When it comes to cooking ahead of time, gnocchi is truly an excellent choice. This Italian specialty, so loved by so many, can be used in a variety of delicious dishes – and when frozen properly, they can keep for up to 6 weeks! If you want to learn how to freeze the perfect gnocchi, read on below.
The question is: how do you freeze gnocchi perfectly? How do you ensure the freshness and taste stays the same as the gnocchi that you eat right after cooking? The key to freezing gnocchi is to freeze it uncooked, but if you happen to have leftovers or prepare yourself a full-on dish, there are ways to reheat it too.
There are several ways to preserve your gnocchi in a way that will retain both the nutrients and the taste. You really don’t have to eat leftovers that taste bland, are either under or overcooked, or even sometimes burnt.
Reheating is one part of the process of preparing leftovers or pre-cooked meals, but freezing and proper storage are just as crucial. If you want to ensure that your gnocchi will stay delicious for weeks on end, we’re here to help.
How To Freeze and Preserve Gnocchi
Gnocchi are fantastic when it comes to pre-cooking your meals. Many people choose to cook for the entire week on a single day. It truly has its advantages – you won’t have to go hungry when you get back home late, as your own meal will be waiting for you right in your freezer.
As for gnocchi, they are a dish often made to pre-cook. Making gnocchi from scratch requires a bit of work, so it makes perfect sense to prepare a large batch, eat a portion, and then freeze the rest.
Gnocchi goes with so many dishes that preparing them ahead of time ensures many, many mouth-watering dinners or lunches without much effort.
Once you do freeze a batch of gnocchi, all you will have to do is reheat them in a simple way, add your toppings, and you’re good to go.
They’re truly the perfect dinner for those that value their time while not wanting to compromise on the quality and taste of their food.
Did you know that freezing plays a drastically important role in how the meal tastes later? It’s not all about preparation, even though that does play a huge role too.
If wanting to achieve the perfect gnocchi even a few weeks after you’ve cooked them, you will need to freeze them with care.
Why do you need to be careful? It’s simple – gnocchi is known to be rather tender. They fall apart easily when cooked.
They may also get stuck to the bottom of your pot or pan, stick together, or even stick to your freezing container. All of this can be prevented through freezing gnocchi correctly.
Our most recommended method to freeze gnocchi is to freeze them uncooked. That is because frozen, uncooked gnocchi keeps better than other types, and you will be able to store it for up to 6 weeks.
Cooked and frozen gnocchi have a comparably short shelf life.
However, if you’ve cooked too much and want to freeze the remains, that’s more than okay, too. And of course, if you find yourself with a leftover gnocchi dish complete with toppings – you can store that easily as well.
Let’s go over all the recommended methods of freezing gnocchi.
How To Freeze Uncooked Gnocchi
This is a meticulous process, but it’s well worth the time. Uncooked gnocchi, when frozen properly, keeps for weeks on end.
Here is exactly how to do it.
- Freeze your uncooked gnocchi by arranging them in a single layer on a baking pan.
- Then, place the pan in the freezer in a level position, and allow the gnocchi to freeze until solid. This process takes up to 3 hours.
- Afterward, gather the frozen gnocchi and place them inside resealable bags or air-tight containers. Store for 4 to 6 weeks.
How To Freeze Cooked Gnocchi
If you do find yourself with some extra cooked gnocchi, you can freeze them, but their expectancy will be shorter than their uncooked counterparts – we recommend anywhere between 1 and 3 weeks.
Here is how to do it:
- Leave your gnocchi to cool down completely, then place them on a baking tray. They shouldn’t be touching at any point. Leave them to freeze for 3 hours.
- Once they’re frozen solid, transfer them to resealable bags (recommended) or air-proof containers.
How To Freeze Leftovers of Cooked Gnocchi Dishes
If you find yourself with extras of your gnocchi dish that has toppings (sauce, cheese, etc.), you can safely freeze the dish or preserve it in the fridge.
It will keep for a few days at the most in the fridge, and about 1-2 weeks in the freezer.
Transfer your dish to an appropriate container and seal it tightly, then freeze or store in the fridge. Prior to placing in the freezer or refrigerator, make sure that the dish is already cold.
These are the three main methods of freezing your gnocchi-related products. However, your head may still be swimming with questions. If you feel that you want to know more, check out our helpful tips in our in-depth guide.
In-Depth Guide To Freezing Gnocchi
Now that you’ve learned just how to freeze your gnocchi to preserve the best possible taste, you may think you’re good to go – and for the most part, you’re right! You can use that enthusiasm and get cooking right away. However, as we want you to be more than happy with your meals, we have prepared some more tips & tricks in regards to preserving gnocchi.
Read on below if you really want to wow your friends and family with your dishes – without having to spend hours in the kitchen every day.
Extra tips for freezing uncooked gnocchi
- Prior to arranging your gnocchi on the baking tray, cover it with a parchment sheet.
- Pour flour onto the parchment – enough so that it’s completely covered, but not enough for it to pile up.
- Arrange your gnocchi very neatly. They should not be crowded, or else they may stick together. Leave enough space for one extra gnocchi between each dumpling.
- To prevent gnocchi from sticking together, you can do the following:
- dust the dough with flour prior to letting them dry.
- To ensure that your gnocchi keeps well, prior to attempting to freeze them, let them dry at room temperature for 45 minutes. This will solidify them even further and will help you prevent incidents of your gnocchi falling apart during the cooking process. You can dry your gnocchi for up to 4 hours at room temperature if need be.
- When placing the tray in the freezer, ensure it stays level. If the gnocchi shift and you don’t notice it, there’s a high risk of them sticking together. Gnocchi that gets stuck together in the freezer has a high chance of falling apart in the reheating process.
- Once you transfer the gnocchi to a bag or container, make sure to label it with the date of freezing.
- If you’ve done an amazing job freezing your gnocchi and followed all of the above steps, you may store it for up to 2 months!
Do not do the following:
- Do not freeze gnocchi as soon as they are formed. Air-dry them first.
Extra tips for freezing gnocchi dishes
- Cooked gnocchi does not keep as well as uncooked gnocchi, so make sure you don’t attempt to eat it after around 2 weeks.
- Label the container to ensure that you are eating fresh enough food.
- If you’re freezing cooked gnocchi without sauces or any toppings, we recommend following the methods for freezing uncooked gnocchi. However, skip the air-drying part and move straight on to pre-freezing on a baking tray.
If your mind is still filled with questions, we’re here to help! Reading these last few tips will truly make you a master in the art of freezing gnocchi, and as such, a delicious meal will always be a short moment away.
Can you keep uncooked gnocchi or gnocchi dough in the fridge?
The answer is a strong no. If you attempt to store uncooked gnocchi in the fridge, the dough will get dark and runny – we really don’t recommend attempting to cook it later. It’s best if you cook it all right away, or just store it in the freezer.
Why is it best to freeze gnocchi when still uncooked?
The reason for that is that uncooked gnocchi keeps much better than its cooked counterparts. You also run into the risk of your gnocchi falling apart in the reheating process if you freeze it when it’s already cooked.
You can do it, of course, but there is a risk that you may have some trouble reheating it later. Uncooked gnocchi, when frozen properly, keeps for up to 2 months (we recommend 6 weeks in most cases).
Do you need to thaw gnocchi prior to reheating?
Definitely not! The end result might be unfortunate – your gnocchi may fall apart. Do not thaw them out prior to reheating. Simply bring a pot of salted water to boiling and reheat them in small portions for short amounts of time.