Cheesy Baked Gnocchi with Bacon is the ultimate Saturday night dinner for two. This delicious gnocchi is served in a tomato cream sauce and couldn’t be easier to make!
Oh gnocchi, how I love thee. Soft pillows of comfort, how could you not fall in love? There are a million and one things to do with gnocchi, but today we’re going to stir it through a creamy tomato sauce, plonk in some crispy bacon and bake it in the oven. Sound good? Follow me…
Gnocchi in Tomato Cream Sauce
The cream in the tomato sauce isn’t just to load in more calories, I promise 🤣. It works perfectly in this sauce as it cuts through the acidity of the tomatoes. The result is a rich, luxurious sauce that is seriously to die for.
Smoky Tomato Sauce
One of the key components of this sauce is the gorgeous smoky tones it offers. This comes from two ingredients: smoked bacon and smoked paprika. If you’ve only got regular bacon that’s fine, but definitely remember the smoked paprika. It’s subtle, but it really enhances the flavours of the bacon.
Simmering the sauce
Important to simmer the sauce for 12-15mins. This will not only thicken the sauce, but it’ll also marry all the flavours together before it goes into the oven.
Process shots: fry bacon (photo 1), fry onion and garlic (photo 2), stir in passata and cream (photo 3), add parsley, basil, smoked paprika, sugar, salt & pepper then simmer (photo 4), add cooked gnocchi (photo 5), stir to combine (photo 6).
Cheesy Baked Gnocchi
Boiling the Gnocchi
Before you stir the gnocchi through the sauce, you’ll want to give it a quick boil. The aim of the game is to JUST about cook the gnocchi. Literally, just 1 minute will do the trick. This will remove some starch, but it won’t boil the gnocchi right through. The gnocchi will continue cooking in the oven.
Right, creamy tomato gnocchi done. And realistically you could leave it there. BUT, well, isn’t everything better baked in cheese?
What kind of Cheese to use?
I like to add mozzarella in the middle, and cheddar on top. Adding a layer of mozzarella in the centre of the gnocchi will give you that epic cheese pull and help turn the sauce nice and gooey, whilst the cheddar crisps up beautifully on top and adds a punch of flavour.
Process shots: add half of the gnocchi to a baking dish (photo 1), top with mozzarella (photo 2), add the rest (photo 3), top with cheddar and bake (photo 4).
Serving Baked Gnocchi
This baked gnocchi has to be one of the ultimate easy Dinner Date Recipes for two. Ridiculously quick and easy to cook, but most importantly it’s so comforting and hearty in whichever way you choose to serve it. In excess, it certainly fills the criteria of ‘food coma of self-loathing and regret’ which is fab. Always perfect for date night 🤣
What to serve with baked gnocchi?
When it comes to what to have it with (oh yes, there’s more) apart from an entire bottle of red wine, because every date night dinner needs excessive amounts of wine, we’ll always go for a side salad and Garlic Bread.
If you are going for a side salad I do recommend checking out my Homemade Balsamic Glaze. Not only do I drizzle this stuff on literally everything, but in this case, it actually pairs really well with the gnocchi. Baked Gnocchi with Bacon as you’ve probably worked out is quite rich. Adding a side salad with a drizzle of balsamic glaze will balance that out neatly with a hint of acidity and sweetness. In this instance we just went for some rocket (arugula), sliced olives and extra virgin olive oil.
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this cheesy bacon gnocchi bake shall we?!
How to make Baked Gnocchi with Bacon (Full Recipe & Video)
Cheesy Baked Gnocchi with Bacon
- 12" Skillet & Wooden Spoon
- Large Pot & Colander
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Small Baking Dish
- Serving Spoon
- Cheese Grater
Ingredients (check list):
- 1lb / 500g Fresh Gnocchi
- 2 cups / 500ml Tomato Passata (pureed/strained Tomatoes)
- 1/4 cup / 60ml Double/Heavy Cream, at room temp
- 2.5oz / 75g Mozzarella
- 2.5oz / 75g Cheddar Cheese, or as needed to cover the top
- 4-5 rashers Smoked Streaky Bacon, chopped
- 1 small/medium White Onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves Garlic, finely diced
- 1 tbsp finely diced Fresh Parsley (can save a pinch extra to garnish)
- 1 tbsp finely diced Fresh Basil (can save a pinch extra to garnish)
- 1/2 tsp EACH: Smoked Paprika, Sugar
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- In a pan over low-medium heat fry bacon until crispy with the fat rendered. Increase heat slightly to medium and add onion. Fry until soft and golden, then add garlic and fry for another 1-2mins.
- Pour in the tomato passata and swill out the carton/jar with a splash of water. Stir through the cream until fully blended. Add basil, parsley, smoked paprika, sugar and salt & pepper to taste. Turn heat to low and simmer for 12-15mins until the sauce thickens. Pre heat oven to 200C/400F
- Just before the sauce has finished simmering, add gnocchi to salted boiling water and boil for 1 minute. Immediately drain, then stir into the sauce.
- Add half the gnocchi to a small baking dish, cover with mozzarella then add the rest of the gnocchi. Top with cheddar, then bake in the oven for around 15-20mins, or until golden and crispy on top and bubbling in the centre.
- Serve with an extra sprinkle of leftover herbs then tuck in and enjoy!
Quick 1 min demo!
Your Private Notes:
If you like the sound of this gnocchi recipe, I’m confident you’ll LOVE these too:
Date Night Dinner Recipes
- Steak and Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- Spicy Chicken Pasta
- Honey Garlic Pork Chops
- Chicken Avocado Pasta
- All Date Night Recipes
Best Gnocchi Recipes
- Chive and Parsley Pesto Gnocchi
- Gnocchi Mac and Cheese
- Crispy Gnocchi with Sausage Meatballs
- Gnocchi Nachos
- Ground Turkey Gnocchi
If you loved this Date Night Gnocchi recipe be sure to Pin it for later! Already made it or got a question? Give me a shout in the comments and pick up your free ecookbook on the way!