Vegan Gnocchi With Spinach Pesto

vegan gnocchi iwth spinach pesto

The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  • Total: 105 mins
  • Prep: 35 mins
  • Cook: 70 mins
  • Servings: 3 to 4 servings
  • Yields: 45 pieces

Vegan gnocchi is so easy to make. There aren’t any unusual ingredients, just good ol’ potatoes, flour, olive oil, and salt. It’s fun to roll out the gnocchi as a family in large batches. You can even freeze the gnocchi and enjoy it on a weeknight or for Sunday dinner. 

We served up the gnocchi with a homemade spinach and basil pesto, but you can serve it with whatever sauce you like. Marinara is always delicious or try a cashew cream sauce. You can always keep it simple with the sauce and buy a store-bought variety.

Ingredients

  • For the Gnocchi:
  • 3 to 4 russet potatoes
  • 1 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt (plus more for the pasta water)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • For the Spinach Pesto:
  • 1 cup frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Optional: Vegan Parmesan cheese

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Prepare the Gnocchi

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for vegan gnocchi
    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Scrub and wash the potatoes thoroughly, dry, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and bake for about an hour, or until the potatoes are tender when pricked with a fork.

    potatoes pricked and placed on parchment paper
    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  3. Remove from the oven and cool slightly until you can handle them. Peel off the skins.

    peeled baked russet potatoes
    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 
  4. Grate the potatoes with a cheese grater or put them through a ricer. Remove any tough pieces.

    shredded baked potatoes
    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  5. Put the potatoes on a large, clean board and form them into a nest shape. Sprinkle the top with the flour and salt and pour the olive oil in the center.

    baked potato and flour on a marble board
    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 
  6. Mix the olive oil into the potatoes and flour using a fork or your hands. Knead the dough for a few minutes or until it comes together to form a soft dough. All of the ingredients should be incorporated, but do not over-knead or the potatoes will become tough.

    vegan gnocchi dough in a ball
    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  7. Cut off a piece of the dough and roll it into a long log.

    gnocchi dough rolled into a log
    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  8. Cut the log into 3/4-inch pieces.

    gnocchi cut into pieces
    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  9. Roll each piece across a gnocchi board or across the tines of a fork. You can also skip this step, but it helps hold the sauce on the gnocchi.

    rolled gnocchi on a wooden board
    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  10. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add in about a cup of the gnocchi and cook just until they float to the surface. Using a slotted spoon, lift the gnocchi from the water and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until you have cooked all of the gnocchi.

    gnocchi boiled in a pot
    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 

Prepare the Spinach Pesto

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    spinach pesto ingredients
    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 
  2. Add the spinach, basil, garlic, nutritional yeast, and salt to a food processor. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil as its blending. Blend until the sauce is finely chopped and mostly smooth.

    pesto blended in a food processor
    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 
  3. Toss the gnocchi with the pesto and serve with a sprinkle of vegan Parmesan if you wish.

Tips

  • Baking the potatoes helps to keep them from being watery when forming the dough. You can boil the potatoes, but it is best to do it with the skin on to keep the starch in the potato. 
  • You can freeze the gnocchi on the sheet pan after rolling. Once the gnocchi are frozen, place them into a plastic freezer bag. They will keep in the freezer for up to three months. You can also freeze them the same way after cooking.