Trader Joe's 5-ingredient gnocchi

You can probably guess a few things about this Trader Joe’s 5-ingredient gnocchi from the name. For example, you probably know that it’s pretty simple to make, given the ingredient count. And you probably know that all of said ingredients can be found at your lovely local Trader Joe’s. And you likely also figured that at least one of those ingredients is gnocchi. But if you figured for one second that this must therefore be a bland and boring recipe, that’s where you went astray.

Chef and food writer Sher Castellano says "It’s a really perfect, vegetarian, filling dish" and she "wouldn’t suggest any additional ingredients." Sure, you could add peas or onions or peppers, but you’d be gilding the lily — this "foolproof recipe" is excellent not in spite of its simplicity but thanks to it. And considering you can have the meal on the table, hot and fresh, within about 12 minutes from the moment you enter the kitchen intent on making it, it’s a life saver on those long, busy days when you have maximum hunger and want to expend minimal energy.

Gather your ingredients for this Trader Joe’s 5-ingredient gnocchi

Trader Joe's 5-ingredient gnocchi ingredients

No, the gathering of the ingredients for this Trader Joe’s 5-ingredient gnocchi is not going to take long on this one, folks. You need a package of Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi, some cherry tomatoes, two tablespoons of olive oil, fresh basil, minced, Pecorino Romano cheese. Of course, you can always salt and pepper to taste.

You could also make this dish without the cheese if you want to make it vegan. But if you did that, you’d want to find a substitute. Castellano says: "The cheese is optional, but it really makes the dish special."

Begin to cook your Trader Joe’s 5-ingredient gnocchi

cooking gnocchi for Trader Joe's 5-ingredient gnocchi

Place the frozen gnocchi in a sauté pan with a quarter cup of water and simmer it over low heat while stirring occasionally. Cook in this way for about five minutes or until the water has evaporated and there’s a starchy glaze on the pan. That’s the sign that it’s time to move on to the next step.

And for the record, you can use any kind of gnocchi you want for this recipe, but cauliflower gnocchi is having its moment right now for well-deserved reason: The stuff is delicious and it slips some more veggies into the mix.

Add the tomatoes to your Trader Joe’s 5-ingredient gnocchi and cook until they pop

Trader Joe's 5-ingredient gnocchi cooking

Turn the heat to medium and add in the tomatoes, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well, and then cook for about five minutes while flipping everything over once halfway through. The Trader Joe’s 5-ingredient gnocchi will be done when the tomatoes start to burst.

While the tomatoes and gnocchi are simmering away, go ahead and mince the basil.

For the record, note that Castellano says: "Cherry tomatoes could be replace by any other small tomato variety like grape tomatoes or sungold tomatoes." And in a pinch, you could use canned tomatoes, too — just drain off the fluid and reduce the cooking time.

Add cheese and basil to your Trader Joe’s 5-ingredient gnocchi

cooking Trader Joe's 5-ingredient gnocchi

Once you’re done cooking your Trader Joe’s 5-ingredient gnocchi, add the chopped basil and finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese to the pan of tomatoes and gnocchi, and lightly toss everything to combine it all well. You an also add another little drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper (and maybe even a few pinches of red pepper flakes if you like things spicy).

Serve the dish warm and with more cheese if desired. Pair it with a salad and a baked chicken breast or a piece of salmon if you want to make a perfect little feast.