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Homemade Potato Gnocchi

5 from 19 community reviews

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It’s easy and fun to make light, tender homemade potato gnocchi using Russet potatoes. Follow my step-by-step directions to learn the secret to the best light and fluffy gnocchi from scratch. It’s not as hard as you think! Cook and serve with any of our best pasta sauces or this easy homemade marinara.

Homemade gnocchi dough on a wood board.

This is my go-to homemade Italian gnocchi recipe, one of the best Italian pasta recipes my grandma would make. It’s an easy potato gnocchi recipe that never fails, and they are so fun and easy to make.

The gnocchi turn out light and fluffy, as any respectable potato dumpling should be, perfect for any kind of sauce pairing — if not classic tomato, how does mushroom gnocchi with blue cheese sauce sound?

They’ll be delicious with our favorite easy marinara tomato sauce, or a simple, never-fail garlic-butter sauce.

Even though there are times when store-bought cauliflower gnocchi with tomato sauce fits the bill, I happen to love gnocchi sauced with a beautiful fresh green basil pesto.

A bowl of gnocchi with pesto sauce.
Potato gnocchi tastes so good with basil pesto sauce

How to make potato gnocchi from scratch

The process of making gnocchi is really fun, especially if you have willing kitchen helpers. My kids loved getting their hands on the dough when they were wee ones  — and they’re still pretty good at it! We even make gnocchi with ricotta cheese for an extra-light pasta.

  • Bake potatoes until tender, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • Peel the potatoes.
  • Scoop out the flesh and mash.
  • Make a dough with eggs, flour and salt.
  • Roll into logs and cut into bit-size pieces.
  • Boil, sauce and serve.

The secret to making light and fluffy gnocchi

The best gnocchi are made with baked potatoes rather than boiled. You get lighter gnocchi because the spuds don’t absorb as much water. That means you won’t need as much flour in the dough, which can make the dumplings heavy. Cool, right?

The best types of potatoes for making gnocchi

I’ve tried different types of potatoes while testing this recipe over the years.

  • I recommend using a baking-type potato variety such as Russet or Idaho to make gnocchi dough, because they are drier and have more starch than waxy and/or yellow potatoes.
  • The starchy potato merges gracefully with the flour and egg, making a pliable, easy-to-handle dough.

If you don’t have a wooden gnocchi board, to roll the gnocchi on, you can just use a fork to make the distinctive grooves in each dumpling. However, you will miss out on the pleasure of feeling just like an Italian mama!

Tips for storage and serving

  • To make Russet potato gnocchi ahead: Arrange the gnocchi on a rimmed baking sheet, lightly dusted with flour. Place the sheet in the freezer until the gnocchi are frozen solid, then transfer them to a freezer bag or other sealed container. Gnocchi can be frozen up to 2 months.
  • To cook: Frozen gnocchi can go straight from the freezer to a pot of boiling water.
  • This recipe makes enough pesto for about four servings of gnocchi, or about a pound of pasta. But the pesto is so good you might want to make a double batch and freeze it for a rainy day. Transfer the pesto to small freezer-safe containers. Dribble a small amount of olive oil over the surface and cover the container securely.
  • Freeze the pesto sauce up to 3 months.

Sauces for homemade gnocchi

Italian gnocchi recipe

Homemade potato gnocchi on a wood board

Homemade Potato Gnocchi Recipe

Karen Tedesco
A foolproof recipe for homemade potato gnocchi. Learn the secret to the best, light and fluffy gnocchi from scratch. It's not as hard as you think!
Print Pin
5 from 19 community reviews
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings



  • 2 pounds (950 g) Russet baking potatoes, about 3 or 4 potatoes
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Parsley Pesto:

  • ½ cup (50 g) toasted walnuts
  • 1 ¼ cups (25 g) Italian parsley leaves, thicker stems trimmed
  • cup (33 g) grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt


To make the gnocchi:

  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Poke the potatoes a few times with a fork and place directly on the oven rack. Bake about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until tender when pierced.
  • When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skins (or scoop the flesh out with a spoon). Push them through the large holes of a food mill or ricer into a large bowl, or mash them by hand with a potato masher or fork.
  • Add the salt, egg yolks and 2 cups flour and mix together to form a shaggy dough. Turn the mixture out onto a floured surface and knead, adding a little more flour if needed, until the dough is soft and smooth.
  • Divide the dough into portions the size of the palm of your hand. On a floured surface, roll each into a rope about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 1-inch lengths. Roll each wad of dough firmly over a gnocchi board or the concave side of a fork. Arrange the gnocchi on a floured baking sheet as you go.
  • Bring a large stockpot of  salted water to a boil. Drop the gnocchi, in batches, into the water and boil until they bob to the surface, about 3 minutes. Scoop out the cooked gnocchi into a colander set over a bowl to drain. Scoop 1/4 cup of the cooking water and reserve.
  • To serve, stir a about a tablespoon of reserved cooking water into the pesto sauce until it’s smooth. Toss the gnocchi gently with the sauce in a serving bowl, and top with grated Parmesan.

To make the pesto:

  • Put the walnuts in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the parsley, cheese, olive oil, salt and garlic. 
  • Process until the pesto is smooth.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

Freezing potato gnocchi:
  • To be sure you always have a late-night gnocchi stash on hand, make a batch of gnocchi and freeze them. Arrange them one layer on a tray and place in the freezer.
  • When they’re frozen solid, transfer the gnocchi to zippered bags. Keep frozen up to 2 months before cooking.


Calories: 694kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 882mg | Potassium: 1201mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1781IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 183mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe? Search @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Pinterest

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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  1. Annette Weed says:

    The recipe calls for 4 cups flour. However it says add 2 cups to the mixture. The other 2 cups are used til the desired consistency?

    1. Annette – The recipe calls for 2 cups flour total, but you can use a little bit more as needed if the dough seems too soft and sticky.

  2. 5 stars
    These are excellent!! My new homemade gnocchi recipe💕

  3. Do you know if it’s possible to bake homemade gnocchi?

    1. Yes! Pre-boil for about 3 minutes (until they float to the surface), drain and bake as you like.

  4. Janice DeThomas says:

    5 stars
    This recipe sounds so delicious and easy. I can’t wait to make them. YUM!

  5. 5 stars
    This looks so good! Let’s make some!

  6. If there is something that I don’t get enough of those are gnocchi. Thank you so much Karen for sharing your variation!

  7. Oh, well those look just scrumptious. I keep promising myself to try my hand at gnocchi again (there was a failed attempt a million years ago); maybe your recipe will get me to, er, pull the trigger.

  8. I am so sad that we are now home and not making gnocchi together this weekend. Should I order the paddle from Amazon?

  9. You are always an inspirations, Karen. These gnocchi look great!
    I’ve tried making some out of butternut squash, but the “dough” is always too wet, so I end up adding a lot of flour.

    Hope you had a good holiday. That’s wonderful that you get to spend so much time with family.

  10. Ronnie (https://aroundthetable.typepad.com) says:

    The gnocchi looks perfect and the family fun is to be admired. Congrats on maintaining your food and family traditions

  11. Those gnocci look so yummy. I’ve never made them from scratch, but I bet they are wonderful. Sounds like you and your family had a wonderful time together over the holidays. What better way to spend time together than in the kitchen! Hope we get to meet at a great cook-off in 2008!

  12. Bellini Valli says:

    The first time I ever had gnocchi I was a teenager at an Italian restaurant in Wasaga Beach. This past fall the entire old town burnt down…not that it was really a town but with arcades and amusements. A piece of history gone I suppose, but, I will always remember the gnocchi!!

  13. Susan from Food Blogga says:

    I love everything about making gnocchi from mixing the dough, to forming the pasta, to eating and eating and eating more of them. Did I mention I love eating them? 😉 Yours look perfect, Karen.