I had homemade gnocchi years ago but I’ve never eaten homemade vegan gnocchi or made with pumpkin and sweet potato instead of the traditional potato.
So I decided to set about making some of this yummy chewiness that has this special thing all of its own.
And because this was my first time making homemade vegan gnocchi, I broke it into four batches and cooked four different flavoured gnocchis to try and find the best flavour.
I made the first batch with just the vegetable ingredients and a little salt. It tasted fine but I thought it was a bit bland.
For the second batch I added some olive oil and some Tamari soy sauce and the result was a bit more flavoursome – but I thought it was still missing a slight edge.
So the third batch I made had more additional flavourings and the result was tasty. So for the fourth batch, I kept the recipe of the third batch but added some fresh basil and it was O-M-G delicious.
I couldn’t stop eating it; I kept thinking, just one more!
Table of Contents
The Basis of Making Vegan Gnocchi
Traditional gnocchi’s made with finely grated (or riced) cooked potato, egg and flour. So, to make this homemade gnocchi vegan & gluten free, I used ground flax seed instead of the egg, and chickpea flour and tapioca flour in place of wheat flour. Easy.
And then I started playing around with the flavour in my four batches until I got the exact blend I was hoping for, or even better.
Preparing the Pumpkin and Sweet Potato for the Gnocchi
You can cook the pumpkin and sweet potato any way you like, but you want to keep the liquid to a minimum. Because of that, I chose to bake both in the oven.
At least with roasting you don’t have to watch over it, so you can just put it in the oven and come back in about 40-50 minutes, depending on the size of the pumpkin and sweet potato that you’re baking.
You could also use the microwave, but I wasn’t in a hurry so I just heated the oven to 200ºc and bunged them in.
I baked the whole butternut squash, cut lengthwise in half and then again, and baked face down in a baking tray on parchment paper. For the sweet potato, I cut a slice into it and baked it alongside the pumpkin.
If the sweet potato isn’t cooked when the pumpkin’s ready, you can either leave it for longer or finish it off in the microwave.
I cooked the pumpkin for 50 minutes and the sweet potato for 1 hour.
Making the Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Take the flesh out of the roast pumpkin, removing the seeds and stringy inner bits, and put it into a bowl. Add the scooped out sweet potato flesh and 4-5 tbs chickpea flour, 3 tbs tapioca flour and 1 tbs ground flax seed.
Instead of following the recipe measurements exactly, add the flour gradually, stirring until the mixture is a bit thick, like in the image below. It won’t be as stiff as a pizza dough, so don’t expect that.
Next, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt, a 1/4 tsp of cumin, a large pinch of chilli powder, a good slosh of gluten free tamari soy sauce (or any gluten free soy sauce of your choice) and a handful of finely chopped fresh basil leaves (which are fine kept frozen).
Stir the whole lot until you’re sure it’s properly mixed.
The basil leaves give it a delicious flavour so I really recommend including them. I added about 12 leaves to the batch (which was only a quarter of the whole recipe amount).
It isn’t essential, but if you’re not going ahead immediately, put the mixture into the fridge for a while. I think the flavour improved in my later batches, and the dough thickened up slightly.
The next step is making the gnocchi balls.
Making the Gnocchi Balls
Take a chopping board and put a mound of chickpea flour in the middle. Next, take a scoop of the dough mix and roll it into a large ball.
Don’t worry if you need to keep rolling it in the flour to get a ball you can manage without it being too sticky.
Roll it out into a sausage and then cut the sausage into small pieces.
I’m not very patient with making perfect shapes so my gnocchi tends to get bigger as I go on! And the shapes aren’t at all identical.
But you can be as perfectionist as you like, and if you want to make perfect gnocchi, now’s the time to put some energy into the gnocchi shapes you make.
Once you’ve got a board full of little oblong balls, you can use a fork to roll each one and make the little traditional ridges on it. It’s absolutely fine without the ridges too.
Cooking the Gnocchi Balls
Bring a pan of water to the boil and add a tsp of salt. Add some gnocchi balls to the water and keep on the boil until they float to the top of the pan (about 2 minutes).
Then remove with a slotted spoon and lay on a plate with kitchen roll on it to absorb the excess water.
Cook the gnocchi in batches and set aside to drain. You can eat them immediately, fry them, put them in a sauce, or store them in the fridge for later. Or you can freeze them for using another day.
How to Use the Gnocchi
These homemade vegan gnocchi, created using pumpkin and sweet potato, are so tasty that I actually find them moorish even just eating them straight up as they are.
But the real way to eat gnocchi is in a sauce or in a veggie mix, maybe with a sauce on the side you like.
For a dish like in the image I took 1 clove garlic, 1 zucchini, beetroot leaves (sub spinach) and fried them in a little olive oil along with the gnocchi. Then I added some chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and cherry tomatoes and hey presto! A delicious meal.
Homemade Vegan Gnocchi – with Pumpkin & Sweet Potato – Gluten FreeCourse: Main Courses, Vegan GF RecipesCuisine: Italian inspired, Vegan, Gluten freeDifficulty: A bit time consuming
Delicious gnocchi made with pumpkin & sweet potato
1 small butternut squash or equivalent
1 large sweet potato or equivalent
5 tbs chickpea flour
3 tbs tapioca flour
1 tbs ground flax
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp cumin
Large pinch chilli powder
Finely chopped basil leaves
- Bake the pumpkin and sweet potato in the oven for 50 minutes or until cooked. If you prefer, you can cook them in the microwave.
- Scoop out the flesh and mash in a large bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.
- Set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes (not essential).
- Scoop out a spoonful of the dough and roll into a ball, then into a sausage, using a floured surface.
- Cut the sausage into pieces, then roll each piece in your hand to make the shape and size you want.
- If you like the traditional ridges, take a fork and roll each gnocchi ball along the board, creating the indented ridging in the gnocchi.
- Cook in boiling water for about 2 minutes or until the gnocchi floats to the top.
- Remove from the water and lay on a plate with kitchen roll to absorb the excess liquid.
- Either serve immediately or lightly fry or keep in the fridge or freezer for another day.
- You can vary the ingredients of gnocchi to alter the flavour to suit your taste.