Crispy Gnocchi with Zucchini, Sweet Corn and Basil


Crispy Gnocchi with Zucchini, Sweet Corn and Basil is a 15 minute dinner recipe that’s fresh and fast. 

Quick & Easy Crispy Gnocchi with Zucchini, Corn and Basil |

I’ve been seeing signs of spring around here lately!

A few birds have returned and are now happily chirping away when I get up in the morning, the sun seems to hang around a tiny bit longer every afternoon, and somehow, someway, the grass is even greener than it was last summer. Now we just need the cicadas back – then we’ll really be back in business!

I mean, ok, there is an inch of snow in the forecast tonight, but even so, I can’t help but start looking forward to the lighter, more veggie-packed fare I crave around spring and summertime. A glorious walk in the 50 degree sunshine yesterday afternoon solidified my feelings, and inspired me to whip up this crazy-good, 15 minute Crispy Gnocchi with Zucchini, Sweet Corn, and Basil for dinner last night.

Quick & Easy Crispy Gnocchi with Zucchini, Sweet Corn and Basil |

You seriously cannot go wrong with the springy, yellow and green combo of tender zucchini, sweet corn, and herby basil tossed with a little bit of cream then paired with crispy, sauteed gnocchi. The entire thing comes together in less than 15 minutes, and is packed full of fresh flavors.

Ben and I both inhaled our bowls, and could have seriously polished off the entire batch in one sitting. This is that yummy!

Quick & Easy Crispy Gnocchi with Zucchini, Sweet Corn and Basil |

Start the Crispy Gnocchi with Zucchini, Sweet Corn and Basil with a 16oz package of pre-made gnocchi. You can find these at pretty much any grocery store right in the pasta aisle. Many grocery stores also sell sweet potato gnocchi, which would be fantastic in here too!


Normally you’d drop the gnocchi into a pot of boiling water then wait until they float to the top, but we’re actually going to saute these in a large skillet  in 1-1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat until they get nice and crispy on the outside, which takes 6-8 minutes. This makes for SUCH a fun gnocchi texture – much different than the soft and pillowy boiled texture.


While the gnocchi is crisping up, start sauting the veg portion of the program.


Add 1 zucchini, 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn, and 1/4 small onion to 1-1/2 Tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season with salt & pepper then saute until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Next add 2 minced garlic cloves and 4 chopped basil leaves then saute for 1 more minute.


Take the skillet off the heat then add 1/4 cup half & half (or heavy cream – I wouldn’t use milk) and 2 Tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese. 


Pour the veggie mixture over the crispy gnocchi then toss to combine.


Season with more salt & pepper if necessary, top with a bit more fresh basil, then serve. SO easy, right?!

Quick & Easy Crispy Gnocchi with Zucchini, Sweet Corn and Basil |

Crispy Gnocchi with Zucchini, Sweet Corn and Basil

Serves 4


Crispy Gnocchi with Zucchini, Sweet Corn and Basil is a 15 minute dinner recipe that's fresh and fast.


  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 16oz packaged gnocchi
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 small onion, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 8 leaves basil, chopped & divided
  • 1/4 cup half & half
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add gnocchi then spread in one layer and saute undisturbed for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. Toss then continue sauteing for 3-4 more minutes or until golden brown on all sides. Remove skillet from heat then set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat butter in another large skillet then add zucchini, corn, and onion, and then season with salt and pepper. Saute until vegetables are tender, about 3-4 minutes, then add chopped garlic and half the basil, and then saute for 30 more seconds. Remove skillet from heat then add half & half and parmesan cheese, and stir to combine. Pour mixture into skillet with gnocchi then toss to combine. Season with more salt and pepper if necessary then serve topped with remaining chopped basil.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

Quick & Easy Crispy Gnocchi with Zucchini, Sweet Corn and Basil |

I am so obsessed with this dish! Though there’s a modest amount of half & half in the recipe, it tastes much lighter than the soups and bakes I’ve been making lately. Plus I’m really into using a little bit of butter and real cream. It’s really satisfying, and I don’t find myself feeling so snacky later. That is to say, I heartily devoured this dish – then made it again for lunch today. Can’t wait to repeat all summer long with my Farmer’s Market booty!

Quick & Easy Crispy Gnocchi with Zucchini, Sweet Corn and Basil |

In other news, happy Valentine’s Day from my sweetie and me, to you! (I can’t stop laughing at this picture, btw, which was taken under heavy duress at 7:30am this morning. IGE readers, will you accept this rose?) No matter how you feel about the holiday, we care about ya’ and are wishing you a very nice day, indeed. We’re off to dinner and drinks tonight, then coming back home to watch The Office on DVR. Because we are party animals. And its’s a school night. Toodles!!


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  1. My mouth is watering right now! Love the idea of combining gnocchi and zucchini. Of course, basil is always delicious.

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Kristin! Hope you eat lots of chocolates:)

  2. Alison 02.14.2013

    Looks delicious!!! Unfortunately, I like neither zucchini nor corn (traumatic memories of extensive canned corn feedings as a child). What other vegetables do you think sounds good in this dish?

    I think color is important…

    Green beans or broccoli or green peas or greens/spinach with
    Red, yellow, or orange bell pepper. For a wintry feel, you could even do steamed or roasted cubes of butternut squash.

    Any other ideas?
    PS. What would you use to rest of the carton of half and half for?

    So many combos that work with this great base!

    • Katie 02.15.2013

      I think brussel sprouts sound awesome to make winter dish. And the idea of putting the gnocchi in a pan to make them crispy is genius!!!

      • Katie 07.09.2013

        I finally have bought zuchinni and gnocchi but forgot to buy half and half!! I know you said you wouldn’t recommend milk….but why? I’m not a big half and half fan.

        • Iowa Girl Eats 07.10.2013

          Milk wouldn’t get thick and creamy like half and half, and tends to get gritty when cooked over high heat!

  3. Lauren 02.14.2013

    I just had gnocchi last night and remembered why I love it so very much. Little pillows of soft dough – delicious!

  4. Have a great night together! We are staying home and ordering pizza. I think we’ve got you beat on the party animal thing. ;)

  5. Lauren 02.14.2013

    Haha Ben! He’s awesome. Happy Valentines day! I am looking forward to trying to cook gnocchi this way!

  6. I’m not usually a gnocchi girl, but the way you crisp it up to switch up the texture sounds awesome. I think I’m gonna have to give this a go sometime soon.

    Plus, anything spring sounds good right about now :)

  7. i’m not sure why i’ve never thought of this before….it’s everything good in a skillet. holy cow.

  8. jad18 02.14.2013

    Ha, I adore the Bachelor pose picture! We made dinner and are watching the Office and Downton Abbey tonight. Hope your evening is great.

  9. Cathy 02.14.2013

    You come up with such clever ideas: like the way you folded the tortilla the other day, and today with sauteing the gnocchi! We had a beautiful spring day here too, and saw some bald eagles. PS, Valentine’s Day is my wedding anniversary. Hope you and your sweetheart had a good day.

  10. I have never actually eaten gnocchi before, but this looks SO good. I am obviously a sucker for any vegetarian recipe that you share on your site. I love them :).

  11. Jodea @ 02.15.2013

    Birds tweeting and daffodils are making me so happy right now. And it was light when we drove home from work yesterday!

  12. Tom H. 02.15.2013

    All I wanted to say is that I’m glad Missy and I aren’t the only two left still watching The Office…die hards! Although I hate what’s happening with Jim & Pam, plus when did Andy become such a jerk?? Anyway, happy Valentine’s day!

  13. Now that’s what I’m talking about! I love gnocchi when it’s seared and I never thought to put these ingredients together!

  14. Ashley F 02.15.2013

    More gnocchi recipes, please! I love gnocchi, but I feel like it’s so easy to get in a rut. Can’t wait to try it!

  15. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks to you I have a huge basil plant sitting on my window sill waiting to be plucked. I bought it to accomodate some of your caprese inspired meals. There is snow on the on the other side of the window but its spring time inside of my kitchen.

  16. j 02.15.2013

    I love quick and easy weeknight dinner–gnocchi is delicious. Can’t wait to try this out.

  17. Dawn 02.15.2013

    OMG I rushed home to make this.. makes my whole kichen smell divine and tastes even better!!!

  18. michele 02.16.2013

    SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO easy & SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO tasty, i loved it! this will be in my weekly rotation for sure, delish!

  19. Cheryl 02.17.2013

    I made this last night! It was super easy, super fast, and delicious – thank you!! It’s definitely going into the rotation for fast weeknight suppers! :)

  20. Chastity 02.21.2013

    LOVED it! I already knew I loved Gnocchi, I never thought of cooking it in the frying pan! It was delicious. Now, I’m sad because we don’t have any leftovers to have for lunch tomorrow. :(

  21. Nicole 03.04.2013

    Great recipe, but the brand of gnocchi I used was way too salty for my taste. Next time, I would either make my own fresh gnocchi or try boiling them before frying them up.

  22. Tamara 03.15.2013

    How does this reheat? I was thinking of making it for my lunches next week, so I’d be having a serving each day…

    • Iowa Girl Eats 03.15.2013

      Honestly (sadly) I’m not sure. I made a half batch fresh two days in a row and didn’t have any leftovers. I’m thinking the gnocchi won’t be crispy and the zucchini might get soggy though!

      • Tamara 03.15.2013

        Oh, sure, that makes sense… on both counts. I’ll try it for dinner instead. Not sure if my husband will like it, but we’ll give it a whirl! May sub asparagus for the zucchini. Thanks so much for the reply!

  23. Lindsey 03.20.2013

    I finally tried this tonight, it was delicious!! And the hubs liked it too. This will definitely go in my regular dinner rotation!

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  26. molly 05.08.2013

    This rocks! So easy and so tasty. Subbed Fat Free Half and Half and my boyfriend stated this doesn’t taste good for you! Love this. Thanks IGE!

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  29. Laura 08.27.2013

    This was absolutely delish and shockingly easy. Culinary genius. I’m not a fan of dairy, so I left out the cream and cheese and it was still fabulous. It also reheated well the next day. Thanks!

  30. […] One of my favorite recipes from her was the one that introduced me to her blog earlier this spring, Crispy Gnocchi with Zucchini Sweet Corn and Basil […]

  31. Michelle 09.02.2013

    This was outstanding…I feel like I missed out on a full summer of eating this by only discovering it labor day!!

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  34. Tracy 09.29.2013

    What could I substitute for the half and half to make the sauce dairy free? This looks great that I’d love to try it!

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  38. Abigail Korver 08.01.2014

    I just starting following your blog, and am loving it! I would really like to try this recipe because I am also from Iowa, and all the sweet corn and zucchini are ripening right now. However, my carnivorous husband might be disappointed if there is no meat accompanying his dinner. Any suggestions of something to go with this dish?

    • Kristin 08.01.2014

      Grilled chicken or sauteed shrimp would be awesome!

  39. […] most of our kitchen, but I had enough to work with so I made one of our absolute favorites – Crispy Gnocchi with Zucchini and Sweet Corn from Iowa Girl […]

  40. Dawn 11.20.2014

    I made this for my family and added grilled chicken breasts. They LOVED it. Thanks so much!! I’m trying to cut back on carbs. Do you think it would work with spaghetti squash instead of the gnocchi?

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