This Baked Gnocchi will quickly become one of your go-to dinners. It’s amazingly easy making it perfect for those nights when you’re low on prep time or don’t want to put in a lot of effort. It’s a deliciously fresh tasting and satisfying dish made with just a handful of simple ingredients.
Honestly this is one of those recipes that’s really just more of an idea. It’s so easy you don’t even need a recipe. It uses store-bought gnocchi and store-bought marinara sauce so it really is such a breeze.
Plus it’s really versatile too. You can add cooked ground meat, sautéed vegetables, use a homemade marinara sauce, or add different cheeses.
I think we all could use more easy recipes like this. So instead of getting take-out again for maybe the second time in a week you’ll have a simple dinner at home to make instead.
You’ll be savoring every bite of this easy dinner!
Ingredients Needed for Baked Gnocchi
- Gnocchi – refrigerated, frozen or of course homemade gnocchi will be the best option.
- Marinara sauce – I like to use Rao’s tomato basil sauce, for a cheaper alternative Classico four cheese is another tasty sauce. Homemade will also be delicious.
- Heavy cream – even though we only add 3 tablespoons it add such a delicious rich and creamy touch to the sauce.
- Grape tomatoes – these aren’t a must if you don’t have any on hand.
- Mozzarella – fresh or the standard low-moisture block of mozzarella works great. I’ve used both.
- Fresh basil – this is totally optional. It just adds a light flavor and pretty color. I’ve also used parsley when that’s what I have on hand.
How to Make Baked Gnocchi
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a medium casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pour 1 cup of the sauce into baking dish and tilt dish to spread. Drizzle in 3 Tbsp heavy cream and stir (it doesn’t need to be fully incorporated). Add half the tomatoes.
- Bring a large pot of unsalted water to a boil. Cook gnocchi about 1/3 shy of the time listed on package (they continue to cook in the oven).
- Drain gnocchi well then immediately transfer to baking dish and spread out. Sprinkle in remaining tomatoes, then pour remaining 1 cups sauce evenly over top.
- Top with a layer of mozzarella.
- Bake in preheated oven until sauce is bubbling, about 10 – 12 minutes. If you’d prefer cheese browned a bit then broil closer to broiler element during the last 2 – 4 minutes of that cook time.
- Garnish with basil and serve warm.
What to Serve with It?
- Garlic Bread
- No Knead Bread with Pesto or good olive oil and pepper for dipping
- Side salad with Italian dressing
This recipe can easily be adjusted to suit your taste or use up what you have on hand. Try it with things like:
- Cooked sausage
- Cooked ground beef
- Sautéed vegetables (like asparagus, carrots, zucchini, eggplant)
- Red pepper flakes
- Roasted garlic
Tips for the Best Baked Gnocchi
- Par-cook (vs. fully cooking) the gnocchi before adding to baking dish so it doesn’t end up soggy in the end.
- Use a good quality tomato basil sauce for best flavor. One made just a few ingredients like tomatoes, onions, basil, garlic and olive oil.
- If you like stretchy gooey mozzarella use low moisture block mozzarella, then if you prefer fresher flavor and chewier texture use fresh mozzarella.
- Stick with refrigerated or even frozen gnocchi if possible. It has a superior flavor to shelf stable gnocchi.
- Garnish with fresh basil or parsley for a nice pop of fresh green color to add nice contrast.
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This Baked Gnocchi is one of my go-to, seriously easy dinners I turn to when I'm low on prep time. It's a deliciously fresh tasting dinner made with a handful of simple ingredients.
- 24 oz. refrigerated gnocchi
- 2 cups tomato basil marinara sauce (preferably Rao's), divided
- 3 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1 1/3 cups grape tomatoes
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into 6 - 8 slices, or 2 cups shredded block mozzarella
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil torn or whole small leaves, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a medium casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Pour 1 cup of the sauce into baking dish and tilt dish to spread. Drizzle in 3 Tbsp heavy cream and stir (it doesn't need to be fully incorporated). Add half the tomatoes.
Bring a large pot of unsalted water to a boil. Cook gnocchi about 1/3 shy of the time listed on package (they continue to cook in the oven).
Drain gnocchi well then immediately transfer to baking dish and spread out. Sprinkle in remaining tomatoes, then pour remaining 1 cups sauce evenly over top*.
Top with mozzarella cheese.
Bake in preheated oven until sauce is bubbling, about 10 - 12 minutes. If you'd prefer cheese browned a bit then broil closer to broiler element during the last 2 - 4 minutes of that cook time.
Garnish with basil and serve warm.
- You can also add 3/4 lb. Italian sausage, cooked or 3/4 lb. ground beef, cooked to the marinara sauce.
- Shelf stable gnocchi works too it just doesn't taste quite as good.
- If you really love sauce then you can just use a full 24 oz jar. Otherwise save for spaghetti for lunch tomorrow or freeze for another use.