This 5-Ingredient Gnocchi with Peas and Sausage is going to be your best friend when it comes to busy weeknights. Everything is cooked in one pan, comes together in 30 minutes, and, as the name implies, has only five ingredients. It’s affordable, delicious, and so easy!

Follow along on our five-ingredient journey, with this Chicken Piccata, this Chicken Marsala, and this Shrimp Alfredo.

If five ingredients, minimal effort, and maximum flavor is your thing, then stay tuned every Friday from here on out, because that’s exactly what you can expect to find.  

I’ve always loved the idea of five-ingredient meals. I mean, who wouldn’t? Because the ingredient list is so minimal, it has a waterfall effect on the preparation and cooking — it’s ALL minimal. So naturally, as a stay-at-home/working mom, these are the meals I gravitate towards most nights. I love taking a recipe that may have a dozen or so ingredients and finding ways to simplify the ingredient list and preparation as much as possible. 

It’s actually come about quite organically over time, as I have about a dozen five-ingredient meals littering the archives. And now I’m making it an official thing! 

5-Ingredient Gnocchi with Peas and Sausage

Our inaugural 5-Ingredient meal is the epitome of easy. Fluffy pillows of gnocchi are cooked in a shallow bath of salted water, drained and then tossed with tons of salty Italian sausage, fresh spring English peas, lemon, and nutty parmesan cheese. Because the dish is peppered with fresh peas, and a hit of citrus from lemon zest and lemon juice, this meal is also the epitome of spring, which I love.

This simple dish lacks nothing in the flavor department because of salty Italian sausage, fragrant lemon zest, and lemon juice, but the real star of the show lies in the starchy cooking water. 

Because I opted to cook the gnocchi in shallow bath of salted water (about 2 1/2 inches deep), opposed to a large vat of water, the cooking water becomes super concentrated in starch, which in turn, makes it the perfect liquid for an easy sauce. 

How to make 5-Ingredient Gnocchi with Peas and Sausage

  • Fill a shallow skillet, like this one, 3/4 full of water. Bring to a boil and then salt generously. 
  • Add gnocchi. Cook gnocchi until soft and they float to the top (or according to the packaged directions). About two minutes before the gnocchi is done, add the the peas. 
  • Carefully pour out most of the cooking liquid before draining the gnocchi and peas. (You’ll need up to one cup.)
  • Wipe the same plan clean and put over a medium-high flame. Add sausage. Cook until sausage is brown and cooked through, about five minutes. 
  • Pour in 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking liquid, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the little brown bits. Add gnocchi, peas, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the pan as well. Toss to combine. Turn the heat off and add parmesan. Toss until parmesan has melted. If necessary, add more cooking liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Do I need to use gnocchi? 

No! You can use any kind of dried or fresh pasta. The most important part is to make sure to cook the pasta in as little pasta water as possible so you have that starchy cooking liquid. 

Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success

  • Do not overcook the gnocchi! Typically gnocchi is done when it floats to the top. It can get mushy very fast, so be sure to watch it. 
  • You can swap out mild Italian sausage for sweet or hot. 
  • Feel free to use pecorino, or any other nutty cheese in place of parmesan. 
  • If spring peas aren’t in season, frozen peas will work perfectly, just cook them one minute less. 

What to serve with 5-Ingredient Gnocchi with Peas and Sausage

5-Ingredient Gnocchi with Peas and Sausage

5-Ingredient Gnocchi with Peas and Sausage

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
This 5-Ingredient Gnocchi with Peas and Sausage is going to be your best friend when it comes to busy weeknights. Everything is cooked in one pan, comes together in 30 minutes, and, as the name implies, has only five ingredients. It’s affordable, delicious, and so easy!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb package gnocchi
  • 10 oz. shelled fresh English peas
  • 1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage
  • Zest of 1 lemon + 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan

Instructions

  1. Fill a shallow skillet, similar to this one, 3/4 full of water. Bring to a boil and then salt generously. Add gnocchi. Cook gnocchi until soft and they float to the top (or according to the packaged directions). About two minutes before the gnocchi is done, add the the peas. Cook for 90 seconds to one minutes.
  2. Carefully pour out most of the cooking liquid before draining the gnocchi and peas. (You’ll need up to one cup.)
  3. Wipe the same plan clean and put over a medium-high flame. Add sausage. Cook until sausage is brown and cooked through, about five minutes. 
  4. Pour in 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking liquid, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the little brown bits. Add gnocchi, peas, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the pan as well. Toss to combine. Turn the heat off and add parmesan. Toss until parmesan has melted. If necessary, add more cooking liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
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