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Italian Gnocchi Meatball Bake

This Italian Gnocchi Meatball Bake is total comfort food - pillowy potato gnocchi, beef and pork meatballs, spinach baked in a tomato sauce.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Author Liz


Ingredients for the Meatballs:

  • 1 lb. 90% lean ground beef
  • 1 lb. spicy pork Italian sausage
  • 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs

Ingredients for the Bake:

  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. gnocchi (mine was from the refrigerator section at the grocery store)
  • 5 oz. baby spinach leaves cleaned, stems removed
  • 32 oz. marina sauce
  • 5 oz. fresh mozzarella


Make the Meatballs:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Set a rack in the upper 1/3 of the oven. Set a large baking dish on the counter where you’ll be working.

  2. With clean hands, mix together beef, sausage and breadcrumbs - as gently as possible - until well combined. Form into balls a little larger than a golf ball and place into baking dish. You should get about 20 meatballs.

  3. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until browned and cooked throughout.

Make the Sauce and Gnocchi:

  1. While meatballs are cooking, heat 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. When hot, add gnocchi, cooking for 3-5 minutes, until starting to brown.

  2. Add spinach and continue sautéing until spinach is wilted.

  3. Reduce heat to low and stir in marinara sauce. Keep warm until meatballs are ready.

Assemble and Bake:

  1. When meatballs are cooked, remove from oven. Cover with gnocchi and sauce. Gently stir to mix. Top with torn pieces of mozzarella.

  2. Return to oven and make for another 8-10 minutes until bubbling and sauce has melted. If desired, broil for 3-5 minutes, until top is starting to brown.

  3. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.