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Brown Butter Garlic Fried Gnocchi

Prep Time:

5 Minutes

Cook Time:

15 Minutes





About the Recipe

Brown Butter Garlic Fried Gnocchi are tender morsels tossed in a buttery herb sauce you are going to love! Super easy and quick, this is a perfect dish for busy nights!

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  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

  • 1 pound potato gnocchi

  • 1/4 cup butter

  • 3 cloves garlic minced

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme

  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese shredded


Pan Fried Gnocchi

You guys! This brown butter garlic fried gnocchi is one of the easiest and tastiest dishes yet! Tender soft pillowy gnocchi is fried in olive oil till it has a golden crisp crust, but still tender inside. Then butter is melted and cooked till it starts to brown giving you that nutty salty flavor that is divine. Add in some garlic and thyme and voila! You have a meal fit for royalty. Super simple, and super delicious! This is my kind of meal!

You might want to double this recipe, I found that I could have eaten half of this by myself, so you might want to double it. 

What is Gnocchi?

Pronounced nyow·kee, it comes from Italy and is not, as some believe, a pasta. Gnocchi is actually a dumpling and is typically made from cooked mashed potatoes, flour and maybe eggs to form a dough. The dough is then rolled out into long pieces, cut into bite-sized pieces and then pressed with a fork to form its classical ridges. These ridges are meant for soaking up and holding on to sauces. Despite not being a pasta, it is often used like one, you can often substitute noodles with gnocchi in many dishes. When cooked correctly, they are light, airy and soft. 

Ingredients for Brown Butter Garlic Fried Gnocchi

Look for gnocchi on the shelf with the other pastas. Shelf stable gnocchi is a bit firmer and will hold up better to the frying than fresh. Fresh is fine if that is all you can find, but it might fall apart as you saute it so toss it gently.

  • Olive Oil: This is the ideal oil for frying the gnocchi, high enough smoke point and adds a bit of flavor.

  • Gnocchi: Use potato gnocchi for this recipe.

  • Unsalted Butter: You cannot substitute the butter for something else. It won’t brown and create that incredible nutty flavor otherwise.

  • Garlic: Mince your garlic for best flavor.

  • Fresh Thyme: I highly recommend using fresh here instead of dried.

  • Parmesan cheese: Grate your own cheese. It tastes so much better.

Making Incredible Fried Gnocchi with Brown Butter

This one of the easiest recipes ever, and it yields one of the fanciest dishes too! It looks and tastes like you ordered it from a fancy Italian restaurant, only it's better!

  1. Fry: In a medium sized skillet over medium high heat add the olive oil. Add in the gnocchi and fry until for a few minutes until golden and crisp. Remove the gnocchi from the skillet and set aside.

  2. Butter: Add in the butter, whisk until it starts to froth and turn brown.

  3. Toss: Remove from heat and add the garlic and thyme. Add the gnocchi back to the butter and toss. Top with parmesan cheese.

Browning Tips!

Don’t be scared by browning butter, it is super simple and foolproof if you follow these tips. To get the best browned butter you really need to use unsalted butter. There are several reasons you want to use unsalted butter. First, unsalted butter is going to be fresher. Salt acts as a preservative so salted butter will have a longer shelf life, meaning unsalted will be fresher.  Second, because you use unsalted butter you can control the amount of salt in your sauce, which is a good thing. Third, salted butter will foam up more than unsalted which can make it hard to see when the butter is the color you want it to be.

  • Use a light colored pan:  You want to be able to see the brown bits form at the bottom of the pan. Using a dark colored pan will prevent you from seeing when those have formed and this is a key clue to when your butter is done. Those dark specks are the toasted milk solids that bring the flavor, so don’t leave them behind.

  • Don’t Stop Stirring: This will make sure your butter cooks evenly and will help it from going from brown to burnt too fast, which can happen.

  • Cut the butter into pieces: Again you want it to cook evenly and cutting it will help it do so.

  • Remove from heat and pan: Once your butter has foamed, turned golden brown and the brown specks form, you want to remove it from the heat. Transfer the butter to a different pan as well or as in this case add something to the pan. This will help the butter stop cooking so it doesn’t go from brown to burnt.

  • Smell: It should have a buttery, nutty rich smell as well.

Variations for this Easy Gnocchi Recipe

  • Herbs: Use different herbs with your browned butter if you wish. Sage, rosemary, oregano, basil all work well with this sauce.

  • Brighten: Add a squeeze or two of fresh lemon juice to brighten and add a bit zinginess to the gnocchi.

  • Spice: If you want to add a bit of spice to your browned butter gnocchi, you can add some red pepper flakes to give it a bit of a kick.

  • Leftovers: Keep leftovers in the fridge for 4-5 days and rewarm in a pan on the stove. Add a bit more butter if you need to keep it from drying out.


  • 1. In a medium sized skillet over medium high heat add the olive oil. Add in the gnocchi and fry until golden for a few minutes until golden and crisp. Remove the gnocchi from the skillet and set aside.

  • 2. Add in the butter. Whisk until it starts to froth turns brown.

  • 3. Remove from the heat and add the garlic and thyme. Add the gnocchi back to the butter and toss. Top with parmesan cheese.

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