It’s been about two months since Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi broke the internet, or at least the Paleo and clean eating corner of it, and I have to admit these cauliflower gnocchi wave swept me away, too. I’ve been enjoying them in a multitude of ways, and here I’ve compiled four delicious cauliflower gnocchi recipes, my personal favorites so far, to inspire your next meal!
Before diving into the cauliflower gnocchi recipes, I want to share the wisdom I’ve gathered in the numerous times I’ve cooked the gnocchi themselves thus far, as they require a sure hand. The key to cooking them perfectly is patience. They take longer to cook than you think they will, and than the package says.
I follow the stovetop cooking directions, but skip the first step involving water. Instead, I heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat in a GOOD non-stick pan (I’m obsessed with my Original Greenpan linked here) then add the bag of gnocchi to the hot oil. I make sure and separate them and spread them around the pan. Then, you just have to wait. It takes about 7-8 minutes before they caramelize on the first side (but as always, watch them, your stove might be different). Then I meticulously flip them 1 by 1 (but you do you. If you just want to do a few spatula flips, missing some in the process but not taking as much time, that rocks too) and they take about 3-5 minutes to color on the other side.
Once they are crispy to your liking, dust with a light sprinkle of salt, and top with one of the delicious sauces below!
Cauliflower Gnocchi with Asparagus, Bacon and Garlic Cream Sauce
This recipe was my first introduction to cauliflower gnocchi, and it’s by far the most popular recipe on my blog right now. You can find the original post and recipe here.
Cauliflower Gnocchi with Beef and Balsamic Ragu
I knew that these would be just as delicious with a red sauce, so I wanted to come up with a hearty, meaty sauce that played well with the tomatoes and the rich vegetable taste of the cauliflower gnocchi. This beef and balsamic ragu sauce comes together easily in the Instant Pot or Slow cooker, and is full of flavor. Recipe for the sauce is below.
Cauliflower Gnocchi with Pistachio Pesto
I’m a bit of a fangirl when it comes to Teri Turner and the delicious recipes she turns out over at nocrumbsleft. Her pistachio pesto is on of my favorites, and I had a few cubes of it stashed in the freezer waiting for the perfect occasion. On a busy weeknight where dinner needed to be fridge to table (ie no grocery shopping involved), I decided to toss the pesto with the cauliflower gnocchi and some asparagus and chicken I had on hand. Whatever you pair with your pistachio pesto gnocchi, it will be a winner.
Cauliflower Gnocchi with Salmon and Lemon Basil Oil
Seafood and pasta are long time friends. So, when I was thinking up a light herby and lemony sauce for the cauliflower gnocchi, I thought salmon would be a natural protein pairing. The recipe for this iteration is below!
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Below are Recipes for the Beef and Balsamic Ragu and the Salmon with Lemon Basil Oil sauces. The recipes for the pesto and garlic cream sauce can be found through the links in their descriptions above.
Beef and Balsamic Ragu
- 1 lb beef stew meet (I used flap steak) cut into 2 inch chunks
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup finely minced carrot
- 4 cloves garlic, mindced
- 1 tablespoon balsamic
- 1 cup broth (chicken or beef)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the salmon and Lemon Basil Oil
- 4–6 oz salmon filet, cooked and flaked
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 12 Basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Beef and Balsamic Ragu
- Using an Instant Pot, set to saute function and heat the olive oil. Sear the beef on all sides then set aside on a plate. You can use a slow cooker instead, just cook the meat for 6-8 hours until pull apart tender
- Add the onions and carrots to the pot, and saute until onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds
- Turn off the Instant Pot and add all the ingredients: bay leaf, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, broth, balsamic, beef and salt
- Attach lid, set to sealing position, and cook on manual high pressure for 40 minutes. When time is up, use the quick release and remove the beef. Shred with two forks
- Optional: using an immersion blender, blend the red sauce (before adding the beef back) for a few seconds, so that it’s slightly less chunky
- Add the beef back to the sauce and serve over gnocchi
Lemon Basil Sauce
- Heat the ghee and olive oil over medium high heat
- Add the minced garlic to the hot oil and saute for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add in 6-8 whole basil leaves and turn heat to medium low, allowing leaves to infuse the oil
- After about a minute, squeeze in the juice of a lemon, and add the flaked salmon
- Chiffonade (ie cut into ribbons) the remaining basil leaves and toss into the sauce
- Pour the sauce over your crisped gnocchi and add salt to taste
- Garnish with more lemon and basil
There will be more than enough beef ragu for the portion of cauliflower gnocchi. You can set aside a pint of it and freeze or use on something else.
Keywords: Cauliflower gnocchi, pasta sauce, paleo pasta, gnocchi