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Gnocchi Caprese Two Ways

In Upstate NY, summer still feels a long way off with the recent freezing temperatures and flurries.

Our bodies are yearning for those hot, humid days and a world of multidimensional greens and color. We're craving a taste of summer, like the first bite into a juicy tomato straight from the garden.

So, while pining for summer, we whipped up a recipe that gives us that classic summer flavor without sacrificing the cozy factor, a warm and cheesy Gnocchi Caprese!

Even better, we made this meal two different ways:

  1. one for kids with milder palates (or for the whole fam when you're short on time), and

  2. one with more complex flavors that we think will delight the grown-ups (it might just become your go-to dinner party dish).

Other reasons to love this dish:

  • You can make it in one pan

  • It requires minimal prep (i.e. no chopping needed asides from one ingredient)

  • Clean-up is a breeze

  • It's ready in 45 minutes

  • It won't break the bank


Scroll down for the recipes!

Quick and Easy Kid-Friendly Gnocchi Caprese


  • 1 cup marinara sauce (or more if you prefer a saucier dish)

  • 1 box of dried gnocchi (16oz)

  • 8 oz container of mozzarella pearls, drained, OR 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

  • Optional: 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil

  • Optional: ¼ cup of parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 325.

  2. Cook the gnocchi in a medium pot for 1 minute less than the directions on the package (they’ll get some additional cook time in the oven)

  3. Once finished, rinse with cold water, return to the pot and add the sauce, most of the chopped basil and mozzarella pearls. Mix through.

  4. Transfer contents to a shallow baking dish or cast iron pan and pop it in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted. Then set it to broil for the last 5 minutes until the cheese is browned.

“Grown-Up” Gnocchi Caprese


  • 1 box of dried gnocchi

  • ½ cup of olive oil

  • 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or crushed

  • 1 tsp each of dried oregano and thyme

  • 1 tsp of salt

  • 1 tsp of coconut sugar (or regular sugar/honey)

  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes

  • 1 box of dried gnocchi (16oz)

  • ½ cup of fresh chopped basil (use 2 tsp of dried basil if you don’t have fresh)

  • 8 oz container of mozzarella pearls OR 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

  • Optional: ½ cup of parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 325F

  2. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, thyme, oregano, salt and sugar.

  3. Put the cherry tomatoes whole into a shallow casserole dish, roasting tin or cast iron pan. Pour the olive oil mixture over the top and mix together to coat the tomatoes.

  4. Add the dried gnocchi to the pan and mix through.

  5. Bake for 30 minutes.

  6. Remove from the oven, stir in the basil and mix around to encourage the tomatoes to start falling apart. If some tomatoes are still whole, you can pierce them with a fork to help break them down (be careful of splatter - it’s hot!).

  7. Next, add in the mozzarella pearls. If you are using shredded mozzarella, distribute it evenly on top.

  8. Return to the oven for another 10- 15 minutes until melted, then set the oven to broil for an additional 5 minutes until the cheese is browned.

  9. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh parmesan and basil if desired before serving.

  10. You can also serve this with fresh arugula on top.

If you want to make these dishes side-by-side, like I did, you can play with the measurements and do a kid-friendly batch in a small baking dish and the grown-up version in a large baking dish.

If – I mean WHEN 😉 – you make this, send us a pic or post a photo on IG and tag @nolananddimity so we can see your take!

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