Easy cheesy gnocchi bake is the perfect dish for all cheese lovers that are looking for something simple and easy to make.
Topped and baked with cheese and seasoned with flavorful ingredients, this baked gnocchi casserole gives a rich and unforgettable taste.
Melted cheese and tomato paste along with gnocchi itself made a simple beef taste so delightfully satisfying. The texture is also creamy and cheesy, almost like an improved and classic version of mac and cheese.
Let your family dig into this simple yet classic meal at dinner, and see how they would instantly love it!
The base flavor of this food comes from the melted cheese and savory tomato paste combined with the beef and gnocchi. The flavors of those were then enhanced by the rest of the condiments in the recipe.
This recipe includes a simple and quickest way to prepare cheesy gnocchi bake along with some of the reasons why this dish is a must-try.
The Origin and Many Evolutions of Gnocchi
Gnocchi's history goes way back to Roman times. Roman legions would make gnocchi with semolina dough and eggs. They spread gnocchi across European regions since gnocchi was inexpensive and anyone from a lower caste could afford them. Its inexpensiveness and ability to make anyone full after a few bites made gnocchi a delicacy exclusive for peasants.
Eventually, gnocchi evolved into different dishes as they soon were made with potato instead of semolina dough. In Northern Italy, they started experimenting with different ways of cooking and preparing gnocchi. From simple gnocchi dumplings into cheesy baked gnocchi, Italians had influenced the world in making classy and elegant meals out of simple ingredients.
Today, restaurants and households in all continents have their ways of preparing gnocchi. But nothing beats the original that came from Italy with all those cheesy and saucy delight.
Why Does This Recipe Works?
A classic Italian dish always has many recipe variations. On the internet, you can find recipes for cheesy gnocchi bake from a typical food blogger, mommies, and professional chefs. All of them offer different recipes for the same dish.
However, in this gnocchi recipe, preparing this dish would be hassle-free, and among the other reasons why you should follow this recipe are the following:
- The instructions are simple and easy to follow.
- Ingredients are easy to find and are not that expensive. Some of the ingredients are basic pantry needs, while others are available at your nearest supermarket.
- The heavenly cheesy taste and texture satisfy the whole family at any meal you choose to serve it.
- It is healthy and would make anyone full after eating one serving.
- You may serve the dish along with various side dishes, from vegan salad to another cheesy food.
- This dish is perfect for lunch or dinner.
What's in this Recipe?
- Gnocchi: It has a hint of the taste of combined potatoes and flour. In general, they almost taste bland. If baked or cooked rightly, they give the texture that melts in your mouth as you eat them.
- Cheddar Cheese: In choosing cheddar cheese for this recipe, make sure that the cheddar is young or fresh since it is very mild, creamy, and smooth. The texture of cheddar cheese will also enhance the overall texture of the dish as it is slightly buttery, moist, and a little melty.
- Ground Beef: Give your Easy Cheesy Gnocchi Bake a meaty flavor with a softer and juicier meat undertone by adding ground beef. Remember that the fat of the ground beef is the one that gives the meat flavor. If you used extra lean beef, the meat will only be chewy.
- Onion: It adds flavor and texture to the dish. Adding onion will also make this cheesy and saucy dish a rich umami flavor and a subtle sweetness.
- Carrot: Give your Easy Cheesy Gnocchi Bake a tiny crunch with a hint of sweetness by adding carrots to the dish.
- Bell Pepper: Having a sweet and mild flavor, bell pepper is a famous ingredient for savory dishes just like this cheesy gnocchi bake. They add sweetness and color to the dish as well.
- Garlic: It helps in enhancing and complementing the rest of the ingredients in the recipe as it gives a stronger flavor booster.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a good flavoring for pasta dishes, and they will definitely add more flavor to the gnocchi. I used canned chopped tomatoes; however, you can use fresh tomatoes if you like.
- Tomato Paste (puree): Tomato paste thickens the texture of the dish and makes it saucier.
- Balsamic Vinegar: It adds spice and helps to balance the rich flavor of the ground beef.
- Granulated Sugar: To add tenderness and flavor, add granulated sugar. However, it is optional to add it.
- Beef Stock: Add a beefier flavor and aroma by using beef stock. You can replace it with water if you like.
- Olive Oil: Feel free to replace olive oil with any cooking oil you have, such as sunflower oil or avocado oil.
- Seasonings: Salt, black pepper, and dried mixed herbs will help in enriching the taste of the dish.
- Parsley: Good choice for garnishing.
How to Make The Best Cheesy Gnocchi Bake?
Sauteing the veggies: Heat the oil over medium heat, add onion, carrot, and bell pepper, fry until softened.
Cooking the beef: Add minced beef and garlic and cook until browned.
Add mixed herbs, salt, pepper, sugar, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, beef stock and balsamic vinegar and bring the mixture to a boil.
Add the lid and simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce thickened.
Cooking the gnocchi: Now, stir in the gnocchi, simmer for 8-10 minutes more or until cooked (stir occasionally).
Baking the gnocchi: Transfer the mixture into a baking dish, top with the shredded cheddar cheese and put in the oven under the grill for 4-5 minutes until the cheese melts and become golden.
Take out of the oven, scatter the chopped parsley on top, then serve.
- Old cheddar or those that had been in stock for too long might be bitter already, so avoid using those.
- Buy gluten-free gnocchi and make this recipe gluten-free if you like.
- Canned tomatoes significantly produce smoother sauce than diced tomatoes.
- Replace minced beef with shredded chicken or turkey.
- Use mozzarella cheese instead of cheddar cheese, or use both.
- Feel free to add 2 tablespoons of sour cream for a creamier taste and texture.
Eat this cheesy gnocchi bake with a healthy and fresh green salad at dinner. Roasted chicken or turkey complements the dish well also.
Your leftover gnocchi bake will last 3-5 days in the fridge stored in an airtight container. Use the oven to reheat the dish.
You can add some veggies such as spinach, peas, broccoli or kale.
Mozzarella is a good substitute for cheddar cheese since it forms an elastic texture when melted. It is also delicate and creamy, almost as if it contains.
Easy dinner recipes
Easy Cheesy Gnocchi Bake
- 500 g gnocchi
- 120 g Cheddar cheese , grated
- 400 g ground beef
- 1 onion , finely diced
- 1 carrot , finely diced
- 2 bell peppers , finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- ½ tablespoon dried mixed herbs
- 400 g chopped tomatoes , canned
- 3 tablespoon tomato paste (puree)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup chicken or beef stock
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley (garnishing)
- Heat the oil over medium heat, add onion, carrot, and bell pepper, fry until softened.
- Add minced beef and garlic and cook until browned.
- Add mixed herbs, salt, pepper, sugar, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, beef stock and balsamic vinegar and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add the lid and simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
- Now, stir in the gnocchi, simmer for 8-10 minutes more or until cooked (stir occasionally).
- Transfer the mixture into a baking dish, top with the shredded cheddar cheese and put in the oven under the grill for 4-5 minutes until the cheese melts and become golden.
- Take out of the oven, scatter the chopped parsley on top, then serve.
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