Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with White Beans and Sausage is an easy and ultra satisfying main dish. It’s the perfect weeknight meal done in 30 minutes or less!
It was only a few short weeks ago when I was shouting my love for artichoke and sun-dried tomato pesto from the rooftops, yet here I am back on the basil bandwagon. I still ♥ me some sun-dried tomatoes but can you blame me for going back to my old pesto ways with this gnocchi? I’m a complete sucker for the bold burst of basil flavor. Especially when combined with potato gnocchi, hot Italian sausage, and white beans. Especially when the pesto sauce is made a liiittle bit creamy with the smallest splash of half-and-half.
And es-peci-ally when the whole meal takes less than 30 minutes to make. Sign me up!
Gnocchi is one of those foods that my brain considers a fancier ingredient, but it’s not really something fancy at all. It’s next to the dried pasta on the shelves at my conventional grocery store, costs just a few bucks, and – best of all – only takes 2-3 minutes of cook time. Perfect for a weeknight dinner, no?
I clocked in at preparing this creamy pesto gnocchi at 27 minutes from start to finish. To help keep this dinner under the 30 minute Thursday time limit there are a few steps you can consolidate as you go. First you’ll brown up the sausage. I’m partial to hot Italian sausage because you don’t need to add extra spices, but mild will work too. Once that’s browned, you’ll start a pot of water to boil the gnocchi.
In that inactive time I like to make the creamy pesto sauce in the food processor. The whole batch of this sauce uses just one quarter-cup of half-and-half to bring the creaminess. When compared with other sauces that use heavy cream (and a lot more than a quarter-cup, at that), this creamy pesto gnocchi will feel like a responsible indulgence.
All that’s left is to drain the gnocchi, add the sausage and white beans, and pour in the pesto sauce and you have yourself a speedy, comforting weeknight dinner. The gnocchi is pillowy soft, the cannellini beans fit right in for a nutritious boost, and the sausage crumbles bring protein and a nice dose of spice. Plus all that covered in a generous serving of creamy pesto sauce? Divine.
With 30 Minute Thursday, the fun doesn’t just stop at gnocchi. Check out five more ’30-minutes-or-less’ recipes below from my blogger friends that are guaranteed to get on your dinner table in a hurry.
Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup from Pumpkin ‘N Spice
Jamaican Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner from Sweet Peas & Saffron
Gnocchi and Winter Vegetables with Sage Cream Sauce from Floating Kitchen
Easy Falafel Soup with Tamari Croutons & Tahini from She Likes Food
Creamy One Pot Turkey and Rice from Bake.Eat.Repeat.
- 0.75 lb hot Italian sausage
- 16 oz gnocchi
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup half-and-half
- 8 oz cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- Set a skillet over medium heat and add sausage. Break up the sausage into small pieces as it cooks for about 7-8 minutes, or until it's browned and fully cooked. Set aside.
- Bring a pot of water set over high heat to a boil. As the water is heating, add basil, pine nuts, and garlic to a food processor and pulse until the basil leaves are chopped up in small pieces. Add the oil and process until mostly smooth. Add the cheese and process. Pour in the half-and-half and process until smooth. Set sauce aside.
- Once the water is boiling, add the gnocchi. Let the gnocchi cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they float up to the surface.
- Drain the gnocchi and add it back to the empty pot. Add the sausage, cannellini beans, and the creamy pesto sauce and stir to evenly coat everything.
You can always use a full package of sausage and/or a full can of cannellini beans if you don't want leftover ingredients - it's up to you.