Have you ever considered cooking your weeds? Well, today we share a recipe that does just that – green gnocchi made with wild spinach, aka lamb’s quarters.

Green gnocchi might sound complicated, but they are surprisingly easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients and some wild spinach leaves, you’ll have your weeds quickly cooked in a delicious dinner. Wild spinach gives gnocchi a unique flavor and a beautiful green hue. Moreover, they’re topped with a creamy, easy-to-make, rich gorgonzola sauce.

Perhaps you’ll want to purposely cultivate wild spinach in your garden next year?

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Wild spinach vs. baby spinach

Wild spinach (Chenopodium album), also called lamb’s quarters, goosefoot, pigweed, melde, or fat hen, is a wild plant and common weed across the US, Europe, Australia, India and South Africa. Actually, it’s a close cousin of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa). Its flavor delicately mimics that of cooked spinach, with a unique, wild, almost floral taste that sets it apart from other cultivated greens.

This undervalued plant can be used in any recipe that calls for spinach. In fact, it boasts higher levels of iron, protein, vitamin B2, and vitamin C compared to homegrown spinach. Additionally, it’s a rich source of calcium and magnesium, and it surprisingly contains a decent amount of protein, too.

While baby spinach is often recommended as a healthy green leaf food, it might not be as healthy as you think. Government testing found that up to 95% of commonly purchased US. fruit and vegetables contained detectable levels of pesticides. Moreover, spinach clearly (again) made its way to the top of the Dirty Dozen produce list in 2024, right beside strawberries, with the highest pesticide residue, which can’t be completely destroyed by cooking and processing.

Isn’t this a good enough reason to stop fighting your weed and change the opinion about lamb’s quarters?

Wild spinach is invading my lettuce

The delight of green gnocchi with wild spinach

Green gnocchi made with wild spinach have a unique spinach-like flavor with subtle floral notes. They look vibrantly green and refreshingly different.

Despite sounding fancy, they are relatively easy to prepare. With a few simple ingredients, you can create a delicious gourmet meal in less time than it would take to get to the grocery store. And it’s a creative way to finally use your weeds instead of composting them.

Whether you find wild spinach in your garden or forage it, it’s a sustainable and cost-effective way to add fresh, organic greens to your diet. These gnocchi are enriched with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber.

They will pair well with various sauces, from rich gorgonzola cream to a simple butter sage sauce or topped with sauteed garlic and parmesan cheese.

Lastly, green gnocchi with wild spinach look stunning. And just like we welcomed early spring with wild garlic risotto and celebrated fall with a savory mushroom tagliatelle and porcini pizza, these adorable green pillows are a perfect way to embrace the arrival of summer.

Image of served green gnocchi with wild spinach

The ingredients

WILD SPINACH – We used lamb’s quarters growing in our garden in this recipe. However, you can forage for these nutritional leafy greens or replace them with other green stuff like wild garlic, ramsons, stinging nettle’s leaves, spinach or fresh basil. Have you tried our wild garlic green pasta?

POTATOES – Any potatoes will do; we dug ours in the garden together with wild spinach. But I must add that white potatoes with high starch content and low moisture are best for creating light and fluffy gnocchi. And yes, you can skip them and make green dumpling-like gnocchi with flour and spinach only.

FLOUR – We used organic all-purpose wheat flour for our green gnocchi recipe. Whether a wholegrain cup of flour, corn, buckwheat or gluten-free, the flour makes the gnocchi more sturdy when combined with eggs and potatoes.

OLIVE OIL – A tablespoon of olive oil in the gnocchi batter will make them more smooth and make the dough more cohesive. They will look silky when cooked. We used organic extra virgin olive oil.

EGGS – The recipe used two eggs. For a vegan version, skip the eggs entirely or use mug bean proteins.

BUTTER – Butter is combined with gorgonzola and cream to make an easy creamy sauce.

GORGONZOLA CHEESE – Gorgonzola cheese adds a rich, tangy flavor to a creamy sauce, enhancing it with a bold and complex taste. It pairs great with green gnocchi, is easy and quick to make, and it tastes delicious!

COOKING CREAM – Cooking cream is mixed into the sauce. We recommend a heavy cooking cream with at least 36% milk fat. You can dissolve it with milk while reheating if it gets too thick when cold.

SALT – A pinch of salt is enough because gorgonzola is usually already salty enough.

BLACK PEPPER & NUTMEG – We didn’t use any other spices besides black pepper and nutmeg for the sauce, although you might consider fresh sage leaves and fresh parsley. These two pair great with gorgonzola sauce.

gathering ingredients for green gnocchi: wild spinach, potatoes, flour, salt, olive oil, butter, cooking cream and gorgonzola cheese

How to make green gnocchi with wild spinach


STEP 1: Wash your greens and chop them into smaller pieces. Boil the wild spinach for a few minutes and add a pinch of salt. You can also add a half tbsp of olive oil to the boiling water.

STEP 2: Peel and dice the potatoes. Add a little salt to another pot of boiling water and boil the potatoes for about 20 minutes. When done, thoroughly drain wild spinach and set aside to cool. Do the same with potatoes.

STEP 3: Add chopped wild spinach and two eggs to a food processor or chopper. Add a tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and mix until you get a smooth puree.

STEP 4: When your potatoes cool down to room temperature, add them to the puree. Mix until getting a vibrantly green and silky batter. Alternatively, use the potato ricer for potatoes first and then add the puree.

STEP 5: Transfer the puree batter to another bowl and add flour. Stir until all the ingredients are combined and thoroughly incorporated into a soft dough. Add more flour if needed.

how to add flour to potato and wild spinach mixture

STEP 6: Sprinkle a clean, flat surface with flour and transfer the dough. Knead until you get a nice, sturdy ball of green dough. This step requires about 5 minutes of kneading. You want all ingredients fully fused into the mixture and the dough sturdy enough to work with it further. If the dough is sticky and too soft, don’t hesitate to add more flour.

image of wild spinach green gnocchi dough

STEP 7: Start splitting the dough into smaller eaqual pieces, each at a time. Use a sharp knife for clear cuts. You will roll them into long ropes.

Cut the ropes into 3/4-inch (2 cm) chunks. If you want your gnocchi to look the cutest, slide them on the tines of a fork or use a gnocchi board to create a classic ridged shape. Sprinkle them with a little extra flour and toss to prevent sticking together.

STEP 8: Using a dough scraper, transfer them to a large pot of salted water that’s already boiling on medium-high heat. Add only a teaspoon of salt.

They are done when they start floating at the top, which usually takes only a couple of minutes (2 -3 minutes). Take them out with a slotted spoon, drain them, and combine them with the sauce as soon as possible while they are still hot. This will prevent these little pillows from sticking together and drying out.

how to boil green gnocchi with wild spinach


STEP 9: Gorgonzola sauce is really easy to make. In a large frying pan, heat the cooking cream on low heat. Add pieces of gorgonzola, stir until the gorgonzola melts and sprinkle with black pepper and nutmeg. You can also add herbs of personal preference; sage leaves or fresh parsley are delicious suggestions.

When the sauce cools, it becomes thicker. Add a half cup of milk when reheating it to prevent it from sticking to the pan.

STEP 10: Serve your green gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce while freshly cooked and hot. If you like, you can sprinkle them with grated parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast.

The dish will pair great with a good glass of wine like Moscato or Chardonnay. Bon Appetit!

Image of green wild spinach gnocchi served with gorgonzola sauce

Some tips worth remembering

  • Use fresh and young leaves. Pick young, tender leaves of lamb’s quarters as they have a milder flavor and are easier to blend into the dough. Older leaves can be fibrous and taste somewhat bitter.
  • Stimulate new growth. Wild spinach will grow new leaves if you cut only the side stems of a grown-up plant. This will encourage the plant to produce more foliage, stimulating new growth from the remaining stems and leaves. By selectively harvesting the side branches, you will get a continuous supply of fresh leaves throughout the growing season. Just make sure not to over-harvest, leaving enough of the plant intact to remain healthy.
  • Blanch wild spinach before making the dough. Blanch the leaves in boiling water for two minutes, then wash them with ice-cold water for that vibrant green color. This will also soften them, making mixing them into the dough easier.
  • Drain the leaves thoroughly. Excess moisture can make the dough too sticky. Pat them dry with paper towels to remove as much water as possible.
  • Choose starchy potatoes; these provide the best texture for gnocchi. They help create a light, fluffy dough that holds together well. You also might want to bake them instead of cooking them to reduce the moisture or cook them with the skin on.
image of green gnocchi with wild spinach, other greens and cherry tomatoes


You can freeze fresh gnocchi for later use. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer them to a ziplock bag or an airtight container. This way, they will last for up to two months. When ready to use, cook them directly from frozen without thawing to prevent them from becoming mushy.

Cooked gnocchi are best stored together with the sauce to prevent sticking together. Keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator; they will be good for up to two days. We don’t recommend freezing them.

image of a bowl of green wild spinach gnocchi

Green wild spinach gnocchi FAQs

Which plants can I use to make green gnocchi?

Any dark green vegetables will be good to incorporate into the gnocchi dough. Plants especially great for making green gnocchi are spinach, curly kale, cavolo nero, swiss chard, peas, fresh basil, nettles, lamb’s quarters, wild garlic, ramps, watercress and arugula.

What is gnocchi verde?

Gnocchi verde is an Italian expression for green gnocchi. The “verde” part of the name comes from the Italian word for “green.”

Which potatoes can I use to make green gnocchi?

Russet potatoes have high starch content and low moisture, producing light and fluffy gnocchi. Yukon Gold potatoes are also good for their creamy texture and medium starch content. Baking the potatoes instead of boiling them helps reduce moisture, creating a better dough.

Can I make green gnocchi without potatoes?

Definitely! Mix more flour with eggs, and add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. Gradually pour the water into the mixture while mixing gently. Continue combining until a dough forms. The dough will be softer if you use lukewarm water.

Can I make wild spinach gnocchi without eggs?

Yes, you can make gnocchi using only cooked or baked potatoes, flour, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Knead the dough until it’s smooth, then roll it into ropes and cut it into small pieces. Cook them for about 2-3 minutes, they are done when they start floating at the top.

How can I make green gnocchi gluten-free?

To make your gnocchi gluten-free, use a gluten-free flour mixture or alternative flours like buckwheat, oat, rice or amaranth.

How can I make these gnocchi with sage butter?

Melt butter in a large pan, add fresh sage leaves, and cook on medium heat until the butter browns slightly. Toss the cooked gnocchi in the sage butter and serve hot.

Where does wild spinach grow?

Wild spinach thrives in sunny areas and disturbed soils and often appears in gardens, fields, waste sites, wetlands, roadsides, forest clearings and forest edges. Avoid foraging wild spinach near roads, industrial areas or places with high pesticide or herbicide use.

Where can I buy wild spinach?

You can buy wild spinach, also known as Lamb’s quarters, from specialty farms and local farmers’ markets focusing on wild or foraged foods. Some online retailers and seed companies offer seeds for growing your own wild spinach.

Foraged food you might like

Wild garlic green pasta

Wild garlic risotto

Porcini risotto

Porcini pizza

Tagliatelle with mushrooms

Breaded saffron milk caps

Elderflower tea

Traditional homemade spruce tip syrup

image of green gnocchi with wild spinach
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Green gnocchi with wild spinach

Easy recipe for homemade wild spinach green gnocchi
Servings 4 people
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes


  • 1 lb potatoes (450 g)
  • 1 lb flour (450 g or 3 2/3 cups)
  • 2 eggs
  • 0,26 lb wild spinach leaves (120 g or 4 cups)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 0,33 lb gorgonzola cheese (150 g or 2/3 cup)
  • 2 tsp butter (10 g)
  • 7/8 cup cooking cream (200 ml)


  • Wash and chop the wild spinach. Boil the spinach with a pinch of salt for a few minutes, optionally adding 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Peel and dice the potatoes. Boil in salted water for about 20 minutes. Drain both spinach and potatoes, then set both aside to cool.
  • Blend the chopped wild spinach with two eggs, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and a pinch of salt until getting a smooth puree.
  • Once the potatoes are at room temperature, add them to the spinach mixture. Blend until the batter is smooth and green.
  • Flour a surface and knead the dough until smooth and sturdy, about 5 minutes. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky.
  • Cut the dough into smaller pieces and roll into ropes. Slice into 3/4-inch (2 cm) pieces, using a fork or gnocchi board for ridges. Generously dust with flour to prevent sticking.
  • Boil the gnocchi in salted water until they float, about 2-3 minutes. Drain and mix with sauce as soon as possible to prevent sticking.
  • For the sauce: heat cooking cream in a pan over medium heat. Add gorgonzola pieces and stir until melted. Season with black pepper and nutmeg, and (optionally) add herbs like sage or parsley.
  • Serve the gnocchi hot with gorgonzola sauce. Pair with Moscato or Chardonnay for a delightful meal. Enjoy 🙂



Use young and tender lamb’s quarters leaves for a milder flavor and easier blending. Older leaves can be fibrous and have a slightly bitter taste.
Harvest side stems of a grown wild spinach plant to encourage continuous new leaf growth. This will promote more foliage without compromising the whole plant. 
Blanch the leaves in boiling water for two minutes, then rinse with ice-cold water. This will preserve the vibrant green color and soften the leaves, making them easier to mix into the dough.
Ensure they are thoroughly dried to prevent the dough from becoming too moist. Use paper towels to pat them dry and remove excess moisture.
Opt for starchy potatoes, as they provide the best texture for gnocchi, creating a light, fluffy dough. Baking the potatoes or cooking them with the skin on also helps. 
Author: Food nutters
Calories: 891kcal
Cost: $3
Course: dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, european
Keyword: gnocchi, pasta, wild spinach


Serving: 391g | Calories: 891kcal | Carbohydrates: 110.11g | Protein: 29.94g | Fat: 36.35g | Saturated Fat: 17.14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.49g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14.03g | Trans Fat: 0.08g | Cholesterol: 383mg | Sodium: 345mg | Potassium: 936mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 3.76g | Vitamin A: 3696IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 413mg | Iron: 8.65mg

We proudly announcing our gnocchi were featured at Scratch-made Food for Hungry People SSPS.

If you liked our green gnocchi with wild spinach recipe, please rate it in the comments below.

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Join the Conversation

  1. 5 stars
    A fantastic idea for gnocchi.

    1. Oh thank you Bernadette, it’s a real privilege to hear such nice words from a great cook like you. I really admire your recipes, everything looks absolutely delicious when you cook it.

  2. 5 stars
    Another wonderful recipe! Thank you for sharing. I have pinned this for future reference.
    Have a wonderful week ahead.
    Take care and best wishes.

    1. Thank you Debra, I wanted to cook those weeds for some time and now I finally did. Guess what, there’s more wild spinach growing, it’s popping up everywhere:) Wishing you an inspiring week too!

  3. 5 stars
    I love visiting and seeing your newest recipes. Wild spinach sounds amazing, and this recipe for gnocchi sounds wonderful.

    1. Thanks Stephanie for your kind words. There are several weeds you can usually find in the garden that are edible. Wild spinach is definitely one of the most nutritious ones. I’m really glad that you liked the recipe and I do hope you’ll try it out.

  4. 5 stars
    OH that looks so yummy and so fresh.

    1. Thanks Joanne, I hope we inspired you to try them out.

  5. 5 stars
    This sounds amazing. And I appreciate the tutorial on how to make this. I doesn’t seem as hard and I thought.
    Visiting today from ge.ner.ic linky 37 #4,5&6.

    1. Thanks Paula. No, it’s not hard at all, actually you can mix any greens into green gnocchi dough following the same procedure, but why not eating your weeds? Please let us know if you need any help making them.

  6. Helen at the Lazy Gastronome says:

    5 stars
    Thanks for sharing this at the What’s for Dinner party!! I appreciate you helping make our party awesome. Enjoy the weekend!

    1. Thanks Helen, wishing you a beautiful weekend too!

  7. Mariama, This post is one of my features for this week’s SSPS, thank you for sharing with us, we appreciate it! Melynda @scratchmadefood!

    1. Woooow, thank you so much! You’ve absolutely lit up my day! And I hope I did inspire a few to cook those weeds 🙂

5 from 6 votes

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