Pan-Fried Gnocchi with Morels and Fiddleheads

Pan-Fried Gnocchi with Morels and Fiddleheads

Spring is here, and it brings with it two of my most favorite seasonal items: morels and fiddlehead ferns. At $28/lb here in Boston, fresh morels are definitely a splurge. But you only need to pick up a few to have them in this dish, and it’s well worth it to do so.

If you live in the right area, you can try your luck at finding your own in the woods right now, but as with all foraging, make sure you have the right mushroom before you eat it. It’s best to go with someone who knows what they are doing, but the locations where wild morels grow are usually carefully guarded secrets, considering the price they’ll fetch at markets. It’s easier and safer to pony-up some cash at Whole Foods, even though it’s not as adventurous.


Fiddlehead ferns are lovely. Not only are they in season at the same time morels are, they also pair really well with them. You can read a little informational post I wrote about them here. I love their tender crunch, mild flavor, and beautiful swirl. And just like morels, use them as soon as you can, they don’t store well.

The hardest part of this dish is definitely finding the morels and the fiddleheads. After that, it’s cake! I used a pre-packaged fresh gnocchi (gluten free, too!) and further simplified it by pan-frying them instead of boiling them. Boiling is easy; pan-frying is even easier, not to mention faster. You can cook up the gnocchi faster than the time it takes to boil a pot of water. Pan-frying the gnocchi gives them a wonderful color and texture. If you’ve never tried it before, you definitely should!

All the other ingredients are quick sauteed, so this makes a really delicious, fast, and easy meal with practically no fuss. And if you can’t find morels and fiddleheads, I encourage you to try the dish anyway with asparagus tips and your favorite mushroom.

Pan-Fried Gnocchi with Morels and Fiddleheads

Pan-Fried Gnocchi with Morels and Fiddleheads
Serves one filling meal, or two very light meals

2 Tbs Olive Oil, give or take
1 9-oz Package Fresh Gnocchi
3-5 Fresh Morels, halved (sub any wild mushroom)
1/3 Cup Fresh Fiddlehead Ferns, washed and dried (sub asparagus tips)
1/4 Cup Roasted Red Pepper, diced
2-3 Canned Water-Packed Artichoke Hearts, sliced
1/8 tsp Salt, plus more for seasoning
Fresh Black Pepper

Slice your morels in half and inspect them carefully for dirt and critters. Since morels are foraged for in the wild, they sometimes have surprises hiding inside. Just saying.

Heat a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet or non-stick pan over medium high heat. Add halved morels and a teaspoon or so of oil. Saute until golden brown, 2-3 minutes, adding a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Add the ferns, roasted pepper, and artichoke hearts to the pan, with a teaspoon or so more oil if needed. Add 1/8 tsp salt to season. Saute for 2-3 minutes until tender and the artichoke hearts and ferns are beginning to color. Remove from pan and set aside.

While the pan is still hot (medium-high heat), add the raw gnocchi and enough oil to coat well. Cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown on all sides and slightly puffy. Once cooked through, add the fern/artichoke/pepper mixture back to the pan and toss gently until well combined. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Plate, adding the cooked morel mushrooms to the top before serving.

Pan-Fried Gnocchi with Morels and Fiddleheads


  1. Renai

    I think that this may actually be my ultimate dream dish… I just didn’t know that it existed until just now. WOW! Thank you so so much for sharing it!

  2. Megan

    This sounds like an amazing recipe! I noticed the fiddleheads at Whole Foods the other day and was intrigued, but didn’t know what to do with them. I’ll definitely have to go back and get some!

  3. amy (veganissexy)

    That looks divine! I believe it is mushroom hunting season here in the northwest! My hubby just adores wild mushrooms, so I’m sending this recipe his way. We also love gnochi! Perfection :)

  4. Jules

    I’m book marking this, especially since my mom and I go out and harvest Morels. Might bug her to gather some before I head home for the summer.

  5. Jumbleberry Jam

    Thanks for putting the price of morels in perspective for me. Here they are $50 (yes, that’s fifty!) per pound. I decided that when we moved back to the Pacific Northwest that I’d start foraging and selling these delicacies for a living! So, I won’t be making this dish until we’re back there, but it will be the first Spring dish I make!

  6. Crystal (Cafe Cyan)

    Your dish looks beautiful, but for some reason, fiddleheads freak me out. I don’t know what it is about them, but I get the creeps! (I know, it’s only food, I shouldn’t be afraid)

  7. Pingback: Recipe To The Rescue: Pan-Friend Gnocchi With Morels and Fiddleheads | VEGdaily
  8. molly

    my whole foods doesn’t have fiddle heads yet :(
    I grew up in maine and would pick them every spring. I used asparagus instead, it was very good.

  9. Small Footprints

    This looks seriously fabulous! I’ve never seen fiddle heads in the store but … gonna look for them! But I have to say the the substitutes (any wild mushroom and asparagus tips) looks wonderful as well!

    Thanks for Sharing!

    Small Footprints

  10. Desdemona

    Ooooh, fiddleheads! My uncle used to pick them wild and bring huge bags of them to our house. My (Greek) dad always sauteed them with olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. As an adult I seem to forget about them entirely from year to year, and then am happily surprised to see them in the store!

    Anyway, I am so making this, it looks like the perfect spring dinner!

  11. dan

    oh man I am eating this right now and it is so so good. the gnocchi have an amazing golden crisp outside and a pillowy inside. they have a wonderful toasted flavor. everything pairs really well together. the fiddleheads shine through, but not too much. everything seems in really nice balance. the textures are amazing. the crunch of the ferns, the chewy/crispy of the gnocchi and the morels and the smoothness of the hearts and the pepper. the bitter of the ferns is totally matched by the almost smokiness of the morels….A+

  12. Melanie

    Yay! I just noticed the fiddleheads were in at in my local grocery store yesterday. Can’t wait to go home and cook them up. This sounds delicious. I’m actually salivating thinking about dinner tonight. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Amir

    Morels: The most amazing mushrooms ever! Too bad these little flavourful ‘shrooms aren’t sold in Finland…hope they’ll pop up soon so that I can pick them up myself. Fiddleheads I haven’t tried yet, but this looks very delicious indeed. Thank you for the mouth-watering, hobbitness-inspiring post!

  14. Kira

    This sounds great and the pics look awesome, but I can’t find any gnocci that doesn’t have either egg or some kind of cheese? Any suggestions?

  15. Ellie

    ooooohhhhh *salivate* i love morels!!! my dad brought them home one day and we had them in a risotto and they….. were so…so…freakin’ amazing!! now im too poor to afford them…*tear* thanks for the idea when i can actually afford them… hopefully soon

  16. daniel h

    During the final saute, i added a shot of whiskey and let it reduce down–the way it interacted with the potato created a rustic-tasting creamyness. amazing flavors!

  17. Lesley

    With morrels at $28/lb, I’ll consider myself lucky to live in Saskatchewan, Canada, where I can pick them in the forest in my backyard! Thank you for the delicious recipe!

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  19. Sari

    I live in Somerville and found some fiddleheads at Harvest in Central Square last night!

    I couldn’t find any morels so I picked up some trumpet mushrooms ( at whole foods, and made this for lunch; I added some garlic to it as well. Really awesome – and it went over well with my boyfriend, too!

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