Easy Gnocco Frito | Heavenly Puff Pillows with Prosciutto

LAST UPDATED: Sep 06, 2019 | PUBLISHED: Jun 15, 2015 | By: Julie Blanner

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, this gnocco frito is a classic Italian sweet and salty bite!

gnocco frito topped with olive oil, prosciutto, and sea salt

Last week, Chris and I celebrated 8 years of marriage! We spent a beautiful evening dining al fresco at one of our favorite Italian restaurants followed by an evening strolling through the Lantern Festival at the Botanical Gardens. It was such a fun and inspiring night from beginning to end. I love eating at restaurants that inspire. We have an abundance of Italian restaurants in St. Louis, but so many offer the same menu with little variation. I can appreciate family recipes and a great classic, but it’s refreshing to find little surprises on the menu and the plate before you. Acero never disappoints!

gnocco frito topped with prosciutto on a white plate

The Best Gnocco Frito Recipe

In my years of playing with food, I have found that a few simple ingredients often make the most memorable meals. Gnocco Frito is no exception. It really couldn’t be more simple, yet is so light, fluffy and full of flavor! Puff pastry pillows make a slightly sweet bed for olive oil and salty prosciutto. It takes just 10 minutes to make 24 of these heavenly pastries, making them perfect for entertaining!

gnocco frito topped with olive oil, prosciutto, and sea salt

Gnocco Frito Ingredients

  • Puff Pastry – I used Pepperidge Farm brand, which comes in packs of two. 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.
  • Olive Oil – Extra Virgin olive oil works best. It’s lighter and fruiter 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!

gnocco frito topped with prosciutto on a white plate

How to Make Gnocco Frito

  1. Thaw your puff pastry according to the directions on the package. Ideally, this would be overnight in the fridge.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat shortening over medium heat.
  3. Gently unfold the puff pastry and cut into 24 equal squares with a pastry cutter.
  4. Drop 3 squares of puff pastry in the shortening at a time, cook for 10 seconds, then flip, and cook for an additional 10 seconds, or until puffy.
  5. Scoop out the gnocco frito and place on a paper towel-lined cookie sheet to absorb excess oil.
  6. Brush with olive oil, top with a small slice of Prosciutto, and sprinkle with sea salt. Enjoy!

Have you had gnocco frito before? I never would have guessed that they were fried. I don’t typically care for anything fried, but these are definitely an exception!

gnocco frito topped with olive oil, prosciutto, and sea salt

More Appetizer Recipes You’ll Love:

gnocco frito topped with olive oil, prosciutto, and sea salt

Gnocco Frito

5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 171kcal


  • 1 sheet of puff pastry thawed
  • 1 c butter flavored shortening
  • good olive oil
  • 1/4 lb prosciutto sliced thin
  • sea salt


  • Allow your puff pastry to thaw according to instruction on package.
  • Meanwhile, heat shortening over medium heat.
  • Cut pastry into 24 rectangles.
  • 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.


Use either Prosciutto di Parma or Prosciutto San Daniele.


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
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