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Gnocchi with brown butter and sage

Use store bought or homemade gnocchi for this easy recipe. If you go for store bought you can have this on the table in 15 minutes† If you make it yourself, we’re still only talking about 30-35 minutes.
Fluffy pillows of gnocchi in a delicious garlic butter sauce with crispy sage leaves and a hint of lemon. Totally dreamy!

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Crispy gnocchi is the BEST way to eat it in my opinion. Love the golden crunchy outside, plus those extra crunchy bits in the pan.

For this recipe, we bake the gnocchi first, then brown lots of butter, then add lots of sage leaves (don’t worry, they will soften during frying so they don’t overpower the dish), garlic and lemon.
In my testing phase, I also tried adding a generous helping of Parmesan towards the end of cooking, but found that it just doesn’t need it (I don’t often say that about cheese).

A little bit of Parmesan before serving works, but there is so much flavor to this dish that I could do without it completely.

What do we need?

Ingredients for gnocchi with brown butter and sage on a wooden table.
  • Gnocchi – use fresh store-bought gnocchi, or homemade gnocchi
  • Butter – I use unsalted butter so I can control the amount of salt in the dish. Also, unsalted butter works best when you make brown butter.
  • wise – it takes a lot of fresh sage leaves, they are so delicious fried in butter!
  • Lemon – I use lemon zest AND juice to cut through the richness of the butter.
  • Garlic, salt and pepper – for extra flavour
  • Oil – for frying the gnocchi
  • Parmesan cheese – this is optional, but I sometimes sprinkle a little right before serving.

📺 Watch how to make it

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

PRO TIP Use a cast iron pan instead of a non-stick coating for ultimate golden crunch

I like to serve with a few extra lemon wedges.

Gnocchi with brown butter and sage in a bowl.  There are two lemon wedges and a fork in the bowl.

🍽️ What do you serve it with?

I just needed a close-up of that exterior. We’re about to start roasted potato territory with that golden color!

Close up of fried gnocchi with brown butter and sage

🍲 More fantastic quick and easy meat-free meals

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Close up of gnocchi with brown butter and sage in a pan with lemon

Gnocchi with brown butter and sage Recipe

Fluffy pillows of gnocchi in a delicious garlic-brown butter sauce with crispy sage leaves and a hint of lemon. Totally dreamy!

Preparation time 5 minutes

Cooking time 10 minutes

Class Dinner

kitchen Italian

Portions 4

calories 404 kcal


  • Place the gnocchi in a pan of boiling water and cook the gnocchi until it floats

  • Remove the gnocchi from the pan with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.

  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat.

  • Add the gnocchi, plus a pinch of salt and pepper and bake the gnocchi for 5-6 minutes, turning the oven over, until the gnocchi is brown all over.

  • Remove the gnocchi from the pan and place in a bowl. If your pan has a lot of crispy bits (this can happen if you use a non-stick pan), wipe/scrape them off. Don’t worry about the pan getting spotless though, a few crispy bits are good.

  • Then melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Once melted, cook for another 2-3 minutes until it starts to brown very lightly and smells slightly nutty.

  • Add the fresh sage leaves and cook for a further 2 minutes.

  • Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute, stirring often.

  • Add the cooked gnocchi to the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  • Stir and cook for another minute.

  • Add the lemon zest and juice and stir to combine.

  • Divide between bowls and garnish with a little Parmesan cheese and black pepper.

✎ Notes

20 sage leaves may seem like a lot, and you may be concerned that they will overwhelm the dish, but the taste of the sage softens as it cooks in the butter.

Can I make/freeze it in advance?

No, for the crunchy texture of the sage leaves and gnocchi, I don’t recommend making this dish ahead of time.
Nutritional information is approximate per serving – based on 4 servings.
The portion is not huge but gnocchi is quite filling so you don’t need much. If you want to serve this recipe to two people (doubling the portion), you’ll need to double the calories.


Calories: 404kcalCarbohydrates: 46GProtein: 5GFat: 23GSaturated fat: 11GPolyunsaturated Fat: 1GMonounsaturated Fat: 9Gtrans fat: 1Gcholesterol: 40mgSodium: 581mgPotassium: 22mgFiber: 3GSugar: 1GVitamin A: 470IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 5mg

Keywords Meals of 15 minutes, browned butter, how to serve gnocchi

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Hi, I’m Nicky

I love to cook and want to share my favorite, delicious, family-friendly recipes with you. I want to inspire you to make fantastic food for your family every day.

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