Pumpkin Gnocchi Sauce

Gnocchi are delicious dumplings made out of potato and pasta flour, or with ricotta cheese. They are a great alternative pasta and they are very versatile.

Pumpkin Gnocchi Sauce

This means that you can pair them with lots of different types of sauces. This recipe for pumpkin sauce with bacon and thyme is easy and delicious. However, if you don’t eat bacon, it’s still delicious if you leave the meat out.

Do you struggle to eat as much fish as you’d like to? See our simple Seafood Pizza Recipe

What Do You Need? 

This pumpkin gnocchi sauce recipe can be made entirely with one pan – the gnocchi is cooked in the same pan that the sauce is made in.

This saves a lot of time when it comes to cleaning up afterwards. You will need a few small bowls for some of the ingredients, and a whisk to mix together the wet ingredients before they are added to the frying pan. 

If you’re looking for a healthy, easy to knock together lunch, check out our Halloumi Salad

Tips And Tricks 

This recipe is straightforward to follow, but if you want to make sure that your gnocchi and sauce comes out perfectly then you should follow these tips. 

  • Crispy bacon – Make sure you get the bacon nice and crispy. This adds a lovely, crunchy texture to the meal and brings out the flavour of the meat. 
  • Use the bacon fat – As the bacon cooks, it will release fat into the frying pan. Don’t clean the pan before you use it to cook the gnocchi. Cooking the gnocchi in the bacon fat will help to enhance the flavour of the meal. 
  • Gently thicken the sauce – Make sure you thicken the sauce over a gentle heat. If you increase the heat and try to rush it, you could end up burning the sauce and ruining the whole dish. 
  • Season to taste – Remember that you can add more salt and pepper but you cannot take it away. Season the sauce slowly, adding a little at a time. 

Pumpkin is such a versatile vegetable. Take a look at our Baked Pumpkin Risotto recipe for more inspiration

How Can You Customise This Recipe? 

This is a simple recipe that is ideal for a weeknight dinner. If you want to make a few changes, here are some ideas. 

  • Pumpkin – We use canned pumpkin in this recipe for convenience. Make sure you use unsweetened pumpkin. If you would prefer, you can use fresh pumpkin. You will need to roast it and puree it first, being careful to remove all of the seeds. You can prepare your pumpkin in batches and then freeze it in smaller portions ready to be used in pasta dishes or pies. 

One of the easiest ways to puree pumpkin is with a Hand Blender. This fabulous small appliance is also ideal for making milkshakes, smoothies and soups. For more information, click here.

  • Bacon – The bacon adds a lovely salty flavour to this dish, but you can leave out if you would prefer to make a vegetarian meal. Alternatively, you could switch it for some chorizo if you want a bit more spice and flavour. 
  • Thyme – Thyme is used to flavour this meal, but you can use a different herb if you want to experiment with alternative flavours. Fresh sage would be a good choice, as it goes very well with pumpkin. You could also try basil or oregano. 
  • Spice – If you like your food with a bit of a kick then you could add fresh chillies, chilli powder, or chilli flakes to introduce some warmth to the sauce. 
  • Vegetables – If you want to add some green vegetables to this dish, chuck in a handful or two of spinach while the sauce is thickening. This will add colour but also nutrients to this meal. 
  • Pasta – This sauce is for gnocchi, but you can also use it with pasta instead. It is a versatile recipe. 
  • Cheese – This recipe uses parmesan cheese in the sauce, but you can use whatever kind of cheese you prefer. Cheddar would work well. You can also swap out the ordinary cream cheese for something like mascarpone or ricotta. 
  • Garnish – A garnish is optional but always makes your dish look more professional if you are serving it at a dinner party. You could use a sprig of fresh herbs and a sprinkling of grated cheese. 

Remember that any changes you make to the recipe will affect the calories per serving. 

Do you love a sweet treat, but hate baking? Our Apricot Balls Recipe (No Bake) is perfect for you.

Pumpkin Gnocchi Sauce

Recipe by Faye Keenan
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: Recipes


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 1 rasher Bacon (chopped)

  • 16 ounces Gnocchi (shelf stable)

  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 Cup Onion (chopped) 

  • 2 Garlic cloves (minced)

  • 1 Tablespoon Thyme (fresh, chopped)

  • 0.75 Cup Milk (reduced fat)

  • 1.5 Ounces Cream Cheese (reduced fat)

  • 0.75 Cup Canned Pumpkin (unseasoned)

  • 0.25 Teaspoon Ground Pepper

  • 0.25 Cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)


  • Take a large frying pan and place it over a medium to high heat. Add the chopped bacon to the pan and cook until it has turned crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan, use some kitchen paper to soak up the excess fat, then set it aside for later. 
  • In the same pan, add the gnocchi. Fry the gnocchi until it has turned a nice golden brown color and it is plump. The bacon fat will give it extra flavor. Once the gnocchi has been fried, remove it from the pan and set it aside for later. 
  • Next, add the olive oil to the pan and heat it up. Add the onions and fry them until they have softened. This should take around 5 minutes. You can then add the garlic and thyme to the pan and continue to fry the ingredients for another minute or two. 
  • While the onions are softening you can whisk the cream cheese and milk together in a separate bowl. Once these ingredients are combined, add the canned pumpkin and continue to whisk. Once the garlic and thyme have been frying for a few minutes, add the contents of the bowl into the frying pan. 
  • Give the ingredients a stir, then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Keep stirring gently until the sauce begins to thicken – this should take around 4 to 5 minutes. You can then add the gnocchi and bacon into the sauce along with the parmesan and heat them for a few minutes until it all reaches a nice temperature and the cheese has melted. The dish is now ready to serve. 
Faye Keenan
Latest posts by Faye Keenan (see all)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *