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?)

Gnocchi Essentials

Potato Prep

  • Bake or steam; don’t boil! Baking or steaming doesn’t drench potatoes in water for perfect, light gnocchi.
  • Starchy potatoes rule. Russets or Yukon Golds are your best friends.
  • Steam off excess moisture. Use a ricer or mash well and let steam escape.

Dough Do’s and Don’ts

  • Less is more: Use minimal flour (start small, add gradually) for a tender texture.
  • Handle with care: Overworking = gummy gnocchi. Mix gently until cohesive.
  • Rest is key: Let the dough sit for 30 minutes for smoother shaping.

Shaping Strategies

  • Rope, roll, cut: Roll dough into ropes, slice, then roll each piece on a gnocchi board or fork for ridges.
  • Thumbs up! Make little indents with your thumbs for extra sauce-grabbing power.
  • Freeze for later: Flash-freeze uncooked gnocchi on a baking sheet for future enjoyment.

Cooking Confidence

  • Gentle simmer, not a rolling boil. Avoid overcooking! Gnocchi float when done.
  • Sauce soulmate: Don’t skip the sauce! Creamy tomato, pesto, or sage butter are classic matches.
  • Pan-fry option: Want crispy gnocchi? Saute in hot oil for a delicious textural twist.

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 alongside pan-roast chicken with gravy. For a truly indulgent meal, drape the gnocchi in gorgonzola cream sauce.

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 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 gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3 gTrans Fat: 0.003 gCholesterol: 31 mgSodium: 23 mgFiber: 5 gSugar: 1 g

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

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also 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. 5 stars
    Delicious. Ricer is definitely the way to go. Try baking the potatoes and use only an egg yolk, not a whole egg. After adding some flour, make a single test gnoccho and boil it to see how well it holds together, and whether more flour is needed.

    Spring sauce: butter, garlic, pinch of red pepper, shelled fava beans. Crabmeat. Perhaps a touch of cooking water, top with bread crumbs toasted with olive oil, squeeze of lemon.

    1. Love your tricks and tweaks, Frank, and greatly appreciate you sharing them! We shall try them. Love the crabmeat. Definitely elevates this from an end-of-paycheck desperation dinner to something really quite special.

  2. Made the potato gnocchi this past weekend–doubled the recipe–and it was really amazing…and easy!

    Delish and have added to “go to list.”