5 Ingredients or Fewer

Instant Potato Gnocchi

May 10, 2017
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I'm a curious person and have always wanted to push boundaries and experiment. Working with what my mother had in her kitchen at home, I began doctoring up canned food at age 13—from marinara sauce to clam chowder. You can make some really delicious (and unexpected) dishes out of inexpensive, packaged foods. You might think I'm crazy, but you can make pretty great gnocchi from instant potato flakes... don't knock it 'till you try it. —Barbara Lynch

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup instant potato flakes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Your favorite sauce, for serving
  1. Bring water to a boil. Add potato flakes. Allow the mixture to cool, then fold in egg, 1 cup of the flour, and salt. Using your fingers, combine all the ingredients. Knead the dough by pushing it away from you with the heel of your hand, folding it over, giving it a quarter turn, and pushing it away again. Continue kneading, sprinkling on a little more flour as needed, until the dough just forms a ball and feels a little bit sticky. Set the dough aside and clean the work surface of any hard bits of dough.
  2. Sprinkle the work surface lightly with flour. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin to about 1/2-inch thick. Use a bench scraper or knife to cut the dough into strips about 1/2-inch wide. Roll each strip under your hands to form a log and cut the logs into 1-inch pieces. If you like, you can give your gnocchi grooves. Shape the pieces into balls and roll them down a gnocchi board or fork.
  3. If you are not cooking the gnocchi right away, freeze them on a baking sheet or platter in a single layer until frozen solid. Once frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer bag or airtight container.
  4. Cook the gnocchi in boiling salted water until they float to the top, about 5 minutes. Drain well and serve with your favorite sauce.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jocelyn McAuley
    Jocelyn McAuley
  • Jara
  • mrslarkin
  • Mamasays
  • Leith Devine
    Leith Devine

10 Reviews

Dana July 30, 2022
In order to create a pillowy gnocchi, the ingredients need to be adjusted. I used 1 egg plus one yolk, 3/4 cup flour (plus some for the rolling), and more salt. The dough should not be kneaded this much - it should be mixed just took it comes together. A rolling pin should not be used to form the roll, just use your hands to keep from compressing the mixture too much. I use semolina to dust them after forming.
Jocelyn M. June 15, 2022
My go to recipe for incorporating spring time nettles into our meals. Fantastic and easy.
PaigeFrank1 March 27, 2020
Just made this! An amazing recipe even though I forgot the salt, I had to make up for it in the sauce. Make sure you have enough space though!
Jara January 19, 2020
Made these with my nine year old son today. Started with only 1 cup flour and only the yolk of the egg. They came out pillowy and were a hit. Will make these again.
mrslarkin June 5, 2017
Made these yesterday with my mom. Super fun! Ours turned out a little tough, due to my dumping ALL the flour in at once. Will try them again.
Mamasays May 29, 2017
Could anyone advise on a brand?
Leith D. May 29, 2017
I don't think it matters. I use the brands that aren't preserved with sulfites, but that's just my preference.
Leith D. May 19, 2017
I've been doing this for years and no one has ever guessed! Don't overwork them or they get tough very quickly.
Linda M. May 19, 2017
I first learned of this in Italy from a chef...according to her, because it is a consistent product, you get consistent results. And it works like a dream. Just be sure to use a good quality product with no add ins.
Tania -. November 19, 2017
I'm so glad you recommended "no add ins", that is exactly what I was going to do (probably pumpkin or squash). Thanks!