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Sausage Tomato Gnocchi is a flavorful tomato sauce with miniature sausage “meatballs” served over gnocchi. A quick and easy meal that the family will all go crazy for!

Sausage Tomato Gnocchi in a black bowl.

Tomato and Sausage Gnocchi

Hey everyone! Chelsea back from Chelsea’s Messy Apron with a good cold weather comfort food 🙂 This is hands down one of the easiest and tastiest meals you’ll ever make! Don’t you love when little effort is rewarded with big flavor?!

Tomato sauce being cooked any sauce pan using a wooden spoon.

How to make Tomato and Sausage Gnocchi:

  1. Prepare the mini meatballs – Roll one pound of Italian sausage into small balls (about the size of a nickel). Add olive oil to a large nonstick skillet, heat to medium high, and brown the meatballs by gently turning around the meatballs for about 2-3 minutes. I recommend doing 1/2 of the meatballs at a time so that you have enough room in the skillet to brown them evenly. After all the meatballs are cooked, remove the meatballs to a plate and quickly wipe out the skillet.
  2. Prepare the sauce – Using the same skillet, add 1/4 cup olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the garlic and wait until the garlic sizzles to add in the canned tomatoes and water. Add in the seasonings and submerge a sprig of basil into the sauce. Then, add in the meatballs, cover in sauce, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Serve over gnocchi or spaghetti noodles: While the sauce is cooking, prepare your pasta of choice according to package instructions.
A photo with gnocchi stacked on top of each other.

How to make your own homemade gnocchi:

For this recipe, I use store bought gnocchi because it is so much easier and is still super tasty. However, if you’re looking to make your own gnocchi, here’s how to do it:

  1. Prepare the potatoes – Boil 2 pounds of potatoes (approximately 4 potatoes) with their skins on for about 20 minutes or until fork tender. Keeping the skins on helps prevent the potatoes from absorbing too much moisture. I recommend using Yukon Gold potatoes for their flavor and color, but other varieties would work as well. Drain well and allow the potatoes to cool and then remove the skins.
  2. Make the dough – Rice the potatoes and measure out two cups of lightly packed riced potatoes. Stir in two egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of salt. Once combined, add 1/2 cup flour and stir until it becomes a thick, stiff dough. Gently knead the dough until smooth. Don’t add too much flour or over knead the dough or the gnocchi will become hard and dense. The dough should be light and airy and should still be slightly sticky.
  3. Preparing the gnocchi – Using a floured surface, divide the dough into eight equally sized pieces. Roll each piece out gently until it resembles a long breadstick. The thicker the roll, the thicker the gnocchi. Cut the gnocchi into 3/4 inch pieces. If desired, push a fork against the gnocchi to give it a textured appearance.
  4. Cooking the gnocchi – Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Gently remove excess flour and place the gnocchi into the pot. The gnocchi is cooked once it floats to the top. This typically takes 2-4 minutes.
  5. Storing gnocchi – If left too long, gnocchi will quickly begin to stick to itself. To prevent the gnocchi from sticking, you should begin cooking it within 30 minutes. If you want to make the gnocchi ahead of time, you can freeze it. To properly freeze gnocchi, place the gnocchi on a floured baking sheet and leave it in the freezer until completely frozen (at least 2 hours). After they are completely frozen, you can place them in an airtight container in the freezer until you are ready to use them (for up to two months). When are you ready to cook your gnocchi, there’s no need to thaw them! Just cook the frozen gnocchi in boiling water.
Sausage tomato gnocchi in a black bowl with a fork on the side.

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Sausage Tomato Gnocchi

By: Chelsea Lords
Sausage Tomato Gnocchi is a flavorful tomato sauce with miniature sausage "meatballs" served over gnocchi. A quick and easy meal that the family will all go crazy for!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 pound mild or hot ground Italian sausage
  • 3 tablespoons + 1/4 cup olive oil separated
  • 1 can (28 ounce) CRUSHED tomatoes the higher the quality of these, the better it will taste!
  • 5-6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 sprig Fresh basil
  • 2 packages 16 ounces EACH mini potato gnocchi

Optional: freshly grated Parmesan cheese, additional fresh basil

  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper


  • Form very small “meatballs” with the ground Italian sausage. We’re not adding anything to the sausage, just rolling it into small balls.
  • In a large nonstick skillet, add 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Heat to medium high and then add in about 1/2 of the meatballs. Gently turn the meatballs over and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until they are browned (but not cooked through). Remove to a plate. Add another 1 and 1/2 tablespoons oil and repeat with the rest of the meatballs. Remove the rest of those meatballs to the plate. Quickly wipe out the skillet.
  • In the same skillet, add remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. When the oil is hot, add in the garlic. As soon as the garlic sizzles, add in the canned tomatoes. Pour 1 cup water into the can of tomatoes and slosh around to get the rest of the tomatoes. Pour that into the skillet as well. Add dried oregano, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt (or salt to taste). Stir. Add 1 sprig of basil and submerge it in the sauce.
  • Add the cooked meatballs into the mixture and gently stir until they are covered in the sauce. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring every now and again, or until completely cooked through. Discard the basil sprig.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the gnocchi according to package directions. Drain.
  • Top the gnocchi with the meatballs and sauce. Garnish with fresh basil, additional cracked pepper, & freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Serving: 1gCalories: 493kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 16gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 832mgPotassium: 313mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 49IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

About Chelsea Lords

Chelsea is the blogger behind Chelsea's Messy Apron. She is always experimenting in the kitchen and making new things to eat. "Or I am in the kitchen eating. Both are good." She tries to eat a balanced diet of healthful foods, but she loves desserts. You will find most of her recipes are healthy and easy, but still taste great! She has found that eating is all about balance and she hopes that that is the case on her site!

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