This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Quick, easy to assemble and pop into the oven, this sheet pan gnocchi dinner combines store-bought Italian sausage (made with your choice of pork, chicken, or turkey) with convenient potato gnocchi and leafy spinach. Bite-size tomatoes and savory seasonings including shallots, garlic, and balsamic vinegar become caramelized and juicy in the oven, creating a delicious pan sauce. This is a standout pan-bake and one of our favorite pasta dinner recipes!
The first time I made sheet pan gnocchi, it kind of felt like a magic trick. Because who knew that oven-baked gnocchi doesn’t need boiling?!
Truth: It may be unheard of in Italy, but baking gnocchi in the oven makes them slightly crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside.
Similar to my recipe for skillet gnocchi, it’s a one-pan wonder, with the fat and juices from the sausage mingling with the roasted tomatoes to make a lip-smacking, delicious pan sauce. It’s an excellent option for feeding a small crowd — just make a double batch on two sheet pans.
- Gnocchi: Like all of my weeknight gnocchi recipes, you can use your choice of convenient shelf-stable (vacuum-packed) gnocchi, or refrigerated gnocchi. You can even use fresh homemade potato gnocchi or ricotta gnocchi. Keep in mind that the quality of the gnocchi really makes a difference. I’ve found that some brands are more chewy and less fluffy than others. My favorite store-bought potato gnocchi tastes the closest to homemade that I’ve tried.
- Sausage: Use your favorite type of Italian-style sausage, either cooked or raw. I enjoy chicken sausage or a good homestyle pork sausage.
- Tomatoes: I find that fresh cherry tomatoes are a bit juicier when roasted compared to grape tomatoes, but having tested both types they are interchangeable.
- Shallot: This type of onion has a sweet, complex flavor that works well when roasted. Yellow onion is a perfect substitute that’s readily available if you can’t find shallots.
- Greens: Another grocery store convenience, baby spinach greens, kale greens, or even arugula brighten the dish with color and texture.
- Seasonings: My favorite way to add layers of flavor (while making the whole house smell amazing) is to add dried oregano and crushed red pepper to the gnocchi and tomatoes.
- Vinegar: A simple dressing that combines balsamic vinegar with freshly grated garlic and olive oil mingles with the sheet pan juices to make a delicious sauce.
Assembly and baking steps
Italian Sausage Sheet-Pan Gnocchi Dinner
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh garlic
- ¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) balsamic vinegar
- 2 12-ounce packages (680 g) refrigerated potato gnocchi, (I recommend Rana brand) or one 17.6 ounce package shelf-stable gnocchi
- 3 cups (410 g) cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced (¼ cup), or yellow onion
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, to taste
- 1 pound (450 g) Italian sausage (cooked or raw), made with chicken, pork, or turkey
- 2-3 cups baby spinach leaves, or a couple large handfuls
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Arrange the oven rack to the middle position. Heat the oven to 425 degrees (220C).
- Stir together the garlic, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the balsamic vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the gnocchi and tomatoes with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, shallot, oregano, salt, and red pepper. Transfer to a large (17x13x1) rimmed baking sheet in one layer. Alternatively, you can toss the mixture right on the baking sheet to save time on clean-up.
- Nestle the sausage links into the tomato mixture. Use the tip of a small, sharp knife (or use a fork or skewer) to poke 4-5 holes in each sausage — this step will keep them from bursting in the oven, and allows the fat and juices to drip out onto the pan.
- Bake the gnocchi for 15 minutes. Flip the sausages over with a pair of tongs, and stir the gnocchi and tomatoes around gently. Continue baking for approximately 15 more minutes, until the sausages are nicely browned, the tomatoes are burst and juicy, and the shallots are caramelized.
- Remove the sheet pan from the oven. Pour the reserved balsamic mixture over the hot gnocchi and sausage. Scatter the spinach leaves over the top, using tongs to gently stir them in until the leaves are slightly wilted. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and serve.
Karen’s Notes and Tips
- Tip: Just before serving, use a pair of scissors to quickly cut the sausages into bite-size pieces, right in the pan.
- Variation: Stir in a few tablespoons of fresh basil pesto and/or sliced mozzarella bocconcini balls into the gnocchi along with the balsamic dressing.
- To feed a crowd: Make a double batch of the recipe, using two sheet pans.
- Leftovers: Keep refrigerated for up to 5 days. Reheat in a covered baking dish at 350F until warmed through, 10-15 minutes.