Cheesy Baked Gnocchi Bolognese with Mozzarella Recipe

Simple homemade Bolognese made with gnocchi and layered with melted fresh mozzarella cheese.

Cheesy gnocchi Bolognese is your perfect Sunday night dinner. Guaranteed to keep those Sunday Scaries at bay.

Raise your hand if you thought Bolognese was a difficult dish to make at home? (I’m raising my hand). Well it turns out GOOD homemade Bolognese is very easy to make, and incredibly delicious.

Cheesy Baked Gnocchi Bolognese with Mozzarella Recipe

What is Bolognese? It’s a thick, beef-based sauce made with crushed tomatoes, fresh vegetables, wine and spices. Now, I know this technically isn’t a “from scratch” recipe because it uses canned diced tomatoes, but it’s really damn close—close enough for me.

Gnocchi Bolognese with mozzarella is an extra cheesy take on a traditional Bolognese sauce served with gnocchi. The rich potato-based pasta along with the meat sauce makes this one of the heartiest pasta dishes out there.

I make this recipe in (almost) 1 single 12-inch cast iron skillet. However, any large oven safe pan or Dutch oven should do. It saves you a few extra dishes to do later. Prepare the Bolognese sauce on the stove top in a skillet, add your fully cooked gnocchi (it only takes about 3 minutes to boil), and stir into the sauce. Top with fresh sliced mozzarella and bake until cheesy.

You can make the sauce ahead of time if you’d like. Sometimes I like to make the sauce up in the morning and store in the fridge so it only takes 15 minutes to prepare just before dinner. If you’re having people over, this is the way to go. If you end up doing this, be sure to warm up the sauce on the stove before stirring in the gnocchi and baking.

PS. If you drink red wine (like I do), you can use a splash of that in place of white wine.

Cheesy Baked Gnocchi Bolognese with Mozzarella Recipe
Cheesy Baked Gnocchi Bolognese with Mozzarella Recipe
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Cheesy Baked Gnocchi Bolognese with Mozzarella Recipe

  • Author: Shawn
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 34 1x

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pound gnocchi
  • 1 pound 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 ounce ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or red if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 810 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Dash of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 °F.
  2. Bring 2 tablespoons of oil to medium heat in a large oven safe skillet or pan. Once hot, add minced garlic and chopped onion. Cook for 1 minutes. Stir in celery and carrots, simmering for 2 minutes until softened. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Use the tip of a spatula to break up the beef into small chunks. Season all over with salt and pepper.
  3. Add crushed tomatoes, wine, chopped basil, and oregano. Stir and let simmer until sauce thickens, about 25-30 minutes.
  4. Stir in milk and turn off the burner. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and boil until they float to the top, about 3-4 minutes. Strain and stir into the bolognese sauce.
  5. Evenly layer the mozzarella slices on top of the gnocchi bolognese and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese has fully melted. Serve immediately garnished with more chopped basil.


Notes

I like to make the sauce ahead of time (sometimes in the morning) and store in the fridge until dinner. Heat it up on the stove before adding the gnocchi and baking if you do this. This makes dinnertime a breeze!