Cauliflower Gnocchi

This delicious Cauliflower Gnocchi is made with cauliflower instead of traditional potatoes. No need for a Trader Joe’s run – make them from scratch with just three ingredients!

Cauliflower Gnocchi in a bowl with a fork.
Cauliflower Gnocchi

Is there anything cauliflower can’t do? I use it as a low-carb alternative to make low-carb rice, low-carb potato salad, cauliflower mashed potatoes, and low-carb macaroni and cheese. And here, it’s amazing as gnocchi topped with marinara and Parmesan cheese. This healthy cauliflower gnocchi is lower in carbs and calories than traditional gnocchi and a great way to eat more cauliflower! This super easy recipe calls for just cauliflower, white whole wheat flour, and salt. If you want to try classic potato gnocchi, check out my Gnocchi with Grilled Chicken in Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.

Cauliflower Gnocchi in a pot with marinara sauce.

This recipe is slightly adapted from Joy Bauer’s Superfood!: 150 Recipes for Eternal Youth cookbook (affil link), but with less flour. Her cookbook includes indulgent foods like Buffalo wings, deep-dish pan pizza, salted caramel milkshakes, etc while boosting immunity. This recipe has less flour than her original recipe, but it worked perfect, the final product was tender, pillowy gnocchi that even my cauliflower-hating husband approved of! I even tested this with gluten-free flour (Cup4cup) and had great success.

The trick to cooking cauliflower gnocchi for best results is to pan-fry them with a little olive oil spray (or cook them in the air fryer). Boiling them like traditional gnocchi wouldn’t be as good. Then, simply add them to your favorite sauce and enjoy.

Sauce Variations:

You can use any type of pasta sauce on your gnocchi. Below are some suggestions.

How to Freeze Cauliflower Gnocchi

I have made theses gnocchi several times and even froze a batch. To freeze, flash freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet and then transfer to a zip-lock bag. Let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator when you are ready to cook.

Refrigerate cooked gnocchi for up to four days. Reheat in a skillet or microwave.

Cauliflower GnocchiCauliflower Gnocchi in a bowl.Cauliflower Gnocchi in a bowl with a fork.

More Cauliflower Recipes You’ll Love:

Cauliflower Gnocchi in a bowl with a fork.
Print
4.83 from 41 votes
Did you make this recipe?

Cauliflower Gnocchi

3
3
3
SP
228 Cals 12 Protein 42.6 Carbs 2 Fats
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Dinner, Lunch
CUISINE: American, Italian
This delicious Cauliflower Gnocchi is made with cauliflower instead of traditional potatoes. No need for a Trader Joe’s run – make them from scratch with just three ingredients!

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds cauliflower florets, 12 heaping cups from 2 medium heads
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour, or all purpose or gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • olive oil spray
  • 2 cups marinara sauce, jarred or homemade
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for topping, optional
  • basil, optional for serving

Instructions

  • Place the cauliflower in a large pot, cover with water (make sure veggies are submerged), and bring to a boil.
    cauliflower in a large pot
  • Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 22 minutes, until the cauliflower is very soft. Drain and set aside to cool.
  • Once cooled, in batches put 1/3 to 1/2 of the cauliflower in a dish towel and squeeze out as much excess water as possible then place in a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower until all of it is well drained and squeezed of all liquid so the dough isn’t too sticky.
    cauliflower in a dish towel and squeeze out as much excess water as possible
  • Add the flour and salt into the bowl with the mashed cauliflower and mix with a fork at first, then using your hands to fold and squeeze everything together into a dough.
  • Dust a work surface with flour, then separate the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 2 1/2 ounces each. One at a time, roll each ball into a ½-inch-thick rope 10 inches long and set aside. Continue until all the dough is used up.
    dough into 8 equal pieces
  • Next, cut each rope into 13 equal sized (gnocchi-like) pieces, slightly nudging the pieces apart so they’re not touching. You should get about 108 pieces total. If at any point the dough becomes too sticky to work with, add flour to your hands.
    cut each rope into 13 equal sized (gnocchi-like) pieces
  • In two batches, liberally mist a large a skillet with nonstick oil spray and warm over medium heat. Place half of the gnocchi on the hot skillet (if the pieces stick together just slice them apart in the skillet using the spatula). Do not overcrowd the pan; you’ll need to cook the gnocchi in two batches.
  • Let the gnocchi sit in the hot pan undisturbed for 2 minutes, then gently flip using a spoon or tongs, being careful not to squish them. Sprinkle salt over the tops and continue to cook for another 2 to 4 minutes or until desired doneness.
  • Set aside and repeat with remaining gnocchi, then add everything back to the skillet and pour the marinara over everything, give a stir and serve topped with optional grated cheese.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1generous cup (26 pieces 1/4 cup sauce), Calories: 228kcal, Carbohydrates: 42.6g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 2g, Sodium: 652mg, Fiber: 12.5g, Sugar: 11g
Blue Smart Points: 3
Green Smart Points: 3
Purple Smart Points: 3
Keywords: baked cauliflower recipes, cauliflower gnocchi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this Recipe:




115 comments

  1. This was fabulous! My husband and I decided it was so much better than the potato version for flavor and texture. I did make sure the cauliflower was really squeezed out well in a towel and it was not sticky at all. I had a little trouble rolling it and I know it’s because I didn’t make sure it was all mashed down real well. I had kept some stems in it as not to waste but next time, I will do a quick pulse in my food processor. Put some in the freezer without the sauce to see if it freezes well so I can make large batches and just keep them in the freezer whenever I want a quick dish.

  2. I don’t understand when the comments say that this is labor intensive. I even used a gnocchi board to roll it so it would have ridges. It was a gift and this was my first time using it. Total time: 35 minutes. Most of it hands off. It was delicious. Better than TJ.

  3. Gnocchi is a favorite in our house but one we only eat 1-2x/year because of the calorie investment — not anymore!! Will definitely make this again.

    I was one of the poor souls who skimped on the step to squeeze as much water out of the cauliflower as possible… Don’t cut corners on that. It ended up being a sticky mess, but once I added more flour and got the consistency right, it was as straightforward to make as traditional gnocchi. It’s time-consuming, but man, these were so good with the butternut squash cheese sauce from SkinnyTaste’s mac & cheese recipe. Yum.

    Next time, I will definitely put more effort into squeezing out excess water from the cauliflower so I can keep the amount of flour (and therefore calories) under control, and I will likely use a food processor to break up the cauliflower and then blend in the flour for the dough, although one must be careful not to overprocess, or you end up with tiny bricks.

  4. I’m happy to report that using frozen riced cauliflower works great in this recipe. I used four 12 ounce bags. It took quite a while to boil, of course, but since I was pressed for time I added ice cubes after cooking to get the cauliflower to a temperature cool enough for me to drain the water. I had previously ordered a “nut bag” online for the purpose of squeezing water out of cooked cauliflower. It has a fine mesh so the water gets out and the cauliflower mush stays in. The 48 ounces of frozen riced cauliflower resulted in 15 ounces of cauliflower mash, once the water was squeezed out. Total time from start to finish was 2 hours (almost an hour for the boiling and simmering of the cauliflower). It was great to enjoy a plate of pasta without blowing my WW points for the day!

  5. Do you think this would work with almond flour?

  6. I’m making this for the second time. My teenager is VERY picky. Only eats one veggie! She loved this recipe. We all did. I think the people who are getting mush are not squeezing out the liquid enough. Please try it again!

    Serve with sage butter and pine nuts or gorgonzola cream sauce. YUM!

  7. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this recipe!!! Will definitely make again!

  8. can almond flour or coconut flour be used?

  9. Absolutely delicious!  I love pasta and so nice to have it without the guilt.  Plus couldn’t even taste the cauliflower! Making  this again very soon. Thanks!

  10. Like an earlier poster, my dough was extremely mushy and could not be formed into any type of rope. The cauliflower was pretty well drained, but everything was still mushy. I had to bake the dough/batter spread out on a sheet pan and then slice and cook it. Maybe it was because I pureed the cauliflower or I used white flour. I dont know if you pureed the cauliflower or hand mashed it.

    Still delish though

  11. These were definitely tasty, but soooo much work! I personally won’t be making these again because of how time consuming they were BUT they tasted pretty dang good. I wish I had used much less sauce (the gnocchi were drowning in the two cups) so I recommend adding the sauce to taste. Lastly, it’s easy to oversalt these (they’re so small!) so be careful when you sprinkle salt as they fry.

    tl;dr: yummy but takes forever; be careful not to add too much sauce or salt

  12. This was so good! My 4 year old helped me roll the gnocchi and it was fun and delicious. I had this version while my family had regular gnocchi and I didn’t feel like I was missing out at all! 

  13. I don’t know how I could have gone so wrong with this recipe. I drained to cauliflower and the 1 cup of flour and it was mush. So I added some more. Still mush. And then I added some more. Now I made glue. Ended up throwing the whole thing out. Stick to potato gnocchi.

  14. Not very good, sorry to say. I haven’t been disappointed with skinny taste recipes but, this one  let me down.  It looked beautiful upon presentation but the taste, meh!! Won’t make it again. 

  15. This looks amazing. Your recipes never dissappoint! Could you substitute almond flour for the whole wheat flour?

  16. Loved these and so did my kiddos! I think next time I’ll add some cheese and seasoning to the mix. So good!! Thank you!

    I caught my toddler sneaking his hand into the Tupperware to get more haha.

  17. I would recommend to save yourself A LOT of time and just buy gnocchi from TJs! The finished product did not taste bad, but, oh man, it took a lot of time. This would be a great recipe to try if you are quarantined in your house and have a lot of time on your hands. This is going to be a one and done for me.

  18. So good. My picky boyfriend was in love!

  19. This is amazing! Maybe a favorite recipe on this site thus far! (And I’ve had many)

    I enjoyed the process, it does take a lot of time and effort. But it is so worth it. Making the sauce is key as well.
    Thank you have hiving this recipe.

  20. Looks good. Could I add one potato to it?
    Thanks

  21. Bought 2 medium cauliflower heads. Only about 6 cups and 1.5 lbs when chopped. I’m not sure if I should cut other ingredients in half. Not sure how our measurements are so far off. 

  22. This was so good! I wouldn’t have even known it was made from cauliflower it tasted like regular gnocchi! Thank you for a delicious recipe. 

  23. I can’t wait to make this Gnocchi but I have a big bag of plain, cauliflower rice from Sam’s Club and I’m not sure how much of it to use for this recipe. Can you pass on the amount of already “riced” cauliflower I need to mix with the flour and salt? Thanks!

  24. Would it be possible to use store-bought frozen riced cauliflower to shorten the meal prep time? Just wondering if you’ve tried it. Thanks so much for all your help with my WW journey!

  25. I only made the gnocchi, not the sauce. I wanted a vodka sauce so I made that on my own. The gnocchi turned out wonderful. Way better than Trader Joe’s. It is a bit laborious, but in all fairness, you are making “pasta” from scratch. Definitely will make again when I feel like spending some time in the kitchen, which I often do.

  26. These gnocchis were delicious. I am not a huge gnocchi fan but this recipe changed my mind. Fluffy and tasty. Definitely will make this again!

  27. Hi Gina!

    Made this last week and the family loved it!  I’m making this again and pre-made the gnocchi ahead of time.  Can I refrigerate the dough now to use at dinner tome, or should I cook it now and reheat?

  28. So delicious!! It was worth the effort and I’ll definitely make again. For sauce, I improvised with butter, garlic, almond milk, Parmesan cheese, and a little flour for thickening. 

  29. Worth the time and effort- the pillow-y texture is amazing. Allow more time due to size of pot required to bring to a boil for 2 heads cauliflower, and cooling time before squeezing out the liquid. Will make again for sure.

  30. My first Skinnytaste recipe. It was time consuming but so worth it!! Perfect for a Sunday dinner when I have time to cook. Used a high-quality marinara. It felt way too decadent to be a WW recipe! I was getting really tired of WW but now I see how I can keep going with this great menu planning and super recipes!! Thank you!!!

  31. Do you freeze them before or after cooking in the skillet?

  32. Oh my stars. I honestly could not believe how much I loved the gnocchi. A little crisp on the outside and soft and warm inside. I didn’t tell my kids about the cauliflower and they didn’t ask. So… shhhhhhhhh.

  33. Absolutely loved this recipe! Gnocchi is one of my favorites and this recipe felt super indulgent. It does take some time to make but it is not difficult by any means. Serves with jarred Rao’s marinara. Even my picky 7 year old loved it 😊

  34. These were so much better than I expected. They have great pillowy texture. I added sautéed spinach and onions in the dish with the sauce. Yes they take time, but found the process and end result extremely rewarding! Will be remaking again soon. Thanks Gina!

  35. I was skeptical about these (I’ve tried the Trader Joe’s version and found it meh) but these are AMAZING! They really have the taste and texture of gnocchi! But for me, these were kind of LABOR INTENSIVE. I do not see them as an under 30 minute recipe (I mean, if you freeze them and reheat them, sure?). But they were worth the work. From now on I am saving them for weekends though!

  36. I couldn’t believe how much I liked these! Really delicious , even my fussy teenagers enjoyed. And I’ve had the Trader joe’s version and these are much better! Only negative.. no way its 30 minutes, it takes 22 min just to cook the cauliflower. I’d say it’s close to 1 hour and it took me 4 batches. I’ll definitely be making these again.

  37. I made this last night and it was so good! It really did taste like potatoes!! It was a little time consuming, so not really a week night recipe, but I will make this again for sure.

  38. These were so delicious! How are your points calculated? When I put in the nutritional info in the WW app it said 8 points on blue and when I did the recipe it gave me 6 on blue.  🤷🏼‍♀️

    • Hi Kristen! The only accurate way to determine any recipe’s SmartPoints® value is to plug the ingredients into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website (Click on “My Foods,” select “Recipe,” and click “Create a recipe.”) which does not count fruits and vegetables in recipes in the calculations as they are now 0 points.

      The SmartPoints® calculator isn’t meant for recipes and will often give you the wrong points (usually higher) because it’s counting the fruits and vegetables. So if you see a recipe with a SmartPoints® value that’s different from what the calculator tells you, now you know why.

  39. This was so good! Made as stated. A tip I can give is if you are short on time drain most of the hot water from the cauliflower and then add cold it should mix with the hot cauliflower and make it just warm enough to handle as long as the cauliflower is cooked enough.

  40. Gina, can I make this a day ahead? I’m having company and we will be going to the beach, I want it ready for when we come home.
    Thanks

  41. I’ve tried MANY of your recipes, and most are winners, but this is the first one I’ve rated because it was SO good! I was shocked by how perfect the texture of the gnocchi was. So comforting and delicious. I actually made it with your skinny pesto instead of marinara, and it was amazing. Will make again!

  42. How long can i keep them in my fridge? Can I freeze them ?

  43. Loved it!! Had to add alot more flour tho, I thought it was well drained…

  44. Could frozen cauliflower be used instead? (Or frozen riced cauliflower?)

  45. Just made this and tried cooking a batch in the air fryer (@ 8 minutes) and in the frying pan. I preferred the frying pan method. I didn’t squeeze enough water out of the first 2 batches, so that is one thing I will do better next time.
    Looks great, tastes great! Thanks Gina. I love all the recipes of yours I have tried! I am a Nutrition Coach and I share your recipes with my group all the time. Take Care!

  46. Would it work to bake the gnocci pieces? Love this idea to use cauliflower.

  47. Gina – quick question. Are you mashing during step 4? Or mashing during step 3? I didn’t see that step (could be I missed it).

    This looks great, and I have the ingredients on hand! YAY!

  48. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It’s fun making those gnocchi and it taste good! A brilliant way to enjoy more cauliflowers!

  49. These were just perfect little pillows of goodness. They weren’t hard to make at all. Just start early enough to allow time for the cauliflower to cool. What I can’t figure out is where those two large heads of cauliflower went!  And be sure you don’t have pieces of stems, just the tops and that the cauliflower gets nice and soft. 
    We ate the gnocchi with Gina’s Skinny Pesto. Perfect! And that’s another great recipe. She’s right. Believe it or not, you don’t miss the pine nuts. 

  50. Amazing texture!!

  51. Made these for dinner tonight. Had them with a homemade sauce and they were amazing. Loved the flavour from being pan fried. Would make these again in a heartbeat.

  52. These were a bit of prep but so worth it.  I chilled the dough and it was easier to work with. 

  53. Everyone cleaned their plates including my two picky eaters. The cauli flavor is super subtle and the texture was more satisfying than pasta. Fantastic recipe!

  54. Have you tried them cooked in boiling water like other traditional gnocchi or is the browned version nicer

  55. Looks like another yummy Skinnytaste Gina recipe!!
    If you freeze, do you freeze prior to cooking in skillet or after?

  56. Can we substitute to almond flour? 

  57. I’m also wondering if you can use packaged cauliflower rice and how much.

    • Me too Carlene. Has anyone tried with frozen riced cauliflower? I usually have some left-over in the fridge. Thinking I could just squeeze it as dry as possible and add the appropriate amount of GF flour.

      • I’m curious to know what brand of flour and marinara were used. When I do the WW recipe builder, the flour and marinara came out to 13 points each on purple(26 points).  With 4 servings, that’s about 8 points per serving instead of 3.  Did I misunderstand something? 

      • My homemade marinara, its 0 points.

  58. I am wondering if I can make this Keto by using almond or coconut flour and if so, how much? Any thoughts? Looks delicious!

  59. I really love cauliflower (yes, we cauliflower freaks exist!) and I’m SO going to cook a half batch for dinner!

  60. How long would you cook these in an air fryer?

  61. Hello!

    These look absolutely delicious! We are keto and do not use flour-could you substitute almond flour for these?

    Thank you!

  62. How much packaged riced cauliflower would this translate to?

  63. What are the directions for cooking them in an air fryer?

  64. Could these be made ahead and frozen?

  65. Hi! Do you mash after squeezing? Not clear from the instructions!

  66. It looks de but I am confused by the traditional rolled and scored gnocchi you posted on IG and these pillow like pieces. Is it the same recipe? And do you think they could be made GF?

    • If you watch the video on IG it just shows her doing an extra step to roll the “pillows” and press a fork to get the traditional shape. You can cook them in either shape.

      I also wonder about the almond flour. Higher calories but higher protein and lower carbs 

    • If you read her post, NOT just the recipe, she says she made them also with gluten free flour (Cup4Cup) and they were a sucess.

  67. Looks DELICIOUS!  Do you think I could substitute almond flour?

  68. Any suggestions on cooking the cauliflower in the instant pot?

  69. Where do you mash?  Before you squeeze it dry or afterwards?

    • If I could have given this 10 stars, I would have!! Simple to prepare, simple ingredients and oh so delicious! Typically I feel overly stuffed eating gnocchi, but this was just perfection! I used a yummy arabbiata sauce that went perfectly with the delicate flavor of the gnocchi. I am going to make a big batch and freeze. My husband would not stop raving and my picky 12 year old gobbled it up! Made it with gluten free flour with no issues. Yummy!

  70. Can you sub out white whole wheat flour for almond flour?