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Homemade vegan gnocchi floating to the top of the pot

Homemade Vegan Gnocchi

I love Homemade Vegan Gnocchi. The secret to these dreamy little pillows of goodness is in using rock salt to dry out the potatoes when baking. When I was a gnocchi making beginner, I often made gnocchi dough that was too wet. Live and learn.

Homemade Vegan Gnocchi pairs well with these:

And don’t forget to top it off with 5-Minute Garlic Hemp Seed Parm a.k.a. Garlic Shake!

To make Pan-seared Google Chef Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts & Kale, click here.

Gnocchi has a bit of a learning curve to it. Pan-searing tends to make even beginner gnocchi decadent and tasty, also don’t forget the Garlic Shake Hemp Seed Parm.

Let’s Make Homemade Vegan Gnocchi

Ingredients for Homemade Vegan Gnocchi
Ingredients for Homemade Vegan Gnocchi

Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with rock salt. Cut a few 1″ – 2″ side vents into each of the potatoes. If you are using large russet potatoes, cut four to five side vent into each potato. You will be halving the potatoes lengthwise after baking and you can use your vents as guides for cutting.

Cutting vents into the sides of the potatoes placed on rock salt lined baking sheet for Homemade Vegan Gnocchi
Cutting vents into the sides of the potatoes

Place the potatoes on the rock salt-lined baking sheet. Bake until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Remove potatoes from the oven and halve lengthwise.

Cutting the baked potatoes in half with a ceramic knife
Cutting the baked potatoes in half with a ceramic knife

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. (I use an 8-quart stockpot and fill it most of the way with water.) Add a bit of salt to the water. I use an induction stove that boils water very quickly, so I usually wait until I am mostly done making the dough to start boiling the water. However, this is the point where I fill and salt the pot and place it on the stove.

Let the potatoes cool enough to handle, but don’t let them cool completely. You want them to be as warm as possible while being able to handle them. Pull the skins off or scoop the potato meat out with a spoon, rubbing the skin to get all of the potato insides out. Let the potato insides drop into a large bowl. Discard the skins or save them to eat.

Mash the taters

Mash the potatoes with a fork or whisk. If you have a ricer you can run them through the ricer like The Google Chef. I don’t have a ricer so I’ve never done that. Add 1 TBSP olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper while mashing. If the potatoes have cooled and aren’t mashing well you can pop them in the microwave.

Mashing the potatoes with a fork
Mashing the potatoes with a fork

Gradually add the flour

Add the flour to the mashed potatoes in 1/4 cup intervals, using your hands to work the flour in with each addition. Mash any remaining potato chunks with your fingers as you knead the dough. You want to use as little flour as possible to achieve a nice ball of dough.

Ball of gnocchi dough
Ball of gnocchi dough
Testing the gnocchi

Once you suspect you have the right dough consistency for the gnocchi to float, tear off a few tiny pieces, roll them into balls, and drop them into the boiling water. If they rise to the top without falling apart, that’s good, but you still want to taste it. It may take a few minutes for the dough to float.

The test gnocchi floating up
The test gnocchi floating up

To taste them, remove from the boiling water with a strainer or slotted spoon and set them on a cutting board for a few seconds, letting them dry off. If they taste gummy, add flour to the dough by the tablespoon until you get a firmer dough.

Removing the test gnocchi from the water

Once you are happy with the consistency, roll the gnocchi into a rope about 3/4″ wide and cut into approximately 1″ pieces.

If you are pan-searing the gnocchi don’t make indentations with a fork because you will get a better sear on the gnocchi if it is flat.

The gnocchi can also be cut using a butter knife, or a sharper knife on a cutting board
The gnocchi can also be cut using a butter knife, or a sharper knife on a cutting board

Float the Gnocchi

As you cut the gnocchi, you can lower it into the big pot of water using a strainer or slotted spoon. Even at a low boil, the gnocchi will float. The time the gnocchi takes to float varies, it usually doesn’t float straight away though. Sometimes, the gnocchi takes a few minutes to float. The beauty of gnocchi is that it floats when it’s done, on its own timeline.

Floating gnocchi in a stock pot
Floating gnocchi

Keep adding the newly cut gnocchi and removing the floating gnocchi, placing it on a cutting board. Try to keep the gnocchi from touching each other when you place it on the cutting board.

Homemade vegan gnocchi ready to freeze
Ready to freeze homemade vegan gnocchi

You can now freeze and store the gnocchi or make them into whichever dish you have in mind. If you are pan-searing you don’t need to thaw the frozen gnocchi, just pan-sear it while it’s frozen.

Storing the gnocchi

If freezing, layer in an airtight container, placing the gnocchi so that it is not touching each other on pieces of parchment paper.

Making a second layer of homemade vegan gnocchi to store and freeze in an airtight container
Making a second layer of gnocchi to store and freeze
Stored homemade vegan gnocchi, ready to freeze
Stored gnocchi, ready to freeze

Notes

Gnocchi can be frozen for 1 to 2 months. 

In the New York Times, I read that you are supposed to salt your water heavily and not include salt in the gnocchi dough if you want to do it the old school way. I find that including the salt in the gnocchi helps produce positive and consistent results.

Also, some recipes state the importance of freezing the gnocchi before floating. I have frozen the gnocchi before floating, not frozen the gnocchi at all, and frozen the gnocchi after floating. It was all good. My preference is to freeze after floating mainly because I always pan-sear the gnocchi.

That same New York Times article prefers cooking and then freezing: “They also freeze beautifully. We experimented with freezing them both cooked and uncooked, and we like the cooked version better. You don’t have to thaw them before throwing them into the pan to reheat.”

If I weren’t pan-searing the gnocchi. I would freeze it without floating it first so that I could just place it in boiling water, float it, and serve it. 

Pan-seared Homemade Vegan Gnocchi with 5-Minute Garlic Hemp Seed Parm a.k.a. Garlic Shake
Homemade vegan gnocchi floating to the top of the pot
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Homemade Vegan Gnocchi

This recipe has been adapted from Google Chef Charlie Ayer's Cafe Calafia Café / Calafia Market a Go Go. Cooking the potatoes on rock salt makes the potatoes dry which makes fluffy, delectable gnocchi.
Course Dinner, Holiday, Main Course, Meal Prep, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian, Mediterranean, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Anniversary, Charlie Ayers, Date Night, garlic, Google Chef, meal prep, non-dairy, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Inactive (baking potatoes) 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 390kcal

Ingredients

Gnocchi

  • 1/2 box rock salt for lining the baking sheet
  • 3 lbs russet potatoes other potatoes will work, but you may want to switch to bread flour if you use anything else 
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups all-purpose organic flour, plus more for dusting 
  • 1 TBSP tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon optional Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon salt fine

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with rock salt. Cut a few 1" – 2" side vents into each of the potatoes. If you are using large russet potatoes, cut four to five side vent into each potato. You will be halving the potatoes lengthwise after baking and you can use your vents as guides for cutting.
  • Place the potatoes on the rock salt-lined baking sheet. Bake until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Remove potatoes from the oven and halve lengthwise.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. (I use an 8-quart stockpot and fill it most of the way with water.) Add a bit of salt to the water. I use an induction stove that boils water very quickly, so I usually wait until I am mostly done making the dough to start boiling the water. However, this is the point where I fill and salt the pot and place it on the stove.
  • Let the potatoes cool enough to handle, but don't let them cool completely. You want them to be as warm as possible while being able to handle them. Pull the skins off or scoop the potato meat out with a spoon, rubbing the skin to get all of the potato insides out. Let the potato insides drop into a large bowl. Discard the skins or save them to eat.
  • Mash the potatoes with a fork or whisk. If you have a ricer you can run them through the ricer like The Google Chef. I don’t have a ricer so I've never done that. Add 1 TBSP olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper while mashing. If the potatoes have cooled and aren't mashing well you can pop them in the microwave.
  • Add the flour to the mashed potatoes in 1/4 cup intervals, using your hands to work the flour in with each addition. Mash any remaining potato chunks with your fingers as you knead the dough. You want to use as little flour as possible to achieve a nice ball of dough.
  • Once you suspect you have the right dough consistency for the gnocchi to float, tear off a few tiny pieces, roll them into balls, and drop them into the boiling water. If they rise to the top without falling apart, that's good, but you still want to taste it. It may take a few minutes for the dough to float. To taste them, remove from the boiling water with a strainer or slotted spoon and set them on a cutting board for a few seconds letting them dry off. If they taste gummy, add flour to the dough by the tablespoon until you get a firmer dough.
  • When you are happy with the consistency, roll the gnocchi into a rope about 3/4" wide and cut into approximately 1" pieces. If you are pan-searing the gnocchi don't make indentations with a fork because you will get a better sear on the gnocchi if it is flat.
  • As you cut the gnocchi, you can lower it into the big pot of water using a strainer or slotted spoon. Even at a low boil, the gnocchi will float. The time the gnocchi takes to float varies, it usually doesn’t float straight away though. Sometimes, the gnocchi takes a few minutes to float. The beauty of gnocchi is that it floats when it’s done, on its own timeline. Keep adding the newly cut gnocchi and removing the floating gnocchi, placing it on a cutting board. Try to keep the gnocchi from touching each other when you place it on the cutting board. Alternatively, you can cut all of the gnocchi and then start placing it in the pot in batches.
  • You can now freeze and store the gnocchi or make them into whichever dish you have in mind. If you are pan-searing you don't need to thaw the frozen gnocchi, just pan-sear it while it's frozen. If freezing, layer in an airtight container, placing the gnocchi so that it is not touching each other on pieces of parchment paper.

Notes

Nutrition information is approximate. 
Gnocchi can be frozen for 1 to 2 months. 
In the New York Times, I once read that you are supposed to salt your water heavily and not include salt in the gnocchi dough if you want to do it the old school way. I find that including the salt in the gnocchi helps produce positive and consistent results.
Also, some recipes state the importance of freezing the gnocchi before floating. I have frozen the gnocchi before floating, not frozen the gnocchi at all, and frozen the gnocchi after floating. It was all good. My preference is to freeze after floating mainly because I always pan-sear the gnocchi. That same New York Times writer also prefers cooked and then frozen after experimenting. 
If I weren’t pan-searing the gnocchi. I would freeze it without floating it first so that I could just place it in boiling water, float it, and serve it. 
www.planttestkitchen.com

Nutrition

Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 400mg | Potassium: 1001mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 4mg

For your shopping convenience, this post contains affiliate links.

Recipe adapted from the Charlie Ayers appearance on The Food Network.

If you like this recipe you might also enjoy Pan-Seared Vegan Gnocchi With Brussels, Kale, Toasted Walnuts & Garlic Shake, and No-Boil Vegan Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells In Red Sauce.

Did you make this Homemade Vegan Gnocchi?

How did it go? What did you enjoy it with? Did you pan-sear it or eat it after floating? Tell me about in the comments below.

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