Pillowy soft, mouth watering, vegan pumpkin gnocchi made from scratch! This step by step guide will take you from raw pumpkin (or use canned puree) and whole wheat flour, to unbelievably delicious homemade gnocchi.
This recipe was originally published in November 2019. It has been updated for content and photos.
As an added bonus, this recipe for pumpkin gnocchi is far healthier than traditional potato gnocchi.
What makes this version healthier?
- Pumpkin is lower in calories (LESS than half!) and carbs than potatoes! But even so, it’s surprisingly filling.
- Pumpkins are nutrient dense, rich in Vitamins A, C and potassium.
- Using whole wheat flour makes it a wholesome choice, compared to refined, white flour. Since white flour is stripped of its fiber during processing, whole wheat offers a fiber rich option.
How to make it
(This is a summary with step by step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
All you need is two ingredients. Whole wheat flour (or use unbleached white flour if preferred) and pumpkin puree.
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 smooth. You may need to work in batches, so transfer each batch to a large bowl as you’re working.
Measure out 2 cups of puree to use for your vegan pumpkin gnocchi. Alternatively you may use store bought canned pumpkin puree.
How to prepare your dough
Combine the flour and pumpkin puree in a large bowl. (photo 1)
Then transfer the mixture to a large floured cutting board. Knead until a soft dough forms, about 1-2 minutes. (photos 2-3)
NOTES: Continue adding flour to your board as you knead the dough, to prevent sticking. Sprinkle flour on your hands, as needed to prevent sticking as the texture will be sticky. But don’t go overboard or the gnocchi will be too firm.
How to make your gnocchi
Use a floured rolling pin to roll out and flatten your dough into a round or oval shape that is about half an inch thick. (photo 4)
Then, use a sharp knife, sprinkled with flour to cut the dough into one inch strips. (photo 5)
Now cut each strip into half inch pieces to make your gnocchi. Lightly sprinkle the gnocchi with more flour after cutting. (photo 6)
NOTES: Keep flour handy and continue sprinkling some on the pin and cutting board, if needed to prevent sticking. Also sprinkle the knife with flour after every few cuts or so.
OPTIONAL: Use a floured gnocchi board or a large fork to gently press and roll each of your gnocchi down to make grooves as shown below. (photos 7-8)
Transfer the prepared gnocchi to another large board or parchment lined tray in a single layer. Do not stack or place in a bowl! The dough is sticky, so keep them in a single layer to dry up slightly and prevent sticking when cooking. (photo 9)
NOTES: Add more flour to your gnocchi board or fork every so often to prevent sticking. If you prefer to skip making the ridges, it will not affect the overall outcome or flavour. It is traditionally made this way, but not necessary.
Set the gnocchi aside and prepare your marinara of choice and bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the gnocchi until tender.
NOTE: These vegan pumpkin gnocchi take longer to cook than traditional potato versions and won’t be fully cooked when they float to the top. Check for doneness by testing tenderness with a fork.
What sauce is best?
For a creamy sauce, go with Alfredo.
For a traditional tomato sauce, you may make your own or purchase your favourite brand.
Or, if you want a Bolognese style sauce, I highly recommend my cauliflower Bolognese.
And finally, don’t forget to sprinkle your delicious homemade gnocchi with some vegan Parmesan cheese, no matter which sauce you choose.
Pumpkin Gnocchi FAQ
Yes, absolutely. Once the gnocchi are prepped, you may keep at room temperature for up to 2 hours. If you’re not cooking them within that time frame, refrigerate for 1-2 days, but keep them in a single layer in your fridge
Your cooked vegan pumpkin gnocchi will keep refrigerated for 2-3 days. Just reheat and enjoy.
Yes, gnocchi freeze well, BEFORE cooking. Freeze in a single layer until solid, approx. 3 hours. Then transfer to a zip top bag or freezer safe container until ready to cook. You may keep frozen for up to 3 months. Make sure to cook from frozen, DO NOT THAW or they will stick together.
- A 3 lb pie pumpkin will produce approx. 2 cups of pumpkin puree which is what is needed for this recipe. If you have extra, refrigerate or freeze it to use in another recipe. Use only 2 cups for this recipe, or increase the flour to compensate the difference if you want to use more.
- Keep extra flour handy while you work. You’ll need it to sprinkle your cutting board or work surface, your hands, rolling pin, knife, etc.
- Make sure to keep your gnocchi in a single layer once prepared to prevent them from sticking to one another.
- To save time, you may use 2 cups of canned pumpkin puree and skip roasting the pumpkin with similar results.
- If you don’t have a gnocchi board and don’t want to use a fork to make the ridges, you may skip this step entirely. The ridges are cosmetic and will not affect the outcome or flavour of your gnocchi.
- Pumpkin gnocchi takes a little longer to cook than potato gnocchi. They are not necessarily ready as soon as they float to the top. Check tenderness level around the 5-minute mark, and continue cooking until soft.
More vegan Italian dishes you’ll love!
- Vegan Pasta e Fagioli
- Mushroom Risotto Burger
- Vegan Baked Pasta
- Lasagna Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
- Vegan Penne Alla Vodka [Healthier Than Grandma’s!]
- Pasta Aglio e Olio (Pasta w/ Garlic & Oil)
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- 3 pound pie pumpkin or 2 cups of pumpkin puree
- salt + pepper for sprinkling on the pumpkin
- 3-3 ¼ cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground sage
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Vegan Sage "Butter" Sauce
- 1 cup raw cashews
- ¾ cup hot water
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ teaspoon ground sage
- salt + pepper to taste
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- fresh sage best with the butter sauce
- fresh basil best with the tomato sauce
- fresh parsley best with the Alfredo sauce
For the pumpkin puree
- 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.
- Scoop the pumpkin from the skin and transfer it to a food processor or blender and process until very smooth. Work in batches, as needed. Measure 2 cups of puree and set it aside to make the gnocchi.
For the pumpkin gnocchi
- In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of pumpkin puree, 3 cups of flour, and the seasoning. Once combined, transfer to a large floured cutting board or clean work surface.
- Knead the dough a little with your hands, adding flour to your surface and hands as needed to prevent sticking. Use the least amount of flour possible to prevent sticking, without adding too much. The dough should be a little sticky, this is normal. Be mindful not to add too much flour, or the gnocchi won't be soft.
- Use a rolling pin to roll your dough into a round or oval shape that's approx. half an inch thick.
- Then use a large knife, sprinkled with flour to slice the dough into 1-inch strips. Cut each strip into approx. half-inch pieces and sprinkle the pieces with more flour as you cut them, to prevent sticking.
- Optional: Use a floured gnocchi board or a large fork to gently press and roll each gnocchi to make ridges. Re-flour your board or fork often to prevent sticking.
- Place the prepared gnocchi in a single layer on a tray lined with parchment paper. If you'll be cooking your gnocchi within 2 hours, you may leave them at room temperature. Otherwise, follow the storage directions in the notes below.
To cook the gnocchi
- This makes a large batch, so you may freeze some and cook some straight away.
- To cook, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Then cook the gnocchi in batches to avoid overcrowding. Boil until tender and floating at the top of the water, approx. 5-10 minutes. NOTE: Cook time will vary according to how crowded the pot is, which flour you're using and if using homemade pumpkin puree or canned.
- Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and place them in a serving bowl. Repeat with remaining gnocchi until you've cooked the desired amount. Serve with your favourite sauce and garnishes.
For the vegan sage butter sauce
- Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender and process until smooth. Serve over the gnocchi and garnish as desired.