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Pesto gnocchi served in a bowl garnished with basil leaves.

Pesto Gnocchi

  • Author: Brita Britnell
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Pesto Gnocchi is pan fried with asparagus, and then tossed with an easy basil pesto sauce. This dish is bursting with fresh flavor and is surprisingly quick + easy to make!


  • 1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts (raw works fine as well)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound of dried gnocchi
  • 2 cups of asparagus, cut into 1” pieces


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium high heat. Keep the water at a boil until you’re ready to cook the gnocchi. 
  2. Add the pine nuts, garlic, and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they are broken up – about 10 times. Next, add the basil and parmesan and pulse until the basil is broken into small pieces – about 10 pulses. 
  3. With the food processor on low speed, slowly drizzle in ⅓ cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes, or just until crisp tender. 
  5. While the asparagus sautés, cook the gnocchi for 2 minutes less than the time on the package. My gnocchi usually takes 6 minutes to boil, so I cooked them for 4 minutes. Reserve ½ cup of the gnocchi cooking liquid and then drain the gnocchi. 
  6. Add the gnocchi to the skillet with the asparagus. Then, add the pesto and ¼ cup of the reserved cooking liquid. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute, just until the pesto sauce thickens and evenly coats the gnocchi. If the sauce is too dry, add the remaining ¼ cup of reserved cooking water. 
  7. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm, at room temperature, or place in the fridge to chill. This gnocchi is delicious at room temperature, warm, or cold! Top with flakey sea salt, toasted pine nuts, and fresh basil, if desired.


  • I’m using dried gnocchi but you could use fresh or frozen! Just adjust the cooking time accordingly. 
  • I love asparagus but you could use pretty much any vegetable you like– peas, small broccoli florets, etc.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian, American


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 551
  • Sugar: 1.7 g
  • Sodium: 584 mg
  • Fat: 34.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 52.4 g
  • Protein: 13.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 7.2 mg

Keywords: gnocchi with pesto, pesto gnocchi recipe