Welcome to recipe number two in our Creamy Pasta Series! This creamy pesto gnocchi is a stunner. It hits all the right spots, in the least weird way. The best part about this recipe is that you can go to Trader Joe’s for most (if not all) of the ingredients and it will taste like you imported it from Italy once you’re done. Now you don’t need Joe, but since his cauliflower gnocchi slaps, we enjoy using it (him?)
Another Creamy Pasta?
Yes, anotha one. Maybe it’s just me and the fact that I’ve had to write the word creamy so many times and can’t figure out a synonym for it, but that doesn’t change the fact that there’s nothing better than CREAMY pastas! This is just a warning that creamy is now causing a semantic satiation for me.
Each recipe in the creamy pasta series starts with our Savory Cashew Cream Sauce and transforms it into a delicious creamy pasta dinner. The cashew cream is the base of every sauce, so we recommend making a batch to have on hand for these recipes and other uses! It’s simple to make and can be stored in the fridge for a week. All three of the pasta recipes come together very quickly when you have the cashew cream ready to go. Everyone loves an easy and delicious meal after a long day.
The other recipes in this series are…
Make all three and let us know your favorite!
Steps to Make Creamy Pesto Gnocchi
- Start by making a batch of our Savory Cashew Cream Sauce. It only requires cashews, water, lemon, and nutritional yeast and can be used in so many ways! We have a batch in our fridge at all times.
- Pesto! Make it homemade OR head to your favorite store and buy a pre-made pesto. Our favorite is the Vegan Kale, Cashew, & Basil Pesto from Trader Joe’s.
- While you’re out and about – grab yourself some gnocchi. Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi is what we use in this recipe but you can also use a classic potato based gnocchi.
- Sausage – we all love a good sausage (don’t read into that) and Field Roast makes this delicious Italian Garlic & Fennel Sausage that we use in this recipe. You can substitute your favorite!
- The actual cooking part is simple – cook the gnocchi and sausage, combine the cashew cream and pesto in a pan, and then mix in the gnocchi and sausage. That’s it!!!
What Kind of Gnocchi Goes Best With Creamy Pesto?
An excellent question. Lucky for you, you can’t go wrong because any carbohydrate tastes good when it’s covered in creamy pesto sauce. That’s a fact that no one can deny. Our preferred gnocchi is the Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi but only when we use our own cooking technique and ignore what’s on the bag. Our trick is baking it, which is SO much easier than what Joe suggests and results in perfectly pillowy gnocchi with a crispy outer layer. If you still hold something against cauliflower after it was thrown in your face for a year, we understand. A potato based gnocchi would also be delicious. You can even make it homemade if you’re feeling ambitious. If you can’t pronounce gnocchi and need to choose a different pasta shape entirely, that’s okay too! There really are no rules once you have the creamy pesto sauce.
Watch us make it here and watch the BTS here!
Creamy Pesto Gnocchi
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 2 1x
- Diet: Vegan
It’s rich, flavorful, and made with only four main ingredients! This creamy pesto gnocchi is the best kind of meal – easy, delicious, and comforting. You’ll be dreaming of Italy and saying MMPH after each bite. Enjoy!
- 1 – 12oz package of Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi
- 1 plant based sausage (we used Field Roast)
- 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of tamari (or soy sauce)
- 1/4 cup Savory Cashew Cream
- 1/2 cup of pesto (half of the Trader Joe’s 8 oz container)
- Cook the Gnocchi – Preheat the oven to 425. Place the cauliflower gnocchi on a parchment lined tray. Bake for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. (If you aren’t using Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi, just cook it according to the instructions)
- Cook the Sausage – Cut the sausage into round slices. In a large pan on medium-low heat, add the sausage, balsamic vinegar, and the tamari. Toss them all together and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, mixing occasionally. Remove the sausage from the pan.
- Make the Creamy Pesto – Add the pesto and cashew cream to the pan on medium-low heat. Whisk them together. Add in the cooked gnocchi and sausage. Heat for about 5 minutes until everything is warm
- Serve it up – Optional toppings include: vegan parmesan, extra cashew cream, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
* For extra smooth pesto sauce, add the pesto and cashew cream to a blender first. Blend until smooth, then add into the pan to heat.
* If you don’t have tamari or balsamic vinegar, you can omit. They just add that little extra flavor boost.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 5
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: vegan, pasta, creamy, pesto, gnocchi