5-Ingredient Kale And White Bean Gnocchi Bake Recipe

Perhaps you're here because you're a massive fan of gnocchi, the potato-based pasta that's almost dumpling-like. Or perhaps recipe developer Jaime Bachtell-Shelbert, the holistic dietitian who blogs at Wholly Nourished, had you at "kale and white bean," a classic, flavorful combination that just begs to be consumed every time the temperature drops. Either way, you're in for an amazing treat — and an easy one at that. "We like to make this dish as a quick, nutritious family weeknight meal," Bachtell-Shelbert tells Mashed when asked how she came up with this recipe. "If anyone is trying to transition to a more plant-based diet, this is a great one to try for a meatless Monday."

All that being said, Bachtell-Shelbert points out that you can also enjoy this bake with animal protein if you're craving it. Simply stir in some cooked ground beef or sausage at the same time that you add the beans, sauce, and mozzarella. But the original is just as good. Ready to get cooking?

Gather your ingredients for this gnocchi recipe

The recipe for Bachtell-Shelbert's kale and white bean gnocchi bake calls for just five ingredients. The first one is a package of gnocchi. Bachtell-Shelbert uses cauliflower gnocchi when she makes this for her family not only because is it a great lower-carb alternative to potato gnocchi, but also because, as she explains, "if you opt for cauliflower gnocchi, then four out of the five ingredients are plant-based." Of course, you can use regular gnocchi as well.

Whichever you choose, Bachtell-Shelbert recommends choosing one with as few ingredients as possible — you should be able to "pronounce everything on the ingredient list." The other four ingredients are fresh kale, a can of white beans (known more formally as "cannellini"), a jar of marinara sauce, and some shredded mozzarella. If you'd like, when you serve your gnocchi, you can top it with grated Parmesan (but that's optional).

Cook the gnocchi and soften the kale

You know how fresh, raw kale — and particularly its fibrous "vein" system — can be kind of chewy for a leafy green? Well, here's the part where we make that a non-issue while also cooking the gnocchi. But first, preheat your oven to 350 F (because the end game here is, after all, a bake), and place a colander in your sink.

Now, back to softening up that kale: Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the gnocchi, and allow it to boil for three minutes. Then add all the kale and let it cook for 30 seconds. At the end of 30 seconds, the gnocchi should be rising to the surface. At that point, remove your pot from the heat source, and use a slotted spoon or strainer to transfer the gnocchi and kale to the colander in your sink.

Assemble your dish for baking

While the gnocchi and kale are draining in the colander, grab a medium-to-large oven-safe baking dish. Transfer the gnocchi and kale into this dish. Open the can of cannellini if you have not already done so, empty its contents into the now-empty colander, and rinse with cool water. Add the beans to the gnocchi and kale, then add the whole jar of marinara sauce. Stir gently to combine (so as not to inadvertently break up the individual pieces of gnocchi). Then, evenly sprinkle the shredded mozzarella on top of the gnocchi, kale, beans, and marinara mixture.

Bake up this 5-ingredient kale and white bean gnocchi bake

As promised, the end game here is a bake, so let's turn now to the oven. If it has fully preheated, then place the dish that you just assembled on the middle rack, and set a timer for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, the cheese should be melted, and a fork stuck into the dish should come out hot. Take it out of the oven and serve. If desired, dust with grated Parmesan

5-Ingredient Kale And White Bean Gnocchi Bake Recipe
5 from 32 ratings
If anyone is trying to transition to a more plant-based diet, this five-ingredient kale and white bean gnocchi bake is a great one to try for a meatless Monday.
Prep Time
Cook Time
5-ingredient gnocchi bake
Total time: 20 minutes
  • 1 (17.6-ounce) package gnocchi
  • 3 cups chopped kale, packed
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can cannellini beans
  • 1 (25-ounce) jar marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
Optional Ingredients
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and boil for 3 minutes. Add the kale in the final 30 seconds of boiling.
  3. Remove from heat when the gnocchi rises to the surface. Drain.
  4. Place gnocchi and kale in an oven-safe baking dish. Add the beans and marinara. Stir to combine.
  5. Evenly sprinkle the mozzarella atop the gnocchi mixture.
  6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until heated through and the cheese is melted.
  7. Serve with shredded Parmesan if desired.
Calories per Serving 389
Total Fat 8.2 g
Saturated Fat 3.5 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 39.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 61.0 g
Dietary Fiber 9.3 g
Total Sugars 9.1 g
Sodium 934.9 mg
Protein 18.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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