Brown Butter Gnocchi with Spinach & Pine Nuts

I’m sorry this isn’t the prettiest picture ever. It certainly doesn’t tell the whole story of this dish. Robyn will attest to this, but I quickly scrapped together the last of what was in the skillet to at least try to show you what I made as we were finishing our Oscar-night dinner. 

But this Brown Butter Gnocchi with Spinach and Pine Nuts is a dish you need to try. If you didn’t have to boil water, it’d take less than 10 minutes. And the short ingredient list doesn’t foretell the delightful blend of indulgence (butter) with healthy (spinach). Wilted greens combine with little potato dumplings and accented by the crunchiness of pine nuts and saltiness of cheese.


This Cooking Light recipe has been a family favorite for years. My mom tore the glossy page from a magazine early in 2009, and it’s been in the recipe binder ever since. If you were better at grocery shopping and planning ahead than I am — or had more than one mouth to feed — you could serve this with a simple green salad and maybe even some good bread, if you’re a carb lover. And definitely some wine.

Brown Butter Gnocchi with Spinach and Pine Nuts
From Cooking Light

  • 1 16-oz. vacuum-packed gnocchi 
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 T. pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 10-oz package fresh spinach, torn if large pieces (also works with frozen)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Boil a pot of water and cook gnocchi according to package directions; drain.

Meanwhile, heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts to pan; cook 3 minutes or until butter and nuts are slightly browned, stirring constantly. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add cooked gnocchi and spinach to the pan; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts, stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Brown Butter Gnocchi with Spinach & Pine Nuts

  1. We tried this; excellent, and quick. The longest/hardest was de-stemming the spinach. I sauteed a few large shrimp in the butter before browning the nuts. And I squeezed a little lemon juice over it prior to plating. Yum.

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