One pot gnocchi with asparagus, peas, spinach, and lemon

One pot gnocchi with asparagus, peas, spinach, and lemon

It happens. It’s 530pm on a weeknight after work, and I go to start the recipe I had planned for dinner. And the first line of instructions says, “Soak split peas for 1-4 hours.” DOH! Now what can I make that will be done quickly? One pot gnocchi.

In 2007, I tore this recipe for lemon gnocchi with spinach and peas out of a Gourmet magazine. It’s been on regular repeat in our household ever since, because the outcome is so delicious for how little effort it takes.

But this time was different. A friend in a Facebook group of mine had recently posted a pic of a fried gnocchi recipe. So many people chimed in how much better gnocchi is when fried. So when I reached for that pack of gnocchi in the pantry*, I decided to fry.

I also eliminated an extra pot, making it a one pot gnocchi. Because who wants to do more dishes. And I cut the cream down by 75%. Because some times the calorie budget is better spent on chocolate.

*Gnocchi isn’t that difficult to make from scratch. Like many things, it just takes time. And there are some shortcuts that are worth it to me on a weeknight.

I might have been, um, distracted for a moment and fried these in what ended up being brown butter. They weren’t harmed one bit.

Frequently asked questions about one pot gnocchi

  • Do I need to boil the gnocchi first? You can, but you don’t have to. Boiling uses another pot and takes up time, because you then have to drain and dry the cooked gnocchi.
  • Is gnocchi pasta? Technically, it’s not. Gnocchi is typically made with potato and pastas with wheat flours. But because it’s often sauced like pasta dishes, I’ve lumped it into my pasta category.
  • I don’t have [asparagus] – what can I use instead? Artichokes, green beans, snap peas (i.e. anything green) would work well in this spring dish.
  • Can I add parmesan to this at the end? Of course. Would I say no to that?
  • What wine should I drink with this? I would pick a light bodied white like a sauvignon blanc. We have been particular to the Jules Taylor sauvignon blanc from New Zealand. It’s “grassy, summery, bright honesty with a hint of spill the beans”. So they say.

One pot gnocchi with asparagus, peas, spinach, and lemon

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Author uglyducklingbakery


  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 1 lb gnocchi
  • 10 spears asparagus, give or take, cut into 1" lengths
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • tsp red pepper flakes
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 3 oz baby spinach (couple of big handfuls)
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • In a large pot or frying pan with a lid, heat the butter or oil on low heat.
  • Saute the gnocchi in a single layer for about 5 minutes until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the asparagus, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove the cover and make a space in the center of pot. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking for ~1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add the lemon juice, cream, and peas. and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the baby spinach. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

What happens next?

Enjoy the deliciousness! If you make this gnocchi recipe, please comment and/or share a pic.

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