The Best Gnocchi Mac and Cheese – a mouth-wateringly complex blend of flavors. You are going to flip over the savory, richly-layered gnocchi cheese sauce in every bite.
Gnocchi “Mac” and Cheese Recipe
This Gnocchi “Mac” and Cheese takes comfort food to a whole new level. I thought I was in love with Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese and then rightly smitten with Ranch Mac and Cheese, but this dish, with the gnocchi cheese sauce, is over the top.
Employing gnocchi as the pasta in mac and cheese makes this grown-up version of a childhood favorite side dish so light, airy and puffy, there are no words. As adults we crave authentic, complex flavor profiles and this particular cheese mixture hits all the notes!
While making homemade gnocchi might be on your culinary bucket list, using good quality, purchased gnocchi for this mac and cheese works perfectly. Purchased gnocchi also makes this recipe very doable on a weeknight.
You are going to enjoy every bite of this dish!
Hopefully you have all or most of theses ingredients in your pantry or refrigerator. If not, they are all readily available at the grocery store.
Ingredients For Gnocchi “Mac” and Cheese
- gnocchi – an Italian pasta most commonly known as potato gnocchi, made from mashed potatoes, flour and eggs. Found in the market alongside regular pasta.
- all-purpose flour
- salt -table salt
- white pepper – pepper definitely changes the flavor of a dish and white pepper has a completely different flavor profile than black pepper.
- Dijon mustard – do not use regular yellow mustard for this dish
- butter – use European butter, like Kerrygold for a richer flavor
- milk – use whole milk for the best flavor
- Gruyere cheese – make sure to buy a block and shred yourself, Gruyere is a smooth-melting type of Swiss cheese that’s made from whole cow’s milk
- fontina cheese – make sure to shred yourself, fontina is a semi-soft cow’s cheese with a gentle buttery, nutty flavor
- Parmigiana-Reggiano – make sure to shred yourself, parm-reg is an Italian hard, granular cheese
- basil – used as a garnish, but does add flavor to ever bite if sprinkled over the top
How To Cook Gnocchi
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, the same as you would do for pasta.
Add the gnocchi to the boiling water (they will sink) and wait until they rise to the surface, which takes 3-4 minutes.
Once the gnocchi have floated to the top, strain the water and they are ready.
How To Make Gnocchi “Mac and Cheese
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Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Prepare gnocchi according to package directions. Drain and place gnocchi in a single-layer in a 1.5 quart shallow baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Whisk in flour until it thickens and bubbles, then whisk in milk and Dijon. Continue to whisk mixture and cook until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
Combine Gruyere and fontina, then add by the handful to milk mixture, stirring until melted before adding the next handful. Once all cheese is melted, season sauce with salt and white pepper.
Pour sauce over gnocchi and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano over top.
Bake gnocchi until they puff and cheese is golden and bubbly, about 25 minutes.
Let gnocchi rest for 5 minutes before serving.
In order for all of your cheeses to melt smoothly in this dish, make sure to shred them yourself.
Already shredded cheese has a caking agent added to them, which keeps them from sticking together and melting smoothly.
Let gnocchi rest for 5 minutes before serving.
I know it’s hard to wait, but this gives the creamy cheese mixture a chance to set.
During the holidays I add cooked lobster before baking….it’s to die for and takes this dish to a whole other level!
Other Gnocchi recipes you might enjoy:
The Best Gnocchi Mac and Cheese
- 1 lb purchased or homemade gnocchi
- 2 tbsps butter
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded fontina cheese
- salt and white pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
- basil leaves for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Prepare gnocchi according to package directions. Drain and place gnocchi in a single-layer in a 1.5 quart shallow baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in flour until it thickens and bubbles, then whisk in milk and Dijon. Continue to whisk mixture and cook until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
- Combine Gruyere and fontina, then add by the handful to milk mixture, stirring until melted before adding the next handful. Once all cheese is melted, season sauce with salt and pepper.
- Pour sauce over gnocchi and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano over top. Bake gnocchi until they puff and cheese is golden and bubbly, about 25 minutes.
- Let gnocchi rest for 5 minutes before serving.
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My boyfriend and I make our own gnocchi (spinach gnocchi is our favorite — a little work but a fun group project) and we will definitely be trying this out! Thanks so much for the great idea!
bellini valli says
I have some frozen gnocchi that I made earlier thsi year that would be perfect for this. I LOVE this idea Cathy.
This looks very similar to a dish I had at one of my favorite Savannah restaurants this weekend, except I think it was made with orecchiette. My fiance LOVES gnocchi, so I will definitely be making this soon!
Oh my! You’ve done it again.
This looks yummy, I am not a big fan of gnocchi but this just might sway me!
wow! yum! 🙂
Rocco has a gnocchi mac and cheese in his fast cook book that I just flipped over the recipe and dismissed. Now that I have seen your photos, I am definitely trying your version!
Besides looking totally over the top, is this actually legal? Oh my gosh!!!
Lisa -Cutting Edge says
Looks fantastic! I’m so making this one. You always have the recipes I want to try right away!
yummmmm, I want to make this right now! xx
Oof. We just made, then consumed, this. Sooo good. Sooo full. Thanks for the recipe!
Spinach Tiger says
This looks so so sinful, and truly truly delicious.
Lawsy. Will you bring this to Iowa, too?
OMG this looks amazing. I will make it this weekend for my weekend treat – I LOVE GNOCCHi
That first picture, with the bubbly brown cheese and basil leaves, makes me want to dive right in. Yum!
I have everything I need to make this and it’s on the menu! We just had Gnocchi last night with tomatoes and basil but I have another package!!!
You know, It’s a little embarrassing how much food can excite me, but believe me, this recipe does.
Oh crap. I swore off wine till the weekend. But if I must cave, I must!
What a delicious dish Cathy. I am sure I am going to like it.
That looks delicious, I’m going to have to try and make it!
Rachel the SdOC says
What a great idea! That’s one of those things I felt I (or someone) should have thought of years ago. Yummy gnocchi baked in cheese sauce? I’m in. I’m so in!
Barbie with a T says
Looks delicious and your photo with that bubbly brown cheesy topping looks fantastic! Definitely a new twist to Mac N Cheese. Thanks for the recipe. I will try it for sure.
This was sooo delicious! Both my picky dad and picky boyfriend loved this! Would definitely make this again!
You know…I have tried all your mac ‘n cheeses. THIS, though looks like the mac of my dreams. Great idea.
I made this last night and it was divine! The only changes to the recipe I made was to add about 100 grams of imitation crab (just pull it into long pieces and spread it over the gnocchi) and to add a 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil to the sauce! My boyfriend said it was the best thing he ever ate. 🙂
This speaks to me on so many levels it’s crazy. Wow. Saw on FB that you’ve set up shop and are taking orders. Love your wine site & congrats to you for all your hard work. Order is coming 🙂
Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen says
Definitely an amazing idea!
Natalie The Sweets Life says
What an INCREDIBLE recipe. I adore gnocchi and can’t even imagine how good this tastes! (still want to try the Buffalo Chicken mac too!)
Baker Girl says
I had not been able to stop thinking about this since I saw your post. I went to get the ingredients today and after I got over the sticker shock from the cheeses, I made it. It was delicious. I think I might add a little more dijon mustard into it next time!
OMG! I think I am inlove. This combines my 2 favourite things, Gnocci and Cheese. How have I not thought of this before? I have to make this!!
I started reading this blog a few weeks ago and have added so many of your recipes to my queue. My husband and I made this last night and it was delicious. We used mushroom gnocchi, mozzarella (no fontina at three stores I tried!), gruyere, fresh thyme, and extra mustard. Then, we gobbled it all up and began fantasizing about future variations. Thanks for the fantastic recipe.
My husband passes on his thanks. This was delicious. I never had all the cheeses called for, but even with substitutions, it was delish.
Thx for a great recipe.
Simon Jones says
I tried this for Sunday dinner. I didn’t have the cheeses so I used Red leicester and it went down really well. Even had enough for leftover lunch today. I would definitely make this again.
Made this on Saturday, delicious! Although the oil from the cheese on top proves that it may not be the best for you, we couldn’t help but eat the whole pan. Highly recommended!!!!
SO DELICIOUS. just made this tonight with my friends. definitely a keeper.
How many servings does this make?
Noble Pig says
I just made this tonight with potato gnocchi. It was so good!
Absolutely delicious. This is the first time I’ve had Gruyere cheese and will not be the last. My life is now complete.
LadyJayPee - Eating Etc says
Made this last night and it was great comfort food! Thank you!
Necessary Indulgences says
Love the cheese combination… I can’t wait to make this!
Making homemade gnocci is INCREDIBLY simple and infinitely better than the storebought stuff, honestly so worth it.
Are the gnocchi cooked before or do they cook during the baking process?
Every time I need a recipe to impress, I look to Noble Pig. I’m going to a dinner party tonight and making gnocchi mac n cheese (the one and only featured) for the fifth or sixth time! I’m not only obsessed with this recipe, but many many others. You’re wonderful, keep it up!
On a side note, I’ve been meaning to find a way to get your Oregon wine all the way down to Louisiana. I must try it if it’s anything like your cooking!
Thanks for all the good advice.
Noble Pig says
We ship wine directly to Louisiana.
I notice that “garlic” is not on the ingredient list so i am not sure how much to add. Also, some of the steps seem to be missing. I assumed you add the milk after cooking the butter and flour mixture.
It’s all there!!??
What type of milk did everyone use?
Sarah Duvall says
1% skim and it was perfect
Sarah Duvall says
This was D-licious and my very picky husband loved it!! I used shredded chicken breast over top of the gnocchi and added halved cherry tomatoes! This was fantastic and I can’t wait to make it again! Thanks so much for the recipe.
I want it for breakfast!! Can’t wait to try it!
Brandi F. says
Oh my gosh this looks amazing!!
Jeanne P says
Just made this for dinner….no leftovers 🙁 The husband and son loved it!!! this will be made again and again!
Where I live it is difficult to find prepared gnocchi but I did find packages of mini gnocchi, so wondering if those would work except to use more than a pound? Also, do you suggest a pasta that would work with the dish since I have all of the ingredients except the gnocchi and that cheese was expensive.
One pound of mini gnocchi is the same as one pound of big gnocchi. Also, there is not a substitute pasta for it as gnocchi is filled with potato and is what makes it special. The gruyere cheese is also a very distinctive taste for this dish, I can’t imagine changing it.
bakeca rimini says
looks gorgeous, worth trying
Oh my goodness, this looks fantastic!! I’m planning on making this soon, yum!
my mom started cooking this recently and all i have to say is it is the greatest dish ive ever had. ever. hands down.
As macaroni and cheese is both my fiance’s and my own favorite food, I had to make this for him as soon as i saw it. I edited the recipe a bit, replacing the three cheeses listed with preshredded Kraft Macaroni Cheese Blend and Italian Cheese Blend 😉 I cooked this while he was mowing the lawn, and then we sat and ate with a glass of chardonnay. It was like we were already an old married couple! Trust me, everyone needs to try mac and cheese made with gnocchi at least once. This will now be my “go to” recipe for pot lucks and family dinners in the future! 5/5 stars, highly recommend.
Stacy Davis says
I made this last night and it was amazing. I used gruyere and monterey jack and added just a little garlic and nutmeg to the sauce. I loved it! Thanks for the recipe
Jackie Johnson says
This is my favorite guilty pleasure. I have made it so many times, and I just keep coming back. Cathy, I love all of your recipes………but this one takes the cake. It is a superb blend of magnificence.
mmm…this is delicious. The BEST ever in fact.
Thanks for your post. It’s look so delicious, try it now.
Jade Priscilla says
Macaroni cheese is a favourite in our household, I have never tried it with anything other than the macaroni shells, but this looks delicious! I might just add to my shopping basket next time 🙂 x
Larry Burton says
Thanks for your recipe. I’ll try for my breakfast 🙂
Elena @ TLS says
cant hold myself. I wish I could have cooking habit. 🙂
Can you put the ingredients together ahead of time and cook it later? Say 2 – 2 1/2 hours?
This is my husband favorite thing. It’s been his birthday dinner since 2011. Thank you!
Food does not get better than this. Loved every bite.
By far the most amazing mac n cheese ever!
I agree with you.
We are in awe of this recipe, it was so so so so so good!