Sausage Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce

bowl of garnished gnocchi with glass of wine beside it on top of a green linen towel

This Sausage Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce is an absolutely stellar weeknight meal! Loaded with spicy Italian sausage, pillowy soft gnocchi and the best homemade sauce, this is a simple dish that’s loaded with tons of flavor! 

This recipe was originally published in December 2020 – I’ve since updated the photos and slightly altered the recipe!

You guyssss!!! This dish is my new favorite meal. I feel like I probably say that about all of my recipes, but I swear, it’s true for this one!! 

This was an especially fun one to make because it came about so organically. We had a  random package of gnocchi (from when we made my Creamy Chicken Sausage and Gnocchi Soup) in our pantry we needed to use up and one night, we cracked open a bottle of wine and just really added a pinch of this, a little bit of that and voila! We had this super delicious meal. 

I knew right when I took the first bite that I wanted to put it on the blog. So here we are! 

Why You’re Going to Love this Dish: 

This dish feels SO over the top and super delicious yet it’s so simple. Aside from cooking the gnocchi in a pot – it’s made all in ONE PAN. Each of the flavors are perfectly melded into one another, making a perfectly seamless delicious date night at home option. 

This gnocchi, like the title references, is made with sausage. For this particular recipe, I used spicy Italian sausage which I highly recommend for an extra pop of flavor and kick of spiciness! 

It also utilizes fresh onion, garlic and basil. Hello aromatics and we are so thankful you’re here. 

photo of wooden spoon in a large pot of sausage gnocchi

Another delicious and simple ingredient it uses? San Marzano tomatoes! Ohhhh, these tomatoes, y’all. First off, they’re canned (hello simplicity) and second, they have the absolutely BEST flavor. They aren’t overly acidic like some canned tomatoes can be and they have an amazingly strong tomato flavor. 

Speaking of that tomato sauce….we had to add a little bit of red wine to give it an extra depth of flavor! Near the end, you add a little bit of parmesan cheese for a bit of extra saltiness but it’s never overly cheesy. 

And we can’t forget about the gnocchi, y’all. This gnocchi is SO soft, fluffy and has the best texture. When added to the sauce, the starch from the potatoes help to thicken up the sauce and it makes it taste so scrumptious! 

close up of bowl of sausage gnocchi with garnishes

Add some fresh basil on top along with some red pepper flakes, eat with some crusty bread and a glass of red wine and hello date night meal! Let’s get into how to make it! 

Ingredients You Need: 

  • Potato gnocchi – you can make your own but store bought is WAY easier! 😉 
  • Spicy Italian sausage – you can use mild if you aren’t a fan of spicy. 
  • San Marzano tomatoes – a KEY ingredient for this recipe, these tomatoes are so full of flavor. 
  • Fresh garlic – a must! You could try garlic powder but I think fresh garlic yields so much more flavor. 
  • Yellow onion – adds so much yumminess!
  • Red wine – you can skip the red wine all together if desired, just adds a lot of depth. 
  • Parmesan cheese – freshly grated is the way to go here!
  • Fresh basil – the perfect fresh herb to garnish this dish with!
  • olive oil – a staple!
  • Salt + pepper – staple part 2!
  • Red pepper flakes – optional, but I love a little extra heat at the end for garnish!

How to Make: 

First, let’s chop up those veggies. Finely dice the onion and finely mince the garlic. In a large pan, add in a tsp or so of olive oil and let it warm up on medium heat. 

Once warmed, add in the onions with a pinch of salt. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until translucent and then add in the spicy Italian sausage! Cook the sausage until it’s cooked all the way through – it should take about 5-7 minutes or so. Once it’s done, add in the fresh garlic and cook for 1 more minute, until garlic is fragrant. 

Next, add in the can of San Marzano tomatoes! Don’t drain the can – add all the juice and goodness in there!

Using a wooden spoon, carefully begin crushing the tomatoes to make a sauce and spread them out around the pan. 

side by side photos of the meat and the meat with the tomatoes in a pan.

Add in the wine, a pinch more salt and black pepper and cover and let it simmer on low/medium heat!

Simmer this, covered, for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Make your gnocchi by following the package directions. You can absolutely cook it in a separate pot. But, I decided to dump it directly in the pan with the sauce for a true ONE POT meal!

To do this, I just made sure that the sauce itself was simmering on medium high heat. I added the gnocchi directly into the pan and stirred them in the sauce. I cooked for 3 minutes or so – until the gnocchi was tender. 

Finally, add in the parmesan cheese and stir in. 

Once it’s done, make sure that you TASTE it and adjust for seasoning. If you think it needs more salt, add it! Needs more spiciness? Add in some red pepper flakes! Too spicy? Add in a splash of heavy cream to balance it out. 

side view photo of gnocchi with fork in the bowl

Serve it up! Garnish with fresh basil, red pepper flakes and more parmesan. YUM!

Best Tips/Substitutions:

This dish is pretty spicy, y’all. If you want it less spicy, use mild italian sausage and skip the red pepper flakes!

Want your sauce to be creamy? At the end, add in a splash (or three hehe) of heavy cream! 

Skip the wine completely if desired 🙂 

You can use dried basil if you want but highly recommend fresh! 

This dish is just SO good, you guys…from the soft fluffy gnocchi, to the spicy red sauce and the sausage…you guys are going to love it! Cheers to eating cozy meals this season!

Did you like this recipe? Here are a few others you might like: 

One Skillet Taco Chili Mac and Cheese

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Chicken Sausage 

Thank you so much for following along here, friends! Want to see more? Be sure to follow ourbalancedbowl on Instagram and tag me with your photo if you end up making a recipe! You can also post a photo of your recipe to the Our Balanced Bowl Facebook page! Like a recipe that you saw? Follow me on Pinterest here! I always love to see your re-creations! If you do make a recipe, it would make my whole day if you were to rate and comment so I can get your feedback! Lots of love! – Haylie

5 from 6 votes

Sausage Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce

This Sausage Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce is an absolutely stellar weeknight meal! Loaded with spicy Italian sausage, pillowy soft gnocchi and the best homemade sauce, this is a simple dish that’s loaded with tons of flavor! 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword gnocchi with red sauce, gnocchi with spicy sausage, gnocchi with tomato sauce, homemade tomato sauce, sausage gnocchi soup, spicy sausge with gnocchi
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Haylie


  • 1 16 oz package potato gnocchi
  • 1 (28 oz) can of san Marzano tomatoes 
  • 3 medium cloves of garlic , minced 
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped 
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 lb of Spicy Italian Sausage 
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and then some to top 
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh basil / red pepper flakes for garnish (if desired)


  1. Finely chop the onions and mince the garlic. Shred the parmesan cheese (set this aside).

  2. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a large shallow pan. 

  3. Let it heat on medium heat and then add in onions with a large pinch of salt. 

  4. Cook onions for 1-2 minutes and then add in the spicy sausage. Break up the sausage and cook until sausage is cooked all the way through, about 7-8 minutes  and then add in garlic and cook for 1 minute or so. 

  5. Add in the entire can of San Marzano tomatoes and using a wooden spoon, crush them to make a “sauce”. Add in the red wine, a pinch more salt and a crack of pepper. Stir and let come to a simmer on low/medium heat.

  6. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, covered. Make sure it is STILL simmering - just turn it up slightly to medium/high heat.

  7. Add the gnocchi directly to the pan of simmering sauce and stir in. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally until the gnocchi are tender. Add in freshly shredded parmesan cheese and stir in. Once done, taste and adjust seasoning.

  8. Garnish with fresh basil and red pepper flakes and more parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy while hot!

Recipe Notes

Taste and season AS YOU GO! If it needs more salt, add it! A dash of red pepper flakes? Add it! A splash of olive oil? Do it! Trust your instincts when it comes to flavoring! See above for substitutions for other ideas!

Substitute mild Italian sausage for the spicy sausage for a less spicy dish. 

Skip the wine altogether if desired!

You can also cook the gnocchi in a separate pot if you'd like 🙂 

16 comments / Add your comment below

  1. 5 stars
    Made this with turkey-based Italian sausage, GF gnocchi, and chicken stock/a splash of balsamic vinegar instead of the red wine. It’s become one of my staples. SO good, so filling, and so much flavor with so few ingredients!

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