Instant Mashed Potatoes Are The Secret To Quicker Gnocchi

There's nothing quite like a hearty Italian meal. Specifically, there's something extra special about diving into a bowl of gnocchi. Making it from scratch, on the other hand, takes some time and commitment. If you'd rather make some yourself, save some time in the kitchen by using instant mashed potatoes. This non-perishable grocery store staple will eliminate several steps along the way and help you make the perfect dough.

The experience of eating gnocchi combines all of the best qualities of pasta with everything amazing about potatoes. These pillowy potato dumplings are an unmatched vessel for sauce, and there's a true artistry to making them well. Typically, making a potato gnocchi recipe starts with cooking the potatoes. This, coupled with cooling them off, is the most time-consuming part of the process. After that, the potatoes get smashed or put through a ricer. Then, flour and egg get incorporated, forming a dough. Finally, the gnocchi are rolled out, cut into pieces, and placed in boiling water until they float to the top. Unless you have a couple of hours to set aside for this endeavor, instant mashed potatoes are an ideal way to streamline gnocchi prep.

Skip the peeling and cooking with instant mashed potatoes

In Italian, "gnocchi" means "lumps," and that's roughly what these soft, chewy bites resemble on your plate. If you're making gnocchi from scratch, you may lose motivation by the time you get to forming the dough. The good news is that you can cut over 45 minutes out of your prep time by using instant mashed potatoes.

Instant mashed potato flakes are made from dehydrated potatoes (usually russets), and they thicken into mashed potatoes when you add liquid. One thing to note is that they often contain sodium acid pyrophosphate and sodium bisulfate. These are preservatives that create a lighter texture and reduce moisture. That means there's already sodium in the potatoes, so you don't want to be too heavy-handed when salting your dough. 

Instant mashed potatoes come in a variety of flavors, but you should use the plain kind for gnocchi. The other flavors contain oils and various ingredients that will affect your dough. To make gnocchi with potato flakes, simply combine them with flour and egg. Using a ratio of one part liquid to one part potato flakes, add boiling water to make your gnocchi come together in a single bowl. You can expect an evenly cooked result every time using instant potatoes. That's something that whole potatoes, which come in various shapes and sizes and cook at different rates, can't promise.