This gnocchi bake is my favourite way to include extra veggies in my diet without sacrificing flavour. It’s gooey saucy, and has the ultimate crispy cheese layer on top. Plus, it only takes five minutes to prep! Serve it with a dessert, and you’ll have the perfect meal.
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Cheesy pasta is always a top choice in my house, especially this delicious gnocchi bake. I don’t have to stress about making a salad on the side since it’s nutrient-rich from aubergine and courgette. Don’t worry; you can’t even taste the veg in this easy gnocchi recipe!
This yummy gnocchi bake recipe is also vegetarian-friendly, so it’s a great option for those trying to limit their meat intake. Even though this baked gnocchi is meat-free, you’ll still get plenty of protein from the cheese in this baked gnocchi recipe. Of course, you can always add chicken, Italian sausage, or mince to this gnocchi pasta if you prefer.
If you can’t get enough cooked gnocchi, try making the following pan-fried and tray bake gnocchi recipes: Crispy Roasted Gnocchi with Chorizo, Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina, or Homemade Pan-Fried Sweet Potato Gnocchi.
I love using passata for gnocchi bake since it has a thicker consistency, and you can season it as you wish. Pasta sauce, marinara sauce, and creamy tomato sauce also work well for this gnocchi vegetarian dish.
I use standard potato gnocchi for most of my vegetarian gnocchi recipes. However, you can use gluten-free gnocchi as a replacement. Or use gnocchi made from other vegetables (like kale) to boost the nutrients in this recipe. You can use frozen gnocchi, store-bought gnocchi, or homemade gnocchi in this recipe.
Mozzarella works great with cheesy gnocchi, as it helps cover up the flavour of the veg for picky eaters. Other types of melty cheese will also work well in this tomato gnocchi bake, such as pecorino romano and asiago. You can also top the dish with slices of fresh mozzarella.
See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.
You can easily turn this gnocchi bake into a vegan dish using dairy-free cheese instead of regular mozzarella cheese. I prefer using the Violife mozzarella grated non-dairy cheese alternative, but any vegan cheese will do. Turn this gnocchi bake into a gluten-free dish using a gluten-free gnocchi substitute.
As mentioned, you can also add meat to this vegetable gnocchi to boost the protein. Ensure you pre-cook the meat before adding it to the baking pan to avoid undercooked meat. This recipe works well with turkey, chicken, and beef mince. Alternatively, you can use chopped cooked chicken pieces.
3. Next grate the courgette ready to add to the pan (Image 3).
4. Reduce the heat to low and add the grated courgettes, red pepper flakes, oregano and garlic. Season generously with salt and pepper and gently fry for a further minute (Image 4).
5. At this stage pour the passata into the pan along with the gnocchi and season with salt and pepper (Image 5).
6. Stir to combine and heat up and simmer for a few minutes. Add 400 ml vegetable stock to loosen the sauce (Image 6).
7. Then add the gnocchi and sauce to the ovenproof pan and then sprinkle the mozzarella over the top (Image 7).
8. Pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the mozzarella has melted and the gnocchi is fully cooked through. Use the grill to ensure the cheese becomes golden brown(Image 8).
Garnish with fresh basil to serve & season with a pinch of salt and pepper
Use multiple types of cheese. While this gnocchi bake only calls for mozzarella, don’t be afraid to use multiple types of cheese. By including other cheese, like freshly grated parmesan cheese, you’ll boost the flavour of this gnocchi tomato bake.
Add protein. If you want extra protein in this vegetarian gnocchi bake, add meat. Pan-fry mince or pancetta before the veggies. Once the meat is cooked, remove it from the pan and follow the remaining steps. Add the meat to the veggie gnocchi bake before topping it with cheese.
Taste the sauce before adding gnocchi. Before you add the last few ingredients to the pot or casserole dish, ensure you taste the sauce. It’s much more difficult to adjust the flavour once you include the gnocchi and cheese.
Yes, you can bake gnocchi without boiling it first. In this gnocchi bake dish, you will add the gnocchi straight to the sauce without pre-boiling it. Since this is one of the hidden vegetable recipes with sauce, the pasta will absorb the liquid and soften as it cooks in the oven.
Typically, gnocchi is made of potatoes, egg, and wheat flour. However, many types of gnocchi exist, and they can include ingredients like kale, sweet potato, cauliflower, etc.
Gnocchi is a good source of carbohydrates. If you pair it with protein and fibre, you can make a filling, nutritious meal. Keep in mind everything is best in moderation.
Make these protein-forward mains to increase the protein in the meal: One Pot Chicken & Rice, Chicken Pho or Peanut Butter Ramen with Chicken
If you tried this Cheesy Gnocchi Bake recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x