Crispy Pesto Gnocchi with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese


Store-bought gnocchi is sauteed in a skillet until crisp, rather than being boiled, in Crispy Pesto Gnocchi with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese. This meal is fast and absolutely fabulous!


If the couple that hits the mall, grocery store, and gym together, stays together, then I think Ben and I are pretty much covered for the next couple of years. ;)

Lazy Sunday fundays are for the birds (at least that’s what we tried to convince ourselves of today!) as Ben and I have been on the go following each others shadows since early this morning. A trip to the mall together to take advantage of some great sales was followed by grocery shopping, attending a work event for my Dad, then a trip to the gym.

Do not adjust your monitors – you read that correctly. I actually went to gym today. Whee! :D After weeks and weeks (and weeks and weeks!) of avoidance, Ben finally convinced me to go this afternoon.

Every year I find it really hard to transition back to the revolving wheel of death treadmill (it’s SOO boring!) after running in the great outdoors all summer long, but the weather’s only getting colder, and it had to happen sooner or later.

So we made the trip, hopped on neighboring treadmills and got down to bidness. Him with whatever he does (do men do treadmill routines?) and me with my trusty 30 Minute 3-2-1 Treadmill Routine to get back in the groove:

Running on the trail is much more satisfying, but I had been over-dreading this workout and we were heading home before I knew it. After a quick shower – dinner. We were famished. Crispy Pesto Gnocchi with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese to the rescue!

Ben proclaimed “We only eat gnocchi this way from now on.” after his first bite of this crunchy, creamy delight. Aye aye Captain!


The recipe for this incredible dish comes from Dave & Sarah @ I Cup Awesome. It is, as it’s owner’s blog’s name implies – awesome. :)


Pre-packaged gnocchi is sautéed in extra virgin olive oil, that’s been permeated with a crushed garlic clove, until each yummy bite is CRISP and CRUNCHY.




Next, fresh pesto and cherry tomatoes are added to the skillet, before everything’s mixed up.

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The tangy, creamy goat cheese melted on top mingles with the garlicky pesto and juicy tomatoes in one, Heavenly forkful.


And the gnocchi are audibly crunchy which makes it feel like you’re eating something between a tator tot and a dumpling. Ok, terrible description – but seriously, it’s so delicious and we gobbled our dinners up. :)


I followed Dave & Sarah’s recipe except I added a crushed clove of garlic in the olive oil for flavor, made homemade pesto, and used a little less than 1/3 cup of it. Otherwise, it’s all them. MAKE THIS, mmkay? K.


Dessert was a Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookie.


These should be named Pumpkin GingerCRACK Cookies.


I had about 1,400 last night, which turned out to be THE best evening.


Care to witness Ben’s first fire in our home? :D


Ok, so it was probably still in the 60s last night when the Hawkeyes came on TV, (and killed it, btw!) but we were making that fire to enjoy while we watched come hell or high water, damnit!


My parents came over join in on the fun too. :)

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My Dad made a big pot of his famous Spicy Gumbo to share, which we all enjoyed ’round the crackling fire.


It was so nice…we did it twice!


It’s still light out, and definitely 65 degrees, but Ben’s getting another fire blazing as we speak, hahaha! Why haven’t we been doing this for the last 3 years? It’s seriously the best! ;)


Well I hope you all had a great weekend! Mornings are getting colder, and days are getting shorter. I can’t believe how fast October is going! Have a great week!


Anyone else making the transition from outdoors to indoors for their workouts?

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  1. ktlovespie 10.16.2011

    Mmm crispy crunchy pasta. One of my favorite things to eat is called fried macaroni. Basically cooked elbow noodles sauteed in butter til crispy then smothered in parmesan cheese.

    Can you mail me some of those cookies? THey sound amazing!

  2. I just went out for pumpkin gnocchi the other night and it was the best thing. Good to know I can recreate it at home! I need more gnocchi in my life!

  3. anna 10.16.2011

    I’m so jealous of your fire! Where did you find those gnocchi? Fresh or frozen or dried? I’ve never been willing to try the premade kind because the first homemade batch I made was so good! …but it’s been downhill from there. Help :)

    • anna 10.16.2011

      To answer your Q I’m switching back to working out inside with the A/C on because it was so hot today, ha! I went for a ~45 minute walk just to return some DVDs earlier today (in lieu of driving – go me) and I was sweating bullets when I got back.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 10.17.2011

      They’re in a vacuum-sealed package in the pasta aisle in the regular grocery store!

  4. NOt yet in Dallas! It was almost 90 degrees when I ran outside today!

  5. that gnocchi looks TDF!!!! I will most def be making this week!!

  6. I have only made gnocchi one time and I was not a fan of the overly soft/mushy texture (maybe I cooked too long??). Anyways, I have been skeptical to try it again but seeing you make it in the pan getting it crispy is totally the inspiration I need. Yours looks awesome.

    • MOM 10.17.2011

      I had the same problem only when boiling but found out I was cooking way too long-if boiling, as soon as they float to the top-take them out!

  7. Mer@mersworld 10.16.2011

    Transitioning in Boston!! Thanks for the treadmill workout… I like workouts that are shorter intervals… Seems to go faster!

    And, those gnocchi arevgreat inspiration to get on the treadmill and get it over with!! Looks yummy- and easy!!

  8. outdoors to indoors?? no way! today was probably THE most gorgeous day outside. low 60s and sunny, which made for an absolutely fabulous 7 mile run. i would have DIED on the dreadmill

  9. Lauren 10.16.2011

    The gnocchi sonds amazing! I really need to try that method. And the cookies are calling my name. Glad you had a great weekend girl.

  10. Sal 10.16.2011

    Awww. Made the pumpkin gingercrack cookies today. They were a hit and I am sadly or gladly addicted. Thanks, yes, thanks so much!!!!

  11. Eleni 10.16.2011

    I’ve been walking about 3 miles to class every day as my workout, but I’ll take the bus when it gets too cold. I’m definitely not looking forward to going back to the overcrowded gym!

  12. Sarah 10.16.2011

    My favorite part about this post is Ben’s Boston jersey!! =)

  13. Karen B. 10.16.2011

    That gnocchi looks amazing! The cookies. Oh my. So making all that. Here in Dallas we are transitioning from the indoors to the outdoors. When we weren’t in a pool/sprinkler/lake/[water source] this summer, we had to be indoors. So hot. Still hot. Just not 100+ degrees hot. This weekend I ran my first 5 miles at 6am around a lovely lake with 5 lovely girlfriends without pushing a stroller of two kids. Hated the wake up call, but loved the start to my day. So pretty and actually COLD. And my kids weren’t even up when I got home!

  14. Ellie 10.16.2011

    Those pumpkin ginger cookies look delish!!! I’m two weeks from my due date with my first baby, and the only thing I have been craving lately are gingersnaps and molasses cookies…I can’t get enough! Ooh, and these might be a nice treat to bring to the nurses at the hospital…if I don’t eat the whole batch first…

  15. Kristin 10.16.2011

    I need to make those cookies! I live in Wisconsin and grew up xc skiing, so I think I’ve always been more accustomed to the colder weather. I actually prefer running more in the winter outside than I do in the summer. I just can’t take the heat! But I can add layers in winter… of course, on the days where it is bitterly cold or super icy, I’ll take it inside for the treadmill.

  16. Kath 10.16.2011

    I am in awe of your treadmill workout. I feel good when I manage 4mph on mine!

  17. This pasta looks awesome! I can’t wait to make it! Thanks as always!

  18. Jenn 10.16.2011

    I live in SW Florida, so I am doing the opposite and making the transition from inside to outside! I haven’t broken out the jogging stroller since May, so I know my daughter will be excited :-)

  19. TX is like the opposite of the rest of the country. Now is the only time of year I want to workout outside. Biking in 60-75 degree weather this morning… glorious! The only problem is the limited daylight hours.

  20. Luann 10.16.2011

    Seriously nothing better for the soul than a fire in the fireplace. And….it has to be real wood burning, none of this gas stuff in order to have the same effect. I would give up a lot of things in my house but my wood burning fireplace is not one of them. Nothing says love more to me than my hubby getting me a roaring fire going. Can’t believe you hadn’t use it before now but here’s betting you are hooked now. :) Enjoy!

  21. making and hating the transition, yes. i dread the day my outdoor runs are traded for treadmill monotony, but it is inevitable in the midwest as you know. interval workouts like the one you did today help make things a little more bearable…

    that gnocchi looks phenomenal!!

  22. Hope 10.17.2011

    That gnocchi looks amazing! I love gnocchi. I really want to try your recipe for making it from scratch. I think it would be awesome to have homemade gnocchi :)

  23. Jenny Sansouci 10.17.2011

    The gnocchi dish looks incredible! I’m totally trying this recipe. I never knew you could get whole wheat & sweet potato gnocchi. Amazing!

  24. Teresa K. 10.17.2011

    Have you ever tried gnocchi with 5 spice powder when you fry them up – oh my – try it – it makes it more like a dessert – I usually make them with a ham steak cut up. – un – believ – able!

  25. i hate the treadmill SO SO SO much that i basically just workout outside all winter as much as i can. but it helps that i’ve been running since junior high and using a treadmill all winter wasn’t an option with a school track/cross country team. :)

  26. Maria 10.17.2011

    I can’t wait to make that gnocchi! Glad you liked the cookies-they are addicting:)

  27. Kelsey 10.17.2011

    I seriously think fall in the Midwest is the best!! I haven’t made the transition indoors yet because I’m running a marathon next month and the mid-40 degree weather we have in the mornings is perfect for those looooong runs!

  28. I’ve never tried gnocchi, I’m excited to try it. There’s no need for an indoor transition yet since Florida is still hot and muggy. We just went to the beach this weekend so I can’t even fathom sitting my a fireplace yet. Looks amazing though.

  29. I have a favorite gnocchi recipe.. but the way this sounds, I may have to change my mind! Can’t wait to try it :)

  30. WOW– that gnocchi looks awesome! Awesome recipe!

  31. Gail 10.17.2011

    I was going to make homemade pizza tonight with what’s left of the basil in my garden, but this looks SO good. Maybe I could throw in the Graziano sausage I’ve already cooked to my husband’s portion! (If it’s got meat, he’s happy.)

  32. Marlina 10.17.2011

    Ah, these look so good! My guy and I have never tried Gnocchi, but we are dying to! I think this way of cooking them will deff be the first we try :)

  33. Karee 10.17.2011

    I live near the beach in Northern California – our summers are FOGGY, and our falls are full of sunshine… so I’ve been happy to be outside the last few weeks and finally enjoy some summery weather. It will change soon, and I’ll be back to my Golds Gym Wii workout..

  34. nicole 10.17.2011

    I’m the opposite. I HATE working outdoors during the hot, muggy and humid summers of Florida. Now that we are heading towards fall and winter I’ll be glad to get outside and work out. I am looking forward to. I hear ya- I hate doing the treadmill, I’d rather go outside to work out. Thats why I am looking forward to the cooler weather. Florida SUCKS in the summertime. :-)

  35. Tori 10.18.2011

    I made this recipe for my boyfriend last night and he said it was a home run!!!! He said the crunch on the outside of the gnocchi was unexpected but in a really awesome way. I used tomato basil feta instead of goat cheese and added garlic to the oil like you did. This recipe will definitely be made again!!!

  36. […] I had the gnocchi at Marios with Josh on Saturday, all I’ve been craving is gnocchi. I found this awesome recipe over at Iowa Girl Eats the other day for crispy pesto gnocchi with tomatoes and goat cheese and […]

  37. […] Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies, Failed Baked Pumpkin French Toast, and FOUR additional pumpkin recipes I’ve made for […]

  38. […] I had the yummiest dinner that I got from surprise… Iowa Girl Eats! Pan Fried Gnocchi!!!! OMGOMG Thank you Kristin!!!! SOOOOO […]

  39. Tiffney Streeter 01.07.2012

    The best thing about the pictures were THE STEELER jerseys. THIS IS STEELER COUNTRY!!!!

  40. […] face it: give me any excuse to buy goat cheese and I will pounce on it. Crispy gnocchi with tomatoes, pesto, and goat cheese was the perfect reason to add a little pricey cheese to the grocery list. YUM. Incredibly easy […]

  41. […] Recipe Here and Here. Thanks […]

  42. Dory 03.15.2012

    Wow. 8-9 minutes at level 7.5 is REALLY good. I’d get dizzy 3 minutes at the same level. :)

    Love your blog. So inspiring.

  43. […] a few questions. 1) Did he call how do you get your ex girlfriend back you during this period? If he is still interested in you he will definitely call you or at least send you a text message. The reason is not that […]

  44. […] the inside, and the cherry tomatoes are super sweet. It was inspired by this <href link=”; title = “recipe” /> on iowagirleats (one of my favorite cooking […]

  45. Kari Carroll 02.10.2013

    I cooked this gnocchi recipe last night for friends and husband and it was wonderful!! I didn’t even have pesto but it had such flavor with the pasta, tomatoes and goat cheese. I cook at least one or two of your recipes each week. As always, thanks!!

  46. […] Girl Eats is the reason gnocchi is high on my grocery list this week. That recipe will be […]

  47. […] I made here is how I cook the gnocchi. Instead of the traditional boiling, I crisp it up on a pan a la Iowa Girl Eats. It is delicious and much quicker than waiting for water to […]

  48. […] dish is adapted from a recipe I found a while ago on pinterest from another great blog. I’ve made it a bunch of times now. […]

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