child's hands rolling gnocchi

Ricotta Gnocchi

Gnocchi just might be the ultimate comfort food—both to eat and to make. Gnocchi are little pillows that should be light and airy and melt in your mouth, and the process of making them beckons us to be gentle and patient. Many people make gnocchi with potatoes, flour, and eggs. But cooking and ricing the potatoes is a timely process and can yield dense gnocchi , if not done correctly. These ricotta gnocchi make the work much easier and yield beautiful results every time.

Paired with a simple tomato sauce, this meal can come together in under an hour and can include everyone in the family. From pulling together a soft dough to rolling and cutting the little shapes, it’s a wonderful process to enjoy. Even the tiniest hands will love to help!

45 mins



1 1/2 cups (one 15-ounce container) whole milk ricotta cheese

3 egg yolks

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper


Bring a large stockpot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat.

While your water is heating, place 3-4 paper towels on a large plate and spread the ricotta on the paper towels in an even layer. Place another layer of 3-4 paper towels on top of the ricotta. Then press down gently to let the excess moisture soak into the paper towels, trying to soak up as much of the excess liquid as possible. Transfer the ricotta to a large mixing bowl. (If it sticks to the paper towels, just use a rubber spatula to scrape it off.)

Add the egg yolks to the ricotta and stir briefly to combine.

Add in the flour, Parmesan, salt and pepper, and stir until evenly combined. Avoid over-mixing. The dough will be a bit moist and maybe a bit sticky, but it should be holding together well. If it feels too wet, just add in another few tablespoons of flour.

Roll out and cut the dough. Shape the dough into a round disk with your hands, then transfer it to a lightly floured cutting board and sprinkle the dough lightly with flour. Using a knife or a bench scraper, cut the dough into eight even pie wedges.

Using your hands, gently roll out each wedge out into an even log, approximately 3/4-inch wide. Cut each log into individual bite-sized little gnocchi squares. Lightly dust the gnocchi with flour once more and give them a quick toss so that they are all lightly coated with flour. (This will help prevent them from sticking together.)

Carefully transfer the gnocchi to the boiling water to cook. Then once they float—usually after 30 seconds or so—drain the gnocchi.



  • Measure the ingredients
  • Gently press the ricotta to remove moisture
  • Crack and separate the eggs
  • Mix the dough
  • Pat the dough into a round shape and cut into 8 pieces
  • Shape the “snakes” of dough and cut them


  • Manage the boiling water
  • Encourage kids to be gentle and take their time
  • Boil and remove the gnocchi from the hot water
A photo of Cheryl.

Cheryl Knecht Muñoz

Cheryl is the Founder and Owner of Sugar Beet Schoolhouse, a cooking school for kids and their families in River Forest, IL. As a chef, instructor, and working mom, she is passionate about growing, cooking, and sharing good food together.



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