What to Serve with Gnocchi [10 Best Side Dish Ideas]

Gnocchi pairs exceptionally well with a variety of side dishes that complement its flavor profile. Read on to learn some delicious side dish ideas that can accompany gnocchi.

gnocchi tomato sauce parmesan

Known for its unmistakable chew and rustic appearance, gnocchi is a staple in Italian cuisine – and now, it’s eaten around the world.

Made with a simple combination of flour, potato, egg, and salt, the star of the (flavor) show lies in the accompanying sauces and numerous side dishes that complement the taste of the gnocchi.

From fresh and zesty salads to richly seasoned meat, these gnocchi side dishes will enhance the flavor profile of gnocchi – without detracting from what makes it so well-loved in both family homes and restaurants.  Here’s what to serve with gnocchi.

Arugula Salad with Lemon Zest, Parmesan, and Balsamic Dressing 

arugula salad

Gnocchi can be a bit heavy on the palate, especially when paired with cheesy, creamy sauces. An arugula salad will lighten up the meal, providing a much-needed punch of freshness. 

The addition of lemon zest, balsamic vinegar, and parmesan coats the sharp taste of arugula, making it light and fresh for those warmer months. Plus, extra pine nuts add some texture and a delightful crunch.

Try this recipe: This Arugula salad is a simple yet mouth-watering addition to any meal, including gnocchi.  

Chickpea Salad 

chickpea salad

While we’re on the topic of salads, add some plant-based protein and fiber with a chickpea salad. The inclusion of protein in a salad will ensure you’re kept full for longer, without any of that unwanted bloat.

Add in some cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta, and olives, and you’ve got yourself a Mediterranean-style salad that pairs extremely well with both tomato-based and creamy gnocchi. 

Try this recipe: This Mediterranean chickpea salad is inexpensive to make, lightly salted, and immensely savory due to the inclusion of kalamata olives and red onion. 

Sauteed Asparagus

sauteed asparagus

Perhaps one of the best spring vegetables, asparagus is a versatile vegetable that tastes just as good lightly salted as it does covered in a decadent cream sauce. If you prefer a lighter side dish, keep it simple with a light assortment of herbs, some butter, and a dash of garlic.

Asparagus can be cooked in the oven and even boiled in a saucepan, but nothing tastes quite like sauteed asparagus. You can expect a tender bite with some lovely charring and none of those soggy stems. 

Try this recipe: This sauteed asparagus recipe brings the Italian flavors, with the addition of dried Italian seasoning and minced garlic. 

Tomato Basil Bruschetta 


Nothing goes together as well as tomato and basil—except for tomato, basil, and bread. Crispy, tangy, and incredibly delectable, bruschetta is a family favorite that pairs well with gnocchi.

To make the bruschetta even more flavorsome, rub a clove of garlic all over the grilled bread before topping it with the tomato mixture. Feel free to drizzle on a copious amount of olive oil after! 

Try this recipe: Add in a twist to the regular bruschetta with the addition of balsamic vinegar in this tomato basil bruschetta recipe. 

Skillet Pork Chops 

skillet pork chops

For all the meat-loving foodies out there, gnocchi doesn’t just pair well with a variety of vegetables. It also goes well with richer cuts of meat, like pork chops.

With a lightly charred sear, a deeply umami flavor due to herbs like rosemary, and an almost gamey texture, cooking pork chops in a skillet will be a game changer.

Try this recipe: These pork chops are juicy and rich due to the inclusion of garlic butter and a skillful searing technique. 

Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

cheese stuffed chicken

If you’re serving up some cheesy or creamy gnocchi, then why not go the extra decadent mile and add on some cheese-stuffed chicken breasts?

While it’s similar to chicken cordon bleu, the absence of ham doesn’t make the chicken taste any less delicious. In fact, the simple addition of cheese simply makes the taste of the lean protein that much more apparent. 

Try this recipe: This cheese-stuffed chicken recipe is quick to cook and is coated in crispy, crunchy, breadcrumbs. 

Italian Sausage and Peppers 

grilled italian sausages

Chunks of lightly spiced and savory sausages combine with peppers, tomatoes, and onions to create a mouthful that will leave you coming back for more.

There’s something so satisfying about a dish that can be quickly whipped up in a saucepan. All you need is a copious amount of Italian seasoning, your favorite sausages, and thinly sliced peppers, tomatoes, and onions of your choice.

Try this recipe: This Italian sausage and peppers recipe is coated in a rich sauce packed with tomatoey goodness and herbs like oregano and basil. 

Rosemary Focaccia 

rosemary garlic foccacia bread

Bread is a common starter to pasta, making focaccia a great side dish or starter to gnocchi. Known for the deep dimples and versatility in toppings, focaccia is an Italian bread with a similar taste and texture to pizza. Yum!

Take focaccia to the next level by adding lots of olive oil, fresh rosemary, and flaky sea salt.

Try this recipe: This rosemary focaccia bread recipe is fluffy, chewy, and soaked in rosemary and olive oil. 

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Garlic 

fried brussel sprouts

Before you rule out brussel sprouts entirely, it’s good to know that they can be enhanced (or let down) by the cooking method. 

Roasting brussel sprouts ensures you get crispy edges, lightly charred flavor, and slightly caramelized edges. Don’t forget to add in garlic and olive oil to add in a punch of umami flavor.

Try this recipe: These roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic add a unique ingredient of balsamic vinegar for extra caramelization. 

Italian Meatballs 

italian meatballs

Who doesn’t love meatballs? Besides the fact that you can get crazy with the variation in meat, spices, and herbs, meatballs are a great way to up the protein intake for children and teenagers.

Simmer meatballs in a tomato sauce and it will pair well with a tomato-based gnocchi dish. Don’t forget to add a generous amount of parmesan and a sprig of basil on top.

Try this recipe: These Italian meatballs have been passed down generations and include a 2:1 ratio of ground beef and breadcrumbs.