This is my simple, step-by-step guide of How to Make Gnocchi. These soft, pillowy little dumplings are a light and airy alternative to pasta, perfect for pairing with a variety of pasta sauces like tomato sauce, pesto, or your favorite sauce.

A closeup showing the ridges

Gnocchi can serve as an easy side dish or a first course, as is common in Italy. Alternatively, it can constitute a complete meal when paired with a hearty sauce, such as Italian sausage ragu, or enhanced with vegetables like peas and asparagus. My personal favorites are served mac and cheese style and with the ever popular brown butter.

Newly rolled gnocchi on a board to dry

Making homemade potato gnocchi dough is a satisfying process, much like crafting homemade pasta. It is not only easy, requiring only four ingredients, but also incredibly rewarding. All you need to do is mix mashed potatoes, flour, egg, and salt, then roll and cut. The result is fluffy gnocchi that simply melts in your mouth.

Gnocchi history

The word ‘gnocchi,’ derived from the Italian word ‘nocchio,’ refers to a knot in wood. However, it’s not limited to being a dish served only in Italy. Gnocchi is enjoyed in France, where they are known as ‘gnocchis à la parisienne,’ in Croatia, where they are called ‘njoki,’ and in South America, where they go by the name ‘nhoque.

I would say that most of us, at one time or another, have had gnocchi or at least seen them on a restaurant menu. When you taste good gnocchi, they should be light and almost melt in your mouth.

I have had heavy, dense, and tough gnocchi, much like store-bought gnocchi, and that’s just a case of using too much flour and over-kneading the dough

Cooked Gnocchi

Since this is such an easy gnocchi recipe, I like to fill my freezer (more on freezing below) so I have some on hand for a fast and easy meal because they cook so quickly. In fact, they cook almost five times faster than pasta.

Gnocchi variations

Traditional gnocchi is made with regular potatoes (the best potatoes to use are russet potatoes because of they are drier and high starch content). You can also make them with sweet potatoes and ricotta cheese.

How to store homemade gnocchi

Uncooked, it is best to freeze them (see instructions below). Any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to four days.

Rolls of gnocchi on a lightly floured sheet pan

Freezing gnocchi

There is no need to defrost frozen gnocchi; they cook up just as quickly from frozen. Freezing them right after making is as simple as spreading them on a baking sheet and freezing. Then, transfer to freezer bags, and you can pull out as many as you need when needed.

Perfect mashed potato tip 

I use a potato ricer (pictured below). It’s like a giant garlic press for potatoes and makes the smoothest mash. If you have a food mill, that works perfectly too.

A potato ricer for making mashed potato

Just like an Italian grandma making pasta dough, 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 is added. You can also use a large bowl if you prefer.

Homemade Gnocchi Recipe – 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 perfectly 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.

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 make it sticky. If the dough is sticky, there is too much moisture, so add a little flour. Do not over-knead the dough, as this 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 ¾-inch (1.9 cm) thick log.

Potato dough rolled out to a long log

The log is cut into ¾-inch (1.9 cm) long pieces. You just made gnocchi!

Using a knife to cut gnocchi

Ever wonder how to get those ridges? Rolling the gnocchi over a gnocchi paddle/gnocchi board or the back of a fork is the way to create the ridges. The ridges are an important element of gnocchi, helping sauce stick to them. You can see the entire process in the attached video.

Rolling gnocchi dough balls over a fork to create the ridges

This recipe yields approximately 110 gnocchi. Depending on how many you serve per person, this serves 5-7 people.

As I mentioned, gnocchi takes a couple of minutes to cook in boiling water (a light rolling boil so they don’t break up). Once they float to the top, they are done, and you can simply remove them with a slotted spoon right into your preferred sauce.

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Yield: 6 (110 gnocchi)

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 (453 grams) 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 (1.9 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.