One pot Creamy Pesto Gnocchi is luscious, smooth, and comforting. Cooked in an easy creamy pesto sauce, the gnocchi is tender and has layers of flavor. Ready in 20 minutes and dairy free!

large pot filled with a green cream sauce and gnocchi

This Creamy Pesto Gnocchi is a comforting and savory dinner idea you can whip up in just 20 minutes. Made with fresh vegan pesto, coconut milk, and storebought gnocchi, this meal saves you time and effort without sacrificing flavor!

Coconut milk, white wine, and homemade pesto come together in one pot to make the creamy gnocchi sauce. It’s finished with a handful of fresh spinach for extra nutrients to beautiful layers of green throughout. The flavors are so herby and elegant, you’ll feel like you’re dining at a fancy restaurant.

If you’re a big fan of creamy and comforting vegan pasta dinners, then make sure you try my Tuscan Vegan Gnocchi and Creamy Vegan Sausage Pasta as well!

Is pesto vegan?

A traditional pesto recipe blends fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, oil, and parmesan cheese together, meaning it isn’t vegan friendly. Thankfully, you can swap the dairy for nutritional yeast to create a vegan pesto recipe!

My homemade basil pesto is made without any dairy and with pine nuts or cashews. It’s my favorite sauce to use on pizza, sandwiches, cold or hot pasta dishes, with roasted veggies and salads, and so much more! The pesto elevates the creamy sauce for the gnocchi in this recipe, giving it a beautiful green color and taking every bite to new heights.

How to make vegan pesto gnocchi

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Make the pesto and set it aside while you prepare the creamy sauce and gnocchi.

Add the basil pesto, coconut milk, and wine to a pot. Stir gently over medium heat and when it begins to simmer, add in the gnocchi. 

The sauce will thicken and the gnocchi will cook and soak in the flavor. To finish, stir in the spinach. Serve the pesto gnocchi with some vegan parmesan cheese and cracked pepper and enjoy!

white bowl filled with gnocchi and a green creamy sauce

Tips and substitutions

  • Add veggies – Like sun dried tomatoes, halved cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, or more leafy greens.
  • Add vegan proteinTempeh or tofu bacon pieces and vegan chicken will make each serving extra filling.
  • Gluten free? Simply swap the gnocchi for a gluten free brand.
  • Coconut milk – If you don’t have coconut milk at home, almond milk or cashew milk would also make the sauce really creamy.
  • Don’t overcook the gnocchi – It cooks much quicker than regular pasta. Test it out and take some bites as you go to make sure the gnocchi is tender and not mushy.
  • Don’t have gnocchi? Replace it with any short pasta noodle you like or make homemade gnocchi instead.

Storing

The leftovers will keep for about 2 or 3 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator. They freeze nicely as well.

Reheat the leftover gnocchi in the microwave or in a pot on the stove. Add a little water as needed to thin the sauce.

close up on creamy green gnocchi in a pot

More creamy vegan pasta dinners

close up of large pot filled with a green cream sauce and gnocchi
4.91 stars (10 ratings)

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi

One pot Creamy Pesto Gnocchi is luscious, smooth, and comforting. Cooked in an easy creamy pesto sauce, the gnocchi is tender and has layers of flavor. Ready in 20 minutes and dairy free!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 18 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 
 

Basil Pesto

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or cashews
  • 2 cups fresh packed basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil

The Rest

Instructions 

Make the pesto

  • Place all ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  • With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Process until smooth (there will still be a little texture, but mostly smooth), adding a little more olive oil or water if needed to help it blend.
  • Set aside while you prepare the gnocchi.

Pesto Gnocchi

  • In a large deep skillet or pot, add 1/2 cup pesto (use the leftovers elsewhere), coconut milk and wine. Stir and warm over medium heat.
  • When the sauce starts to simmer, add the gnocchi and give it a good stir.
  • Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • The sauce will thicken as the gnocchi cooks, so add a little water if needed. Add salt + pepper, to taste and stir in the spinach. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until the spinach has wilted.
  • Test the gnocchi- at this point, it should be softened but not mushy. Cook an additional minute or two if needed.
  • Serve immediately with a sprinkle vegan parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Notes

  1. Leftover gnocchi will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Add a little water to thin the sauce when you reheat it, as it will thicken. It can also be frozen, though it’s better fresh.
  2. May also add in sun dried tomatoes, halved cherry tomatoes, some tempeh or tofu bacon pieces or even Vegan Chicken for protein.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 6 servings | Calories: 433kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Sodium: 472mg | Potassium: 337mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1831IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 6mg
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian-inspired
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. I was looking to amp up all the pesto I made over the summer, and this was great! All I had to do was thaw out a jar of pesto, dinner was ready very quickly! I browned some vegan sausage, deglazed with the wine (added a smidge more than the recipe), then added the coco milk, salt/pepper, and about a half tsp of red pepper flakes. I tossed it all with the spinach and some spaghetti, as I didn’t have any gnocchi on hand. Delicious!

    1. Hi Mickie. Any plant based creamer would work well in this recipe, as long as it is not sweetened. Enjoy!

  2. This was so easy to make. I had a lot of pesto in the freezer that I’d made from basil in my garden. The recipe was excellent as it was, but I decided to play with it a little. I wanted more protein so I threw I a can of white beans. I also added toasted walnuts for crunch. I didn’t use the white wine so I added lemon juice for acidity. It was delicious. I will make it over and over again.

    1. Hi Roxanne. Thank you for sharing your ideas to add to the recipe! I’m so glad you loved it! I appreciate your awesome review! Happy cooking!

  3. This is EXACTLY the recipe that I was looking for
    BUT
    I am not a vegetarian
    SO
    I will add real Parmesan and chicken.
    I also just happen to have all of these ingredients on handđź‘Ť Thanks!

  4. Hi Nora, this recipe looks wonderful. I was wondering if you knew of any good substitutes for the pine nuts/ cashews? I have an allergy to both unfortunately, and in the past I’ve used sunflower seeds and/ or canned white beans (drained and rinsed). Do you think either of those would work? Or do you have any other suggestions? Thank you! Love your recipes

    1. Hi Audrey. I think sunflower seeds would work as a substitute, as well as walnuts. Or you can try leaving the pine nuts out altogether! Hope this helps! 🙂

    1. The pesto may not emulsify as well without the oil but you can try leaving it out entirely, adding extra lemon juice, or using a splash of water instead. Hope this helps!

  5. Can I use frozen Gnocchi? I’m going to try it. I may thaw it first. This recipe sounds like a winner!

  6. This was easy and delicious. Perfect for Easter. Served with roasted vegetables. I’ll be making this again. Unfortunately, there are no leftovers. 

    1. Your meal sounds wonderful! I’m so glad you enjoyed the gnocchi! It’s such a wonderful and delicious dish! Thank you for much of sharing your kind feedback and review!

  7. I am so excited for this! Every recipe you post that I tried has been amazing—So far that’s your stuffed shells, your broccoli and beef, and those amazing chocolate chip cookies!  

  8. I love pesto, and I love gnocchi, but I was not expecting to love this recipe as much as I do! Do you ever eat something and then spend the next three days wishing you were still eating it? This recipe is that for me, and thank f- its so easy to make, I can literally make this EVERYTIME I WANT IT. Creamy, garlicky, just all-in-all, amazing! Highly recommend, this dish is restaurant quality.

    1. Hi Cass. I appreciate you taking your time to share your wonderful review and comments! I am thrilled that you love the gnocchi. Thank you!

  9. What would be a good sub for the coconut milk? I dont love the coconut flavor in the pasta dishes. I was thinking maybe soy creamer?? Thanks!

    1. I think soy creamer would work well here, as long as it’s unsweetened. In fact, any non-dairy creamer that is unsweetened will work quite well. Thanks!

  10. Holy Moly Nora, that was fantastic!! One of my favorites for sure and I’ve had the pleasure of preparing quite a few of your recipes. I’m not great in the kitchen outside of a quick stir fry and rice but you’re recipes are easy to follow and fun to make. I always look forward to trying a new one, though I’ve learned your “ready in 20m” is usually 40m for me ?.
    Still learning, and enjoying the journey, thanks for another awesome dinner recipe.

    -Dean

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed the pesto gnocchi! Thank you so much for leaving a review. Glad you are enjoying the journey!

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