Baked with two kinds of cheese on top with lots of tender zucchini and cherry tomatoes, this cheesy baked pesto gnocchi uses basic pantry ingredients and is ready in under an hour!
The only thing that could possibly beat a simple pesto gnocchi is if you were to cover it in cheese and bake it. Lucky for you we did exactly that today!
We also didn’t skimp on the veggies tucked into this gnocchi either so it’s all perfectly balanced and ready for you to crave every day.
I mean…who could say no to all that stretchy cheese goodness??
This is one of those easy weeknight meals that has minimal ingredients and you can just kinda throw together in only about 20 minutes.
Don’t let that fool you though, the flavors are 12/10 here.
This Baked Pesto Gnocchi features…
- Pillowy gnocchi baked in a pesto sauce
- Tender zucchini and bursting cherry tomatoes
- Gooey fresh mozzarella and Parmesan baked on top
Making the Baked Pesto Gnocchi
(scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Olive oil
- Cherry tomatoes
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
Fresh vs. Jarred Pesto
Good news! This recipe works great with both fresh and jarred pesto (if you need a fresh pesto recipe, we highly recommend the one in this recipe)
Generally, we almost always recommend taking the time to make fresh pesto over using jarred because the flavors are much fresher. A good jarred pesto will absolutely work great here though if you’re running short on time!
Tips for Perfect Baked Gnocchi
- Pan fry zucchini until crisp-tender – the zucchini will continue to cook in the casserole, so make sure you don’t overcook it here.
- Halve cherry tomatoes – this helps them burst better and get jammy tomato into all the nooks and crannies of the gnocchi.
- Boil gnocchi until al dente – you’ll know the gnocchi is done when it begins to float to the top of the water.
- Broil baked gnocchi after baking – this part is optional, but it browns the cheese perfectly!
- Top gnocchi with basil – remove the gnocchi from oven and immediately top with fresh basil for one last little pop of flavor.
Try these ideas for a different twist on this gnocchi.
- Make it meaty – browned ground chicken or turkey, sliced sausage, or even meatballs would be great meaty additions to this gnocchi.
- Change up the cheese – try a layer of ricotta cheese, fresh burrata, feta, or goat cheese.
- Try different veggies – try broccoli, sweet pepper, peas, mushrooms, or spinach. Be aware that cook time may vary depending on the vegetable.
Make Ahead Instructions
Follow these instructions for time-saving make ahead options!
- Cook gnocchi – gnocchi can be cooked and stored in refrigerator up to 3 days. For best results, we recommend draining the gnocchi and then tossing it in a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking together.
- Prep vegetables – the shallot, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes can be cut and stored in refrigerator up to 3 days.
- Assemble baked gnocchi – you can assemble the gnocchi through Step 5 and store in refrigerator up to 3 days before baking. If baking from cold, add an extra 5 minutes to bake time.
Leftovers of gnocchi can be stored in fridge up to 6 days and reheats well in the microwave.
There’s just zero self-control when this gnocchi is around, y’all. The gnocchi stays perfectly pillowy and pairs perfectly with the tender zucchini and juicy cherry tomatoes. And everything gets smothered by flavorful pesto and rich cheese in the BEST way!
This is how you do gnocchi the right way.
Save this recipe using the ‘save to recipe box’ button below. If you make it, please let us know! Leave a comment + star rating below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram with #wholeandheavenlyoven.
Watch this gnocchi made step-by-step on Google web stories.
More ways to cook with gnocchi you’ve got to try next!
Cheesy Baked Pesto Gnocchi and Zucchini
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- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-in cubes
- 1-1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb gnocchi
- 1/2 cup jarred or homemade pesto
- 6 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced basil
- Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round or square baking dish
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and zucchini to skillet and sauté 4-6 minutes until zucchini is crisp-tender.
- Add cherry tomatoes and garlic to skillet and cook 1 additional minute until fragrant. Remove from heat, season vegetables with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside for a moment.
- Cook gnocchi according to package instructions in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain gnocchi.
- Add gnocchi and pesto to vegetables in skillet and fold until evenly combined. Scrape gnocchi mixture into prepared baking dish and top with mozzarella slices and grated Parmesan.
- Bake gnocchi at 400F 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Optionally, broil gnocchi 2-4 minutes until cheese is browned. Remove gnocchi from oven and top with fresh basil. Serve warm and enjoy!