Gluten Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi (Vegan)

Eating Works @eatingworks
by Eating Works @eatingworks
4 people
30 min

This is the easiest gluten free sweet potato gnocchi recipe you’ll ever find because it has only 2 ingredients. It’s also the cleanest gnocchi recipe on the internet because it has no eggs and its grain free! Best part is that it takes only a few minutes to prepare and its FUN to make. How is that even possible? Read on to find out!

plate of gnocchi

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Table of Contents


Table of Contents





There’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of pasta ? except perhaps a bowl of potato gnocchi. If there’s anything I miss after going plant based its pizza and pasta. So this recipe is the perfect remedy. These little gnocchi balls are the ultimate comfort food. They’re warm, pillowy and soft.

vegan grain free sweet potato gnocchi on a white plate with sautéed spinach with a blue napkin

I love serving them in a brown butter sauce or vegan pesto. Sweet potato gnocchi also pairs well with green veggies like broccoli Rabb, cauliflower, spinach and kale.


Why You’ll Love Gluten Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi


If you’ve never made gnocchi before, fear not. I promise you it’s easy. I first learned how to make gnocchi from my Italian culinary instructor Chef Richard LaMarita. At first, making gnocchi seemed complicated and intimidating. But Rich mashed the potatoes with ease and had rolled out the dough in a matter of minutes. They took only 3 minutes to boil and another 2 minutes to sauté with sauce.

vegan sweet potato gnocchi with sautéed spinach on a white plate made with sweet potatoes and cassava flour

What an impressive easy meal! At that point I made a mental note to figure out how to make a grain free gnocchi. 5 years later I finally got to it. After much experimenting and consulting with other chefs, I’ve come up with the perfect combination for fluffy sweet potato gnocchi.


What Is Gnocchi Anyway?


Gnocchi (pronounced NYOW-kee) is a type of Italian pasta that resembles a dumpling. Traditional gnocchi is made by combining eggs, flour and mashed potatoes and then rolling them out to create small pasta that look like ridged pillows.


What Does Gnocchi Taste Like?


Gnocchi tastes like you’re eating a cloud. Potato gnocchi is soft, pillowy, light and buttery. They pair well with a light buttery sauce like pesto or browned butter.


Is Gnocchi Gluten Free?


Unfortunately gnocchi prepared in the traditional way is not gluten free. Gnocchi is made with potatoes, eggs and flour. The flour used to make gnocchi is regular all purpose flour which is derived from wheat. Wheat contains gluten. However it is possible to make gluten free gnocchi by swapping out all purpose flour for a gluten free mix.

Luckily it’s easy to make gluten free gnocchi because the potato and eggs act as a binder holding the gnocchi together. So you can use a simple flour swap to make gluten free gnocchi without adding xanthin gum or other binders to replace the gluten.


What Is Gluten Free Gnocchi?


Gluten free gnocchi is simply gnocchi made the traditional way with a gluten free flour mix instead of using all purpose flour. Gluten free gnocchi is a great alternative to regular gnocchi for those on a gluten free diet or for people who have celiac disease.


Is Gnocchi Made From Potato?


Yes, gnocchi by definition is a light pasta made from potato and flour. All gnocchi is made with potato.


Can You Freeze Gnocchi?


You can Freeze uncooked gnocchi for up to 6 months in an airtight container.


How to Reheat Frozen Gnocchi


The best way to reheat frozen gnocchi is to drop them in boiling water for 30 seconds and then to saute them in a pan for 1 minute.


What If My Gnocchi Is Sticky?


If your gnocchi is sticky then you did not use enough flour. Sprinkle a work surface with some gluten free flour and lightly toss the gnocchi in the flour.


Why Is My Gnocchi Mushy?


Your gnocchi may be mushy if you boiled the potatoes instead of baked them. Boiled potatoes take on too much moisture while baking removed moisture from the potatoes. The more dry the potato is the stiffer your gnocchi will be.

You should use old potatoes to produce fluffy and dry gnocchi.

Another reason your gnocchi might be mushy is if you over boiled them. The rolling bubbles of boiling water can break apart gnocchi if it’s left in the pot for too long. Try cooking the gnocchi quickly or reducing the heat to create a simmer instead of a rolling boil.


Tips and Tricks for Making Gluten Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi


  • For fluffier gnocchi use a potato ricer to break up the potatoes.
  • If you want stiffer gnocchi you can add 1 egg to this recipe.
  • For pretty gnocchi use. gnocchi board or a fork to make lines in the gnocchi.
  • If the gnocchi is sticky add more flour.
  • Don’t over boil the gnocchi or they’ll get mushy.


Why Use Sweet Potatoes for Gnocchi Instead of Regular Potatoes?


I know that you’re supposed to use regular potatoes for gnocchi but sweet potatoes really do level up the dish. Let me tell you why.


  1. Using sweet potatoes to make gnocchi gives the gnocchi a beautiful orange color and a more complex flavor than white potatoes. Sweet potato gnocchi tastes sweet and nutty which pairs perfectly with brown butter sauce.
  2. Sweet potatoes are softer and cook faster than other types of potatoes so it’s easy to make a dough out of them.
  3. Sweet potatoes are older than other varieties of potatoes that are picked when they are younger. Older potatoes work best for gnocchi because they have more starch in them than young potatoes.


Ingredients You’ll Need For Gluten Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi


The trick to making sweet potato gnocchi without gluten is to use cassava flour, Cassava flour is light and fluffy but still keeps the gnocchi together without any egg. Sure some of the dough will flake off while boiling, but that majority of the gnocchi stays intact. When sautéed with some sauce they’re just as delicious and light as traditional gnocchi.

You only need two ingredients to make the gnocchi.


  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Cassava Flour
  • Sea Salt
  • Garlic Powder optional


Gluten Free Flour Substitutions for Cassava Flour


If you don’t have cassava flour on hand don’t worry. There are a bunch of gluten free flour mixes that work well to make gnocchi. Here is a list of the most common flour used to make pillowy gluten free gnocchi:


  1. 1 cup rice flour mixed with 1/2 cup of sweet rice flour
  2. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour
  3. Pamela’s Products Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend, 4 Pound
  4. King Arthur, Measure for Measure Flour, Certified Gluten-Free


Equipment You’ll Need


You don’t need any fancy kitchen gadgets to make gnocchi. Sure you can spring for a traditional Gnocchi Board to etch grooves into each piece. But I find it easier to skip that process and simply slice the pasta with a knife.

Here’s what you’ll need…



I like using a spider because it makes it easier to scoop the gnocchi out of the boiling water without having to dump the pot into a strainer. You can use a slotted spoon as well. This can potentially damage the delicate gnocchis. A slotted spoon will also do the trick!


Specialty Equipment to Make Gnocchi


I love that you don’t need any fancy equipment to make this gnocchi recipe. But if you want to make your gnocchi look more professional and taste even lighter you can use a gnocchi board and a potato ricer.


Gnocchi Board:


A gnocchi board is an essential tool used to make ridges in gnocchi. You roll the dough along the board to make ridges. Ridges are often associated with gnocchi. The ridges help the gnocchi hold onto the sauce. If you don’t have a gnocchi board but would still like to make ridged gnocchi you can use a fork.


Potato Ricer:


According to this recipe you don’t need to rice the potato but if you want to make the gnocchi even fluffier and lighter you can rice your potatoes with a potato ricer. A potato ricer grind the potatoes without making them gluey. This tool is a must for making light fluffy mashed potatoes that are not gluey or heavy.


How to Make Gluten Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi


If you’ve never made gnocchi before fear not! It’s a lot easier than it seems.


Step 1: Cook the Sweet Potato


The trick to making Gnocchi dough is to dry out the potatoes when you cook them. Simply place the sweet potatoes in a bowl, use a fork to punch holes in them and put them in the microwave for 15 minutes. Once they’re done slice them down the middle to help them cool off faster.

Step one microwave sweet potatoes for 15 minutes and slice them in half

I usually don’t like to use the microwave, but for this recipe it really does yield the best results.

The sweet potatoes are going to be really hot when they get out of the microwave so don’t try to handle them right away. Allow them to cool off for 15 minutes.


Step 2: Peel the Potatoes


Once they’ve cooled off, peel the skin off of the sweet potatoes. Use a fork to mash the potato into a fine paste. Try to eliminate as many chunks as possible. I like to use a fork at first and then switch to a spoon once the potatoes are pretty smooth.

Remove all of the sweet potato skins
Mash the Sweet Potatoes with a fork
Use a spoon to smooth out any clumps left in the sweet potato mixture

Step 3: Make the Dough


To make the dough you want to make sure that you add enough flour, but not too much. (Note the pictures below for reference). Measure out your cassava flour and add 1/4th of a cup to the potato. Mix the flour into the potato until it’s fully absorbed. Repeat this process until the dough starts to form.

Add cassava flour to the bowl 1/4 cup at a time and combine until the dough starts to form

Next turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Add another few tablespoons of flour and start to kneed the dough. Work it until it’s smooth and not sticky. Try not to over work the dough. The more you kneed it the more dense the gnocchi will be.

Turn out the dough onto a floured baking surface begin to kneed until smooth adding more flour as needed
Once your dough looks like this, its ready to be rolled out

Step 4: Roll it out the dough


Using a knife divide the dough into four equal pieces. Roll each piece into long tubes that are about 1 inch in diameter. Then use a knife to slice the rolls into 1 inch sections.

Divide the dough into four equal pieces.
Roll out the dough into four equal tubes about 1 inch in diameter
Use a knife to slice the dough into one inch pieces of gnocchi as shown. orange sweet potato gnocchi being cut into 1 inch pieces

Step 5: Cook the Gnocchi


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the gnocchi into the pot. They’ll sink to the bottom. Once the gnocchi is cooked they’ll float to the surface. This process takes about 2 minutes. Scoop the gnocchi out of the water with a spider or slotted spoon.

Cook the gnocchi in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes. The gnocchi will sink when added but when the float they are done. Remove with a slotted spoon or spider.

Step 6: Coat with Sauce. Transfer the gnocchi from the slotted spoon into a skillet containing the spinach pesto or butter. Lightly sauté the gnocchi until they become slightly golden, but make sure they don’t brown. Transfer to a bowl and enjoy!


Is Gnocchi Vegan?


Traditional gnocchi is not vegan because it’s made with eggs. Eggs are typically used to bind the flour and potato together so that the gnocchi don’t get mushy or fall apart. Since egg is such a commonly used ingredient in gnocchi you should always assume gnocchi is vegetarian and not vegan.

Usually vegan gnocchi will be specified as such on the package or on the menu of a restaurant.

This sweet potato gnocchi recipe is vegan because I didn’t use egg. The cassava flour I used to bind the sweet potato is naturally sticky and holds the sweet potato gnocchi together pretty well.


If you follow a vegan diet you can eat this sweet potato gnocchi.


Is Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Gnocchi Gluten-Free?


No unfortunately Trader Joe’s sweet potato gnocchi is not gluten-free because it contains wheat flour. The ingredients for Trader Joe’s sweet potato gnocchi are:


  • Sweet potatoes, wheat flour, potatoes, water, butter (cream [milk], eggs, sunflower seed oil, grana padano cheese (milk, salt, animal rennet, lysozome (enzyme from egg whites), sugar, salt, sage.


Does Gluten Free Gnocchi Exist?


Yes! Gluten free gnocchi does exist. You can buy and make homemade gluten free gnocchi simply by swapping out wheat flour for another gluten free flour alternative. For my gluten free sweet potato gnocchi recipe I used cassava flour.

Other gluten free flours you could use to make gluten free gnocchi include:



Can Sweet Potatoes Be Gluten-Free?


Sweet potatoes are always gluten free because they are a vegetable. Vegetables are naturally gluten free since they do not come from wheat. The only kind of food that contains gluten in it’s natural state is wheat.

Of course sweet potatoes may not be gluten free if ingredients that contain gluten are added to them in a recipe. For example, sweet potato gnocchi would not be gluten free if all purpose wheat flour is used.


What Brand of Gnocchi is Gluten Free?


There’s nothing better than homemade gluten free gnocchi. But if you’re strapped for time you can buy some brands of gluten free gnocchi for quick meal prep. Here are some of my favorite brands of gluten free gnocchi!


  • Difatti
  • Caesar’s Kitchen
  • DeLallo Gluten-Free Gnocchi
  • La Gnoccheria
  • Conte’s Gluten Free Pasta Potato Gnocchi
  • Alessi Gluten Free Gnocchi
  • Farabella Gluten Free Gnocchi
  • Sanniti Italian Gluten Free Gnocchi


Can People with Celiac Disease East Gnocchi?


People with celiac disease can eat gnocchi as long as it’s made with gluten free flour. The main three ingredients in gnocchi are potatoes, flour and eggs. Since potatoes and flour are naturally gluten free as long as a gluten free flour is used anyone with celiac can enjoy gnocchi.

Some gluten free gnocchi is made with light gluten free flours like 1:1 all purpose flour, cassava flour, rice flour or coconut flour


What to Serve with Gnocchi


Gnocchi has a mild flavor that lends itself to many different types of sauces. My favorite is a brown butter sauce, which is easy to make and mixes well with this fast roasted broccoli. But if you want to keep this recipe vegan you can also use a pesto or this Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. For the photos I decided to serve the gnocchi with sautéed spinach See recipe in the card below!


How to Store Leftovers or Uncooked Gnocchi


Uncooked Gnocchi will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Make sure to store them in an air tight container. Try not to pack them tightly together so that they don’t loose their shape!


How Long Does Leftover Vegan Sweet Potato Gnocchi Last In The Fridge?


Cooked gnocchi will stay good for up to 3 days in the fridge.

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi (Vegan)
Recipe details
  • 4  people
  • Prep time: 25 minutes Minutes Cook time: 5 minutes Minutes Total time: 30 min
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Ingredients
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
  • ▢ 1 1/2 C Mashed Sweet Potato 3 sweet potatoes
  • ▢ 1/2 C Cassava Flour
Sauteed Spinach
  • ▢ 3-4 C Raw Spinach
  • ▢ 2 tbsp Butter or Olive Oil
  • ▢ 1 Lemon juiced
Instructions

Microwave sweet potato for 15 minutes. Allow it to cool. Then Scoop out the flesh and mash with a fork until its completly smooth. Meanwhile boil a pot of salted water.
To make the dough add a tiny bit of flour at a time and work the dough. When it's no longer sticky, turn it out onto a floured surface. Work the dough until it's smooth. Try not to work it too much!
With a knife divide the dough into four quadrents. Roll out each quadrent into logs about 1 inch in diameter. Slice the log into little 1 by 1 inch pieces.
Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water. They will automatically sink to the bottom. When they rise up to the top they are ready. Remove them wiht a slotted spoon.
Saute the spinach
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add spinach and lemon juice. Rotate with tongs until the spinach is wilted. Add the gnocchi and saute for 4 minutes and serve.
Eating Works @eatingworks
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