Gnocchi in Spinach Mushroom Cream Sauce

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Gnocchi in spinach mushroom cream sauce is a rich and comforting dish, where the tender, pillowy gnocchi perfectly complements the earthy flavors of sautéed mushrooms and the fresh, verdant notes of spinach. The dish is brought together by a luxuriously creamy sauce, subtly infused with garlic and Parmesan, offering a depth of flavor that is both satisfying and elegantly balanced.

Mushrooms and spinach cooked with a wooden spoon in a pan.
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Delicious Creamy Gnocchi with Spinach and cream Sauce

Gnocchi in spinach mushroom cream sauce is a symphony of flavors, where the pillowy softness of gnocchi beautifully melds with the earthy, umami-rich taste of sautéed mushrooms. The cream sauce, velvety and rich, envelops each gnocchi in a luxurious, slightly garlicky embrace, enhanced by the subtle, mineral-like notes of fresh spinach.

Hints of Parmesan cheese within the sauce add a savory depth, bringing a welcome sharpness that cuts through the cream’s richness. This dish is a harmonious blend of textures and tastes, combining the comforting, buttery essence of gnocchi with the hearty, nourishing flavors of the vegetables and cream.

A creamy mushroom gnocchi with spinach.

How to Make Creamy Spinach Parmesan Gnocchi

Assemble the following ingredients:

  • Butter (3 tbsp) – Butter provides a rich, creamy taste with a slightly sweet and comforting flavor that enhances the overall depth of dishes.
  • Garlic (1/4 cup) – Garlic offers a pungent, spicy flavor when raw, which becomes mellow and sweetly aromatic upon cooking.
  • Shiitake mushrooms (2 cups) – Shiitake mushrooms have a meaty texture with a smoky, earthy flavor, and an umami depth unlike other mushroom varieties.
  • Gnocchi (1 lb) – Gnocchi, a type of Italian dumpling, has a soft, chewy texture with a subtle, slightly nutty flavor from its potato base.
  • Spinach (2 cups) – Spinach has a mildly earthy taste with mineral notes, which becomes more mellow and slightly sweet when cooked.
  • Basil (1/4 cup) – Basil imparts a fresh, aromatic sweetness with hints of peppery spice and a slightly minty edge.
  • Celtic sea salt (1 tsp) – Celtic sea salt offers a nuanced brininess compared to regular salt, with a slight mineral complexity.
  • Pepper (1 tsp) – Pepper adds a sharp, slightly hot flavor with earthy undertones, enhancing the overall taste of a dish.
  • Half and half (1 cup) – Half and half brings a creamy, rich texture and a mild sweetness, making it a versatile base for sauces.
  • Parmesan (1/2 cup) – Parmesan cheese delivers a nutty, salty flavor with a hard, granular texture, and a savory umami quality.

Use this Method:

Sautee. In a large nonstick pan, melt butter until foamy. Add garlic and mushrooms, cook until garlic is fragrant and soft and mushrooms have started to brown, about 3 minutes. 

Add Gnocchi. Pour in water and gnocchi. Let gnocchi soak up water and reduce, about 4 minutes on high. Reduce heat to medium and add spinach, basil, salt and pepper and stir well. Let spinach cook down, another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning or sticking. 

Add Dairy. Turn heat off and add in cream, stirring vigorously as you add. Return to medium heat and stir in parmesan cheese. When parmesan is melted and cream sauce is thick, remove from heat and serve immediately. 

Gnocchi with creamy mushroom and spinach sauce in a skillet.

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Gnocchi With Mushroom Cream Sauce

Choosing the Right Gnocchi: Opt for high-quality store-bought gnocchi or make your own for a more authentic texture and flavor. If using store-bought, go for the vacuum-sealed varieties found in the pasta aisle rather than the refrigerated or frozen types for better texture.

Cooking Gnocchi Perfectly: To prevent gnocchi from getting mushy, cook them in boiling salted water just until they float to the surface, indicating they are done. Then, immediately remove them from the water to stop the cooking process.

Prepping Mushrooms Properly: Clean mushrooms with a damp cloth instead of rinsing them, as they can absorb water and become soggy. Slice them evenly so they cook uniformly.

Sautéing Mushrooms: Cook the mushrooms in a hot pan until they are golden brown. This brings out their natural flavors and prevents them from becoming too watery in the sauce.

Thickening the Sauce: If your cream sauce is too thin, let it simmer to reduce and thicken. Alternatively, a cornstarch slurry can be used for quick thickening without altering the flavor.

Balancing Flavors: Balance the richness of the cream with a touch of acidity, like a squeeze of lemon juice or a dash of white wine, to brighten up the sauce.

Incorporating Spinach: Add spinach towards the end of cooking to retain its vibrant color and nutrients. It only needs a few minutes to wilt into the sauce.

Combining Gnocchi with Sauce: Add the cooked gnocchi directly into the sauce pan to coat them evenly and let them absorb some of the sauce for extra flavor.

Garnishing for Flavor and Presentation: Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese, fresh cracked pepper, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs like parsley or basil for added taste and an appealing presentation.

Adjusting Consistency: If the sauce becomes too thick, adjust the consistency by adding a little pasta water or additional cream until you reach the desired texture.

FAQS

Can I use frozen spinach instead of fresh?

Yes, frozen spinach can be used. Make sure to thaw and drain it well to remove excess moisture before adding it to the sauce.

What type of gnocchi is best for this dish?

Both store-bought and homemade potato gnocchi work well. Choose a high-quality brand for the best texture and flavor, or make your own for a more authentic experience.

What kind of mushrooms are recommended?

Cremini or button mushrooms are commonly used, but you can also use a mix of wild mushrooms for a more complex flavor.

How do I prevent the gnocchi from becoming mushy?

Cook the gnocchi until it’s just tender (they usually float to the top when done) and then immediately remove them from the boiling water to stop the cooking process.

Can I add meat to this dish?

Yes, grilled chicken, pancetta, or Italian sausage are great additions for extra protein.

How do I thicken the cream sauce if it’s too thin?

Simmer the sauce to reduce it, or mix a small amount of cornstarch with water and stir it into the sauce until the desired thickness is reached.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

It’s best served fresh, but you can prepare the components separately in advance. Reheat the sauce and cook the gnocchi just before serving.

How can I make this dish gluten-free?

Use gluten-free gnocchi and ensure that all other ingredients are gluten-free. Check the labels on store-bought items

A creamy dish of mushroom and spinach with a wooden spoon.

What to Enjoy with Your Gnocchi

Grilled Chicken or Fish: A simple grilled chicken breast or a piece of white fish like cod complements the richness of the gnocchi while adding lean protein to the meal.

Crusty Bread: A loaf of crusty, artisanal bread is perfect for soaking up the creamy spinach mushroom sauce, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Roasted Vegetables: Vegetables like asparagus, bell peppers, or zucchini, roasted with olive oil and herbs, provide a light and healthy side that balances the creaminess of the dish.

Caesar Salad: A crisp Caesar salad, with its tangy dressing and crunchy croutons, offers a refreshing contrast to the rich and creamy gnocchi.

White Wine: A glass of white wine such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc pairs wonderfully, with its acidity cutting through the creaminess of the sauce.

Fresh Fruit Salad: A bowl of fresh fruit salad can act as a light and sweet end to the meal, balancing the savory and rich flavors of the gnocchi.

Steamed Broccoli or Green Beans: These steamed greens add a crunch and a touch of bitterness, which complements the softness and richness of the gnocchi.

Bruschetta: Tomato and basil bruschetta adds a fresh and tangy element to the meal, offering a flavorful contrast to the creamy sauce.

Italian Sausage: For a heartier meal, Italian sausage can be a great addition, adding spiciness and depth to the flavors of the dish.

Parmesan Cheese: A sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top of the gnocchi adds an extra layer of savory umami flavor.

Try these other favorites: Creamy Spinach Parmesan Gnocchi Recipe, One Pot Creamy Tuscan Mushroom Linguine Recipe, 20 Minute Garlic Butter Chicken and Mushroom Pasta, Creamy Chicken Bruschetta Tortellini One Pot Pasta, Spicy Tequila Lime Chicken Fettuccine, 15 Minute Drunken Mussels Pasta, One Pot Creamy Ravioli and Sausage Skillet, Creamy Tuscan Chicken Gnocchi Recipe, and One Pot Garden Alfredo Pasta Skillet.

Try these other recipes next:

Gnocchi in a Spinach Mushroom Cream Sauce Recipe

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A creamy mushroom gnocchi with spinach.
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Mushroom Gnocchi in a Spinach Mushroom Cream Sauce

Easy One Pot Gnocchi in a Spinach Mushroom Cream Sauce Recipe is a rich, creamy one pot gnocchi pasta dinner packed with browned mushrooms and a decadently thick mushroom cream sauce. Everything cooks in one pan for a delicious gnocchi with spinach mushroom cream sauce recipe you’ll want to make again and again!
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian/American
Keyword gnocchi, healthy cream sauce, italian, main dish, mushrooms, potato pasta
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 461kcal
Author Courtney ODell

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup garlic diced
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms sliced
  • 1 lb gnocchi
  • 2 cups baby spinach fresh
  • ¼ cup basil cut into thin strips
  • 1 tsp salt celtic sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper freshly cracked
  • 1 cup half and half
  • ½ cup parmesan grated
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  • In a large nonstick pan, melt butter until foamy. 
  • Add garlic and mushrooms, cook until garlic is fragrant and soft and mushrooms have started to brown, about 3 minutes. 
  • Pour in water and gnocchi. 
  • Let gnocchi soak up water and reduce, about 4 minutes on high. 
  • Reduce heat to medium and add spinach, basil, salt and pepper and stir well. 
  • Let spinach cook down, another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning or sticking. 
  • Turn heat off and add in cream, stirring vigorously as you add. 
  • Return to medium heat and stir in parmesan cheese. 
  • When parmesan is melted and cream sauce is thick, remove from heat and serve immediately. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 461kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 1093mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g

And be sure to check out one of my all time pasta favorites – a tuscan shrimp linguine that will knock your socks off!
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About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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2 Comments

  1. Alex says:

    Just made this, it turned out so good! My boyfriend likes it as well! Some differences to the original was, I couldn’t find any fresh basil at my local store, so I swapped out for dried basil. Still delicious, but I wish I had used fresh basil. I also ended up using maybe 1-2 cups of parmesan (though mine was the kind that comes in a bag). Overall, sooo good, definitely going in my rotation!

  2. Jackie says:

    I wrote several weeks ago but did not receive an answer as to how much water is required. It’s not listed in the ingredient list. Thank you kindly!