Semolina Gnocchi

This semolina gnocchi recipe holds a special place in my family’s culinary traditions and was reserved for special occasions. Now I share this classic Italian dish with my guests, who appreciated its simplicity compared to other gnocchi recipes. When it comes to making gnocchi we always think about a labor-intensive process. However this semolina gnocchi recipe is a really easy one: in contrast to the classic dough-making method, this recipe is pretty straightforward. After cooking the semolina in a mixture of milk and butter, we add cheese and eggs to make the dough. Once gnocchi are shaped,  they are baked instead of boiled. This approach not only simplifies the preparation but you can easily feed a crowd preparing the gnocchi conveniently  in advance. Moreover, topped with butter and sage, these gnocchi are simply delicious!

For the Semolina Gnocchi:
  • 250g / 9oz / ~1 ½  cups coarse Semolina flour*
  • 1 liter / 4 cups whole milk
  • 100g / 4oz / 8 Tbsp unsalted butter unsalted butter
  • 60g / 2oz / ~1 cup Parmigiano cheese (to be grated)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 handful coarse sea salt
  • 2 handfuls fresh Sage
  • **See: Why we measure by weight

Tools to have on hand:



  • semolina gnocchi recipe


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When it comes to making gnocchi we always think about a long process. But this semolina gnocchi recipe is a really easy one: you don’t have to make a classic dough and once shaped, the gnocchi are baked and not boiled. You can easily feed a crowd and they can be prepared in advance.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 5 people



For Gnocchi:

  • 250 g coarse Semolina flour
  • 1 liter whole milk
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 30 gr Parmigiano cheese - grated
  • 2 egg yolks
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 handful coarse sea salt

For topping:

  • 30 gr Parmigiano cheese - grated
  • 2 handfuls fresh sage - leaves finely chopped
  • 50 g of butter - cut into small flakes, one small flake put on each Gnocchi
The semolina gnocchi recipe calls for a specific type of flour that is not commonly found in North America. The semolina flour should be coarse (similar to the texture of corn meal), durum wheat. An organic Italian Semolina Flour available on Amazon that will suffice. The taste is great, but the flour is still more fine than what I use, so it does not hold its shape quite as well. We expect that these Greek and Middle Eastern semolinas may be a better match, or you might have luck at a specialty Italian shop. What this short video I made to help you to choose the semolina flour: How to choose the right flour for semolina gnocchi


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C / 360°F
  • Line a baking pan (14 x 6,2 inches – 35 x 16 cm) with parchment paper.
  • In a pot, add milk, butter, salt and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Important: You don’t want to over boil the milk. When milk starts soft boiling, pour in the semolina flour very slowly, in a steady stream. At the beginning mix with a whisk to avoid lumps, stirring vigorously.
  • When the semolina mixture starts thickening, use a wood spoon to stir. Keep stirring continuously, down to the bottom of the pot to prevent semolina from sticking and lower the heat if it’s over boiling. The temperature is important: you want to lower the heat so that you don’t burn the bottom, but you don’t want to turn the heat off because you want to cook off the milk.
    At the beginning your mixture will look very liquidy but over time it gets thicker and thicker as we cook off the milk. We want a very stiff semolina mixture so that the gnocchi will hold the shape.
    Your semolina is cooked when it pulls away from the side of the pot.
  • Turn off the heat, wait a couple of minutes and add the egg yolks, parmigiano cheese, a sprinkle of nutmeg, black pepper. Mix well.
  • Shape the Gnocchi:
    – Put on the side a bowl of cold water.
    – With an ice cream scoop, scoop some dough packing it very well by pressing the flat bottom against the side of the pot. It’s important to fill the ice cream scoop very well to have nice balls.
    – Place your gnocchi (it looks like a little dome) on the baking pan lined with parchment paper.
    – Dip the ice cream scoop in the bowl of water, shake it very well to rinse it well. This will prevent the ice cream scoop from sticking.
    – Repeat the shaping.
  • Arrange the shaped gnocchi making rows of 5 gnocchi. The Gnocchi can touch each other because they will not stick when cooking, so make tight rows keeping the Gnocchi close.
  • Sprinkle gnocchi with parmigiano cheese, sage and add a little butter flake on each of them.
  • Move the Gnocchi to the oven and bake until golden brown ~25-30 minutes. Serve warm.


  • Gnocchi variations: before shaping the gnocchi, you can add cooked and blended vegetables to the semolina, like cooked spinach (your gnocchi will be green), cooked squash (orange gnocchi), and all kinds of cooked vegetables. Make sure to dry/squeeze as much moisture from the cooked vegetables before adding.
  • Use different toppings: instead of butter and sage you can use Gorgonzola, tomato sauce, sausages, or whatever you like!
  • This recipe is a great one to freeze: before baking, freeze your gnocchi and use them when you need. Just take it out of the freezer and bake it (no need to defrost).
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