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Gnocchi Mac and Cheese

This gnocchi mac and cheese recipe is so good that you are going to want it every week. From the soft squishiness of the gnocchi to the velvet feel of the cheese sauce, it is sure to please every palate in the house.

A green round plate with gnocchi with cream sauce on it with another plate, salad and casserole dish in the background

Guess who gave me the idea for this gnocchi recipe?

Christopher.

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Why haven’t I ever thought of it? Because Christopher is lactose intolerant. I usually steer clear of cream sauces. In fact, when he suggested this gnocchi idea, he didn’t think he’d be able to eat it himself. He assumed I’d make it with cream.

Talk about sacrifice, huh?

I wanted to reward Christopher for his ingenuity by making this recipe with a base of almond milk.

The only thing I didn’t listen to Christopher about regarding this recipe was the name.  He wanted to call it “gnocch’ and cheese.”  But Google wouldn’t know what that is and food bloggers mustn’t leave Google in the dark.

Still, I thought it was clever. Don’t you?

Helpful tips

  • You can make the ricotta gnocchi days in advance and freeze them.
  • Frozen gnocchi is just as yummy as fresh gnocchi.
  • Use two (or more) types of cheese for a more intricate tasting sauce.
  • Buy block cheese and grate your own because it’s purer and tastier than pre-shredded.
  • Don’t use high heat to melt the cheese; slow and steady wins the race.

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Do I have to use almond milk in the cheese sauce?

No, you have options. You can use traditional dairy products, like heavy cream, light cream, half and half or regular milk. You could also experiment with cashew or hemp milk. On the plus side, using almond and other non-dairy milk will lessen the calorie count somewhat and the taste is really yummy.

Do I have to use homemade gnocchi or is store bought okay?

You can use store bought, but just know, once you make your own gnocchi and see how succulent and delicious they are, you will never go back to store bought.  Unless you have to.  Under physical duress.

How to make gnocchi mac and cheese

Pre-step

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Get a stockpot and medium casserole dish.

Step one

Make your ricotta gnocchi or use store bought. Fill a stockpot 1/4 full with water and set it on to boil.

Step two

Once it comes to a boil, add the gnocchi and once the pasta floats to the top of the water, fish it out with a strainer and transfer it to a bowl. This should take around 5 minutes.

Step three

Get your butter, flour and almond milk.

Butter, flour, almond milk and gnocchi

Step four

Make the cheese sauce.

In a saucepan, add butter and heat it on medium/low.

When the butter has melted, add flour and whisk it all together until it thickens.

Step five

Add almond milk and whisk until combined.

Step six

Shred the two cheeses and add them along with a little salt to the pan and whisk until the cheese has melted and the sauce has thickened.

Grated cheese on a black plate, almond milk in a measuring glass and gnocchi in a bowl

Step seven

Place the gnocchi in a baking dish and pour the sauce over it.

Gnocchi in a casserole dish with cream sauce poured over it

Step eight

Bake for 20 minutes.

Gnocchi with sauce in a glass casserole dish with a few plates and a salad in the background

Time to plate it and eat it.

Plated cheesy gnocchi on a green plate with a white plate and salad behind it

I usually sprinkle some dried parsley on top for a little color!

Let’s see the overhead view.

Overhead view of the gnocchi with parsley sprinkled on - one on a white plate and the other on a green plate

I hope you enjoyed this gnocchi mac and cheese recipe!

Please feel free to leave me a comment.  Do you prefer potato or ricotta gnocchi?  I’d love to know!

And as always, may all your dishes be delish!

If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on the blog, I’d love the hear what you thought about it in the comments below.  I love hearing from you!  You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

A green plate with gnocchi with sauce and parsley on it - square

Gnocchi Mac and Cheese

Creamy cheese sauce poured on soft ricotta gnocchi and then baked to perfection.
5 from 14 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: gnocchi, gnocchi mac and cheese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 465kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound gnocchi homemade or store bought
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour all purpose
  • 2 cups almond milk or other milk or cream
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar shredded
  • 1 cup gruyere cheese shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions

  • Boil 4 cups of salted water and add the gnocchi. Once the gnocchi come to the water's surface, they are done. Fish them out with a strainer as they float. Put the gnocchi in a medium baking dish and set aside.
    1 pound gnocchi
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Heat a sauce pan on medium heat and add butter.  Once it melts, add flour and whisk until it turns to paste.
    1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup flour
  • Add milk and whisk until combined.
    2 cups almond milk
  • Add the two cheeses, salt. pepper, and nutmeg. Whisk as it melts and thickens (around 5 minutes).
    1 cup sharp cheddar, 1 cup gruyere cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pour cheese sauce on gnocchi and mix together. Cover baking dish and bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly.
  • Plate, eat, and enjoy.
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Notes

Helpful tips

  • Use two (or more) types of cheese for a more intricate-tasting sauce.
  • Buy block cheese and grate your own because it’s purer and tastier than pre-shredded.
  • Use fresh gnocchi (check out my easy ricotta gnocchi recipe), or high-quality store-bought gnocchi that will yield the best texture and flavor. You can even use potato gnocchi if you prefer.
  • The beauty of this recipe is that you can make the ricotta gnocchi days in advance and freeze them until you need them.
  • My recipe above shows you how easy and quick it is to make gnocchi, but if you use store-bought, follow the package instructions carefully and cook the gnocchi until they float to the top, then drain them immediately to avoid overcooking.
  • Use a combination of cheeses for a more complex flavor. Sharp cheddar cheese, Gruyère cheese, fontina cheese, and Parmesan cheese are great options.
  • Melt butter and whisk in flour to create a roux before gradually adding milk. This helps to create a smooth, creamy sauce without lumps.**
  • Don’t forget to season the cheese sauce with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg for added depth of flavor.
  • Although I didn’t do this in this recipe as I don’t think it’s necessary, some people like a crispy topping. So, if that is you, simply mix breadcrumbs with melted butter and sprinkle over the top before baking.
  • Make sure your baking dish is oven-safe and large enough to hold the gnocchi and cheese sauce without overflowing.
  • For added flavor and texture, consider mixing in cooked bacon, sautéed spinach, or caramelized onions before baking. We like it plain in this household.
  • Allow the gnocchi mac and cheese to rest briefly after baking. This helps it to set and makes it easier to serve.
  • You can store any leftovers in an airtight container and in the refrigerator for up to a week and in the freezer for 2 months. If you do opt to freeze it, just know that the cheese sauce may separate somewhat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 465kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 864mg | Potassium: 43mg | Fiber: 2g | Vitamin A: 760IU | Calcium: 571mg | Iron: 3.8mg
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From lighting up stages with her BA in theater to food journalist, Elaine Benoit's journey is a testament to passion's transformative power. As the CEO of Dishes Delish, she offers a blend of healthy, comforting recipes and exquisitely crafted cocktails. Beyond the kitchen, Elaine voiced her culinary adventures on her podcast, "Dishing," and co-owns Food Blogger Help, extending her expertise to guide budding food bloggers to success. Whether it's for a heartwarming dish or insights into food blogging, Elaine's diverse experiences make her a beacon in the culinary digital landscape.

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40 Comments

  1. What a fantastic idea to use gnocchi to make mac and cheese! I’m seriously so blown away by this – I prefer gnocchi to macaroni and I cannot wait to try this out soon!

  2. well since cheese goes famously on potatoes I can see how this would knock the pasta out of the park in flavor!

    1. Thanks Claudia! This is so good and fun for someone who can’t drink cow’s milk, but can do cheeses!

  3. We also limit lactose in our house, so it’s awesome that you were able to make such a creamy alternative to heavy cream for this sauce. This looks pillowy soft and tasty! – as always 🙂

    1. Me too! But don’t rest your head on them, Helena, they will get your hair dirty and won’t hold your head up. 😉

  4. I can certainly see and feel the creaminess, squishiness and that velvet cream sauce from here. Certainly diet limitations make one creative in the kitchen and make one open to ideas that can lead to Oh So delicious and great meals. Just like this Gnocchi Mac and Cheese. I am sold.

  5. No, we should never leave Google in the dark, so good choice on the name ????. Such a delicious and comforting dish, this is, the pillowy texture of the ricotta gnocchi must marry well the sauce!

  6. I am a pasta lover. Don’t even get me started on gnocchi….SOOOOO good. I really like the sound of the sauce. I think the almond milk would compliment the dish….paired with delicious cheese. This would be a winner dinner for sure.

  7. Good grief, this is my husbands favorite pasta dish -seriously! He orders this at our go to Italian restaurant every time. Now, I have no excuse not to make this for home at home. 🙂

  8. This recipe is every bit as delicious as your beautiful photos make it look!! I love gnocchi and I love cheese. Yay!

  9. Those look delicious – and give me an idea! See, my problem is at the other end – dairy is fine, gluten isn’t. And I’ve been looking at gf gnocchi recipes, but the Spouse keeps telling me he thinks gnocchi are bland and boring (I know, what?) and I hesitated to make something he would expect to dislike. (He;s been very openminded about most of my cooking, so I’ll humor him here.) But if I served this… Hmmm (yes, I can alter your recipe easily to make it GF.) Have to try that!

    1. I bet using a gluten free flour would work well!! I hope you do try it, let me know what you think when you do.

  10. Pillowy clouds of Mac and cheese goodness right there! I love how absolutely creamy this looks – and the almond milk option. With all that cheese, it can’t hurt to lighten it up a bit somewhere right? But either way, no matter the milk this looks divine.

  11. Yum!! Gnocchi and mac and cheese are 2 of my favourite things! This combo just sounds amazing, I can’t wait to try it!

  12. Potatoes, cheese and pasta are some of my biggest weaknesses so I would love this!!!! Looks delish!

  13. Oh man! Just when I think that mac and cheese can’t get any better… swapping out the pasta for gnocchi sounds unbelievable!

  14. Oh my goodness, this sounds dreamy! Your photos are gorgeous and have made me super hungry for this version of mac and cheese!

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