Sweet Corn & Zucchini Gnocchi Skillet

This Sweet Corn & Zucchini Gnocchi Skillet is the perfect summer skillet with fresh zucchini and sweet corn in a light creamy lime sauce with fresh basil. There’s gnocchi. There’s sweet corn. There’s basil. There’s a creamy lime sauce. Seriously, it’s SO good, and I know you’ll love it.

A white skillet filled with gnocchi zucchini and sweet corn with basil.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • The first step is to cook the gnocchi. If you’ve never cooked gnocchi before, it’s incredibly fast and easy. It requires a pot of boiling water, then you drop the little potato dumplings in and wait for them to rise to the top. Simply scoop them out with a slotted spoon as they start to float. It takes less than 10 minutes and there is seriously nothing better than these little fluffy pillows. A few brands also make “skillet gnocchi”, which doesn’t have to be boiled and can just be added straight to a hot oiled pan. It’s revolutionary. You can also, of course, make gnocchi from scratch if you have a little extra time on your hands! It’s a fun project to take on every once in awhile.
  • Next, you’ll saute the onion, bell pepper, sweet corn and zucchini in a bit of olive oil. I like to use fresh corn off the cob, but this recipe is also stellar with frozen corn (and even canned works!). We’re just looking for the veggies to be slightly tender with a nice golden edges from being sauteed. Also note that zucchini cooks really quickly, so I toss it in at the end so it doesn’t become mush.
  • After that, you’ll make the sauce. And I’m not even sure we can call it “making a sauce”, because you’ll simply add fresh lime zest and juice and a splash of cream and voila! You have a sauce. Season it with a bit of salt and black pepper and you’re in for a real treat.
  • Lastly, you’ll garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil and everything about summer is in this skillet and it’s AMAZING.
  • You could enjoy this as a vegetarian main dish or as a side dish with grilled fish, chicken or steak – yum!
Gnocchi skillet in a white dish


  • Gnocchi: You can make your own gnocchi, if you would like, but you can also use store-bought gnocchi. Any variety you want, actually! My recipe calls for whole grain, but if you can’t find that, regular is perfect.
  • Sweet corn: One of summer’s BEST vegetables. You can certainly make this recipe with frozen corn, but I really love making it (on repeat) when sweet corn is at it’s peak in August and September.
  • Zucchini: I always have so much of it in my garden, there’s really no excuse not to make this skillet! Plus, it really is one of those vegetables that’s available year-round.
  • Bell pepper: You can use any color, but I prefer red because it adds such a beautiful color to this skillet that’s filled with yellow and green.
  • Lime: Grab the squishiest limes you can get at the grocery store – and the ones that are faint green (not dark) – they will have the most juice. Grab a few extras and make a mojito, too.
  • Basil: When it’s farmer’s market season, I grab a big bunch because it’s so much less expensive than buying a small container at the store. I definitely recommend fresh for this dish – it adds so much flavor and fragrance!
  • Half and half: This adds the creamy factor to the final product. It’s only a few tablespoons but boy does it make a difference!
  • Parmesan: And make it freshly grated. What a way to finish off a dish that has pillowy gnocchi, fresh crisp sweet corn and zucchini, fragrant basil and a creamy lime sauce than with a handful of Parmesan.
  • You’re also going to need olive oil, an onion, some garlic, and salt and black pepper, of course!


This is what they call a one pot dish, so you don’t need much!

  • A cutting board and a sharp chef’s knife
  • A pot for boiling the gnocchi and a colander
  • A large skillet or a stove-top casserole dish like the one pictured
  • A wooden spoon
  • Bowls and forks for serving
Gnocchi skillet in a white dish

Chef’s Tips

Substitution Tip: Try orecchiette or another shaped pasta instead of gnocchi.

Variation Tip: For a winter version of this skillet, swap the corn, zucchini and basil for cubed butternut squash, mushrooms and thyme.

For more recipes like this Sweet Corn & Zucchini Gnocchi Skillet, grab a copy of my Brain Health Cookbook!

Bursting at the seams with zucchini? Here are my favorite recipes:


Sweet Corn & Zucchini Gnocchi Skillet

Gnocchi skillet in a white pan

The ultimate summer skillet with gnocchi, sweet corn, zucchini and red bell pepper in a light creamy lime sauce.

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 10-15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15-20 mins
  • Total Time: 25-35 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stove-Top
  • Cuisine: American, Italian


  • 1-pound whole grain gnocchi
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed and diced
  • 4 ears sweet corn, cut from the cob
  • 2 medium zucchinis, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons half and half
  • Zest and juice of 1 medium lime (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade


  1. Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and cook 4-5 minutes or until the gnocchi float to the surface. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet to medium. Add the onion, bell pepper and sweet corn and sauté 4-5 minutes or until soft. Stir in the gnocchi, zucchini and garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes or until gnocchi is lightly browned. Stir in the half and half, lime zest and juice, salt, black pepper, and half of the Parmesan cheese. Bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes. Stir in half of the basil.
  3. Serve gnocchi skillet in bowls and top with remaining Parmesan cheese and basil.


Substitution Tip: Try orecchiette or another shaped pasta instead of gnocchi.

Variation Tip: For a winter version of this skillet, swap the corn, zucchini and basil for cubed butternut squash, mushrooms and thyme.


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 285
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 552mg
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 49g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 9g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg

Keywords: vegetarian, quick and easy, 30 minute meal, summer, pasta

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