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Mar 17

Brown Butter Gnocchi with Spinach and Pine Nuts

This looks and tastes incredibly elegant for a dish that takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. It’s good enough to serve to company, but fast enough that you won’t mind throwing it together after a long day at work. Although this is a “Winter Recipe” according to Cooking Light, it was surprisingly light and fresh tasting, even with the butter sauce. I certainly wouldn’t mind eating it throughout the Spring and Summer months! If you’re unfamiliar with gnocchi, it’s a pasta made primarily from potatoes, with flour and sometimes other ingredients mixed in. I was excited to find that my grocery store carries whole wheat gnocchi, which has slightly better nutrition information than the average variety.  This is a great dish and the Parmesan cheese finishes it off beautifully. I absolutely recommend this for any occasion you’d like to whip up something that looks impressive with minimal time and effort.

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Brown Butter Gnocchi with Spinach and Pine Nuts

Yield: 4 (scant 1 cup) servings


  • 1 (16 oz) package of vacuum-sealed whole wheat gnocchi (you can use regular potato gnocchi if you can’t find whole wheat)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 10 oz fresh baby spinach, torn
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 oz Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (1/4 c)


  1. Cook gnocchi according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add pine nuts and cook for 3 minutes or until butter and pine nuts begin to brown. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add gnocchi and spinach and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until spinach is wilted. Stir in salt and pepper. Divide evenly onto four plates and sprinkle each serving with 1 T Parmesan cheese.

Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints:
10 per serving (SP calculated using the recipe builder on

Weight Watchers Points Plus:
8 per serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on

309 calories, 42 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 12 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 11 g protein, 5 g fiber (from

slightly adapted from Cooking Light’s 91 Easy Winter Recipes 2011, Canadian Edition


8 Responses to “Brown Butter Gnocchi with Spinach and Pine Nuts”

  1. #
    Anonymous — April 8, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

    I loved this!!! I made it last night for dinner and it was delicious and so easy to make. I added a little more garlic and mushrooms as well.


  2. #
    emilybites — April 17, 2011 @ 8:11 pm

    Yum, I love mushrooms. Glad you liked it! I couldn’t believe how fast and easy it was.

  3. #
    Anonymous — April 29, 2011 @ 2:15 am

    this was DELICIOUS!!!! seriously, it was love at first bite!
    i made them with allison and she added some sweet italian turkey sausage- it was so good!

    once again girl, a total success!


  4. #
    emilybites — April 29, 2011 @ 2:31 am

    Ooh, I bet it would be great with sausage. I’m so glad you ladies loved it! 🙂

  5. #
    Dori — July 8, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

    do you think that this would be good with sweet potato gnocchi?

  6. #
    Anonymous — August 8, 2013 @ 3:40 am

    My Nonna added a punch of nutmeg to her gnocchi and it made the simplest of ingredients that much better.

  7. #
    Jen — January 8, 2015 @ 9:36 am

    If I use regular gnocchi will it change the PPV?

    • Emily Bites replied: — January 8th, 2015 @ 9:44 am

      Nope, the points should stay the same 🙂

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