If you're craving delicious Italian food but are really short on time, look no further than the holy grail of quick Italian meals — frozen gnocchi. Gnocchi are small, delectable Italian dumplings made with potato, flour, and eggs. And I know that when it comes to cooking anything frozen, we tend to think we'll sacrifice flavor or freshness, but that's not always the case with frozen gnocchi. With just the right recipe and an understanding of the cooking method you want to use, you can make an incredible home-cooked meal in no time.
If you're worried about having a lack of kitchen prowess, here's some great news: if you know how to boil water, you can make frozen gnocchi. This first method is just that simple. Fill a large pot two-thirds full of water (if your pot is too small, you run the risk of the gnocchi sticking together). Bring the water to a boil, and make sure it's as hot as you can get it. You want the water to return right back to a boil as soon as you drop the gnocchi in so that they separate. Once the water is at a rolling boil, simply drop the frozen gnocchi in and begin to stir the pot with a slotted spoon to encourage separation. Cover the pot and boil for about 2-3 minutes, scooping a few pieces out to check that they are cooked through — they should be soft and hot inside. Here's a tip: putting a drizzle of olive oil in the water once you've filled the pot can also reduce the risk of the gnocchi sticking together.
2. Air Fry
For some of us, trends in convenience rule our meal-making decisions. Air fryers, for instance, make nearly any meal a breeze to prepare. Luckily, if you're one of many who own an air fryer, you can also prepare frozen gnocchi. All you need is your preferred cooking spray on hand and you're ready. Massage the bag of frozen gnocchi to separate the pieces as much as possible, and place the pieces in the basket. Spray with the cooking spray of your choice, and set the air fryer to 10 minutes. Once the 10 minutes are up, flip each piece and spray the other side with the same cooking spray, then air fry for another 10 minutes. You'll end up with gnocchi that's nice and crispy on the outside, and beautifully soft on the inside. Enjoy with your favorite pasta sauce or pesto.
The last method is my personal favorite because it creates an amazingly crispy outside and a perfectly soft inside to the gnocchi. This method is also very simple — all you'll need is a large skillet or pan, butter, and the frozen gnocchi. Massage the bag of gnocchi to separate, put about two tablespoons of butter in the pan, and turn the pan to a medium heat. Add the gnocchi into the pan in an even layer, and let it sit for about 2-3 minutes. Once the pieces get crispy and golden brown on the bottom, they will no longer stick to the pan, and you can flip them over to cook on the other side. Shake up the pan every minute to ensure that all sides of the gnocchi become golden brown. The gnocchi will come out so crispy on the outside and absolutely delicious all around. This style of gnocchi pairs really well with a vodka pasta sauce, which you can get at any local grocery store. Serve it up with your favorite sauce or topping, and enjoy!