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A deliciously autumnal meal, this vegan pumpkin gnocchi is unbelievable! Pillowy pumpkin pasta covered in rich and creamy sage garlic sauce for the perfect cozy meal. Vegan and soy-free!
It’s vegan gnocchi time, again!
This time I’m bringing you PUMPKIN GNOCCHI? And do you know what’s better than pumpkin gnocchi? Why, pumpkin gnocchi covered in garlic sage sauce and topped with hazelnuts. Now that sounds like the perfect late-October meal, doesn’t it?
This recipe is a marriage between two of my favorite recipes on this blog. It’s my Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta meets my Pumpkin and Ricotta Stuffed Shells made into the form of one of my favorite fall comfort foods – vegan gnocchi!
Friends, I think you, too, are going to love this pumpkin gnocchi. Let’s take a closer look.
What is Gnocchi?
Gnocchi is a popular Italian dish made of boiled cork-sized dumpings. While there are many variations of gnocchi, it is most commonly made from potatoes, flour, and egg. Sometimes cheese, herbs, bread crumbs, and other types of flours are used but most often the flavors are in the sauce. Traditionally gnocchi is served as a side dish to a larger entrée but I prefer it as the entrée itself. When paired with rich, vegetable-heavy sauces, vegan gnocchi is a deeply satisfying meal.
Gnocchi can be bought at the store, but true with all pasta, it is much more satisfying to make at home. And the good news is that gnocchi is much easier to make than one would imagine. The preparation is similar to that of pasta; it’s cooked in boiling water and served with sauce.
Recommended Ingredients & Equipment
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Russet Potatoes
- Pumpkin Puree – Make sure to get pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling
- All-Purpose Flour – For a gluten-free option, use a 1:1 baking blend
- Vegan Butter – Look for a high-quality non-hydrogenated vegan butter. I recommend either Earth Balance or Miyoko’s.
- Fresh Sage
- Non-Dairy Milk – Use a neutral flavored, unsweetened milk like soy, macadamia nut, or cashew milk.
- Toppings (optional) – Hazelnuts, vegan parmesan, freshly ground pepper.
Check out the full list of my recommended kitchen tools and gadgets.
How to Make Vegan Gnocchi
As I mentioned before, traditional gnocchi is made with eggs. So how do we make vegan gnocchi?
To make vegan gnocchi, you can omit the eggs altogether and develop the gluten protein in the flour for a similar consistency with little to no compromise on taste or texture. However, this pumpkin gnocchi takes it to a whole new level. Pumpkin puree is similar in consistency to that of eggs and gives this dough a soft delicate texture that is unbelievable.
Adding pumpkin does make the dough a bit more difficult to work with but as long as you keep your hands and work surface floured, you will love the pillowy-ness that the pumpkin provides.
Step One – Make the dough
Peel and cut the potato into 1/2″ cubes. Place the pieces in boiling water for 10-12 minutes until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Make sure even the biggest pieces are soft! Strain the water through a colander, shaking off any excess liquid, and place the potatoes in a medium-sized bowl. Using a potato masher or large fork, mash the potatoes until they are completely smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as you mash.
Once the potatoes are smooth, add the pumpkin purée and mix until it is well blended. Add the flour and salt and knead together until a soft dough has formed. You want a dough that is soft without being sticky.
Step Two – Roll and Cut into Pieces
One your dough is made, divide the gnocchi into four pieces. Flip it out onto a floured surface and roll each quarter of the gnocchi dough into long ropes (about 1/2″ in diameter). Using a sharp knife, cut the rope into 1″ gnocchi pieces.
Traditionally, gnocchi has indentations made with a fork or cheese grater. This is to give the dumplings cavities to hold the sauce. If you would like, you can gently press indentations on the front and backside of the gnocchi with a fork, although this step is completely optional.
Pro Tip: Make sure to keep the work surface and your hands adequately floured to prevent the gnocchi from sticking.
Step 3 – Boil the Gnocchi
Once the dough is shaped, it is then cooked in boiling water for about 60 seconds. When the gnocchi starts to float to the top of the water, the gnocchi is done. Scoop them out and set aside. Repeat until all the gnocchi has been boiled.
Serving and storing
Serving – Once the sauce is made, toss in the gnocchi to coat it. Serve the meal with vegan parmesan, hazelnuts, and pepper. Alternatively, you can lightly sauté the gnocchi in vegan butter or olive oil to give it a golden shell before tossing it in the sauce. Cooked gnocchi should be served immediately or tossed with olive oil and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Storing – This meal does not store well. If you won’t be eating it all at once, store the gnocchi and the sauce separately. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Gnocchi is a great meal to make in advance. To freeze the gnocchi, place the gnocchi in a single layer on a baking sheet before boiling and let them freeze all the way through. Once they are frozen, place the gnocchi in a ziplock bag and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To prepare frozen gnocchi, add it to boiling water straight from the freezer. Frozen gnocchi will take longer to cook but, just like before, look for the first ones to float to the top to know when the gnocchi is done.
If you are going to be eating the gnocchi within a couple of days, you can cook the gnocchi as directed below. Once it’s cooked remove it from the boiling water and place it in a bowl of ice water to immediately stop the cooking and chill the dumpings. Strain and toss with olive oil to prevent the gnocchi from clumping together. Store the chilled gnocchi in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To serve, simply toss the chilled gnocchi with warm sauce in a saucepan.
More Vegan Pumpkin Recipes
- Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo
- Baked Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
- Pumpkin Chili with Smoky Tempeh
- Pumpkin Risotto with Sage
- Mushroom and Pumpkin Sheperd’s Pie
Vegan Pumpkin Gnocchi with Garlic Sage Sauce
Garlic Sage Sauce
- 2 tbsp toasted hazelnuts, chopped
- freshly ground pepper
- vegan parmesan, optional
- Peel and chop the potato into 1/2" cubes and place the cubes in a large pot of boiling water. Boil for 10-12 minutes, until they are easily pierced with a fork.
- Once your potatoes are soft, strain them through a colander shaking off any excess water. Place them in a metal bowl. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until they are completely and thoroughly mashed. Add the pumpkin purée and stir until combined.
- Add the flour and salt to the mashed potatoes and gently knead it together with your hands or a potato masher until it forms a soft dough. The dough should be soft but not sticky.
- On a floured surface, divide the dough into four pieces. Roll each one out evenly into a long rope that is 1/2" in diameter. Using a sharp knife, cut the rope into 3/4" pieces. Make indentations with a fork on the front and back of each dumpling (this is optional).
- In small batches, place the gnocchi in boiling water and boil for about 60 seconds. The gnocchi is done when the pieces float to the top. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and set them aside. Repeat until all the gnocchi has been cooked.
- To make the béchamel sauce, heat vegan butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once butter is melted, add the sage and gently sauté it for 60 seconds. Once the sage is fragrant and wilted, remove it from the melted butter and set aside. Add the flour and stir over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until mixture is smooth and golden-brown. In another pot, bring milk, minced garlic, nutmeg, and salt to a boil. Add hot milk to butter/flour mixture in 3 batches, whisking in between each batch. Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, whisking constantly. Once thick and creamy, remove from heat and set aside. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Toss gnocchi in garlic sage sauce and serve immediately with toasted hazelnuts and parmesan cheese.
- Refrigerate - If you are going to be eating the gnocchi within a couple of days, you can cook the gnocchi as directed below. Once it’s cooked remove it from the boiling water and place it in a bowl of ice water to immediately stop the cooking and chill the dumpings. Strain and toss with olive oil to prevent the gnocchi from clumping together. Store the chilled gnocchi in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To serve, simply toss the chilled gnocchi with warm sauce in a saucepan.
- Freeze - To freeze the gnocchi, place the gnocchi in a single layer on a baking sheet before boiling and let them freeze all the way through. Once they are frozen, place the gnocchi in a ziplock bag and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. To prepare frozen gnocchi, add it to boiling water straight from the freezer. Frozen gnocchi will take longer to cook but, just like before, look for the first ones to float to the top to know when the gnocchi is done.