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This pumpkin gnocchi bake is comfort food at its finest! It’s simple yet sophisticated, with creamy goat cheese dollops and sage.

Baked gnocchi with pumpkin sauce

Looking for a cozy fall dinner idea? Have we got the thing for you. This gooey gnocchi drenched in savory pumpkin sauce with creamy pockets of goat cheese is like a cozy fall hug.

This recipe is so delicious, we find ourselves sneaking bites from the pan after we think we’re done. It’s become a family favorite and we make it on repeat every fall. It’s also easy to make, defying the notion that gnocchi can’t be simple. Here’s how it’s done!

“Made this for lunch today, added some Field Roast vegetarian apple and sage sausage – really really excellent!” -Emma

Baked gnocchi with goat cheese

Basic steps for this pumpkin gnocchi bake

Sometimes you stumble upon things better than you bargained. This pumpkin gnocchi bake turned out much better than we were hoping. It’s become a hands-down favorite, with pillow potato gnocchi drenched in savory pumpkin sauce and creamy pockets of goat cheese.

It’s made with packaged gnocchi for ease of preparation: and these days, you can find some really great packaged gnocchi at the grocery. Of course you can make your own if you’d like, too! Here are the main steps to this recipe:

  • Make a quick pumpkin sauce: Mince garlic, then heat olive oil in a skillet. Sauté garlic for 1 to 2 minutes, then carefully add canned pumpkin puree, vegetable broth, chili powder, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Simmer about 10 to 15 minutes until the sauce becomes thick, then stir in a bit of Greek yogurt.
  • Cook the gnocchi: Meanwhile, boil the gnocchi in a large pot of salted boiling water, about 2 to 3 minutes, until they float.
  • Bake the gnocchi: Place the pumpkin sauce and gnocchi in a baking dish. Top with dollops of goat cheese and fresh thinly sliced sage. Bake 15 minutes until heated through and bubbly.

We hope you’ll find it as tasty and cozy as we do. It’s perfect as a fall dinner, or even a vegetarian Thanksgiving main dish.

Substitute for goat cheese

Goat cheese features prominently in this recipe. But if you’re not a goat cheese fan, never fear! You can substitute other cheeses in this recipe. For this use of goat cheese, we’d use fresh mozzarella torn into pieces: then it would become gooey when baked in a similar way to the goat cheese.

Another option could be ricotta cheese: but we’d add some salt and pepper to season it first, since it has a much more bland flavor than goat cheese. Or, you could try our Easy Creamy Gnocchi recipe instead, which uses Pecorino Romano cheese.

Pumpkin sauce with gnocchi

Is goat cheese healthy?

You might be wondering, is goat cheese healthy? Or at least, is it better for you than cow’s cheese? There are several great things about goat cheese versus a standard cow’s cheese like cheddar or mozzarella. Goat cheese (via Prevention):

  • Has more vitamins and minerals than cow’s cheese. Goat’s milk is richer in essential nutrients than cow’s milk (like vitamin A & B, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium).
  • Has slightly less calories than cow’s cheese. Goat cheese has just 75 calories per ounce—less than cow cheeses like mozzarella (85), Swiss (108), and cheddar (115).
  • Is easier to digest. Goat cheese has less lactose than cow’s milk and a slightly different protein structure. That means even people who are lactose intolerant many times can digest goat cheese.

Dietary notes

This baked gnocchi recipe is vegetarian. For gluten-free, find gluten-free gnocchi.

Frequently asked questions

What is a pumpkin gnocchi bake?

Pumpkin gnocchi bake is a comforting and flavorful dish made with pillowy potato gnocchi, creamy pumpkin sauce, and melted cheese, often baked in a casserole dish. It’s a perfect fall or winter meal that combines seasonal flavors with hearty ingredients.

Can I use homemade gnocchi for this recipe?

Yes, you can definitely use homemade gnocchi if you prefer. However, store-bought gnocchi works just as well and saves time in the kitchen.

What can I serve with pumpkin gnocchi bake?

Pumpkin gnocchi bake is a hearty and satisfying dish that pairs well with a simple fall salad or winter salad, or roasted vegetables. You can also serve it with crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

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Pumpkin gnocchi bake | Healthy pumpkin recipes

Pumpkin Gnocchi Bake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
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This pumpkin gnocchi bake is comfort food at its finest! It’s simple yet sophisticated, with creamy goat cheese dollops and sage.


  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin purée
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 16-ounce package gnocchi, plain or whole wheat
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 teaspoons fresh sage, thinly sliced (about 5 medium leaves)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Mince the garlic. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat; add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, or just until the garlic is fragrant but not browned.
  3. Carefully add the pumpkin purée and broth to the skillet and stir to fully combine. Add the chili powder, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Cover and bring it to a high simmer, bubbling constantly. then cook for 10 to 15 minutes until thickened. Once thickened, place ½ cup of the sauce in a small bowl and mix it with the Greek yogurt, then add the mixture back to the pan and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the gnocchi and boil until the gnocchi float, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain in a colander.
  5. Place the gnocchi and finished sauce in a 9 x 9″ baking dish. Top with dollops of goat cheese and sliced sage. Bake 15 minutes until bubbly.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Emma says:

    Made this for lunch today, added some Field Roast vegetarian apple & sage sausage – really really excellent!!!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed!

  2. Emo Rysavy says:

    Could you make this ahead of the event, and pop in the oven the day of?

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Great question! I think you could. To be safe, I’d maybe keep the components separate and refrigerate, before dumping them into the baking dish and and baking. Mix the gnocchi with a little olive oil to prevent sticking. You could also try it with the gnocchi and sauce mixed: just not sure how the texture of the gnocchi would hold up. Good luck!

  3. Judy says:

    I also just made this and it was delicious. I added browned Italian sausage as Amanda suggested. A great way to use a can of pumpkin. My husband and I really enjoyed the dish.

  4. Mackenzie says:

    I just made this tonight. Had all of the ingredients in my fridge and pantry! It turned out great, thank you for the recipe! It doesn’t taste super pumpkin-y, which is fine by me. I mostly tasted the garlic and the chili power/flakes. Nice and warm and spicy. My sauce ended up much thicker than yours, though I’m not quite sure why. If I make it again, I’ll definitely increase the amount of broth.

  5. Amanda says:

    This turned out really good! I added some Italian sausage, which I cut up and browned before baking.

  6. Kirsty says:

    Such a great post, Sonja! The 7 habits book is on my bookshelf and I’ve never read it! I definitely will now. Also, made this for dinner and LOVED it. Just the right spice level. I made balsamic Brussels sprouts on the side which went really well with it. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Sonja says:

      Oh SO glad you enjoyed this one! Thank you for making it. And yes, 7 habits is absolutely worth the read!

  7. Kathrin says:

    sooo we just finished devouring this.. it amazing!! i subbed mozzarella for the goat cheese and we loved it. i think next time ill try the original goat cheese (at least for half the pan.. the mozzarella was really yummy too) Thanks for the new staple ?

  8. morgan says:

    this looks amazing! I have ideas for vegan-izing the goat cheese, but unsure what would be best substitute for the greek yogurt. any help is appreciated!

      1. Morgan says:

        Ohh good idea! Going to use whipped almond ricotta with some herbs in it (From minimalist baker) for the goat cheese alternate. Can’t wait to try this recipe this week!

        1. Sonja says:

          That sounds great! Let us know how it works out; we could include your subs as some vegan ideas in the recipe.

  9. Hannah Locke says:

    We made this tonight when we had company over. Everyone loved it- even my notoriously picky 6 year old. We will definitely make this again. You didn’t even comment in the post on how easy this is to make. It’s super quick to whip up, and almost NO chopping, which is my ultimate lazy meal criteria :)

    1. Sonja says:

      Haha THANK YOU so much, that’s a good point! I should have mentioned that it’s pretty simple to make too! I’m so, so happy that company AND your 6 year old loved it: the true test for a recipe! Thank you for letting us know!

  10. Ruby says:

    Yes yes yes to everything you have said here. I’ve been hearing those terms abundance and scarcity thrown around a lot lately and it is one thing to say it and another to practice it. You are so right about this food blogging community, I think we can provide a beautiful example of loving abundance, especially through these fun virtual potlucks! Your contribution sounds absolutely heavenly- I looove the goat cheese + pumpkin combo. Can’t wait to try it <3

    1. Sonja says:

      Exactly! The easiest way I’ve found to practice abundance is to be around others who practice it too! Thank you for your kind comment and being part of the fun!

  11. Katie @ Whole Nourishment says:

    Fab post! I like that you talked about the scarcity and abundance mentality. Something I’m continually working on. Thanks for the encouragement!! :-)

    1. Sonja says:

      It’s a mindset that requires constant maintenance, right? Thank YOU right back!

  12. Kathrin says:

    sooo im planning on making this tomorrow but where i live we dont have canned pumpkin puree.. can i just bake fresh pumpkin and then blend it up

    1. Sonja says:

      You can absolutely substitute blended pumpkin! One 15-ounce can equals just about 2 cups of puree.

  13. Meg | Meg is Well says:

    Even though I’ve never heard of those concepts before, the abundance mentality is how I try to look at the world all the time. Of course, there are those times when I respond in fear or frustration to the scarcity mentality, but positive experiences or interactions with amazing people (like in this virtual party), always bring me back to my abundance mentality. This gnocchi casserole has to be the most comforting dish ever, it looks amazing!

    1. Sonja says:

      Oh I’m so glad to hear that the abundance mentality is natural for you (though of course, it’s easy to slip up at times as you mentioned)! I checked out your dish too and it looks delicious! Happy pumpkin party!

  14. Emily says:

    There is such freedom found in truly being able to rejoice with others and celebrate successes together. Love your summary of the scarcity and abundance mindsets. Such a cozy bake here and one that I imagine would be just delicious with a variety of squash purees.

    1. Sonja says:

      YES about celebrating successes together, and it’s modeled so well in the food community (at least the lovely people I’m honored to spend time with, like you!). Thanks for the kind words!

  15. Kathrin says:

    This looks amazing… quick question though: do you think I could sub the goat cheese for (fresh) mozzarella? I have a picky eater…

    1. Sonja says:

      Great idea, Kathrin! We’ve had a few other people tell us they preferred substituting the cheese. Fresh mozzerella would be great; I’d recommend putting a little kosher salt on each dollop as I find it can sometimes be blander than expected (you can taste a tiny bit to see what you think!). We’ve also had a reader use ricotta dollops that are mixed with salt & pepper before dolloping. Let us know if you try it!

  16. Anna says:

    Loved reading this post!
    Pumpkin gnocchi have been on my list for sooo long, and seeing your recipe, may have given me the kick I needed to just go and make some! They look fantastic!

    1. Sonja says:

      Thanks, Anna! This recipe is actually “plain” gnocchi with a pumpkin sauce — but gnocchi made out of pumpkin sounds incredible and something I need to try!

  17. Kym Grimshaw says:

    Oh this looks wonderfully comforting! I love the sound of your regular meetups too, it’s so important to encourage those in our community, I don’t believe we get anywhere by competing against one and other. Xx

    1. Sonja says:

      I couldn’t agree more, Kym! And luckily in this day and age there are more ways than ever to connect to the power of community. Thanks for the note!

  18. Sara @ Cake Over Steak says:

    Thank you for this sweet contribution to the pumpkin party. I LOVE your message here. I definitely believe in the “abundance” mentality. I wonder if it stems from being involved in group sports and clubs/organizations since I was little. I love the feeling of community and it’s part of what I love about the food blogging world so much. And this gnocchi dish sounds amazing!!! Thank you so much. xoxo

    1. Sonja says:

      Thank YOU for organizing everything: it’s a joy to be a part of it! Sending hugs.

  19. Sarah | Well and Full says:

    I was actually talking to my boyfriend recently about something very similar to this, in relation to today’s political climate. I feel like many “status quo” Americans are afraid that if people who have been traditionally marginalized succeed, then it will be an opportunity “missed” for them. But America isn’t a pizza – one slice for someone else doesn’t mean one less slice that you can have. America is full of ENDLESS opportunities and chances to succeed! In any case, I will definitely be reading more about the scarcity vs. abundance mindset… I love learning about new, positive ways to think about things :)

    Also – these baked gnocchi look TO DIE FOR. I love the pumpkin/goat cheese/sage combination too. Cheers!

    1. Sonja says:

      I LOVE this, especially “America isn’t a pizza — America is full of ENDLESS opportunities and chances to succeed!” YES and yes. Thank you for your passion about this topic and kind words!

  20. Kelsey says:

    A resounding YES to everything about this post. We are all better when we can band together and support each other with the abundance mentality. I can only speak for myself, but when I get down, I can get sucked back into the scarcity mentality–thinking I don’t deserve a proverbial piece of the pie or only seeing what others have and not all I am blessed with. When we’re together, we can remind each of our abundances starting with the simple and concrete abundance of friends. When this can be done with a pan of bubbling, pumpkiny, goat cheesey gnocchi, it becomes a celebration and a mental and emotional reset.

    1. Sonja says:

      I couldn’t agree more! A few other commenters have agreed: it’s easy to get sucked back into the scarcity mentality now and then. But for me, having terms to label these mindsets has been SO helpful: it makes coming back to abundance easier. And I love your last sentence here, so, so perfect :)

  21. Tamara Andersen says:

    I love this post! I have loved the community of food bloggers – the encouragement and support I feel there. Now I know it has a name. “Abundance mentality” is perfect! I am dying to try this Pumpkin Goat Cheese Baked Gnocchi! Such a great combination of ingredients and flavors! Happy #virtualpumpkinparty!

    1. Sonja says:

      YES having a name for the mentality is so helpful: and especially to call out the scarcity mentality if it happens to jump in there too (for me)! Thank you for the kind words!

  22. Madeline Hall says:

    I love this so much – the abundance mentality is something all bloggers/influencers should embrace and live out! Also this gnocchi speaks my love language. Gnocchi + pumpkin + goat cheese! Need to try.

    1. Sonja says:

      YES, abundance is so much easier practiced in community, so that makes perfect sense! Thanks for the kind words :)

  23. Wendy says:

    “A cozy fall hug” involving pumpkin and goat cheese must be a delicious hug! Happy #VirtualPumpkinParty. This world can use as much positive abundance as we can generate. :)

    1. Sonja says:

      Haha, a delicious hug indeed! Thanks so much, Wendy!

  24. Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek says:

    Loving the “we are better together” mantra here. Also, this gnocchi looks amazing! Can’t wait to try all of these pumpkin recipes :) Happy #virtualpumpkinparty xoxo

    1. Sonja says:

      Thank you so much, Kelsey! Happy pumpkin party to you: your recipe looks scrumptious!

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