There seems to be this unwritten phenomenon among The Chopping Block's employees, where after our Know Your Gnocchi class, someone who worked the class is inspired to go home and make gnocchi from scratch. I mean, who could blame any of us? Italy’s fluffy little dumpling, whether made with potatoes, beets, squash, or spinach, is simple and affordable to make, yet the results are stunning and impressive.
A challenge for making gnocchi as a vegan is finding a recipe that doesn’t contain eggs. But if there is a way to make pasta dough vegan, there’s surely a way to make gnocchi vegan. I’ve made vegan gnocchi before, and it came out rather dense, so I tried again and got this very successful recipe. It was very simple, but there are some important techniques to follow.
The first thing to consider is the choice of potatoes. You’ll want a high in starch as the starch is what creates the structure of the gnocchi. The potato also needs to be low in moisture, because excess water will bind with the flour you add, which could make your gnocchi very gummy and dense. We want fluffy, pillowy gnocchi. The potatoes I recommend are Idaho or Russet potatoes, the classic ones you use for baked potatoes and french fries.
Next to consider is the preparation of potatoes. You could boil them, but again, you’ll be introducing more water into the potatoes, and we want the potatoes as fluffy as possible. For this recipe, the best course of action for the potatoes is to bake them at 375 until soft and tender, anywhere from 45-60 minutes.
Our very own Chef Tara Arnaud teaches this great technique for baking potatoes to help pull as much water out of them as possible. Coat each potato with a very thin layer of oil, and liberally cover them with kosher or sea salt. Don’t worry, that peel will come right off, and you’ll be ingesting almost none of that salt!
Here is my recipe for vegan potato gnocchi, which will make about 6-8 servings, or about 75 little dumplings.
Vegan Potato Gnocchi
1½ lb russet potatoes, about 2 large potatoes, baked with salt until tender
1¾ cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Optional add-ins, fresh or dried herbs, spices, fresh or roasted garlic (I used 8 cloves of roasted garlic.)
Brush off as much excess salt as you can, and peel the potatoes while they’re still warm. Run the potatoes through a potato ricer or through a coarse cheese grater into a bowl. Add in the flour, olive oil, salt, pepper, and optional add-ins. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Turn out onto your work surface, and bring the dough together until smooth. You don’t want to knead it like you would pasta dough, because you will activate the gluten, resulting in a chewy tough gnocchi.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, and roll each piece into a long rope, about ¾-1 inch thickness. Cut out small squares using a bench scraper.
Cut out small squares using a bench scraper.
From there, you can leave them as is, or you can run them down a gnocchi board or fork to get those pretty little ridges.
Once you have these beautiful little gnocchi, you can cook them right away, or freeze them on a sheet tray until solid, and then place them in a ziploc bag for future use.
To cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add in gnocchi, and stir very gently (they are rather delicate). Once they are floating, remove from the water and either toss them in your desired sauce, or if you’re like me, lightly fry them in oil or non-dairy butter until crisp on both ends.
This beautiful dish is seared gnocchi with peas, thyme, and lemon. Simple, yet oh so delicious!
Want to expand your cooking with exciting new vegan recipes? Come check out or Vegan BBQ on the Grill class on Monday August 28th at Lincoln Square, and our NEW Vegan Voyage: Bayou Blast on Sunday, September 10th at the Merchandise Mart and Wednesday, September 27th at Lincoln Square.
Get even more of my vegan recipes in our free download: Vegan from Scratch.