If you're looking for something different to do with gnocchi, then why not try this delicious Tomato & Spinach Gnocchi Bake! It's a comforting meal for the whole family with plenty of goodness too. The Italian favourite of gnocchi is baked in a herby tomato sauce with spinach, and it's topped with plenty of melted cheese!
What's great about this recipe
- It's a deliciously different way to enjoy gnocchi
- There's lots of goodness it in from the spinach and tomatoes
- You can make it in advance and reheat
- It's covered in melted cheese!!
What you will need
- Gnocchi - I used dried gnocchi, but you can also use fresh or homemade gnocchi
- Onion - white onion is one of the base flavours of this dish
- Bell pepper - I used a red pepper, but orange or yellow would work great too
- Garlic - fresh garlic is always best, but a puree or frozen garlic are very good replacements
- Chopped tomatoes - I always have a few tins of these in the cupboard as they are so handy in so any recipes. Fresh chopped tomatoes would also work great, and you could also use passata
- Tomato puree - enriches the tomato flavour
- Mixed herbs - I used a dried herb mix containing thyme, marjoram, parsley, oregano, sage, basil. You can use any combination of Italian herbs you prefer in this dish, fresh herbs like basil and oregano would be amazing if you have them.
- Spinach - I used fresh spinach, you could use frozen spinach too
- Mozzarella - You don't have to use mozzarella, but I do recommend it as it's so wonderfully gooey when it's melted!
- Cheddar cheese - I like strong flavoured cheese so I always use mature cheddar for this recipe, but you can use mild cheddar if you prefer, or any cheese that will melt well
- And of course oil and salt, for cooking the vegetables and for seasoning the dish
How to make Tomato & Spinach Gnocchi Bake
In a large saucepan, cook the onion, pepper and garlic until soft. Then add the spinach and cook until wilted.
Add chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, herbs and salt and bring to a gentle simmer. Meanwhile, boil the gnocchi. Combine the gnocchi and the sauce in a baking dish and mix together.
Cover the top with mozzarella and cheddar cheese, bake until golden and bubbling.
What is gnocchi?
Gnocchi are small dumplings made from flour, potato and eggs or milk. They originate from Italy and are served in a similar way to pasta. You can toss them in a sauce, bake them like in this dish and even pan fry them. They have a light texture and take only 2-3 minutes to cook in boiling water. You can purchase dried or fresh gnocchi from most supermarkets.
What can this recipe be served with?
- Garlic bread
- Crusty bread with butter
- Steamed green veg like broccoli, peas or asparagus
Can this recipe be made vegan?
Yes! You will need to use a vegan gnocchi, some shop bought gnocchi contain milk or eggs, so check the labels before you buy. De Cecco is a brand that is suitable for vegans. Or you could make your own vegan gnocchi. You will also need to replace the mozzarella and cheddar cheese with a dairy free cheese.
More tips for making the Tomato & Spinach Gnocchi Bake
- The ceramic dish I used to make this recipe was from Tesco and it measures 21cm in width, 31cm in length and 6cm in depth
- You can swap the spinach for kale if you like, I've made this and other gnocchi bakes with kale several times
- For an extra crunchy topping you can sprinkle on some breadcrumbs, I love to do this with pasta bakes
- If you like things spicy, feel free to add some chilli to this dish. Or you could add a splash of double cream to the sauce to make it creamy and rich.
Recommended equipment & ingredients*
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Tomato & Spinach Gnocchi Bake
- 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 1 White onion medium sized
- 1 Red bell pepper
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 250 g Fresh spinach
- 400 g Chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Tomato puree
- 2 tsp Mixed herbs
- 1 tsp Salt
- 500 g Gnocchi
- 125 g Mature cheddar or mild cheddar, grated
- 125 g Mozzarella
- Pre-heat your oven to 200C Fan/425F/Gas Mark 7
- Heat up the oil in a large saucepan on a low heat, chop up the onion, pepper and garlic and add them to the saucepan. Cook for around 5 minutes until soft
- Then add the spinach and cook until it all wilts down
- Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, mixed herbs and salt. Bring to a gentle simmer
- While the sauce is simmering, bring some water to the boil in another saucepan and add the gnocchi, check the pack for instructions, but most gnocchi takes 2-3 minutes to cook and it's done when it rises to the surface of the water
- Drain the gnocchi and mix it into the sauce, then pour the whole lot into a large baking dish
- Tear the mozzarella up and arrange over the top, then add the grated cheddar all over
- Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden all over and the sauce is bubbling
- Serve immediately, or allow to cool fully and store in the fridge for 2-3 days. It can be reheated either in the microwave, or in the oven