Pillowy Potatoes! We Ranked the 6 Best Gnocchi

Well, this taste test was disappointing. I love gnocchi. These fluffy, soft, and starchy pillows are a top-tier nostalgic comfort food. Gnocchi has the power to restore the worst of moods and breathe life into the saddest of souls. Its texture strikes an enigmatic balance of soft and delicate yet incredibly substantial and filling. While I revere the art of making fresh pasta, I’m also a fan of the store-bought stuff. That said, it brings me no joy to report that a lot of the store-bought gnocchi we tasted were gummy, watery, and sour gnocch-offs.

Yeah, I said sour. Several of the blasphemous bite-size potato pastas we tried had an acrid bitterness that was both confusing and off-putting. No, these certainly aren’t your grandmother’s gnocchi. 

Suffice it to say, there’s a lot of room for improvement in the realm of store-bought gnocchi, but we were able to find a handful that are passable. They may not comfort your soul or revive your spirit, but they’ll fill you up. If there’s a brand you swear by that we didn’t try, seriously, let me know! In the meantime, here’s the best of what we tried.

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best store bought gnocchi

Best of the Best

Cappello’s Sweet Potato Gnocchi

A sweet potato gnocchi takes the number one spot here with ease. Cappello’s is fluffy and light—it has all that gnocchi whimsy with none of the white potato flavor. And the taste? Friends, it is deliciously sweet and almost nutty. The sweet potato flavor really shines here. Also of note is that this gnocchi is made with almond flour (hence the nuttiness), and you really taste that clean, earthy, and toasty almond flavor. This is the perfect pasta to pair with some brown butter and sage, some walnuts, vegetables and oil, or heck, you could even dress it up with some spicy pesto. It’s not great for red sauce, but who cares? This pasta rules. My recommendation: Sear them in a hot pan to enhance their inherent nuttiness. 

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best store bought gnocchi

Best Potato

Trader Joe’s Potato Gnocchi

Trader Joe’s Potato Gnocchi is the best potato gnocchi on this list by a considerable margin. The texture, although not a huge victory, comes closest to the cloud-like potato couch cushions we all know and love. The flavor isn’t very potato-y, which is a bummer, but I can overlook that slightly as these carry a decent gnocchi texture. More importantly, there isn’t that unpleasant sourness you get with most store-bought gnocchi. I’m guessing that sourness comes from the acids and stabilizers which make them able to be sold in dry storage. Shelf-stable gnocchi just doesn’t crush it, but Trader Joe’s version is passable. Like all mediocre foods, just drown it in sauce and call it a day.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

best store bought gnocchi

Best Potato Flavor

Anna Potato Gnocchi

These gnocchi are a little more golden in color, possibly because they’re made from a different type of potato (perhaps Yukon gold). Unlike Trader Joe’s, these have a distinct potato flavor that I appreciate. The starchiness shines bright in Anna Potato Gnocchi. The texture, however, is a bit too dense and chewy for my liking. Gnocchi should be soft, and almost melt in your mouth. Instead, these are sturdy little potato tanks. I actually just came across this Bon Appetit article that says you should stop boiling your store-bought gnocchi. That might fix everything, to be honest. Instead of your gnocchi coming out waterlogged and gummy, they could  come out crispier if you just pan fry them in oil. Might be worth a shot!

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

best store bought gnocchi

Best for Soup

Anna Mini Potato Gnocchi

So, these have the same taste and texture as the Anna regular gnocchi, only these are small little pellets. Anna Mini Potato Gnocchi would be great to use as a dumpling in, say, a traditional wedding soup (don’t mind me, just here pimpin’ out recipes). I would also eat these en brodo style—let them float around in some meaty chicken broth, add some shaved Parmesan cheese, and indulge in a flavorful, restorative winter soup. Anna delivered a pretty decent flavor overall, so the difference between their regular and miniature potato gnocchi is more about utility.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

6.5/10

Sporks

best store bought gnocchi

Best Cauliflower

Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi

I like that these are all different shapes; it gives the appearance of imperfect, rustic, homemade gnocchi. This also smells delightfully of cauliflower, and the texture is pretty darn close to the light and pillowy aesthetic I was looking for. This is not potato gnocchi, which is a shame, but it would make an excellent gnocchi primavera with some fresh vegetables, oil, and garlic. Also, it’s a great substitute if you don’t want all the extra starch. Cauliflower substitutes are really starting to grow on me as we keep taste testing here at Sporked. I actually love the cruciferous, vegetal qualities the cauliflower adds to products.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Trader Joe’s

Rating:

6.5/10

Sporks

best store bought gnocchi

Best with Cream Sauce

DeLallo Potato Gnocchi

Well, this isn’t bitter, sour, gummy, and waterlogged, so that’s good news. It tastes a lot like all the other shelf-stable gnocchi I had, but with a bit of extra potato flavor that earned it sixth place on this list. I do appreciate when things actually taste like their ingredients, which made DeLallo stand out from the other brands we tried. Store-bought gnocchi needs a lot of help, though, so I’d consider pairing DeLallo with a decadent cream sauce (think alfredo), some spinach, maybe some tomatoes, and a whole lot of cheese. Also, a bastardized American carbonara with peas, bacon, and heavy cream would rule. These gnocchi are tanks, so they’ll hold up to a heavy sauce.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

6.5/10

Sporks

Other products we tried: Bellino Potato Gnocchi, Bellino Cheese Gnocchi, De Cecco Potato Gnocchi, Signature Select Gnocchi, De Lallo Mini Potato Gnocchi, Sanniti Potato Gnocchi, Gia Russa Gnocchi, Whole Foods Cauliflower Gnocchi.

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About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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