! 🙂
Thank you ! Perfect for bc what I needed
Donna Markby says
So easy, tastes great I added alittle fresh spinach 👍
Good idea!! So happy it was enjoyed.
I didn't follow this recipe exactly, but used the basic idea of cooking the gnocchi in the tomato sauce and was impressed it worked well! Although it took a few more minutes than suggested to cook the gnocchi. I have always boiled it separately in the past but the idea of using just one pan appealed to me, and I think I will continue to use this method in the future.
So glad you liked the technique!
Although I added more veggies (zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, carrots), used cheddar, and didn't bake the dish, IT WAS AMAZING! Thanks for providing this recipe.
You're very welcome!
The whole recipe was perfect, I cooked it for my family and it went down well, thank you 🙂
So glad to hear that, Leah! Thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂
Vesselka Georgieva says
Hello, please could you tell me if u work with instant stock cube?
Do u dissolve it in water as per suggestion (500ml)?
The tomato paste -do u dissolve it warm water and how much?
Many thanks for the recipe
Hi! You could definitely try that with the stock cube. I buy the tomato paste that's already in liquid form, so I'm not sure how much water you'd add to it exactly.
Shira Rosenthal says
Would this work with Trader Joes cauliflower gnocchi?
I have had readers try my gnocchi recipes using it and they've been successful. I don't live in the USA so I have never tried it myself. Let me know how it goes!
Joseph Spano says
This works very well, and is actually a slight variation of an old Italian way of preparing gnocchi, if you are able to find gnocchi potata it is also good! The only thing I would add is it drizzle of light 100% olive oil before serving
Great, thanks for the tip!