This simple Brown Butter Sage Gnocchi takes 15 minutes yet tastes unbelievably gourmet! Browned butter and crispy sage leaves pair perfectly with soft potato dumplings and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy it as a comforting main on weeknights, or make it for your loved one on date nights!Jump to Recipe
Why This Recipe Works
I am all about quick, no-fuss meals in my house, like my penne with vegetables, pasta with burrata, and tortelloni. This brown butter sage gnocchi recipe is so easy to make and the gnocchi turn out incredibly tender and delicious.
With just 5 ingredients, including butter, sage, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, you can create an ultra-rich, savory meal that tastes like it should be on the menu at an upscale Italian restaurant.
The golden-brown butter provides a deep, nutty aroma and flavor, while the crispy sage adds a touch of earthiness. Everything comes together in less time than it takes to order takeout, making it the perfect meal for weeknights or on special occasions for dinner guests.
- Gnocchi: You can make gnocchi from scratch if you have the time, but I usually just use a dry-packaged variety for a quicker and more convenient recipe.
- Unsalted Butter: Transforms into a nutty, golden brown sauce that perfectly complements gnocchi. Unsalted butter is best for better control over the final flavor.
- Sage: Provides a unique, aromatic earthiness to the dish, with its crispiness adding textural contrast to the soft, pillowy gnocchi.
- Parmesan: Gives a salty, umami-rich finish that adds to the richness of the brown butter and ties all the flavors together. Use freshly grated Parmesan for the best results.
- Start with the Butter: Heat a medium saucepan over medium-low, then add 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Watch it carefully as it melts and begins to foam. The butter will start to brown after 2-3 minutes.
- Fry the Sage: Halfway through browning the butter, add your sage leaves to the pan. Let them fry gently, turning them crispy. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the leaves, placing them on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Cook the Gnocchi: Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add 1 pound of gnocchi and cook them according to the package instructions until they float to the top.
- Assemble: Drain the gnocchi well, then add them directly to the pan with the browned butter. Gently toss the gnocchi until each piece is coated with the golden-brown butter.
- Serve with Garnishes: Dish out the gnocchi into bowls. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top and garnish with the crispy sage leaves. Serve your brown butter sage gnocchi with a fresh radicchio salad or kale Caesar salad for a complete and well-balanced meal!
Substitutions & Variations
- Gnocchi: For a gluten-free option, use gluten-free gnocchi available at most health food stores. For a lighter and low-carb version, try cauliflower gnocchi.
- Herbs: No sage on hand? Rosemary or thyme can also work well, but I prefer sage for its unique aromatic quality and ability to crisp up in browned butter.
- Cheese: Any hard cheese, like Grana Padano or Pecorino Romano, can be used instead of Parmesan for a slight variation in flavor.
- Protein: To make this dish more filling, try adding pan-seared chicken breast slices or crispy pancetta bits for an extra layer of flavor and protein.
Storing & Reheating
If you end up with leftover brown butter sage gnocchi, it can be kept for later with the right storage and reheating methods. Here’s what to do:
- Fridge: Once cooled, transfer the leftover gnocchi to an airtight container. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days this way.
- Freezer: For longer storage, freeze the gnocchi and brown butter separately. Gnocchi can be frozen on a baking sheet before transferring to a freezer bag for up to 1 month. Freeze the brown butter in a separate container.
- Reheating: Reheat the gnocchi in a skillet over medium, adding a splash of water or oil to prevent it from sticking. Brown butter should be gently reheated in a pan until it’s melted.
- Watch the Browning Butter: Keep the heat on medium-low and stay close to the pan. Brown butter can go from perfectly golden and nutty to burnt in seconds.
- Cook the Gnocchi in Batches: To avoid overcrowding the pot, cook your gnocchi in smaller batches. This prevents them from sticking and helps them cook evenly.
- Crisping the Sage: Fry the sage leaves until they’re just crispy to prevent them from turning bitter. Overcooking sage can make it taste burnt, which will overpower the dish.
- Use Fresh Cheese: Use freshly grated Parmesan for the ideal taste and texture. Pre-grated cheese contains anti-caking agents that can affect the dish’s creaminess.
- Salt the Water: Generously salt the gnocchi cooking water. It’s your chance to season these dumplings from the inside out!
- Adjust the Sauce: If the sauce thickens too much, add a splash of cooking water to thin it out just before serving.
To prevent the butter from burning, monitor it closely on medium-low heat. Once it turns golden brown and smells nutty, remove it from the heat.
You can make this recipe vegan by using plant-based butter and nutritional yeast or vegan Parmesan. Use a high-quality vegan butter that specifically says it is suitable for browning.
Gnocchi float to the surface of boiling water when they’re fully cooked, which usually takes 2-3 minutes. Once they rise, let them cook for an additional 30 seconds before draining to ensure they’re perfectly soft and ready.
If you enjoyed this brown butter sage gnocchi recipe, you’ll love these other gnocchi recipes:
If you try this Brown Butter Sage Gnocchi recipe, let me know what you think! Rate and review this recipe in the comments below. Don’t forget to take a picture and tag me on Instagram @lenaskitchenblog!
Easy Brown Butter Sage Gnocchi
- Heat a saucepan to medium-low heat. Add the butter and let it brown for 2-3 minutes. Halfway add the sage leaves and let them get crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sage once it's crispy and on a paper towel lined plate. Watch the butter so it doesn't burn. Turn the heat off.
- While the butter is browning, cook the gnocchi according to package in a pot of salted water. Drain gnocchi and add them to the pan with browned butter. Gently toss to combine.
- Serve the browned butter gnocchi in a bowl, top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and crispy sage leaves. Enjoy.