Gnocchi is one of the most delicious and versatile pasta dishes there is.
It’s comforting, hearty, and quick to make, so it’s a favorite go-to these days for busy parents or those who want to whip up something impressive but easy.
But often we get stuck in the same rut when it comes to choosing what side dishes to serve with our gnocchi.
Sure, it’s nice having some garlic bread on the table or maybe a simple green salad…but even more inspiring would be experimenting with different accompaniments that tantalize not just our palates but also take our presentation game up several notches!
In this article, I’ll show you 15 tasty sides you can pair your homemade or store-bought gnocchi with for an unforgettable meal!
What to Serve with Gnocchi? 15 TASTY Side Dishes
1. Tomato Basil Sauce
Tomato basil sauce is one of the most classic and versatile pasta sauces out there.
It’s perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal but can also be dressed up for a more special occasion.
The best part about this sauce is that it is so simple to make and only requires a few ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
The key to a good tomato basil sauce is to use fresh ingredients.
This will make all the difference in the taste and texture of your sauce.
I like to use vine-ripened tomatoes for my sauce because they are incredibly sweet and full of flavor.
If you can’t find fresh tomatoes, you can also use canned whole peeled tomatoes.
Just make sure to drain them well before using them.
For the herbs, I always use fresh basil leaves.
There’s really no substitute for fresh basil in this dish.
If you can’t find fresh basil, you can try using dried oregano or thyme instead.
One tip I have for elevating this dish is to add some chopped pancetta or bacon to the sauce when you first start cooking it.
This will give the sauce a nice smoky flavor that takes it to the next level.
You could also try adding some cooked shrimp or diced chicken to the sauce if you want to make it a bit heartier.
2. Mushroom Sauce
Mushroom sauce is the perfect addition to any dish.
It’s earthy, savory, and full of umami flavor.
Mushroom sauce is also relatively easy to make.
You can find mushroom sauce recipes online or in cookbooks.
The taste and texture of mushroom sauce can vary depending on the type of mushrooms you use.
I prefer to use a mix of mushrooms for my sauce, including shiitake, oyster, and cremini mushrooms.
You can use whatever type of mushrooms you like or have on hand.
Just be sure to give them a good wash before using them.
If you want to elevate your mushroom sauce, you can add some cream or white wine to it.
This will give the sauce a richer flavor and smoother texture.
You can also add some fresh herbs, such as thyme or parsley, for extra flavor.
3. Alfredo Sauce
A classic alfredo sauce is always a good choice when it comes to gnocchi.
The sauce is creamy and rich, with a slightly cheesy flavor that pairs well with the potato dumplings.
If you’re looking to elevate your dish, try adding some cooked pancetta or smoked salmon to the mix.
You could also top it with a sprinkle of fresh herbs like parsley or chives.
When it comes to the actual sauce, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, be sure to use good quality Parmesan cheese – it really makes a difference in the flavor.
Second, don’t be afraid to add a little bit of cream if you find the sauce is too thick.
And finally, remember to season your sauce well with salt and pepper – this will help bring out all the flavors.
4. Carbonara Sauce
Carbonara sauce is a creamy, rich sauce made with eggs and Parmesan cheese.
It’s traditionally used as a pasta sauce, but it can also be used on chicken or vegetables.
The sauce is easy to make and can be made in advance.
The key to carbonara sauce is getting the right balance of creaminess and flavor.
The sauce should be thick enough to coat the pasta but not so thick that it’s cloying.
The Parmesan cheese should be present but not overwhelming.
And the egg yolks should give the sauce a beautiful golden color.
There are a few tips to help you get the perfect carbonara sauce.
First, use good quality Parmesan cheese.
Grate the cheese yourself for the best flavor.
Second, cook the pasta in salted water so that it has a bit of flavor before adding the sauce.
And finally, don’t overcook the egg yolks when making the sauce.
You want them to be cooked through but still runny so that they add creaminess and body to the sauce.
5. Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce
Gorgonzola cheese sauce is a great way to add some extra flavor to your gnocchi dish.
This sauce is creamy and has a strong flavor, so it goes well with hearty dishes like gnocchi.
The sauce is also relatively easy to make.
When it comes to taste, gorgonzola cheese sauce is quite rich and flavorful.
It’s made with cream, milk, and of course, gorgonzola cheese.
The sauce also has a bit of a sharpness to it, thanks to the addition of white wine vinegar.
This makes it the perfect sauce for dishes that need a little extra zing.
As far as texture goes, gorgonzola cheese sauce is smooth and creamy.
It’s thick enough to coat the gnocchi without being too heavy.
And because it’s made with cream and milk, it’s also quite rich and indulgent.
If you want to elevate your dish even further, you can add some chopped fresh herbs to the sauce.
This will give it an even fresher flavor and make it look even more impressive.
6. Grilled Leeks
Grilled leeks are a simple but delicious dish that makes a great side or main course.
When grilled, leeks take on a slightly charred flavor that pairs well with other grilled veggies or meats.
They also develop a lovely texture, with the outer leaves softened and the inner core remaining firm.
For an extra-special dish, try grilling leeks with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice.
You can also experiment with different spice rubs or flavorings.
Just be sure to clean the leeks thoroughly before cooking, as dirt can easily get trapped in their many layers.
With a little creativity, grilled leeks can be a truly delicious and memorable meal.
7. Garlic Parmesan Green Beans
Looking for a delicious and healthy side dish to accompany your gnocchi? Look no further than garlic Parmesan green beans.
These green beans are bursting with flavor and have the perfect amount of crunch.
Plus, they’re super easy to make.
When it comes to taste, these green beans are second to none.
The garlic and Parmesan give them a deep, rich flavor that is absolutely addicting.
And the texture is just as amazing.
The green beans are slightly crispy on the outside but perfectly cooked on the inside.
They’re also nice and tender, which makes them the perfect side dish.
There are a few things you can do to elevate this dish even further.
First, try roasting the green beans in the oven before adding them to the pan.
This will give them an even deeper flavor.
Second, add some red pepper flakes to the dish for a little bit of heat.
And finally, top it all off with some fresh parsley for a pop of color and freshness.
8. Cacio E Pepe Brussels Sprouts
These Brussels sprouts are the perfect side dish for a winter meal.
Cacio e Pepe is a classic Italian pasta dish that is typically made with spaghetti or bucatini, but we love it just as much with Brussels sprouts.
The dish is simple yet so flavorful and satisfying.
The key to making this dish great is to get the cheese and pepper ratio just right.
You want enough cheese so that it’s creamy and coats the Brussels sprouts, but not so much that it overpowers the dish.
We also like to add a little bit of crushed red pepper flakes for some heat.
If you’re looking for ways to elevate this dish, we suggest roasting the Brussels sprouts in the oven before adding them to the pasta.
This gives them a nice char and brings out their natural sweetness.
You could also top the dish with some crispy pancetta or fried shallots.
9. Italian Stuffed Tomatoes
Italian stuffed tomatoes are a delicious and easy way to elevate your gnocchi dish.
These tomatoes are stuffed with a flavorful mixture of breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and herbs, and they make a great side dish or appetizer.
The taste and texture of Italian stuffed tomatoes are really something special.
The juicy tomatoes are perfectly complemented by the crispy breadcrumbs and the creamy Parmesan cheese.
The herbs add a nice touch of flavor, and the whole dish comes together beautifully.
There are a few tips to keep in mind when making Italian stuffed tomatoes.
First, be sure to use ripe tomatoes for the best flavor.
Second, don’t overcook the tomatoes – you want them to be tender but not mushy.
And finally, don’t forget to season the stuffing mixture generously.
A little salt and pepper go a long way.
10. Kale Salad with Parmesan and Lemon
This dish is the perfect balance of savory and tart, with the added bonus of being super healthy for you.
The kale provides a hearty and nutritious base, while the Parmesan and lemon elevate the flavors to create a truly delicious salad.
The key to making this dish really shine is to massage the kale before dressing it.
This helps to soften the kale and make it more palatable.
I also recommend using fresh Parmesan cheese for this recipe- it makes all the difference.
If you’re looking for a bit of extra flavor, you could also add some toasted nuts or seeds to the salad.
This dish is best served immediately but will keep in the fridge for a day or two.
11. Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Cranberries and Feta
This roasted butternut squash salad is the perfect fall dish.
It’s packed with flavor and texture, and the colors are absolutely beautiful.
The butternut squash is roasted to perfection and then paired with tart cranberries, creamy feta, and a simple vinaigrette.
It’s a salad that is sure to please everyone at the table.
The taste and texture of this salad are amazing.
The butternut squash is sweet and tender, the cranberries are tart and juicy, and the feta adds a nice creaminess.
The vinaigrette ties everything together perfectly.
There are a few tips that will help you elevate this dish.
First, be sure to roast the butternut squash until it is very tender.
This will take about 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Second, use good quality feta cheese for the best results.
Third, don’t skimp on the cranberries.
Their tartness is what really makes this salad special.
12. Insalata Caprese
Insalata Caprese is a simple yet stunning Italian salad made of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil.
It’s the perfect dish for a summer barbecue or an elegant dinner party.
The key to making a great Insalata Caprese is to use the best quality ingredients you can find.
Fresh mozzarella is a must, as are ripe, juicy tomatoes.
If you can get your hands on some heirloom tomatoes, even better.
As for the basil, it’s best to use fresh basil leaves.
If you can’t find fresh basil, you can substitute it with dried basil, but the flavor won’t be quite as intense.
To make the salad even more flavorful, try drizzling it with some good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
If you want to elevate this dish even further, you can add some thinly sliced prosciutto or pancetta.
Or, for a vegetarian version, try adding some avocado slices or roasted cherry tomatoes.
No matter how you choose to dress it up, Insalata Caprese is always a winner.
13. Roasted Eggplant Caponata
This dish is the perfect example of how something so simple can be so incredibly delicious.
Roasted eggplant, onions, and garlic are combined with a sweet and sour tomato sauce to create a dish that is bursting with flavor.
The addition of capers and olives gives it a salty kick that takes it over the top.
The best part about this dish is that it can be served as either an appetizer or a main course.
If you’re serving it as an appetizer, I recommend pairing it with a light white wine or prosecco.
For the main course, I would go with a red wine like a Chianti or Nero d’Avola.
- Try roasting the eggplant in chunks instead of slices for a more rustic look.
- Add some chopped fresh parsley or basil for a pop of color.
- For an extra bit of sweetness, add a tablespoon of honey to the tomato sauce.
14. Grilled Vegetable Skewers
Grilled vegetable skewers are a great way to add some extra flavor to your gnocchi dish.
They are also a healthy option, packed with vitamins and minerals.
The vegetables you choose for your skewers will largely determine the taste and texture of the dish.
For a more robust flavor, try grilling mushrooms, onions, and peppers.
For a lighter option, go for grilled zucchini or yellow squash.
You can also mix and match to create your own unique flavor profile.
If you’re looking to elevate your dish, consider adding some fresh herbs or spices to your skewer before grilling.
This will help to infuse the vegetables with even more flavor.
Some great options include rosemary, thyme, garlic, or chili pepper flakes.
You could also experiment with different types of oil, such as olive oil or avocado oil.
Just be sure not to use too much, as this can cause the vegetables to stick to the grill or become charred.
Ratatouille is a delicious vegetable dish that originates in France.
The dish is typically made with eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions.
It is usually served as a side dish but can also be eaten on its own.
The dish is full of flavor and has a great texture.
The vegetables are cooked until they are soft but still have a bit of bite to them.
The dish can be elevated by adding some fresh herbs, such as basil or thyme.
You can also add in some grated Parmesan cheese for an extra cheesy flavor.
There you have it, 15 of the best side dishes to serve with gnocchi.
I hope this blog post has been helpful in brainstorming what to make for your next meal.
Be sure to try out some of these recipes, and let us know how it goes.
What to Serve with Gnocchi? 15 TASTY Side Dishes
- 1. Tomato Basil Sauce
- 2. Mushroom Sauce
- 3. Alfredo Sauce
- 4. Carbonara Sauce
- 5. Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce
- 6. Grilled Leeks
- 7. Garlic Parmesan Green Beans
- 8. Cacio E Pepe Brussels Sprouts
- 9. Italian Stuffed Tomatoes
- 10. Kale Salad with Parmesan and Lemon
- 11. Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Cranberries and Feta
- 12. Insalata Caprese
- 13. Roasted Eggplant Caponata
- 14. Grilled Vegetable Skewers
- 15. Ratatouille
- Select your favorite sides from the list above.
- Prepare the side dish according to the recipe instructions.
- If you’re short on time, some of these can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving.
- Serve and enjoy!
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!