Gnocchi with Lamb, Peas and Parsley Mint Pesto

Make the most of beautiful spring weather and flavors with an easy dinner to get you back outside again! Gnocchi with Lamb, Peas and Parsley Mint Pesto is fresh, fast and the perfect weeknight dinner to enjoy on the porch. 

Gnocchi with Lamb, Peas and Pesto from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

What a beautiful weekend we just had! I was out and about all weekend long taking advantage of the fact that I could be outside without a jacket on.  A quick breakfast picnic in the park, led to a late brunch with friends on Saturday plus wandering the Union Square greenmarket and shopping all afternoon.

This is my perfect Saturday, a day in the city where it’s not too hot, people are out and you can feel the good energy coming off of everyone.

Despite not quite being at it’s peak yet the greenmarket was absolutely packed on Saturday.  Late spring and summer is when I start to go a little nuts with the fresh produce at home.  The colors, the smells, the freshness of it all just lures me and I want to cook it all.  Half the time what I buy isn’t for cooking!  Big juicy peaches, all the berries and I won’t even get started on the tomatoes.  Oh the tomatoes, just give me some salt and I can eat them all day long.

Gnocchi with Lamb, Peas and Pesto |

I’d say all this easy going feelings put me in the mood for an easy going meal but I’m always in that mindset! What it did put me in the mood for was bright flavors, spring peas, something hearty but won’t weigh you down too much.  Because let’s be honest here, it might be spring but it still gets chilly at night, it was downright cold by Sunday evening, I was ready to grab a blanket for Sunday night TV watching!

Welcome to spring in NY, it can never make up its mind and goes between  beautiful 70 degree weather to cold and rainy 40 degrees.

Those nights is when you need this potato gnocchi with ground lamb, spring peas and pesto.  The pesto is what really makes the dish, it’s bright, clean and citrusy and makes everything pop on your plate.

So on the next nice day, go spend it outside, walk until you can’t walk anymore and then come home to make this easy 30 minute meal.  The night is going to get a little chilly and you’ll want something good to fill your belly!

Gnocchi with Lamb, Peas and Pesto |

Gnocchi with Lamb, Peas and Parsley Mint Pesto
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  • 1lb ground lamb
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup spring or English peas
  • 1 - 16 ounce package fresh potato gnocchi
  • For the pesto:
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves and stems
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Heat a braising pan or large saute pan over medium heat and drizzle 1 tablespoon of avocado or grapeseed oil in the pan. Add the onions and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the ground lamb to the pan, and break up into small pieces with the back of a wooden spoon. Season generously with kosher salt and black pepper. Cook the lamb until it's no longer pink throughout and starts to brown. Make sure to stir the pan occasionally to keep the onions form burning.
  3. While the lamb is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  4. Once the lamb is cooked through and browned, carefully pour off excess grease, return to the heat and add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce by half.
  5. Stir in the peas and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Once you add the peas to the pan, cook your gnocchi. If it's fresh - not frozen, it should cook in about 3 minutes. You know it's done once the gnocchi rises to the top of the pot. Remove it immediately with a slotted spoon and add it to the braising dish. You may want to cook the gnocchi in 2 parts to keep from over cooking.
  7. Cook the gnocchi with the lamb for about 2 minutes, taste and season as necessary.
  8. To make the pesto, add the mint, parsley, salt, pepper and lemon juice to a blender or food processor and pulse until the herbs are finely minced. Pour in the olive oil and puree until emulsified.
  9. Serve the pesto into a small bowl alongside the main dish at the dinner table.
  10. Makes 4 servings.
Recipe Type: Main

Gnocchi with Lamb, Peas and Pesto |

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13 thoughts on “Gnocchi with Lamb, Peas and Parsley Mint Pesto

  1. Carla

    Oh I haven’t had gnocchi in a long time! I’ll either buy a bag of them or a bag of tortellini for a quick lazy dinner. I need to try this with the peas and pesto.

  2. Ginny McMeans

    Your Saturday was perfect. Just my kind of day! Gnocchi is also one of my kind of dinners. Looks great!

  3. Cookin Canuck

    There are so many things I love about this dish. First of all, I can’t resist diving into fresh peas in the springtime. And then you went and added lamb (LOVE!) and pesto. Great dish!

    1. Susan Palmer

      I totally agree with that statement Kirsten! Last spring I worked my CSA where we were rewarded with spring peas and the grounded was totally littered with us eating them all morning long! So hard to resist.

  4. Nutmeg Nanny

    I LOVE ground lamb. It’s always packed with so much flavor and a nice changeup from ground beef or ground turkey. Love the sound of that pesto too. Mint is my favorite!


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