Cauliflower Gnocchi with Pesto Sauce (AIP, Paleo, GF, Vegan)

Cauliflower Gnocchi with Pesto Sauce (AIP, Paleo, GF, Vegan)

Gnocchi is such a comforting meal and versatile meal. If you're following a Paleo or AIP diet, this cauliflower gnocchi with pesto is compliant and super satisfying. The avocado-based lemon basil pesto sauce is creamy,  indulgent and healthy. Plus, it's an amazing sauce for so many things beyond gnocchi. Gnocchi takes a little work to make but can be stored in the freezer for quick meals later.

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What is Gnocchi Made Of?

Gnocchi is typically made from a dough made with white potatoes, flour, eggs, and salt. For this recipe, we'll use cauliflower and cassava flour to keep it AIP compliant.

Cauliflower Gnocchi Ingredients:

Lemon Basil Pesto Sauce

How to Make Cauliflower Gnocchi

  1. Boil the cauliflower for about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove it from the water. Allow it to cool then put the cauliflower in a clean towel and squeeze out as much water as possible. You will probably need to do this in 2-3 batches.
  3. Place the cauliflower in a food processor.
  4. Add 1 1/4 cup cassava flour (to start) and salt. Blend until smooth. If the dough is sticky add an additional tablespoon of cassava flour at a time until it's easy to handle.
  5. Place the dough on a cutting board and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a thin "rope' about 1/2 in thick and 12 inches long. Cut each rope into little pieces about 1/2 in wide. They will be about the size of little marbles. I got roughly 18-20 pieces per rope.
  6. Bring the pot water to a boil again (or start a new pot of water). Add all the gnocchi pieces to the boiling water. Watch them closely- they will rise to the surface after a few minutes. This means they're done. You can scoop them out with a slotted spoon and place them on the baking sheet.
  7. Bake the gnocchi at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then toss the gnocchi with the sauce (you can eat the sauce warm or cool). Garnish with fresh basil.

Notes:

  • The amount of flour needed for your dough may vary a little bit. That’s why the recipe instructions have you start with 1 ¼ cups of cassava flour. Then if the dough is a bit sticky, you can add 1 tbsp of flour at a time until the dough is easy to handle. 
  • Keep the gnocchi fairly small- about the size of marbles.

Fresh vs. Frozen Cauliflower for Cauliflower Gnocchi

I’ve made this recipe with both fresh and frozen cauliflower and they came out about the same. I did end up using a little bit less cassava flour with the frozen cauliflower for some reason.

How to Store Cauliflower Gnocchi

This will keep fresh in the fridge for about 3 days. To freeze the gnocchi dough, prepare it according to the instructions (but don’t boil or bake it). Place the gnocchi dough pieces on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet then place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Transfer the gnocchi pieces to a gallon-sized ziplock bag or airtight storage container. The dough will stay fresh for about 3 months. When you're ready to cook it, just thaw it in the fridge, then cook it according to the recipe instructions. 

Conclusion:

I hope you found this post useful. If you tried it, please leave a comment below and let me know what you thought!

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AIP paleo cauliflower gnocchi

cauliflower gnocchi aip paleo

Cauliflower Gnocchi with Creamy Lemon Basil Sauce (Paleo, AIP, Gluten-Free, Vegan)

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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cauliflower, dumplings, gnocci, pesto
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 servings

Equipment

  • Food Processor

Ingredients

Cauliflower Gnocchi

  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped, leaves removed OR 30-34 oz frozen florets (about 9 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cup cassava flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Lemon Basil Sauce

Instructions

  • Boil the cauliflower for about 10 minutes.
  • While cauliflower is boiling, make the sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Remove the cauliflower from the water with a slotted spoon (but reserve the hot water to cook the gnocchi in to save some time- or if you prefer, you can start a fresh pot of water later). Rinse the cauliflower with cool water. Once it's cool enough to touch, put the cauliflower in a clean towel and squeeze out as much water as possible. You will probably need to do this in 2-3 batches.
  • Once the water is squeezed out, place the cauliflower in a food processor (if using the same food processor container as the sauce, make sure it's clean).
  • Add 1 1/4 cup cassava flour (to start) and salt. Blend until smooth. If the dough is sticky add an additional tablespoon of cassava flour at a time until it's easy to handle.
  • Place the dough on a cutting board and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a thin "rope' about 1/2 in thick and 12 inches long. Cut each rope into little pieces about 1/2 in wide. They will be about the size of little marbles. I got roughly 18-20 pieces per rope.
  • Bring the pot water to a boil again (or start a new pot of water). Add all the gnocchi pieces to the boiling water. Watch them closely- they will rise to the surface after a few minutes. This means they're done. You can scoop them out with a slotted spoon and place them on the baking sheet.
  • Bake the gnocchi at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes.
  • Allow to cool for a few minutes, then toss the gnocchi with the sauce (you can eat the sauce warm or cool). Garnish with fresh basil.

Notes

*I say to start with 1 1/4 cup cassava flour because, when I used 30 oz of frozen cauliflower (supposedly 9 cups according to the packaging), I only needed 1 1/4 cups cassava flour (vs the 1 1/2 cups I needed for 9 cups of fresh cauliflower). Plus there will be some differences depending on how much water you're able to squeeze out.  
This will keep fresh in the fridge for about 3 days. It is of course best eaten fresh but does ok reheated as leftovers. 
The gnocchi dough can be frozen and used later. I think it's easiest to cut the gnocchi pieces out, then freeze them on a cookie sheet and store them in an airtight container once they're frozen. That way they don't stick together. When you're ready to cook it, just thaw it in the fridge, then cook it according to the recipe instructions. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup


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