Quick & easy Caprese Gnocchi is one of our favourite baked pasta casserole recipes.
It’s inspired by the classic Italian Caprese Salad, featuring tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil.
Our healthy gnocchi cheese bake is the perfect main course to serve at an Italian-themed dinner party.
Save this story to Pinterest!
What Is Gnocchi?
Gnocchi are a varied family of dumplings in Italian cuisine.
They are made of small lumps of dough, traditionally composed of semolina, wheat flour, egg, cheese, potato, bread crumbs, and sometimes cornmeal.
Gnocchi dough is often rolled out before it is cut into small pieces approximately the size of a wine cork. Italian dumplings may be pressed with fork tines or a gnocchi paddle to create distinct marking.
Gnocchi vary in recipe and name across different regions in Italy. For example, Lombard and Tuscan malfatti are made with ricotta, flour and spinach, as well as the addition of various herbs. Tuscan gnudi distinctively contains less flour; but some varieties are flour-based, like the Campanian strangulaprievete, Apulian cavatelli and Sardinian malloreddus.
Travel to Italy by Baking Caprese Gnocchi at Home
I love traveling to Europe!
During my first visit to the continent I traveled for 5 months by train and plane. I had the opportunity to eat my way through Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland,Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Czech, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary, Slovakia, Greece, Turkey and Italy.
What I love most about traveling to Italy is the opportunity to sample unique dishes in each region and city. The dishes in Tuscany (Florence, Pisa, Volterra, Saturnia, Pitigliano, Sorano, Montalcino, Siena) are unique from what you’d find in Venice, Modena, Milan, Rome, and Amalfi Coast.
Once back home from an Italian holiday you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the flavours of Italy and can impress friends and family by making our homemade Caprese Gnocchi recipe!
Where To Eat Caprese Gnocchi Casserole
Haven’t traveled to Italy before? It may be helpful to first sample a Gnocchi Cheese Bake at a local Italian restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You can assess the dumpling to tomato sauce ratio and amount of cheese to add on top of the casserole before trying to make the dish at home from scratch.
In Toronto, popular Italian restaurants in Yorkville, King West and Ossington that may serve fresh Gnocchi Casserole include Bar Vendetta, Buca, Superpoint, Amano, Fabbrica, Oretta, FIGO, Nodo, Locale Mercatto, The Good Son, Taverna Mercatto, Ascari Enoteca, Il Fornello or Gusto 101.
My Family Loves Gnocchi Cheese Bake
I love cooking Caprese Gnocchi for my family. There truly is nothing more comforting than plump pasta and melted cheese bubbling in a hot casserole dish straight out of the oven.
In a rush to cook a wholesome meal for your family during a week that is looking really hectic? Our easy Gnocchi Bake recipe uses store bought pasta to make cooking dinner a breeze.
If you’re a gourmand with a weekend free to cook from scratch you can also prepare your own homemade Italian Ricotta Dumplings to use in this recipe.
We like to double this recipe when hosting a large dinner party as it’s similar to a lasagna in that it can be prepared in advance. We suggest assembling the gnocchi casserole in the afternoon and popping it in the oven just before your guests arrive. That way you can spend time connecting and socializing with friends rather than slaving in the kitchen.
Caprese Gnocchi Health Benefits
Our Gnocchi Cheese Bake recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Olive Oil is ranked as one of the healthiest fats and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It contains vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants.
It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.
Consuming dairy products (such as milk and cheese) provides health benefits — especially improved bone health. Dairy foods provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.
Potatoes are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Studies have linked potatoes to a variety of impressive health benefits, including improved blood sugar control, reduced heart disease risk and higher immunity.
Rich in a group of phytochemicals called carotenoids, tomatoes may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and provide protection against cancer. Tomatoes are also a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C.
Oregano is rich in antioxidants, may help fight bacteria, could have anti-cancer properties and can decrease inflammation.
Basil is an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese; a very good source of copper, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids such as beta-carotene), and vitamin C; and a good source of calcium, iron, folate, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids making it quite nutrient rich!
Easy Gnocchi Bake Cooking Tips
This cheesy baked gnocchi casserole is quick and easy to make at home.
- Use a large cast iron dutch oven with a high rim when boiling pasta water.
- To make this recipe quick & easy we’ve used store bought gnocchi but if you like to make pasta from scratch feel free to make homemade Italian Ricotta Dumplings.
- We’ve used fresh fior di latte but you could also use regular shredded mozzarella cheese. Or get fancy by serving Caprese Gnocchi topped with creamy burrata.
- We suggest using an Italian red wine like sangiovese, montepulciano or barolo.
- We suggest serving the gnocchi casserole with an aged Italian cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano but you could also use Piave Stravecchio, asiago or pecorino.
- Double the recipe if you’re hosting a large dinner party. Prepare the casserole in the afternoon and pop it in the oven just before your guests arrive.
What To Serve with Caprese Gnocchi
There’s nothing more comforting than cozying up to a steaming plate of cheesy baked pasta!
If you’re hosting an Italian-themed dinner party feel free to serve Caprese Gnocchi Casserole in a buffet alongside Corzetti Pasta, Burrata Bruschetta Crostini, Culurgiones Sardinian Cheese & Potato Stuffed Pasta, Caramelized Shallot Pasta in Cream Sauce, Instant Pot Short Rib Ragu, Cheesy Polenta, Creamy Warm Orzo Lemon Salad, Involtini di Pollo, Parmesan Ditalini Soup, Aperol Gin Cocktails and Amaretto Disaronno Sour.
For a light lunch or dinner, pair this gnocchi cheese bake with fresh salads like Romaine Salad With Tahini Caesar Dressing, Vegetarian Roasted Pumpkin Feta Salad, Roasted Beetroot Salad, Garlic Lemon Chickpea Avocado Salad and Fennel, Apple, Celery and Roasted Hazelnut Salad.
After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts such as Kardemummabullar Swedish Cardamom Buns , Gevulde Speculaas, Turmeric Pumpkin Spice Indian Cake, Chewy Easter Toffee Cadbury Mini Egg Cookie Bars, Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies, Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes Recipe or Cinnamon Babka For Chocolate Lovers.
Storing Gnocchi Cheese Bake
If you have leftover Gnocchi Casserole you can store it in the fridge covered in foil for 3-4 days. Simply pop a serving in the microwave the following day for an easy and tasty lunch.
If your family falls in love with this dish, why not double the recipe and prepare two casseroles, one to serve now, and another to freeze to enjoy as a last minute dinner in a few weeks? The recipe freezes well, just like a frozen lasagna.
To reheat frozen Caprese Gnocchi Casserole put it in the fridge the day before you hope to enjoy it for dinner. Once partially thawed, bake in a 350 F oven for 30-45 minutes.
You May Also Enjoy Reading…
- Mizeria Creamy Polish Cucumber Salad Recipe
- Easy Creamy Warm Orzo Lemon Salad
- Easy Healthy Roasted Vegetable Couscous Recipe
- How To Make Healthy Sweet Potato Rice
- How To Make The Best Canadian Salad Recipe
- Healthy Garlic Lemon Chickpea Avocado Salad
- Easy Healthy Vegetarian French Onion Soup Recipe
- Cajun Louisiana Cream of Shrimp Soup Recipe
- Lebanese Lentil Soup Recipe: Healthy Adas Bil Hamod
- Ajiaco Cubano Recipe: Healthy Cuban Soup with Chicken
- Traditional Polish Sour Rye Zurek Soup Recipe
- Swedish Sandwich Cake: Easy Homemade Smorgastarta Recipe
- Chinese Ginger Garlic Soup Recipe for Colds
- Easy Citrus “Rojak” Singapore Salad Recipe
- Easy Homemade Jamaican Chicken Soup with Dumplings Recipe
- Healthy Roasted Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe
- Healthy Roasted Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Soup Recipe
Best Baked Gnocchi Caprese Casserole Recipe
Cheesy Caprese Gnocchi Bake
- Large pot
- measuring spoons
- measuring cups
- cheese grater
- Spatula or Wooden Spoon
- Casserole dish
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 5 Garlic Cloves minced
- 28 oz Canned Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 cup Chicken Stock
- 1/2 cup Dry red wine
- 1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 700 g Gnocchi
- 250 g Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese sliced
- 1/4 cup Basil Leaves
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese grated
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, red wine, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Set aside off heat.
- Blitz tomato sauce with an immersion blender until mixture is smooth.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Gently add gnocchi and cook until they float to the surface, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.
- Gently add gnocchi to tomato sauce and fold together. Scoop into a casserole dish then decorate the top with fresh mozzarella slices.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Top with fresh basil, red pepper flakes and serve with parmesan cheese.
Some of the links in this story use affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through our site, Dobbernationloves will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps us to produce comprehensive content.
Save this story to Pinterest!