The 8 Best Gnocchi Side Dishes

What Sides Pair Best With Gnocchi? We like to serve a side dish that will add to the texture and colors on the plate without detracting from the main attraction. Cold salads like tangy cucumber, broccoli pea salad, three bean, or colorful Caprese. Or hot dishes like steamed broccoli, garlic Parmesan green beans, sauteed brussels sprouts or roasted Italian vegetables.

Gnocchi are fluffy little pasta pillows of savory Italian goodness! Mostly made from potato, and sometimes with cheese added. What side dishes could you serve with such a dish that won’t detract from the delicate flavor of a fluffy little bite of pasta goodness?

We’ve compiled a list of the top eight side dishes to serve with gnocchi that are simple to make and look great on the plate.

Cucumber Salad

Add a pop of green to your plate with a light and crunchy cucumber salad. This is especially good in summer when cucumbers and dill are fresh. 

Thinly slice two long English cucumbers using a spiral slicer, if you don’t own a spiral slicer a knife would be fine.

Dress with a vinaigrette made from 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 4 teaspoons granulated sugar, and 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill. Mix the ingredients well until the sugar has dissolved. Drizzle dressing over the cucumbers and serve cold.

Broccoli Pea Salad

Broccoli pea salad combines healthy vegetables with a sweet and tangy dressing that makes the perfect side dish. As if that wasn’t enough, the savory goodness of bacon is also included!

Lightly blanch 6 cups of broccoli florets in boiling water with 1 teaspoon salt added- cook for no more than 2 minutes. The broccoli should maintain some of its crunch. Drain well and allow the broccoli to cool in the refrigerator. 

Make a dressing with 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup of honey. 

In a large salad bowl, toss the cooled broccoli with 1/2 cup slivered almonds, 1/2 cup cooked bacon bits, 1 cup of thawed frozen peas, and 1/4 cup chopped red onion. Fold in the dressing and serve cold.

Steamed Broccoli

Keep mealtime preparations super simple with a healthy side like steamed broccoli. Plan to serve approximately 1/2 cup of chopped broccoli per person.

Add about 1-2 inches of water to the bottom of a pan or pot. Add the chopped broccoli to the pan and bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, put a lid on the pan and allow the broccoli to cook for 4 minutes. Drain the water and toss warm broccoli with 1-2 tablespoons of butter or olive oil.

If you want to dress it up slightly, sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese over the top.

Garlic Parmesan Green Beans

These green beans are best with fresh green beans purchased from your local farmer’s market. But if green beans are not in season at the farmer’s market, you can still find them at any grocery store.

Starting with a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, and add 2 minced garlic cloves. Cook the garlic for one minute, stirring constantly. Add one pound of fresh green beans with the stems removed and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté the green beans for about 6 minutes until they reach your desired consistency.

Take the green beans off the heat and toss them in a large bowl with 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese. Serve while hot.

Caprese Salad

You can add a real wow factor to your plate by serving this dish that represents the colors of the Italian flag. Green basil, red tomatoes and white mozzarella make for a colorful side dish that is sure to impress.  

Slice 3 ripe tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Be sure to use the best vine-ripened tomatoes you can get. Lay the tomato slices in a single layer on a nice platter. 

Add one fresh basil leaf and a 1/4 inch slice of mozzarella to each tomato. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve cold.

Three Bean Salad

Using canned beans makes this dish super fast and simple to make.

Drain and rinse three 15 oz cans of beans, including cannellini, kidney and garbanzos. Gently mix the beans together in a large salad bowl with 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion, 2 chopped celery stalks, and 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary.

Make the dressing from 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Fold the dressing into the bean salad and serve cold.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

Sautéed brussels sprouts have a bold, delicious flavor that makes this dish a great compliment to creamy, delicious gnocchi.

Start by sautéing one pound of brussels sprouts, that have been cut in half lengthwise, in olive oil. Cook until the sprouts are caramelized and have a nice brown color to them.

Finish with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or lemon juice.

If you want to add a bit more wow to the dish, you can also add 2 tablespoons of crunchy pine nuts and 1/2 cup of Parmesan or Asiago cheese.

Roasted Italian Vegetables

To keep in line with gnocchi’s Italian flavor, serve a rustic mixture of roasted vegetables that have been cooked with a lovely Italian marinade. 

Use a mixture of vegetables to add various colors and textures to the meal. Baby potatoes, carrots, grape tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli and onion or shallot are all great options. The key is to make sure the vegetables are cut to a similar size, so they can cook together.

For the marinade, combine 2 tablespoon spicy brown mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1 teaspoon dried thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Marinade the vegetables for 30 minutes, occasionally stirring to make sure each piece is well coated. Then roast the vegetables in a single layer on a large sheet pan that has been coated with olive oil. Roast for 10 minutes, give them a quick stir, and roast for 10 more minutes.

Add a sprinkling of chopped Italian parsley just before serving them, piping hot from the oven.

Best Wine Pairings For Gnocchi

Choosing the best wine pairing to serve with gnocchi will depend on what sauce, if any, you are serving.

Gnocchi is a delicate dish best served with a light white wine. If you are serving with a creamy white or garlic sauce, choose a chilled pinot grigio, riesling or even a sparkling prosecco.

If your gnocchi dish will have a red sauce, then a red wine like Sangiovese, pinto noir, or cabernet sauvignon would be an excellent accompaniment to the meal.

Best Sauces For Gnocchi

A simple butter and sage sauce, creamy carbonara, or alfredo sauce will be a lovely complement to gnocchi.

If you prefer red sauces, go with a simple tomato sauce with fresh basil, a ragu bolognese or a flavorful puttanesca.