Pesto Gnocchi With Roasted Veggies

This roasted pesto gnocchi recipe is so easy to make—just chop, toss, and bake! Vibrant vegetables mingle with pillowy gnocchi, all coated in a fragrant pesto sauce, creating a dish that is bursting with flavor! Perfect for those busy weeknights when a delicious meal is desired without the fuss.
post featured image
Pesto gnocchi served on a plate with fresh basil leaves.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you. Please read my policy page.

Searching for a meal that’s not only elegant but also effortless? We have the perfect vegan pesto gnocchi recipe for you.

This classic dish is full of flavor, fresh veggies, and fast clean up. You’ll immediately impress your guests with this timely, tasty dish! The gloriously green pesto greets the eye and satisfies the stomach.

Grab your gnocchi, pinch some pine nuts and bust out the basil—it’s time to cook!

Creamy gnocchi with pesto served on a plated and topped with fresh basil leaves.

Why You’ll Love This Pesto Gnocchi

From the juicy burst of cherry tomatoes to the lightly charred zucchini slices and the beautifully caramelized red onion mixed with soft and pillowy pesto-coated gnocchi—every element contributes to the irresistible appeal of this dish! With each bite, there are so many flavors and textures to savor, making it undeniably delicious! Still not convinced? Here are more reasons to love pesto gnocchi:

  • Easy Preparation: With just a jar of vegan pesto and a bag of gnocchi, this recipe is incredibly simple to put together.
  • Minimal Effort: Pile all the ingredients into a baking dish, mix, and bake for 20 minutes—no fuss, no hassle.
  • Flexibility: Whether you prefer store-bought pesto and gnocchi for convenience or enjoy making your own from scratch, this recipe accommodates both options effortlessly.
  • Quick Cooking Time: In just 20 minutes, you’ll have a delicious and satisfying meal ready to enjoy, perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends.
  • Homemade Touch: While store-bought options are convenient, there’s also the option to showcase your culinary skills by making homemade pesto or gnocchi for a personalized touch.
  • Crowd-Pleaser: With its simplicity, versatility, and delicious flavors, this dish is sure to be a hit with family and friends, making it a winner for any gathering or mealtime!

Key Ingredients

Usually served with a savory sauce, gnocchi is also downright delicious with roasted veggies. The more, the better! To perk up this pesto gnocchi dish, add a ton more cherry tomatoes or even some elegantly cubed eggplant! You can also step up the salt by boosting a briny-flavor using artichoke hearts, capers, or olives.

  • Gnocchi: Gnocchi is a variety of pasta made of either potato, semolina, or wheat flour that is formed into adorable dumpling shapes. Vegan varieties are constructed without cheese or eggs.
  • Zucchini: Adds a refreshing and crisp texture to the dish. Slice the zucchini into uniform pieces for even cooking.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: Provide bursts of sweetness and acidity, complementing the savory flavors of the dish. Grape tomatoes also work well.
  • Red Onion: Adds a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor to the dish when thinly sliced.
  • Pine Nuts: Toasted pine nuts add a delightful crunch and nutty flavor to the finished dish.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Used in both the pesto sauce and for roasting the gnocchi and vegetables, enhancing their natural flavors and promoting caramelization.
  • Fresh Basil: Traditional pesto is made with fresh basil leaves, but you can substitute with other greens for a unique flavor twist like kale, spinach, carrot tops, or arugula. Feel free to experiment with different combinations to suit your taste preferences.
  • Garlic: Use fresh cloves of garlic for a robust flavor, or substitute with minced garlic for convenience.
  • Nutritional Yeast: Adds a cheesy and savory flavor to the pesto, enhancing its richness.
  • Pine Nuts: Traditionally used in pesto, pine nuts impart a creamy texture and nutty flavor.
Ingredients for vegan pesto gnocchi, with labels.

Substitution Suggestions

Personalize this pesto gnocchi with these helpful tips!

  • For the Basil – If you’re not a basil lover (or if basil is not in season), try fresh arugula (creates a more peppery pesto), carrot tops (a nice way of reducing food waste) or spinach (for a more mild flavor).
  • For the Nuts – Although pine nuts are traditional, they’re also crazy-expensive. You can substitute any type of nut you’re nuts about in this recipe. Cashews (creaminess), walnuts (texture), almonds (crunch), and pumpkin seeds (extra iron and chewiness) would all work wonderfully in this dish. Here’s an incredible vegan walnut pesto to try!
  • For the Gnocchi – While pre-packaged gnocchi is more convenient (and often accidentally vegan), it’s not always the most cost-effective. Trader Joe’s offers a variety of options at their store, including creamy cauliflower and curly kale, if you’re really in a rush. Homemade gnocchi is an alternative that gives you the most variety and value for your money if you have the talent and the time.
  • Time Saver – if you’re truly strapped for time, use a jar of ready-made pesto (make sure it’s vegan, with no parmesan cheese) instead of making the pesto from scratch. Simply cook up the gnocchi and veggies, pour on the pesto, and your dinner is done!

How To Make This Gnocchi Recipe With Pesto

Though it may seem like there are many parts to this pesto gnocchi, it’s actually very easy to prepare. Each item can be made ahead of time until you’re on the brink of baking.

Combine the pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Taste the pesto and adjust the seasoning with additional salt if desired. If a thinner consistency is preferred, add a tablespoon or two of water and pulse again.

In the prepared casserole dish, combine the uncooked potato gnocchi, sliced zucchini, halved cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, and pine nuts. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over the top, then add half of the prepared pesto. Using a spoon, toss the vegetables and gnocchi until evenly coated with the oil and pesto mixture, ensuring they are spread out evenly in the dish.

Place the casserole dish in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are bursting and the exposed gnocchi are lightly crispy.

Gnocchi pesto in the casserole dish after baking.

Storage Tips

Store leftovers in an oven-safe dish so that you can easily pop the creamy pesto gnocchi in to bake at any time.

Add extra pesto (or cover the dish with foil) to decrease dryness. This dish is still delicious the next day!

Serving Suggestions

Complement the vibrant flavors of the pesto gnocchi with a refreshing Italian Bread Salad, featuring ripe tomatoes, briny kalamata olives, and fragrant basil, tossed with chunks of crusty bread and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a delightful contrast of textures and tastes.

For something lighter, try this gavurdagi salad recipe. It’s a Turkish tomato and walnut salad that’s quick and easy to make.

Enhance the meal by serving a comforting Soup with Quinoa Meatballs alongside the pesto gnocchi, featuring hearty quinoa meatballs simmered in a flavorful broth.

Elevate the dinner spread by pairing the pesto gnocchi with a rich and savory Lentil Bolognese, generously ladled over your favorite pasta. Garnish with fresh parsley and a sprinkle of vegan Parmesan cheese for a satisfying and wholesome meal that’s sure to please.

Plus, don’t miss our round-up of the best vegan pasta recipes on the planet. 

Pesto gnocchi on a plate next to a casserole dish with it.

FAQ’s

What goes well with gnocchi?

Gnocchi pairs well with a variety of sauces and toppings. Some popular options include creamy sauces like pesto or Alfredo, rich tomato-based sauces, or simple olive oil and garlic. Additionally, gnocchi can be served with a variety of proteins as well as a side of roasted or sautéed vegetables for added flavor and texture.

Can pesto gnocchi be made gluten-free?

Yes, the pesto itself is gluten-free so you’ll just need to use a gluten-free gnocchi. You can either use store-bought or make your own using a combination of gluten-free flour such as rice flour, potato flour, or an all-purpose gluten-free blend.

flower icon
Send This Recipe to My Inbox
Drop your email below to receive this recipe in your inbox. Plus, we’ll send you our favorite seasonal plant-based recipes weekly!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Roasted Pesto Gnocchi and Veggies

Author: Sara Nevins
5 from 5 votes
This roasted pesto gnocchi and veggies recipe is so easy to make! The prep is nothing more than chopping up a few vegetables, tossing everything together, and then baking for about twenty minutes. The end result is a bright and vibrant meal that’s bursting with juicy roasted veggies and soft, pillowy, pesto-coated gnocchi pieces. If you want to make this with frozen gnocchi, simply add an extra ten minutes to the cook time and you’re all set.
Pesto gnocchi served on a plate with fresh basil leaves.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

For the Pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh basil, or greens such as kale spinach, carrot tops or arugula
  • 2 cloves garlic, or ½ teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, or other nuts/seeds such as walnuts, cashews, almonds or hulled pumpkin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

For the Gnocchi & Veggies:

  • 1 19 ounce package uncooked vegan potato gnocchi
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced into 1⁄4-inch (6-mm) thick pieces and cut in half
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • ½  small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup pesto, divided
  • 1 small handful fresh basil

Instructions

For the Pesto:

  • Add the basil, garlic, nutritional yeast, olive oil, pine nuts, and salt to a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Taste and season with more salt if needed.
  • Add a tablespoon or two of water to thin out the consistency if desired.
  • Keep leftovers stored in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

For the Gnocchi and Veggies:

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C, or gas mark 7) with a rack positioned in the middle of the oven. Lightly grease a 9 x 13–inch (23 x 33–cm) casserole dish.
  • Add the gnocchi, zucchini, tomatoes, onion and pine nuts to the casserole dish. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and add ¼ cup of the pesto. Use a spoon to mix the veggies and gnocchi well in the oil and pesto. Spread the mixture evenly across the dish.
  • Place the baking dish in the middle of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are bursting and the gnocchi exposed at the top are slightly crispy.
  • Stir in the remaining ¼ cup of pesto and serve immediately, topped with fresh basil.

Notes

Tester’s Tip: Our recipe tester Taylor recommends adding 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the pesto for some added brightness.

Nutrition

Calories: 784kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 76g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 30g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 1178mg | Potassium: 657mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1761IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 3mg
Course — dinner
Cuisine — Italian
Love this Recipe? Leave a Rating!And follow @Vegan on Instagram for more.

We want to thank our amazing recipe testers J.J. Steele & Taylor Gillespie for helping us perfect this recipe!

This recipe for Pesto Gnocchi & Veggies was reprinted with permission from the Effortlessly Vegan cookbook by Sarah Nevins (Page Street Publishing Co. 2020).

newsletter offer

Enter to Win Our Monthly Giveaway!

Enter for a chance to win over $1,000 of prizes—including a Lomi electric composter, a Zwilling chef’s knife, modular pantry storage cubes, and The Friendly Vegan Cookbook! You’ll also receive our free newsletter with plant-based recipes galore. Come back each month for a chance to win new prizes!

Thank you for subscribing!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.
Recipe Rating




6 comments
  1. 5 stars
    Pesto with gnocchi is such a good combo!! This is now my new favorite way prepare it!

  2. 5 stars
    This is one of the most comforting recipes ever! LOVE pesto with the pillowy gnocchi, pine nuts, and roasted veggies. YUMMMM.

  3. 5 stars
    Super helpful and super yummy! I never thought I would know how to pronounce gnocchi, never mind eat it, but I’m so glad that I did! These little pasta dumplings are really tasty and the pesto sauce is even better! My husband loves basil, so I used that for my green, but I’m thinking of trying it with other greens, too, like spinach. I used lightly steamed and sliced potatoes in mine (instead of zucchini) with cashew nuts instead of pine nuts. Make sure to either add some extra vegan parm or nooch on top – yum. Amazing!

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe blends 3 of my favorite ingredients: pesto, roasted vegetables and gnocchi. It is easy to make, colorful and healthy. A winner.

  5. 5 stars
    Gnocchi is one of my favorite foods… I still remember the first time I ever had it, a family I was staying with in Italy made it for me! I’ve been a fan ever since. The only thing that makes it even more magical is mixing it with pesto. Yes, yes, YES.

Stay Inspired!

Thank you for subscribing!