A simple, step-by-step guide of How to Make Gnocchi. Soft potato pillows that are a light and delicious alternative to pasta that can be paired with almost any light sauce. With step-by-step instructions, plus storing and serving suggestions.

A closeup showing the ridges

Home made gnocchi, not as scary as you might think and when they are right, they are nugget dumplings of goodness that just melt in your mouth.  You can see from the video in this post.

Newly rolled gnocchi on a board to dry

The word ‘gnocchi’, derived from the Italian word ‘nocchio’, means a knot is in wood. But it’s not only a dish served in Italy, gnocchi are served in France where they are known as ‘gnocchis à la parisienne, in Croatia they are called ‘njoki’, and South America, called ‘nhoque’. 

I would say that most of us at one time or another have had gnocchi, or at least seen them on a menu in a restaurant. When they are made correctly, they should be light and almost melt in your mouth. I have had some that are heavy, dense and tough and that is just a case of using too much flour and over-kneading the dough.

With only 4 ingredients, potato, flour egg and salt, this makes them easy to prepare and there’s not really anywhere you can make a mistake. You start with mashed potato.

Perfect mashed potato tip – I use a potato ricer. It’s like a giant garlic press for potatoes and makes the smoothest mash.

A potato ricer for making mashed potato

Just like an Italian grandma making pasta (and the method I use), I like to make my gnocchi on the counter. A well is made in the center of a pile of all purpose flour and the mashed potato added.

How to Make Gnocchi – Step by Step

Boil peeled potatoes in a pan of boiling water.

Boiling potatoes in a pan of water

Drain the cooked potatoes and allow to cool.

Boiled potatoes draining in a blue colander

Mashed the potatoes or run them through a ricer to make them as smooth as possible.

Potato being mashed by passing through a ricer

Flour, egg and salt are added to the mashed potato. Everything is mixed and kneaded together to form the dough.

Mashed potato on a board getting mixed with flour and egg

Using your hands, mix and slowing incorporate the flour and egg mix until the dough is no longer sticky and form a ball.

Gnocchi dough tip: In addition to  super soft potatoes, the other key to soft fluffy dough is to only add enough flour to bring the dough together and not be sticky. Do not over-knead the dough which will develop the gluten in the flour and make them tough.

A ball of potato dough on a board

A portion of the dough is cut and rolled into a 3/4 inch thick log.

Potato dough rolled out to a long log

The log is cut into 3/4 inch long pieces, you just made gnocchi!

Using a knife to cut gnocchi

Wonder how you get those ridges? Rolling the gnocchi over a fork or gnocchi board is how to make the ridges. The ridges are an important element to the gnocchi which helps sauce stick to them.

Rolling gnocchi dough balls over a fork to create the ridges

How to store fresh gnocchi:

They are best stored in the freezer. After rolling the dough, place them on a lightly floured board, slightly spaced, not touching. Place this in the freezer for 1 hour until you can handle them. Then you can transfer them to a zippered bag or sealed container. You can cook them right from frozen.

Rolls of gnocchi on a lightly floured sheet pan

Some serving suggestions for gnocchi:

Baked Gnocchi with Sage and Cheese Sauce

Baked gnocchi from overhead and a closeup showing the flecks of fresh sage

Crispy Gnocchi with Peas, Asparagus and Lemon

A closeup showing the brown and crispy gnocchi and vibrant green asparagus and peas

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Yield: 6

How to Make Gnocchi

A closeup of gnocchi showing the ridges

A simple, step-by-step guide on how to make gnocchi. Soft potato pillows that are a light and delicious alternative to pasta that can be paired with almost any light sauce.

Prep Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 pound russet/baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, whisked (you only need 2 tablespoons)


  1. Fill a large saucepan with water. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes until they are just soft (a sharp knife should insert easily). Drain and allow to sit until cool enough to handle. Drain and allow to sit until cool enough to handle. Mash well or run through a food mill or ricer for nice smooth potato, allow to cool.
  2. Lightly dust a large baking sheet pan. Set aside.
  3. On a clean work surface or in a large bowl mix together the cooled potato,1/2 the flour and salt, make a well in the center and add 2 tablespoons egg. Mix with your hands incorporating the flour with the potato, adding more flour as needed until the dough starts to hold together (you may not use all the flour depending on how much moisture is in the potato). The dough should not be sticky, over kneading will make it sticky. Form into a ball. Cut 1/4 of the dough and roll into a long log, about the thickness of your thumb. Cut the log into 3/4-inch (2 cm) pieces.
  4. Roll the pieces over a gnocchi board or the back of a fork with your thumb to create ridges and place them onto the floured sheet pan in a single layer. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Leave them to dry for about 20-30 minutes.
  5. You can either freeze them, or cook right away. To freeze them, put them on a flat surface (small baking sheet pan, cutting board or plate) making sure they are not touching. Freeze for 2 hours then transfer to a well-sealed container or zip freezer bag. You can cook right from frozen.
  6. To cook the gnocchi: Bring a large pan of water to a boil and cook until they float to the top.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 242Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 47mgSodium 299mgCarbohydrates 48gFiber 3gSugar 1gProtein 8g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.