Baked feta gnocchi is a simple oven recipe made by roasting a block of feta cheese, tomatoes, and garlic to make a deliciously creamy, cheesy sauce. Finish the feta gnocchi with fresh basil for an easy weeknight meal you can make in no time.Jump to Recipe
I'm confident you're going to love this gnocchi recipe. It’s a dinner that you can make on a weeknight in no time. This recipe is inspired by the popular tiktok feta gnocchi recipe. Let me tell you, it’s popular for a reason. The pasta is slightly tangy, creamy, and there’s not much to it. Only a few ingredients will give you one of the most delicious recipes. It tastes like something you'd get out of a restaurant with minimal effort. If you love gnocchi you’ll love it with feta and sun-dried tomatoes.
We don't cook with gnocchi very often. In fact this is the first recipe we've made with gnocchi in a long time. After making this, I'm confident it won't be our last time. Ever since the viral feta pasta recipe came out, we’ve been using the concept to inspire a variety of different recipes like this baked feta chicken recipe! This week I want to challenge you to cook with feta. Not just crumbled feta, I mean the block that bakes down to creamy goodness.
Why You’ll Love Feta Gnocchi
- The ingredients are simple and minimal. Don’t worry about going on a scavenger hunt or visiting specialty stores for this recipe. Most cream sauces require a list of ingredients to get the perfect creamy texture. However, the creaminess in this recipe comes from feta, water, and olive oil. Yes it's really that simple.
- Cooking the feta gnocchi is extremely simple and doesn’t require much prep time. It's the reason we love making this recipe on weeknights after work. Simply boil the pasta while the cream sauce is roasting in the oven, that's it.
- Gnocchi is not your typical pasta, it resembles a dumpling that can be pan fried and crisped up after it has boiled. This adds even more texture to the feta gnocchi recipe making it different than a traditional feta pasta.
- All you need is a pot for boiling water and cooking the gnocchi and a cast iron skillet. The cast iron skillet has two purposes, it pan fries the gnocchi but also acts as a baking dish that can easily be thrown in the oven!
What is Gnocchi?
Gnocchi is a dumpling used in Italian cuisine traditionally made up of flour, egg, salt, and potato. Contrary to popular belief it's not a pasta but instead a dumpling. In case you were wondering, no, gnocchi is not gluten free since it is made with flour.
It cooks much like a pasta in that you have to boil it but it only has to cook for 2-3 minutes in salted water. When the gnocchi reaches the surface of the water and begins to float, it’s done. Many recipes call for the gnocchi to be pan fried like this one or you can roast in the oven with a light sauce for a delicious baked gnocchi recipe. Gnocchi is wonderful in main dishes as well as sides.
The most common type of gnocchi and the potato gnocchi I'm referring to is Gnocchi di Patate. These are the small potato like cubes that are boiled and topped with sauce like this delicious creamy feta sauce with sun-dried tomatoes. Gnocchi di Parate is traditionally served with a light butter sauce and fresh herbs like sage. However, you can serve any type of sauce or meat with gnocchi to complete your dinner.
What You Need To Make Feta Gnocchi
- Sun-dried tomatoes (not soaked in oil) - we go for the tomatoes not soaked in oil because the recipe already calls for olive oil. If you can't find sun-dried tomatoes you can substitute for cherry or grape tomatoes instead. If using the sun-dried tomatoes with oil, don't add the additional 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet to bake.
- Water - we use the water from soaking the sun-dried tomatoes because it has a subtle flavor and it beats using regular water
- Olive oil - I prefer extra virgin for this recipe. I recommend that you use a good brand to ensure great quality and flavor, you can substitute for canola oil or vegetable oil instead if needed
- Feta Cheese - the recipe calls for a block of feta because it melts into a beautiful creamy sauce once baked, however, you can use 1 cup crumbled feta if you cannot find the block.
- Garlic Cloves - mincing fresh garlic cloves gives the sauce the best flavor. I don't suggest taking short cuts on pre-minced garlic. Using garlic cloves from a head of garlic is going to give you the best results.
- Basil - again fresh is best, we use the basil to garnish the top and stir into the sauce. Whether you slice or chop the basil is completely up to you. The amount you want to add to the sauce is also your choice.
- Salt and pepper - to taste
How to Make Feta Gnocchi
Step 1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Step 2. Cook gnocchi according to the package directions then set aside. While the gnocchi is cooking, place the sundried tomatoes in a bowl of water and let soak and plump up.
Step 3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a cast iron skillet (or other skillet) and heat over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add the gnocchi and season with salt and pepper. Pan fry the gnocchi until crispy on all sides. This should take about 5 minutes. Once done, set the gnocchi aside until later and remove the cast iron skillet from the heat.
Step 4. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes reserving 1 1/2 cups of water for later. Place the sun-dried tomatoes and 1 cup of reserve water in the cast iron skillet. Make a well in the middle and add the block of feta. Add minced garlic and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over top and bake for 40 minutes.
Step 5. Remove the skillet from the oven, add remaining 1/2 cup of reserved water and mix with a spoon until the feta breaks apart and turns into a sauce. Add the gnocchi and top with basil. Add salt and pepper if needed. Serve the tomato feta gnocchi immediately.
Tips For The Baked Feta Gnocchi Recipe
- This is completely optional but after boiling the gnocchi, consider pan frying it in a skillet with some olive oil to get it nice and crispy on the outside. This adds a small crunch with every bite.
- Check your feta tomato bake about midway through. If you don’t add enough water the sun-dried tomatoes might burn. Consider stirring the tomatoes half way through and making sure the tomatoes are mostly if not completely submerged under water. Feel free to add more water as you see needed during the baking process. If you do this you may or may not need to add as much water at the end. Eyeball the gnocchi with feta and make the sauce as thick or thin as you'd like.
- If you’re looking for ways to reduce the amount of salt in the feta gnocchi, consider rinsing the brine from the feta block.
- Be sure to cook the gnocchi before pan frying and adding to the sauce. No, pan frying alone will not cook it. Don't worry, boiling the gnocchi should only take 2-3 minutes.
- Keep realistic expectations when making feta gnocchi. Feta cheese has a higher acidic content than a lot of other cheeses. It softens but doesn’t quite melt like other cheeses do. You may have more texture and graininess with the feta cheese as opposed to a mozzarella for example.
Other Variations for Feta Gnocchi
If you're active on the internet you know the viral feta pasta recipe opened the door to many more delicious recipes using a feta block. This is an example of one. Making this gnocchi feta bake is so good but don't just stop there. I highly recommend that you add to it and make it your own. Below are a couple of ways you can mix up the recipe and make it even better!
- Add veggies - try adding mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, or whatever else you'd like to add. The veggies add more flavor and nutrition! You could always keep this baked feta gnocchi simple, but if you have veggies you need to use up, it's so easy to throw them in. A spinach and feta gnocchi or even a mushroom feta gnocchi sounds so good, doesn't it?
- Use cherry tomatoes instead - if using cherry tomatoes, no need to add extra water to the skillet while baking because the tomatoes have enough juice on their own. As they cook they’ll start to release the tomato juice adding even more flavor to the gnocchi and feta bake
- Include protein of your choice - whether you’re in the mood for chicken, seafood, or something else is completely up to you. Consider making this meal more complete by adding the protein of your choice. I personally think chicken or shrimp would go deliciously with the gnocchi feta recipe. If you decide to add a protein, let me know how it was
- Make a greek gnocchi - do this by adding olives, peppers, and fresh herbs such as oregano and thyme! Even top with a drizzle of lemon juice if you want extra tanginess.
What to Serve with Feta Gnocchi
The Best Feta Gnocchi
- 1 16 oz package of gnocchi
- 3 oz bag sun-dried tomatoes julienne cut not soaked in oil
- 1 1/2 cups water reserved from soaking the sun-dried tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 8 oz block of feta
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Cook the gnocchi according to the package directions then set aside. While the gnocchi is cooking place the sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl of water and let soak and plump up.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a cast iron skillet and heat over medium heat. Once heated add the gnocchi and season with salt and pepper. Pan fry until crispy on all sides. About 5 minutes. Set the gnocchi aside until later and remove the cast iron skillet from the heat.
- Drain the sun-dried tomatoes reserving 1 1/2 cups of water. Place the sun-dried tomatoes and 1 cup reserved water in the cast iron skillet. Make a well in the middle and add the block of feta. Add minced garlic and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over top and bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, add in the remaining 1/2 cup reserved water and mix until the feta breaks apart and turns into a sauce. Add the gnocchi and top with basil. Add salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm.