Enjoy saucy, rich-tasting gorgonzola gnocchi without the cream with this simple recipe. Lightened up a bit but not lacking in flavor, this easy meal includes fresh spinach and can be on the table in under 40 minutes.
There are two things I know about Gorgonzola. For one, it was part of the havoc rained upon the town of Chewandswallow in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (one of my childhood favorites). And two, Gorgonzola gnocchi is a very popular frozen meal at Trader Joe's.
I've had that gnocchi and enjoy it, but wanted to see about making a homemade version with more oomph. And more oomph there is.
This recipe for gnocchi with creamy Gorgonzola sauce not only has more flavor, but is made without any cream for a lighter take on comfort food.
Reasons to Love Gorgonzola Gnocchi
- No heavy cream: This flavorful and creamy Gorgonzola pasta sauce is made with a simple roux with 1 or 2% milk and reduced-sodium chicken broth. You won't believe there's no cream!
- Big flavor: Are you a big fan of Trader Joe's frozen Gnocchi al Gorgonzola but wish it had more Gorgonzola flavor? This homemade version allows the Gorgonzola to shine.
- Super saucy: I don't skimp on sauce -- there's a generous amount allotted per portion, leaving room for you to add leftover cooked chicken, more veggies, etc.
- Gnocchi: I use the shelf-stable kind found in the dry pasta aisle. Do not prepare them per package instructions (boiling), rather this recipe pan toasts them for extra flavor and never-mushy texture.
- Olive Oil: This is used to toast the gnocchi and acts as half of the cooking fat required to form the roux (you don't always have to use butter!).
- Butter: One tablespoon for the roux.
- Garlic: Mince the garlic not-so-finely so it doesn't risk burning. I leave my garlic press in the drawer when I make Gorgonzola gnocchi.
- Flour: Two tablespoons are all you need to thicken this sauce beautifully.
- Broth: Vegetable would work, though I prefer the flavor that chicken broth provides.
- Milk: I've tested this recipe with both 1% and 2% and honestly found no difference. 1% tasted just as luxurious.
- Gorgonzola: There are more details on which variety to use below. The kind I like is labeled "crumbly", though it melts easily. Look for a variety aged roughly 90 days to get a good mix of flavor and creaminess.
- Toast the gnocchi - Cook the gnocchi in olive oil until both sides are turning golden-brown. Just open the package and add them right to the pan (no boiling necessary).
- Sauté the garlic - Add the remaining olive oil and butter to a separate pan and briefly sauté the garlic. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and pepper.
- Cook the flour - Add the flour to the pan and move it around with a spatula as it moistens. Cook for 2-3 minutes as it froths up. This cooks off any raw flour taste and ensures a smooth sauce.
- Make the sauce - Whisk in the milk and chicken broth. It'll clump up at first, but go slow and it'll thin out. Cook until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, then stir in the Gorgonzola and sage.
- Combine - Stir in the gnocchi and fresh spinach and cook for a few minutes until the spinach wilts. It's ready to serve.
What Type of Gorgonzola to Buy
Gorgonzola is an Italian blue cheese that comes in two varieties: Dolce and Piccante. Dolce is younger and creamier, while Piccante is bolder tasting and aged from several months upwards to a year.
In my experience shopping in two large U.S. grocery chains, I have yet to find a Gorgonzola that includes its variety explicitly on the label. Instead you get context clues, such as descriptors and age time.
For this creamy Gorgonzola gnocchi, I recommend looking for a variety aged around 90 days as you get a bold-but-not-too-bold flavor and smooth melting, even if it says crumbly on the label. Technically this would be considered a younger Piccante (I went so far as to call the cheese manufacturer to confirm).
I have not tested this recipe with any of the longer aged varieties, but would recommend against as I'd be afraid the flavor would just be way too pungent.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Choosing Pans - While you can technically make Gorgonzola gnocchi all in one pan, I prefer using two so you can get a head start on the sauce while the gnocchi are toasting. If choosing between two different sizes, use the larger one for the sauce.
- Whisk Carefully - Whisking is key in this recipe to ensure a smooth roux and sauce. Use a silicone-coated whisk to protect the surface of your cookware from scratches.
- Add the Sage (or Don't) - I've made this Gorgonzola gnocchi without the sage and found it to be perfectly tasty, too. So while it's a nice complementary flavor, you can skip it if you're not a fan or don't have it on hand.
- Recipe Additions - There's plenty of sauce for you to add more spinach or other ingredients. Chopping up leftover cooked chicken works really well.
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating in the recipe card and/or a comment review below!
Creamy Gorgonzola Gnocchi
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 pound gnocchi
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Pinch of ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk 1% or 2% fine
- ½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable
- 4 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola
- 2 teaspoons finely-minced fresh sage leaves more to taste (optional)
- 3 ounces fresh spinach leaves roughly chopped, more if you like
- Add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to a large pan set over medium heat. Once heated, add the gnocchi to the pan and use a spatula or spoon to separate any that are stuck together. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, until the gnocchi are "toasted" and golden-brown on both sides. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside if the gnocchi are done before the sauce.
- While the gnocchi are toasting, add the remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and the butter to a large sauté pan set over medium-low heat. Swirl the butter and oil around the pan as the butter melts.
- Once melted add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, moving it around the pan frequently so it doesn't begin to burn. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir the paste and keep it moving around the pan as it cooks.
- Next slowly pour in the milk and chicken broth while whisking. The mixture will glob up at first but will thin out as more liquid is whisked in. Stir the sauce frequently as it begins to thicken, until it reaches the consistency where it can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 9-10 minutes. Do not let the sauce reach a boil, and keep in mind it will thicken up a bit more once the cheese is added.
- Reduce heat to low and scatter in crumbled Gorgonzola and sage while whisking. Whisk/stir as the cheese melts, then add the toasted gnocchi and fresh spinach. Stir over the next few minutes as the spinach wilts until everything is coated evenly.
- Gnocchi: This is in the dry pasta aisle. Do not pre-boil it, simply open the package and add them right to the pan.
- Gorgonzola: Look to buy a variety aged around 90 days. It will melt easily even if the package says "crumbly".
- Sage: This isn't required and it's still very tasty without.
- Sauce Quantity: This recipe features a generous amount of sauce per serving. There's enough if you'd like to add more vegetables, cooked chicken, etc.
- Reheating Instructions: Add leftover portion to a small saucepan and heat on low. Drizzle in a small bit of milk to help it thin out again if desired.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer
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