I have been on a kick making homemade gnocchi and this Vegan Gnocchi with Mushrooms & Kale is my newest obsession! Soft and fluffy gnocchi is mixed with crispy mushrooms, sautéed kale, and the best cashew garlic cream sauce. Plus, this recipe is completely dairy-free while still being SO darn creamy!
What is gnocchi?
If you have never had the pleasure of tasting gnocchi, let me suggest you change that right now! Gnocchi is an Italian dish traditionally made with a mix of potato, flour, eggs, and salt.
However, my vegan gnocchi contains just 3 ingredients- flour, potato, and salt. While I prefer homemade gnocchi, this recipe can also be made with any pre-packaged gnocchi to make it even easier!
Once I made homemade gnocchi, the first recipe I tried it with was this Gnocchi with Tomato Cream Sauce. It was SO good, but I knew I wanted an even creamier vegan gnocchi sauce next. So I adapted the sauce recipe from my Vegan Truffle Mushroom Pasta and paired it with kale for a nourishing, healthy, and delicious vegan dinner recipe!
How make make a creamy vegan garlic gnocchi sauce
This sauce is made with 8 simple ingredients:
- Soaked cashews
- Nutritional Yeast
- Olive Oil (or any oil)
- Salt & Pepper
- Chili Flakes (optional, for spicier sauce)
Why soak cashews?
The first step to making this recipe is to make the sauce. This sauce is cashew-based and the very first step involves soaking the cashews. Soaking cashews helps to soften them and makes them easier to process into a creamy sauce. It also happens to reduce phytic acid in the cashews while, for some people, can make them easier to digest.
I prefer to soak my cashews in hot water for 1 hour. If you've been following SGTO for a while, you know I'm ALWAYS about the easiest way to do things, and I've found that this truly leads to the exact same results as soaking the cashews in the fridge for 6-8 hours. If you prefer, you can also soak the cashews for 6-8 hours in the fridge. I do NOT recommend soaking any longer than this as it can lead to a bitter aftertaste.
Then blend it all together!
After the cashews are soaked, I then blend them up with 1 clove of garlic. I highly recommend sticking to just 1 clove of garlic for this recipe since it is raw garlic and, therefore, will be super potent. While we do cook the garlic a little, it is pretty minimal, and too much raw garlic will overpower the flavor of the sauce.
Once the garlic and cashew are processed, this sauce is as easy as adding in the rest of the ingredients and blending until smooth. The end result is a slightly thin, but flavorful, sauce. Believe me, this sauce with thicken as soon as you add it to the pan with gnocchi!
Tips for crispy sautéed mushrooms
After the sauce is prepped, it's time to cook the mushrooms. One of the crucial parts of this vegan mushroom gnocchi recipe is getting those mushrooms nice and crispy. Here are a few tips & tricks for crispy mushrooms every time:
- Do not overcrowd the pan. The mushrooms will decrease is size quite a bit while cooking. However, add just enough mushrooms to the pan so they do not overlap much or they will not get as crispy.
- Cook until ALL the liquid is gone. Mushrooms go from raw, to juicy, to dried and crispy over a period of 10-15 minutes as the water evaporates.
- Add salt & any seasoning at the very end of cooking. Adding salt early in the cooking process draws moisture from the mushrooms and will prevent them from ever getting crispy.
Putting it all together
Once the mushrooms are crispy, add in the massaged kale. I like to massage kale with a little oil before cooking is because it helps to break down the tough structure of kale and makes it softer and less bitter. Kale doesn't need too much time to cook so we only sauté it with the mushrooms for about 2-3 minutes until it has slightly wilted.
Then, add in the cooked gnocchi and vegan garlic cream sauce. Cook together for 1-2 minutes until everything is coated and then serve immediately! This recipe makes the perfect amount for 2-3 people, but it also stores great as leftovers.
FAQ & Substitutions:
For this recipe, I do not recommend replacing the cashews with other nuts. Cashews have a very specific texture and get softer than virtually every other nut.
If you are looking for a nut-free sauce to pair with this recipe, I'd recommend checking out my Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce or my Vegan Lemon Butter sauce instead. Both can be made with oat milk to keep the dish 100% nut-free.
Definitely, however, you will have to search for gluten-free gnocchi. My gnocchi recipe does not work with gluten-free flour, but you can check out this gluten-free gnocchi recipe. Alternatively, use a gluten-free pasta like Ancient Harvest or Jovial in this recipe.
This gnocchi keeps great as leftovers in the fridge or freezer. Just store it in a closed container in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 1 month. I like to reheat in the microwave, but it can also be reheated in a skillet.
I truly hope you all love this Creamy Vegan Gnocchi with Mushrooms & Kale! It's been a great go-to dinner during these times when I am really trying to eat healthier but still have interesting and easy dinners. Enjoy!
More plant-based dinner recipes you will love:
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Creamy Vegan Gnocchi with Mushrooms & Kale
Garlic Cream Sauce:
- ½ cup raw cashews *note they must be soaked about 1 hour in hot water
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- salt to taste I use around 1 tsp, but add according to your preference
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon chili flakes optional, for spiciness, I like ¼ tsp
- 12 oz vegan gnocchi about 1 ½-2 cups gnocchi
- 2 cups mushrooms cremini or button
- 2 cups chopped kale loosely packed and stems removed
- 1 tablespoon oil for cooking mushrooms+ massaging into kale, I used olive oil
- Add the raw cashews to a container and cover with hot water. Soak for 1 hour before making the sauce. While the cashews are soaking, cook the gnocchi. Fill a pot with water and salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling, gently add in the gnocchi and cook until the gnocchi floats to the top, about 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Once the cashews are soaked, add them to a blender or food processor with the clove of garlic. Process until ground. Then, add in the rest of the sauce ingredients including the water, oil, pepper, salt, and chili flakes. Blend until a smooth sauce forms and set aside.
- Add ½ Tbsp of the oil to a skillet pan and turn on the heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the sliced mushrooms and cook until crispy and browned. Make sure to stir frequently to evenly cook the mushrooms. While the mushrooms are cooking, pour the other ½ Tbsp of oil onto the chopped kale and use your hands to massage it in. Then, add the kale to the skillet and cook with the mushrooms for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Finally, add in the cooked gnocchi and sauce. Mix together until coated for 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge up to 5 days and in the freezer up to 1 month in a closed container.
- Both homemade gnocchi or prepackaged gnocchi works for this recipe