Making gluten free sweet potato gnocchi is one of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday afternoon. Homemade gnocchi tastes so much better than store bought and its a lot easier to make than you might think. Grab a glass of wine, put on a rom com or your favorite PVR’d tv show, and let’s make some sweet potato gnocchi.
I love watching my shows that I have PVR’d all week while I spend a few hours of the day cooking something that I wouldn’t have time to make on a weekday like this sweet potato gnocchi or this butternut squash ravioli, or this short rib ravioli… Its a form of therapy for me.
Plus then I get to gather around a table later with my family or some friends and have a delicious meal while catching up and having some fun and that’s really what its all about isn’t it?
What’s your favorite show that you like to watch when you cook? Mine are Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives or Sex and the City. I’ve been watching those soaps for years so now I just can’t stop. Every one has to have some vice, no one can be perfect, you know?
First things first, what IS gnocchi anyway?
Gnocchi are small little dumplings made with sweet potato, flour, and sometimes an egg. There are tons of variations to using sweet potatoes for gnocchi like regular 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 sweet potato gnocchi?
Making sweet potato gnocchi is slightly different from regular gnocchi because the sweet potato has quite a bit more moisture than regular potatoes, 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 sweet 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 sweet potatoes, but roughly 45 mins to 60 mins for smaller to medium ones.
- Slice open your sweet 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 sweet 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 sweet 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 sweet potatoes, don’t boil them!
- Open up the skins when they are steaming hot to let as much steam escape as possible.
- When you squeeze the potatoes through the ricer, let the liquid that comes off the sweet potatoes run into a separate bowl as much as possible. Alternatively, if you are not using a ricer, mash the sweet potatoes and then tip your bowl over slightly so the extra liquid runs out. Don’t let the potatoes fall out though!
- 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 sweet 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 sweet potato gnocchi?
Yes! 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 sweet potato 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 sweet potato gluten free gnocchi:
There are a million and one ways to eat your homemade gnocchi, but one of my favorite ways is to eat it with browned butter, fried sage, and parmesan cheese. I love how the sweet potato gives these gnocchi a slightly sweet flavor and the simple additions really make that flavor shine through.
That said, here are some other ideas for you to use your sweet 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 sausage, spinach and wine dish or our lemon fonduta with scallops.
To make for myself or a more casual meal I would:
- add some pesto and veggies like our gnocchi with pesto and pico de gallo.
- bake it with cheese and tomato sauce or replace the pasta in our beef, mushroom and jalapeno 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 gluten free sweet potato 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 Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Parmesan
Making gluten free sweet potato gnocchi is one of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday afternoon. Homemade gnocchi tastes so much better than store bought and its a lot easier to make than you might think. Grab a glass of wine, put on a rom com or your favorite PVR'd tv show, and let's make some sweet potato gnocchi.
- Cut a slit in the top of your potatoes so the steam can escape as they bake. Bake them in the oven at 400 till they are soft. About 45 mins to an hour. When they are cooked, take the flesh out of the skins. Let them cool completely! You want them to release their steamy moisture. If they are very moist still, let them sit a while on the counter.
- Put the 2 cups Potato flesh into a bowl or a mixer. I used my mixer for these.
- Add the Salt and the Egg and mix it all up.
- Add a half a cup of flour at a time until the dough is soft but not too sticky and you can form a ball with it.
- Dump your dough onto a floured surface and form it into 6 even balls. Roll each ball out into a log, just like you used to make playdough snakes :). Then take a sharp knife and cut the Gnocchi into little pillows however big you like.
- If you are freezing some, lay some parchment paper down on a baking tray and place the Gnocchi on the tray just a little spaced out from each other. Freeze on the tray at first and then you can put it into bags to store for later.
Method to Cook and Serve:
- Boil a pot of water. Add the Gnocchi (frozen or not) to the boiling water and give it a little stir. Cook until the Gnocchi starts to float. Drain.
- While the Gnocchi is boiling, melt the Butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Let it start bubbling and browning, but be careful not to burn it. It should brown slowly turning a caramel color.
- Add the Gnocchi to the flying pan. It will start to sizzle! Keep frying and turning till they are brown and crispy on all sides.
- Pour onto a plate and drizzle the extra butter on top. Grate or sprinkle the Parmesan over it all and sprinkle with Salt and Pepper. Eat!