Baked Gnocchi with Zucchini & Tomatoes

Zucchini are in abundance when Summer rolls around. Turn them into a savory side dish with this baked gnocchi with zucchini & tomatoes recipe. Add some meat and it quickly becomes a simple squash & vegetable based casserole for supper.

baked gnocchi with zucchini & tomatoes being scooped from a square pyrex baking dish

Have you started planting your garden yet?

Are you already picturing the multitude of fresh veggies you’re going to enjoy in just a few months?

Now that we’ve seen the last of Winter and the warmer weather is here to stay, I can’t wait to get my hands on some fresh vine ripened tomatoes and a ton of summer squash.

And those are two things I just love.

Tips For Growing Zucchini & Tomatoes

We have actually taken to planning our gardens now, instead of just planting whatever wherever in their own rows. 

And that little bit of planning has made all the difference in our yield.

I actually draw out a little map on an 8×11″ sheet of computer paper to better help myself visualize.

Zucchini, and any other squash we’re growing, gets its own row. 

While they’re technically ‘vine-y’, they don’t actually grown long invasive tendrils. What these plants do do, is grow very large and bush out. So they need plenty of space.

Even though we use tomato cages, we try to give our tomato plants the same amount of space.

Not because they bush out, but because we plant our basil plants in between them. 

Basil and tomatoes are two plants that do better when planted together.

Look up other pairings- you may be surprised- and take it into consideration when planning for your next backyard garden.

baked gnocchi with zucchini & tomatoes in a square pyrex baking dish

I could live off of tomato sandwiches on toast. For real y’all.

I remember every Summer growing up and going to Grandma’s house and her serving us up tomato sandwiches with ones fresh picked from the garden and so juicy they’d drip right down your chin if you weren’t careful.

There wasn’t any delicacy better. It’s still my favorite summer time treat.

Although tomato pie has become a close runner-up.

And squash? I never thought I’d get my guys to willingly, and eagerly consume something like squash.

I was not a very enthusiastic squash eater growing up, but that was because back then I didn’t know you could do anything with it beyond a microwave and a little bit of salt and pepper.

My, my, my how things have changed. Especially since they’ve seen and grown these veggies with their own two hands.

a wooden spoon shown lifting a serving of baked gnocchi with zucchini & tomatoes out of a glass baking dish

The Best Summer Squash Recipes To Try

Let’s talk recipes that take your summer squashes to the next level for a minute.

Here’s the short dish list of some of the sons’ favorites:

We love taking such an old staple as squash and upgrading it from the country cottage table level and giving it that fancy city-fied attitude.

And while those recipes were all well and good, something was still missing for me.

I felt I hadn’t quite achieved the zenith of squash and tomato perfection.

Close, but no cigar.

And then I had a thought.

Zucchini and tomatoes paired together in one perfect side dish. Add in a little gnocchi, fluffy little potato pillows of perfection, and we were more than in business.

We were booming.

This baked gnocchi with zucchini & tomatoes was the simple side dish everyone needs to be enjoying. All months of the year!

baked gnocchi with zucchini & tomatoes served on white plates

How To Make

A lot of people just throw their squash in a pan, saute it, and call it a day. And I love serving squash a side dish for that very reason.

But- when you decide to serve it in a casserole dish, it needs a little more love.

Nothing too complicated though, because down here in the South even our coziest dishes are really very simple.

Wash and prep your zucchini. It needs to be sliced down the middle (de-seeded if it’s extra large) and then sliced and/or quartered depending on the desired size.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil & onion, sauteing just until the onions are soft and the garlic’s no longer bitter.

Add the prepped zucchini, and let them saute an additional five minutes or so. You want them just slightly cooked, but nowhere near soft. They will finish cooking when baked in the oven.

Stir in the can of tomatoes, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and cover the pan with foil. Let the mixture slowly bubble while you cook the gnocchi.

Cook the gnocchi in a pot according to the package directions. Drain it completely, and set aside.

Remove the foil from the zucchini & tomato mixture. Season with with salt & pepper, to taste. Stir to combine.

Add the gnocchi, carefully stirring to incorporate. Let simmer for another minute, and then remove the skillet from heat.

You can use an 8×8 or 9×9′ cooking dish. We used pyrex this time, but I also have several ceramic baking dishes that work just as well.

Spray the dish lightly with non stick cooking spray. 

Spoon half of the gnocchi mixture into the dish, and using the back of the spoon spread it out evenly into the dish.

Sprinkle one cup of shredded mozzarella evenly out over the top.

Repeat by layering the remainder of the gnocchi/zucchini mixture evenly out over top. Followed by another cup of shredded cheese.

Bake the dish at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Everything will be cooked at this point and you can serve and enjoy, as is.

If you like your cheese a little more browned on top, then turn on the broiler. 

Watching the casserole carefully, broil for 2-3 minutes until the top has developed the desired amount of golden brown spots with a nice cheesy crust.

Let rest for 1-2 minutes before spooning onto dishes and serving.

baked gnocchi with zucchini & tomatoes served on a white plate

The flavors in this baked gnocchi with zucchini & tomatoes dish meld into one perfect ‘ah-ha’ moment in your mouth.

Tips & Tricks

We love the texture and just the over all cheesiness that the mozzarella adds, but feel free to leave it off if you’re trying to go for lighter fare.

You can save calories by leaving off the cheese. If that’s more to your liking.

Similarly, you can switch up the cheese if you have another melting cheese that you prefer.

You can also switch up the squash. Yellow squash & butternut also work well in this recipe.

Want to turn this into a one stop dinner? You can stir fully cooked (and drained) ground sausage into the mix.

Serve it with a simple side salad and crusty bread for a filling vegetarian meal option. I find this especially satisfying when the weather’s extremely hot.

Take advantage of the inexpensive Summer bounty and whip up this simple side dish, or turn it into a pleasing easy dinner. You can’t go wrong with either option, and it’s sure to become a new family favorite.

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baked gnocchi with zucchini & tomatoes being scooped from a square pyrex baking dish

Baked Gnocchi with Zucchini & Tomatoes

Zucchini are in abundance when Summer rolls around. Turn them into a savory side dish with this baked gnocchi with zucchini & tomatoes recipe. Add some meat and it quickly becomes a simple squash & vegetable based casserole for supper.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Casserole, Main Course, Side, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 188kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 cups zucchini sliced and halved or quartered
  • 1 cup onion roughly diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with Italian spices (basil, garlic, oregano)
  • 1 17 oz. package gnocchi (potato dumplings)
  • 2 cups sliced mozzarella cheese divided

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium high heat. Saute about 5 minutes or until the onions are soft, and then add in the zucchini. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes. Add the can of tomatoes, stirring to combine. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium low, and then let the mixture simmer while the gnocchi cooks according to it’s package directions.
  • Drain the gnocchi when it’s done cooking.
  • Add salt and pepper, to taste, to the zucchini mixture and stir. Gently stir the gnocchi into the zucchini mixture and let everything simmer together for about a minute. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  • Spoon half of the gnocchi mixture into a 8 or 9 inch square baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Take half of the mozzarella cheese and sprinkle it on top of the gnocchi mixture. Layer the remaining gnocchi on top of the cheese and then arrange the remaining cheese over that layer of gnocchi.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Turn the broiler of your oven on and broil, watching carefully, for 2-3 minutes until the top begins to brown.
  • Serve & enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 339mg | Potassium: 358mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 457IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 228mg | Iron: 1mg

originally published 8/14/2015

13 thoughts on “Baked Gnocchi with Zucchini & Tomatoes

  1. I was just saying yesterday how I’ve never had gnocchi before!!! I’m dying to make it soon, I might just have to use this recipe, it looks SOOO good!! πŸ™‚ I love bakes like this!

    1. Girl, get on the gnocchi bandwagon! You’ll fall in love with the little dumplings, and the recipe options are endless. Although this one is pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself!

      1. I know, I know… I really need to get ON it!! That and Quinoa… still haven’t tried that yet either.

  2. Oh I hope I could say yes to those questions about gardening. But gardening isn’t my thing. I mean, of course I plants and flowers – the gardening thing doesn’t love me back.
    😐 Anyway, this sounds so delicious and awesome for dinner. Thanks for being here at the party and sharing all those treats you have. Enjoy! xx

    1. I can’t lie, my green thumb isn’t always green, often it’s brown or black BUT the hubs has inherited his Mom’s magical ability to resuscitate anything green and get us the goods. Seriously, his plants grow so well that they practically beg us to unburden them. This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy our summer squash crop!

  3. This looks tasty, I tend to make gnocchi which might be a bit over the top for this recipe, given all the other flavors, but either way worth a try. I need to get some plants for our small garden as well – last year we had some really tasty heirloom tomatoes.

  4. I’m right there with you on the tomato sandwiches and toasties! And it looks like you have winner here with your tomato and zucchini gnocchi. Hope the sons loved it! Happy FF#65

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