5 Minute Romesco Gnocchi Sauce Recipe

This 5-minute romesco gnocchi sauce recipe is bursting with flavor. Serve it up with packaged gnocchi for a fast and easy dinner recipe in just 15 minutes! 

5 Minute Romesco Gnocchi Sauce Recipe

If you know our cookbook Pretty Simple Cooking, you’ll know that Alex and my philosophy is against 5-minute this and 10-minute that. Why? If quick cooking time is the most important thing about a recipe, it cheapens the cooking process. It makes it seem like cooking is just about finding the magical super fast recipes, and not investing time in skills that deepen flavor.

However, sometimes life necessitates a quick dinner. Many requests come into our inbox like the following from reader Jean: “I struggle to put something healthyish on the table at lightning speed every night. I’d love to see a round up of some of your favorite crazy-fast meals.” Her request is the impetus for this 5 minute gnocchi sauce recipe: and it comes together into a dinner recipe in 15 minutes flat. Keep reading for the gnocchi sauce recipe.

Related: Easy Vegetarian Recipes for Beginners | Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi

5 Minute Romesco Gnocchi Sauce Recipe

How to make romesco gnocchi sauce

In the vein of “healthyish recipes at lightening speed”, here is our 5-minute gnocchi sauce recipe! It comes together with the gnocchi in just 15 minutes. I know what you’re thinking: Does it really take 15 minutes to make? Well, it does depend on your cooking style. But, here are the facts.

I made this gnocchi sauce recipe by myself between 5:54 and 6:09 on a Thursday night. True story. It requires no chopping and minimal “cooking.” The gnocchi sauce recipe takes 5 minutes to blend and the packaged gnocchi boils for 3 minutes. Because we wanted to add some leafy greens to this recipe to add nutrients, we’ve included a “trick” that we like to use as a time saver! Instead of cooking the spinach, we use the hot pasta water to quickly wilt it when draining the pasta. Combine the wilted spinach with the gnocchi sauce and cooked gnocchi and you’ve got dinner!

Though this recipe takes only 15 minutes, we’d suggest serving it with a salad, which would add a few minutes of prep time. This could also help to stretch the serving size: we found it fed me, Alex and Larson without leftovers, so we’d say the serving size is modest. You could also 1.5 to 2x the gnocchi, since the gnocchi sauce makes enough for a double recipe. Another great 15 minute gnocchi meal is our Easy Creamy Gnocchi, which we’d highly recommend as well!

Related: This recipe is included in our 28 Day Healthy Meal Plan

5 Minute Romesco Gnocchi Sauce Recipe

What are healthyish recipes?

Explain healthyish? To us, healthyish recipes are whole food meals prepared in your own kitchen. Gnocchi is Italian “pasta” that is made with potatoes and flour. Typically pasta isn’t considered health food, but good news: a new study found pasta can actually help you lose weight. The Italian researchers found that eaten in moderation, pasta can be part of a healthy diet.

As noted above, to the pasta, we’ve added some colorful veg: spinach and a romesco gnocchi sauce made of tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and almonds. This recipe is a vegan dinner fully plant-based as the feta crumbles are optional. It’s also gluten-free if you can find gluten-free gnocchi, or you can use gluten-free pasta. Per above, we’d suggest serving with a green salad.

Want more with almonds? We’ve got 15 great almond recipes for you to try.

Looking for fast and easy dinner recipes?

Outside of this 5 minute gnocchi sauce recipe, here are some of our favorite fast and easy dinner recipes on A Couple Cooks:

This recipe is…

This 5 minute gnocchi sauce recipe is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free (modification below), plant-based, and dairy-free.

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15-Minute Gnocchi with Romesco Sauce | A Couple Cooks

Romesco Gnocchi Sauce Recipe

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (45 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 12 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 1x


This 5-minute romesco gnocchi sauce recipe is bursting with flavor. Serve it up with packaged gnocchi for a fast and easy dinner recipe in just 15 minutes!



For the gnocchi sauce (recipe uses 1 cup)

  • 1 cup roasted almonds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 15-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 large roasted red peppers from a jar
  • ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

For the gnocchi


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, seasoned with about 1 tablespoon kosher salt.
  2. Make the gnocchi sauce: Peel the garlic. In a blender or food processor, process all ingredients until smooth. Taste and add additional seasonings if desired.
  3. Once the water is boiling, add the gnocchi and boil until they float, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, line a colander with spinach leaves. When the gnocchi are done, pour them into the colander with the spinach so that the boiling water wilts the spinach. Then pour the cooked gnocchi and spinach back into the pot and stir to a few times to evenly distribute the spinach.
  5. Add 1 cup of the romesco sauce to the pot and stir. (Reserve and refrigerate the remaining 1 1/2 cups for up to 1 week.)
  6. For vegan, top with fresh ground black pepper. For vegetarian, top with black pepper and feta crumbles. If desired, add a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Gnocchi Sauce, Romesco, Gnocchi Sauce Recipe, Italian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gnocchi, Quick

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    February 12, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Thanks so much for the shout-out! This looks DELICIOUS and like the perfect weeknight meal! I can’t wait to try it! I’m also super excited about those chocolate cherry vegan tarts and think I’ll bring them in for coworkers on Wednesday. Well, that’s if my husband and I don’t eat them all! :x

    • Reply
      March 14, 2018 at 2:09 pm

      You are so welcome — thank YOU for the feedback! Let us know what you think of the recipe and if it meets your needs as a busy mama!

      • Reply
        May 9, 2018 at 5:53 pm

        We LOVED this sauce!! I was amazed that something so fast could taste so fancy! :) It seemed like a restaurant quality meal at less time than it would take to drive to a restaurant. I’m saving this one in my back pocket for when I need to impress guests/family on the fly. Thank you!!

  • Reply
    February 12, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    This looks great. I love that little tidbit from Italian researchers. They’ll go to great lengths to protect their beloved pasta. Haha. Jokes aside though I love pasta and don’t see anything wrong with eating it. I live in Italy and we eat it several times a week and are a whole food loving household. As long as you chose the good stuff and add the good stuff to it, it makes a great quick and healthy meal. Btw though Italians would die at gnocchi being called pasta…haha! To them it’s so not pasta. I say that with a huge smile and wink.

    • Reply
      March 14, 2018 at 1:51 pm

      Haha we couldn’t agree more with your pasta philosophy! Thanks for the comment :)

  • Reply
    February 14, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    Made this tonight for Valentine’s Day – sooooo good! Doubled the recipe since I wanted plenty of leftovers – still have more than enough sauce to freeze and make this again sometime soon. Thank you!

    • Reply
      March 14, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      Ooo that is perfect! It’s the recipe that keeps on giving :) We love the sauce on any type of noodles, or as a dip for veggies!

  • Reply
    February 15, 2018 at 10:34 am

    I made this for supper with pasta and kale, and it was so delicious! It was actually 15 min, but it tasted so good that I would have made it again even if it took much longer to make.

    • Reply
      March 14, 2018 at 1:44 pm

      This is fantastic feedback — THANK YOU for making it! I’m glad to hear that it was 15 minutes for you too. Glad to hear it was a hit!

  • Reply
    February 16, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    SWEEET! I’m hunting for vegetarian recipes to add to my diet and this one looks delicious! However, I’m going to roast my own almonds, tomatoes, and pepper so the recipe will take longer than 20 minutes, but who cares! I bet the end result will be amazing! Pinning!

    • Reply
      March 14, 2018 at 1:43 pm

      Roasting your own ingredients for the Romesco sounds delicious — we’d love to hear how it turned out! So glad you found this recipe and let us know how you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Hi! This may be a dumb question but I bought “dry roasted almonds” from the store will that work? Also do the nuts need to be soaked or anything? The picture of the sauce seems so smooth so I was just wondering. Thanks!

    • Reply
      March 11, 2019 at 10:33 pm

      There are no dumb questions! :) And yes, dry roasted almonds will be perfect! And no, there’s no need to soak the almonds. Thanks for asking!

  • Reply
    Maureen Hosey
    July 24, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Thank you Alex and Sonja!! I was ill with a migraine yesterday but my family still wanted to eat (imagine that)! This gnocchi with romesco sauce was the answer! I made a rotisserie chicken in the instant pot and the gnocchi. They loved it and I went back to bed….

  • Reply
    Elayne Gardner
    September 13, 2019 at 1:18 am

    So excited to try this! Quick question, how long would leftovers be good if stored in the fridge? I tend to use dinner leftovers as lunch the next day or two but I want to make sure things would still be good. Thank you

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      September 14, 2019 at 1:46 pm

      Yes, this should be fine for 2-3 days in the fridge.

  • Reply
    January 2, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    This is amazing! Even my non-vegan daughter liked it. Will definitely make again and again. Thank you for all of your delicious recipes.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      January 2, 2020 at 7:16 pm

      Glad you loved it!

  • Reply
    February 12, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    Hi! This looks delish and LOVE the idea of something so quick, easy and healthy. Big question – my husband is allergic to tree nuts. Have you tried this with sunflower seeds or pepitas as an alternative? Would you suggest any other substitution for the almonds? Thank you in advance, can’t wait to try this!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      February 12, 2020 at 1:28 pm

      We haven’t tried it, but I think roasted sunflower seeds would work great. Please let us know if you try!

  • Reply
    Jennifer L. Ramirez
    May 25, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    I just made this sauce and can’t believe how yummy it is! I’m now looking around my kitchen to see other ways I can use it! I didn’t have almonds so I subbed walnuts and it worked just fine. And then the only olive oil I could find in the house was truffle oil! So….I used it. Added a bit of depth, I think. SO good! Thank you for the great recipe!

  • Reply
    June 9, 2020 at 1:11 am

    Hey there! Is there a specific reason to used canned roasted red pepper or can I use fresh? Thanks!! :) can’t wait to try this :)

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      June 9, 2020 at 11:01 am

      The flavor and texture of the jarred peppers is important for this one to turn out right!

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