Baked in layers of homemade tomato vodka sauce and 3 kinds of cheese, this baked gnocchi alla vodka is an easy weeknight dinner and so amazing with fresh bread for dipping!
We’re pulling all the comfort food stops today with this baked gnocchi! Hello, cheeeeeese x3.
Cozy, cheesy dinners like this just fit the bill this time of year and it’s shockingly super easy to pull together too despite the fact we’re making our own sauce.
If you’ve tried these stuffed shells before (and if not, get on it) you know you’re in for a major treat in the sauce department with this gnocchi. We base the tomato vodka sauce off of that recipe and suffice to say it’s a keeper.
Plus you get the excuse to buy some fresh bread because that is a MUST alongside this gnocchi for dipping! Seriously, don’t skip it.
This Gnocchi features…
- Tender, pillowy gnocchi
- A rich and flavorful vodka tomato sauce
- Layers of gooey mozzarella, Parmesan, and ricotta cheese
- Ready in only a little more than an hour with minimal ingredients
Making the Gnocchi
(scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Unsalted butter
- Red pepper flakes
- Tomato paste
- Whole peeled tomatoes
- Granulated sugar
- Ricotta cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
Tips for Perfect Gnocchi alla Vodka
- Simmer tomato vodka sauce 20-30 minutes – this simmer time is essential for building flavor into the sauce.
- Use whole basil leaves in sauce – this will add a lot of fresh herby flavor to the sauce. Don’t forget to remove the basil leaves before blending sauce.
- Use immersion blender or regular blender – you can blend the sauce as smooth as you want or leave a few tomato chunks for texture.
- Cook gnocchi to al dente – the gnocchi should just be floating to the top of the water when its done.
- Assemble layers – for an extra-cheesy kick we like to do two layers of gnocchi + vodka sauce and all 3 cheeses.
- Broil cheese – this step is optional but we love the little browned crispy edges this gives the gnocchi.
Try these ideas for a different twist on this gnocchi.
- Add vegetables – try adding sauteed mushrooms, zucchini, sweet pepper, spinach, or carrot.
- Make it meaty – feel free to add 1/2 lb browned Italian sausage, ground beef, chicken, or meatballs.
- Use pasta – use 1/2 lb cooked pasta in place of the gnocchi. We recommend a short cut of pasta such as penne or rigatoni.
- Leave out the alcohol – simply skip the vodka for an alcohol-free sauce.
- Try a different cheese – try asiago, burrata, Monterey jack, or cheddar.
- Make it spicy – feel free to add additional red pepper flakes for a spicier flavor in your sauce.
Make Ahead Instructions
Follow these instructions for time-saving make ahead tips.
- Make the vodka tomato sauce – this sauce stores well in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
- Assemble the baked gnocchi – once the gnocchi is assembled in the baking dish, it stores well in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Add 5 minutes to bake time if baking from cold.
- Storing leftovers – any leftovers of this gnocchi store well in the refrigerator up to 6 days.
I mean, can you even with that cheese?? Not to mention the fact that the vodka sauce is so flavorful, just a little bit spicy, and coats every inch of the tender gnocchi. Again, bread is an ESSENTIAL for dipping into this!
If you have one stellar gnocchi recipe up your sleeve, it needs to be this one. So simple to make, but it impresses every time.
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.
Try these other delicious gnocchi recipes next!
- Baked French Onion Gnocchi
- Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Gnocchi
- Asiago Sage Pumpkin Alfredo Gnocchi
Baked Gnocchi alla Vodka
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- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup vodka
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes
- 3 large basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 lb gnocchi, cooked according to package instructions
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Crusty bread for serving
- Melt butter in a Dutch oven or medium pot over medium heat. Add shallot and cook 2-3 minutes until tender. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano to pot and saute 1 additional minute until fragrant. Deglaze pan with vodka, scraping up any browned bits.
- Add tomato paste, whole tomatoes, and basil leaves to pot. Bring sauce to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer 20-30 minutes until slightly reduced, stirring and smashing tomatoes occasionally.
- Discard basil leaves, transfer sauce to a blender or use an immersion blender and blend on high speed until sauce is smooth or to your desired level of chunkiness. Pour sauce back into pot and stir in sugar and cooked gnocchi until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400F and lightly grease a round or square 9-inch baking dish.
- Spoon half of gnocchi mixture into prepared baking dish and top with half of ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Repeat layers one more time ending with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake gnocchi at 400F 20-25 minutes until bubbly and cheese is golden brown. Optionally, broil gnocchi 2-3 minutes to brown and crisp up the cheese. Serve with crusty bread for dipping. Enjoy!