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Sweet Corn Gnocchi Skillet

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It's sweet corn season! Make the most of it with this sweet and creamy Sweet Corn Gnocchi Skillet. Fast, filling, and kid-friendly—it's a win for everyone!

Photography Credit: Nick Evans

Before diving in, we wanted to make sure you knew about the ultimate way to save time during the dinner hour: having ingredients delivered right to your door. Click on the red “Add to Shopping List” button in the recipe below and check it out! We call this feature “Relish,” and we’re into it because, really, dinner can be simpler.

It’s summertime and the living is easy—well, at least finding and purchasing delicious sweet corn is easy! This recipe seems almost too good to be true. It’s sweet, creamy, and filling; plus it only takes a few ingredients, and comes together in less than 30 minutes!

Let’s check out what makes this dish so great (and if my kids liked it).

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Sweet Corn Gnocchi Skillet Recipe - mozzarella gnocchi and corn on spoon with garnish


Gnocchi (pronounced nyow-kee) are small, potato-based dumplings that have been boiled lightly in salted water. Some people think of gnocchi as a fancy restaurant-only dish, but you can find pre-made gnocchi in most grocery stores. Once cooked, all you need is a simple sauce and a few add-ins for a complete meal.

Note: Since gnocchi is usually made with a little flour, it is not gluten-free. Try making these Cauliflower Gnocchi if you need a gluten-free recipe!

Corn Off the Cob Gnocchi Skillet - corn gnocchi skillet on blue plate with fork


Corn is in season this time of year, so don’t use frozen corn unless you already have an abundance of it in your freezer, or you’re making this another time of year. Find some fresh, sweet corn in the store or market and cut the kernels off the cob. Use a sharp knife, and cut the kernels off over a bowl so they don’t scatter around your countertop!


When it comes to the sauce for this skillet, you can either use a little water from cooking the gnocchi to make a light sauce, or you can use cream for a richer flavor. 

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Sometimes simple is best! This dish doesn’t need anything extra, but if you want to add a protein you can serve it alongside some poached chicken or just enjoy it as a quick and easy vegetarian main dish.

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“Team. Are you ready for special basketball pasta?!” That’s how I sold this to my kids: basketball pasta—except please shoot it in your mouth instead of in the hoop. (Yes, we have a basketball hoop in our dining room and, no, I don’t want to get into it.)

This is a great dish for kids. The flavors have a few twists, but are overall mild and familiar to most American kids. Gnocchi is a super fun and easy-to-eat food for little fingers or forks.

Both of my kids scarfed down good-sized portions, so I felt pretty good about my 20 minutes of kitchen work!


Sweet Corn Gnocchi Skillet Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 pound gnocchi
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kernels from 3 ears sweet corn, or about 3 cups corn kernels
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces small mozzarella balls (also called pearls or ciliegine)
  • Fresh basil, minced


1 Cook the gnocchi: Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add gnocchi and cook until they float, about 4-5 minutes. Remove gnocchi and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water for the skillet.

Corn Off the Cob Gnocchi Skillet - gnocchi in water in pot

2 Cook the corn kernels: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the olive oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the corn kernels. Let kernels cook in the skillet for 4-5 minutes until they are brown and blistered. Don’t stir them too much. Let them sit so they get some color.

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3 Add onions and garlic: Once the corn has blistered, add the sweet onions and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until the onions have softened and are translucent.

What Is Gnocchi? - corn in skillet

4 Make the skillet sauce: Once the onions are soft, add the cooked gnocchi to the skillet and toss everything together. Turn the heat down to low and add 1/2 cup of the reserved gnocchi water, or 1/2 cup cream. Stir to combine ingredients, then let simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

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5 Finish the dish: Right before serving, add the mozzarella balls to the skillet and garnish with fresh basil.

Corn Off the Cob Gnocchi Skillet - corn gnocchi skillet on blue plate with fork

Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for a few days. Reheat it in a skillet over low heat with a little water. If you freeze the dish, make sure to thaw and reheat it gently. A microwave will ruin the sauce and the gnocchi texture.

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Nick Evans

Nick has been writing delicious recipes for the home cook for almost a decade. He lives in Denver, CO and embraces a delicate balance of diaper changing, trail running and beer drinking. His website is Macheesmo and his first book is Love Your Leftovers.

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