Continuing on the theme of 30 minute (-ish) meals, I bring you this recipe for pan-fried gnocchi and chicken sausage salad with arugula and roasted red peppers. Yup, it’s just as good as it sounds.
Gnocchi has long been my favorite type of pasta. I have a hard time not ordering those fluffy pillows of goodness when I see them on a menu. I’m perfectly content to dig in to gnocchi tossed with butter or olive oil and parmesan with black pepper, but recently I’ve learned to take it up a notch with pan-fried gnocchi.
If you’ve never tried pan-fried gnocchi before, you must – starting with this recipe. With a crispy golden interior and fluffy, tender interior, it’s basically heaven. To make pan-fried gnocchi, just cook regular gnocchi until tender, drain and let dry, then pan-fry in a hot skillet with olive oil until crispy, flipping just once or twice so they get nice and browned.
To finish off the dish, toss the pan-fried gnocchi with pan-fried chicken sausage, peppery arugula, slices of roasted red peppers and an easy red wine vinaigrette. I’ve also made this dish with slow-roasted tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes when I don’t have roasted red peppers on hand. The dish tastes best when you eat it fresh and the gnocchi is nice and crispy, but I won’t turn my nose at leftovers either.
For this dish, I like to use spicy or sweet Italian flavored chicken sausage. My favorite brand is Applegate, but you could also use Field Roast sausage if you’d like to make this dish meatless. If you use pork sausage, it’ll likely give off a little more fat when you stir-fry it that you can use to stir-fry the gnocchi.
If you can find it, try making this dish with sweet potato gnocchi – the combination of sweet, almost caramelized gnocchi with fresh and peppery arugula and spicy-savory chicken sausage is unbelievably good! Of course, when I made this recipe to photograph, the grocery store was not only out of sweet potato gnocchi, but also every gnocchi other than gluten free gnocchi. But even as a gnocchi snob, I tried Nuovo’s gluten free potato gnocchi and it was actually pretty tasty! Definitely not bad if you have to avoid gluten for health reasons.
This recipe was originally shared November 2014. Recipe, images and text have since been updated to give you the best possible content.
Pan-Fried Gnocchi and Chicken Sausage Salad
1 large shallot, finely sliced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 package gnocchi
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces chicken sausage, preferably sweet or spicy Italian flavored, sliced
1 16-ounce bottle roasted red peppers, drained and sliced
5 ounces arugula
Toss the shallot with red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt and set aside for 10 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook gnocchi according to package instructions, drain and set aside until ready to use.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside until ready to use.
Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. When hot, add gnocchi and cook, stirring occasionally until golden and slightly crispy.
Toss pan-fried gnocchi and sausage together in a serving bowl. Add roasted red peppers, arugula, pickled shallots and vinegar and toss to combine. Season with salt and black pepper and serve immediately.
More easy pasta dinners: