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Ricotta Gnocchi

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Learn to make pillowy-perfect ricotta gnocchi in just 25 minutes with Catherine McCord’s Meal Prep Magic cookbook.

Ricotta gnocchi on a plate.

Photo by Colin Price (Abrams, 2023)

This seriously delicious and oh-so-easy ricotta gnocchi recipe is just one gem among many in Catherine McCord’s new cookbook, Meal Prep Magic: Time-Saving Tips for Stress-Free Cooking. Packed with wholesome, easy-to-follow recipes the whole family will love, this book will change the way you think about preparing meals—say goodbye to mealtime stress, hello to being more organized, and enjoy more quality time with loved ones. As someone who’s admittedly right-brained and organizationally-challenged, I found this book to be both inspiring and incredibly practical. And that color-coded refrigerator on the cover? Now, that’s some serious fridge goals!

Cover of the book \"Meal Prep Magic\" showing a smiling woman at a colorfully-filled refrigerator.
Photo by Colin Price (Harry N. Abrams, 2023)

Ricotta Gnocchi

Unlike the more commonly known potato gnocchi, ricotta gnocchi is quick and easy to make and requires no special equipment. Potato gnocchi is made from boiled, riced potatoes combined with flour and egg. This dough is then rolled into ropes, cut into bite-sized pieces, and pressed with a fork to create ridges that can catch sauce. It has a soft and somewhat chewy texture, with a mild flavor that works well with a wide variety of sauces.

Ricotta gnocchi substitutes ricotta cheese for the potatoes, resulting in a lighter, creamier texture. The preparation process is similar to potato gnocchi, but it’s much simpler to make — no need to cook, peel or rice potatoes! However, keep in mind that the moisture content of the ricotta can make the dough a bit tricky to handle. It’s important to use a good quality, well-drained ricotta to avoid overly wet dough (I use the widely available Galbani brand).

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Ricotta Gnocchi

Learn to make pillowy-perfect ricotta gnocchi in just 25 minutes with Catherine McCord’s Meal Prep Magic cookbook.

Servings: 2 to 4
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes


For the Ricotta Gnocchi

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for boiling the gnocchi
  • 1½ cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (I use Galbani brand whole milk ricotta)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

For Serving

  • 2 tablespoons Lemon-Herb Compound Butter (recipe below) or plain unsalted butter
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Flaky sea salt

Lemon-Herb Compound Butter (Optional)

  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, dill, cilantro, chives, or a mix)
  • Zest of one lemon


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the Parmigiano Reggiano, ricotta, egg yolks, and olive oil and mix with a fork until well combined. Sprinkle the flour and salt on top, and stir with the fork to gently combine. When the mixture gets too thick to mix with a fork, use your hands to form the dough into a disk.
  3. Place the dough on a wooden surface lightly dusted with flour. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper, then dust it with flour. Cut the disk into 4 equal-size portions and roll each portion into a long rope, about ½ inch in diameter. Using a bench scraper (or a knife), cut the rope into ½-inch to 1-inch segments. Place on the prepared sheet pan and toss gently to coat in flour to prevent sticking. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  4. When all the gnocchi have been formed, add the compound butter (or plain unsalted butter) to a large nonstick skillet. Set over low heat and gently melt.
  5. Add the gnocchi to the boiling water and cook until they all float to the surface, about 3 minutes. Remove them with a spider strainer or slotted spoon (save the cooking liquid) and transfer the gnocchi directly into the pan of melted butter. Toss to coat, then gently stir in about ¼ to ½ cup of the reserved pasta water, until a thick and luscious sauce forms.
  6. Serve topped with grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and flaky sea salt.

For The Lemon-Herb Compound Butter (Optional)

  1. Place the softened unsalted butter in a medium bowl. Add the chopped fresh herbs and lemon zest. Mash with a fork until evenly blended. Place an 8 by 11-inch rectangle of parchment paper on your work surface, then scrape the butter mixture into the middle. Using your hand and the spatula, scrape it into a rough cylinder, shaping as you roll. Place the cylinder on a sheet of plastic wrap, then twist into a tight cylinder. Set in the fridge to chill until firm, about 4 hours.
  2. Prep-in-Advance Instructions: Gently place the uncooked gnocchi in airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 3 days. To freeze, place the uncooked gnocchi on a parchment-lined baking sheet, freeze for one hour, and then transfer gnocchi into labeled zip-top bags and freeze for up to 4 months. Cook as directed above, adding 30 seconds to the cooking time.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 552
  • Fat: 51 g
  • Saturated fat: 30 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 32 g
  • Sodium: 828 mg
  • Cholesterol: 233 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • Perfect! The dough came together quickly and easily (love that it’s one bowl and one fork!). The gnocchi were light and delicious and held their shape once cooked. Served them with pork chops marsala.

    • — Sara on April 22, 2024
    • Reply
  • These are so light and delicious. I added about 3 tablespoons of chopped, cooked and squeezed dry spinach to the recipe and made a light tomato sauce. We really enjoyed them and will make again. Thank you for another great recipe, Jenn.

    • — GMA on March 6, 2024
    • Reply
  • Made these tonight for dinner and they were excellent! I used impastata ricotta because I find the commercial brands too watery even if I drain them. The texture was perfect! Thanks Jenn, for another great easy but impressive recipe!

    • — Lucille on June 6, 2023
    • Reply
  • Best gnocchi I’ve made. And as good as the fantastic gnocci at Capra’s in Mississauga.
    Added steamed asparagus and thinly sliced smoked salmon.
    Husband raved about it.

    • — Marsha Simmons on June 6, 2023
    • Reply
  • Made this last night and it was delicious! My husband loves gnocchi, but the one time I tried making traditional potato gnocchi, I failed miserably! These were easy and yummy. I served them with the compressed butter recipe, alongside your grilled shrimp skewer recipe and some roasted cauliflower. Between my husband, myself and my son, not a morsel of food was left. Looking forward to trying the gnocchi again with a red sauce!

    • — Nicole S on June 1, 2023
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  • Have you ever tried this with Gluten Free Flour? I’d love to make this today, but have celiac and need GF.

    • — Stefany on May 29, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Stefany, I haven’t tried it, but I think it should work.

      • — Jenn on May 29, 2023
      • Reply
  • We LOVED the Gnocchi recipe. I am Italian and always have made my moms recipe but this was really delicious and will be making it going forward. I melted 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, added about a tablespoon of grated lemon rind and about 1/2 tablespoon of fresh parsley along with the 1/4 cup of pasta water for the sauce and it turned out delicious. Of course, the grated Parmesan finished it off. My husband loves Gnocchi and said this was delicious. Easy to make and will be making again. Thank you Jenn for sharing all your great recipes.

    • — Cathy on May 28, 2023
    • Reply
  • This is a great recipe. It had a subtle flavor and a nice texture. I had a bit of trouble rolling out the long ropes – it has been a long time since grade school. In the future I’ll cut the disk into one-eighth portions to make rolling more manageable for me.

    • — Bill on May 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • Just made these and loved them! So easy and light ! I am wondering if I could add a bit of pesto to the mix for a bit of extra flavour and interest? What do you think?
    Thanks so much!

    • — Elaine on May 27, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Elaine, I’d be hesitant to add pesto to the gnocchi dough, as it may make it too wet, but you can definitely add it to the sauce.

      • — Jenn on May 29, 2023
      • Reply
  • Can you substitute semolina flour?

    • — christa on May 24, 2023
    • Reply
    • Christa, I haven’t tried it, but I think it should be fine. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on May 31, 2023
      • Reply
  • Quick question: Jenn, have you tried this with any Keto/almond or low carb flour?
    Fingers crossed.
    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    • — Cookie on May 21, 2023
    • Reply
    • I can’t say that I have, Cookie — I’m sorry!

      • — Jenn on May 22, 2023
      • Reply
  • Outstanding!!!
    Just made it for dinner and we loved it! Directions were easy to follow and easy to make. Will definitely be making it again soon.

    • — Wendy Krakower on May 21, 2023
    • Reply
  • Oh my goodness Jenn, this sounds absolutely decadent and delicious!! I haven’t made it yet, but will get myself “off to market” to buy the ingredients and make this week. What a treat! Thank you, as always, for your guidance and expertise!

    • — Heather Lampman on May 21, 2023
    • Reply
  • My grandmother was famous in the Italian community for her version of this, which was made with potatoes, flour & ricotta. The pieces of dough were “squished” with the thumb to form shells (cavetelli), which would be served with a delicious, light tomato sauce …with meats on the side (meatballs, sausages, braciole).

    • — Richard D Schinella on May 21, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, Can these gnocchi be put in the freezer? I have 2 of your cookbooks and every recipe I’ve tried has been amazing 😊👍🏻

    • — Lori C on May 21, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Lori, yes, you can freeze them before cooking. See the bottom of the recipe for Prep-in-Advance instructions. And so glad you like the cookbooks! 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 22, 2023
      • Reply
      • You mention well-drained ricotta. I bought the whole foods brand whole milk ricotta, I’m just not sure if I need to drain it? How do you know if it’s too wet?

        • — Bo on June 7, 2023
        • Reply
        • Hi Bo, I’m not familiar with Whole Foods’ ricotta. If you’re uncertain, I’d drain it to be sure. Hope you enjoy!

          • — Jenn on June 9, 2023
          • Reply

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