This Baked Gnocchi with Kale and Sausage is hearty and delicious. Vegetarian-adaptable and easy enough for weeknights. A cozy one-pan meal that comes together in about 30 minutes!

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Baked Gnocchi with tomato sauce, kale, Italian sausage and melty mozzarella cheese - a  delicious one-pan meal that can be made in 30 minutes.

This one-pan, Baked Gnocchi is super simple to make. Make your own gnocchi or use your favorite store-bought variety. Use Italian sausage links, or a vegetarian, plant based-option if you choose!

We make a quick tomato sauce right in the braising pan. Kale simmers in the sauce until just tender. Toss everything together in the same pan, and bake for 20 minutes. Easy!

Make Baked Gnocchi in just 4 Easy Steps!

  1. Saute– fennel, red pepper flakes and garlic with a healthy dose of olive oil marry together and set the flavor base for the sauce.
  2. Simmer– kale with tomatoes to tenderize.
  3. Assemble– add in gnocchi, and sausage, top with cheese.
  4. Bake– until hot and melty.

Try making your own homemade gnocchi with our guided recipe and video!

This Baked Gnocchi with Kale and Sausage is hearty and delicious. Vegetarian-adaptable and easy enough for weeknights. Comes together in about 30 minutes!

Ingredients In Baked Gnocchi

Ingredients in Baked Gnocchi.

Ingredient Notes

Sausage– For speed and ease we use a big flavored Italian link sausage (spicy or mild-your choice!) that is already pre-cooked. Feel free to use chicken sausage, vegan sausage, or cook ground sausage or uncooked links to add in. Also an option to skip the meat and throw in sautéed mushrooms or even garbanzo or white beans.

Whole Peeled Tomatoes– Generally made with higher quality tomatoes and they break down into sauce beautifully.

Fennel Seeds– Give an anise-y flavor that really creates a delicious complexity.

See recipe card for full recipe details

How To Make Baked Gnocchi

Chopped Kale and Sausage.

STEP ONE– Preheat oven to 350F. In an oven-proof pan or brasier over medium heat, sauté garlic with red pepper flakes and fennel seeds in olive oil for 2-3 minutes.

STEP TWO– Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and oregano. Roughly break up the tomatoes with a spoon.

STEP THREE– Add kale and simmer low for about 10 minutes until the kale is tender and the sauce thickens a little. Remove from heat.

STEP FOUR– Add in sausage and gnocchi.  Top with grated parmesan and mozzarella slices. Bake for 20 minutes uncovered.

Recipe FAQS

Can you bake gnocchi without first boiling it?

Yes! It works great if there is a little moisture with them, like a sauce or juicy vegetable.

Why are whole canned tomatoes better?

Generally, whole tomatoes are higher quality because in order to can them, they need to be in good shape. Diced tomatoes have calcium chloride added to help retain their shape. They do not break down as well into sauces.

What does Italian sausage taste like?

It is packed with flavors from garlic, herbs, anise or fennel and can be found spicy or mild.

Can I use premade gnocchi?

For sure!

Baked gnocchi with tomato sauce, kale sausage and cheese served on a plate.

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Baked gnocchi with tomato sauce, kale sausage and cheese served on a plate.

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Easy dinner ideas

Baked Gnocchi with Kale and Sausage

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 15 reviews
  • Author: Tonia | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8
  • Category: main
  • Method: Saute and Bake
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This Baked Gnocchi with Kale and Sausage is hearty and delicious. Vegetarian-adaptable and easy enough for weeknights. A cozy one-pan meal that comes together in about 30 minutes!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you like a good spice like we do!)
  • 1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped small
  • 28 ounce-can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste-see notes*)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 bunch kale, about 4 cups destemmed and chopped (saved stems are great to add to soup)
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage links, precooked (or use a plant-based sausage) 
  • 1 1/2 pounds gnocchi, uncooked (see notes) store bought or homemade
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4″slices (or swap out for burrata or ricotta)
  • 3/4 cup pecorino romano or parmesan, grated

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a 12-inch oven-proof skillet or brasier over medium heat, sauté garlic with red pepper flakes and fennel seeds in olive oil for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and oregano. Roughly break up the tomatoes with a spoon. Add kale and simmer on low for about 10 minutes until the kale is tender and the sauce thickens a little. Remove from heat.
  3. Add in sausage and gnocchi.  Top with grated parmesan and mozzarella slices. 
  4. Bake for 20 minutes uncovered until bubbling. 

Notes

Feel free to swap out plant-based sausage for Italian Sausage. 

If you are using raw Italian sausage links, make sure to slice and brown them first, cooking through, before adding. 

The salt content is going to vary on the ingredients you use. Taste and add near the end if needed.

When using homemade gnocchi, if your gnocchi are really soft, boil for just 30 seconds. Drain and cool before adding in. Add frozen gnocchi directly into the bake, do not thaw first.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: Calculated without the sausage.
  • Calories: 377
  • Sugar: 4.6 g
  • Sodium: 933.2 mg
  • Fat: 6.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 63.5 g
  • Fiber: 3.6 g
  • Protein: 19.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 8.8 mg

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Comments

  1. Another wonderful recipe! I was asked once again to make sure I save this one. Very tasty! Thank you and keep them coming.






  2. Used an Italian „Tuscan“ seasoning blend with the garlic, since I didn’t have chili flakes or fennel. Also only had shredded mozzarella on hand but it was still great! We’ll have this again.






  3. I read through all the comments and the recipe and could not final any mention of store bought gnocchi the kind that vacuumed packed an not refrigerated ~ can this be used as well?

  4. Could I use penne pasta and get the same yumminess? Difficult to find gluten free gnocchi.
    Thanks!

  5. This was delicious, absolutely perfect! And I loved how easy it was. I followed the recipe to a T. We did use tomatoes we cannned ourselves from last year’s harvest and it didn’t have any added salt. Definitely a keeper in our house.

    Do you feel this would be an okay dish to put together in the morning and not bake until the evening?

    1. Yum to home canned tomatoes! If your gnocchi seems pretty hardy I think it would be fine to make ahead. Homemade gnocchi though, I would tuck in just before baking.

  6. Ten out of ten! My husband won’t quit talking about how good this meal was, and is asking when I can make it again. Thanks for the easy and delish recipe.






  7. I made this and we loved it! Full of delicious Italian flavors, we had it with a nice salad on the side. I’ll definitely be making this again and again. Thank you!






  8. How can we use homemade gnocchis for this? Bake everything else, boil the gnocchis just until cooked, then mix right before eating? I’ve never used store bought gnocchis before, what’s so different about them that make them able to endure 20 minutes in the oven without falling apart?

    1. Hi Bowie, we used homemade gnocchi here. If your gnocchi are really soft you can boil first. It baked fine for us.

  9. Très delicieux! This was so great! I will say that with the salt in the canned tomatoes and gnocchi (I think?) the recipe didn’t need any more. Also, can’t have too much kale!






  10. I gave this recipe a try a few days ago. Followed directions and was so excited to dig in for dinner, it smelled delicious. But the gnocchi had basically turned into a yucky inedible texture. Help! What did I do wrong? Has this happened to anyone else?

  11. Incredibly tasty and for a one-pot meal it’s a very nice payoff for the effort (which was very little if you buy precooked sausage and premade gnocchi). I did get the nicer quality canned tomatoes (San Marzano) and chopped fresh garlic (vs pre-minced). Made a difference! My husband agreed it’s a new favorite recipe.






  12. A perfect, hearty Friday night stay-at-home dish! I had to make some subs; used a combo of diced and crushed tomatoes, and a cup of Rao’s marinara. Also added mushrooms, (always add those when I can!), sprinkled shredded FYH, (Follow Your Heart), Mozzarella and then grated FYH Parmesan. Cooked and used Impossible sausage, (in a tube), totally turned out gooey and delish! This reminded me a bit of the baked white bean/marinara kale dish with Mozzarella/Parmesan, recipe you have which is one of my staples! The gnocchi added a different element and I think when pressed for time I will use the Marinara or Arrabiata sauces, when needed. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!






  13. This was excellent and FAST! I made it with Impossible brand spicy Italian sausage and packaged baby kale (no stripping leaves or chopping). Served it to dinner guests with a salad and crusty bread. It was a huge hit with everyone!

  14. This was amazing! I am a vegan so used Field Roast apple sage sausage added roasted spring onions and extra Italian spices. Topped with Vegan mozzarella and parm. So good!! Thank you






  15. What a lovely, comforting winter meal. I veganised it and it turned out perfectly. It’s so quick and easy to put together and it freezes/reheats well. Really delicious, thanks 🙂






  16. So good! I used spinach, miyokos mozzarella, follow your heart parm and vegan sausage because it’s what I had on hand and it was a delight. Thanks for all your amazing recipes that never disappoint.






  17. Sylvia, this was sooooooo good. Delicious flavors, hearty, and so fun to prepare! Thank you for sharing another incredible recipe.

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