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Cauliflower Gnocchi

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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

4.79 from 46 votes
2
Cals:228
Protein:12
Carbs:42.6
Fat:2
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!
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American, Italian
Cauliflower Gnocchi in a bowl with a fork.
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 50 mins
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 1 generous cup (26 pieces 1/4 cup sauce)

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.

Last Step:

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Nutrition

Serving: 1 generous cup (26 pieces 1/4 cup sauce), Calories: 228 kcal, Carbohydrates: 42.6 g, Protein: 12 g, Fat: 2 g, Sodium: 652 mg, Fiber: 12.5 g, Sugar: 11 g

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124 comments on “Cauliflower Gnocchi”

  1. Ah-may-zing!! I followed the directions exactly, although I only had 8 cups of cauliflower so I used about 2/3 cup of flour and these are just so good! Yes, a little more to do in this recipe than others but really worth it. Easy peasy, cauliflower squeezy!

  2. step 4 says add flour and salt to the mashed cauliflower, but no where in the previous steps was the cauliflower mashed.  It was boiled, cooled, squeezed. Was that considered mashing it?

  3. Avatar photo
    Andrea Rosenthal

    LOVE most of your recipes!! This wasn’t worth the effort imho. So much mess. I even had the cauliflower in a colander for an hour and yet still so much straining which took time (and strength) and made such a mess w/ the dishtowels, etc.

  4. These were delicious.  I made and froze.t hey are a bit tedious to make, but worth it. Next time I might add a few hot pepper flakes as we love spices.  Great recipe

  5. So yummy! The whole family loved it! Love all of your recipes. I’ve made so many and they are always always excellent!

  6. 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.

    1. I made this one time and I absolutely loved it, so did my husband. I made it again, and it was absolutely not good to me, my husband felt bad but he didn’t like it either. I feel like I made it the same way so I’m not sure. It seemed like the texture was weird. Any ideas on what the heck happened?!? It is too much work to not enjoy the end result. This time I used frozen cauliflower and microwaved it before I rung it out, could that be the problem?! 

  7. Avatar photo
    Elizabeth Picone

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. Avatar photo
    Cynthia Thompson

    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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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