Pillowy soft, mouth watering, vegan pumpkin gnocchi made from scratch! This step by step guide will take you from pumpkin and whole wheat flour, to unbelievably delicious homemade vegan gnocchi. As an added bonus, this recipe for pumpkin gnocchi is far healthier and lighter than traditional potato gnocchi.
How is pumpkin gnocchi healthier than potato gnocchi?
Pumpkin not only tastes great, but it is far lower in calories and carbs than potatoes. In fact, pumpkin has LESS than half the calories and fat when compared to potatoes. Yet, even with such a low calorie content, pumpkin is surprising very filling.
Pumpkins are highly nutritious, rich in Vitamins A, C, and potassium. Plus, it’s low calorie content makes pumpkin a great weight loss friendly food, when compared to potatoes.
Lastly, I’m using whole wheat flour instead of white all purpose flour to make these gnocchi. While white flour tends to have much of the fiber stripped away during processing, whole wheat flour is rich in fiber and other nutrients. So if you’re going to have gnocchi, why not make it a whole wheat gnocchi recipe?
Now all that being said, I still don’t recommend you eating this entire recipe for pumpkin gnocchi by yourself. You may want to share with a few friends. 🙂
How do you make vegan pumpkin gnocchi?
How to make your pumpkin puree
If you are roasting the pumpkin yourself, begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees roast, and line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Then slice your pumpkin in half, lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and place cut side up on your tray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast until a fork easily pierces the pumpkin, approx 45 minutes.
Once your pumpkin is cooked, scoop out the flesh and puree in a food processor or blender to make it smoother. You may need to work in batches, so transfer each batch to a large bowl as you’re working. Measure out 2 cups of pumpkin puree to be used to make your vegan gnocchi. Alternatively you may use store bought canned pumpkin puree.
How to prepare your dough
Measure out the whole wheat flour along with your pumpkin puree and mix well in a large mixing bowl. Knead your mixture until a soft dough forms.
Once combined, transfer the mixture to a large cutting board, generously sprinkled with flour. Make sure you continue to flour your board as you knead the dough, to prevent sticking.
Add flour to your hands as needed, and add additional flour to the mixture, until a soft dough forms. The texture will be a little sticky, but do not use more than 3 1/4 cup of flour in total, or the gnocchi will be too firm.
Now, use a floured rolling pin to roll out and flatten your dough. Create a round or oval shape that is approximately half an inch in thickness. Keep flour handy so you may continue to add some to the rolling pin, the cutting board, and your hands, as needed.
How to make your gnocchi
Once the dough is flattened, use a large floured knife to cut it into approximately one inch wide strips. Continue sprinkling the knife with flour after every few cuts or so to prevent sticking.
Then, cut each strip into roughly half inch pieces to make your gnocchi. Sprinkle the pieces with more flour after cutting.
This next step is optional but it adds lovely ridges to your vegan gnocchi, should you desire. Using a floured gnocchi board or a large fork, gently press and roll each of your gnocchi down to make the grooves as shown below. Add more flour to the cutting board, gnocchi board or fork every so often to ensure they don’t stick.
Note: If you decide to skip this step, it will not affect the overall outcome or the flavour of your gnocchi. However, this is traditionally how Italian gnocchi is made.
Once the gnocchi are finished, prepare your sauce of choice. Then bring a large pot of water to boil and cook until the gnocchi are tender. Pumpkin gnocchi take longer to cook than potato gnocchi and will not be fully cooked when they float to the top, like potato gnocchi. Start checking their level of tenderness around the 12 minute mark.
What is the best sauce for pumpkin gnocchi?
If you want a good pumpkin gnocchi cream sauce, then the Alfredo is certainly the way to go.
For a more traditional Italian sauce, your favourite marinara sauce will do the trick. Or, if you prefer a “meatier” bolognese sauce, I highly recommend the bolognese sauce I use in my vegan lasagna. If going the bolognese route, make sure to halve the recipe for these gnocchi.
Don’t forget to sprinkle your delicious homemade gnocchi with some vegan Parmesan cheese, no matter which sauce you choose.
What to serve with pumpkin gnocchi?
This vegan gnocchi recipe is quite filling, so keep your portions on the smaller side.
Can I make them ahead of time?
When your gnocchi are prepared on their tray, you may keep them at room temperature for up to 3 hours if you plan to cook them within that time frame.
Otherwise, you may refrigerate them for 1-2 days if you’re planning ahead. Make sure to keep them in a single layer while in the fridge.
How long do they keep?
Leftover cooked gnocchi may be kept refrigerated for 2-3 days. Just reheat and enjoy as usual.
Do gnocchi freeze well?
Yes! You may freeze the gnocchi prior to cooking. Once they’re made, freeze them, uncooked in a single layer for a few hours, until they are solid. Then you may transfer the gnocchi to a sealed container or resealable bags. Your gnocchi will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Cook from frozen, do NOT thaw before cooking or they will stick together.
- 3 lb pie pumpkin or 2 cups of pumpkin puree
- 3-3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 2-3 cups homemade tomato sauce or store bought
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees roast and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Cut your pumpkin in half, lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place them cut side up on your tray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast until a fork easily pierces the pumpkin flesh, approx 45 minutes, then remove from the oven.
- Once cooked, scoop your pumpkin out from the skin and transfer to a food processor or blender. You may need to work in batches, depending on the size of your appliance. Process the pumpkin until very smooth. Measure 2 cups of puree to make your gnocchi.
- In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of pumpkin puree with 3 cups of whole wheat flour and knead to make a dough. Once combined, transfer your dough to a large floured cutting board and continue kneading. The dough will be a little sticky, but you don't want it completely sticking to your hands. Keep adding up to 1/4 cup of flour to your dough, as needed, to prevent it from sticking. (Again, a little sticky is okay! Don't add too much flour or the dough will get too hard, and won't be as soft after cooking, so no more than 3 1/4 cups total.)
- Using a rolling pin, roll out your dough into a round or oval shape and flatten to approx 1/2" thickness.
- Then using a large knife, slice the dough into strips that are approx 1" wide. Sprinkle the knife with flour as needed to prevent it from sticking to the dough.
- Now cut each strip of dough into roughly 1/2" pieces to make your gnocchi. Sprinkle the gnocchi with more flour as you cut them, to prevent sticking.
- Optional: Using a floured gnocchi board or a fork, gently press and roll each of your gnocchi down to make ridges. Re-flour your board or fork often to prevent sticking.
- Place your gnocchi in a single layer on another large cutting board or tray lined with parchment paper, to prevent them from sticking together. If you'll be cooking your gnocchi within 3 hours, you may leave them at room temperature. Otherwise follow the storage directions in the notes below.
- When your sauce is ready, bring a large pot of generously salted water to boil. Cook the gnocchi in the boiling water for 15-18 minutes until tender. Then serve with your favourite pasta sauce.