We don’t know all there is to Italian cooking. But we do know how to make homemade potato gnocchi that are pillowy little poufs of potato-y perfection even when there’s no nonna around. We think you, too, will be swooning over these. (Did we mention there’s just 5 ingredients that you probably already have on hand?)–David Leite

Potato Gnocchi FAQs

Can I freeze potato gnocchi?

You can freeze the potato gnocchi in individual-serving plastic bags for up to a couple months. There’s no need to thaw the gnocchi before cooking them as the recipe instructs below. You’re welcome!

How should I serve gnocchi?

You can toss them in butter or tomato sauce and top with Parmesan cheese, stir them into creamy gnocchi soup with bacon and cheese, or pan roast with mushrooms.

Many prepared potato gnocchi on a floured kitchen towel, with a mound of gnocchi dough in the background.

Homemade Potato Gnocchi

5 / 3 votes
These homemade potato gnocchi are the best version of this Italian classic we've ever had. They're made with russet potatoes, flour, egg, and salt and are like little pillows of potato heaven. Four ingredients. Ridiculously easy. Wonderfully inexpensive.
David Leite
Servings6 to 8 servings
Calories276 kcal
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time1 hour


  • 2 1/4 pounds potatoes, preferably russets, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 to 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Salt, to taste
  • Butter, melted, or a store-bought or homemade simple tomato sauce


  • Set up a steamer over boiling water. Steam the potatoes until tender, about 25 minutes.
  • While the potatoes are still hot, mash them with a potato masher or press them through a potato ricer and return them to the empty pot, turn them into a large bowl, or plop them on a clean work surface.
  • For the love of all things good, don’t do the next step before reading this. When adding the flour, be aware of the texture of the dough, adding just enough flour as needed. If there’s too much flour, the gnocchi will be hard; if there’s too much potato, the gnocchi will tend to fall apart while cooking. You just sorta gotta feel as you go. Now go. Dump 1 cup flour, egg, and a pinch salt onto the potatoes. Knead the mixture until a soft, smooth, elastic dough forms, adding just enough of the remaining 3/4 cup flour to keep the dough from sticking. Taste a little dough to make sure there’s enough salt. If not, work in a little more salt with your hands.
  • Shape the dough into about 6 long ropes, each just over 2/3 inch in diameter. Cut each roll into 1/2- to 3/4-inch lengths. Using the floured thumb of 1 hand, press each length to make a dimple in the center and then, if desired, gently roll it against the face of a fine grater to imprint the pattern on the underside.

    Alternatively, hold a fork at a 45° angle with the curved side facing you and the tips of the tines touching your work surface. Working with 1 length at a time, roll it down the back side of the tines, pressing gently with your thumb, to make ridges on 1 side. The gnocchi may curl slightly but that’s okay. And rest assured, it takes practice to form perfect gnocchi. Let yourself be the beginner. Even the slightly misshapen ones will still taste terrific!
  • Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Place a clean dish towel on the paper and dust it with flour. Place the gnocchi in a single layer on the towel. (You can freeze the gnocchi in individual-serving-size plastic bags. There’s no need to thaw the gnocchi before cooking.)
  • When ready to cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of slightly salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi, a few at a time, and cook until they float to the surface. Keep a careful watch as the gnocchi will fall apart if they’re left in the water too long.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the gnocchi as soon as they rise to the surface, allowing any excess water to drip back into the pot, and then transfer the gnocchi to a warm dish or platter and add the butter or sauce. Devour immediately.
The Silver Spoon

Adapted From

The Silver Spoon

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 276 kcalCarbohydrates: 58 gProtein: 8 gFat: 1 gSaturated Fat: 0.4 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4 gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3 gTrans Fat: 0.003 gCholesterol: 31 mgSodium: 23 mgPotassium: 767 mgFiber: 5 gSugar: 1 gVitamin A: 48 IUVitamin C: 34 mgCalcium: 31 mgIron: 3 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2011 The Silver Spoon Kitchen. Photo © 2011 Edward Park. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

My mom always told me that traditional potato gnocchi is the one Italian recipe she wished she would have acquired from her grandmother. I thought, what better place to get an authentic gnocchi recipe than The Silver Spoon?

The idea of making my own potato gnocchi was very intimidating. Wanting the lightest gnocchi possible, I steamed the potatoes. I added the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough seemed elastic although it was still a bit sticky. My first attempts to roll the small pieces of gnocchi on the back of a fork looked a little funny. As I continued cutting and rolling, each piece began to look a little more like real gnocchi. It was at that point that I realized good gnocchi probably take some practice. Once my water was boiling, I placed my first few gnocchi in the pot. I expected them to disintegrate immediately, so imagine my delight when they rose to the surface and began to float after about 2 minutes of cooking.

I drained the first batch and found the texture to be light as a feather, and the flavor to be slightly sweet but with enough depth to handle a light savory sauce. It was a wonderful experience to make my own gnocchi. I cannot wait to make them for my mom.

I decided to try this recipe as it seemed an easy and good way to involve my toddler in the kitchen. I actually made a couple batches, one with white flour and another with whole-wheat unprocessed flour, and even though I had to add more flour with the whole-wheat one, both came out very good and tasty.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


    1. Sorry – just saw the note aaa I’ve that these can, indeed, be frozen. Will get on this tomorrow. Too many potatoes in my CSA box.

  1. 5 stars
    So I will be the first COVID19 “make what you have work” reviewer. On hand I had 1 huge sweet potato and 1 small russet, and one Yukon Gold totaling abount 2.3 pounds. I steamed and put through ricer together, added 1 cup of the flour, salt, and an egg yolk (after reading above reviews). The dough came together nicely so I did a “test boil” with one. It stayed together but the texture was off. I added 1/4 cup more flour and tried again…..still off. So I went for one more 1/4 cup and they were perfect!! I cannot emphasize enough to follow the recipe advice about not adding too much flour too fast. I have never made gnocchi but make a lot of bread so I had a rough idea of how the dough should feel. This is a great recipe and I followed with this brown butter preparation:

    How to Make It
    Step 1
    Place potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 40 minutes; drain. Cool; peel. Press potato flesh through a ricer. Spread potatoes on a baking sheet; sprinkle with salt. Cool.

    Step 2
    Scoop potatoes into a large bowl. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup. Add flour, and toss. Form a well in center. Add 2 tablespoons chives, pepper, and eggs; stir. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead just until dough comes together (about 1 minute).

    Step 3
    Cut dough into 4 equal portions, and roll each into a 22-inch-long rope. Cut each rope into 22 pieces. Score gnocchi with a fork. Cook half of gnocchi 3 minutes in boiling water. Repeat with remaining gnocchi; drain.

    Melt 3 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 clove crushed garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts; cook 2 minutes or until butter browns. Discard garlic. Set aside half of butter mixture. Add half of gnocchi to pan; toss. Cook 1 minute or until browned. Repeat with remaining butter and gnocchi. Divide gnocchi evenly among 4 shallow bowls. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons chives and fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese.