Millionaire Gnocchi (Red Sauce, Herbed Ricotta, and Golden Crispies)

Gnocchi with red sauce and ricotta in a bowl.

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.

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


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. 



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

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