Easy Sausage Ragu with Gnocchi. This comfort meal is easy enough for a weeknight yet delicious enough to serve dinner guests!
Easy Sausage Ragu with Gnocchi
Some of the best dinners come out of the nights you throw something together with what you have on hand. This is one of those meals!
I first made it early in the Fall, and I’ve made it nearly a dozen times since because it’s just so darn easy and yummy. While it’s quick enough for a weeknight, it’s delicious enough to serve dinner guests. I made it for my in-laws at Thanksgiving and my parents at Christmas.
There are two “secret” things that make this simple recipe so flavorful, fast, and comforting.
- Canned Pizza Sauce. And not just any canned pizza sauce. Muir Glen Pizza Sauce is THE BEST in the land. I order it in bulk on Amazon because my kids love it on so many things (as do the Hubby and me). Since it’s already well seasoned, it’s part of what makes this recipe come together so quickly.
- Gnocchi Cooking Method. DO NOT cook it according to the package directions. Just trust me on this. You’ll never cook packaged gnocchi any other way after this. Get my cooking method down a bit further down in the post!
- Bonus Secret: Save even more time. Splurge on the pre-diced onion in the produce department (I did!).
We’ve tried several great brands of gluten-free gnocchi, but the texture of the Nocca brand shown below is my favorite.
Cooking the Gnocchi
This is hands-down the best way to cook packaged gnocchi, especially if you’re using a gluten-free one. The package directions usually have you boil the gnocchi, which is ok but often results in a sticky or overly soft.
The best gnocchi is browned and slightly crisp on the outside and soft and pillowy on the inside.
And it’s so easy.
Ready for it?
Heat 1 tbsp of light olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the gnocchi and cook 10-12 minutes, stirring every few minutes until it’s beginning to brown and soft on the inside.
I can almost taste it as I type. #yum
Cooking it this way also means it will stand up to the hearty ragu super well.
Tip; Use a big enough pan that you don’t overcrowd the gnocchi. Brown it in batches if needed.
These are optional, as the recipe is delicious on its own, but toppings take it up a notch.
- Grated Cheese. We keep it traditional with freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano.
- Fresh Basil. It adds a fresh flavor, plus it looks pretty.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes. So everyone can add as much heat as they like. We like it spicy, but our kids don’t!
STORAGE AND FREEZING
- If you have leftovers, store in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for 3-4 days.
- The Sausage Ragu freezes well. Store in a freezer-friendly airtight container. The flavor will be best if eaten within 3-4 months. Once thawed, enjoy within 3-4 days.
- I don’t recommend freezing any leftover gnocchi.
- Gluten-Free. The Ragu recipe is naturally gluten-free. We serve ours over gluten-free gnocchi.
- Dairy-free. The Ragu and gnocchi are dairy-free, but you’ll want to omit the Parmesan on top to keep it dairy-free.
- 1 lb Ground Italian Sausage, mild or spicy
- 1 (15 oz) Can Muir Glen Pizza Sauce
- 1 lb Cherry Tomatoes, halved or Campari Tomatoes, quartered
- 1 Medium Red Onion, Diced
- 2 (1 lb) packages Potato Gnocchi
- Optional Toppings: Parmesan, Basil, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Drizzle 1 TBSP olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat.
- Add diced red onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes.
- Add ground sausage and cook until browned and cooked through.
- Drain if necessary and return to pan.
- Add halved/quartered tomatoes and cook another 3-5 minutes.
- Pour in the canned pizza sauce.
- Bring to a low boil over medium heat and then reduce heat to low. Simmer until ready to serve.
- While the sauce is simmering, cook the gnocchi: Heat 1 tbsp of light olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the gnocchi and cook 10-12 minutes, stirring every few minutes until it's beginning to brown and nice and soft on the inside.
- Spoon the gnocchi into bowls and top with the ragu.
- Add additional toppings as desired.
Do NOT boil the gnocchi. It's an unnecessary extra step.
Use a big enough pan that you don't overcrowd the gnocchi.
Brown it in batches if needed.
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Amount Per Serving Calories 376Total Fat 26.5gSaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 80mgSodium 1000mgCarbohydrates 9.7gFiber 2.1gSugar 6.5gProtein 24.1g
We hope you enjoy this Easy Sausage Ragu with Gnocchi as much as we do!