This Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Gnocchi is the best kind of comfort food! Rich, creamy, and delicious! It is easy to make, cooks in one pan, and is ready in under 20 minutes!!
The creamy Tuscan sauce is a mixture of sun-dried tomatoes, cream, garlic, and spinach. All cooked together in the same pan as the pillowy gnocchi.
You can serve this vegetarian gnocchi recipe as a main course or side dish; it is excellent served with chicken or some sauteed shrimp. The perfect midweek dinner for the whole family!
Making a sun-dried tomato cream sauce
This creamy Tuscan inspired sauce is so simple to make and has so much flavor! The key is the julienned sun-dried tomatoes! You can buy then already chopped up or cut them up yourself. You don’t need to get them all the same size or thickness, just roughly slice them up. (julienned just means cut into thin strips)
These give the tomato cream sauce a really intense flavor, so your sauce tastes like it has been cooking for hours when in fact, it needs just 10 minutes!
When using sun-dried tomatoes (whether julienned sun dried tomatoes or the larger ones), make sure you use the oil. That is packed with tomato flavor too! In this recipe, we use it for cooking off the garlic. But it is excellent for pan-frying chicken or shrimp!
To make the sauce, we saute off some garlic (in the gorgeous red oil!), add in the julienned sun dried tomatoes, a little tomato paste or canned tomatoes, some dried herbs, heavy cream, and then finish it with some fresh spinach.
Finish with a little fresh parmesan and some basil and this fabulous sauce takes store-bought pre-packed gnocchi and turns it into something fabulous!
You can buy pre-packed shelf-stable gnocchi in the pasta aisle! It is usually vacuum packed and lasts for several months in the pantry or cupboard. It is quick to cook and can be added to the sauce straight from the packet!
Dried gnocchi takes around 4 minutes to cook, and while it isn’t as plump or as soft as homemade gnocchi, it is still delicious! Like little fluffy pillows, smothered in a tomato cream sauce. Mmmmm.
Onion – You can use any onions you have available. I usually use a small brown onion, but red or white onions will work just as well. Or substitute in two shallots. Avoid green onions or spring onions as they don’t work for this dish.
Vegetable Broth – If you have chicken broth on hand, then that will work just as well here.
Italian herbs – You can use dried basil or dried oregano instead.
Heavy Cream – If you are watching calories, you can substitute half and half or milk. The sauce won’t thicken as much, so you might want to use extra flour (I would suggest another tablespoon of flour)
Gnocchi – The recipe has been tested with store-bought gnocchi, and the excess flour on the gnocchi does help to thicken the sauce. If you are using fresh homemade gnocchi, then cook the gnocchi separately. You may find you need to thicken the sauce with more flour (see above under heavy cream)
Fresh Spinach – Kale would be a great substitution as would arugula. Or add in any green vegetable, be sure to blanch larger vegetables first, so they are cooked before you add them to the sauce.
Make it meaty – This is a great vegetarian gnocchi recipe, but you could add some shredded chicken, salmon or shrimp to this. I would suggest 2 cups of protein.
Make it spicy – This is a soothing creamy sauce, to give it some heat add 1/2-1 tsp of red pepper flakes.
Make it a soup – Add an extra 2 1/2 cups of broth (plus more seasonings) and turn this into a sun-dried tomato gnocchi soup! Some crispy parmesan croutons on the top would be amazing!
You may also like these Gnocchi recipes:
- Creamy Chicken Gnocchi with Spinach
- One Pot Creamy Tomato Salmon Gnocchi
- Baked Pumpkin Gnocchi with Thyme and Parmesan
- Gnocchi with lemon & chive pesto (BBC)
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Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Gnocchi
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes – see note 1
- 3 tbsp oil, from the sundried tomato jar – see note 2
- 2 tbsp AP flour
- 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tsp tomato paste – see note 3
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp Italian herbs
- 1/4 tsp salt, more to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper, more to taste
- 1 lb store-bought potato gnocchi – see note 4
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (I like fresh)
- fresh basil to serve
- extra parmesan to serve
- Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.
4 cloves garlic
- Slice the sundried tomatoes into thin strips (unless you have bought julienned sun-dried tomatoes – see note 2)
½ cup sundried tomatoes
- Place a deep skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil.
3 tbsp oil (from sundried tomato jar)
- Add the onions to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to coat.
2 tbsp flour
- Slowly pour in the vegetable broth, stirring constantly.
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- Add the sliced sun-dried tomatoes and tomato paste, then stir well and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 5 minutes.
½ cup julienned sundried tomatos
2 tsp tomato paste
- Add the heavy cream, Italian herbs, salt, pepper, and gnocchi to the pan. Stir to combine, then cover the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 6-7 minutes until the gnocchi is cooked.
1 cup heavy cream
½ tsp Italian herbs
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 lb potato gnocchi
- Stir in the parmesan and spinach.
1 cup fresh spinach
½ cup grated parmesan
- Cook for a minute to allow the spinach to wilt.
- Taste for seasoning then serve with fresh basil and more parmesan.
- You can buy sun-dried tomatoes already cut into strips – called julienned sun-dried tomatoes! Either buy them already chopped up or cut them up yourself. You don’t need to get them all the same size or thickness, just roughly slice them up. (julienned just means cut into thin strips)
- When buying sun-dried tomatoes, buy the ones in oil, that oil is packed with flavor. Here we are using it to fry off the onion.
- You can use two teaspoons of tomato paste or swap for one tablespoon of canned tomato/passata.
- Look for the long life shelf-stable packages; you will find it on the pasta aisle at the grocery store.
Homemade Peri Peri Seasoning
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cardamon
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper – see note 1
- Mix everything together well and store in an airtight jar.
- Depending on how spicy you like your food, you can change the level of cayenne pepper. As the recipe is written it is a mild seasoning. But you can increase the cayenne up to 1 tbsp if you like it spicy.