Low-Carb Ricotta Gnocchi (Gnudi) with Spinach

Spinach Ricotta Gnudi
Low-Carb Spinach Ricotta Gnudi. -lvinst-
Total Time 33 min
Prep 30 min, Cook 3 min
Yield 4 servings

Gnocchi are an Italian cross between dumplings and pasta. Although this type is often called "ricotta gnocchi", these are actually a different dish called "gnudi" (pronounced noo-dee). Spinach is often added to gnudi, as I have done here.

Gnudi are made with some flour, and you can use flour without too large an addition of carbs - about 5 tablespoons should do it for the whole recipe, which would add about 25 grams of carb to the nutritional information below. To cut the carbs and make the recipe gluten-free, (and since gnocci are made with potato), and I used the ever-versatile Carb Counter Instant Mashers to get the consistency I wanted. (Please note that Instant Mashers are no longer gluten-free.)

Check out more Low-Carb Pasta Alternatives.


  • 1 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
  • 1 15 or 16 oz. container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Carb Counter Instant Mashers


1) Make sure the excess water is out of the spinach by squeezing it through a strainer or in a clean dish cloth or tea towel. Put the spinach in the food processor with a steel blade. Process a few seconds to break down the spinach.

2) Add the ricotta cheese, salt and spices. Process with the spinach. Taste for flavor and salt content.

3) Add the egg and process to blend.

4) Add the Instant Mashers ¼ cup at a time, and process until blended.

Depending on the amount of liquid in the ricotta and spinach, you might need a little more or less. You want the mixture to be stiff enough to roll into small balls that keep their shape.

5) Roll the mixture into small balls, ¾ inch to 1 inch in diameter. Gently squeeze between thumb and forefinger making indentations on both sides. For microwave method, put on microwave-safe plates. You'll want to make 3 or 4 plates; avoid crowding them. For boiling method, put on plates or baking sheet to be put into freezer or refrigerator.

6) Microwave method: I have found that this works the best. Cover plate with plastic wrap or waxed paper. Microwave on high for 60-90 seconds. Rearrange the dumplings so the center ones get enough heat, and cook for another minute. When hot and firm (but not hard), they are done.

7) Boiling Method: the gnocchi must be thoroughly chilled for this to work -- ½ hour in the freezer or 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Also, don't let them warm up in the kitchen before putting them in the water or they will be too soft. Bring at least 3 quarts of salted water just to a boil in a large pot. You don't want a "rolling boil," or it will start to break the gnocchi apart. Just a simmer is good. Put them into the water, 10 or 12 at a time.

When they rise to the surface they are done - remove and drain well. This will only take a minute or so. They will be softer than using the microwave method, but if they go in cold, they will hold together.

Makes 4 servings as a main course, 6 as a side dish. You can use any type of pasta sauce you want. We like garlic and butter, tomato sauce, or pesto.

Nutritional information for 4 servings: Each serving has 8 grams effective carbohydrate plus 6 grams fiber, 22 grams protein, and 225 calories.

Nutritional information for 6 servings: Each serving has 5.5 grams effective carbohydrate plus 4 grams fiber, 14 grams protein, and 150 calories.

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