This gnocchi carbonara is creamy, filling and so easy to make! Just like pasta carbonara, this simple dish uses minimal ingredients and is comfort food at its finest.
When I'm not baking up something for a sweet treat, I'm probably eating pasta. Spaghetti carbonara is a regular in my weeknight dinner rotation, but I thought it would be fun to make a gnocchi version!
This gnocchi carbonara is made with an authentic carbonara sauce, comprised of eggs, egg yolks, parmesan and guanciale! Having a few easy dinner recipes in your back pocket is always handy.
Why you'll love this gnocchi carbonara recipe!
- Simple Ingredients - you only need 7 ingredients to make this gnocchi carbonara, and I've got suggestions for substitutions if you don't have everything in your kitchen!
- Quick - it takes just 20 minutes to make this dish, so it's perfect to whip up on a weeknight!
- Cozy Meal - this to me is the best cozy meal, simple but so filling!
- Gnocchi: I'm using store-bought gnocchi, you can of course use homemade but store bought is really going to help save you time!
- Parmesan: I'm using parmigiano-reggiano here, I recommend grating it from the block and not using a pre-shredded one. You can swap it out for pecorino.
- Guanciale: traditional carbonara is made with guanciale, but you can swap it out for pancetta or bacon lardons. If you're a vegetarian, I recommend using plant based smoked bacon lardons! I've tested the recipe with that and it works well.
- Eggs: I'm using a combination of whole eggs and egg yolks to make the sauce extra rich and creamy.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Fill a large saucepan with water and place over medium-high heat to boil and add a large handful of salt. Grate your cheese and set ⅓ of it to the side. While you're waiting for that to boil, start making the carbonara sauce. Whisk the egg yolks and whole egg with the remaining cheese and some black pepper.
Step 2: Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, frying pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the guanciale and fry until golden brown and crispy. Turn off the heat.
Step 3: At this point your water should be boiling. Add the gnocchi to the boiling water and follow the instructions on your packet - mine only needed to be boiling for 1 minute, or until they've floated to the top. Scoop out 1 cup of the salted water, then drain the gnocchi.
Step 4: Add ¼ cup of the salted water to the pan with the guanciale, and add the gnocchi. Heat over medium-low heat, until the water is boiling and cook for 1-2 minutes, then turn the heat off/
Step 5: Whisk in ⅛ cup of water to the egg mixture until smooth. At this point you want to make sure the gnocchis aren't boiling hot, so if they're still too hot give them a few minutes to cool!
Step 6: Slowly pour the sauce mixture into the gnocchi pan, stirring constantly to coat the gnocchi in the sauce. If the sauce doesn't seem thick enough to you, you can drizzle in more of the water.
Serve on plates with the reserved cheese and some more black pepper to taste.
Expert Tips & Tricks
- Sauce Thickness: Add just a bit of water to the egg mixture, then once you have combined the sauce with the gnocchi you can see if you want to add more water for the sauce or if you're happy with a thicker sauce.
- Let Gnocchi Cool: Make sure the pan with the gnocchi has had a few minutes to cool down before adding the sauce, or you'll end up with scrambled eggs!
- Flavor: Once you've cooked the guanciale or pancetta, do not drain the fat - this is going to give you all that flavor!
- Doubling It: This serves 2-3 people, if you want to make this for 4 people I recommend doubling it! Or serve it with a caprese salad beforehand.
- Taste Before Seasoning: Because of the salted water and the carbonara sauce, you shouldn't have to add more salt to the finished dish. I always recommend tasting before seasoning!
Traditional carbonara doesn't have cream in it, and we have enough fat in this recipe from the eggs and the olive oil so I don't recommend adding cream! I promise, this is creamy enough.
Make sure that the gnocchi pan wasn't too hot when you slowly poured in the carbonara sauce - this is why it will scramble. Also make sure to stir constantly as you pour the sauce in.
I recommend serving this right away and I don't recommend storing it in the fridge.
Try these dinner recipes next!
- 1 large saucepan
- 1 dutch oven
- 2 oz parmesan grated
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 large whole egg
- salt for boiling water
- pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 oz guanciale or pancetta or bacon lardons
- 1 lb gnocchi
- Boil water in a large saucepan. When it starts to simmer, add a small handful of salt.salt
- If you haven't done so already, grate your cheese. Set ⅓ of it aside.2 oz parmesan
- In a bowl or jug, whisk the egg yolks, egg, remaining parmesan and some black pepper together. Set aside.2 large egg yolks, 1 large whole egg, pepper
- In a dutch oven or in a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until crispy and golden brown. Remove from the heat.2 tablespoons olive oil, 4 oz guanciale
- Cook the gnocchi in the boiling water according to package instructions, once it is almost done scoop out 1 cup of water and set aside. Scoop the gnocchi out with a slotted spoon or drain.1 lb gnocchi
- Return back to the dutch oven, add ¼ cup of the water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the gnocchi and boil for 1 minute, then turn the heat off again. Let the dutch oven cool for a couple of minutes.
- Whisk ⅛ cup of water to the egg mixture. Slowly pour this into the dutch oven, stirring constantly. You should have a thick sauce. Feel free to add more water if it isn't the consistency you like!
- Divide into bowls and top with the reserved cheese and some cracked black pepper.