Gnocchi are Italian dumplings which are made from semolina flour and potatoes, and it’s treated like pasta, where it’s shaped into shells, discs, or ovals, and cooked and served the same way.
When you cook gnocchi, it only lasts a short while, especially if you’ve made the gnocchi from scratch or bought it fresh.
It’s also very easy to have a surplus of gnocchi, and while you may not fancy the idea of having it for every meal, the idea of wasting it is worse.
But what if you could freeze it?
Is Freezing Gnocchi A Good Idea?
When cooked, gnocchi dumplings start to degrade once they are boiled, as the process starts to break down the structure of the gnocchi.
While gnocchi can be frozen without any problems, in order to get the best results, you need to freeze it raw.
Gnocchi will last in the freezer for at least 2 months, which is already better than the best part of a week, which is how long it lasts in the fridge.
Provided that you prepare the gnocchi properly for freezing, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t freeze it.
How you should prepare it for the freezer depends on whether they are cooked or raw, and there are methods for both.
How Do You Freeze Gnocchi?
How To Freeze Raw Gnocchi
This is the best way of freezing gnocchi, by freezing it uncooked. It means that you’ll be able to preserve that lovely chewy texture as much as possible during the freezing process.
If you’re making it from scratch, shape the dumplings as you normally would, and then place them onto a lined baking tray on the counter. For extra protection, you can also flour (see also Can You Freeze Flour?) the tray.
Make sure to arrange them in a single layer, without any of the pieces touching. Let them air dry for at least an hour, up to four if you have that long to spare. Don’t skip this step, as this is the one that helps retain that consistency of the gnocchi the most.
Then transfer the baking tray into the freezer for two or three hours in total. Once they are solid, remove them from the freezer, and decant the gnocchi into a resealable freezer bag.
Do this carefully. Don’t just tip them into the bag, as they’ll still be fairly fragile, frozen or not!
Once you got all the gnocchi in the bag, get rid of any excess air, seal it, label it, and freeze it.
How To Freeze Cooked Gnocchi
While freezing raw gnocchi is the best way to retain the consistency of this lovely dish, you can freeze them once they are cooked, if you’ve made too many.
Make sure they are completely cool before you start. This method is for freezing cooked gnocchi without any sauce. If you’ve made them with sauce, refer to the leftover gnocchi section.
The best way to stop them sticking is to add some flour to the gnocchi, and mix it in evenly before you put them into their freezer container. Pop them into a freezer bag, get rid of any excess air, seal the bag, label it, and freeze it.
How To Freeze Leftover Gnocchi
If you’ve made more gnocchi than you can use, you can freeze it with the sauce too.
Be aware that it’s likely there will be some changes in the consistency of both the sauce and the gnocchi once you thaw it, but it’s better than wasting it.
Make sure the dish is completely cool, and then decant it into a rigid, airtight container. Seal it, label it, and freeze it.
How To Get Defrosting And Reheating Gnocchi Right The First Time
Getting the gnocchi to defrost properly is easy. Take the container out of the freezer, and put it straight into the fridge.
Let it thaw for as long as it takes, but make sure the gnocchi is completely defrosted before you try to reheat it, as this will help retain the texture.
Reheating Thawed Cooked Gnocchi
Once it’s completely defrosted, treat it as fresh gnocchi, and reheat it in your favorite way.
Cooking Thawed Raw Gnocchi
To cook defrosted raw gnocchi, heat a saucepan full of boiling water. Tip the gnocchi into the water. You’ll know when it’s ready, as it will float to the surface. Scoop it out once it floats. Simply add your favorite sauce or use it as part of a main dish.
Using The Hob
Reheating leftover gnocchi with sauce and all, you can put it straight into a saucepan on a very low heat. Gradually increase the heat to a low simmer, and wait until the dumplings are hot.
While it’s reheating, add any fresh ingredients you like to spice it up a little.
Using The Microwave
You can also use the microwave, if you prefer, to reheat leftover gnocchi. This method is much faster, but there is a risk the sauce will get too dehydrated.
Simply transfer the dish into a microwave safe bowl or container, and cook it on high for increments of 10 seconds.
After every blast, stir and check it, repeat until it’s piping hot.
There are quite a few options when it comes to freezing gnocchi and reheating it. There’s quite a bit of preparation involved, too, but it’s worth the hassle when you know you can enjoy these tasty dumplings whenever you like.