Baked Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Spinach
on Oct 07, 2021, Updated Oct 20, 2023
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If you’re looking for an easy vegetarian one-pan recipe, you have to make this baked gnocchi recipe. It has sautéed mushrooms and spinach plus fresh mozzarella stirred into the tomato sauce and melted on top. After sautéing on the stove, it bakes in the oven for about 30 minutes. Then you can take the pan straight from the oven to the table to serve.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This baked gnocchi is a vegetarian meal that eats like healthier comfort food. Sautéing mushrooms and baby spinach before you add the tomatoes, gnocchi and cheese is an easy way to add vegetables.
It is a one-pan recipe. You can’t go wrong with a simple red sauce pasta dish. Even better when it’s so effortless that you can use a single pan for the pasta and the sauce, saving you time cooking and work doing cleanup. And it goes straight from the oven to the table for serving.
Store-bought gnocchi and canned tomatoes are the base for this recipe. Both are convenient pantry ingredients especially for fall and winter cooking.
This is what you need:
- Gnocchi: You can find packaged shelf-stable potato gnocchi in the pasta section of the grocery. These potato dumplings are a good change of pace from pasta, which is another one of my go-to weeknight dinner ingredients. You can substitute with cauliflower gnocchi.
- Mushrooms: Sometimes called baby bellas, cremini mushrooms are meatier and more complex in flavor than white button mushrooms. Brush any dirt off them before you slice the mushrooms.
- Spinach: I stir in a couple cups of baby spinach with the mushrooms. It’s such a simple way to add nutritious leafy greens.
- Mozzarella: The recipe calls for an 8-ounce ball of fresh mozzarella cheese. Half is grated and stirred into the sauce. I tear the rest into pieces and put them on top right before the pan goes into the oven for the gnocchi to bake. That gives the cheese time to melt.
- Tomato Puree: The base of the sauce is a large can of tomato puree. With that I include onions, garlic and dried spices. It’s basically a quick version of homemade tomato sauce.
- Onions: The recipe starts with sautéing chopped onions in olive oil in the pan.
- Garlic: A few minced garlic cloves flavor the gnocchi and sauce.
- Dried Seasonings: I use a mix of dried thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. They are too important for the overall taste of the recipe.
- Parmesan: Like most other pastas, I sprinkle on grated Parmesan before serving the baked gnocchi.
- Parsley: To add herbs I finish the dish with chopped fresh parsley before serving it. You can also use fresh basil.
How To Make Baked Gnocchi
1. Sauté the onions. Heat the olive oil in the pan and then add the onions, cooking them until they start to soften and turn translucent.
2. Add the mushrooms. You want to sauté the mushrooms giving them a chance to turn brown and caramelize. It will look like a lot of sliced cremini mushrooms when you first add them to the pan, but they will reduce as they cook.
3. Stir in the garlic, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. I wait to add the garlic until this step because I want to allow the onions and mushrooms enough time to cook without burning the garlic. The onions and mushrooms will get really fragrant fast once the aromatics are added.
4. Sauté the spinach. The greens will wilt quickly from the heat.
5. Pour in the tomato puree and stir it into the onions and mushrooms.
6. Add the gnocchi and grated mozzarella. Stir together everything in the pan.
7. Top with torn mozzarella.
8. Bake the gnocchi in the oven until it is tender and the cheese is melted and golden. Top it with Parmesan and chopped parsley.
As mentioned, this is a great oven to table recipe, especially for a weeknight or weekend dinner. Use a big serving spoon to scoop the gnocchi onto a plate or in a bowl. In addition to garlic bread, you can serve it with a classic Italian chopped salad or an arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette.
Storage & Leftovers
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days. You can warm them in a 350-degree F oven. Spoon them into a smaller baking dish or ovenproof skillet. You can also warm them in the microwave.
If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, you can transfer everything to a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. After you stir the gnocchi and grated mozzarella into the sauce, transfer it to the dish and then top with torn mozzarella before baking.
If you like a pasta bake with lots of melty cheese, you can sprinkle on 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup shredded cheese along with the torn fresh mozzarella. I recommend using an Italian cheese blend. Then to brown it, put it under the broiler for a few minutes.
No. It will cook in the tomato sauce while it is in the oven.
Yes. Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat. Then cook 3/4 pound ground meat until it is browned, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer it to a plate. Then lower the heat to medium and proceed with the recipe as written, sautéing the onions and mushroom. Stir the meat back into the pan with the tomato puree.
More Gnocchi Recipes
Baked Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Spinach
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 white onion, roughly chopped
- 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1-28 ounce can tomato puree
- 1 pound shelf-stable gnocchi
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, half grated and half torn
- Grated Parmesan and chopped parsley for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large ovenproof sauté pan or skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Sauté the onions until they become soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and sauté until they start to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Sauté for a few minutes until the mushrooms are caramelized and fragrant.
- Then stir in the spinach letting it wilt.
- Pour in the tomato puree and stir it with the onions and mushrooms. Add the gnocchi and grated mozzarella, stirring everything together.
- Top with torn mozzarella and bake for 25-30 minutes until the gnocchi is tender and the cheese is melted and golden.
- Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and chopped parsley before serving.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.