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Dive into the ultimate comfort food experience with our Southern Baked Gnocchi Mac + Cheese recipe! This dish combines the creaminess of classic mac and cheese with the pillowy softness of gnocchi, all crowned with a crispy, golden topping. A beautiful twist on a classic dish that is sure to be a staple in your household. Gluten-free, Vegan + Make-Ahead Option.
Buckle up for the ultimate fusion of deliciousness, a match made in culinary heaven---Mac + cheese lovers, you're in for a treat! Imagine pillowy gnocchi bathed in a creamy cheese sauce, crowned with a delightfully crispy golden topping. It's the best of both worlds, a creative twist on two classic comfort foods. Is it better than my much-loved Baked Garlic Chicken Broccoli Gnocchi Recipe? Well, you be the judge!
You know I'm a Southern girl at heart, and my grandma's classic mac and cheese holds a special place in my memories. But, you also know I love to get creative in the kitchen, and right now, I've got a bit of a gnocchi obsession going on – Haha! I've shared my love for creamy mac and cheese in recipes like Easy Vegan Pumpkin Mac + Cheese and Baked Vegan Buffalo Mac + Cheese, Easy KFC Mac + Cheese Bowl [Copycat] and of course my all-time favorite and inspiration for this gnocchi recipe The BEST Southern Baked Mac and Cheese
However, this Southern Baked Gnocchi Mac + Cheese recipe may just take the cake as my new family favorite – it's a definite hit, and my family's hooked, Haha! This dinner recipe is the kind of soul food that everyone can rally behind. It's a real crowd-pleaser, easy to make, ready in 40 minutes and it has that Southern charm with its cheesy gooey inside and crispy outside. Craving some more comfort food inspiration? Check out our selection of 21 Soul-Satisfying Southern Comfort Food Recipes next!
Basically, baked gnocchi is a dish that often contains a level of sauce and ingredients that are then baked together with gnocchi for a nice pillowy gnocchi that is surrounded by bubbling pools of sauce and topped with gooey cheese.
Making the baked gnocchi mac and cheese involves three key steps: first, crafting the cheesy sauce, then partially cooking the gnocchi in the sauce, and finally, creating the crispy breadcrumb topping. The last part of assembly and cooking can be approached in two different ways: either in a skillet or in individual ramekins!
Here, I’ve curated a list of cooking + baking essentials that I use to achieve my favorite baked goods or cooked meals, especially with this Southern Baked Gnocchi Mac + Cheese. Everything from my fave dutch pot/oven, wooden spoons, immersion hand-blender, mixing bowls, and more. SEE THEM HERE!
Gnocchi are basically Italian dumplings made with flour, eggs, and potatoes---unless they are egg-free like this one that I purchased from Delallo foods. When it comes to making your own gnocchi, the process is done is fairly a few steps.
It starts with boiling and mashing the potatoes, combining the ingredients together and kneading them into a ball, shaping the dough, cutting them into pieces, and boiling and draining the gnocchi. For a great recipe, check out AllRecipes.com.
Gnocchi is the plural of gnocco, an Italian variety of dumpling that has been around since Roman times. Other common additions include semolina, formaggio (cheese), ricotta, spinach and polenta. In terms of how to say it----it's pronounced nyow·kee.
Even though this Southern Baked Gnocchi Mac + Cheese is based on using mild, sharp cheddar + motzerella you can also switch things up and add a new flare in their flavor profile by adding any of the following grated cheeses:
When it comes to elevating the taste and flavor of mac and cheese, it's all about the seasoning. I love adding herbs + seasonings for added flavor and it usually consists of salt, black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, mustard powder, and cayenne pepper. Just by adding these handful of seasonings, you're guaranteed to be satisfied.
I like to add some extra texture to creamy dishes like this Southern Baked Gnocchi Mac + Cheese recipe. While the ingredients in this creamy dish are perfect as is, I wanted to share a few more ideas of ingredients that you can add in case you make this gnocchi recipe more than once and want to switch things up!
Other ingredient ideas include:
When it comes to most pasta dishes (including this Southern Baked Gnocchi Mac + Cheese dish), I often enjoy them with a side of bread of some sort. Most times, I make my own homemade Garlic Bread, however, you can choose to spruce things up with many other options such as:
Here's the thing. This Baked Gnocchi Mac + Cheese recipe is so delicious and flavorful that you can honestly enjoy it all by itself. Seriously, the fluffy, tender gnocchi pillows + cheesy creamy sauce with the crispy breadcrumb topping is everything! So, feel free to dig in and savor every single bite. It's a dish that stands tall on its own!
Yes! To make this sauce dairy-free, simply use vegan butter instead of regular butter. And use your favorite dairy-free shredded cheese or nutritional yeast instead of the Mild and Mozzarella cheeses. And make sure you choose a gnocchi that doesn't contain egg.
Of course! For a gluten-free option, just be sure that the gnocchi is GF-friendly as well as the flour.-- For the topping use GF breadcrumbs.
Absolutely! Cook the gnocchi ahead of time and let it cool completely before storing in an air-tight refrigerator for 3-5 days. Prep the breadcrumbs + Ritz crackers mixture 1-2 days prior and store in sealed ziplock bags or container at room temp. On the day of, remove the gnocchi to room temp., about 15-20 minutes and continue with making the creamy mac + cheese sauce and then the assembly STEPS before baking everything together.
To reheat, place it in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) until warmed through, typically 20-25 minutes, or microwave individual servings for a quicker option but keep in mind the topping won't be as crispy. Feel free to add extra cheese before reheating!
Absolutely! While Ritz crackers add a buttery and slightly salty crunch, you can get creative with different cracker options.
If you are a fan of this Southern Baked Gnocchi Mac + Cheese, then you will also love these Southern recipes for the entire family:
If you tried this Southern Baked Gnocchi Mac + Cheese recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. And don't forget to tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea! I love hearing from you!