This Cauliflower Gnocchi recipe can be baked, boiled, or cooked in the air fryer for gluten-free comfort food that will satisfy everyone’s taste buds. Pair it with your favorite sauce for an easy meal prep recipe or nourishing weeknight dinner!
Moving right along with pasta week, this is the 2nd recipe in our mini-series. Be sure to stay tuned for the 3rd, and take a look at my Healthy Fettuccine Pasta if you missed it.
More than Your Average Vegetable
As I’m sure you know, cauliflower has been all the rage the last few years. Gone are the days of bland and mushy vegetables. Now, cauliflower is used to create slightly healthier twists on all your favorite recipes. From Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, to Paleo Cauliflower Pineapple Fried Rice, and even Baked Sweet Potato Cauliflower Patties, it can be found in pretty much everything you can think of! So, in honor of our pasta week, we decided to see if we could use it to make a tasty comfort food recipe that is also perfect for meal prep. Luckily, this cauliflower gnocchi turned out even better than we expected! With several cooking options and endless combinations, it’s a dish that just keeps on giving.
Keep reading to learn all our cauliflower cooking secrets!
How to Make Cauliflower Gnocchi
Given its unique shape and texture, creating a homemade gnocchi recipe might seem intimidating, but I promise it’s super easy if you follow the steps below! Or, if you’re in a pinch for time, you can always opt for a store-bought brand like DeLallo’s cauliflower gnocchi.
To start, steam a head of cauliflower in the microwave or on a stovetop until it is tender, and remove any excess water using a cheesecloth to squeeze out any moisture.
Note: To steam cauliflower on a stovetop, place it in a large saucepan with ¼ cup of water. Bring the water to a boil, and reduce the heat to a medium. Keeping the pan covered, let the cauliflower cook for 7-9 minutes.
Then, place the cauliflower in a blender or food processor, and blend until it is riced. Add salt and oil, and blend again until a sort of mash or puree is formed.
Next, combine the flours and garlic powder in a large bowl, whisking them together before adding to the mashed cauliflower in the food processor. Blend again ingredients until combined. Transfer batter to a large mixing bowl and shape into a soft dough ball. Then place it in the freezer for 20 minutes to chill.
Note: Don’t worry, the batter might be a little wet still but it should firm up in fridge!
Once chilled, roll the dough on a floured surface creating a gnocchi log by rolling it out to about 6 inches wide before cutting it into 1 inch by ¾ inch squares.
To finish, bake the dough as squares. Or, if you’re feeling a little fancy, form ridges in the pieces by using the edge of a fork to make lines.
Easy Cooking Methods (3 Options!)
Whether you choose to bake, air fry, or boil your pasta, this recipe is super adaptable and tastes great no matter how you prepare it!
For a baked gnocchi recipe, all you have to do is preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, place the gnocchi pieces on a greased baking sheet, and let them cook for roughly 16 minutes.
Pro-Tip: To make sure both sides are evenly cooked, flip the gnocchi over after 8 minutes.
To cook gnocchi in the air fryer, start by lightly spraying the bottom with a little bit of cooking oil, and place the pasta pieces on the bottom making sure they are spread in an even layer. Then, preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and cook the gnocchi for 8-10 minutes.
Pro-Tip: I like to flip my gnocchi over halfway through cooking and spray it with a bit more cooking spray to make it a little crisper.
Closer resembling more traditional pasta-making recipes, boiling cauliflower gnocchi starts by heating 6 cups of water with a teaspoon of salt until the water reaches a boil. Then, gently place the gnocchi in the water, and let them cook until they float to the top. This will take 2-3 minutes. Once cooked, gently remove the gnocchi from the water using a slotted spoon, and place them on a sheet pan or in a skillet to brown.
Note: After baking, air frying, or boiling cauliflower gnocchi, place it in a deep skillet with sauce, and let it simmer for 5 minutes before serving. Or, immediately toss boiled pasta in sauce, soup, casseroles, and more!
For this recipe, any sauce you have on hand will taste great! I like to use a Nomato Sauce for a nightshade free weeknight pasta recipe, toss it with my Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, or even pair it with Easy Vegan Cheese sauce to create a cauliflower gnocchi mac n’ cheese. However, you can also toss it in a casserole, add it to Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup, and more! I even placed the gnocchi back in the air fryer to create fun pasta chips! The options are endless.
Common Questions About Gnocchi
Yes! Cauliflower gnocchi is perfect for meal prep, because it’s super easy to make ahead of time and just pop in the freezer for a quick meal. The key is just to freeze it before it is cooked. All you have to do is place the pieces in a sealable bag, and lay them flat in the freezer for up to 2 months.
It is best to cook gnocchi once thawed, but it can be boiled from frozen. You’ll just want to make sure to use plenty of water, and split the pasta pieces into two different batches to prevent them from sticking together.
Yes, I’ve tested this recipe with both cassava flour, chickpea flour, and oat flour, and they all turn out great! Oat flour has a slightly grittier texture but holds the sauce much better than gnocchi made with chickpea flour. Chickpea flour gnocchi still tastes great! It’s just better used in soups and casseroles rather than pasta recipes.
I don’t recommend it. The bagged riced cauliflower you find in the freezer section of your local grocer is just going to have too much liquid in it. If you try it anyhow, be sure to squeeze out as much liquid as you can and increase the starch and flour.
If you find your dough is too moist and won’t stick together, thoroughly mix in 1 more Tablespoon of starch, and roll the dough back into a ball. You might need to let it chill a bit longer in order to become sticky. Keep in mind the texture of the gnocchi will vary depending on how much extra starch you use. However, the taste is still delish!
Whether you’re looking for a sneak way to add more veggies to your kids’ diet, need a gluten-free gnocchi alternative, or just want to try something new, this recipe is for you! The only thing left to do is decide how you’re going to use it. Let me know in the comments below!