Hi everyone!! It’s Bailey again from Basics with Bails! Today I’ll be showing you step-by-step how to make super easy, two-ingredient cauliflower gnocchi with homemade pesto. This recipe also happens to be vegan, gluten-free, and much lower in carbs than traditional gnocchi!
I saw a meme the other day that said, “Use cauliflower as a substitute for mashed potatoes, rice, or any other joy in your life. You have no friends now, there is only cauliflower.” PRETTY MUCH sums me up! Except for the fact that I believe cauliflower is an AMAZING alternative to potato for lower carb options in many dishes, including this one!
If you’re based in the US, I’m sure you’ve seen the cauliflower gnocchi that Trader Joe’s carries. And if you’re not based in the US, I’m sure you’ve probably seen it on Instagram once or twice (or maybe 300 times like I have)!
The ingredients for the cauliflower gnocchi:
4 cups of cauliflower (1 Head)
3/4 cups of cassava flour
The ingredients for the vegan pesto:
1 cup of fresh basil
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1 cup of spinach
2 cloves of garlic
2-3 tbsp of nutritional yeast
2 tbsp of lemon juice
1/2 cup of olive oil
Salt & pepper
Instructions for making the cauliflower gnocchi:
Prepare the cauliflower
Preheat the oven to 425F. Add the 4 cups of cauliflower to your food processor and pulse. Don’t worry about leaving the pieces too big or too small. The cauliflower will get added back to the food processor later on to puree!
Cook cauliflower till tender
Add the cauliflower to a steamer basket set over a medium pot of boiling water. Cover and steam for 10 minutes, or until fork-tender.
Squeeze out excess moisture from cauliflower
Let the cauliflower cool!! This is important or you will burn your hands in the next step. Transfer the cauliflower to a clean thin dish towel, or nut milk bag, and squeeze out the excess water into a bowl.
Transfer the squeezed cauliflower back to the food processor. Add the cassava flour and blend until the dough forms into a ball.
Divide into 4
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Then cut into 4 equal parts.
Roll out “logs” of dough
Roll out each piece of dough until they are all approx 2cm wide each.
Cut into pieces
Cut each log into equal bite-size pieces, approximately 1-inch pieces.
Add the gnocchi to a boiling pot of water. Once the gnocchi has risen to the top of the water (approx 1 minute), they are ready to transfer to the oven!
Bake at 425F for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. DISCLAIMER – I could NOT stop eating these straight from the pan.
Toss in pesto and serve immediately!
Instructions for making vegan pesto
Add everything to food processor except olive oil
Add basil, pine nuts, spinach, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and salt & pepper to a food processor. Process until a coarse mixture.
Add oil + water to thin if you desire
Add olive oil and process again. Add some water if you want a thinner pesto consistency (optional)!
Taste & adjust!
Taste and adjust flavour. Add more oil to preference, adjust salt, add more nutritional yeast for a cheesier flavour. This recipe is also amazing for pizza, salads, on sandwiches or with roasted veggies!
If you’ve never tried the Cauliflower Gnocchi from Trader Joe’s, there are a few things to keep in mind:
First off, and this is important, it definitely tastes like cauliflower. I wouldn’t say this is cauliflower in disguise. This is a gluten-free, vegan, low carb, and paleo gnocchi recipe, it will not taste the same as a gluten-filled potato recipe!
Next, the texture is different from regular gnocchi, but I think it’s SO GOOD. The Trader Joe’s version is a little more sticky and chewy than your classic gnocchi. I actually love the texture and prefer it to real glutinous potato gnocchi now. This recipe has the same texture as the Trader Joe’s stuff!
Can you substitute other flours in this recipe?
The only flour I would recommend substituting 1:1 is all-purpose flour. So if you are not celiac or gluten-free, all-purpose should work fine!
- 4 cups cauliflower
- 3/4 cups cassava flour
- 1 cup fresh basil
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 cup spinach
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup olive oil
- Salt + pepper
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Add the cauliflower to a steamer basket set over a medium pot of boiling water. Cover and steam for 10 minutes, or until fork-tender.
- Let the cauliflower cool. Transfer the cauliflower to a clean thin dish towel, or nut milk bag, and squeeze the excess water into a bowl.
- Transfer the squeezed cauliflower to a food processor. Add the cassava flour and blend until the dough forms into a ball.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Then cut into 4 equal parts.
- Roll out the 4 logs of dough till they are approx 2cm wide each.
- Slide into approximately 1 inch pieces.
- Transfer the gnocchi to a large pot of salted boiling water. Boil until the gnocchi float to the surface, 1-2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon.
- Transfer the gnocchi to a lined baking sheet. Coat with 2 tbsp oil (something with a high smoking point like avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or canola oil.)
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping the gnocchi after 10 minutes.
- Toss the gnocchi with pesto sauce and serve immediately.
- Add basil, pine nuts, spinach, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and salt & pepper to a food processor. Process until a coarse mixture.
- Add olive oil and process again. Add water if you want a thinner pesto consistency!
- Taste and adjust flavour. Add more oil to preference, adjust salt, add more nutritional yeast for cheesier. This recipe is also amazing for pizza, salads, on sandwiches or with roasted veggies!
Some other delicious dinner recipes you may want to try!
I can’t wait to see your remakes! Share your cauliflower gnocchi with me and Jillian by tagging @basicswithbails and @jillian.harris on Instagram!