‘Italian’ Cottage Pie with Gnocchi

This is a really easy way to make a Cottage Pie.

If you are like me and can rarely be bothered to make Cottage Pie because of the time it takes to boil potatoes for the topping then this is the perfect alternative. The ready-made gnocchi take the place of the mashed potato with no pre-cooking or preparation required 🙂 As gnocchi is made from potato, the result tastes very similar.

I made my pie with a very simple meat sauce – just beef, onions, mushrooms, zucchini and tomato sauce. Of course you can add whatever vegetables you like, such as the traditional peas and diced carrots.

One tip I would like to pass on is to use low fat beef mince (ground), or you could even use turkey mince instead.

Ingredients – serves 4-6:

  • 1/2 tbsp oil, vegetable or olive
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • approx 1kg/2 lbs beef mince (ground)
  • 100g/3.5 oz button mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 1 small zucchini (courgette), finely diced
  • 1 and 1/2 cups tomato passata
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste/puree
  • freshly ground black pepper, to season
  • 500g/1 lb packet shelf-fresh gnocchi
  • 1 cup grated cheese


  • Place the oil into a large saucepan then put over a medium heat on the stovetop. Add the onion and garlic then cook for a couple of minutes until just starting to turn translucent.
  • Add the beef mince and stir. Turn up the heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occcasionally to break up any lumps, until the beef has browned.
  • Add the mushrooms, zucchini, passata, tomato paste and a little black pepper. Stir and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat your oven to 200C/180C fan forced/390F. Spray a large oven-proof dish with a little cooking spray.
  • Carefully pour the meat mixture into the prepared dish and use a spoon to level the surface.
  • Scatter the gnocchi over the meat mixture.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and top with a little more black pepper plus the grated cheese, then bake for a further 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted to your liking.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!

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2 Responses to ‘Italian’ Cottage Pie with Gnocchi

  1. My husband would love this – he adores gnocchi 🙂

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