Baked ‘Cheesy’ Cauliflower Gnocchi–these little dumplings of deliciousness are kicked up! No eggs or dairy, no wheat flour and much lower in carbs. These plant-based and gluten-free cauliflower gnocchi are just what your belly has been craving!
Five Ingredient Baked ‘Cheesy’ Cauliflower Gnocchi
Only 20 minutes of active prep time to achieve a dish that’s so flexible in serving options it’s guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser! It’s hard to believe such a simple ingredient list can produce such a flavor rush. Grab your cauliflower, potato and tapioca starch, plant-based mozzarella, and a little sea salt–you’re ready to roll!
Using Cauliflower as an Alternative Ingredient
I’m no stranger to using cauliflower as an alternative ingredient. It is such a flexible veggie! With it I’ve created Black Beans and Cauliflower Rice, Cauliflower “Egg” Salad, and Creamy Vegan Alfredo, to name a few. So when I heard rumblings that a grocery chain was selling cauliflower gnocchi, my mind started spinning. I have not yet tried the grocery version so I can’t say if my recipe tastes similar, but I can say my version tastes fantastic!
Gluten-free Cauliflower Gnocchi
Best of all, this gluten-free cauliflower gnocchi tastes chewy and delicious, just like the traditional version. They are so tender and yummy, everyone loves to snack on them as soon as they come off the baking sheet.
The Secret to Perfect Plant-based Gnocchi
It’s all about removing the excess moisture.
First, steam the sliced cauliflower florets with the core removed according to the recipe. Once cooled, place the cauliflower in a piece of cheesecloth or a hand towel lined with paper towels. I line the towel with paper towels to keep any residual laundry detergent from making its way into the cauliflower.
Second, wringing the excess moisture out of the cauliflower is very important for the outcome of the gnocchi. You should extract between 3/4 and 1 cup water. The remaining cauliflower should yield 1 to 1 1/4 cups.
Why Freeze the Gnocchi?
As you form the gnocchi place them on a lined baking sheet. Before baking, place them in the freezer for about 20 minutes. This allows them to firm up so you can lightly toss them in olive oil prior to baking. Alternatively, you can remove the frozen gnocchi from the baking sheet and place them in a zip bag. Return the gnocchi to the freezer to bake at a later date.
How to Cook Cauliflower Gnocchi
I personally love baking these little guys. In only 20 minutes they puff up and turn a beautiful golden brown (see instructions in recipe card). Alternatively, you can place them in boiling water, removing them as they float to the top (about 3 minutes) and serve. Or boil, bake and serve.
I recommend simply baking them straight up. This allows them to properly firm so you can lightly toss them in olive oil or sauce.
Serving Baked ‘Cheesy’ Cauliflower Gnocchi
My favorite thing about this plant-based cauliflower gnocchi (beside the fact that it feels like a total carb indulgence, yet is not) is the versatility. You can serve it lightly drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with my Vegan Parmesan Cheese, or for a belly filling delight cover it with my Homestyle Marinara Sauce.
If you’re looking for that totally decadent dish that completely captivates your palate, top it with my Creamy Vegan Alfredo.
Then there’s always dippin’. Transform the gnocchi to an appetizer by plating them on a serving dish accompanied by the various sauces. A perfect finger food for the social butterfly! Enjoy!!
These little dumplings of deliciousness are kicked up! No eggs or dairy, no wheat flour and much lower in carbs. These plant-based and gluten-free cauliflower gnocchi are just what your belly has been craving!
- 4 cups cauliflower florets with core/thick stems removed (about 14 ounces), steamed
- 1/3 cup potato starch
- 1/3 cup tapioca flour, plus additional amount for flouring surface, about 1/4 cup
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
- 1/3 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon olive oil for baking and more for serving (if desired)
- 1) Steam cauliflower in a countertop steamer or over boiling water until it is tender and begins to turn translucent, about 10 to 15 minutes. Place cauliflower on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper, paper towel or tea towel to cool, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- 2) Place cauliflower on cheesecloth or a handtowel lined with papertowels and wring out several times to extract excess moisture. You should extract between 3/4 and 1 cup water. The remaining cauliflower should yield 1 to 1 1/4 cups.
- 3) Place cauliflower in a food proccessor and blend about 30 seconds, pausing to scrape down sides, until cauliflower appears pureed.
- 4) In a small bowl whisk together 1/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in 1/3 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese. Add contents of the bowl to the cauliflower in the food processor and pulse to combine. Blend until ingredients are evenly combined. The texture will appear powdery and dry, but when a small amount is pinched between the fingers it should stick together like dough.
- 5) Pour into a medium mixing bowl and form dough into a ball after kneading 3 to 4 times. If dough does not stick together, add water one teaspoon at a time. No more than three teaspoons is usually required. Gently knead dough until it comes together. Dough should feel moist but should not be wet.
- 6) Lightly dust your surface with tapioca flour. Cut dough ball into quarters. Form each quarter into a ball and roll it into a 6 inch long rope that is about 3/4 inch wide. Cut each rope into 1 inch pieces. Form pieces into rectangles with fingertips. To make the ribs in the gnocchi, gently press the tines of the backside of a fork into the gnocchi. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- 7) Place baking sheet of gnocchi in freezer for about 20 minutes or until pieces are firm. Remove from freezer and bake (see below) or transfer to a zip bag and return to freezer to bake at a later time. Gnocchi can be kept frozen for 1 to 2 months.
- 8) For Baking: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place frozen gnocchi in a medium bowl. Spritz or gently coat (about 1 teaspoon) in olive oil, then sprinkle lightly with salt and black pepper. Return gnocchi to a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and turn gnocchi over. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Return to oven and continue baking for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet.
- For Serving: Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Vegan Parmesan Cheese. Or top with Marinara Sauce or Creamy Vegan Alfredo.
Leave a Reply