Three Cheese Gnocchi Bake is the ultimate one pan comfort food, made with tender gnocchi, flavorful beef, and Italian sausage in a tomato sauce with bites of melty cheese throughout!
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This Three Cheese Gnocchi Bake is perfect for busy weeknight dinners, but it’ll also wow your dinner guests at any dinner party!
It takes a total of just 30 minutes to make, so it’s great for those times when you need a filling meal for the whole family without any fuss.
If you have an oven-safe skillet, this recipe is a one-pan dish which is great for easy cleanup!
It’s the ultimate comfort food, with three kinds of creamy cheese and filling gnocchi.
There’s nothing better than a delicious gnocchi dinner on a cold day, it’s warm, filling, and so delicious.
- Beef: lean ground beef is best for this recipe.
- Italian sausage: use mild or hot Italian sausage for this recipe, depending on your spice preference.
- Onion and Garlic: freshly chopped onions and freshly minced garlic form a great savory base for this dish.
- Seasoning: Italian seasoning brings a delicious, aromatic flavor to the dish, and salt enhances all the flavors well.
- Sauce: use your favorite brand of jarred tomato pasta sauce.
- Gnocchi: I use dried, shelf-stable gnocchi that you can get from the pasta aisle of your local grocery store. You can use homeade gnocchi instead if you prefer, but fresh gnocchi will cook much more quickly.
- Spinach: fresh spinach adds color and nutrients to this dish. You can use frozen spinach if you need to, or add in extra veggies as desired!
- Cheese: a mixture of ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese gives this Gnocchi bake its signature flavor.
How to Make Three Cheese Gnocchi Bake
This recipe is quick and easy to make! The full recipe and more helpful notes are included in the recipe card below.
- Cook meat: Cook ground beef, Italian sausage, and onion until browned.
- Add seasonings and sauce: Stir in the garlic, salt, and Italian seasoning, then stir in the pasta sauce and water.
- Add gnocchi: Place uncooked gnocchi in the mixture and stir.
- Add spinach: Put spinach in the pan and stir.
- Add ricotta: Dollop ricotta cheese over the top.
- Add other cheese: Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and parmesan, then cover and bake.
Three Cheese Gnocchi Bake FAQs
While gnocchi is often thought of as a type of pasta, it is actually more like small dumplings. Despite being made primarily with potatoes, when cooked, it tastes more like plain pasta than potatoes. You can typically find it in the dried pasta aisle of most grocery stores.
Store leftover gnocchi once it has cooled completely in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. When you’re ready to enjoy it again, you can reheat it in the oven, on the stovetop, or in the microwave until it’s heated through.
Once cooled, place gnocchi in a freezer-safe container or Ziploc bags and freeze for up to three months. When ready to reheat, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it until piping hot.
Tips and Notes
- Gnocchi. I’ve created this recipe with shelf-stable gnocchi (dried). You can try it with uncooked pasta, but the cooking time may vary. Check the instructions on the package when cooking.
- Spinach. Fresh spinach adds color and nutritional value, but you can try adding some frozen spinach during the cooking process. You could also try using fresh basil leaves or even arugula for a different flavor.
Three Cheese Gnocchi Bake Variations
- Change the cheese. You can use any kind of melty cheese in this bake to suit your flavor preference. Try gouda, provolone, gruyere, or even a Mexican cheese mix for some added spice.
- Add some veggies. Add even more flavor and color to this dish by adding chopped cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers, sweetcorn, or mushrooms.
- Make it creamy. To add an extra level of comfort to this already cheesy dish, you can easily make it creamy. All you need to do is add some heavy cream after cooking the broth for a bit.
This dish is filling on it’s own, or you can add some sides for more nutrients and color to make it a complete meal, or to help it go a bit further. Try my Air Fryer Green Beans, Roasted Carrots, Air Fryer Broccoli, or these Roasted Vegetables.
More Easy Pasta Recipes To Try
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Three Cheese Gnocchi Bake
- ½ lb lean ground beef
- ½ lb Italian sausage (ground or casings removed – 225 grams)
- 1 onion (finely diced)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 3 cups jarred tomato pasta sauce (about 1.5 jars)
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 lb gnocchi (I use shelf-stable gnocchi from the pasta aisle)
- 2 cups fresh spinach (roughly chopped)
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- (Tip: if you use an oven-safe skillet, you can make this in just one pot!)
- In a large skillet, cook ground beef, Italian sausage and onion until browned, stirring often. If there is a lot of fat in the pan, drain it before continuing (you can use a paper towel to soak it up).
- Stir in garlic, salt and Italian seasoning and cook 1 minute.
- Stir in pasta sauce and water. Remove from heat. (This can also be made in advance and refrigerated up to 4 days or frozen up to 3 months)
- To the sauce in the pan, add the uncooked gnocchi and spinach. Stir.
- If using an oven-safe skillet, you’re good to go! Otherwise transfer to a lightly greased baking dish (2.5-3 quarts).
- Dollop the ricotta cheese over the top by tablespoons. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and parmesan.
- Cover and bake for 20 minutes, until gnocchi has puffed and is tender.
- Uncover and broil if desired just until the cheese has browned slightly.
- Sauce: yes, you can make this recipe with just a jar or two of marinara sauce and skip the meat and onion for a vegetarian dish that’s short on prep time.
- Meat: you can use 1 lb of ground beef, or 1 pound of Italian sausage in this recipe if that’s what you have. If you are using only ground beef (or ground turkey, chicken or pork) you will want to increase the seasonings to add flavor.
- Gnocchi: I have only tried this recipe with dried, shelf stable gnocchi as that’s what’s available to me. I suspect it would work great with fresh and/or frozen, but I have not yet tested it.
- Cheese: add the cheese with your heart! If you don’t have ricotta, you can skip it and add more mozzarella. If you want to try something different, go for it!
- make the sauce ahead: you can make the sauce in advance and refrigerate for 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- you can prep everything up to the point of baking, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
- I do not recommend freezing this recipe as the gnocchi tends to get mushy.
- Store: Store leftover gnocchi once it has cooled completely in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. When you’re ready to enjoy it again, you can reheat it in the oven, on the stovetop, or in the microwave until it’s heated through.
- Freeze: Place gnocchi in a freezer-safe container or Ziploc bags and freeze for up to three months. When ready to reheat, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it until piping hot.
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