In 20 minutes with a few store-bought items, easy Indian Butter Gnocchi with Spinach delivers deep, rich Indian flavors with a creamy tomato-based sauce. Soak it up with Naan for a simple, but decadent vegetarian weeknight meal.
Ok, I used two shortcuts in this recipe – a good bottled tomato sauce and pre-made fresh gnocchi – but I don’t think anyone would notice. You can, of course, make your own. The semi-homemade sauce is so yummy – and way better than a bottled sauce – you can pretty much add anything you want to it – chicken, pasta, vegetables, etc. – and the dish would taste great.
I admit it’s the same sauce I used for Indian Butter Chicken (Sous Vide or Regular). 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 favourite of hers. (If truth be told, she’s pregnant now and I find myself doing whatever she asks).
I think gnocchi is a good choice for this dish as those soft pillowy dumplings soak up the sauce so well. I used potato gnocchi.
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 in your butter chicken.
- 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.
- Use 1/2-1 cup coconut milk instead of half and half cream – and margarine – to make a dairy-free version
- Use curry powder instead of Tandoori or Garam Masala
- 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.
- I used a store-bought tomato sauce – White Linen Marinara Sauce – from Costco. Excellent.
- I used store-bought fresh gnocchi, available in most grocery stores.
- The sauce can be made several days ahead. I suggest, however, adding the spinach just before serving (to maintain it’s bright green colour) as well as the gnocchi to avoid it become overcooked and mushy.
Easy Indian Butter Gnocchi with Spinach Recipe
- 400 grams (3/4 lb) Gnocchi, store-bought (I used potato)
- 3 cups roughly chopped fresh baby spinach (or kale)
- Garnish: minced parsley or cilantro
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp minced garlic (3 cloves)
- 1 3/4 cup tomato sauce - 15 oz. (bottled or homemade)
- 1/2 - 1 cup half & half cream
Seasonings for Sauce
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like very spicy)
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tbsp Tandoori Masala (or curry powder)
- 1 tsp Curry powder
- 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.