Quick and easy to make this Pesto Gnocchi is ready in under 20 minutes. Deliciously soft gnocchi with homemade parsley pesto, peas, and griddled courgettes. Perfect for lunch.
If you’ve made my parsley pesto recipe and are looking for another reason to use it then this is for you. This is one of my favourite ways to make the most of that pesto. You can, of course, use any pesto you like but I highly recommend trying my parsley pesto.
This pesto gnocchi is perfect for a quick summer lunch. It’s fresh and filling and is bursting with the flavours of summer. With fresh peas and griddled courgettes (zucchini) and that parsley pesto, this is one of our summer favourites.
Why This Recipe Works
- Quick and easy to make, this is ready in under 20 minutes and it’s family-friendly.
- Homemade parsley pesto really makes this a stand out dish.
- Perfectly cooked fluffy gnocchi, I mean what’s not to love about little potato dumplings?
What You Will Need
- Gnocchi – For ease and speed I use store-bought gnocchi. You can, of course, make your own gnocchi if you wish.
- Pesto – I use my own parsley pesto recipe, you can use basil pesto if you wish.
- Peas – Fresh or frozen is absolutely fine.
- Courgettes/zucchini – Look for smaller sized courgettes/zucchini, they will have the best flavour. Depending on the size of your courgette you may need more than one.
- Pine nuts – I love to add some toasted pine nuts to this when I serve it, they are optional but recommended.
- Cheese – For serving, I add some grated pecorino to the finished dish, again optional but recommended.
How To Make Pesto Gnocchi
This is just a quick visual guide please see the recipe card for detailed instructions.
- Cook the courgettes/zucchini – Brush a griddle pan or grill with oil. Cook the courgettes/zucchini for a few minutes each side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm until you are ready to use them.
- Cook the gnocchi – Cook the gnocchi according to the packet instructions. One piece of gnocchi rises to the top add the peas to the water. Reserve half a cup of the cooking water before draining.
- Add pesto – Drain the gnocchi and peas then return to the pan with 2 – 3 tbsps of pesto and the reserved cooking water. Stir gently then add the courgette/zucchini. And serve with toasted pine nuts and grated cheese.
Tips For Making The Best Pesto Gnocchi
- Use my parsley pesto recipe – Any fresh pesto will give you great results, but if you can, I recommend using this pesto for the best results or my spinach pesto. You can, of course, use store-bought pesto if you wish.
- Don’t forget the cooking water – This is really important, the cooking water will have some of the starch from the gnocchi. When you add the pesto it will turn the pesto into more of a sauce and it will help the sauce stick to the gnocchi.
- Vegetables – This is is a very versatile recipe you can easily swap the peas or courgettes/zucchini for other vegetables. Broccoli and green beans work really well here.
- Don’t overcook the gnocchi – Once you have added the gnocchi to the boiling water, turn the heat down to a simmer and stir the gnocchi, wait for them to rise, give it a few seconds then remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Return to an empty pan with the reserved water and the pesto.
More Quick and Easy Lunch Inspiration
If you are looking for more quick and easy lunches then check out my Caprese Pasta Salad or my Artichoke & Olive Naan Pizza. If you want more gnocchi then try my Pan-Fried Gnocchi with Spinach and Tomatoes, this is one of my favourites.
Pesto Gnocchi with Peas & Courgette/Zucchini
- 3 cups / 500g store-bought gnocchi
- 3/4 cup /60g peas frozen is fine
- 1 or 2 small courgettes/zucchini cut thinly horizontally
- 2-3 tbsp parsley pesto
- 2 tbsp pine nuts toasted
- 1/2 cup cooking water from the gnocchi
- 1 tsp olive oil for cooking the courgette/zucchini
- pecorino cheese for serving
- Heat a griddle pan to a medium heat then brush with olive oil.Cool the courgettes/zucchini on each side for 3 or 4 minutes.Transfer to a plate, cover and keep warm until you are ready to use them.
- Bring a large pan of well-salted water to the boil. Carefully drop the gnocchi into the water and stir. When you see the first piece of gnocchi rise to the top add the peas.After a couple of seconds and once all the gnocchi has risen to the top remove them along with the peas to a bowl.Reserve half a cup of the cooking water. Return the gnocchi and peas to the saucepan along with the cooking water and 2 or 3 tablespoons of pesto. Stir well until everything is combined then stir in the courgettes/zucchini.
- Serve in bowls topped with the toasted pinenuts, some grated pecorino and a little cracked black pepper.
- Gnocchi - I use store-bought gnocchi, you can make your own if you prefer.
- Serving Size - We have this for lunch so it stretches far enough for 3 people. You could find it will serve 4 people for the first course.
- Storing/reheating/freezing - This dish is best served fresh and I do not recommend freezing it. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a day or two. You can reheat it on the hob but please note it may not taste as good as when served fresh.
- Nutritional Information is approximate and is calculated using an online nutrition tool. It is based on one serving of pesto gnocchi serving 3 people. It does not include any cheese you add to the finished dish.
- Weights and measurements - For US readers, I use Cuisipro measuring cups and spoons, and a Pyrex measuring jug for liquids. These are the industry standard. Cup/spoon volumes can differ from brand to brand, for accuracy, I recommend weighing all ingredients if possible.