Crispy on the outside, pillowy soft on the inside, these homemade pan-fried vegan gnocchi are very easy to make from scratch. This recipe is egg-free and dairy-free. I’m sharing two versions: sweet potato and white potato. No boiling will be necessary for the gnocchi, just sauté for a quick dinner.Jump to Recipe
What are traditional gnocchi made of?
The Italian word “gnocchi” means “knot in wood” or “knuckle”. They are small dumplings which are traditionally made with flour, potatoes and sometimes eggs. Together with the flour, the cooked potatoes are mashed in to make the dough, and then it’s formed into smaller pieces to boil. Gnocchi is famously known and used as a type of Italian pasta.
Which flour should I use to make gnocchi?
The first time I made gnocchi I used semolina flour which is a high-protein (gluten) flour commonly used to make pasta. The protein helps pasta to maintain its shape after forming. It’s also slightly coarser in texture than all-purpose flour which helps keep the gnocchi from sticking together when they are dry dusted with it. It also helps enhance the crispiness of the gnocchi when pan-fried. But no worries if you don’t have semolina flour. I’ve also tried this recipe with all-purpose flour and that works fine.
How to make white potato and sweet potato gnocchi.
1. Fill a pot with water. Cut a medium white potato (about 230g/8oz) and a large sweet potato (about 230g/8oz) in half. Add to the pot and boil until tender for about 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, you can bake the potatoes at 400°F/204°C but this takes twice as long.
2. While still hot and holding with a kitchen towel, carefully peel the white potato first. Add to a bowl and mash with a fork to remove lumps. Season with 1/2 tsp salt, then gradually mix in 4 tbsps (40g) semolina or all-purpose flour until it comes together in a light but non-sticky dough.
3. Next place the dough on a floured surface, flatten slightly with your palm or roll into a log. Cut the dough into about 48 equal pieces.
4. Form each piece into a ball, coating with extra flour to prevent sticking.
5. You can also roll each piece on a gnocchi board or back of a fork to get the signature pattern but this step is optional. The funny thing is, I actually used a silicone makeup brush scrubber that I never ended up using for brushes anyway.
6. Repeat steps 2 to 5 with the sweet potato adding more or less flour as needed. I used Japanese sweet potato in this recipe which absorbed more water, so I added 5-6 tbsps flour.
Do you need to boil gnocchi before pan-frying?
Not at all! Although it’s traditional to boil gnocchi before pan-frying, you can save some time by cooking them directly in the skillet (printable recipe below).
Can you deep fry gnocchi?
Definitely not. You wouldn’t want to deep fry gnocchi for the same reason you wouldn’t deep fry a whole tomato (seriously don’t do that). Gnocchi is soft and full of moisture, so when deep-fried the water inside starts to boil which rapidly builds up pressure and causes the gnocchi to explode! That doesn’t sound pretty so I would avoid dropping them into a deep fryer.
Can you prepare vegan gnocchi in advance?
Sure you can. You can store uncooked gnocchi in a container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Be sure they are coated well with flour so they don’t stick together. For longer storage, place on a baking sheet, spaced apart and freeze for an hour. Then place them in a container and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
How do you cook frozen gnocchi?
To pan-fry gnocchi from frozen, heat 1 tablespoon of vegan butter or extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add 12 frozen gnocchi (1 serving) and spread in an even layer. Let them sauté until they are golden brown at the bottom, which will be about 2 to 3 minutes. Next, flip the gnocchi and continue to cook until brown and crispy all over. You could also add garlic, herbs such as rosemary, sage, fresh basil, or a homemade pasta sauce.
Which vegetables go well with gnocchi?
I like serving crispy pan-fried gnocchi with sautéed vegetables, my favourite being broccoli and mushrooms. Vegan gnocchi can also be served with roasted vegetables or in soup like this Healthy Pumpkin Gnocchi Soup.
More easy vegan pasta recipes:
- Gluten-free Mushroom Lentil Meatballs
- Creamy Mushroom Alfredo Pasta
- Simple Pumpkin Pasta
- Vegan One Pot Pasta
How to make Vegan Gnocchi from Scratch (Video)
Crispy Pan-fried Vegan Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Broccoli
- 8 oz potato, (230g)
- 8 oz sweet potato, (230g)
- 8 tbsps semolina or all-purpose flour, (80g)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsps olive oil or vegan butter
- 6 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 medium head of broccoli, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsps fresh rosemary
- 1 handful fresh basil, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fill a pot with water. Cut the potatoes in half. Add to the pot and boil until tender for about 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, you can pierce the potatoes 3 times with a fork and bake at 400°F/204°C but this takes twice as long.
- While still hot and holding with a kitchen towel, carefully peel the white potato first. Add to a bowl and mash with a fork to remove lumps. Season with 1/2 tsp salt, then gradually mix in 4 tbsps (40g) flour until it comes together in a light but non-sticky dough.
- Next place the dough on a floured surface, flatten slightly with your palm or roll into a log. Cut the dough into about 48 equal pieces.
- Form each piece into a ball, coating the pieces with extra flour to prevent sticking.
- Optional step: Roll gnocchi on a gnocchi board or back of a fork to get the signature pattern.
- Repeat steps with the sweet potato, adding more or less flour as needed.
- Heat 1 tbsp of the oil or vegan butter in a large skillet. Add mushrooms and broccoli and cook until mushrooms are browned.
- Remove from the pan and add the remaining oil. Add gnocchi and spread in an even layer. Cook until they are golden brown at the bottom, which will be about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Next, flip the gnocchi then add rosemary, garlic and basil and continue to cook until gnocchi are brown and crispy all over.
- Toss in broccoli and mushrooms and season to taste. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
- You can use any other brown mushrooms in this recipe.
- Store uncooked gnocchi in a container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Be sure they are coated well with flour so they don’t stick together.
- For longer storage, place on a baking sheet, spaced apart and freeze for an hour. Then place them in a container and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
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