Sweet potato gnocchi is a fall inspired twist on this classic, comforting pasta. It’s a simple substitution of sweet potatoes instead of the russet potatoes but the result is slightly sweet, soft gnocchi with a hint of sweet potato flavor.
Seasonal Gnocchi Recipe
I’m a gnocchi fan through and through. Gnocchi (especially when homemade) is always so soft and tender but also hearty and comforting at the same time. It’s one of my all time favorite pasta dinners!
What many people may not realize is that homemade gnocchi requires only three simple ingredients – potatoes (sweet potatoes, in this case), all purpose flour, and an egg. Yes, that’s really all there is to it! Making your own Sweet Potato Gnocchi is easy and yields the most delicious results every time.
You may need to put in a little time into preparing the gnocchi but some steps can be made ahead of time. As always, you can double the recipe and freeze some for later. The signature soft texture of gnocchi holds up very well to freezing, so you can make a big batch and have it ready to go for months.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi is one of the BEST make ahead dishes you can make.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Sweet Potatoes – Make sure you bake your potatoes – don’t boil them! Boiling sweet potatoes causes them to lose flavor and nutrients.
- Flour – All purpose flour is what gives the gnocchi substance. Make sure you use just enough, but not too much.
- Egg – I prefer using free range organic eggs.
How To Make It:
Bake Sweet Potatoes:
Wash sweet potatoes, pierce the skin with a fork a few times and wrap each one in foil. Bake in an oven preheated to 400°F for 45-60 minutes, until completely tender.
Take them out of the oven and let them cool.
Make the gnocchi:
Take the sweet potato out of the skin and discard the skin and excess juices. Mash sweet potato meat with a fork.
Place the mashed sweet potatoes in a mount on the work surface. Add flour and salt. Make a well in the mound and crack an egg in the middle.
Use a pastry scraper to work the flour, sweet potatoes, and egg together. Do this until it’s incorporated enough to knead.
Knead the dough and add a little more flour if it’s too sticky. Remember, don’t add too much!
Sprinkle a little more flour onto the work surface. Divide the dough into several pieces and roll them into ropes. Cut the ropes into 3/4 inch pieces. Use a fork to make impressions into the dough if desired or keep them rustic.
Cook the gnocchi:
Boil a pot of salted water: Drop the gnocchi into boiling water (use bigger or smaller pot according to the amount of gnocchi so they don’t get too overcrowded). Keep an eye on them. Once they start floating to the top, they’re just about done. You can serve them with sauce at this point or sear.
Sauté if desired.
Right after boiling the gnocchi, you can sear it: preheat a pan over medium-high heat with a little butter. Toss the gnocchi into the pan as soon as they’re finished cooking. It’s best to prepare the pan with butter while the gnocchi are still cooking.
Tips For the Best Results:
- Have a lot of clean surface area to work with. Make sure to clear out a large work surface area. You will need it to work the dough.
- Bake the sweet potatoes. Baking sweet potatoes will enhance and help retain the natural sweet potato flavor. If you boil them, they will cook a lot of the flavor (and nutrients) out. The good news is that you can bake them ahead of time and just refrigerate in an airtight container for a day or two.
- Don’t use too much flour. Don’t add too much flour! The dough should be moist and tacky, but not sticky. You should be able to roll it without it sticking to your hands. You can always flour your hands as needed and flour the surface. When needed, add a tablespoon or two of extra flour at a time to the work surface while kneading the dough. I don’t usually use more than 1/4 cup of additional flour besides what goes into potatoes.
- Don’t worry about the ridged edges. While gnocchi is known for its ridged texture, rolling out dozens and dozens of individual gnocchi pieces by hand will get old pretty quickly. I give up quick, and I’m sure you will be very mad at me if I say “you have to roll every one of them!” Save yourself the sanity and a lot of extra time, and simply cut the gnocchi either into little pillows or on a bias (at a 45° angle).
- Make them gluten free. If you need to make this gnocchi gluten free, simply substitute the all purpose flour with gluten free all-purpose flour.
Remember, you have to cook the gnocchi right away or freeze them!
Freezing Sweet Potato Gnocchi: Uncooked gnocchi freezes very well. Line large cutting boards with parchment paper and spread a little bit of flour all over the bottom. Spread out the uncooked gnocchi in one even layer (don’t crowd them) and freeze for about an hour or two. Set a timer so you don’t forget. Once completely frozen, portion them into a freezer friendly zip-lock bag.
Cooking Frozen Gnocchi: Don’t thaw gnocchi before cooking, just add them to the boiling water frozen. Cook them the same way you would fresh.
How to Serve Sweet Potato Gnocchi:
My favorite way to serve Sweet Potato Gnocchi is to sauté them after boiling. The first step is to boil, then you can sauté them in butter or with a sauce. There are lots of flavors that go well with Sweet Potato Gnocchi:
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Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- 1 lb sweet potatoes
- 2-2 1/4 cups all purpose flour* + little more for the work surface
- 1 egg
Baking sweet potatoes:**
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork a couple of times and wrap each one tightly with aluminum foil.
- Place wrapped potatoes into a baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes until completely tender. Exact time will depend on the thickness of sweet potatoes.
- Take them out of the oven and let them cool until you can handle them.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi:
- When sweet potatoes are cooled enough to be handled, take off the skin and mash the meat with a fork. Don't over-work it.
- Place sweet potatoes in a mound on the work surface and add flour and some salt. Make a well in the potato/flour mound and crack the egg in the middle.
- Use a pastry scraper (or even a metal spatula) to work flour, sweet potatoes, and egg together, until incorporated enough to gently knead.
- Gently knead the dough, adding a little more flour if the dough is too sticky, until it is no longer sticky but still moist and a little tacky. Don’t add too much flour, the dough should be moist but not sticky to where it stick to the hands and surface.
- Sprinkle a little flour on the work surface. Split the dough into several, workable pieces and roll each into about 1/2 inch – thick, long rope-like logs. Cut each into about 3/4 – inch pieces.
- You can use a fork to roll each piece of gnocchi with a design or leave it in a shape of little pillows as they are cut. (If you choose to roll the gnocchi, don’t push too hard, they are very soft and delicate.)
- Cook gnocchi right away or freeze it.
Cooking Sweet Potato Gnocchi:
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Drop desired amount of gnocchi in it, a few at a time so they don’t stick. Once they float to the top, cook for about 1 more minute and take them out with a slotted spoon.
- Mix gnocchi with a sauce of choice or sauté.
- To Sauté: right after boiling gnocchi, you can sauté it in butter and herbs if you wish. To sauté cooked gnocchi, preheat the pan over medium-high heat while gnocchi is cooking in water and melt butter in it. You can add aromatics like garlic and fresh herbs. Toss in gnocchi as soon as you pull them out of the water, toss and sauté until you see some browning.
Freezing Sweet Potato Gnocchi:
- Line large cutting boards with parchment paper and spread a little bit of flour all over the bottom. Spread out uncooked gnocchi in one even layer (don’t crowd them) and freeze for about an hour or two. (Set a timer so you don’t forget.)
- Once completely frozen, portion them into a freezer friendly, zip-lock bag.
- Cooking Frozen Gnocchi: don’t thaw gnocchi before cooking, add them to the boiling water frozen. Cook the same way as fresh.