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I know it’s only Thursday, but this Sunday night gnocchi Bolognese bake needs to be on your dinner menu for this weekend.

Sunday Night Gnocchi Bolognese Bake | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

And hey, we all know it’s never too early to start planning the weekend!

So here’s the deal. I am in comfort food mode (as if you haven’t figured this out) and this gnocchi bake is all things comforting. As you guys know it’s been a little busy around here, with multiple things happening behind the scenes. And then you know, launching the cookbook! It’s been a roller coaster of anticipation, fun, stress, and um tiredness…tons of different emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving every minute of this ride (ok, well most of it), but some of the stress has just left me craving all the comforting things I love. Things like my favorite pumpkin candle, fuzzy sweaters, and cheesy gnocchi.

Plus, as mentioned earlier this week, the weather in Colorado at night has definitely gone from chilly to just cold, and that means cheesy gnocchi is just what needs to happen for Sunday night dinner this week. I mean, obviously.

Sunday Night Gnocchi Bolognese Bake | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I first had the idea for this recipe a few weeks back, but waited until the end of September to tell you guys about it because it just feels like the most perfect autumn Sunday night dinner.

Sunday night dinners have always been my favorite, which is kind of odd since I used to hate Sundays. It’s a long story, but in short, Sundays just meant back to school the next day, which for me was a pretty big issue.

Anyway, dinners on Sunday were always special. My mom would make a point to make a good meal (probably her Potato Chip Chicken, which is a recipe in the cookbook), bake a loaf of bread, and bake fresh cookies. The entire family, meaning all eight or nine of us (depending on the year and who had been born…) would actually sit at the same table and all eat together at the same time. If you’re a Gerard family member then you know this kind of thing definitely did not happen every night of the week, but when it did happen it was always a nice thing. Sometimes football would be playing in the background, but most of the time it was just the family. It was loud and a little chaotic, but it was always the best.

Sunday nights are not quite the same over here since we’ve all gotten older, moved out of our parent’s house, and you know, grown up. But I still love making a good dinner and lighting a candle or two, especially during the fall and winter months…

Which brings me to this gnocchi Bolognese bake. It’s the perfect dinner to simmer on the stove and let your house fill with delicious smells, then bake and eat.

Sunday Night Gnocchi Bolognese Bake | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Like a lot of recipes I’ve been creating these days, this dish is made all in one pot. Make the Bolognese sauce in a large skillet, then stir in the gnocchi, add some cheese and bake.

So simple, but yet the most amazing dish. Almost like in Italy…but then what do I really know, I’ve never been there. Someday though!

A few notes. My recipe calls for ground beef or spicy Italian sausage. I like to use spicy Italian sausage for an extra layer of spice and flavor. You could also use ground chicken or turkey if you prefer. To make the sauce rich but flavorful, I use a mix of red wine and milk. The wine adds a fruity flavor while the milk keeps the sauce creamy and rich. If you don’t drink wine or prefer not to use it in your sauce, just use an equal amount of water.

And lastly? The cheese! Mozzarella and provolone are my favorites with this type of Italian meal, but you could also use ricotta, maybe even cheddar or really whatever you love that melts well. Then top with basil and all will be good.

It’s a pretty simple and straight forward recipe, but delicious none the less! Excited to make this on Sunday for a cozy night back home after traveling. I am off again on Monday morning, so a good dinner is totally needed.

Kind of already dreaming about it…

Sunday Night Gnocchi Bolognese Bake | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Sunday Night Gnocchi Bolognese Bake | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Sunday Night Gnocchi Bolognese Bake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings
Calories Per Serving: 729 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or spicy Italian sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 16 ounces potato gnocchi
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, torn
  • 1 cup shredded provolone cheese
  • fresh basil, for topping

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
    2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onions and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and garlic and cook until the beef has browned all over, about 8-10 minutes. 
    3. Stir in all of the tomatoes, wine, and milk. Add the bay leaf and oregano and simmer the sauce for 15 minutes or until it has thickened slightly. 
    4. Stir in the gnocchi and 1/3 cup water. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook another 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaf and oregano. Top the dish with cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has melted. Top with fresh basil. Enjoy!
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Sunday Night Gnocchi Bolognese Bake | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

The perfect cheese pull. Get’s me every time.

ps. I will be on Hallmark Home and Family tomorrow at 10am EST/9am C.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight and it was great! Prior to making this, I read through the reviews and was prepared for the sauce to not thicken. However, mine had no problems and I followed the recipe to the T. Maybe it’s the pan people are using and/or not letting it simmer for 15 mins. Anyways, I let it simmer and used my le creuset Dutch oven pan and it thickened up no problem. Our 1 year old enjoyed this as well!

    1. Hey Michele,
      Happy Wednesday!! I so appreciate you giving this recipe a try and love to hear that it was enjoyed! Thanks for your feedback:) xT

  2. 4 stars
    Read the comments before making and saw a lot of comments on it being “soupy” so I reduced the red wine to 1/2 cup and didn’t add the 1/3 cup water with the gnocchi. I think the trick is letting it sit for 5-10 minutes after coming out of the oven before diving in ?

    1. Hey Sammie,
      Awesome!! Thanks for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Have a great week:) xTieghan

      1. 5 stars
        Made this tonight and I think this this will be a new staple in our house!! I am DF/GF and had no problem with sauce thickening using cashew milk. I used the Capello Sweet Potato Gnocchi and the best part was I separated them into crocks so everyone else got to enjoy real cheese broiled on top, and and only I had to eat the vegan cheese. The flavors are amazing and this was so easy to put together. I am so happy my friend recommended your site to me!!

        1. Hey Courtney,
          Happy Monday!! I am thrilled to hear this recipe was a hit, thanks for trying it out and sharing your review:) Thanks for sharing what worked well for you!

    1. Hey Dani,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try, sorry to hear it was soupy, let me know if I can help in anyway! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    I commented back in December when I made this for a friend who was ill. She told me it was the best thing she had ever eaten and asked for the recipe. I made it again today to bring to two friends. Great recipe!

  4. 4 stars
    This was really good! Hearty and rich, and easy to make. I wasn’t totally convinced about the gnocchi (vs. using another type of pasta), but that’s just me.
    My biggest sticking point is that, like others, I’m not sure how this doesn’t turn out soupy. I eliminated the 1/3c of water and only used 3/4c red wine; used crushed tomatoes, because that seemed like the best bet format-wise; simmered it for longer than directed, and it was still quite soupy. I think next time I’ll cut back slightly on the tomatoes and use maybe just 1/2c each of red wine and milk. But add more mozzarella, because there’s always room for more mozzarella. 🙂 Will definitely make again, but will just make some adjustments!

    1. Hey Meghan,
      Awesome!! Thanks a lot for trying this recipe out, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Sorry to hear it was soupy, maybe it just needed to be cooked down a little longer. xTieghan

  5. The recipe looks so incredibly yummy. If
    my kiddos won’t eat tomatoes, could
    I use tomato sauce instead? When I need to reduce the other liquids in the recipe? Thanks Much!

    1. Hi Lauren,
      I would probably just omit or reduce the red wine if you use tomato sauce. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  6. 4 stars
    I agree with the previous comments. I did have to simmer much longer than directed to achieve the proper consistency. Not a huge deal because the flavors were amazing. I would make again!

    1. Hey Amanda! I wouldn’t say it’s supposed to be soupy, so sorry about that! Is there anything you did differently? xTieghan

    2. Not supposed to be soupy. It was flavorful but I had to reduce the sauce for a long time. I would allow an hour – hour and a half for this recipe.

  7. Do you chop or crush the San Marzano tomatoes before adding them? I have only been able to find them as whole peeled tomatoes.

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Kaylee,
      If you prefer smaller tomato chunks you can absolutely crush them. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    Before this I kind of hated gnocchi but I used your recipe and toasted the gnocchi beforehand. My husband couldn’t wait to eat the leftovers, we both really enjoyed this dish!

  9. 5 stars
    A neighbor brought this to me after I had my daughter. I finally asked her what restaurant she ordered it from and she sent me this. I’m so excited to try it. We don’t have wine in our house, is it possible to make it without?

    1. Hey Mary,
      In place of the wine you can use beef broth or a mix of pomegranate juice and water. I hope you love the recipe! Let me know how it turns out:) xTieghan

  10. 5 stars
    Second time making this. We use two links of Italian sausage and make the rest of the pound with ground beef. So delicious and always love the one pot meals!

    1. 5 stars
      I made this for a friend who is ill. After tasting it, I wish I had made a double batch to save some for me. I will definitely make again. I actually simmered the sauce less than called for in the recipe as mine thickened more quickly than stated. Your recipes are always amazing and I love they don’t take all day to make!

    1. Hey Frankie,
      Yes, either of those would work. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan