A filling and wonderfully flavorful one-pot dinner, Smoked Sausage and Gnocchi Skillet is easy to prepare and is ready in under 30 minutes. Makes a great weeknight meal!
No matter how much you love to cook, I don’t think it’s possible to not appreciate the one-pot meal. While I do look forward to spending a Saturday afternoon, say, teasing flavors out of a pot of chile pepper rich chili, when Wednesday night rolls around, I’m more than content to pull out a single skillet, add some stuff, and be sitting down to my plate 30 minutes later.
Oh, and the minimal clean-up!
The thing I love most about these kinds of skillet meals is that all of the “shortcut” is in the time, not in flavor or heartiness. It’s a single skillet, but it’s a balanced meal full of protein and vegetables, rounded out with tummy-filling carbs in the form of pillowy gnocchi. All draped in a savory sauce.
Best of all, this recipe can flex and stretch to your preferences. Do you prefer Polska kielbasa? More vegetables? Yes! No spinach? No problem. Substitute, and feel good about it.
Smoked Sausage — Smoke sausage forms the savory flavor base of this simple dish. Choose your favorite, if you have one: pork, beef, kielbasa. I usually go with turkey, just to cut down on the fat in the meat.
Most smoked sausages are packaged in 12 to 14-ounce packages. You’ll need half of that; freeze the rest for a future meal!
Aromatics & Seasonings — Onions, tomatoes, Italian seasonings, and broth create the aromatic sauce. With extra oomph from some red wine, plus the thickening power of flour, this sauce becomes a rich, velvety pool for the gnocchi.
Gnocchi — Today’s markets have a variety of pre-packaged gnocchi options in addition to the classic white flour/white potato version. At my grocery store, I can find whole wheat gnocchi, gluten-free gnocchi, and even chickpea gnocchi. Of course, homemade is awesome, if you have the time!
Spinach — Baby spinach is my go-to green for these types of skillet meals. It wilts softly into the dish while retaining its flavor and nutrients. I wouldn’t recommend frozen spinach, but if that’s the best route for you to take, make sure you thaw it completely and wring the ever-lovin’ heckins out of it first. Thawed spinach contains a surprising amount of liquid, and you don’t want it watering down the dish.
You can, of course, substitute any sturdy green: kale, bok choy, even cabbage.
How to Make Smoked Sausage and Gnocchi Skillet
This is one of those skillet recipes where, after you make it once, it’s burned in your brain and the next time you can make it from muscle memory.
- Start by sauteeing the sausage and onions until the sausage rounds have browned on the edges.
- Add the tomatoes, herbs, and spices and combine well with the sausage.
- Pour in the wine, and let the pan deglaze, scraping up any fond left by the sausage. Stir in the flour to thicken.
- Add the broth and gnocchi, and cook until the gnocchi are done, according to package directions.
- Reduce heat, and stir in the chopped spinach and then top with the green onions to finish the dish.
Serve with a side of crusty bread or a light green salad for a satisfying meal.
Make It Gluten-Free or Vegetarian/Vegan (Dairy-free)
One of the best things about a meal like this is that its flexibility means it can be easily adapted for the people who will be sitting around your table, with the same ease of the original recipe.
- I hope this is the case for you: At my grocery store, there are gluten-free gnocchi options right next to the regular gnocchi in the pasta aisle. Simple switch!
- The flour called for in this recipe is to thicken the sauce. Substitute cornstarch instead: Mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of water or broth until smooth. Add to the skillet and continue cooking.
- Finding vegetarian sausages these days is easy peasy. Don’t get hung up on the “smoked sausage” part of this recipe. Any sausage will do, just cook it for the time specified on the package directions before continuing with the recipe (animal-based smoked sausage is already cooked and basically just needs to be heated, which is a time-saver). I personally prefer the products from Beyond Meat and Field Roast, but use your favorite. If you’ve never tried Beyond Meat, you’ll find it in the meat department (often right between packages of beef and pork. Steady the buffs: obviously, they’re trying to get their product in front of meat eaters, not torture vegetarians with awkward product placement). Field Roast is usually in the vegetarian products section, often near yogurts and dairy milk alternatives.
- Substitute vegetarian broth for the chicken. You shouldn’t have to alter any flavorings because of it — it simply provides a nice salty hit of liquid.
- To take this dish vegan and dairy-free, substitute the parm with nutritional yeast (about 2 tablespoons), or just leave it off. If you can’t find vegan wine, just use additional veggie broth to scrape up any stuck-on bits in the pan at the point where the wine would’ve been added.
This skillet dinner is actually a riff on my Smoked Turkey Sausage Tortellini Vegetable Saute. But, thanks to the beautiful simplicity of gnocchi, it becomes a one-pot meal, with everything cooked in the same skillet from start to finish.
More Gnocchi Recipes
Smoked Sausage & Gnocchi Skillet Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 7 ounces smoked sausage , sliced into 1/4″ rounds
- 1 small red onion , diced
- 14 ounces canned diced tomatoes with their juices
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- red wine (optional)
- 12 ounces uncooked gnocchi*
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup chopped or slivered fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigianno reggiano or other aged cheese
- 2 green onions , sliced thinly
- In a large skillet or saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium until the surface shimmers.
- Add the sausage and onions, and cook for 5 minutes, until onions are softened and the sausage coins have golden edges.
- Pour in the tomatoes with their juices, and sprinkle the Italian seasoning blend and garlic on top. Mix well.
- Sprinkle the flour over the tomato mixture, stir, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring several times.
- If using wine, add a quick pour to the pan, and mix well, gently scraping up any vegetable or flour residue from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the gnocchi (see * note below).
- Pour the chicken broth over the top. The gnocchi won’t be completely covered, but they will be mostly submerged. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, flipping the gnocchi as you go.
- When the gnocchi are nice and plump, reduce heat to medium-low, and stir in the spinach and grated cheese. The sauce should thicken to a stew-consistency. Top with green onions.
- Serve immediately.