This delicious Lemon Butter Gnocchi with Crispy Prosciutto is a cozy pasta dish fit for a weeknight dinner or entertaining. The potato gnocchi are fried until crispy, tossed in a lemon butter sauce and topped with crispy prosciutto creating a hearty and satisfying meal.
My family loves pasta and comfort food, and this dish definitely hit the spot. This delicious Lemon Butter Gnocchi is light and satisfying at the same time. You can serve it as a main dish or even as a side dish. It is excellent served warm however the leftovers are just as delicious.
This recipe is convenient because you can use fresh or frozen gnocchi. I decided to make my own, and this pasta turned out so incredible I might not ever purchase store-bought gnocchi again. I used Gordan Ramsays gnocchi recipe because let's face it, that man sure knows how to make great food.
If you are in a pinch for time, use store-bought fresh gnocchi. Making your gnocchi is simple but can get messy because you are essentially making the dough from mashed potatoes. Like any homemade fresh pasta, the taste is much better than dried pasta. If you are in the mood for a lighter sauce, try it with this Lemony Garlic and Basil Pesto!
Browning butter can be intimidating if you have never done so before, but it is so easy I now do it every chance I get. I highly recommend using a stainless steel pan so you can monitor the color of the butter as it starts to turn brown. You can use brown butter in both sweet and savory recipes. Once you taste it for the first time, you will wonder why you haven't done it more!
Why This Recipe Works
- If you love bacon, you will love this pasta dish topped with crispy prosciutto chips.
- Easily convertible to gluten-free.
- It can be made vegan.
- It comes together in 20 min.
- Serve Lemon Butter Gnocchi as a main dish, a side dish, or an appetizer.
- Serve this crispy gnocchi recipe with any sauce you like!
This recipe includes just a few ingredients found at any local grocery store, and most are likely already in your pantry.
Gnocchi: Fresh or frozen gnocchi makes this gnocchi prosciutto recipe an amazing one. As a result of several leftover potatoes I had on hand, I used homemade gnocchi; however, store-bought works just fine.
Prosciutto: Topping gnocchi with thin slices of crispy prosciutto brings the flavor of this dish to another level. Alternatively, use bacon or pancetta as a substitute. You can find prosciutto sliced thin at your local grocery store in the refrigerator section near the specialty meat.
Butter: I used unsalted butter to control the salt level. Simmering it on a slow flame till it browns gives you a delicious nutty flavor. When browning butter, unsalted butter will foam less and allow you to monitor the color more closely.
Sage: I love using fresh sage leaves. Sage is a member of the mint family. Alternatively, use mint, coriander, basil, thyme, or rosemary as alternatives.
Lemon: Fresh large lemons work best. They are perfectly juicy and add a bright flavor to this dish.
Garlic: It's difficult for my family to exclude garlic from any savory dish. Use more or less garlic, depending on your personal preference.
Parmesan Cheese: I have a weakness for Parmesan; add more or less to your liking.
Olive Oil: Extra virgin is best for crisping the gnocchi. Alternatively, you may use canola or vegetable oil also. The butter tends to get burnt before the gnocchi gets crispy, and my tried and tested opinion says olive oil does the best job.
How to Make Pan Fried Lemon Butter Gnocchi
- In a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully place a few slices of prosciutto at a time flat in an even layer and sauté until crispy. Remove the prosciutto pieces once crisp and let them drain on a paper towel-lined plate, and set aside. Meanwhile cook the gnocchi in boiling water according to package directions. Once they float, remove them with a skimmer and set on a paper towel lined plate to let most of the water drain off.
- In a medium skillet over medium/medium-high heat, place a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Working in batches to not crowd the pan, fry the gnocchi on both sides until brown and crispy. Then, set aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain the excess oil off.
- In another medium pan over medium heat, place butter and let melt. Next, swirl the pan around carefully until the butter starts to turn brown and smells nutty. Careful, this happens quickly!
- Next, add the minced garlic, lemon juice, and chopped sage leaves once the butter begins to brown. Let simmer for about 15- 30 seconds until the garlic has warmed through.
- Take off the heat, add the crispy gnocchi to the pan, and toss until evenly coated in the lemon butter sauce. Next, bring the pan back to the burner until the gnocchi are heated through (about a minute). Add salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
- Finally, serve warm and top with crumbled pieces of crispy prosciutto and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Mushroom Sauce: If you love mushrooms, making this dish in a creamy mushroom sauce is something you must try!
Add vegetables: Try adding mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, or peas.
Make it spicy: Add some crushed red pepper flakes if you enjoy a spicier pasta dish.
Add fresh lemon zest: Add freshly grated lemon zest for bright flavor and a beautiful pop of color for even more lemon taste.
Vegan Gnocchi: This recipe is convertible to vegan by swapping with vegan cheese, butter with olive oil, and replacing prosciutto with fried tofu.
Try a different vegetable: Cauliflower gnocchi would also be delicious. For a healthier sauce, try this dish with fresh pesto.
Gluten-Free: The gluten involved in this recipe is for binding the pasta. You may use any gluten-free flour to make it.
Swap Cheeses: Feta is a healthy and delicious alternative. However, less salt would be needed if using feta cheese.
- Work in batches when pan-frying gnocchi so as not to crowd the pan. As a result, this helps you get crispy gnocchi from both sides.
- Use a light-colored pan to see the color of the butter as it starts to change. When making the brown butter, swirl the pan around carefully until the butter starts to turn light brown and smells nutty. Careful, this happens quickly!
- Keep the gas flame on medium or slow flame (not high) as that gives you golden brown crispy gnocchi. The same applies to making crispy prosciutto.
- I prefer using olive oil for pan-frying gnocchi. Since there are no milk solids, it gives the gnocchi enough time to crisp up in batches without it burning.
- The prosciutto will continue to crisp as it cools once removed from the pan. Alternatively, prosciutto slices may also be cooked on a baking sheet pan in the oven in a single layer on a piece of parchment paper. To do so, bake at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes. Similarly, set aside to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. The prosciutto will continue to crisp up as it cool.
Prosciutto is essentially a cured ham. Because of the long curring process, prosciutto is not considered raw and is safe to eat without cooking.
Ricotta gnocchi has a creamier texture. Likewise, they are also relatively heavier due to the added cheese. Potato gnocchi has a lighter texture but is less forgiving when made fresh. Both are equally delicious and both can be made fresh or found at your local grocery store.
Tomato and basil, sage and lemon butter, basil, mint, or spinach pesto all pair wonderfully with this type of pasta. Basically any sauce you would normally put on pasta would work well with this dish.
Pan-frying is not required, although the texture is something I prefer.
Gnocchi is actually a slightly healthier alternative than traditional white pasta. In contrast to pasta, which consists of only flour and egg, gnocchi uses potatoes and a small amount of flour as the binding ingredients.
Pat the gnocchi dry after boiling and dusting them with a bit of flour before cooking to reduce the risk of sticking to the pan.
More Related Recipes
Lemon Butter Gnocchi with Crispy Prosciutto
- 2 lbs gnocchi (frozen or fresh)
- 2 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 10 large fresh sage leaves chopped
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium non stick skillet over medium high heat place a few slices of prosciutto at a time in a flat layer and sauté until crispy. Remove the slices once they are brown and crispy and let them drain on a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Meanwhile cook the gnocchi according to package directions. Once they float, remove them with a skimmer and set on a paper towel lined plate to let most of the water drain off.
- In medium skillet over medium/medium high heat place a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, fry the gnocchi on both sides until brown and crispy. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate to drain the excess oil off.
- In another medium skillet over medium heat, add the butter (cut up into pieces) and let melt. Swirl the pan around carefully until the butter starts to turn brown and smells nutty. Careful this happens quick! It helps if you use a light colored pan so you can see the color of the butter starting to change
- Once the butter starts to brown add the minced garlic, lemon juice and chopped sage leaves.
- Take off the heat and add the crispy gnocchi to the pan and stir. Bring the pan back to the burner until the gnocchi are heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the gnocchi are warmed through, serve topped with crumbled pieces of crispy prosciutto and freshly grated parmesan cheese.