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How To Reheat Gnocchi – I Test 5 Methods [Pics]

Gnocchi is a delicate dish that’s best served straight after cooking. But that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare it in advance or keep your leftovers for later.

I have experimented with several different gnocchi reheating techniques to find out what’s best at delivering a moist, tender gnocchi (nearly) as good as day one.

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

What’s the best way to reheat gnocchi? The best way to reheat gnocchi is in a skillet. Heat some oil or butter in a heavy-bottomed pan on a medium heat. Add the gnocchi and reduce the heat to medium-low. If your gnocchi has a sauce, add 1-2 tablespoons of water to help loosen it. Saute the gnocchi for 2-4 minutes, stirring frequently.

A note on my experiment

I made some gnocchi and then cooked half of it in my famous tomato sauce and left half of it plain.

The following day I tested five different ways of reheating the gnocchi.

I tested:

  • A skillet (the best method)
  • A microwave
  • A steamer
  • An oven (only suitable for sauced gnocchi)
  • A double boiler (great for gnocchi in a delicate sauce that’s at risk if splitting)

I go through each method in more detail below, but here’s a quick summary. 

The skillet was my favorite method for both types of gnocchi.

The steamer was also good, but the gnocchi came out a little soft. 

The microwave was very quick, and the gnocchi was okay but a little chewy.

The oven gnocchi came out a little dry but would be good for reheating large quantities.

Reheating gnocchi in a skillet 

To reheat leftover gnocchi in a skillet, heat some oil/butter in a heavy-bottomed pan on a medium heat. Add the gnocchi and reduce the heat to medium-low. If your gnocchi has a sauce, add 1-2 tablespoons of water to help loosen it.  Saute the gnocchi for 2-4 minutes, stirring frequently. 

The skillet is an excellent way to reheat both plain and sauced gnocchi. 

You can add some extra flavors to the pan, like garlic or herbs, and the act of sauteing gives the gnocchi a slightly crunchy exterior.  

How to reheat gnocchi in a skillet:

  1. Add some butter or oil to a pan and heat it on a medium* heat.
  2. When the butter is melted and has just started bubbling, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the gnocchi. If the gnocchi is in a sauce, add 1-2 tablespoons of water as well.
  3. Heat the gnocchi for 2-4 minutes or until it’s warmed through, stirring frequently.

The water helps to keep the sauce moist and stops it from drying out too much. To make the most of the moisture the steam produces, add a lid to the pan for the first 30 seconds after you add it. 

This will trap some steam and re-moisturize the gnocchi.

It’s best to use a heavy-bottomed pan so you have more control over the heat. You don’t want the pan to get too hot because this will overcook the gnocchi. 

Verdict

This was my favorite method and the one I recommend.

The gnocchi came out of the pan slightly browned, adding a really nice flavor and texture to the dish.

The effect was more pronounced with the plain gnocchi but still noticeable with the sauced version. The gnocchi wasn’t mushy or dry, which were the pitfalls of the other methods.

Reheating gnocchi in the oven

To reheat leftover gnocchi in the oven, preheat it to 350°F (180°C) and put the gnocchi in an oven-proof dish. Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of water over the gnocchi and then cover it with foil. Heat the gnocchi for 10-15 minutes, stirring thoroughly before serving.

I only recommend this method for sauced gnocchi. Don’t reheat plain gnocchi in the oven. It will become way too dry.

How to reheat gnocchi in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Put the gnocchi in an oven-proof dish along with the sauce.
  3. Sprinkle over a tablespoon of extra water.
  4. Cover the gnocchi with some foil.
  5. Heat the gnocchi in the oven for 10-15 minutes until it’s heated through.

The extra water helps create steam, and the foil traps this steam, which prevents the gnocchi from drying out too much.

Towards the end of the reheating, you can remove the foil and sprinkle some cheese over the top of the gnocchi. It will melt into a gooey, creamy topping.

The oven is best for large batches of gnocchi with lots of sauce. The more stuff there is to reheat and the more sauce there is, the less chance there is of the gnocchi drying out.

And I’ll repeat this because it’s important! Don’t reheat plain gnocchi in the oven. There’s nothing to keep it moist, so it will just totally dry out.

Verdict

The oven gnocchi was a tiny bit dry but still tasted delicious. I didn’t add any extra cheese, but this would have made the dish even better.

Don’t skimp on the water if you want your gnocchi to stay moist.

Reheating gnocchi in the microwave

To reheat leftover gnocchi in the microwave, put it in a microwave-safe dish and cover the gnocchi with a damp paper towel. Heat the gnocchi in 20-second intervals, stirring gently each time. The method is the same for sauced or plain gnocchi.

The microwave is okay when you’re in a hurry, but the results will be a little mushy and stodgy. 

How to reheat gnocchi in the microwave:

  1. Put the gnocchi in a microwave-safe dish.
  2. Cover the gnocchi with a damp paper towel.
  3. Heat the gnocchi in 20 seconds intervals on medium power until it’s warmed through. Stir the gnocchi after each 20 seconds.
  4. One portion should take 40-60 seconds to heat.
  5. Serve immediately.

The damp paper towel creates steam which re-moisturizes the gnocchi and aids in the reheating process. Stirring helps to ensure even heating.

I also tested sprinkling the gnocchi with water and covering the dish with pierced plastic wrap. This worked fine, but I preferred the texture of the damp paper towel portion – it didn’t seem as mushy.

Twenty seconds intervals seem short, but it’s the best way to ensure you don’t overheat the gnocchi.

Always eat the gnocchi as soon as you can once it comes out of the microwave because as it cools down, it will dry out.

Verdict

Overall I would rate the microwave 2.5/5. The speed and convenience being the main positive points, and the mushy texture of the gnocchi being the negative point.

Reheating gnocchi in a steamer

To reheat gnocchi in a steamer, set your steamer up and bring the water to a gentle simmer. Put the gnocchi in the steamer and heat it for 3-4 minutes until it’s warmed through. If the gnocchi is in a sauce, put it on a plate in the steamer.

Steaming is a gentle reheating technique and won’t cook your gnocchi any further. It will simply warm it. However, the steam will tenderize the gnocchi, so this method is best if you’re looking for a moist texture.

How to reheat gnocchi in a steamer:

  1. Set up your steamer* and bring the water to a gentler simmer.
  2. Place your gnocchi in the steamer. If the gnocchi has sauce on, you can put it on a plate in the steamer.
  3. Heat the gnocchi for 3-4 minutes.

Avoid boiling the water because this will mean the heating method becomes too aggressive. You want a gentle stream of steam rather than a heavy onslaught. 

You need a plate for sauced gnocchi because otherwise, all the sauce will fall through the steamer holes! 

*If you don’t have a steamer, you can use a makeshift one by resting a sieve or colander on top of a pan.

Verdict

The steamer produced really tender gnocchi. The texture was a little soft for me, and the gnocchi didn’t have much bite left. But it wasn’t gummy or chewy like the microwave.

Reheating gnocchi in a double boiler

To reheat gnocchi in a double boiler, set the double boiler up by resting a bowl on a pan filled with 1-2 inches of simmering water. Ensure the water doesn’t touch the bowl. Put the gnocchi in the bowl and add 1-2 tablespoons of water (for sauced gnocchi). Heat the gnocchi for 4-5 minutes.

The double boiler method is great when you have gnocchi in a delicate sauce. The other methods like frying or the microwave can easily split a creamy/oily sauce.

How to reheat gnocchi in a double boiler:

  1. Fill a pan with 2 inches of water.
  2. Heat the water until it’s simmering.
  3. Rest a bowl on top of the pan and add the gnocchi.
  4. Add 1-2 tbsp of water if you’re heating gnocchi in a sauce.
  5. Heat to gnocchi for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.

The steam from the water will heat the bowl, which in turn will heat the gnocchi. Because this method uses second-hand heat, it’s very gentle, and there’s little risk of overcooking the gnocchi.

Verdict

The gnocchi still had some bite in it after being reheated in the double boiler. The texture was good and the sauce was still lovely and thick.

How to reheat gnocchi from frozen

To reheat gnocchi from frozen, either drop the pieces in a very large pot of boiling water for 30-60 seconds or saute them in a skillet. Heat some oil in a pan, add the gnocchi and some water, then put a lid on the pan. The steam will thaw and heat the gnocchi.

I don’t recommend the boiling water method for thawed gnocchi because it’s too harsh of a heating method, and you’ll end up with mushy, overcooked blobs.

How to store leftover gnocchi 

To store leftover gnocchi, transfer it to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. Leftover gnocchi will last two days. If the gnocchi isn’t in a sauce, toss it lightly with olive oil to stop it sticking together, or separate layers with parchment paper. 

Sauced gnocchi may become soggy, so eat it as soon as possible.

I don’t recommend freezing cooked gnocchi because it will become overly mushy.

Related: Exactly How To Store & Freeze Gnocchi

The BEST Way To Reheat Gnocchi

Gnocchi is a delicate dish that's best served straight after cooking. But that doesn't mean you can't prepare it in advance or keep your leftovers for later.
I have experimented with several different gnocchi reheating techniques to find out what's best at delivering a moist, tender gnocchi (nearly) as good as day one.
No ratings yet
Cook Time 4 mins
Total Time 4 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 person
Calories 133 kcal

Equipment

Skillet

Ingredients
 

  • 1 portion gnocchi sauced or unsauced
  • 1 portion olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Add some butter or oil to a pan and heat it on a medium heat.
  • When the butter is melted and has just started bubbling, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the gnocchi. If the gnocchi is in a sauce, add 1-2 tablespoons of water as well.
  • Heat the gnocchi for 2-4 minutes or until it’s warmed through, stirring frequently.
  • The water helps to keep the sauce moist and stops it from drying out too much. To make the most of the moisture the steam produces, add a lid to the pan for the first 30 seconds after you add it.
    This will trap some steam and re-moisturize the gnocchi.

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 133kcal
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