Creamy Pesto Parmesan Gnocchi

Last updated: June 4th, 2024

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This restaurant-worthy creamy pesto parmesan gnocchi comes together in just 10 to 20 minutes with fresh and flavorful ingredients.

A bowl of creamy pesto gnocchi.

If you’re looking for a super easy yet impressive gourmet style dinner recipe, we’ve got you covered with this creamy pesto parmesan gnocchi. Made with fresh basil pesto, you can have an impressive and delicious dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes with our recipe! It’s pillowy, creamy, and melt-in-your-mouth decadent. So basically, everything you want in a gnocchi dish.

A bowl of pesto parmesan gnocchi.

This is one of our favorite types of recipes to share with you because our goal at The Candid Cooks is to make cooking accessible no matter what level you’re at. While this creamy pesto gnocchi may taste like it came from your favorite Italian restaurant, you can easily make it at home following a few simple instructions. With our easy recipe, you’ll be making your own fresh pesto and cooking a restaurant-worthy Italian dinner in under 20 minutes. 

And we promise, it’s far easier than you may think!

So if a creamy, flavorful, and upscale yet comforting pesto gnocchi sounds as delicious to you as it does to us, everything you need to know to not just impress your guests, but also impress yourself, is right here in this post.

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi Ingredients

This ultra-creamy pesto gnocchi is made with just 4 ingredients – no cream required! Here’s what you’ll need to make our recipe:

  • Gnocchi
  • Freshly made basil pesto
  • Pasta water
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Here’s the secret to making super creamy pesto gnocchi without any special ingredients: use a thick and creamy homemade pesto, like our nut-free basil pesto (recipe here), and just a bit of pasta water. When you stir it all together with the boiled gnocchi, the sauce melts into a deliciously silky and creamy pesto coating.

If you’re thinking, why don’t I just use store-bought pesto and make my life easier?, the answer is that homemade pesto can be way less oily than store-bought, thus creamier as a pasta sauce! It only takes about 10 minutes to make our basil pesto recipe – and you don’t even need expensive, hard-to-find pine nuts for it – so it’s really pretty easy already. And trust us, it’s worth it.

Pesto gnocchi in a bowl.

How To Make Creamy Pesto Parmesan Gnocchi

You can make our creamy pesto parmesan gnocchi recipe in just 3 easy steps, which is why it’s the best weeknight dinner:

  1. Boil the gnocchi in a large pot of salted water until they float to the top and are fork-tender. Drain and reserve some of the pasta water, and transfer the gnocchi to a large bowl.
  2. Add the pesto and pasta water to the gnocchi and stir to combine.
  3. Serve hot, topped with grated parmesan cheese.

If you already have homemade pesto available in the fridge, you can throw this dinner together in less than 10 minutes! We love to prep large batches of our nut-free basil pesto and then freeze smaller portions for later use. It defrosts in a day or so in the refrigerator and tastes so much fresher than store-bought pesto. 

If you’re making our pesto from scratch for this gnocchi recipe, it’ll only add about 10 minutes of prep time. So even still, you can make this Italian restaurant worthy dish in under 20 minutes when it’s all said and done!

Again, one of the many reasons why we love this creamy pesto gnocchi so much.

Serving Suggestions

There are so many things pesto gnocchi goes great with, including:

  • Italian bread and dipping oils
  • Garlic bread
  • A garden salad or Caesar salad
  • A glass of white wine

Serve our creamy pesto gnocchi with any of your favorite pasta night side dishes and drinks for an Italian feast at home!

Storing & Reheating Leftovers

You can store leftover pesto parmesan gnocchi in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, microwave for about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring halfway through, or heat in a frying pan over medium-low until warm, about 5 minutes.

Gnocchi coated in pesto and parmesan cheese.

Why You’ll Love Our Creamy Pesto Parmesan Gnocchi

If you want a restaurant style dinner that anyone can make at home, then this creamy basil pesto gnocchi recipe is for you. You only need 4 ingredients and 10 to 20 minutes to make an unforgettable Italian dinner at home. Whether it’s for your whole family or for a special date night, you will be sure to impress whoever you’re cooking for!

This pillowy gnocchi with fresh, creamy basil pesto sauce and savory grated parmesan will quickly become your new favorite upscale comfort food, perfect for a cozy winter night or a lazy dinner after a hard day’s work. There really isn’t much better than a super easy dinner that’s both flavorful and satisfying.

Try our creamy pesto parmesan gnocchi recipe next time you need a quick and easy weeknight dinner! If you like this recipe please comment, rate, and share below.

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5 from 3 votes

Creamy Pesto Parmesan Gnocchi

This restaurant-worthy creamy pesto parmesan gnocchi comes together in just 10 to 20 minutes with fresh and flavorful ingredients.
Servings 2 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 9 minutes



  • First, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Then add the gnocchi and cook until they float to the top and are fork-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Reserve some pasta water and drain the gnocchi. Transfer gnocchi to a large bowl.
  • Add pesto and pasta water to the gnocchi and stir to combine until gnocchi are coated evenly. Serve hot, topped with grated parmesan cheese.


Homemade basil pesto: We 100% recommend you make our nut-free basil pesto recipe for this gnocchi, or another thick and creamy homemade pesto. Store-bought pesto is too oily and won’t yield the same creamy results as homemade pesto when combining it with the pasta water and gnocchi.
You can easily make our pesto in about 10 minutes, and even freeze it for use later on. It defrosts in the fridge in about a day or so, and will keep in the fridge for a few days after that.
Serving suggestions: Serve this creamy pesto gnocchi with Italian bread and dipping oils, or garlic bread, or your favorite salad, for a full Italian feast. It also goes great with a glass of white wine!
Storing & reheating: Store leftover gnocchi in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring halfway through, or in a frying pan over medium-low heat until warm, about 5 minutes.
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Author: Nicole
Calories: 583kcal
Course: Dinner, Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: basil pesto, date night, gnocchi, parmesan, restaurant style, valentine’s day


Calories: 583kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 1104mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 608IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 176mg | Iron: 9mg

If you have any questions regarding the information presented in this post, please refer to our Nutrition Disclaimer here.

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5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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