This creamy gnocchi with sausage recipe is an easy, quick, and incredibly delicious comfort food meal made all in one pan. It's ready in just 30 minutes!
If you're wondering what to make with Italian sausage, try my Creamy Sausage and Peppers Pasta or Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup next for more inspiration.
Why you'll love it
Tender gnocchi and flavorful Italian sausage is one of my favorite combos. It's just such a tasty protein that goes with all kinds of pasta, and gnocchi is no exception. Pair it with a mouthwatering creamy tomato sauce, and it's pure heaven. This one pan gnocchi recipe tastes like it came from a restaurant, but it's super simple to make.
Like several of my gnocchi recipes, this Italian sausage gnocchi is a one pan wonder as well. The gnocchi cooks right in the sauce, so no need to boil it separately. Fewer dishes means more time spent enjoying this cozy treat with your family or guests that's sure to dazzle!
What you'll need
- Italian sausage - use either ground sausage meat or buy a pack of mild Italian sausages, take out of the casings, and crumble it
- Onion and garlic - our base aromatics. I prefer sweet (Vidalia) onions, and this garlic press is my go-to since you don't even need to peel the cloves before mincing them.
- White wine - adds a touch of elegance! Use a dry white wine like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio, one you actually enjoy drinking (not cooking wine).
- Diced tomatoes - a convenient way to get that concentrated tomato taste since they're canned at the peak of ripeness
- Heavy cream - for making the sauce luxurious
- Gnocchi - I buy the shelf-stable potato gnocchi found in the pasta aisle of most major grocery stores
- Parmesan cheese - always use freshly grated for optimal flavor and texture
- Basil - it gives a burst of freshness and is a classic pairing with tomato sauces
- I have homemade gnocchi. Can I use that instead? Not for this recipe. It's very delicate and won't hold up to the one pan recipe method.
- Am I supposed to cook the gnocchi first? Nope! The beauty of this one is that it cooks right in the sauce. In fact, the starch released is an important component of the sauce.
- Why isn't my sauce thickening? Stoves and cookware are all different, so if it's not thickening up, simply give it more time. On the other hand, if your stove runs hot, just turn down the heat a little.
How to make creamy sausage gnocchi
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Prep the ingredients. Sauté the sausage and onion in a skillet until lightly browned, then stir in the garlic for about half a minute. Pour in the wine and cook for a minute or so.
Add in the tomatoes, gnocchi, and cream. Let it bubble, then cover and reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir, then let it cook uncovered until thickened and the gnocchi is soft. Add in the parm, basil, and season with salt & pepper. Enjoy!
Substitutions and variations
- If you can't use white wine for whatever reason, try replacing it with chicken broth plus 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard.
- For a spicy kick, add in some crushed pepper flakes or use a hot variety of sausage. You could also try my Spicy Italian Sausage Gnocchi recipe instead.
- Many of my readers add in some spinach at the end until it wilts to get in some greens.
- Our kitchen doesn't recommend substituting the heavy cream for something with a lower fat content. You could get away with using half-and-half, but it won't be as rich or flavorful, and there's always a chance of curdling due to the tomatoes.
What to serve with this gnocchi
- This is a fairly rich meal, so all it needs is a big slice of fresh bread alongside it. Try French bread, sourdough, or a dinner roll. Going all out with Cheesy Garlic Bread is always a good idea, though!
- For lighter fare, my Super Simple Parmesan Arugula Salad is easy peasy and goes well. Mixed greens with my Creamy Balsamic Dressing works too.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers of this gnocchi will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge in a covered container.
- I suggest re-warming it in a saucepan over a low heat slowly. Keep in mind that as time goes on, the gnocchi will release more starch, so you can always add a splash more wine or cream to thin it a bit.
- Freezing pasta with creamy sauces isn't something I recommend. The texture is liable to change.
Hope you love this simple gnocchi recipe! Questions? Don't hesitate to ask. I'd love it if you left me a review below. You can also tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram to showcase any recipe of mine you made.
One Pan Creamy Gnocchi with Sausage
- 16 ounces Italian sausage
- 1/2 small onion chopped finely
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/3 cup dry white wine (e.g. sauvignon blanc)
- 1 (14 fluid ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 1 pound uncooked potato gnocchi
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Handful fresh basil torn
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Sauté the sausage and onion in a skillet over medium-high heat for 7-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Add the garlic to the pan and sauté for about 30 seconds.
- Add the wine and let it cook for about a minute.
- Stir in the diced tomatoes, cream, and gnocchi. Once the sauce starts to bubble again, cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Uncover the pan, give it a good stir, and let it cook for another few minutes, or until the gnocchi has cooked through and is nice and soft and the sauce has thickened to your liking.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese, basil, and salt & pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.
- There is no need to pre-cook the gnocchi. It'll cook right in the sauce.
- For the sausages, anything around the 16 ounce/1 pound ballpark is fine - it doesn't need to be exact. Buy ground sausage meat or take the sausage meat out of the casings if using whole sausages.
- 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.
This recipe was originally published on December 22, 2017. It's been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!
Making this tonight and I’m sure it will be 5 star worthy. Natasha, could chicken broth be subbed for the white wine? I’ve seen this in some of your other recipes, but didn’t notice it mentioned in the notes for this one. Thank you!
You sure can! 🙂 Hope you love it, Rachel!
Kim Montbleau says
Amazing. A good add would also be diced pancetta and peas. Yummm
Michalle Caylor says
Thank you, Michalle! 😀
Delicious! The sauce is so tasty. I added some frozen broccoli to get more vegetables in the dish.
So glad you liked it, Betsy!
Made this tonight, it was delicious!
Phenomenal! I made this yesterday and subbed in diced rotisserie chicken for Italian sausage and I loved it! So grateful to you for sharing something quick and easy to whip up.
So happy it was a hit!! 🙂
Kathy Glow says
Very good! Wouldn’t change anything.
That's what I like to hear!! 😀
This is a keeper, hubby made this one super easy!
I've made this recipe before and loved it! I'm wanting to make it again but my family doesn't like gnocchi. Can I substitute the gnocchi for noodles? Would it be sausy enough?
I'm glad you liked it! So, you'd have to majorly change the liquid measurements to make it one pan with noodles/pasta. Gnocchi is entirely different than uncooked pasta. You could try making this similar recipe and just boiling the pasta separately: https://bit.ly/3hiUies
I made this and added Kale…omg!! Devine!!
So pleased you enjoyed it, Sharon!!
Delicious! Added spinach and loved it.
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Fantastic! Thanks so much, Beth!
Very good dish! I added some spinach but followed the recipe otherwise. It’s a keeper for sure.
I'm so glad you liked it, John!
Added a couple handfuls of fresh spinach! Delicious 😋
Fantastic!! 🙂 Glad it was a hit!
So flavorful and delicious!! Just made it tonight, and it was so simple. Definitely making this a regular dinner 😋
I'm thrilled to hear that, Sarah! 😀
I will find any reason to add mushrooms, should I add them at the beginning with sausage?
You could do that, or perhaps take the sausage out of the pan once seared, sear the mushrooms (add a little oil and/or butter if necessary), and then add the sausages back and proceed with the rest of the recipe. Let me know how it goes!
What alcohol-free substitute would you recommend for the white wine?
You could try chicken broth.
Judy deGan says
Can I freeze this?
Hi! I don't recommend freezing this one. Creamy sauces typically don't freeze well, and the gnocchi may change texture. If you happen to have some leftovers, you could always give it a try, though, to test. I'd thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat over a low heat.
I tried this recipe tonight because my daughter says that my gnocchi is never saucy enough! And then Veganized it because we are plant based. I used the No chicken chicken broth by Better than Bouillon and the Dijon because we didn’t have any wine. I used the chili style diced tomatoes because that’s all we had. I used two links of the Beyond Meet Sauages instead of the meat. And then made a cashew cream to sub for the cream. We skipped the Parmesan altogether and finished it off with lots of fresh basil. Delicious!
Easy and Yum Yum Yum. My husband and I both loved this and I will make it again. Because I have made many of your recipes I assumed you forgot to add the ubiquitous Italian Seasoning...so I added that :). I always cut the cream and will add spinach next time. When I need comfort food I always come to you!
Hahahaha you know me too well!! I didn't add it because the sausage includes it already but it certainly never hurts lol.
We made this for company last night as we had everything on hand- but I'm vegetarian and used Field Roast apple and sage sausage. We had Trader Joes frozen cauliflower gniocci and cooked it separately in a pan as the package explains, and tossed it in at the end. Used others' suggestions of adding kale, spinach, and a little mushroom. Everyone loved it- we'll be making this again. Just needs a salad and it's the perfect easy dinner.
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
So glad you could adapt the recipe, Wendy!! Glad everyone enjoyed it!
Delicious dish! I used half & half instead of the heavy cream and the starch in the gnocchi helped it thicken up nicely. I also added spinach at the end for some added veg. With a nice side salad, this was an easy weekday meal. Thanks!!
So glad you enjoyed it, Kelli!! 🙂
Obsessed with these flavors!!! Holy moly, so comforting and GOOD!
I'm so glad you liked it, Sam!!
Teresa Angel says
I screwed up and put a can of diced tomatoes with green chillis in…my husband LOVED it!
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Haha well that worked out ok then!! Thanks for trying the recipe 🙂
Easy and delicious! No need to tweak.
Thanks so much! 🙂
Love this recipe!! Do you have a lighter suggestion/replacement for the heavy whipping cream that doesn’t affect the flavor too much?
I'm so happy you like it, Anna! I think in this one you could probably get away with using half-and-half since the gnocchi releases a lot of starch to thicken the sauce. You could also try reading through the comments to see if readers have done anything other than that.
We’ve made this about three times, and my husband, who is a fussy eater, loves it!
That's great to hear!! 😀
oliver Merrill says
Made it last night, Absolutely Delicious. No tweeks or add ons needed. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us. 🙂
I'm so happy you enjoyed it, Oliver! 🙂
Yummy! I add some fresh mushrooms with the sausage and throw in some fresh spinach at the end just to get a few more veggies into my meal.
Good idea! Glad you enjoyed it, Terri!
Susan Neilan says
Made tonight. Used shallots instead of onion. Added curly kale before wine or cream. Absolutely delicious. Gnocchi cooked perfectly. Also omitted tomatoes. So good! Thanks for the inspiration S&L❤
You're very welcome!! 🙂
Sandeep Cavill says
Lovely flavours! This creamy dish was ready in about 30 mins - an ideal mid week meal.
Yay!! So glad you enjoyed it, Sandeep! 🙂
Add spinach. Adds good color and little nutrients!
Chandler R says
I've made this recipe so many times and it is my go to! I usually use spanish/white/yellow onions but i only have red on hand right now. Will that work out the same?
Hi!! I'm so glad you like this recipe, Chandler. Yes, red onions will work. I find red onions don't look as nice when cooked as raw (the red/purple color fades), but it'll taste just fine.
This was DELICIOUS! I did a combo of this recipe and your spinach/mushroom gnocchi-I just couldn’t decide. I used garlic chicken sausage and coconut milk, the flavors were fantastic. I will be making some version of this again!
So happy you liked it!! 🙂 Love your tweaks.
Would this work in a Dutch oven? My skillets are fairly shallow.
Yes, that would be fine. 🙂
I made this yesterday and it was a hit! My husband devoured it. Restaurant quality food at home! Thank you!
I’m thrilled to hear that!! ♥️
Hi! This recipe looks delicious, but I have a child who won’t eat tomatoes. If I leave them out but add some spinach would I need to increase the liquid to compensate for the tomatoes and juices?
Hi! Yes, you would need to add more liquid... there is quite a bit of juice in those 14 ounce cans of tomatoes. I am not sure it's exactly 14 oz worth of liquid by itself, though, so you could probably add a bit less... just keep an eye on it so that it doesn't absorb all the liquid and leave a nasty baked on mess in your pan. You could probably compensate by adding more broth and/or a combo of broth and cream. The tomatoes do give this dish more flavor, though. Would your kid mind if you used tomato sauce (all blended up)?
Yes, it’s a texture issue. I can try the tomato sauce instead. Thanks!
Is the gnocchi supposed to be frozen or fresh?
I explain under the heading "What kind of gnocchi to use" within the blog post. 🙂 You want the shelf stable kind. Homemade gnocchi is likely to fall apart. The refrigerated kind (found in the refrigerated pasta section of some grocery stores) is fine too.
Made this for dinner tonight. It was amazing! I threw some handfuls of baby spinach in at the end because I had some to use up. Delicious!
Yay!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
Thank you, Denise!!
One of my family's favorites! Thank you for sharing this recipe. 😋
Yay!! You're very welcome, Kim!
Diane Van Der Meer says
This was amazing, I did add more tomatoes and Parmasan, but that was my choice. Thank you.
Sounds delicious to me! You're welcome!!
This was so good!
I made a few alterations:
I substituted the heavy cream for creme fraiche, added 200g of bacon lardons, used Cumberland sausages, added a little Italian seasoning and just used a sprinkling of parmesan.
Absolute winner of a dinner 👌
So happy you liked it and that the tweaks worked for you. Sounds delicious! 🙂
K. Lees says
My husband and I LOVE this recipe. We typically make it three times a month during the winter. We add two large handfuls of spinach near the end of preparation and it just makes this great recipe even better.
That is awesome!! I love adding fresh spinach to dishes too. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to review my recipe.
Laura Foist @mealswithafoodscientist says
This was delicious! I took out the onion (my husband gets migraines from onions) and added in some spinach. And even though my family isn’t typically fond of cooked spinach they loved it in this dish! Thanks for a great recipe!
I'm so glad you were able to adapt it and you guys enjoyed it!! 🙂 You're welcome!
I love this recipe! I am planning on doubling when family comes. Can I do one can of diced tomatoes and one can of tomato sauce? Thanks!
I think that should be fine 🙂
Great recipe! Excellent flavor. Would definitely make again!
Glad to hear it, Nikole! Thanks for commenting! 🙂
I am so addicted, this is amazing! Will be making again very soon ❤️
I'm so happy to hear that, Payton! Thanks for taking the time to let me know.
Super simple recipe that packs a lot of flavor. Made for my boyfriend and he loved it and requests it all the time. Thank you!
So glad to hear that! You're welcome! 🙂
I’m not a fan of sausage. Is there another meat substitute I can use instead?
Hmmm... it's really the star of the dish. I'm not really sure what else you could straight sub it with without having to tweak a few things. Maybe just try a different one of my gnocchi recipes? This one has chicken and bacon: https://bit.ly/3th815z or type "gnocchi" into any of the search bars on my website and all my one pan gnocchi recipes will come up for you. 🙂
I use diced pancetta all the time. Many grocery stores now carry it pre-diced and packaged. Saute it till crisp.
Allison Guckert says
Can I use a different pasta??
I don't think that will work. Gnocchi is pretty soft and cooks fast, and it releases a lot of starch. It's made of potatoes. Pasta will take longer, so the one pan method won't work the same. You could try making it separately though and adding sauce + pasta together at the end.
I’m making this for dinner tonight. If I don’t have white wine on hand, what can I use instead? Or can it be left out? Thank you!
You could use chicken broth. 🙂
F sethman says
Made ths added spinach and no cheese. Absolutely delicious!
So happy you liked it!
As good as any restaurant meal! The best!
Thanks so much, Diana!!
Everyone loved it! I made it with sweet Italian chicken sausage (Adelles) and added Italian seasoning to the cream and tomatoes because it’s what I had on hand. Super delicious! Great recipe!
Excellent!! So pleased you enjoyed it. 🙂
K France says
Made it tonight and it was wonderful. I’m going to make it with more sausage and add some spinach. Great sauce!!
Excellent! I'm so pleased you liked the recipe.