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Easy Gnocchi Recipe Indian-Style

In 20 minutes with a few store-bought items, this easy gnocchi recipe delivers deep, rich Indian flavors with a creamy tomato-based sauce. Soak it up with Naan for a simple, but decadent Indian style pasta.

Indian Butter Gnocchi with Spinach. Creamy bold sauce infused with wonderful Indian spices.

I used two shortcuts in this recipe – a good bottled tomato sauce and pre-made fresh gnocchi. You can, of course, make your own but most people would never notice the difference.

The semi-homemade sauce is delicious and way better than the Indian bottled sauce you buy in the store. And you can pretty much add anything you want to it – chicken, vegetables, tofu, etc. Here’s an easy Naan recipe for scooping up the sauce if you want to step it up a notch.

I used the same sauce from our Indian Butter Chicken recipe My daughter Jenna, the other kook, begged me to make a vegetarian version because she loves Indian food so much. So I used gnocchi, another favorite of hers. (She was pregnant at the time and I found myself doing whatever she asked).

I think gnocchi is a good choice for this dish because the soft pillowy dumplings soak up the sauce so well. I bought a classic potato gnocchi, the most common type for this Italian pasta.

Tailor To Your Taste

  • Add a 1/2 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger while cooking the onions (several recipes used ginger)
  • Add a tablespoon of brown sugar if you like some sweetness.
  • Instead of gnocchi, toss the sauce with any pasta, tofu, legumes and/or cooked vegetables.
  • You can use any variation of gnocchi you like such as ricotta, pumpkin, spinach etc.
  • Vary the spiciness with as much or little cayenne pepper as you like.

Substitutes you can use for this Indian style pasta

  • For seasonings
    • If you don’t have Tandoori or Garam Masala, use curry powder instead.
    • To make 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala, combine: 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/8 teaspoon crumbled bay leaves.
  • For a dairy-free version, replace the half and half cream with 1/2-1 cup of coconut milk. And replace the butter with margarine.
  • For homemade gnocchi: Here’s a recipe if you prefer to make homemade potato gnocchi.

Shortcuts

Both these shortcuts are used in this recipe.

  • Store-bought tomato sauce such as White Linen Marinara Sauce from Costco.
  • Store-bought fresh gnocchi, available in most grocery stores.

Make Ahead

  • The sauce for this Indian vegetarian dish can be made several days ahead. I suggest adding the spinach just before serving (to maintain it’s bright green color). It is also best to boil the gnocchi just before serving as well. But don’t get me wrong. Leftovers are great too, even straight out of the fridge.
fresh gnocchi, butter, tomato sauce, indian spices, onion, spinach, cream, garlic
Gather your ingredients: gnocchi, butter, Indian spices, onion, spinach, garlic, tomato sauce, cream
boiled gnocchi in drainer
Boil the gnocchi. Drain and set aside.
onions sauteing in pan
Saute onions and garlic in butter.
tomato Indian sauce in pan
Stir in tomato sauce, seasonings and cream. Simmer.
gnocchi added to Indian sauce in pan
Add gnocchi to sauce.
Indian style Gnocchi with spinach in pan 2
Stir in spinach until wilted. Adjust seasonings.
Indian style Gnocchi with Spinach in bowl sprinkled with parsley 1
Garnish with parsley or cilantro and serve.

close up of gnocchi indian style in pan

Indian style gnocchi in bowl f
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4.87 from 23 votes

Easy Gnocchi Recipe Indian-Style

In 20 minutes with a few store-bought items, this easy gnocchi recipe delivers deep, rich Indian flavors with a creamy tomato-based sauce. Soak it up with Naan for a simple, but decadent Indian style pasta.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course, vegetarian
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 3
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 400 grams (3/4 lb) fresh Gnocchi in package, store-bought (I used potato)
  • 3 cups roughly chopped fresh baby spinach (or kale)
  • Garnish: chopped parsley or cilantro

Indian Sauce

  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 3/4 cup tomato sauce - 15 oz. (bottled or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup - 1 cup half & half cream

Seasonings for Sauce (Note 1)

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more if you like very spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 tablespoon Tandoori Masala (or curry powder)
  • 1 teaspoon Curry powder

Instructions

  • BOIL GNOCCHI: as per package instructions (e.g. put in lightly salted boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes until they float to top). Drain and set aside.
  • MAKE SAUCE: While Gnocchi are boiling, melt butter in skillet on Medium. Add onions and garlic and cook 4-5 minutes until onions are soft. Stir in seasonings for sauce. Add tomato sauce and cream and cook on medium for 5 minutes to develop flavors. Stir in spinach until it wilts (30-40 seconds).
  • FINISH DISH: Stir in cooked gnocchi until heated through (2 minutes). Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt if needed or more spices. Garnish with parsley or cilantro and serve with warm Naan (Indian bread) if desired.

Notes

  1. Substitutes
    • For seasonings
      • If you don't have Tandoori or Garam Masala, use curry powder instead.
      • To make 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala, combine: 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/8 teaspoon crumbled bay leaves.
    • For a dairy-free version, replace the half and half cream with 1/2-1 cup of coconut milk. And replace the butter with margarine.
    • For homemade gnocchi: Here's a recipe if you prefer to make homemade potato gnocchi.
  2. Make Ahead: The sauce for this Indian vegetarian dish can be made several days ahead. I suggest adding the spinach just before serving (to maintain it's bright green color). It is also best to boil the gnocchi just before serving as well. But don't get me wrong. Leftovers are great too, even straight out of the fridge. 

Nutrition

Calories: 526kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 1342mg | Potassium: 724mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 4504IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 7mg
Tried this recipe?We'd love you to rate it above under 'rate this recipe' or in the comment section below. Thanks!

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Indian-style curried rice with raisins is a simple recipe made with broth, onions, curry powder and golden raisins. It has a mild curry flavor with a touch of sweetness from the raisins. and great color.
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With a few good shortcuts, this healthy squash curry can be on the table in 30 minutes. Rich, creamy, spicy deliciousness.
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This recipe, originally posted in 2018, has been republished with updated pictures and information. The old recipe was previously called Easy Indian Butter Gnocchi with Spinach. 

 

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We tried out this recipe on dinner guests last night and it was a big hit. I was a bit nervous about trying something new for guests, especially because I expected the Indian spices to be hard to find. But surprisingly our local Safeway had the spices & the only substitution we ended up doing was coconut cream instead of half-&-half. We made the sauce the day before. We thought it might be a bit too spicy so we added another can of coconut cream, which tamed it down just enough. We served it with a mango / avocado salad and a lime tart for dessert and we got rave reviews from everyone.

    1. We love to hear these stories! So glad it worked out for you with the tweaks you made. The coconut cream must have made it very rich tasting.

  2. It looks delicious. It’s good to know a different version of gnocchi, specially with an Indian touch. Thanks for sharing the recipe!