Gnocco Fritto is an easy 10-minute hors d’oeuvre when made with the ultimate shortcut: puff pastry! These little puff pillows are topped with olive oil, prosciutto and sea salt for heavenly bites.

In my catering career, I always found that a few simple ingredients often make the most memorable meals. Gnocco Fritto is no exception. It really couldn’t be simpler, yet is so light, fluffy and full of flavor! 

Fried to golden brown perfection in just seconds, this classic Italian dish is always a favorite. I originally published this recipe in 2015, and I’ve been making it ever since!

Gnocco fritto on a white plate with bowls of olive oil and sea salt to the side
Want to save this?
Enter your email below and I’ll send it to you!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Gnocco Fritto is made with just a few staple ingredients – a mixture of flour, water, and fat (lard, oil or butter), and salt. Combined into dough rolled out to a thin sheet, cut into rectangles and fried into little pillows.

To make this appetizer quick and easy, I use puff pastry rather than making it from scratch. These pastry pillows with a flaky exterior are topped with your favorite salumi or soft spreadable cheese. 

Gnocco fritto on a white plate with bowls of olive oil and sea salt to the side
logo

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • So many gnocco fritto recipes include a multitude of ingredients and 10+ steps. Not this one!
  • This lightly fried, savory dough is the perfect way to enjoy your antipasto, but can also be enjoyed as a main dish!
  • Puff pastry pillows make a savory bed for antipasti. It takes just 10 minutes to make 24 of these heavenly pastries, making them perfect for entertaining!
A single gnocco frito on a white plate, topped with proscuitto

Ingredients

  • Puff Pastry – I use Pepperidge Farm brand, which comes in packs of two in the freezer section of your grocery store. You will only need one sheet of puff pastry, thawed overnight, for this recipe. If you feel you want to use the whole package, simply double the recipe.
  • Shortening or Olive Oil – Butter flavored shortening, lard or olive oil will be used to fry these little golden pillows of dough.
  • Olive Oil – Extra Virgin olive oil works best. It’s lighter and fruitier in flavor.
  • Prosciutto – The quintessential Italian product. Purchase from your local Italian market for the good stuff. Either Parma or San Daniele can be used.
  • Sea Salt – Maldon flaky sea salt works best. The salt crystals are much larger, giving you an extra salty crunch!
Ingredients for gnocco fritto laid out on a marble surface

Variations

  • In Tuscany, salami is often incorporated into the dough.
  • Add fresh herbs to the dough before or after frying.

More Toppings

Take it beyond basic Prosciutto with any of the following options!

  • Prosciutto di Parma
  • Prosciutto San Daniele
  • Tuscan Salami
  • Culatello
  • Mortadella
  • Capacollo / capicola
  • Guanciale
  • Finocchiona
  • Mascarpone
  • Squacquerone
Gnocco fritto on a white plate with bowls of olive oil and sea salt to the side
logo

Tips

  • Be patient with allowing your puff pastry to come to room temperature. It’s so much easier to work with!
  • Use a wide slotted spoon to remove the cooked pillows from oil.
  • Place on a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.

Serving Suggestions

  • Top with a little honey, hot honey or whipped honey.
  • Serve with your favorite creamy cheese
  • Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Slather with butter and a little roasted garlic
  • Top with a spoonful of Nutella. You won’t regret this.
Gnocco fritto on a white plate with bowls of olive oil and sea salt to the side

Frequently Asked Questions

What does gnocco mean?

Translated into English, gnocco simply refers to type of dumpling – fried dough. Gnocchi is a similar concept given its pillowy shape and soft texture, but gnocchi is made of potatoes.

Can gnocco fritto be baked instead of fried?

It won’t be as delicious, but you can certainly bake these or even use your air fryer!

A white plate with a single gnocco fritto and a glass of wine to the side
Gnocco fritto on a white plate with bowls of olive oil and sea salt to the side
5 from 4 votes

Gnocco Frito

This shortcut Gnocco Frito is an easy 10-minute appetizer. These light and fluffy puff pillows are topped with olive oil, prosciutto and sea salt for heavenly bites. Fried to golden brown perfection in a matter of seconds!
Prep: 8 minutes
Cook: 2 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 24
Pin Rate Print
Save this recipe!
Enter your email and I’ll send it to you!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Ingredients  

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry thawed
  • 1 cup butter flavored shortening lard or olive oil
  • good olive oil
  • ¼ pound prosciutto sliced thin
  • sea salt

Instructions 

  • Allow your puff pastry to thaw according to instruction on package.
    1 sheet of puff pastry
  • Meanwhile, heat shortening or oil over medium heat.
    1 cup butter flavored shortening
    A silver pan on a gas cooktop filled with oil
  • Cut pastry into 24 rectangles.
    A sheet of puff pastry cut into squares
  • Drop 3 pieces of pastry into your oil at a time and allow to cook for 10 seconds. Flip with tongs and allow to cook another 10 seconds, or until puffy.
  • Remove and place onto a cookie sheet lined with a paper towel.
  • Brush with olive oil, top with prosciutto and sea salt.
    good olive oil, ¼ pound prosciutto, sea salt
    A single gnocco frito on a white plate, topped with proscuitto

Julie’s Tips

  • Be patient with allowing your puff pastry to come to room temperature. It’s so much easier to work with!
  • Use a wide slotted spoon to remove the cooked pillows from oil.
  • Place on a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.

Variations

  • In Tuscany, salami is often incorporated into the dough.
  • Add fresh herbs to the dough before or after frying.

Storage Notes

They are best served immediately because they are lightly fried. They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days (without the toppings) but will lose freshness and quality immediately after serving.

More Toppings and Serving Suggestions

Sweet or savory, there are so many delicious ways to serve these puff pastry pillows.
  • Serve with your favorite creamy cheese
  • Top with a little honey, hot honey or whipped honey.
  • Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Slather with butter and a little roasted garlic
  • Top with a spoonful of Nutella.
  • Prosciutto di Parma
  • Prosciutto San Daniele
  • Tuscan Salami
  • Culatello
  • Mortadella
  • Capacollo / capicola
  • Guanciale
  • Finocchiona
  • Mascarpone
  • Squacquerone
 

Video

Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 348mg | Potassium: 16mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

Explore More

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this Recipe




2 Comments