You’ll love this guilt free Vegan Sweet Potato Gnocchi, it has only 2 ingredients and absolutely no grains! Best part is that it takes only a few minutes to prepare and its FUN to make. How is that even possible you might ask? Read on to find out!
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There’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of pasta 🍝 except perhaps a bowl of potato gnocchi. If there’s anything I miss after going plant based its pizza and pasta. So this recipe is the perfect remedy. These little gnocchi balls are the ultimate comfort food. They’re warm, pillowy and soft.
I love serving them in a brown butter sauce or vegan pesto. Sweet potato gnocchi also pairs well with green veggies like broccoli Rabb, cauliflower, spinach and kale.
Why You’ll Love Gluten Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi
If you’ve never made gnocchi before, fear not. I promise you it’s easy. I first learned how to make gnocchi from my Italian culinary instructor Chef Richard LaMarita. At first, making gnocchi seemed complicated and intimidating. But Rich mashed the potatoes with ease and had rolled out the dough in a matter of minutes. They took only 3 minutes to boil and another 2 minutes to sauté with sauce.
What an impressive easy meal! At that point I made a mental note to figure out how to make a grain free gnocchi. 5 years later I finally got to it. After much experimenting and consulting with other chefs, I’ve come up with the perfect combination for fluffy sweet potato gnocchi.
What Is Gnocchi Anyway?
Gnocchi (pronounced NYOW-kee) is a type of Italian pasta that resembles a dumpling. Traditional gnocchi is made by combining eggs, flour and mashed potatoes and then rolling them out to create small pasta that look like ridged pillows.
What Does Gnocchi Taste Like?
Gnocchi tastes like you’re eating a cloud. Potato gnocchi is soft, pillowy, light and buttery. They pair well with a light buttery sauce like pesto or browned butter.
Is Gnocchi Gluten Free?
Unfortunately gnocchi prepared in the traditional way is not gluten free. Gnocchi is made with potatoes, eggs and flour. The flour used to make gnocchi is regular all purpose flour which is derived from wheat. Wheat contains gluten. However it is possible to make gluten free gnocchi by swapping out all purpose flour for a gluten free mix.
Luckily it’s easy to make gluten free gnocchi because the potato and eggs act as a binder holding the gnocchi together. So you can use a simple flour swap to make gluten free gnocchi without adding xanthin gum or other binders to replace the gluten.
What Is Gluten Free Gnocchi?
Gluten free gnocchi is simply gnocchi made the traditional way with a gluten free flour mix instead of using all purpose flour. Gluten free gnocchi is a great alternative to regular gnocchi for those on a gluten free diet or for people who have celiac disease.
Why Use Sweet Potatoes for Gnocchi Instead of Regular Potatoes?
I know that you’re supposed to use regular potatoes for gnocchi but sweet potatoes really do level up the dish. Let me tell you why.
- Using sweet potatoes to make gnocchi gives the gnocchi a beautiful orange color and a more complex flavor than white potatoes. Sweet potato gnocchi tastes sweet and nutty which pairs perfectly with brown butter sauce.
- Sweet potatoes are softer and cook faster than other types of potatoes so it’s easy to make a dough out of them.
- Sweet potatoes are older than other varieties of potatoes that are picked when they are younger. Older potatoes work best for gnocchi because they have more starch in them than young potatoes.
Ingredients You’ll Need For Gluten Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi
The trick to making sweet potato gnocchi without gluten is to use cassava flour, Cassava flour is light and fluffy but still keeps the gnocchi together without any egg. Sure some of the dough will flake off while boiling, but that majority of the gnocchi stays intact. When sautéed with some sauce they’re just as delicious and light as traditional gnocchi.
You only need two ingredients to make the gnocchi.
- Sweet Potatoes
- Cassava Flour
- Sea Salt
- Garlic Powder – optional
Gluten Free Flour Substitutions for Cassava Flour
If you don’t have cassava flour on hand don’t worry. There are a bunch of gluten free flour mixes that work well to make gnocchi. Here is a list of the most common flour used to make pillowy gluten free gnocchi:
- 1 cup rice flour mixed with 1/2 cup of sweet rice flour
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour
- Pamela’s Products Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend, 4 Pound
- King Arthur, Measure for Measure Flour, Certified Gluten-Free
Equipment You’ll Need
You don’t need any fancy kitchen gadgets to make gnocchi. Sure you can spring for a traditional Gnocchi Board to etch grooves into each piece. But I find it easier to skip that process and simply slice the pasta with a knife.
Here’s what you’ll need…
I like using a spider because it makes it easier to scoop the gnocchi out of the boiling water without having to dump the pot into a strainer. You can use a slotted spoon as well. This can potentially damage the delicate gnocchis. A slotted spoon will also do the trick!
Specialty Equipment to Make Gnocchi
I love that you don’t need any fancy equipment to make this gnocchi recipe. But if you want to make your gnocchi look more professional and taste even lighter you can use a gnocchi board and a potato ricer.
A gnocchi board is an essential tool used to make ridges in gnocchi. You roll the dough along the board to make ridges. Ridges are often associated with gnocchi. The ridges help the gnocchi hold onto the sauce. If you don’t have a gnocchi board but would still like to make ridged gnocchi you can use a fork.
According to this recipe you don’t need to rice the potato but if you want to make the gnocchi even fluffier and lighter you can rice your potatoes with a potato ricer. A potato ricer grind the potatoes without making them gluey. This tool is a must for making light fluffy mashed potatoes that are not gluey or heavy.
How to Make Gluten Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi
If you’ve never made gnocchi before fear not! It’s a lot easier than it seems.
Step 1: Cook the Sweet Potato
The trick to making Gnocchi dough is to dry out the potatoes when you cook them. Simply place the sweet potatoes in a bowl, use a fork to punch holes in them and put them in the microwave for 15 minutes. Once they’re done slice them down the middle to help them cool off faster.
I usually don’t like to use the microwave, but for this recipe it really does yield the best results.
The sweet potatoes are going to be really hot when they get out of the microwave so don’t try to handle them right away. Allow them to cool off for 15 minutes.
Step 2: Peel the Potatoes
Once they’ve cooled off, peel the skin off of the sweet potatoes. Use a fork to mash the potato into a fine paste. Try to eliminate as many chunks as possible. I like to use a fork at first and then switch to a spoon once the potatoes are pretty smooth.
Step 3: Make the Dough
To make the dough you want to make sure that you add enough flour, but not too much. (Note the pictures below for reference). Measure out your cassava flour and add 1/4th of a cup to the potato. Mix the flour into the potato until it’s fully absorbed. Repeat this process until the dough starts to form.
Next turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Add another few tablespoons of flour and start to kneed the dough. Work it until it’s smooth and not sticky. Try not to over work the dough. The more you kneed it the more dense the gnocchi will be.
Step 4: Roll it out the dough
Step 5: Cook the Gnocchi
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the gnocchi into the pot. They’ll sink to the bottom. Once the gnocchi is cooked they’ll float to the surface. This process takes about 2 minutes. Scoop the gnocchi out of the water with a spider or slotted spoon.
Step 6: Coat with Sauce. Transfer the gnocchi from the slotted spoon into a skillet containing the spinach pesto or butter. Lightly sauté the gnocchi until they become slightly golden, but make sure they don’t brown. Transfer to a bowl and enjoy!
What to Serve with Gnocchi
Gnocchi has a mild flavor that lends itself to many different types of sauces. My favorite is a brown butter sauce, which is easy to make and mixes well with this fast roasted broccoli. But if you want to keep this recipe vegan you can also use a pesto or this Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. For the photos I decided to serve the gnocchi with sautéed spinach See recipe in the card below!
How to Store Leftovers or Uncooked Gnocchi
Uncooked Gnocchi will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Make sure to store them in an air tight container. Try not to pack them tightly together so that they don’t loose their shape!
Cooked gnocchi will stay good for up to 3 days in the fridge.
You can also Freeze uncooked gnocchi for up to 6 months!
FAQ and Frequently Asked Questions
Unfortunately Trader Joe’s sweet potato gnocchi is not gluten free
You can’t eat traditionally made gnocchi because gnocchi is made with all purpose flower. However you can enjoy gnocchi if it was made from a naturally gluten-free flour like rice flour, cassava flour or a gluten free all purpose mix.
Vegan Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- Dough Cutter or Knife
- Spider or Slotted Spoon
- Frying Pan
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- 1 1/2 C Mashed Sweet Potato 3 sweet potatoes
- 1/2 C Cassava Flour
- Microwave sweet potato for 15 minutes. Allow it to cool. Then Scoop out the flesh and mash with a fork until its completly smooth. Meanwhile boil a pot of salted water.
- To make the dough add a tiny bit of flour at a time and work the dough. When it's no longer sticky, turn it out onto a floured surface. Work the dough until it's smooth. Try not to work it too much!
- With a knife divide the dough into four quadrents. Roll out each quadrent into logs about 1 inch in diameter. Slice the log into little 1 by 1 inch pieces.
- Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water. They will automatically sink to the bottom. When they rise up to the top they are ready. Remove them wiht a slotted spoon.
Saute the spinach
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add spinach and lemon juice. Rotate with tongs until the spinach is wilted. Add the gnocchi and saute for 4 minutes and serve.