This creamy pesto gnocchi is loaded with white beans and sausage and makes SUCH an easy and satisfying main dish. It's the perfect weeknight meal done in 30 minutes or less!
Gnocchi is one of those foods that my brain will forever consider a fancier ingredient when it really isn't. Next to the dried pasta on the grocery store shelves, a 16-ounce package costs just a few bucks and is quick to prepare no matter the dish.
This semi-outside-the-box maple sausage gnocchi skillet is on my dinner favorites list, but most of the time I stick with traditional Italian flavors when I make gnocchi.
Here that means adding in cannellini beans and Italian sausage for fiber and protein, all mixed together with a creamy basil pesto sauce.
There are lots of different ways to zhush this dish. I prefer using hot Italian sausage as we generally like some zip, but the mild or sweet varieties would work great, too. Turkey Italian sausage is also one way to lighten things up a bit.
I clocked in at preparing this creamy pesto gnocchi at 27 minutes from start to finish. To help keep this dinner sub-30 minutes, there are a few steps you can consolidate as you go.
First cook and crumble the sausage. Once that's done, start a pot of water to boil the gnocchi.
I like to make the creamy pesto sauce in the food processor in the inactive time when the water is coming up to boil. 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 back the cooked sausage and the white beans, and pour in the pesto sauce. 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? You have yourself a speedy, comforting weeknight dinner.
This chicken parmesan gnocchi skillet is a reader favorite! Everything comes together in one pan and features all of the delicious chicken parm flavors we love in a healthier (no frying!) way. Hello, comfort food.
While veering away from all things traditional, kale pesto hummus is a real treat! Healthy kale leaves join basil for a creamy and ultra flavorful homemade hummus.
Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with White Beans and Sausage
- 0.75 lb hot Italian sausage up to 1 lb
- 16 oz gnocchi
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoon pine nuts or walnuts
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup half-and-half or cream
- Half of a 15.5-oz can 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.
Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. says
I love pesto sauce so this meal is perfect! I never think of making gnocchi, I need to start remembering it's existence because it's so good! Can't wait to try this!
Sarah @Whole and Heavenly Oven says
I LOVE pesto anything and this gnocchi is seriously calling my name right now! Totally need this in my Monday dinner life!!
Rachel @ Bakerita says
I could put pesto on everything, I love it so much! I'd love a big bowl of this scrumptious gnocchi right now - looks absolutely delicious!
Denise | Sweet Peas & Saffron says
This is my kind of dinner! I haven't had gnocchi in way too long!
Izzy @ She Likes Food says
I'm the same way, I love to experiment with different pestos but basil pesto will always have my heart!! Haha, gnocchi does always sounds kinda fancy to me too! I love how easy it is to make and how soft and pillowy it is! I could eat this meal for dinner every night!
Liz @ Floating Kitchen says
Hooray for being gnocchi twins today! It's SO GOOD and I definitely need to make it more often. Can't wait to try this. Love the white beans in here!
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says
Mmm you had me at pesto! And gnocchi, too! 🙂 I could eat pesto on just about everything, but when it's on gnocchi, it just seems to taste extra special. Love the sausage in here, too! This definitely looks like my kind of 30 minute meal!