This one-pan creamy gnocchi with mushrooms and spinach is quick, easy and delicious. No boiling required and ready in less than 30 minutes! A perfect weeknight dinner.
When I want a quick, easy and delicious dinner, I love to reach for store-bought gnocchi. And especially since I learned that you don't always have to boil gnocchi! Simply combine in a skillet with mushrooms and a creamy sauce and simmer covered to soften the gnocchi. Throw in lots of spinach and you have a wonderful dinner, with minimal effort!
Potato Gnocchi - for best results, go with fresh gnocchi which you find in the refrigerated section. Shelf-stable gnocchi will also work here, though may need a few extra minutes of simmering time to soften. I love Loblaw's Splendido gnocchi or I have used Olivieri fresh gnocchi as well (not their skillet varieties, but their regular potato gnocchi). As a side note, Olivieri also makes a butternut squash gnocchi that I think would work with this dish, as well. Now all that said, if you are a homemade gnocchi fan, you can certainly go that route with this dish, as well :)
Mushrooms - I generally start with whole cremini mushrooms, as I like to slice them myself. Any mushroom you have or like will work, whole or sliced.
Spinach - I love baby spinach, but you can also use regular, large leaf spinach that you chop.
Chicken Broth - substitute vegetable broth to make this a vegetarian dish.
Heavy (Whipping) Cream - heavy cream is recommended as it is unlikely to split with the added vinegar in this dish. If using a lower-fat cream, you may wish to just skip the brown sugar/vinegar addition to the dish to avoid a split cream sauce. For a dairy-free option, coconut milk would probably be the best option, as it would produce the thickest sauce. Dairy-alternative milks may also work, but would be quite thin.
You will also need - onion, thyme (either fresh or dried), brown sugar (optional), red wine vinegar (optional), salt and pepper and some Parmesan, for serving.
This is a summary of the steps to make this recipe. Always refer to the complete instructions in the Recipe Card below.
- As store-bought gnocchi comes in various sized packages, you can adjust the broth amount as needed to accommodate less or more gnocchi. Use the lesser 1/2 cup amount if starting with 350-425g package or for the larger 425-500g packages of gnocchi, you may need to add the additional 1/4 cup part way through simmering.
- Pack as much spinach into the dish as you like. As it wilts down well, you'd be surprised how much you can add :)
- The brown sugar and vinegar addition to this dish is simply to somewhat replicate an onion relish and to give the sauce a little more complex and less rich flavour. As noted above, using the vinegar with a lower fat cream may cause the cream to split, so you may wish to omit. If you happen to have an onion relish or jarred caramelized onions in your fridge, use a small spoonful of that instead.
- This dish won't have a super thick sauce. It needs to stay a little liquidy to steam the gnocchi and later, to wilt the spinach. I don't mind it that way. I just dip bread in it, as you can't really ever have too many carbs sometimes :) If you're looking for a thicker sauce, simply mix up 2 Tbsp cornstarch with 2 Tbsp cold water and stir it into the hot sauce a bit at a time, until your sauce thickens as desired.
Creamy Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Spinach
- 1-2 Tbsp butter
- 2 cloves garlic (smashed)
- 8 oz mushrooms (sliced (227g))
- 1/4 cup onion (thinly sliced)
- 1 sprig fresh thyme (or pinch of dried thyme leaves)
- 2 tsp brown sugar (optional *see Note 1)
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar (optional *see Note 1)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 - 3/4 cups chicken broth
- 12-17 oz potato gnocchi (fresh or shelf stable (350-500g))
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (see Note 1)
- 2-3 cups baby spinach
- Grated Parmesan (for serving)
- Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, onion and thyme. Add a sprinkling of salt to the skillet and cook, stirring regularly, until onion softens and mushrooms are browned. Add brown sugar and vinegar to the skillet and stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and gnocchi. Add cream. Stir to combine and add a bit more salt and pepper. Cover skillet with lid (if your skillet doesn't have a lid, you can use a lay a large baking sheet over the top or even cover tightly with aluminum foil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, checking half-way through to stir and if needed, add additional 1/4 cup of chicken broth, if it seems the skillet is lacking liquid.
- After simmering 10 minutes, remove lid. Remove thyme sprig, if using and you can also remove and discard the large pieces of garlic at this point, too, if you like. Add spinach and stir in until wilted. Taste sauce and season dish with additional salt and freshly ground pepper, as needed. Serve topped with some grated Parmesan cheese.
- *If you'd like a thicker sauce, stir together 2 Tbsp cornstarch with 2 Tbsp cold water and add in small increments to the hot sauce, as needed, until the sauce is thickened to desired level.