Should I salt the water when boiling dry gnocchi? I have seen some recipes where they do salt the water, but also advice on some websites recommending not to do so.

Most information on the internet seems to be about fresh gnocchi, so I’m not sure if the advice would be different for dry gnocchi.

These are the ingredients of the gnocchi:

Gnocchi ingredients


So far people are suggesting to salt the water. So, I would like to share a source which recommends not doing so:

A culinary article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the following:

"Typically you cook pasta in salted water," said Wisniewski. "But in the case with gnocchi, the salt will cause the potato starch to become sticky, and you'll end up with a mushy product."

It seems they are talking about fresh gnocchi here, but a counterargument to that for the case of dried gnocchi would be helpful.


3 Answers 3


I'd say look at the values in the back of the envelop about the amount of sodium. If it's relatively high (I'd say about 2g per 100 grams), then I wouldn't put any more salt. If it's lower then it's probably a safe bet to add some salt.

As usual though, it's mostly a matter of personal taste, a little bit of salt in the water will not make them overly sticky or mushy, especially because they have to cook for a short time (typically 2-3 minutes).

(As a side note, I know it takes time but I encourage you to try and make them yourself, they're easy and taste better than store bought ones)

  • 1
    The amount of salt in it is actually 0.02g per 100g.
    – hb20007
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 15:45

If there is no salt in the gnocchi, then salt the water. Pasta (and probably dried gnocchi) should always be cooked in salted water. It just tastes flat otherwise.

  • 3
    This product does contain salt - I would nevertheless still salt the water, even if it’s just a gut feeling.
    – Stephie
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 11:34

I've never encounter a pasta that was better when cooked in unsalted water--including dried gnocchi. Salt the water.

Salt is an important part of the chemistry of taste, and nearly all food requires at least some additional salt at various stages of cooking. (Notable exceptions are pre-packaged, heat-and-serve-style, or packet/box mix convenience foods, which are often already high in sodium.)

In the case of pasta, even when there is salt used in manufacturing, you still want to salt your pasta water. Adding "a big pinch" (a tablespoon) to several liters of pasta water results in a relatively small amount of added salt absorbed into the pasta, with much of it staying in the water itself. However, that bit that gets absorbed does go into the pasta and is more effective at making the pasta(or gnocchi) taste like pasta than relying solely on salt from cheese, sauce, or other surface treatment. With dried pasta specifically, the way it rehydrates while cooking makes using salted water even more important.

  • 2
    Please check my updated question. It would be helpful if you have any information regarding whether the salt will make the gnocchi sticky or mushy.
    – hb20007
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 14:09
  • 3
    Salt is a learned taste. If you had grown up with very little salt you would find 'standard' amounts of salt not tasting good. Adults do at times stop adding un-needed salt, health reasons mostly. People who claim you need salt in all food make their life worse.
    – Willeke
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 16:53

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