Pillowy soft, mouth-watering, vegan pumpkin gnocchi made from scratch! This step-by-step guide will take you from raw pumpkin and whole wheat pastry flour to unbelievably delicious homemade gnocchi.
This recipe was originally published in November 2019. It has been updated for content, photos, and video.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Currently stuffing my face with these!!! So glad I came across this post. My first time making gnocchi but it won’t be my last!! Love your easy to follow photos and steps. Thanks for making this beginner friendly. ❤️ – Ingrid
This vegan pumpkin gnocchi is a fantastic dish to enjoy in autumn when pumpkins are in abundance.
But if you can’t get your hands on fresh pumpkins, canned pumpkin puree works too.
As an added bonus, this recipe for pumpkin gnocchi is far healthier than its traditional potato version.
What makes it healthier?
- Pumpkins are nutrient-dense, and rich in Vitamins A, C, and potassium.
- They’re also lower in calories (LESS than half!) when compared to potatoes. But even so, pumpkin is surprisingly filling.
- Using whole wheat pastry flour makes this dish a wholesome choice. Especially when compared to the more commonly used refined, white flour. Since white flour is stripped of its fiber during processing, whole wheat offers a fiber-rich option.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your homemade vegan pumpkin gnocchi from scratch!
- Pumpkin: Choose a pie pumpkin weighing approximately 3 pounds.
- Flour: I’m using whole wheat pastry flour for soft results, without adding refined flour to the dish.
- Spices: A mix of salt, pepper, sage, and a pinch of nutmeg gives this gnocchi its delicious flavour.
- For the sauce: I’m using a cashew-based sage sauce, (ingredients + directions below), but you may use any sauce of your choice.
(This is a summary with step by step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Roast the pumpkin
Slice your pumpkin in half or thirds and scoop out the seeds. Place in a baking dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast until fork tender. (photo 1)
Scoop the pumpkin flesh from its skin and puree it in a food processor or blender to make it completely smooth. Work in batches, as needed. (photo 2)
Measure TWO cups of the pumpkin puree and set it aside for your vegan pumpkin gnocchi.
Alternatively, you may use store-bought canned pumpkin puree.
Prepare the dough
Add the flour, pumpkin, and spices to a large bowl and stir until combined. (photo 3)
Knead to form a soft dough (approx. 1 minute) and use a rolling pin to stretch it flat. (photo 4)
NOTES: Sprinkle flour on your kneading surface and your hands to prevent sticking. But don’t go overboard with the flour or the dough will get too firm. A little stickiness is okay.
Make your gnocchi
Stretch the dough to half an inch thick and slice it into one-inch strips in both directions to make a grid. (photo 5)
OPTIONAL: Use a floured gnocchi board or fork to gently press and roll each piece down to make grooves as shown above. (photo 6)
NOTES: Keep some extra flour beside you as you work and continue to lightly sprinkle it on the rolling pin, work surface, knife, and gnocchi board as needed to prevent sticking. To save time, skip making the ridges. Although traditionally made this way, it will not affect the overall outcome to skip it.
Transfer the prepared vegan pumpkin gnocchi to a large cutting board or parchment-lined tray in a single layer. Do not stack them or place them in a bowl! The dough is sticky, so keep them in a single layer and set them aside while you prepare your sauce.
For the sauce
Set the gnocchi pieces aside and prepare your sauce of choice.
I’ve made gnocchi many times with all of these sauce options (and all are fantastic).
- Vegan sage “butter” sauce (as listed in the recipe below and my top suggestion, especially if serving in the fall months. Don’t forget fresh sage leaves.)
- Marinara sauce – a classic choice that tastes best with fresh parsley or basil.
- Cauliflower bolognese sauce – a hearty and rich sauce if you want a “meaty” texture.
- Alfredo sauce – a creamy and delicious choice that you can whip up in a few minutes in your blender.
Cook the gnocchi
When your sauce is prepared, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the gnocchi, working in batches if needed to prevent overcrowding. Cook until tender and floating at the top of the pot.
NOTE: This vegan pumpkin gnocchi recipe takes a little longer to cook compared to potato versions made using white flour. Check doneness by testing with a fork and don’t rely solely on the pieces floating at the top of the pot.
Once cooked, serve with the sauce of your choice. But, no matter which sauce you choose, don’t forget to sprinkle your delicious homemade gnocchi with some vegan Parmesan cheese.
What to serve with gnocchi
This vegan pumpkin gnocchi is quite filling, so keep your portions on the smaller side.
If you’re planning to cook your gnocchi within 2 hours, you may leave them on a large single-layer tray or cutting board at room temperature.
In fact, it’s best prepared at least an hour in advance, so they have a chance to dry up and not stick together when cooking.
If you’re not cooking your gnocchi within 2 hours of preparing them, keep
Can I freeze them?
Yes, these freeze very well BEFORE cooking. Freeze them in a single layer first, until they are solid, approx. 3 hours. Then you may transfer them to a zip-top bag or freezer-safe container until ready to cook.
Keep frozen for up to 3 months and make sure to cook from frozen. DO NOT THAW before cooking or they will stick together.
- Don’t overwork the dough. You don’t want to overly knead your dough or this will result in firmer gnocchi, and they taste best when soft. Work it for about 1-2 minutes and not longer.
- Don’t go overboard with the flour. Use enough so that the dough is not sticking to your hands and work surface, but don’t add too much or the gnocchi will be hard. A little stickiness is a-okay.
- 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 for the difference if you want to use more.
- Keep extra flour handy while you work. You’ll need it to sprinkle your work surface, your hands, rolling pin, knife, gnocchi board, 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 or don’t want to make the ridges, you may skip this step entirely. The ridges are cosmetic and will not affect the outcome or flavour of the dish.
- Pumpkin gnocchi takes a little longer to cook than potato versions. 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 recipes you’ll love!
If you tried this recipe, please let me know about it in the comments below. I always love hearing from you! Don’t forget to Subscribe to This Healthy Kitchen to be among the first to get my new recipes! You can also FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to see more delicious food and get all the latest updates.
- 3 pound pie pumpkin or 2 cups of pumpkin puree
- salt + pepper for sprinkling on the pumpkin
- 3-3 ¼ cups 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
Or Use Another Sauce
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- fresh sage leaves best with the butter sauce
- fresh basil leaves best with the tomato sauce
- fresh parsley best with the Alfredo sauce
For the pumpkin puree
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees convection roast and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Cut your pumpkin in half or thirds, and scoop out the seeds. Place the pumpkin skin side down on your tray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast until a fork easily pierces the pumpkin flesh, approx. 40 minutes, and 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 vegan pumpkin gnocchi
- In a large bowl, add 2 cups of pumpkin puree, 3 cups of flour, and the seasoning. Mix to combine and transfer to a large floured work surface.
- Knead the dough using your hands, adding a light sprinkle of 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 so that it's approx. half an inch thick.
- Then sprinkle a sharp knife or pizza cutter with flour and cut the dough into 1-inch strips. Then, cut each strip into approx. half-inch pieces to make a grid pattern. Sprinkle the pieces with a touch more flour if needed.
- 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 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 drop the gnocchi into the boiling water, working 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 using 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 with fresh sage.
Pumpkin Gnocchi FAQ
Normally, gnocchi is made using white flour and cooked potato. However, this pumpkin gnocchi uses pumpkin puree and whole wheat pastry flour for a more wholesome choice.
Absolutely! Most store-bought and homemade gnocchi are already vegan and do not typically include eggs. Be sure to read the label on store-bought versions to double-check. And make sure to use a vegan sauce as well.
Believe it or not, gnocchi is normally a more wholesome choice than pasta. Pasta is made using just flour, whereas gnocchi cuts some of that flour with a vegetable, in this case, pumpkin.