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Creamy Pesto Gnocchi Skillet

In my opinion gnocchi with pesto taste even better than pasta with pesto. Do you agree? Just think of perfectly browned gnocchi which are wonderfully soft on the inside and nicely crispy on the outside. That’s why today we’re making an easy creamy pesto gnocchi skillet. It comes with a cream cheese pesto sauce, those perfectly browned gnocchi, crispy basil tofu, some broccoli, and tomatoes. So, without any further ado, let’s get started.

If you love Gnocchi like I do, make sure to check out my Easy Mozzarella Gnocchi Bake and Spinach Gnocchi Bake!

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easy creamy pesto gnocchi skillet with broccoli, tomatoes and a cream cheese pesto sauce

Like Gnocchi with Pesto but Healthy and Nutritious

I guess that most kids have pasta with pesto on their favorite food hit list. And if we adults are being honest, we do too. At least it’s true for me which is why I’m always trying to come up with new nutritious pesto recipes like this pesto gnocchi skillet

So, in order to add some more vitamins, minerals and fiber to our creamy pesto gnocchi skillet, we need some veggies in here. Therefore, I chose broccoli and tomatoes since I really like them in combination with the pesto. Alternatively, you can also go with zucchini or eggplant instead of the broccoli, but more on that in a minute. 

To keep the calories in check, which is not that easy when working with a store-bought pesto, we’ll make a cream cheese pesto sauce. This makes it also incredibly creamy. 

Lastly, I like to add some protein to ensure that we’ll end up with a well-balanced meal. And since I’m currently obsessed with this basil tofu which I found at my local grocery store I ended up by adding it to this dish. But no worries, I’ll show you how to replace it in case you can’t find such a tofu in your store in a second, so stick with me. 

cast iron skillet with gnocchi, tofu, broccoli, tomatoes and a cream cheese pesto sauce

Ingredients

The quantities given in this recipe refer to approximately two servings of this creamy pesto gnocchi skillet. However, feel free to double, triple, or halve them, depending on how many people you’re cooking for. 

Since this recipe is very meal prep friendly, you’re welcome to make a bigger serving and put the leftovers in the fridge for the following days.

And in case you like to have a larger portion or one with more or less calories, carbs, proteins, or fats, feel free to adjust the amounts to your individual needs. 

I always base portion sizes on my personal dietary needs (presumably those of the average woman). However, you or perhaps one of your fellow eaters may need more or less than I do.

You’ll need…

  • 200 grams or 7 ounces of basil tofu 
  • one teaspoon of olive oil
  • one small head of broccoli (about 300 grams or 10 ounces)
  • 250 grams or 8.5 ounces of gnocchi
  • 250 grams or 8.5 ounces of cherry tomatoes
  • 80 grams or 3 ounces (1/3 cup) of fat-reduced cream cheese
  • 10 grams or about 1,5 teaspoons of basil pesto
  • salt and pepper
ingredients for the creamy pesto gnocchi skillet

Variations and Substitutions

If you can’t find any kind of basil or pesto tofu, you can use regular extra firm tofu instead. If tofu isn’t your thing, you can also serve your gnocchi skillet with salmon or another protein source of your choice. You can either cut the salmon into cubes and sauté them separately in a small pan, or cook it in the oven for 15 minutes and then break it up into small pieces. 

Instead of broccoli, you can also use zucchini or eggplant. In this case, however, you should sauté the vegetables normally with a little oil. Because as you’ll see in a moment, we’re going to prepare our broccoli a little differently today.

easy creamy pesto gnocchi skillet with broccoli, tomatoes and a cream cheese pesto sauce

Creamy Gnocchi Skillet – Here’s How to Make It

First, we need to take care of the tofu. Therefore, unwrap your tofu and place it between two sheets of kitchen roll. Carefully squeeze out the liquid and then cut the tofu into cubes of about one centimeter.

Next, grab a medium sized non-stick frying pan, add a teaspoon of oil and fry the tofu over medium-high heat for about five minutes. Turn it no more than once or twice so that it can get nicely crispy. 

Meanwhile, you can already wash the broccoli and cut it into small florets. Then place a second pan on the stove and add the broccoli along with three tablespoons of water. Put a lid on the pan and steam cook the broccoli for about four to five minutes over medium-high heat.

In the meantime, add the gnocchi to the tofu and sauté over medium heat, tossing occasionally. You can also wash the tomatoes and cut them in half.

Cream Cheese Pesto Sauce

Once the broccoli has a nice, vibrant green color and the florets are firm to the bite, you can remove the lid and add the tomatoes and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté them for about three to four minutes, until a some tomato juice has collected in the pan.

Now you can reduce the heat to low and add the cream cheese and pesto. Stir well before adding the tofu cubes and gnocchi from the other pan. 

Give it another good stir, season with a little salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice if you like, and your gnocchi skillet is ready to serve. Wasn’t that easy?

I hope you like this simple and healthy creamy pesto gnocchi skillet and that you give it a try soon. 

If you have any further questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comments, or send me a massage via email at contact@julesbalancedrecipes.com or Instagram (@julesbalancedrecipes). 

And in case, you’ve tried this pesto gnocchi skillet, I’d appreciate your comment and rating for this recipe. It’s easy to do via the comments section below this post and it would mean the world to me.

Have fun trying it out and bon appétit,
Jules

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cast iron skillet with gnocchi, tofu, broccoli, tomatoes and a cream cheese pesto sauce

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi Skillet

Julia Schmitt
An easy and healthy gnocchi skillet served with crispy basil tofu, juicy tomatoes, some broccoli, and an incredibly creamy cream cheese pesto sauce. Check out the recipe note sections for tips on how to substitute the tofu. 
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 servings
Calories 485 kcal

Equipment

  • 2 non-stick, medium sized pans
  • 1 lid (large enough to cover one of the pans)

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g basil tofu * (7 oz)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small head of broccoli (≈300g or 10 oz)
  • 250 g gnocchi (8.5 oz)
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes (8.5 oz)
  • 80 g fat-reduced cream cheese (≈3 oz or ⅓ cup)
  • 1.5 tsp basil pesto (10 g)
  • salt and pepper – optional some lemon juice

Instructions
 

Tofu

  • Put the tofu block between two layers of kitchen roll and carefully squeeze the liquid. Then cut it into 1 cm cubes. Add the oil to a non-stick frying pan and fry the tofu over medium to medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.
    fried tofu cubes in a non-stick pan

Broccoli

  • Meanwhile, wash the broccoli and cut in into small florets. Add it to the second pan along with three tablespoons of water and steam cook it with the lid on for about 4 to 5 minutes over medium heat. 
    broccoli pieces in a skillet with a splash of water
  • Meanwhile, add the gnocchi to the tofu and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Also wash the tomatoes and cut them in half. 
    fried tofu cubes and gnocchi in a pan

Vegetable-Pesto-Sauce

  • Once the broccoli has a juicy green color and is firm to the bite, remove the lid and add the tomatoes. If necessary add one or two more tablespoons of water. Sauté for about 3 to 4 minutes until there’s some tomato juice in the pan.
    sautéed broccoli and cherry tomatoes
  • Reduce the heat to low, add the cream cheese and pesto, give it a stir. Then add the tofu and gnocchi, mix well and season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice (optional). 
    broccoli and tomatoes in a cream cheese pesto sauce
  • Serve it with fresh basil leaves and some parmesan cheese if desired. 

Notes

*If you can’t find any kind of basil or pesto tofu, you can use regular extra firm tofu instead. If tofu isn’t your thing, you can also serve your gnocchi skillet with salmon or another protein source of your choice. You can either cut the salmon into cubes and sauté them separately in a small pan, or cook it in the oven for 15 minutes and then break it up into small pieces.
Nutritional values per serving:
  • calories: 485 kcal
  • fat: 20,4 g
  • carbohydrates: 47,6 g
  • proteins: 27, 5 g

Nutrition

Calories: 485kcal
Keyword gnocchi recipe, gnocchi skillet, pesto cream cheese sauce
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