side dishes for gnocchi

13 Simple & Easy Side Dishes for Gnocchi

Gnocchi is the definition of simple yet classy. It’s made of basic ingredients and requires minimal effort to make. But even with all that simplicity, it tastes phenomenal. Each dumpling piece is like a heavenly pillow on your tongue, coated with a luscious sauce.

With such a vibe, it’s alright to serve gnocchi on its own; in Italy, that’s what they typically do. But many find that choosing the right simple and easy side dish for your Italian dumplings takes the whole affair to a new, classier level. Such side dishes for gnocchi can be found in this article, so dig in!

1. Garlic Bread

One reason people might think gnocchi is pasta, rather than dumpling, is that it’s excellent with garlic bread. The soft, tender bread takes in the gnocchi’s rich and delectable sauce and can be topped with a few dumplings. But aside from being an excellent flavor absorber, garlic bread contributes an incredible complex of flavors: herby, garlicky, and buttery. Use Italian loaf when making this recipe!

2. Classic Bruschetta

Classic bruschetta is usually offered as an appetizer; however, you can serve this as a side for your gnocchi if you want juicy, refreshing, and crisp flavors. This treat is like caprese salad on top of toasted bread, but the mozzarella is swapped for parmesan. There’s also a drizzle of balsamic glaze for more flavor. This dish’s concept is simple yet comes out looking and tasting elegant.

3. Focaccia

Focaccia is a soft and chewy Italian bread that shares a primary element with gnocchi: potato. This ingredient has made focaccia a distinctive treat, as the potato changes the texture and flavors of classic bread. Aside from it, recipes also love to incorporate toppings into focaccia, from tomatoes to rosemary. These additions are significant to the look and flavor, so choose toppings that match your gnocchi and its sauce.

4. Buttery Peas

Buttery peas may seem so basic, but they’re a traditional delicacy with gnocchi. Thus, be sure to have this on the side or mixed with gnocchi. While some find cooking peas – especially frozen peas – tricky because of inconsistent cooking and textures, this recipe ensures you make the best of them. It does so by coating every pea with irresistible buttery flavors and herby aromatics.

5. Italian Green Beans with Parmesan

Serving gnocchi with veggies is an excellent way to incorporate nutrition, freshness, and crisp textures. Among the many vegetables, green beans, whether roasted, steamed, or sauteed, are the most recommended with gnocchi. This recipe lightly sautees the beans but stands out from other similar recipes because it tops the veggies with garlic-parmesan breadcrumbs. The beans are also flavored with balsamic glaze, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt.

6. Italian Broccoli

Broccoli is usually steamed, roasted, or cooked with simple seasoning, i.e., only salt and pepper. However, this recipe incorporates extra virgin olive oil and garlic for a more Italian feel. Also, you can choose to sprinkle Italian or Pecorino Romano cheese over it. This Italian sheep’s cheese is known for its sharp and salty flavors, an excellent pairing for flavorful gnocchi dishes.

7. Roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

These Brussels sprouts provide similar Italian flavors as the other veggie sides. It may even offer more as the ingredients list includes Italian seasoning, a mixture of herbs and spices commonly used for Italian cooking. Besides the herbs, there’s Parmesan cheese for sharp, creamy flavors. Ensure you follow the procedures carefully, so the Brussels sprouts turn up crisp and crunchy with no hint of sogginess.

8. Oven Roasted Eggplant

So far, the vegetable side dishes above focus on crisp textures. But if you want tender, melt-in-your-mouth goodness, opt for this oven-roasted eggplant instead. The seasoning for this dish is very simple, only olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper, so the veggie’s caramelized flavors stand out. However, for more complexity, you add more herbs, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, or sprinkle with parmesan or another Italian cheese.

9. Italian Stuffed Mushrooms

Mushrooms are incredible with gnocchi, and they’re often included in the dish itself, not just as a side dish! You can also make sauteed mushrooms and combine them with the dumplings. But if you want to keep it on the side, opt for Italian stuffed mushrooms instead. They’re more flavorful, filling, and savory. Each button mushroom is packed with Italian cheeses and herbs that go great with your meal.

10. Italian Stuffed Tomatoes

If you prefer juicier, more tender textures than those that mushrooms could give, swap them for tomatoes! Each tomato is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors, caramelized by baking. The recipe then builds on that by stuffing each with nuts, breadcrumbs, anchovies, capers, and other ingredients. This creates a terrific contrast of complex flavors and textures that make your gnocchi meal more enjoyable.

11. Panzanella Salad

Italy’s Tuscany region is home to breathtaking art and delicious recipes, including panzanella. It is a salad consisting of the freshest tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, garlic, capers, and basil – all tossed in a tangy, homemade vinaigrette. These veggie chunks and herbs provide juicy, light flavors and tender textures, complemented by the bread cubes’ savory tastes and crunch. A fun side dish for your gnocchi!

12. Tuscan White Bean Salad

Another Tuscan delicacy that pairs well with gnocchi is white bean salad. It consists of cannellini beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes tossed in a homemade dressing. This dressing is made from lemon, Dijon mustard, garlic, Italian seasoning, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil. It provides an intense Italian taste profile that matches your gnocchi. Before serving, top with feta cheese, parsley, and sea salt.

13. Caprese Salad

Caprese salad is among the most recognizable Italian salads. Its simplicity and reproducibility are vital points that make it so popular. Indeed, while most salads vary in their ingredients list, that of Caprese salad is constant: mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes. You can add some salt, pepper, olive oil, or balsamic glaze for more flavor, but it’s best to keep it simple.

AboutRibana Hategan

Ribana is a certified pastry chef and passionate home cook who curates and develops recipes that are high on nutrition. She develops and tests cost effective, nutritious meals using quality ingredients to help people better their everyday eating experiences.