Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sage Sauce is a super simple, super fast dinner to make by sautéing gnocchi in a pan until crispy, then sautéing baby broccoli for just a few minutes, and tossing it all together in an equally simple brown butter sage sauce. This whole thing is just 5 ingredients and done in about 30 minutes.
I made this one night late at night after the kids went to bed and we had not yet had dinner. We wanted something warm and homemade, but also something easy. I thought about the Italian Gnocchi Stir Fry dish but didn’t want to spend that much time making a late-night dinner.
So instead, I simplified the dish and brought it down to just gnocchi and one vegetable, baby broccoli which we had on hand. I’ve made this dish since with just brussel sprouts, which was quite good, but I think baby broccoli is the star here. It’s a very quick meal to throw together, less than 30 minutes start to finish (chopping and prep included). Its indulgent and decadent with the browned butter, but also doesn’t leave you feeling heavy since it has just as much baby broccoli as gnocchi.
Finding Good Gnocchi
The trick to making a good gnocchi dish is starting with really good gnocchi. The gnocchi I’ve used lately is from a local Italian market that specialized in making raviolis from scratch but also makes other fresh pasta and gnocchi.
I bought the gnocchi on a whim when I was stocking up on ravioli to store in the freezer for when the baby came. It turns out that their fresh gnocchi is quite a bit better than even the good gnocchi that we typically get at Trader Joes. Though Trader Joes is still very good, and Whole Foods has good gnocchi as well.
Pan Fry for Crispy Gnocchi
The other important piece is getting the gnocchi nicely browned on a few sides so that you get that satisfying crunch. This dish makes enough for two people. We usually make it for just the two of us after the kids go to bed. If making it for a family of four, just double everything but you may need to work in batches so as to not overcrowd the pan (otherwise the gnocchi won't get nice and crispy and the broccoli will just steam). Or have two pans going at once. Keep in mind that different pans and different burners require different temperatures to get the same result.
Baby broccoli is a great choice for this dish because it has a nice and slightly bitter taste, and the florets soak up all of the brown butter sage goodness.
Another way to make this dinner even faster is to skip browning the butter, just melt it in the pan, toss in the sage for 2 minutes and add the gnocchi and broccoli back in.
Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sage Sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb gnocchi
- 2 bunches baby broccoli
- 3 tbsp butter
- 6 large sage leaves, minced
- Heat a large sauté pan to medium-low to medium heat. On our electric stove I set the heat to between 4 (out of 10). Allow the pan to come to heat then add about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Allow to warm through 1-2 minutes, then add the gnocchi, working in batches if necessary. Do not over crowd the pan.
- Once you add the gnocchi, do not stir, but keep a close eye on it. When the bottom starts to turn a crispy brown then stir and flip the gnocchi. This is anywhere between 5-10 minutes depending on how hot and how crowded the pan is. Do this 2-3 times until the gnocchi is browned on a few sides, adding more olive oil as needed. Then remove from the pan.
- Add a few more tablespoons olive oil, then add the baby broccoli, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes. Remove from the pan.
- Add the butter to the pan stirring occasionally until it starts to turn brown. Add the sage and cook for another 1-2 minutes, ensuring that the butter does not burn.
- Add the gnocchi and baby broccoli back to the pan, toss to coat with the brown butter sage sauce. Remove from heat and serve.