Millionaire Gnocchi with Red Sauce, Herbed Ricotta, and Golden Crispies Recipe - Pinch of Yum
Our recipes, your inbox. Sign up

Millionaire Gnocchi with Red Sauce, Herbed Ricotta, and Golden Crispies

19 reviews / 5 average

You’re going to feel like a million bucks when eating this delicious Millionnaire Gnocchi! Pillowy gnocchi, melty herbed ricotta, fresh herbs, and surprise little crunches from the savory golden brown breadcrumbs you sprinkled on top.

Alert alert alert — the coziest, rich, deeply comforting, easy meets decadent, saucy, stunning, ding dang TREASURE of a dish is here for you.

Soft pillowy gnocchi swimming in a delicious and easy red sauce speckled with Italian sausage, dollops of zesty herbed ricotta melting into each creamy bite, surprise little crunches from the savory golden brown breadcrumbs you sprinkled on top. Wowowowowowow, we cannot get enough of this one.

There are a few extra steps involved to make each separate piece come together, but once they’re all in the same place at the same time, you will not regret one single extra chop or stir it took to make this darling happen. You’ll have to make your crispies (or perhaps you already have a jar made in your fridge because they are your new best friend?), you can mix together the herby ricotta while the sauce is simmering, the gnocchi is prepackaged but, hey, if you’re really feeling it this evening, you could also make your own!

Point being, shortcuts or not, this one is special and we think you’re going to love it.

Whipped ricotta in a bowl.

Ingredients You’ll Need To Bring This To Life

The ingredient list for each separate part of this masterpiece is pretty simple and the lovely thing about that ricotta and those crispies is that they are simply dying to be plopped and sprinkled on other things so, make ’em here and have them ready for some other delicious fun this week.

For the gnocchi, you’ll need:

  • Italian sausage
  • can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • onion, garlic, oregano
  • pre-packaged gnocchi

For the love of your life herbed ricotta & golden crispies:

  • ricotta
  • garlic
  • chives, parsley, thyme, rosemary and sage
  • lemon zest
  • panko breadcrumbs
  • pre-packaged crunchy fried onions
  • olive oil, salt & garlic powder

Get them all together and then let them party. Like, it will really be a party. Get ready.

Golden breadcrumbs on a sheet pan with a spoon.

How To Make This Incredible Gnocchi

Like we said, a few separate elements to bring this superstar combo together but pretty easy peasy to make it happen.

  1. Get your sauce going. Brown the sausage and break it up in the pan. Saute the onions, garlic, herbs and a can of crushed tomatoes. Get the sausage back in there and give her a lazy simmer for a bit on low!
  2. Make the ricotta. Mix together ricotta, garlic, lemon zest, and minced herbs to taste. Boom bam! Try not eat it all with a spoon before you get to your gnocchi.
  3. Make your golden crispies! Check out this post for more detail, but you’ll want to toast up some panko breadcrumbs with olive oil and herbs, mix in some crispy onions, and then just get ready to joyously crunch on them all the days of your life.
  4. Cook gnocchi. Prepare according to package instructions (or maybe you’ve made your own – wow, you!) and then add them to the simmering sauce to get them all coated and delicious.
  5. Dish, dollop, sprinkle & serve! You get it. Train’s headed to YumTown.

What a dream. WHAT A DREAM. Just, very excited for you to work this into your life.

Gnocchi with red and sauce and ricotta in bowl with a fork.

Fill Out That Dinner Table

It’s fair if you just want to put this all in one giant bowl and have at it but if you MUST share with other people around your dinner table, it’s nice to round out the meal with a little simple green salad (why not sprinkle some crispies on that as well?), maybe a lovely warm hunk of no-knead bread, a small extra side bowl of that herbed ricotta?

However you’re serving it up, small dinner party with friends, a cozy night in for two, or maybe your toddler has very delicious and specific meal demands, this one is worth it.

Millionaire Gnocchi: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use homemade gnocchi?

Yes! Love that journey for you. You can find our homemade gnocchi recipe here.

How do I make the breadcrumbs?

So glad you asked because they’re really going to make this gnocchi DELUXE! Get the recipe here.

I’m out of ricotta. Any subs?

Ooo the whipped ricotta is kinda its own masterpiece, so we’d really recommend a quick grocery store run for this.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Gnocchi with red sauce in a bowl

Millionaire Gnocchi with Red Sauce, Herbed Ricotta, and Golden Crispies

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 generous servings 1x


You’re going to feel like a million bucks when eating this delicious Millionnaire Gnocchi! Pillowy gnocchi, melty herbed ricotta, fresh herbs, and surprise little crunches from the savory golden brown breadcrumbs you sprinkled on top. 


Units Scale

Red Sauce

  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage or meatless alternative
  • 12 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • one 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and red pepper flakes to taste

Herbed Ricotta

  • 68 ounces of ricotta cheese
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • salt to taste
  • minced herbs to taste (chives, parsley, and/or thyme)


  • two 16-ounce packages pre-cooked gnocchi

Golden Crispies (Breadcrumbs)


  1. Brown the sausage: Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the sausage; break apart until well-browned and fully cooked. Remove sausage from the pan. If you want you can drain off excess grease from the pan (I often keep it for extra flavor). 
  2. Simmer the sauce: Turn the heat down (so you don’t burn the garlic). Add the olive oil, onion, and garlic; sauté for a few minutes over medium low heat until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and oregano. Add sausage back in and simmer over low heat (think of it as a “lazy” simmer) for 30-45 minutes. Taste and season with salt and red pepper flakes.
  3. Make the ricotta: While the sauce is simmering, mix the ricotta ingredients in a small dish. Taste and adjust as you like.
  4. Cook the gnocchi: Cook gnocchi according to package directions (usually this involves a short boil). Add cooked gnocchi to the pan with the sauce. Bring to a low simmer to get the gnocchi and sauce bubbling and well-coated.
  5. Serve: Serve hot gnocchi topped with a dollop of herbed ricotta and a generous sprinkling of golden crispies. ✨ Heck to the yes.


If you don’t need a full 6-person batch of this gnocchi, just make one package of gnocchi with half of the tomato sauce, and freeze the other half of the sauce for later!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Italian-Inspired

Keywords: gnocchi with red sauce, red sauce pasta, whipped ricotta recipe

Recipe Card powered by Tasty Recipes logo

More Gnocchi Recipes We Love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating


    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      For sure! You could try Italian seasoning, or a combination of basil, rosemary, thyme, and/or oregano.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        We couldn’t help ourselves at dinner… my husband and I couldn’t stop saying how ‘money’ this recipe is 🤣. Do not pass on the ricotta or the crispies…life changing!

      2. Pinch of Yum Logo

        I rarely ever leave comments on people’s blogs but I had to this time! Just got done eating and omg….it was just amazing!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Oh my goodness, you ladies nailed it! I’m going to town tomorrow to get the gnocchi. Everything else is ready and so yummy.

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thoughts on using cauliflower gnocchi? I have a few bags in the freezer and I’m not sure what to do with it.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    What about smoked ricotta? I live near an Eataly and thought it might be good – but don’t want to splurge on it if it won’t go well with the sauce and lemon! Thanks!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Do you think this would freeze well fully prepared? I see you can freeze the sauce…..

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thank you for this recipe! I made it tonight and it was delicious! I will definitely make it again!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Wow! Ridiculously good. FWIW, used whole wheat gnocchi, fresh herbs, and part-skim ricotta.

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Vika Lampel

    Lots of prep for this one but so so worth it! Absolutely delicious with so many great flavors happening! Couldn’t find gnocchi so used homemade frozen noodles. Otherwise made it exactly as written and I’m so excited to have it for lunch tomorrow!!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This was incredible! The ricotta, with the brightness of lemon and herbs, was a standout, and the crispies. So delicious, thank you!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    LOVED this for a little at home date night. So incredible and will be a repeat recipe for sure. My husband and I both thought the amount of lemon in the herbed ricotta was a bit too much for us (I only added zest of 1/2 the lemon and didn’t work too hard to get all the juice out)… so that will be our modification. Otherwise, delish!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Dave Botsford

    Will try this soon. Very appealing!!
    We use ricotta a lot and sometimes buy requezon at local Mexican stores. Same stuff.

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Over the years, I’ve discovered that precooking shelf stable gnocchi that’s going to go right into a sauce isn’t necessary. Swish the can out with a little water (maybe 1/2 can?) and simmer as in the directions. Skip boiling gnocchi and plop them directly into the sauce. Simmer 3 minutes and Mmmmmmm….Thanks for the baller recipe ladies! (I had to chase my family out of the kitchen, they were dipping a spoon into the gnocchi and then into the crispies…haha)

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    So good! Everything you could want. I was hesitant – could anything beat POY Date Night Rigatoni? Possibly this – so so so good!!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    We skipped the sausage and added the POY chicken meatball recipe instead to use up what we had in our freezer. So delicious and made incredible leftovers!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Italian Sicilian Girl approved!!! This was the bomb but most of your recipes are that’s why they’re on regular rotation. In our house everyone agrees that’s five people agreeing on the same meal is pretty impressive!!!!

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Well, that was amazing!! I thought I didn’t like gnocchi, but for some reason I wanted to give this a chance. So glad I did!! I think the gnocchi I tried before was Trader Joe’s and frozen in sauce already. Yucky. I used De Cecco gnocchi and it was fantastic! It only cooks for about 2 minutes. We aren’t huge meat eaters and I wanted to save time for the sauce so I just used Rao’s Arrabbiata for a shortcut. Heated it in a pan and added the cooked gnocchi. The ricotta and the breadcrumbs are game changers. The zesty brightness from the lemon in the ricotta and the texture from the breadcrumbs are what makes this a millionaire gnocchi! I used dried herbs in both the ricotta and breadcrumbs (because fresh herbs here are $4 per small package… that adds up fast!), and it worked great! Dried Basil, dried parsley, and red pepper flakes in both. Definitely give this one a try!! Thank you so much for the recipe and helping me to give gnocchi another chance!

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sharon Mcphedran

    This recipe is wonderful, I have served it twice now for company. You can make ahead but don’t cook down the red sauce until you are ready to serve it, it will thicken too much but can be thinned with water. The crispies recipe makes enough, so you can make the recipe several times and not have to make the crispies recipe again. Also for 4 or 6 people you can probably get away with only half the ricotta recipe.

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo

    My husband and I loved this recipe! I’m not a big gnocchi or pasta person and I ate two bowls! The golden crispies were an awesome addition and I can’t wait to add them to other dishes! Thanks 🙂

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Angela Pankiw

    What a wonderful tasty dish. I used cauli crumbles and fresh basil. My plant based son and meat eater husband both loved it. Such a hit and it only took 30 minutes to make. Thank you for sharing such a great recipe.

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m obsessed with this and have made it a few times. I’ve used jarred sauce too to make it even simpler. The ricotta and golden krispies are where it’s at!

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Can you suggest a good packaged gnocchi? Everyone I have tried is heavy and gummy, nothing like the light almost melt on your tongue ones I had at a restaurant in S.F.

  20. Pinch of Yum Logo

    The base recipe is excellent and fully customizable. I made changes to suit our dietary preferences and the dish came out so delicious! We don’t eat land meat so I used minced, browned vegetarian Italian sausage in place of meat based sausage in the sauce. And, we have some in our home who don’t fancy lemon so much so I cut out the zest in the ricotta and only used the juice. Lastly, we try to skip fried foods so for the crunchy topping I just made crunchy fresh bread crumbs using small diced whole wheat bread, garlic, olive oil and salt then browned in a pan until crispy. Lastly, we like our gnocchi on the chewy side so I pan roasted it instead of boiling it before adding to the prepared sauce. This dish won rave reviews in our home! Thanks for the great recipe!!