Get ready for The perfect Vegan Cauliflower Gnocchi recipe complete with a vegan butternut squash sauce and roasted vegetables. YUM!
I have a confession to make. I am madly and unforgivably ADDICTED to Trader Joe's Cauliflower Gnocchi! If you haven't had a chance to try these 5 ingredient, gluten-free, and vegan gnocchi, then consider this blog post your PSA to go out and buy it now.
How to cook Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi
We are now in a world where cauliflower can be turned into gnocchi, pizza, or even a cauliflower pasta sauce!
So here's the first tip to cooking TJ's cauliflower gnocchi: don't follow the package instructions!
Seriously, cooking the gnocchi in a pan with water leads to some seriously mushy gnocchi. Because the cauliflower gnocchi ingredients contain no gluten, potato, or eggs, they're lacking some of the structure that holds traditional gnocchi together.
Why Baking Cauliflower Gnocchi Works Better Than Pan-Frying
When I first started cooking the gnocchi, I pan-fried it and it was REALLY good. However, what I didn't like was how much oil I had to use to prevent the gnocchi from sticking to the pan. Don't get me wrong, I still love the pan-frying method and do this from time to time, but it's not my go-to anymore.
What I've found I love even more is baking the gnocchi and just using a little bit of cooking spray/oil or parchment paper to avoid oil altogether. As a bonus, this method allows you to roast any vegetables on the same pan at the same temperature for a quick and easy weeknight dinner!
Vegan butternut squash sauce
While I truly love this cauliflower gnocchi with a good tomato sauce, I found that a thicker sauce really is even better.
Pesto is an awesome choice, so if you're looking for a good pesto recipe check out this Spring Quinoa Bowl on the blog.
However, for a fall-flavored recipe, I wanted to incorporate all the good squash flavors that are in season right now. This lead to me taking some butternut squash, seasoning it with delicious chili oil, and roasting it with some vegetables.
Then, I blended the butternut squash with some soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, and a little water to get a perfectly healthy, thick, and delicious creamy vegan butternut squash sauce. This method is similar to my Vegan Truffle Pasta sauce recipe, which is another great sauce recipe for this cauliflower gnocchi.
The best vegan cauliflower gnocchi recipe
What I really love about this cauliflower gnocchi with butternut squash sauce is that it highlights all the best flavors of Fall. Whatever you do, definitely don't skimp on the creamy butternut squash sauce! If you can't find cauliflower gnocchi near you, I suggest trying out my Homemade Vegan Gnocchi in this recipe too.
I hope you all enjoy baking Trader Joe's vegan and gluten-free Cauliflower Gnocchi and topping it with this delicious butternut squash sauce!
More delicious & easy Vegan Lunch & Dinner Ideas you will love:
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Vegan Cauliflower Gnocchi with Butternut Squash Sauce & Veggies
Roasted Vegetables & Gnocchi
- 2 bags Trader Joes Cauliflower Gnocchi also can be replaced with 5 cups of any other frozen gnocchi
- 3 cups broccolini stems included, chopped into 3-4" inch length pieces
- 1 ½ cups sliced button mushrooms
- 1 cup chopped brussel sprouts halved or quartered depending on size
- 2 teaspoons chili oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon avocado oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- cooking spray to lightly spray baking sheets
- 2 cups chopped butternut squash * cut into 1" squares
- 1 teaspoon chili oil
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ cup soaked cashews *soaked for 30 minutes- 1 hour in hot water*
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ¾ cup water
- salt & pepper to taste (recommending using at least 1 tsp salt)
- *Please note that before preparing the main ingredients you will want to soak your cashews for 4-6 hours in room temperature water or 30 minutes-1 hour in boiling hot water. This softens them enough to become smooth when blending the sauce*
- Begin by spraying two large sheet pans with cooking spray and preheating the oven to 400F. Spraying the pans is very important so the gnocchi and other vegetables do not stick.
- On one sheet pan, add your chopped butternut squash. Top with the sauce ingredients including the chili oil, garlic powder, and lemon juice and mix until squash evenly coated. You will mix the cashews, nutritional yeast, and water from the sauce ingredients in later.
- On the second sheet pan add your broccolini, mushrooms, and brussel sprouts and coat evenly with the chili oil, avocado oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper under the roasted vegetable ingredients. Once evenly coated, add the two bags of frozen gnocchi to the same pan, toss to combine, and evenly spread out over the pan. *Important: make sure vegetables & gnocchi are spread out to cook evenly*
- Add both pans to the oven and bake the vegetables and gnocchi for 15 minutes. At the 15 minute mark, briefly remove the pans and stir the ingredients on both sheet pans. Add back to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the vegetables and gnocchi are browned and crisp, but not burnt.
- Remove the ingredients from the oven and let cool. While the vegetables are cooling, add your soaked cashews to a blender or food processor and blend about 1 minute. Next, add in the roasted butternut squash, nutritional, yeast, and water. Blend until a thick but smooth sauce is formed. If you want a thinner sauce, add more water at this time and continue to blend. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
- Add the cauliflower gnocchi and vegetables to a bowl and top each bowl with sauce. ENJOY!
- If you want an even easier preparation, skip soaking the cashews and roasting the butternut squash and use any store bought sauce. Won't be quite the same, but tastes just as good!
- If you have any leftover sauce, you can store in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month.
- To prep ahead of time, soak your cashews the morning before you want to cook this. The cashews turn out best when soaking in room temperature water for 4-6 hours, however soaking in boiling hot water for 30 minutes- 1 hour is a good work around if you are short on time
I made only the sauce and it rocked my socks. I omitted the oil, used sunflower seeds instead of cashews, and I boiled the squash instead of roasting - no doubt it would be even more fab taking the time to follow the recipe exactly. Definitely making again, thanks a lot!