Typically gnocchi is one of those recipes that people can make or they can’t. Is the potato riced or fluffy? Is it dry enough? Is it too dry? Why did it fall apart right when it hit the water? Gnocchi can be tricky and takes many times of trial and error to get it right. Well, sweet potatoes are here for the rescue! With just two simple ingredients you can enjoy a foolproof gnocchi that is loaded with yummy plant based nutrients!
This can easily be a meal on its own or as a complement to a meal. I love how filling they are but without feeling heavy. Plus, they are much faster to make than you might think. The more you do it, the faster you’ll get. High in fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and vitamins. It’s an all around fantastic meal and definitely a must make.
So, why sweet potato? Sweet potatoes have about 30% less starch and nearly triple the fiber which makes them a better candidate for gnocchi than a russet. Standard gnocchi needs lots of flour and eggs to get them to bind, but with sweet potatoes you can just add flour! This recipe is much more forgiving than white gnocchi and you’ll have beautiful and delicious results on your first attempt.
Are sweet potatoes healthier than russets? No. They are from different plant families and some nutrients vary, but overall sweet potatoes and russet potatoes are about the same in terms of nutrition content. Russets come from the nightshade family, which many people avoid due to inflammation problems, whereas sweet potatoes come from the morning glory family. The biggest difference is that sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A.
This gnocchi recipe is one of my favorites because it’s really easy to prepare ahead for an easy weeknight dinner that seems fancy. How to prep ahead? Just cook the sweet potato, wrap it in foil or put in a container, and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it. Easy! Don’t, however, refrigerate the dough because it gets too hydrated and sticky or get a weird color. It turns grey. I’ll just say it. Your dough will be grey and look like Play Doh. No one wants that.
There are a couple of ways to prep the sweet potato for this recipe. The basic goal is to have a smooth mash for your dough. You can microwave or bake your sweet potato, don’t boil, and then scoop out the pulp. Mash with a potato masher, a fork, a heavy spoon. My favorite though, because I’m often lazy and want quick, is to pop the pulp into a food processor and puree until no chunks remain. However, add the flour using a spoon instead of adding all of it to the food processor. Because it’s not a large amount to process you can use a small food processor, which I like because it’s easier to clean. Plus, the small ones are cheaper!
Looking for other meal ideas? Check out my favorite recipe. Vegan Rasta Pasta!
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- 1 large sweet potato (roughly 1 1/2 cups pulp)
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or unbleached all purpose flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional, fresh is best)
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper (optional)
- Poke holes in the skin of the sweet potato using a fork or the tip of a knife. Microwave, with the skin on, for 10 minutes. Slice open and scoop out the center. Mash well using a fork.
- Add flour and mix using the same fork. Knead for 2-3 minutes on a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a rope that is about 1/2″ thick. Cut into 1/4″ pieces. Lightly roll across the tines of a fork to create grooves.
- Bring 6 cups of water to a boil, reduce to simmer, and carefully place gnocchi in the water. Once they float they are cooked! It is about 1-2 minutes of cook time only.
- You can serve the cooked gnocchi at this stage or you can pan cook/fry them before serving to change the texture. I prefer to pan cook them before serving. See notes for some ideas.
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