Gluten free cauliflower gnocchi

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Potato gnocchi are great, but have you ever had cauliflower gnocchi? If not then you absolutely need to check out this recipe for gluten free cauliflower gnocchi. This simple cauliflower gnocchi recipe requires only four ingredients to make. 

This cauliflower gnocchi recipe is made with gluten free flour so that the resulting dish will be entirely gluten free. That being said, you could also make his gnocchi recipe with regular flour if you do not have a gluten intolerance. In addition to being gluten free, this recipe for cauliflower gnocchi is also dairy free, egg free, vegan, and nut free. 

Gluten free cauliflower gnocchi frying in a stainless steel pan.

What is in gluten free cauliflower gnocchi?

What is in gluten free cauliflower gnocchi? You need just four simple ingredients to make this recipe for gluten free cauliflower gnocchi.

  • Gluten free all purpose flour. In order to make gluten free cauliflower gnocchi, you will need gluten all purpose flour. We use this Bob’s Red Mill flour and we recommend using the same type of flour for best results. You should use an all purpose flour mix rather than a single type of flour such as almond flour or rice flour when making gluten free cauliflower gnocchi.
  • Cauliflower. In addition to the gluten free all purpose flour, you will also need cauliflower to make this gluten free cauliflower recipe. We recommend using 1 medium sized head of cauliflower that is around 2 lbs in weight to make this recipe. This should yield around 6 cups of chopped cauliflower florets.
  • Salt. Some salt is also added to this gluten free cauliflower recipe to give the cauliflower gnocchi some extra flavor.
  • Olive oil. Other than the flour, cauliflower, and salt, the only other ingredient you need to make this gluten free cauliflower gnocchi is olive oil. The olive oil is not used to make the cauliflower dough, but rather to pan fry the cauliflower gnocchi until they are cooked all the way through. For best results, we recommend using a high quality olive oil such as this California Olive Ranch olive oil. A high quality olive oil will impart a smooth, buttery flavor on the cauliflower gnocchi that you will not get if you use a lower quality olive oil.

A pot of boiled cauliflower. The cauliflower will be used to make gluten free cauliflower gnocchi.

How to make gluten free cauliflower gnocchi?

How do you make gluten free cauliflower gnocchi? Here are all the steps you need to take in order to make gluten free cauliflower gnocchi.

  • Chop the cauliflower into florets. The first step in making gluten free cauliflower gnocchi is to chop the cauliflower into individual florets. The exact size of the florets is not important as we will be mashing the cauliflower after cooking it.
  • Boil the cauliflower. The first step in making gluten free cauliflower gnocchi is boiling the cauliflower. You should submerge the cauliflower in cold water in a medium sized pot then bring that pot to a boil. For best results, we recommend adding a little salt to the pot of water you boil your gnocchi in.
  • Mash the cauliflower. After you cook the cauliflower, it is time to make the cauliflower dough. The first step in making the cauliflower gnocchi dough is to mash the cauliflower into a paste. You can try to mash the cauliflower manually, but we highly recommend using a food processor to mash the cauliflower. This is the food processor we use and we absolutely love it. For best results, we recommend mashing the cauliflower in two to three batches so that there is not too much cauliflower in the food processor at a time.
  • Ring out the excess water. After you mash the cauliflower, you should ring as much water as you can out of the cauliflower. The easiest way to do this is to wrap the cauliflower in a cheesecloth or kitchen towel then squeeze it until you cannot get any more water out.
  • Make the cauliflower gnocchi dough. After you mash the cauliflower, you should combine the cauliflower with flour and salt to make the cauliflower gnocchi dough. Do not be afraid to add a little more or less flour to the dough if the dough is  too wet or dry. The exact amount of flour you need will depend on how much water you ring out of your cauliflower after boiling it and the size of your head of cauliflower.
  • Roll the dough into snakes. After you make the cauliflower dough, roll the cauliflower dough into long snakes that are half an inch to an inch in diameter. For best results, we recommend rolling the snakes out on a sheet of parchment paper that has been dusted with flour.
  • Cut the dough into gnocchi. After you roll the cauliflower gnocchi dough out into snakes, you should cut the dough into individual pieces of gnocchi. The dough might be a little sticky, so we recommend using a high quality chef’s knife for best results. We use this Victorinox chef’s knife and we could not recommend it enough.
  • Fry the gnocchi. After you shape the gnocchi, all that is left is to fry the gnocchi up. The gnocchi dough can be sticky, so you should consider cooking the cauliflower gnocchi on a non-stick pan if it is your first time making them.

Three rolls snakes of gluten free cauliflower gnocchi dough. The first snake has been cut into smaller pieces to make gluten free cauliflower gnocchi.

Tips for making pan fried gnocchi

Is it your first time making pan fried gnocchi? Pan fried gnocchi can be a little difficult to make if it is your first time. Here are some tips that can help you along the way.

  • Ring as much water as you can out of the cauliflower. If you are making cauliflower gnocchi or another type of gnocchi that is made with boiled vegetables, it is really important that you squeeze as much water out of the vegetables as you can after cooking them. Otherwise your gnocchi dough will be overly wet and it will require a lot more flour. 
  • Don’t be afraid to add or remove some flour. Never be afraid to use a little less or a little extra flour when you are making homemade gnocchi. The exact amount of flour you need will depend on the amount of water that you ring out of your cauliflower. If your gnocchi dough is so wet that it sticks to your hands and is difficult to shape, then you should add some more flour 2 tbsp at a time until the dough comes together. If your dough is so dry that it starts to crumble when you roll it out, that means that your dough is too dry and you should use less flour next time. Adding a tsp or two of water can remedy this. 
  • It is okay if the dough feels a little wet. That being said, when you are making pan fried gnocchi, it is okay if your gnocchi dough is a little on the wet side. As long as you are easily able to shape your dough into individual pieces of gnocchi then your dough is fine. When you are making boiled gnocchi, on the other hand, you are better off making gnocchi dough that is on the dry side because the water the gnocchi is boiled  in will rehydrate the gnocchi. 
  • Shape the dough on parchment paper. We highly recommend shaping your gnocchi on parchment paper. Gnocchi dough can be wet and it might stick to the surface you shape it on if the surface is not non-stick. 
  • Consider using a nonstick pan to fry the gnocchi. If it is your first time making pan-fried gnocchi, then we recommend frying the gnocchi in a non-stick pan. Gnocchi can stick to the pan you cook them in, especially if you do not let the gnocchi cook enough before flipping them. This will be less of a problem if you use a non-stick pan.
  • Use a liberal amount of oil. Along the same lines, you should use a liberal amount of oil to fry your gnocchi to prevent the gnocchi from sticking to the pan. This is especially true if you do not use a non-stick pan. 
  • Let the gnocchi fully cook before flipping them. This is probably the most important tip of the bunch. If you find that your gnocchi are sticking to the pan and it is difficult to flip them then that means that you are not letting the gnocchi cook enough before flipping them. Make sure to let the gnocchi cook thoroughly on each side before flipping them. 

Gluten free cauliflower gnocchi in a gray bowl. There are some fresh herbs and spices mixed in with the gluten free cauliflower gnocchi.

What sauce to use on cauliflower gnocchi

What sauce should you use on cauliflower gnocchi? Much like potato gnocchi, cauliflower gnocchi has a relatively neutral taste. That means that most types of pasta sauce go well on cauliflower gnocchi. This includes everything from marinara to pesto to alfredo to white wine sauce. 

If you are looking for an easy sauce idea, we sometimes like to add a little extra butter or olive oil to our pan when we are done frying or gnocchi then mix in some spices. We generally add around 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1/2 tsp each of salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and rosemary. You can also add a splash of lemon juice to brighten up the flavor of the sauce.

How to store cauliflower gnocchi

How do you store gluten free cauliflower gnocchi? For best results, we recommend storing cooked cauliflower gnocchi in the refrigerator in an airtight container and eating the gnocchi within 3 days. We recommend storing the gnocchi in the sauce that you plan to dress the gnocchi in. The gnocchi will absorb some of the sauce and become more flavorful.

How to reheat cauliflower gnocchi

How do you reheat cauliflower gnocchi? You have a few options when it comes to reheating cauliflower gnocchi. 

  • On the stove. Reheating food the same way that it was originally cooked is generally a safe bet. These cauliflower gnocchi were originally cooked on the stove, so that means that the stove is a great option when it comes to reheating these cauliflower gnocchi. We recommend cooking the gnocchi in either a little sauce or a little extra olive oil over medium low heat to reheat them to prevent the gnocchi from sticking to the pan. Cook the gnocchi for around 5 minutes or until they are warm throughout.
  • In the microwave. If you do not want to dirty another pan, then you can always reheat your cauliflower gnocchi in the microwave. We recommend reheating the cauliflower gnocchi on full power in the sauce you plan to serve the gnocchi in. This should take 1 – 2 minutes depending on the amount of gnocchi you are reheating.

Gluten free cauliflower gnocchi

This recipe for pan fried cauliflower gnocchi is vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, egg free, nut free, and gluten free when made with gluten free flour. All you need to make this simple cauliflower gnocchi recipe is some all purpose four, a head of cauliflower, salt, and olive oil.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: dairy free, egg free, gluten free, nut free, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup gluten free flour (plus 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • olive oil (for frying)

Instructions

  • Wash the head of cauliflower and chop it into small florets.
  • Submerge the cauliflower florets in a medium sized pot of water. Heat the pot over high heat until it boils. When the water boils, lower the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook the cauliflower over low heat for 10 minutes.
    You can add a dash of salt to the pot to help the water boil faster.
  • Mash the cauliflower in a food processor. If your food processor is on the smaller side, you may need to blend it in two or three batches.
  • Wrap the mashed cauliflower in a cheesecloth or kitchen towel. Squeeze as much water out of the mashed cauliflower as you can.
  • Combine the mashed cauliflower, 1/2 tsp salt, and 3/4 cups gluten free flour. Depending on how much water you squeezed out of the cauliflower and how large your head of cauliflower was, this might be enough flour or you may need to add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of additional flour.
    Add additional flour 2 tbsp until the dough reaches a consistency where you are able to shape it and roll it into a ball without too much dough getting stuck to your hands. It is okay if the dough is a little sticky, it just needs to be workable. We generally need to add around 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) of additional flour to reach this point, but sometimes need less if we get a lot of water out of our cauliflower or if our head of cauliflower is small.
  • Line a working surface with parchment paper then flour your hands and your working surface. Roll the cauliflower gnocchi dough out into long snakes that are 1/2 inch to 1 inch in diameter.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the snakes of cauliflower gnocchi dough into smaller pieces that are 1/2 inch to 1 inch wide.
    If your cauliflower gnocchi dough is sticking to your knife, you can coat your knife in a little bit of olive oil.
  • Heat a pan over medium heat and add a liberal amount of olive oil. Cook the cauliflower gnocchi for 3 - 5 minutes per side or until they reach a nice golden brown color on the bottom side. If your cauliflower gnocchi stick to the pan when you try to flip them, that is a sign that they need to cook more before being flipped.
    If it is your first time making pan fried gnocchi, we recommend using a nonstick pan to prevent your cauliflower gnocchi from sticking. You should also leave room between individual pieces of gnocchi so that they do not stick together. You may need to cook your cauliflower gnocchi in batches depending on how big your pan is.

Substitutions for cauliflower gnocchi

  • Gluten free all purpose flour. If you do not have a gluten intolerance then you can also use regular all purpose flour to make these cauliflower gnocchi. You should not use an individual flour such as almond flour or rice four to make these gnocchi. 

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