Get ready to combine two of the world’s greatest foods, pizza and gnocchi. You read that right this Pizza Gnocchi Bake is saucy, hot, cheesy, and well tastes just like pepperoni pizza. This dish is as easy as sauté, assemble, bake, and of course eat! Ready in under an hour, consider this bubbly, carb-y, cheesy skillet your ultimate cozy family dish perfect for these colder months.
What is a Gnocchi Bake?
It is a common misconception that gnocchi is pasta. Surprise, it’s actually a dumpling. While there are several different types of gnocchi the most common one, and the one that this recipe calls for is potato gnocchi. If you have cooked with gnocchi before you know just how versatile this ingredient is. Boil and toss it in sauce or olive oil, pan fry until crispy, or even roast with fresh vegetables, there are countless way to prepare it. In this preparation we take uncooked gnocchi and submerge it with sauce cover with cheese and bake it in the oven for 30 minutes. When done the gnocchi is soft and pillowy from sucking up the sauce slowly in the oven. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to not precook your gnocchi before adding it to the dish. Cook it beforehand and you will be left with a mushy final dish, and nobody wants that.
What You’ll Need for Pizza Gnocchi Bake
- Gnocchi– This recipe calls for store bought potato gnocchi which can be found in the pasta aisle of major supermarkets. Don’t get fancy here and make your own it won’t hold up and you’ll be left with a soggy mess.
- Pancetta– Pancetta gives this sauce an extra layer of flavor and salt to the dish. Pre-cubed pancetta can be found with the fresh cheeses and meats (probably by the pepperoni sticks).
- Pepperoni– You are looking for a stick of pepperoni so you can cut it into cubes. Please don’t try this with thin pre-sliced pepperoni.
- Garlic– Fresh only!
- Dried & Fresh Basil– Why both you ask? The dried basil along with the dried oregano lean on the pizza flavor while the fresh basil brightens up the sauce.
- Dried Oregano
- Crushed Tomatoes– Pick your favorite brand, I love using Tuttorosso’s Marzano Style, Hand Crushed tomatoes with basil and sea salt. Keep in mind however both the pancetta and pepperoni bring a lot of salt to the dish. If you want to control the salt level yourself do not buy crushed tomatoes with salt already added.
- Broth– Chicken or vegetable. To be honest I originally made this dish with beef broth and it came out just as good, so use what you have on hand.
- Mozzarella Cheese– Fresh or low moisture both work for this recipe. Try and choose a block or ball vs pre-shredded, it melts better.
Step By Step for Pizza Gnocchi Bake
This recipe is pretty straight forward and easy. Keep in mind this recipe serves 5-6 people, but it super easy to reduce and make for a smaller crowd. This dish is meant to go straight from the stove to the oven so pick an oven safe pan that can withstand 400F degrees. I used my Le Creuset braiser, but a deeper stainless steel skillet , or cast iron skillet would have worked just as well. If you don’t have a slightly deep skillet that can go into the oven then you can easily transfer the contents into an oven safe baking pan (noted below).
Sauté + Assemble – In a pan over medium – low heat add the pancetta and cook halfway, approx 3-4 minutes. Once fat has begun to render down add in the cubed pepperoni and cook together for another 3-4 minutes. Why not throw them all in the same pan at once? Pancetta is raw and pepperoni is not, needing less time in the pan. Add garlic, and dried spices and cook for another 2-3 minutes until garlic is soft and fragrant. Add in broth, sauce, fresh basil and uncooked gnocchi.
Bake! Transfer to an oven safe pan (if not already cooking in one). Ensure all the gnocchi is nearly submerged in the sauce and top with the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes until cheese is bubbly and brown.
Looking for more gnocchi recipes? I got you!
Pizza Gnocchi Bake
- 2 packs gnocchi
- 4 oz pancetta pre-cut in cubes
- 1 cup pepperoni stick, cut in small cubes
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 3 tbsp fresh basil chopped
- 1 1/4 cup broth chicken or vegetable
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 3/4 lb mozzarella can be adjusted more or less
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- In an oven safe pan over medium – low heat add the pancetta and cook halfway, approx 3-4 minutes, until fat has begun to render. Add the cubbed pepperoni and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add garlic, and dried spices and cook for another 2-3 minutes until garlic is soft and fragrant.
- Add in broth, sauce, fresh basil and uncooked gnocchi. Make sure the gnocchi is submerged in the sauce (some pieces will be popping out depending on size of pan and that is okay). * if transferring to an oven safe casserole dish now it the time to do it.
- Top with cheese and bake for 30 minutes until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown.
- As stated in the post this recipe serves 5-6 people however can easily be cut in half.