Gluten Free Ricotta Gnocchi

Gluten Free Ricotta Gnocchi with Quick Tomato Sauce Recipe

Dressed, they are not exactly homely; they have a bland sort of appeal, respectable, sturdy, decent, ordinary. But shed off their clothing they are transformed into lush, provocative pillows of delectableness; creamy, soft and sensuous.


I am talking ravioli here. What did you think?

Naked Ravioli (or Ravioli Nudi as they are called in Italian) is basically ricotta gnocchi – like the insides of ricotta ravioli without the pasta wrapping. And my-oh-my are they heavenly.

Many moons ago, a friend of mine and I decided to throw a dinner party for a group of friends and (foolishly) decided to make homemade ravioli. We toiled for hours and hours, making homemade pasta, rolling, cutting, drying and cutting again and then filling the pasta with parmesan flavored ricotta and carefully pinching every single square of pasta to seal them so they wouldn’t burst when cooked. Despite all our careful pinching there were still a few that did burst and I found myself fishing out the cooked filling that had escaped their doughy (gluten-filled) outsides and settled at the bottom of the pot. They were without a doubt my favorite part of the meal.

That meal took us forever to prepare and yes, it was good enough for company, however, we were too tired to enjoy our guests or the fruits of our hard labor. Preparing this gluten-free naked ravioli and sauce took me somewhere under 45 minutes (not counting the time to drain the ricotta) and was good enough to serve visiting diplomats or Hugh Jackman, or more importantly, my family.

There are few things you need to know to ensure perfect success.

No Whey! You need to drain the whey off the ricotta. This is simple. Place your ricotta in a strainer or wrap in some cheese cloth and put in a colander set over a bowl to catch the liquid, top with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (or up to 24 hours). This will ensure your ricotta is nice and dry which will keep your gnocchi from becoming too dense.

Ricotta Cheese

Let the liquid drain off

Easy Tiger. Go easy on the salt and nutmeg. The Parmesan adds a good bit of saltiness and you only need a couple of small gratings of nutmeg – you do not want eggnog flavored dumplings.

Enough is enough! Add just as much potato starch as is necessary to keep the gnocchi together so they stay nice and light. Which brings me to my next tip…

Testing, testing, testing. Add the minimum amount of potato starch and then drop a spoonful in some boiling water. If it falls apart when you push on it gently, you need more. If it stays together, firmly but still soft, you got it! Depending on the humidity and all sorts of factors, this amount can change from day to day so don’t skip the testing. (I usually use about 7 tablespoons.)

Gluten Free Ricotta Gnocchi Not Good

Nope, need more potato starch

Gluten Free Ricotta Gnocchi Perfect


Believe it or not, I had some left over so I stored the gnocchi and sauce separately in the fridge and then reheated the gnocchi in the microwave for about 30 seconds or so and served with re-heated sauce. Perfectly yummy the second time around.

Gluten Free Ricotta Gnocchi recipe

5 from 1 vote
Gluten Free Ricotta Gnocchi
Print Recipe

Gluten Free Ricotta Gnocchi with Quick Tomato Sauce Recipe

Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 301kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More



  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • 2 large eggs
  • Kosher or fine sea salt
  • teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼-½ cup potato starch or gluten free all-purpose flour


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 (35-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes drained and sauce reserved
  • 6-7 fresh basil leaves finely chopped
  • Kosher or fine sea salt
  • Black pepper


  • Place ricotta cheese in a strainer or wrap in some cheese cloth and put in a colander and set over a bowl to catch the liquid. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the ricotta and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
  • Mix the drained ricotta with the Parmesan cheese, eggs, small pinch of salt, and nutmeg until well blended. Starting with ¼ cup, add potato starch to the mixture and blend well to form the gnocchi batter.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and drop a big spoonful of the batter into the boiling water (I use a 1-tablespoon ice cream scoop). Cook until it swells and rises to the top, about 2-3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove from the water and gently push it with your finger. If it falls apart, you need to add more potato starch to your batter. Repeat until one gnocchi comes out perfect. At this point, prepare the sauce, reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water and keep the rest of the cooking water warm until time to cook the remaining gnocchi.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions and crushed red pepper and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 7 or 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the drained tomatoes and break them up with a spatula into rough chunks. Add ¼ cup of reserved cooking water and the reserved sauce from the can of tomatoes. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes. Blend the sauce either with an immersion blender or in a regular blender until almost smooth but not pureed. If blending in a regular blender, remove the plastic insert from the top and hold a kitchen towel over the top to keep it from exploding. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more of the reserved cooking water. Return the sauce to the pan and stir in the chopped basil. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Keep warm while cooking the gnocchi.
  • Return the large pan of salted water to a boil. Drop the gnocchi batter into the boiling water with either a large spoon or small ice cream scoop – do this in 2 or 3 batches so there are only about 8-12 gnocchi in the pan at a time. Cook until the gnocchi swell and float to the top, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, spider skimmer or mesh strainer with a long handle. Blot with a clean tea towel and place on a plate. Keep warm until all the gnocchi are cooked.
  • Ladle some sauce on the plate, spread it out a bit and place 4-6 gnocchi on top. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Ricotta Gnocchi with Quick Tomato Sauce Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 301 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 107mg36%
Sodium 597mg25%
Potassium 526mg15%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 790IU16%
Vitamin C 17.3mg21%
Calcium 437mg44%
Iron 2.4mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Tags: Celiac Gluten-Free Gluten-Free Recipes Gnocchi Italian Ricotta Tomatoes
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  1. Jenn
    September 27, 2010

    Beautiful! The only time I have made ricotta gnocchi was for a Daring Cooks challenge last year, and I've been thinking I need to revisit it and try them again :) These look perfect!

  2. DeltaWhiskey
    September 27, 2010

    Wow. I think I'm going to have to make these this weekend. I made some ravioli a few weeks ago that was… eh… not good. I'll give this a shot though!

  3. gfe--gluten free easily
    September 27, 2010

    I didn't know you had to strain off the whey, Carol. Interesting and helpful for sure, but let's get to the really important stuff … this gnocchi looks so amazing! Your photos are absolutely stunning!


  4. Erin Swing
    September 27, 2010

    Perfecto! Wow, your photos are so beautiful. Your recipes look great!

  5. Chelsey
    September 27, 2010

    Genius! Ravioli without the labor and all the flavor. I am TOTALLY making these. Simple yet elegant I am really liking it. Way to go Carol!

  6. Iris
    September 27, 2010

    I think I've died and gone to heaven.

    p.s. made delicious lemon cheesecake bars with your flour blend. Need to buy some more so I can try out all the other recipes I wanted to get to!

  7. ROY
    September 27, 2010

    This is such a beautiful post, and Congratulations, your work in photography is stunning and very inspiring.

  8. Diane-The WHOLE Gang
    September 28, 2010

    Your gnocchi looks so much prettier than mine. I almost posted my recipe today. How funny. We must be on the same wave length. You are a kitchen magician. You're food always looks amazing and I bet it tastes even better.

  9. LV
    September 28, 2010

    These look absolutely delicious.

  10. Cheryl Harris
    September 28, 2010

    those are stunningly beautiful!

  11. Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    September 28, 2010

    oh my – these look positively delightful! Must put them on my 'to make' list!

  12. The InTolerant Chef
    September 28, 2010

    My, what an alluring description! I think we should all try them just based on that alone..

  13. Jas.
    September 28, 2010

    Love ricotta gnocchi we make it all the time round here with a very similar recipe. Love the photos!

  14. The Short (dis)Order Cook
    September 29, 2010

    I have always loved gnudi. The best ones I ever had were at Mia Dona, where they really tasted like ravioli pillows.

    I have been wondering how to do a good gluten-free gnocchi dish. Thanks for the inspiration. I'd love to see a glute-free classic potato gnocchi recipe.

  15. Bren
    September 29, 2010

    can i have that entire dish and plating props! so lovely, Carol…

  16. Thewholesomehome
    September 29, 2010

    Gnocchi is my weakness! I tried the ricotta recipe from Martha and it failed so bad! I can't wait to redeem myself. I will be making this very soon!

  17. Tasty Eats At Home
    October 4, 2010

    Wow, this looks so comforting and delicious!

  18. PattyBoots
    October 5, 2010

    I wonder if you could then "squish" these and fry them like pierogi?

    And the draining of the ricotta reminds me of making yogurt cheese.

    Regardless, YUM!

  19. Mrs. Ed
    October 19, 2010

    Mmmm, what an interesting recipe, this looks so good.

  20. October 21, 2011

    I tried these a while back and also added a little thawed, frozen spinach. They are very rich and tasty.

  21. I love the idea of a gluten free gnocchi. I’m not too familiar with gluten free cooking, but I will definitely try it. I like the way you made the gnocchi. It reminded me when I use to make knoedel long time ago in Germany. Great recipe. Thanks

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  25. Elise
    August 6, 2017

    your ingredient list includes GF flour while directions has potato starch. Are they interchangeable in this recipe? Can I use just potato starch?

    1. Gluten Free & More
      August 18, 2017

      Hi Elise,
      Sorry about that! Yes, you could use either. I’ve corrected the ingredient list to reflect that.

  26. Denise
    April 24, 2020

    When do you add the reserved juice drained from the can of tomatoes?

    1. Gluten Free & More
      April 27, 2020

      Hi Denise,
      Sorry about that. Add it when you break down the tomatoes, before blending the mixture. I fixed the recipe instructions, so you should see it in the steps now.

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