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Gnocchi Mac and Cheese

Gnocchi mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food! Ready in 20 minutes and made with 2 kinds of cheese, the easy recipe is an irresistible, deliciously cheesy meal, perfect for any occasion. Serve it an indulgent lunch or dinner or a hearty side dish.

Isn’t homemade mac and cheese the best? Be sure to check out our evaporated milk mac and cheese, Chick Fil A mac and cheese, and this yummy Popeyes mac and cheese recipe!

casserole dish with gnocchi mac and cheese.

Easy cheese gnocchi

If you love rich and creamy mac and cheese, my easy gnocchi mac and cheese will be right up your alley!

In this twist on classic mac and cheese, soft, pillowy gnocchi are tossed with an extra creamy cheese sauce.

Sharp gruyere cheese, hot sauce, and mustard give the sauce a ton of flavor, while American cheese keeps things smooth and creamy.

We love it as is, but you can turn it into a gnocchi cheese bake. Just top it with extra cheese and bake until golden and bubbly.

Super creamy and so cheesy, this is a must-make and will go down a hit with your family!

Did you know? Mac and cheese works with all kinds of pasta, not just classic macaroni noodles.

We also have delicious penne mac and cheese, spaghetti mac and cheese, and bowtie mac and cheese.

Reasons to love mac and cheese gnocchi
  • Quick + easy: This gnocchi mac and cheese recipe cooks quickly for an easy dinner, side, and snack.
  • Smooth + creamy: My recipe makes the most velvety, smooth cheese sauce in just minutes!
  • 2 kid-friendly faves in one: It’s a fantastic mashup of gnocchi and cheesy mac and cheese.
  • Main or side: Make it a full meal or serve it as a side dish – either way, it’s the best comfort food.
  • Customizable: Mix in sautéed broccoli or shredded chicken or add toppings like crispy bacon, avocado, or tomatoes.
gnocchi mac and cheese ingredients.
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Ingredients

Making hearty and delicious gnocchi mac and cheese doesn’t require many ingredients at all! Here’s everything you need. Detailed ingredient measurements are listed in the recipe card below.

  • Gnocchi: While you can use the vacuum-sealed gnocchi from the pasta aisle, I prefer refrigerated potato gnocchi because they have a better taste and texture.
  • Butter: Salted and unsalted butter are fine.
  • All-purpose flour: We need flour to create the roux and thicken the cheese sauce.
  • Milk is added to the roux to create the base for the sauce. Whole milk is best, but other types will work. Half-and-half or a mix of the milk and cream could also be used.
  • Gruyere cheese melts beautifully and gives the sauce a rich, slightly nutty flavor. For best results, freshly shred your cheese.
  • American cheese is the secret to a super smooth, velvety cheese sauce. You only need a few slices, but it makes all the difference.
  • Dijon mustard is another secret ingredient that adds a sharp tang that rounds out the cheesy flavors.
  • Hot sauce adds a flavor boost without much heat since we use only a small amount.
  • Salt + pepper to season the sauce.

If you love gnocchi, you should also try our gnocchi salad, gnocchi bake, and crispy sheet pan gnocchi.

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How to make gnocchi mac and cheese

1. Prepare gnocchi

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the gnocchi according to the package instructions. Drain well and set aside.
step 2 make roux.

2. Make the roux

  • While the gnocchi cook, make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Once melted, whisk in the flour and cook until well combined and golden, for 1 to 2 minutes.
step 3 add milk and cook sauce.

3. Add the milk

  • Whisking constantly, stream the milk into the roux.
  • Bring to a low boil and simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Stir in the hot sauce and Dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper according to your taste.
step 4 melt cheese into the sauce.

4. Melt in cheese

  • Turn off the heat and stir in the gruyere and American cheese until fully melted.
step 5 combine gnocchi and cheese sauce.

5. Add gnocchi

  • Gently fold the gnocchi into the cheese sauce and toss to coat completely.
  • Serve the cheese gnocchi right away and enjoy!

Baked baked gnocchi mac and cheese

To make delicious baked cheese gnocchi, combine the cooked gnocchi and cheese sauce and pour into a greased 9 x 13-inch casserole dish.

Sprinkle with more grated cheese and a few cracks of black pepper.

Bake at 350°F (preheated oven) for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the top looks golden brown.

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Tips

Although this gnocchi cheese recipe is fairly easy to make, I have a few extra tips, so it turns out perfectly.

  • Pre-cook gnocchi: Make sure to cook the gnocchi before combining them with sauce, especially when using packaged gnocchi from the pasta aisle. But take care not to overcook as gnocchi will absorb some of the sauce and soften more.
  • Freshly grated cheese: Use freshly grated cheese from the block – pre-shredded cheese is coated in starches and anti-caking agents and will not melt as smoothly.
  • Add the cheese to the sauce off the heat: This prevents the cheese from overheating and becoming stringy.
  • Save time: Prepare the sauce while the water is boiling and the gnocchi are cooking. If the gnocchi is ready before the sauce, drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent the gnocchi from sticking.
bowl of cheese gnocchi on a plate.
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Variations

There are several additions to enhance the flavor of mac and cheese gnocchi:

  • Other cheeses: Sharp white or yellow/orange cheddar, Colby Jack, Pepper Jack, and Swiss cheese are good substitutes for gruyere cheese. You could also use Velveeta instead of American cheese.
  • Breadcrumb topping: For a crunchy topping, mix 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs with 3 tbsp melted butter. Pour the gnocchi with cheese sauce into a greased baking dish, top with the bread crumbs, and bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Add veggies: This is a tasty recipe to sneak in cooked vegetables for kids. Sautéed broccoli, mushrooms, peas, spinach, cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, and green beans are perfect additions.
  • Add a protein: Cheese gnocchi is a great way to use up leftovers. Try adding shredded rotisserie chicken or cubed cooked/grilled chicken breasts.
  • Other mix-ins: Elevate the flavor of your gnocchi and cheese with crispy bacon bits, blue cheese crumbles, BBQ pork, or chorizo for a spicy twist.
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Serving suggestions

Serve mac n cheese gnocchi as a side dish or a meal. We like to eat ours as a side, but you can definitely turn this into a main course for a simple dinner.

The velvety smooth cheese gnocchi pair perfectly with just about any main dish, from breaded chicken thighs to parmesan herb crusted chicken.

And for more cheesy sides, try our Velveeta broccoli casserole and these cheesy scalloped potatoes.

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Storage instructions

How to store cheese gnocchi

Gnocchi mac and cheese tastes best served the same day. Still, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

To reheat, bring the gnocchi to room temperature first, then warm in a saucepan over low heat. Add a generous splash of milk and stir frequently.

If reheating in the microwave, microwave at 50% power and stir often until warmed through. Reheating slowly is best to prevent the sauce from breaking.

Freeze gnocchi mac and cheese

Cool completely, then transfer the cheese gnocchi to a freezer-safe container and freeze for 2 to 3 months.

As it thaws, it will absorb some of the sauce and may seem a little dry. Adding milk or cream when reheating will help.

wooden spoon with cheese gnocchi recipe.
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More mac and cheese recipes

Mac and cheese is one of those family favorites that is always good to have on hand. We have so many delicious recipes and I can’t wait for you to try them!

Did you enjoy this recipe? Give it a 5-star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and leave a comment! Appreciate it so much, thank you!

If you had any issues, I’d appreciate the chance to help you troubleshoot before you rate.

gnocchi mac and cheese recipe.

Gnocchi Mac and Cheese Recipe

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Gnocchi mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food! Ready in 20 minutes and made with 2 kinds of cheese, the easy recipe is an irresistible, deliciously cheesy meal, perfect for any occasion. Serve it an indulgent lunch or dinner or a hearty side dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 x 16-oz packages / 900 g gnocchi
  • 4 tbsp / 55 g / 2 oz butter
  • 4 tbsp /30 g / 1 oz all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups / 600 ml / 20 fl oz Milch
  • 1 1/2 cups / 180 g / 6 oz freshly shredded gruyere cheese
  • 6 slices white American cheese, quartered
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Prepare gnocchi. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the gnocchi according to the package instructions. Drain well and set aside.
    Tip: Stir in a drizzle of olive oil to prevent the cooked gnocchi from sticking together.
  2. Make the roux. While the gnocchi cook, make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour and cook until well combined and golden, for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add the milk. Whisking constantly, stream the milk into the roux. Bring to a low boil and simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the hot sauce and Dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper according to your taste.
  4. Melt in cheese. Turn off the heat and stir in the gruyere and American cheese until fully melted.
  5. Add gnocchi. Gently fold the gnocchi into the cheese sauce and toss to coat completely.
  6. Serve. Serve the cheese gnocchi right away and enjoy!

Notes

Baked baked gnocchi mac and cheese

To make delicious baked cheese gnocchi, combine the cooked gnocchi and cheese sauce and pour into a greased 9 x 13-inch casserole dish.

Sprinkle with more grated cheese and a few cracks of black pepper.

Bake at 350°F (preheated oven) for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the top looks golden brown.

Tips

  • Pre-cook gnocchi: Make sure to cook the gnocchi before combining them with sauce, especially when using packaged gnocchi from the pasta aisle. But take care not to overcook as gnocchi will absorb some of the sauce and soften more.
  • Freshly grated cheese: Use freshly grated cheese from the block – pre-shredded cheese is coated in starches and anti-caking agents and will not melt as smoothly.
  • Add the cheese to the sauce off the heat: This prevents the cheese from overheating and becoming stringy.
  • Save time: Prepare the sauce while the water is boiling and the gnocchi are cooking. If the gnocchi is ready before the sauce, drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent the gnocchi from sticking.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 426Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 606mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 16g

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