Salmon and Gnocchi (so delicious!)

Posted by. Posted onApril 19, 2024 Comments0

Here I’ll show you how to make the most delicious Tuscan-style salmon and gnocchi!

This dinner is packed with so much flavour and couldn’t be more simple to make. Even better – it comes together in 30 minutes! Follow me…

4 salmon fillets and gnocchi in large pan garnished with fresh basil

Pan-Fried Salmon

Salmon makes such an awesome dinner for a couple of different reasons. Not only does it take on an array of different flavours, but it’s quick to cook and easy to prep. Today we’re going to be pan-frying it.

What kind of salmon should I use?

I recommend using boneless skinless fillets. I typically grab some from my local fishmonger, but nearly all supermarkets will sell them.  You could use skin-on salmon if you’d prefer since the fillets will be kept whole and served on top.

Seasoning the salmon

Salmon is naturally delicious with minimal fuss around it. Given the Tuscan vibe of this dish (using that term very loosely) we’re going to season the salmon with a handful of store-cupboard spices. As such, the salmon will lightly char in the pan (namely from the smoked paprika) and that’s absolutely fine. In fact, there are many recipes out the for Blackened Salmon, which takes the charring process a little further. You can see the photos/video for visual guidance on my recommendation on how well to cook the outside.

Frying the salmon

Pan-frying is the best option for cooking the salmon in this context as it’s the best chance to develop some flavour. You can build up a nice crust and also baste the salmon in butter. Since the salmon is going on top of the gnocchi and not stirred through it, we want the salmon to hold its own in this dish.

Process shots: season salmon (photos 1&2), fry and baste in butter (photos 3&4).

4 step by step photos showing how to fry salmon fillets

Tuscan Gnocchi

Again, using the term ‘Tuscan’ very loosely, this is the kind of dish that mirrors many aspects of the modern interpretation of Tuscan-style dishes (creamy, garlicky, sun dried tomatoes & spinach).

Cooking the gnocchi

I like to essentially parboil it. You don’t want to fully cook it because you want to finish it off in the sauce, just so it can soak in the sauce without overcooking. Giving the gnocchi a quick plunge in boiling water also removes a lot of starch, which in excess, will turn the sauce gloopy.

Sauce consistency

The base of the sauce is chicken stock and cream cheese, so it’s naturally quite thick. When you add the spinach, it’ll release water as it wilts, which in turn helps thin out the sauce. When you add the gnocchi the excess water it brings with it will also help thin out the sauce.

Process shots: fry garlic & chilli flakes (photo 1), add tomato puree, stock and cream cheese (photo 2), stir (photo 3), add basil, parmesan & sun dried tomatoes (photo 4), add spinach (photo 5), stir (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make creamy gnocchi

Salmon Gnocchi FAQ

How do I know when the salmon is cooked?

You want the salmon to be slightly under your preference after it’s fried. It should easily flake and the centre should turn from a deep pink to a light pink similar in colour to the outside.

Can I stir the salmon through the gnocchi?

Because both salmon and gnocchi are so soft, I don’t recommend breaking up the salmon and stirring it through the sauce, because it can all get a bit mushy. The salmon is much better served on top/to one side of the gnocchi.

How spicy is this dish?

There’s a very small amount of cayenne in the salmon seasoning, which just adds a gentle warmth. There’s also a small amount of chilli flakes in the sauce, of which you can completely adjust to your preference.

close up shot of salmon gnocchi in large pan garnished with fresh basil

Serving Salmon and Gnocchi

Once you’ve made the gnocchi, you can add the salmon on top in the pan, or you can simply serve the gnocchi then plonk the salmon on the plate. I typically only put it in the pan if it needs warming through a little.

If you’ve got any spare basil lurking around you can sprinkle that on top, then just tuck in and enjoy!

Alrighty, shall we tuck into the full recipe for this salmon and gnocchi?!

salmon and gnocchi served on small white plate with silver fork and fresh basil blurred in background

How to make Salmon and Gnocchi (Full Recipe & Video)

4 salmon fillets and gnocchi in large pan garnished with fresh basil


Salmon and Gnocchi (so delicious!)

Here I’ll show you how to make the most delicious Tuscan-style salmon and gnocchi!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Western
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 563kcal
Cost £3 / $4


  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Large Non-Stick Pan & Tongs
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Whisk (optional)
  • Large Pot & Slotted Spoon (for gnocchi)
  • Jug (for stock)



  • 4x 120-150g / 4-5oz boneless skinless Salmon Fillets, brought close to room temp (see notes)
  • 3/4 tsp EACH: Smoked Paprika, Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter


  • 2-3 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp Chilli Flakes
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree (Tomato Paste in US)
  • 240ml / 1 cup Chicken Stock
  • 120g / 4oz Cream Cheese, at room temp
  • 120g / 4oz Sun Dried Tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 20g / 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp finely diced Fresh Basil
  • 90g / 3oz Baby Spinach Leaves, large stalks removed if desired
  • 500g / 1lb fresh Gnocchi (see notes)


  • In a small pot or bowl combine the salmon seasoning, then evenly sprinkle over both sides of the fillets.
  • Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat then add the salmon fillets. Fry for 3 minutes until lightly charred and crisp on the bottom, then carefully flip and fry them for 2 minutes. Add the butter and baste them for 1 more minute, or until it’s just about cooked through and lightly charred on both sides. The salmon will lightly blacken from the seasoning, but you don’t want to burn, so lower the temp slightly if you need to at any time throughout. Timings will depend on the thickness of the salmon and keep in mind it’ll carry on cooking slightly as it rests.
  • Carefully remove the salmon and place on a plate to one side, then lower the heat to low-medium. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and fry until the garlic just about starts to colour (careful it doesn’t burn), then stir in the tomato puree and fry for a minute.
  • Pour in the stock then stir in the cream cheese until fully blended (I find this easiest with a whisk). Stir in the parmesan, sun dried tomatoes and basil, then stir in the salmon resting juices and spinach for 1-2 minutes until it starts to wilt. During this time bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and cook for 1 minute, then use a slotted spoon to transfer it straight into the pan.
  • Give it a good stir until the sauce thickens and the gnocchi finishes cooking through, adding a splash more of the leftover gnocchi water if needed. Check for seasoning, then serve up and enjoy. You can add the salmon back on top in the pan to warm it through for a minute if needed.



a) Salmon – You can use bigger fillets, you’ll just need to increase the cooking times slightly. Depending on how hot your stove runs, you might need to drop it down to a medium so the salmon doesn’t burn on the outside before the inside has cooked. I recommend leaving the salmon very slightly undercooked as it’ll carry on cooking as it rests. In all cases the finished fillet should have turned from a deep pink to a light pink similar to the outside.

b) Gnocchi – Usually takes 2 minutes to cook. I recommend just doing 1 minute for this recipe, just to partly cook it and get rid of most of the starch. It will then finish cooking in the pan. Make sure you don’t drain away the leftover water as this is very useful for thinning out the sauce without diluting the flavour or turning it watery (the starch helps emulsify the sauce).

c) Consistency – The sauce will be pretty thick when you stir in the spinach, but as the spinach wilts it’ll release water to help thin out the sauce. From there, the excess water from the gnocchi will also help thin the sauce out a little more. The end result should be saucy, but nice and think and no longer watery.

d) Calories – Whole recipe divided by 4.


Calories: 563kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.69g | Protein: 36.79g | Fat: 28.83g | Saturated Fat: 14.201g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.448g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8.537g | Trans Fat: 0.202g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 1212mg | Potassium: 1864mg | Fiber: 5.9g | Sugar: 14.16g | Vitamin A: 3572IU | Vitamin C: 21.7mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 5.44mg

For another gnocchi recipe check out my Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi!

For more similar recipes check out these beauties:

Delicious Salmon Fillet Recipes

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