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Pan Fried Gnocchi and Brussels Sprouts

Italian sausage, brussels sprouts and gnocchi are pan fried with lemon zest and butter for a dinner that’s ready in less than 30 minutes! Pairs beautifully with cheesy garlic bread or rosemary sea salt dinner rolls.

Two bowls of pan fried gnocchi and brussels sprouts

I’ve had gnocchi probably a dozen different ways, but the one way I can never seem to find it on a menu is pan fried. It’s always coated in sauces and sometimes I want the gnocchi’s flavor and texture to shine.

And guess what? Pan fried gnocchi might be my favorite gnocchi.

Four photo collage showing the process of cooking Italian sausage, brussels sprouts and gnocchi

Tips for making pan fried gnocchi and brussels sprouts

  • Pick your choice of sausage wisely. If you use hot sausage links, you may want to omit the additional red pepper flakes – unless you like a good amount of heat! In that case, bring it on.
  • This can all be made in the same pan – but you’ll need to transfer the sausage and brussels sprouts to a separate bowl and cover it until you’re ready to toss it back in.
  • Add more garlic as you see fit. I only call for 1 teaspoon minced garlic, but if you’re a garlic lover feel free to add more!
  • Cook brussels sprouts until tender – but not burned. It can be a tough balance, but I have faith in you. You want to arrange the brussels sprouts in the pan with the cut side down in an even layer and let them cook without stirring them. So the key is really just to not let the pan get too hot.
Pan friend gnocchi in a skillet with veggies

The magic of gnocchi

Gnocchi is the pasta of angels (sorry, angel hair pasta). They are fluffy little potato dumplings and I would eat them for three meals a day if I could.

It goes well with tomato sauces, creamy white sauces, pestos, cheesy dishes, or served as it is in this dish: complemented by olive oil, butter and lemon.

The beauty of gnocchi is its versatility, and because it’s so quick to cook you can add it to just about anything.

Do I need to boil gnocchi before frying?

For this recipe, no need! You actually want them to be more firm so it can hold up to the hearty sausage and brussels sprouts. So save yourself the extra step and dish and skip the boil.

Granted, if for some reason you have already-boiled gnocchi around you can still add it – just be a little more careful while you pan fry it so you don’t squish it.

Overhead shot of a speckled bowl of pan fried gnocchi and brussels sprouts topped with shredded cheese

Making this a vegetarian dinner

Just omit the sausage! For meat substitutes, you could also substitute in some seitan or jackfruit.

Or you could load up on more veggies by adding mushrooms, diced sweet potatoes, or cauliflower. A hearty vegetable is your best bet, but I’m partial to adding mushrooms to just about everything.

How many servings is this?

I find this to be a good portion for four servings, but if you were feeling like a hungry hungry hippo, it might be two servings with a little bit leftover.

Overhead shot of a speckled bowl of pan fried gnocchi and brussels sprouts

Do I have to add cheese?

Of course not! I just love the way shredded Parmesan complements the dish. You could also use shaved or grated Parmesan cheese as well.

If you choose to omit the cheese, consider adding some more lemon zest and parsley.

Two bowls of pan fried gnocchi and brussels sprouts

What to serve with this dish

After you’ve made this recipe, please leave a comment below with a rating – and if you came from Pinterest, add a photo to the Pin of what you make to the pin to share your experience!

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Overhead shot of a speckled bowl of pan fried gnocchi and brussels sprouts topped with shredded cheese

Pan Fried Gnocchi and Brussels Sprouts


  • Author: Leslie Kiszka
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

Italian sausage, brussels sprouts and gnocchi are pan fried with lemon zest and butter for a dinner that’s ready in less than 30 minutes!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage (about 2 links)
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)*
  • 1 (18-ounce) package shelf-stable or refrigerated potato gnocchi
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Freshly shredded Parmesan, for garnish
  • Flat parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large 12″ skillet or saucepan, heat 1 Tablespoon oil over medium high heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking it into pieces, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a medium bowl. Cover and set aside.
  2. In the same pan, add another 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat, and carefully arrange brussels sprouts cut side down in an even layer. Season with salt and pepper, and scatter lemon zest across the top. Let cook without stirring for 3-5 minutes, until brussels sprouts are browned underneath.
  3. Add garlic and red pepper flake (if using). Stir and cook until brussels sprouts are tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with cooked sausage, re-cover and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, add another 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Being sure to break up any of the gnocchi that might be stuck together, add them to the pan in an even layer. Cover the pan and let cook until golden brown on the bottoms, about 2-3 minutes. Add butter and stir to coat.
  5. Cook, stirring frequently, until the butter is golden in color and foaming, 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add your bowl of sausage and brussels sprouts back to the pan and stir to thoroughly combine until warmed through.
  7. Transfer to serving bowls and top with shredded Parmesan and parsley. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

  • If using hot sausage links, omit red pepper flake – unless you like a good amount of heat!
  • If you choose to omit the cheese, consider adding some more lemon zest and parsley.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: pan fried brussels sprouts and gnocchi, pan friend gnocchi, gnocchi dinner

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Let us know what you think!
Recipe rating

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Dave

Sunday 21st of March 2021

Really yummy. We will make this again and again. Used Beyond Sausage - Spicy Italian links for this.

Leslie Kiszka

Monday 22nd of March 2021

So glad you liked it! Thanks so much for coming back to leave a comment and rating.

Annie

Friday 5th of March 2021

Make this all the time, love this dish!

Ann B

Thursday 26th of November 2020

I will never boil gnocchi again! Who knew it could be tender inside AND lightly crispy outside? Heaven! I used Tofurkey brand plant-based Italian sausage and vegan subs for butter and parmesan. I added some shallots and chopped sun-dried tomatoes and the color was so pretty with the bright green sprouts. Also added the juice of half the lemon at the end, but could probably have used the whole thing. Will definitely be making this again... YUM!!!

Nicole Werner

Sunday 11th of October 2020

can this be served at a picnic (room temp)?

Leslie Kiszka

Monday 12th of October 2020

I don't recommend that as it does include meat - and cooked meat shouldn't be left at room temperature for any more than 2 hours (according to the USDA). Additionally, this just wouldn't taste great when it's not warm anymore :)

MI

Sunday 11th of October 2020

I have never looked at this web site before today so this review is for the recipe. We really enjoyed this dinner. It was filling to eat and fit well within our skill set to follow the instructions. We enjoyed the recipe and will make it again. Cleanup was one large pan, a few utensils and wiping off the stove with some soap and water. I stored the leftovers in the bowl that held the Brussels sprouts while the gnocchi were cooking (less cleanup or later cleanup). We made the recipe on a whim so we did not have all the ingredients. We skipped the sausage and substituted za’atar for the lemon. I didn’t measure but it was probably between 1/2 teaspoon and 1 teaspoon. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. Next time we will probably plan ahead and follow the recipe as written. I liked the texture of the Brussels sprouts and the gnocchi. All the flavors were great together.

Leslie Kiszka

Monday 12th of October 2020

So glad you liked it! Thanks so much for coming back to leave such a detailed review of your experience and a rating.

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