If your Airbnb has a hotplate and a frying pan, you can make this one-pan dish that’s easy, filling, and just a teensy-tiny bit elevated. It’s good enough to make at home, too!

An easy dish for your Airbnb kitchen

Let’s face it. Most Airbnb kitchens are not what we’d call ideal. I wrote a few weeks ago about my two burners in my otherwise perfect Airbnb guesthouse in Montenegro and how back-pocket recipes come in handy when cooking in such situations. My kitchen here is Split is an actual full kitchen (that I have to myself), but it’s not like I have my Le Creuset pots with me. The frying pan is a rather flimsy nonstick number reminiscent of student days, and the pots are about the same caliber. I saw some gnocchi at the market, and the day was a smidgen cooler and remembered my recipe for Pan-Fried Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Spinach was in order. You can make this in just about any frying pan.

Pan-Fried Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Spinach does not taste like a one-pan dish

This is one fast dish, and it comes together all in one pan. You sautée mushrooms with some garlic and onion, season with herbs and salt and pepper and then make a quick white wine reduction. Remove that from heat and then pan fry the gnocchi. Add the mushrooms back in and a handful of spinach, and you have yourself a tasty, filling, and just a little-bit elevated dish that doesn’t taste like you spent all of fifteen minute or so cooking. Pour yourself a glass of that wine and enjoy your Pan Fried Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Spinach.

A flexible recipe

If you don’t have spinach, arugula works in this (maybe watch the pepper), too, and I would imagine that any other quick-cooking bitter green could do. White mushrooms are fine here. I wouldn’t use the truly fancy kind for this, but you do you. If you are really hungry, a little cream or some grated cheese would be lovely here. Personally, I find that too heavy, but maybe in January, that would be nice.

As for the measurements, cook how much you want to eat in one serving. This makes use of the whole pan for the mushrooms, and those will keep for another day if you find that’s too much for you. Remember that gnocchi is very filling. A handful is more than an actual serving, but if this is your main, I won’t tell if you add a little more. Just remember that you really don’t want to reheat the gnocchi itself and just cook what you’re going to eat.

A note on cooking in unfamiliar kitchens

As this is an Airbnb recipe, I’ve made a note to watch how high you crank up the heat when you cook. In the demo, my onions and garlic did brown more than I would have liked (I’m chalking that up to trying to film in a strange kitchen and a nonstick pan). You definitely want to avoid scorching. I’d start with medium heat and then adjust. It’s a lot easier with this recipe to turn things up than to turn them down.

What do you like to cook in unfamiliar kitchens?

I’d love to hear about your back-pocket recipes for unfamiliar kitchens. Let us know in the comments! I’d also love to hear from you if you try this recipe.

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Pan-Fried Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Spinach

Travel Cooking: Pan-Fried Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Spinach

Even if your Airbnb is equipped with nothing more than a hotplate and a frying pan, you can make this tasty, filling, and ever-so-slightly elevated dish. Pan-Fried Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Spinach uses just one pan and comes together in minutes.
If you were feeling especially peckish and had some on hand, a little cream would be delicious in this, and you could certainly garnish it with some grated cheese. You can also substitute the spinach with arugula or other quick-cooking bitter green.
Measurements are approximate and for one serving. You can scale things up or down as it suits you. Do note that this is a particularly filling dish, and, while you certainly can reheat it (especially the mushrooms), it's best eaten right after its made.
If you're making this in an Airbnb start with medium heat, especially if your frying pan is nonstick. It's a lot easier to turn the heat up than turn it down for this recipe.
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Pasta
Cuisine American
Servings 1 serving


For the Mushrooms

  • ½ tbsp unsalted butter you may require more
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ small onion, chopped shallots would be better, if you can get them. This is to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped watch mincing it, as it can scorch easily
  • 4 cremini mushrooms, sliced to taste, but not so many that the pan will be crowded
  • ½ tsp dried thyme a sprig of fresh is better, to taste
  • kosher salt coarse sea salt is fine, to taste
  • black pepper, freshly ground to taste
  • ¼ cup dry white wine

For the Gnocchi

  • 1 handful gnocchi how hungry are you?
  • unsalted butter as needed
  • olive oil as needed
  • kosher salt coarse sea salt is fine
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • sauteed mushrooms, from above
  • 1 handful spinach leaves substitute arugula or other quick-cooking bitter green


For the Mushrooms

  • In a frying pan large enough to hold all the ingredients, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat
    ½ tbsp unsalted butter, 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, watching the heat to make sure that the garlic does not blacken
    ½ small onion, chopped, 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • Add the mushrooms, spacing them so that they have a chance to brown without ever crowding. Watch the fat, as mushrooms will absorb all of it, and you don't want the onions and garlic to scorch. Add a little more butter if necessary
    4 cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • Flip the mushrooms and then continue to cook until the mushrooms are browned and have started to release their liquid. Add the dried thyme, and season with salt and pepper
    ½ tsp dried thyme, kosher salt, black pepper, freshly ground
  • Add the white wine and cook, stirring often, until the wine reduces. This should be very quick
    ¼ cup dry white wine
  • Remove the pan from heat. Remove the mushrooms to a bowl and taste for seasoning

For the Gnocchi

  • Return the pan to heat and add butter and olive oil as needed to ensure that the gnocchi will not stick to the pan
    1 handful gnocchi
  • Add the gnocchi and cook, stirring frequently. You want the gnocchi to start to color but not brown too much (you don't want homefries). Watch the heat to make sure that they don't get too much color. Season with salt and pepper (not too much. The mushrooms have been salted as well)
  • When mostly cooked, add the mushrooms back to the pan and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute to heat everything through
  • Add the spinach, stir rapidly, and remove from heat. Continue to stir until the spinach has wilted some. Taste for seasoning and adjust as required
    1 handful spinach leaves
  • Serve immediately


Keyword mushrooms, one-pot dish, spinach
Tried this recipe?Let me know what you think!

Tips on travel cooking

Find yourself in an Airbnb kitchen without all of your usual equipment (or even adequate equipment)? Fret not. Here are some tips on making the most of travel kitchens.