Gnocchi Mac and Cheese is THE ultimate comfort food. Forget traditional macaroni and let those gnocchi balls ooze into the most delicious mac and cheese sauce imaginable!
Just think (and simultaneously drool) heavenly pillows of gnocchi, wrapped in a creamy cheesy mac and cheese sauce, topped with a crispy crunchy topping, then baked in the oven. This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill.
Gnocchi Mac and Cheese
Like mac and cheese, but with gnocchi. Simples! Well it’s a little different, but you get the gist. First things first, let’s talk mac and cheese sauce.
Tips for the best Mac and Cheese sauce
- Different Cheeses – After all, variety is the key to life. I tend to use cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan for the ultimate mac and cheese sauce.
- Seasoning – A cheesy roux? Meh, not bad. A cheesy roux with 3 different cheese? Better. A 3 cheese roux with garlic powder, onion powder and dijon mustard? Ding ding! Those added ingredients will enhance that cheesy goodness more than you’d ever imagine.
- Bacon – Do I really need an explanation?
How to make Gnocchi Mac and Cheese (quick summary)
- Fry bacon until crispy.
- Melt in butter.
- Stir in flour to form a paste, then gradually pour in milk.
- Stir in cheese and seasoning.
- Add par-boiled gnocchi.
- Stir to evenly combine.
Baked Gnocchi Mac and Cheese
If you’re making gnocchi mac and cheese, it’s gotta be baked! I bake my regular mac and cheese every time, but here it truly makes the difference. Gnocchi itself is fairly soft, so it’s nice to have that nice crispy, crunchy contrast.
Tips for the best Mac and Cheese topping
- 50/50 combo – I like to use a 50/50 combo of breadcrumbs and parmesan. This keeps the perfect balance of crispy but not dry, and cheesy but not gloopy.
- Season – It’s important to season your topping. You’ve got a gorgeously flavoursome cheese sauce hiding underneath it, don’t spoil it with bland breadcrumbs. A find a pinch of salt and pepper before it goes in the oven does the trick.
- Oil – To keep the breadcrumbs from drying up, I spray a little oil on top before it goes in the oven. A few sprays of 1cal olive oil spray works perfectly!
How to bake Gnocchi Mac and Cheese (quick summary)
- Pour gnocchi into a suitably sized baking dish.
- Top with parmesan, then breadcrumbs, then seasoning, then oil spray.
- Bake until golden and bubbly!
Can gnocchi mac and cheese be reheated?
This actually doesn’t reheat particularly well. The gnocchi sucks in most of the sauce as it rests in the fridge, so turns out considerably more dry than when served fresh. If you do have leftovers though, I recommend covering and storing in the fridge, then bringing to room temp and baking in the oven until the top goes crusty again and the centre is cooked through.
Can I make this with pasta instead?
Sure can! Use 10.5oz/300g worth of pasta, and only cook until al dente (a couple of mins off packet instructions). Beside that it’s the same method.
Can I make this without bacon?
Yup! Exactly the same measurements, just start from melting the butter.
Hey, whilst you’re here why not check out my other recipes?
Alrighty, let’s tuck into this Gnocchi Mac and Cheese Recipe shall we?!
How to make Gnocchi Mac and Cheese (Full Recipe & Video)
Gnocchi Mac and Cheese
- 12" Skillet & Wooden Spoon
- Large Pot & Colander (for gnocchi)
- Chopping Board & Sharp Knife
- Baking Dish
Ingredients (check list):
- 2lbs / 1kg Gnocchi
- 5oz / 150g Streaky Bacon, diced
- 2.5 cups / 625ml Milk, at room temp
- 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 2 tbsp Plain Flour
- 1 cup / 100g Cheddar, grated
- 1 cup / 100g Mozzarella, grated
- 3oz / 80g Parmesan, grated (save half for the topping)
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
- Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup / 30g Panko Breadcrumbs, or as needed
- Salt & Black Pepper
- Olive Oil Spray
- Preheat oven to 200c/430f.
- Begin by frying your bacon in a pan over medium heat until crispy. Drain away excess fat if necessary (a couple of tsp left in the pan is fine).
- Melt in 2 tbsp butter, then stir in 2 tbsp flour until a paste forms. Gradually whisk in your milk 1/2 cup at a time, stirring throughout to ensure no lumps form.
- Once thickened, add in 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder and 1 tsp dijon mustard. Stir to blend, then add in 1 cup cheddar, 1 cup mozzarella and 1/2 your parmesan. Taste test for salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, pop your gnocchi in salted boiling water and cook for 1-2mins. Do not cook for the full packet instruction time, take at least 1 minute off. It still needs to be fairly firm, this is just to remove the starch and cook through slightly. Drain and combine with your cheese sauce. Pour into an oven safe dish.
- Top with other half of parmesan, then 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, followed by a pinch of salt and pepper then spray with oil to finish.
- Pop in the oven for 20mins or until golden on the top and bubbling in the centre.
Quick 1 min demo!
Your Private Notes:
If you loved the Gnocchi Mac and Cheese recipe then 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!