Bacon/ Cheese/ Hearty Dinners

Gnocchi Mac and Cheese

August 25, 2019 (Last Updated: August 26, 2019)

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 baked in the oven

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)

  1. Fry bacon until crispy.
  2. Melt in butter.
  3. Stir in flour to form a paste, then gradually pour in milk.
  4. Stir in cheese and seasoning.
  5. Add par-boiled gnocchi.
  6. Stir to evenly combine.
Top Tip #1 – It’s crucial to only boil the gnocchi for 1-2mins otherwise it’ll end up too soft and mushy after it’s baked. The aim of the game is to boil long enough to remove some starch and slightly cook the gnocchi, but not so much the gnocchi fully cooks through.

How to make gnocchi mac and cheese - 6 step by step photos

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)

  1. Pour gnocchi into a suitably sized baking dish.
  2. Top with parmesan, then breadcrumbs, then seasoning, then oil spray.
  3. Bake until golden and bubbly!
Top Tip #2 –  For an extra crispy topping I recommend using Panko Breadcrumbs for the topping, which you can find in most supermarkets.

Topping for Mac and Cheese - guidance photos

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?

Gnocchi RecipesCrispy Gnocchi with Sausage Meatballs, Baked Gnocchi with Bacon.
Mac & Cheese RecipesSpicy Bacon Mac and Cheese, Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese.

Alrighty, let’s tuck into this Gnocchi Mac and Cheese Recipe shall we?!

Gnocchi Mac and Cheese with scooped out of baking dish with cheese pull

How to make Gnocchi Mac and Cheese (Full Recipe & Video)

Scooping into baked gnocchi mac and cheese with large black spoon

Gnocchi Mac and Cheese

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!
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Original
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 720kcal
Cost per serving: £3.50 / $4

Equipment

  • 12" Skillet & Wooden Spoon
  • Chopping Board & Sharp Knife
  • Whisk
  • Baking Dish
  • Grater
  • Jug

Ingredients

  • 2lbs / 1kg Gnocchi

Sauce

  • 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

Topping

  • 1/2 cup / 30g Breadcrumbs
  • Parmesan
  • pinch of Salt & Black Pepper
  • Olive Oil Spray

Instructions

  • 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!

Notes

a) Pasta Sub - You if you want to sub the gnocchi for regular pasta, then use 10.5oz/300g. Same advice as the gnocchi, make sure the pasta is only just cooked when you drain and add to the sauce. Do not cook the pasta for the full recommended packet instruction.
b) Salt - Cheese, especially parmesan, can be fairly salty so just be careful how much you use to season the gnocchi, sauce and topping. With the same token ensure it is unsalted butter you are using.
c) Gnocchi Timing - It's essential not to over-boil the gnocchi before you add it to the sauce and bake. The aim of the game is to boil it just enough to release some starch, but not enough where it fully cooks. As soon as the first gnocchi floats to the top of the boiling water, drain and add to the sauce. If you over-boil the gnocchi it's going to go mushy once it's baked!
d) Breadcrumbs - Panko breadcrumbs work great here, which you can find in most supermarkets.
e) Updated - I uploaded this recipe in 2018, since then have updated the photos and video. I also slightly reduced the amount of onion/garlic powder.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Gnocchi Mac and Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 720 Calories from Fat 320
% Daily Value*
Fat 35.6g55%
Saturated Fat 20.2g101%
Trans Fat 0.6g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.3g
Monounsaturated Fat 9.9g
Cholesterol 102mg34%
Sodium 1557mg65%
Potassium 759mg22%
Carbohydrates 61g20%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 10.9g12%
Protein 38.9g78%
Vitamin A 2650IU53%
Vitamin C 4.1mg5%
Calcium 840mg84%
Iron 3.6mg20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart!

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!

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Krissy Allori
    August 26, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    5 stars
    Yes, please I”ll take some right now please. But I guess I’ll have to make my own.

  • Reply
    Cookilicious
    August 26, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    This made my mouth water! Gorgeous photos!

  • Reply
    Adrianne
    August 26, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    5 stars
    Bacon anything and I am in!! This gnocci is such a great idea for a twist on a regular mac and cheese, I love it. Bet it tastes fab. Can’t wait to try it. Cheers

  • Reply
    Dannii
    August 26, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    5 stars
    I never would have thought to swap macaroni for gnocchi. Sounds amazing.

  • Reply
    Noelle
    August 26, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    5 stars
    What an amazing way to prepare gnocchi!! Love this idea

  • Reply
    Sarah
    May 7, 2018 at 8:37 am

    5 stars
    Looks amazing – definitely making this!

    • Reply
      Chris
      May 20, 2018 at 11:09 am

      Enjoy!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Natalie
    May 6, 2018 at 6:11 am

    5 stars
    Oh my goodness this looks so delicious and comforting! I love the idea of using gnocchi instead of maccaroni – so creative and I bet it’s way more delicious than classic mac and cheese. Will definitely try this recipe soon! YUM!

    • Reply
      Chris
      May 6, 2018 at 10:09 am

      Yep, so much more delicious than macaroni 😉 Enjoy, Natalie! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jillian
    May 6, 2018 at 5:49 am

    5 stars
    I LOVE mac & cheese, gnocchi, and bacon so thank you for putting them all together in this dish!

    • Reply
      Chris
      May 6, 2018 at 10:08 am

      Such a gorgeous combo! 🙂

  • Reply
    Rebecca | Let's Eat Cake
    May 6, 2018 at 1:49 am

    Oh my goodness. What a decadent delicious-sounding dish!

    • Reply
      Chris
      May 6, 2018 at 9:43 am

      Thanks Rebecca 🙂

  • Reply
    Kristine
    May 6, 2018 at 12:20 am

    5 stars
    Oh my goodness! This looks so rich and melty. My family loves anything with gnocchi, I’ll have to try this ASAP!

    • Reply
      Chris
      May 6, 2018 at 9:43 am

      Enjoy!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Tara
    May 6, 2018 at 12:08 am

    5 stars
    Oh wow! This may just be the comfiest comfort food. Love all that cheese paired with the bacon and gnocchi.

    • Reply
      Chris
      May 6, 2018 at 9:43 am

      Isn’t cheese, bacon and gnocchi just the best combo!?

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