Think homemade cauliflower gnocchi is too difficult to try? Think again! Learn how to make cauliflower gnocchi with only 3 ingredients and no fancy equipment. It’s delicious!
Cozy, cozy! That’s the name of the game these days. We’ve had WONDERFUL winter weather so far, but apparently there’s another polar vortex coming our way soon! This surely means some COLD weather! I guess we can’t complain too much, since we’ve been so lucky. Good thing I got Wally some brand new winter boots recently 😉 And hopefully it doesn’t last too long!
Anyway, cold weather means soups, pastas and everything comforting. Speaking of comfort – have you tried my cheesy tuna casserole yet!? It is the ultimate in cozy! And I’m bringing you another one today (and it’s only 3 ingredients)!
Homemade cauliflower gnocchi!!
What is cauliflower gnocchi?
Traditional gnocchi is made with only a few ingredients as well; potato, flour and salt. Cauliflower gnocchi is made exactly the same way, except using cauliflower! It recently became popular and I think Trader Joe’s even has a version that people have been loving. I say people because I only know this from the Internet, since we don’t have a TJ here in Canada.
I was actually inspired to make this recipe by my son Wally’s cooking kit yet again – one of the recipes was for sweet potato gnocchi and we all loved it! Eventually I plan to put that up on the blog as well!
How do you make cauliflower gnocchi?
First start by pre-cooking the cauliflower in boiling water. You’ll need a small head of cauliflower, about 5 cups. I highly suggest you measure the cauliflower once you’ve cut it up to make sure it’s around 5 cups – a lot more or a lot less will change the amount of flour you need in this recipe!
Boil the cauliflower for 5-6 minutes, then drain it and allow it to cool. Once it’s no longer hot to the touch and there is no more steam coming from it, use a clean dishtowel or cheesecloth to drain the water out of the cauliflower.
Squeeze the cauliflower as much as you can, getting every last drop of water out of it! You should be left with dry, crumbly cauliflower.
Add the crumbled cauliflower to a food processor and pulse a few times, until finely minced. Then add the flour and salt and pulse until everything is combined together and forms a bit of a dough “ball”. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides as you go.
Touch the dough with your finger; it should be sticky but you shouldn’t be left with any goop on your finger. If it’s really sticky, add another tablespoon or two of flour and pulse again.
Divide the dough into 4 equal portions – it doesn’t have to be exactly equal, just use your best guess – and then roll each portion between your fingers, using floured hands, to form a “rope”. Roll it back and forth on a floured surface until you have a rope that is about 1″ thickness.
Repeat with the remaining portions of dough, then slice each rope into 1″ pieces using a sharp paring knife. You can also use a gnocchi board to create the classic gnocchi lines (or a fork)!
How do you cook homemade cauliflower gnocchi?
There are a few different ways to cook the gnocchi, but my favorite method is sautéing it in a pan. This adds a nice golden crispy edge, keeping the inside pillowy soft! It’s so dreamy.
Usually, I fry some bacon in a pan, then once the bacon is cooked I remove all of the grease except 1 tablespoon, then I use that grease to sauté the gnocchi. I do it in 2 batches, and it takes about 5 minutes per batch. Fry the gnocchi for 2-3 minutes, flipping once, then add a splash of water to the pan and add the lid on top to steam the inside of the gnocchi. Serve it up with the fried bacon and some grated parmesan!
You can also air fry your gnocchi, roast it in the oven (like I did here), or boil it in salted water – it will be done once it floats to the top.
Can you use frozen cauliflower for this recipe?
Yes, absolutely. Follow the same method I use, cooking the cauliflower in the boiling water for about 5-6 minutes. Just be sure to measure out 5 cups of the frozen florets! If you’re using cauliflower rice, reduce the cooking time to about 3 minutes and then be sure to drain through a fine mesh colander.
Can homemade cauliflower gnocchi be made low-carb or gluten-free?
Since we’re using plain all-purpose flour here, the recipe as I’ve written it, is not low-carb. You could sub the all-purpose flour for gluten-free flour, although without the gluten the gnocchi may be less pillowy. But still tasty!
I would not attempt to use almond flour or another low-carb flour substitute as I think the gnocchi will not be able to retain its shape when rolling! If you try and it and it works, be sure to let me know!
How do I freeze the cauliflower gnocchi?
For a SUPER quick and easy dinner, make a double batch of this gnocchi, and freeze half! Before you do the final sautéing/boiling/roasting step and you’ve cut the gnocchi, spread out the gnocchi on a large baking sheet and freeze for 20 minutes. Then transfer the frozen gnocchi to an airtight bag and freeze for up to 2 months. To cook from frozen, boil it in water until it floats to the top, or roast it in the oven! If you’re sautéing it from frozen, you may need to increase the time that you steam it at the end, to about 3-4 minutes.
You can always serve this gnocchi with whatever sauce you prefer, or even add it to a soup! Delicious!
Some other easy dinners and cauliflower recipes you may love:
- crispy sheet pan gnocchi
- Instant Pot loaded cauliflower soup
- air fryer buffalo cauliflower
- crispy Mongolian cauliflower
Homemade Cauliflower Gnocchi
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 3 cups gnocchi 1x
Think homemade cauliflower gnocchi is too difficult to try? Think again! Learn how to make cauliflower gnocchi with only 3 ingredients and no fancy equipment.
- 1 head cauliflower – about 5 cups cauliflower florets (fresh or frozen)
- 2/3 cups all-purpose flour*
- 1 tsp salt
- optional: 4 slices bacon, shaved parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the cauliflower to the water and cook for 5-6 minutes, then drain it and allow it to cool. Once it’s no longer hot to the touch and there is no more steam coming from it, use a clean dishtowel or cheesecloth to drain the water out of the cauliflower. Be sure to get as much water squeezed out as you can!
- Add the crumbled cauliflower to a food processor and pulse a few times, until finely minced. Then add the flour and salt and pulse until everything is combined together and forms a bit of a dough “ball”. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides as you go. Touch the dough with your finger; it should be sticky but you shouldn’t be left with any goop on your finger. If it’s really sticky, add another tablespoon or two of flour and pulse again.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and then roll each portion between your fingers, using floured hands, to form a “rope”. Roll it back and forth on a floured surface until you have a rope that is about 1″ thickness. Using a sharp paring knife, slice each rope into 1″ pieces. Use a gnocchi board or a fork to create the classic gnocchi lines (if desired)!
- Cooking the gnocchi. To cook the gnocchi using my bacon method: cook 4 slices of bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon and grease, leaving 1 tablespoon of grease behind. Add half the gnocchi to the pan, and sauté for 2-3 minutes, flipping once. Add a splash of water the pan and place the lid on top, creating steam inside the pan to finish cooking the inside of the gnocchi. Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon to a plate, then repeat with the remaining half. Serve the gnocchi with the cooked bacon and some shaved parmesan, or with your favorite pasta sauce!
- To cook without bacon: follow the same instructions as above, but heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in the pan instead of using bacon grease. See notes below for other cooking options.
- To cook the gnocchi using boiling water, place it in a pot of boiling water until it floats to the top (4-5 minutes), or roast it in the oven on a baking sheet at 400 F for 15 minutes. You can also cook it via air fryer at 390 F for 4-5 minutes.
Leftover or uncooked gnocchi can be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for 3-4 days. See post above for instructions on freezing uncooked gnocchi.
* You may sub the all-purpose flour for gluten-free flour, but I would not attempt to use almond flour or another low-carb flour substitute
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: pasta
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: homemade cauliflower gnocchi, cauliflower gnocchi recipe, how to make cauliflower gnocchi
I think cauliflower is so very underestimated ! Look how nicely it can be used ! Great one Katherine !
I totally agree with you, Davorka! It is perfect for making gnocchi with!
I am so excited about this recipe!!! Cauliflower is my favorite vegetable and I have never had gnocchi before!! I totally need to try this!
I’m so happy to hear that Kelly! If you try it, please let me know what you think!!
Your gnocchi looks perfect, Katherine! I’ve made it with ricotta (gnudi) and with potatoes and sweet potatoes, but never with cauliflower. Clearly I’ve been missing out! Can’t wait to try this.
I do love sweet potato gnocchi, it is so good! I haven’t tried with ricotta though, I love that idea. Thanks Marissa!
This gnocchi looks SO delicious Katherine! Such a comforting yet elegant dish and a wonderful idea to add cauliflower!
What a great idea! I’ve never even thought of making gnocchi with cauliflower. Can’t wait to try the recipe!
I hope you love the recipe! It is so good, especially with the bacon!