Lemon Gnocchi with Spinach and Peas

Lemon gnocchi with spinach and peas on a red plate
651 calories
303 grams

2.15 cal/g

250g, half packagepotato gnocchi364 cal
10gdehydrated peas30 cal
8 gram, 1 tbsppowdered milk40 cal
7 gram, 1 tbsppowdered butter50 cal
5gdehydrated spinach12 cal
0.25g, 1/4 tspcrushed red pepper0 cal
0.25g, 1/8 tspgarlic powder0 cal
0.25gdried lemon peel0 cal
3gdehydrated onion14 cal
0.25g, 1/4 tspTrue Lemon0 cal
5gparmesan cheese22 cal
14g, 1 tbspolive oil110 cal

Note: De Cecco gnocchi is specially packed, not vacuum packed. Do not repackage it! It must be refrigerated after opening. This recipe only uses half a package of gnocchi, double all other ingredients for an entire package of gnocchi which will make 2 servings.

Serving Size: 

ONE Adventurer


Bag 1:

  • potato gnocchi (do not repackage potato gnocchi. It is specially packaged, and must be refrigerated once it's opened. It cannot be vacuum packed after opening)

Bag 2:

  • lemon peel
  • garlic powder
  • True Lemon
  • crushed red pepper
  • butter powder
  • milk powder

Bag 3:

  • onions
  • peas
  • spinach
  • parmesan cheese packet (if not using packets, put parmesan cheese in Bag 2 instead)

While this lemon gnocchi probably won't earn us any Michelin stars, it most certainly isn't going to receive any ultralight accolades. It's quite tasty, but comes at the expense of (relatively) heavy weight.

Weighing in at 1.1 pound per package the gnocchi easily outweighs all other ingredients many times over. One of the reasons the gnocchi is so heavy is that it's not actually dehydrated, it's some sort of shelf stable packaging of a fresh product. That is, unlike other pastas that are dried, this stuff still has a large amount of water content in it. Although that makes it incredibly heavy, it also makes it incredibly quick cooking. With a 2 minute cook time it's faster than rehydrating the other ingredients, and can actually overcook very quickly so be sure to keep an eye on it. The high water content also means it can spoil quickly and must be refrigerated after opening. De Cecco clearly state on the packaging that it's not vacuum packed, although it looks vacuum packed. If I had to guess, I'd say it's packed with some sort of insert gas (argon, helium, nitrogen, or carbon dioxide) to prevent spoilage.

You probably won't be able to recreate this packaging preservation at home (and definitely not on the trail) so it leaves you with three choices:

  1. Cook the entire package in one sitting.
  2. Cook half the package and carry out the other half as waste.
  3. Roll the dice and save half the package for another meal. (I wouldn't recommend this. Go with option 1 and find a trail friend to eat the other half.)

I'm not sure if it's the shelf stable nature of this product or specific to the brand but it has a tangy taste. It's not offensive, but it definitely doesn't taste like homemade gnocchi, or even frozen gnocchi. This isn't noticable in our recipe because we're using lemon as our main flavor so it actually helps. However, if you're thinking about using the gnocchi for a different recipe, go ahead and stick with a tomato based sauce or some other acidic base.

Despite the extra weight, I think this is a remarkable dish in terms of comfort and preventing food fatigue. The texture of the gnocchi alone is enough to make you feel like you're eating fresh food, combined with the lemon flavor and it's a revitalizing dinner. I wouldn't want to carry this on an extended trip, but it would be a great item to pack into a resupply cache, or trick your hiking partner into carrying.

Even though the calorie to weight ratio is rather low, between the peas, spinach, and fortified gnocchi this meal contains a large amount of minerals and vitamins. And if you fancy yourself some meat just sprinke in your protein of choice and don't forget to add the olive oil. Otherwise this is a vegetarian's delight; and if you're avoiding gluten you can get gluten free alternatives like Le Veneziane Gluten Free Potato Gnocchi.

ingredients for lemon gnocchi with spinach and peas


  1. Add plenty of water (enough to submerge all ingredients) and bring to a simmer.
  2. Once simmering, add Bag 3 (onions, peas, spinach) while retaining parmesan packets.
  3. Stir and simmer for approximately 5 minute or until peas are rehydrated. Tip: to conserve fuel, turn off heat, cover pot, and let sit instead of simmering.
  4. Bring water to a full boil.
  5. Add half package of potato gnocchi (or whole package if other ingredients have been doubled).
  6. Stir and boil for 2 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and drain thoroughly.
  8. Add Bag 2 (powdered ingredients) and stir until completely dissolved. If necessary, add a splash of water and place back on stove.
  9. Sprinkle on parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste if desired, add olive oil, and feast!