Homemade gluten free gnocchi is easy and fun to make and tastes way better than store bought gnochi. This gnocchi recipe is pillowy soft and fluffy on the inside, pan fried to a golden crispy brown on the outside, tossed in truffled pesto and topped with fresh pico de gallo. Fabulous for lunch with the girls or an appetizer before dinner.
Making gnocchi at home is definitely more time consuming than opening up a package, but its one of my favorite ways to spend a saturday or sunday when I have a little more time to play in the kitchen. I turn on my favorite shows, pour myself a glass of wine and make gnocchi!
First things first, what IS gnocchi anyway?
Gnocchi are small little dumplings made with potato, flour, and sometimes an egg. There are tons of variations to using potatoes for gnocchi like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, spinach, ricotta, pumpkin, and many more I am sure. Whatever you make them with, they end up like delicate fluffy pillows and are really versatile in how you serve them. We will talk about that later.
How do you make homemade gnocchi?
Making potato gnocchi can be slightly tricky, but if you follow these steps and the tips and tricks below, you will be eating gnocchi in no time!
- First you need to cook your potatoes. Prick them a couple times with a fork and bake them at 400 degrees until they are soft. The time will vary depending on the size of your potatoes, but roughly 45 mins to 60 mins for medium to large potatoes.
- Slice open your potatoes and let them cool slightly before putting them through a potato ricer or mashing them really well. (this potato ricer is awesome! I want one… )
- Make a well with your potatoes and add the egg to the well and beat it a bit with a fork. Add 3/4 of the flour and begin to mix it into the potatoes with the fork and keep adding a little more flour as needed until the mixture becomes a soft dough. You will likely need to mix it with your hands and use all of the flour and possibly a bit more. Try to only mix as much as needed and no more. Bring the dough together to form a ball.
- Take a chunk of dough off the ball, sprinkle some flour on your counter and roll the dough chunk out into a dough snake. It might come apart as you roll, but be patient and squeeze it back together and keep rolling. Gnocchi can be sticky so don’t be afraid to sprinkle more flour on your surface.
- Cut the dough “snake” into bite sized pieces however small or large you like.
- If you want, you can leave the gnocchi in a pillow shape or you can use a fork and make a little indent, like I did. Or better yet, get a gnocchi board and roll each piece down it to give those perfect gnocchi indents where the sauce can sneak in and get stuck! #gnocchigoals
- lay them out on a baking sheet for freezing and cook the rest. More on cooking below…
Tips and tricks for getting it right the first time:
- bake your potatoes, don’t boil them!
- open up the skins when they are steaming hot to let as much steam escape as possible.
- to find out if you have used enough flour (or too little), start a pot of water simmering on the stove while you make your gnocchi. Once your dough has come together, take a little piece off and form one or two gnocchi. Throw them in the simmering water. If they stay together and eventually float to the surface, then you are good to go. If they fizzle and disintegrate into mush, you probably need a little more flour. Add a bit more to your dough and try again.
How do you make gluten free gnocchi?
Since potatoes are naturally gluten free, the only thing that differentiates gluten free gnocchi from regular gnocchi is the kind of flour that you use. Use your favorite gluten free flour and you are good to go.
Some of my favorite gluten free flours:
- Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour – this is the one we used in this recipe
- Pamela’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend – I’ve used this one with good results as well
- King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour – I havent used this one, but King Arthur flour is quality so I would expect nothing less from their gluten free blend.
Can you freeze fresh homemade gnocchi?
Yes! Homemade gnocchi freezes really really well. If you are planning to freeze some, freeze it right away by laying it out on a parchment lined baking sheet so that the little gnocchi aren’t touching each other. Freeze on the try for an hour and then throw them into an airtight container or ziplock bag for safe keeping. Freezing them on the tray first ensures that your gnocchi won’t stick together.
What’s the best way to cook your homemade gnocchi?
I used to think that you had to always boil the gnocchi first and then pan fry them (if you like them pan fried and i DO!). After having gnocchi turn to mush on me when I boiled them from frozen, I wondered if I could skip that step and just cook them in a frying pan. Turns out you can!
I took that exact same batch of gnocchi that fell apart on me in the water and added them to a frying pan with a good knob of butter and cooked them with the lid on for a few mins giving them a shake every once in a while so they didn’t stick. When I pulled the lid off, I had cooked gnocchi. I added a little more butter and fried them with the lid off so they got nice and brown and crispy on all sides and then I put them on my plate. They were great.
I think they taste slightly softer when you boil them first and then pan fry, but if they fall apart on you, they are no good to you anyways.
I suggest boiling your water and throwing in a couple homemade gnocchi to see how they do. If they keep their shape then your good to boil the rest before pan frying, if they fall apart, then use the frying pan only method above.
Can you cook gnocchi from frozen?
Yup, you sure can. Cook exactly the same way as above, it just might take a little longer (1 or 2 mins longer in boiling water, or 5 mins or so in the frying pan). Don’t thaw before you cook them!
How to eat your homemade gnocchi:
There are a million and one ways to eat your homemade gnocchi, but one of my favorite ways is to eat it like it is pictured here, tossed with truffled pesto and topped with a fresh pico de gallo. Its so simple and fresh! Simple is often best!
That said, here are some other ideas for you to use your potato gnocchi:
To serve to guest I would class it up a bit and:
- serve it pan fried with butter, lemon, peas and spinach – maybe mixed with a little ricotta… that would be delicious!
- add it to a skillet of farmer sausage, peppers, mushrooms, onions and kale and of course some parmesan sprinkled on top.
- use it in place of the fettuccine in our beef and mushroom pasta bake or our beef and mushroom pasta bake.
To make for myself or a more casual meal I would:
- pan fry it with bacon and onions and a good knob of butter, then sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. So good!
- bake it with cheese and tomato sauce or replace the pasta in our beef and mushroom pasta bake with pan fried gnocchi. That would be divine!
There are so many options and all of them delicious! We would love to see how you serve yours 🙂
If you’ve tried this homemade gnocchi recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let us know how it turned out in the comments below. We love hearing from you!
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Gluten Free Gnocchi with Truffle Pesto and Pico de Gallo
FOR THE GNOCCHI
- 4 russet potatoes
- 1 cup bob's red mill gluten free all purpose flour , plus more for rolling
- 1 large egg , beaten
- 1/2 tsp salt
FOR THE TRUFFLED PESTO
FOR THE PICO DE GALLO
- 2 medium tomatoes , seeded and diced
- 1/2 medium onion , finely diced
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 1 jalapeno , minced (remove the seeds for less spice)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large lime juiced
FOR THE DISH
- 2 cups gnocchi
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup truffle pesto (or more to your liking)
- 1/4 cup pico de gallo (or more to your liking)
MAKE THE PESTO
- Add the basil, lemon juice, pine nuts, garlic, salt, truffle oil and olive oil into a food processor and whiz it up really good until it becomes almost a paste.
- If you need to, add a little more olive oil to reach your desired consistency. Put into a small bowl or jar and set aside.
MAKE THE PICO DE GALLO
- Slice the tomatoes in quarters and remove the seeds. Slice the tomatoes in long skinny strips and dice. Add to a bowl. Wash and chop the cilantro and add it to the tomatoes.
- Dice the onion and jalapeno. Remove the seeds of the jalapeno first for a little less heat. Add them to the same bowl. Sprinkle in the salt and squeeze in the lime. Stir well and place in the fridge.
MAKE THE GNOCCHI
- Bake the potatoes in the oven at 375 degrees until they are soft and fully cooked. Take them out and let them cool completely. (I like to cut them in half to help them cool quicker) Scoop out the flesh into a bowl and put them through a potato ricer if you have it. If not, mash the potato by hand really well.
- Make a well with your potatoes, add the egg to the well and beat it a bit with a fork. Add 1/2 of the flour and begin to mix it into the potatoes with the fork and keep adding a little more flour as needed until the mixture becomes a soft dough. You will likely need to mix it with your hands and use all of the flour. Try to only mix as much as needed and no more. Bring the dough together to form a ball.
- On a flat and floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a ball in your hand and then start rubbing your hands together to make a 'snake' out of the dough. Put the dough 'snake' on the surface and keep rolling your hands back and forth over it to make it long and evenly round until its about an inch thick. Cut the 'snake' into 1 inch pieces. Press a fork into each one to make an imprint if desired.
- Either cook right away or freeze.
COOK THE GNOCCHI THE TRADITIONAL WAY
- Boil water in a medium pot. When its boiling, throw in the gnocchi to cook. Meanwhile, heat a separate skillet on medium heat. As soon as the gnocchi starts to float, add the butter to the skillet to melt. Once all the gnocchi is floating, it is finished cooking. Scoop it out with a slotted spoon, shake off the water that you can and add it to the skillet.
- Shake the skillet around good so the gnocchi doesn't stick. Flip the gnocchi over once it has browned on one side and brown the other.
- Add the pesto and shake the pan to coat the gnocchi and warm the pesto up a bit. Put half the gnocchi on a plate and half on another. Sprinkle on some parmesan cheese and then some pico de galo. Serve right away.
COOK THE GNOCCHI THE FAST WAY
- Add the butter into a frying pan on low to medium low heat and when its melted, add the gnocchi right away, shake the pan and toss the gnocchi in the butter. Put a lid on and cook for about 2 mins. Take the lid off, toss the gnocchi again and put the lid back on for 2 mins.
- Remove the lid, turn up the heat to medium and let the gnocchi fry till browned on all sides. Add the pesto and toss the gnocchi in the sauce to warm the pesto.
- Pour onto a plate and scrape out the butter and pesto left behind on top. Sprinkle on some parmesan cheese, spoon on some pico de gallo and serve right away!