What Does Gnocchi Taste Like?

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Did you know that there are more than 50 different types of pasta to choose from? And then, there are things like gnocchi that are often described as pasta but really are not even pasta at all.

These are a dumpling but they are of Italian origin and regularly served in some Italian dishes. 

Here’s the thing: most people that love pasta also love gnocchi because it’s made with a similar approach to pasta. It’s just slightly heavier and more bread-like in some ways than your typical pasta that is more like a noodle in comparison. 

So what exactly does gnocchi taste like? Gnocchi by itself has a very mild, subtle flavor. However, when combined with various different sauces, it takes on the flavor of whatever it is cooked in, which helps amplify the base flavors of the gnocchi. It then becomes creamy, rich, and flavorful.

In this guide, we will share with you just what gnocchi tastes like. We will discuss the flavors, how it’s made, and the textures.

Keep reading to learn what gnocchi tastes like and more!

What Is Gnocchi? 

Gnocchi is best described as an Italian dumpling. This little piece of non-pasta is made using a specific type of dough. The dough is sectioned into small lumps.

This is an unusual dough. It’s not your typical water, eggs, and flour type of dough that most pasta is made from. 

Of course, if you remember correctly, gnocchi are actually not really pasta. You see that in the ingredients.

It is a dumpling and while it’s small and often even used similarly to some pastas, the consistency, texture, and ingredients are more like a dumpling

Here are the primary ingredients you would find in gnocchi:

  • Wheat flour
  • Semolina
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Potatoes
  • Cornmeal
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Herbs

Sometimes, people even add other vegetables to their gnocchi when they are making it. This is also a characteristic that can sometimes be compared to pasta. 

What you see here is an item that resembles both pasta and dumplings and it’s very good! You will see that it can be versatile in use as well, which is just another positive aspect of gnocchi. 

One of the most interesting things is the fact that gnocchi is actually made with potatoes. It still has flour and eggs as well. The potatoes are what make gnocchi a heavier dish

Much like other pasta (or even potato) dishes, you can serve gnocchi in a lot of different ways. It can be served with various toppings, sauces, and cheese. 

The reason that gnocchi is so easily confused with pasta is that when it is cooked, it often looks a lot like pasta shells.

The resemblance and the sauces cause most people to consider them a pasta, even though they are really a dumpling instead. 

How Does Gnocchi Taste? 

As you can see, the composition of gnocchi can be very confusing. You think it’s pasta but it isn’t. It can definitely lead you to question just what this unique item will taste like. We totally get it!

Despite the heavy nature of gnocchi and the potatoes, it actually is meant to be light and soft. It also doesn’t have a lot of flavor, except in the event that a chef decides to add herbs or other vegetables into their gnocchi. 

Gnocchi primarily tastes almost bland. The flavor is comparable to the flavor of plain pasta when cooked.

Potatoes are by nature pretty bland so the taste between gnocchi and pasta is very comparable. The differences come in when you add seasonings and sauces to create different types of dishes. 

There is a little bit of controversy when people describe the taste of gnocchi. Most people will say that it tastes like bland potatoes or even like flour.

However, there are some out there who would tell you that it tastes like mashed potatoes and perhaps it really depends on how it is made as well

What we know for sure is that when you cook gnocchi properly, your taste is going to be buttery and flavorful.

The flavor alone is not heavy and is very light because the dishes that use gnocchi are meant to add their own flavor with sauce, soup, or other ingredients. 

What Is The Texture Of Gnocchi? 

Gnocchi has a pretty unique texture as well. This is another thing that you will find described in more than one way.

Some people are certain that gnocchi has a texture very much like mashed potatoes. Others describe the texture as a thick pudding. 

When gnocchi are cooked right, the texture should be similar to a doughy pasta. It’s soft and smooth. It’s easy to chew, and it almost just melts in your mouth

If you’re cooking gnocchi and you realize it is almost gummy in texture, chances are that something went wrong either with the way the gnocchi were cooked or even how it was processed and sold to you if you bought it pre-made. 

Gnocchi that is frozen sometimes has these side effects so that is something to be aware of. 

How Is Gnocchi Served?

Gnocchi can be prepared in a lot of different ways. There are tons of dishes out there. Some of them simply add meat and sauce while others place gnocchi into a soup. 

No matter what type of dish it is served in, it has to be cooked. Gnocchi is typically cooked by quickly poaching in water. Boil some water and then put gnocchi in for just about 2-4 minutes to poach it

The gnocchi will float to the top when it’s finished cooking. As soon as it makes its appearance at the top, you should strain it and then serve it with whatever sauce or additions you plan to serve it with.

Even when adding to soup, gnocchi should be cooked and then combined with the soup. 

Here are some popular ways to use gnocchi. 

  • Gnocchi with tomato sauce
  • Crispy garlic gnocchi
  • Gnocchi with chicken and pesto
  • New potato gnocchi with Italian sausage
  • Spinach and garlic gnocchi
  • Gnocchi with gorgonzola
  • Gnocchi with asparagus, edamame, and parmesan
  • Chicken gnocchi soup

These are just a few examples of some classic ways to enjoy gnocchi. It’s a versatile dish addition so you can really turn it into just about anything you want. 

Add a light, buttery sauce or make it into something more. You can use red sauce, white sauce, or something of your own creation

Since gnocchi itself doesn’t have a ton of flavor, it makes it versatile to prepare it just about any way that you want to. 

Since gnocchi is a dumpling, it can be served in a ton of different ways. Top it with a sauce, add some cheese and vegetables.

It’s popular in soup combinations as well. However, probably one of the most popular ways to use gnocchi is with some simple butter and cheese or a sauce of any kind. 

Related Questions

We hope that you find this guide to be a valuable resource for understanding just what gnocchi is and how it should taste. It’s a simple dumpling that is often mistaken for pasta and is actually made with potatoes. 

We invite you to take a look at these common questions and answers for some additional details that could be useful to you. 

Does gnocchi taste sour? 

Gnocchi should not taste sour when it is cooked properly.

If you purchased gnocchi or reheated gnocchi and it has a sour taste to it, then chances are that something was not done properly during storage or maybe you even got a batch that wasn’t well-made. 

A sour taste could mean that your gnocchi is bad and needs to be thrown out but it also could just mean it was stored and handled improperly as well. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad every single time.

However, we recommend that if you end up with a batch that does have a sour taste, you simply go ahead and toss it out. 

Is gnocchi healthier than pasta? 

Gnocchi is made of potatoes so while it might have some health tradeoffs compared to pasta, they are really pretty similar in nutritional value and healthy-or-unhealthy comparisons.

Pasta is high in protein and has some nutrients. Gnocchi is typically lower in carbohydrates and calories but has the starch of potatoes. 

Can I substitute gnocchi for pasta? 

You could potentially substitute gnocchi for pasta in some dishes. Take note they are often prepared in similar manners with some sort of sauce or potentially veggies and meat.

Gnocchi is often served with pasta sauces so you could probably use it as a substitute when you need it. 

What you should know is that if you use gnocchi to replace pasta, the texture and consistency will probably be a little bit different. However, it will still be good and flavorful. 

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