Gnocchi are little potato dumplings that cook up in minutes, welcoming the addition of any combination of vegetables, cheeses, meats, or sauces. We love the subtle, wonderful flavor of nutmeg in this dish. Olive oil and milk create creaminess without the use of a heavy cream sauce. Spinach adds color and fresh flavor.

Whatever you do, don’t skip the nutmeg. It’s best grated fresh (use a whole nutmeg and a microplane grater.) Have you ever added a dash of nutmeg to plain pasta tossed with some olive oil and Parmesan? It adds such a wonderful, subtle flavor. Don’t overdo it though – like with some other spices such as turmeric or cumin, too much nutmeg can taste medicinal and bitter. Just the right amount = heavenly.

Trader Joe’s sells gnocchi conveniently bagged in very flat trays. It is shelf-stable and usually found with the pastas. The trick to good gnocchi is to drop it in boiling water and then watch it carefully! The instant they begin to float to the top, you’re done. Any longer in the boiling water and you will have sticky mush!

Gnutmeg Gnocchi with Spinach


  • 1 (17.6-oz) pkg dried gnocchi
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic or 1 cube frozen Crushed Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts (unsalted, raw or roasted)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 (6-oz) bag fresh spinach (about 5-6 cups)
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese (shaved, shredded, or grated)


  1. Bring water to a boil and prepare the gnocchi according to directions.
  2. In a deep skillet or wide saucepan, sauté onions in 2 Tbsp of olive oil until soft and translucent (about 5 minutes). Add garlic, nutmeg, salt, and walnuts, sautéing over low heat until onions begin to caramelize.
  3. Add drained gnocchi to onion mixture and stir gently to combine and coat. Drizzle another Tbsp of olive oil over gnocchi and add milk. Heat for an additional minute.
  4. Place spinach on top and place a lid over the pan. It will seem like a lot of spinach, but it will all wilt down. Remove pan from heat.   After a few minutes, once spinach has wilted down, add Parmesan and stir to combine.

Prep and cooking time: 15-20 minutes

Serves 4


This recipe appears in two of our Trader Joe’s cookbooks: The Companion, and our Vegetarian collection.