I bet you didn't know that making Vegan Gnocchi at home is actually incredibly easy and only requires THREE INGREDIENTS?! Yes, you read that right- all it takes is potato, flour, and salt to make the most delicious eggless potato gnocchi from scratch!
While gnocchi is an Italian dish traditionally made with eggs, it's actually incredibly easy to make vegan because of the starch from potatoes! Before we get into the details on how to make eggless potato gnocchi, let's make sure you have the right ingredients on hand.
Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes
First things first, let's chat about potatoes. To make gnocchi you really want to use starchy potatoes vs. waxy potatoes. Similar to my Vegan Mashed Potatoes, I recommend using peeled russet potatoes in this recipe.
Russet Potatoes are easily mashed and get fluffy after being cooked. They also happen to be low in moisture which you want for gnocchi. Yukon potatoes can also work for this recipe, but try to avoid red or super waxy potato varieties that are high in moisture.
After the potatoes, comes the flour! I recommend using all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour to make gnocchi. In the pictures you see here, I actually used Flourist Sifted Red Spring Wheat Flour which acts a little like a whole-wheat flour with its own unique flavor. However, all-purpose flour works just as well in this recipe!
How to cook potatoes for gnocchi:
After assembling the ingredients, it's time to cook the potatoes. Peel the potatoes, chop them into thirds, add them to a large pot of salty water, and bring to a boil. Using salty water helps to give the potatoes enough flavor while making sure they don't soak up too much water.
Once the water is boiling, add in the potatoes and cook for 12-15 minutes until tender and easily pierceable with a fork. Then, remove the potatoes and immediately start mashing them. A lot of people recommend using a potato ricer to do get the potatoes completely smooth. However, I don't own one so I used my regular old potato masher which works well for making gnocchi without a ricer.
It's really important to mash the potatoes so there are NO chunks left. Otherwise, those potato chunks will show up in your gnocchi which leads to an unideal texture.
How much flour do you need for gnocchi?
While the potatoes are still warm, add in the flour ½ cup at a time. I like to add the first ½ cup of flour and salt into the bowl and mash it with the potatoes. Then, I place the dough on my well-floured mixing surface. While I used a wood board in the pictures here, a marble pastry board actually works best as a non-stick surface.
Depending on the yield I get from my potatoes (anywhere from 3-3 ½ cups), I use anywhere from 1 ½- 1 ¾ cups of flour. The reason I leave the flour more "open-ended" is that the amount of flour to use is directly proportional to the amount of moisture in your potatoes. Use this recipe as more of a guideline!
When you mix in the flour, also try to not over-mix the dough! Otherwise, your vegan potato gnocchi will become sticky and gummy when cooked. You will know you've added enough flour when the dough is no longer sticking as easily to your surface but is still soft.
How to shape vegan gnocchi:
Once the eggless gnocchi dough is mixed, shape it into a large ball and begin cutting off sections. Then, roll the gnocchi dough into thin logs using your palms as pictured below.
After the vegan gnocchi is rolled out, cut the dough into 1-inch thick pieces. At this point, you can leave the gnocchi as is, or use a gnocchi board to make the fun ridged gnocchi shape you see in my pictures.
To get the spiral shape, dust the gnocchi board with flour, press the dough lightly with your thumb, and let it roll off the board. Fun fact: I googled real Italians doing this to learn how to do it "the authentic way" and highly recommend you do the same- it's mesmerizing how fast some people can do this step!
Why let the potato dumplings rest before cooking?
Once the gnocchi has been formed, let it rest for at least 20-30 minutes. This is another CRUCIAL step to making gnocchi from scratch. Why? If you don't let the gnocchi rest before cooking, they will likely stick together during the cooking process.
The resting time allows them to dry slightly on the surface which helps them stay separate while being boiled. I learned the hard way that you can't skip this step as I ended up with a big clumpy pile of vegan gnocchi when I skipped the resting time.
Ways to cook eggless gnocchi
- Essential Method: Boiling
First, add salt to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add in the gnocchi. When the gnocchi is cooked, they will rise to the top and float there once they are cooked. After they've floated to the top, let them cook about 1 more minute before removing.
Use a slotted spoon to strain the gnocchi over a bowl or the sink and add them to a plate or large tray in a single layer to cool before serving. This cooking process literally takes about 5 minutes and is super quick!
P.S- I like to add the gnocchi in batches to the pot of boiling water. This way, I guarantee they don't stick together. It also makes me less stressed when I have to remove them as they all rise to the top around the same time!
- Optional Method: Pan-frying
Pan-frying gnocchi is DELICIOUS, but it involves added oil and frankly, it's an added step. First, follow the steps above and boil the gnocchi. After it has cooled a bit, coat it with oil and add it to a cast-iron skillet to cook. Then. pan-fry each side of the gnocchi for 2-4 minutes until it is browned.
I tried pan-frying the gnocchi without boiling and it still tasted good but wasn't as fluffy, so I don't recommend it. Pan-frying homemade gnocchi is SO delicious, but I will be honest that it is extra work.
FAQ & Expert Tips:
To store vegan potato gnocchi, simply add the raw gnocchi to a tray in a single layer and add it to the freezer. After 1-2 hours, remove the tray and then add the raw gnocchi to a closed container for storage. Make sure to freeze it on the tray first otherwise they will stick together!
This recipe makes a LOT of gnocchi, so if you need to store leftovers in the fridge it will keep for up to 3 days. I recommend just cooking the amount of gnocchi you need and storing the rest frozen vs. storing leftovers in the fridge if you can help it.
I truly hope you loved learning more about how to make the best 3-Ingredient Vegan Gnocchi from scratch. Enjoy!
More Easy Vegetarian Pasta Recipes you will love:
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3 Ingredient Vegan Gnocchi
- 3 large russet potatoes about 3- 3 ½ cups chopped raw potatoes
- 1 ¾-2 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour
- 1-2 teaspoons himalayan salt or kosher salt
- Begin by peeling the potatoes and chopping them into 2-3" chunks. Rinse the potatoes and then add them to a large pot of salty water. Bring the pot of potatoes to a boil and cook for 12-15 minutes until the potatoes are easily pierceable with a fork.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, strain them and let them cool slightly. Take the warm potatoes and add them to a bowl. Then, mash them until the potatoes are completely smooth and no chunks remain. At this time you can also use a potato ricer to get perfectly smooth potatoes.
- Add the first ½ cup of flour and the salt to the bowl of potatoes and mix together. Once mixed, turn the gnocchi dough out onto a well-floured surface. Add the remaining flour ¼ cup up a time and mix until the flour is just incorporated (do not over mix or spend a ton of time kneading the dough). The amount of flour varies based on the moisture in the potatoes. I used 1 ¾ cups in the dough- and about ¼ of flour for rolling out and dusting the gnocchi pieces. You will know the gnocchi has enough flour when it is firm and no longer easily sticking to the floured surface.
- Form the gnocchi dough into a ball and tear off a piece. Then, roll the torn dough into a long rope about 1-inch in diameter using your palms. It's best to do this step on a well-floured surface.
- Slice the rope into ½-1-inch gnocchi pillows. Leave as is or use a gnocchi board to shape the dough. To get the spiral shape, dust the gnocchi board with flour, press the dough lightly with your thumb, and let it roll off the board.
- Add the gnocchi to a parchment lined tray in a single layer and let rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before cooking. Do not stack the gnocchi on top of one another or they will stick together and not dry out properly.
- After the rest period, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the gnocchi to the pot in batches. This recipe makes a lot of gnocchi, so I usually cook it in 4-6 batches so they do not stick together. Once the gnocchi rise to the top let them cook about 30 more seconds and then remove them with a slotted spoon to strain. Place the cooked gnocchi back onto the tray in a single layer to cool slightly.
- Serve the warm gnocchi with your favorite sauce and toppings. Enjoy!
- A lot of people recommend using a potato ricer to do get the potatoes completely smooth. However, I don't own one so I used my regular old potato masher which works well for making gnocchi without a ricer.
- Uncooked gnocchi can be stored in the freezer up to 1 month. To do this, first add the uncooked gnocchi to a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer and add to the freezer for 1-2 hours. Once the gnocchi are frozen solid, remove them and add to a closed container for storage. To cook the gnocchi, simply follow steps 5-6 using frozen gnocchi.
- Cooked gnocchi will keep in the fridge up to 3 days, but is best enjoyed the day it is cooked!
- Here is the gnocchi board I used to make the fun ridged gnocchi shape you see in my pictures.