Easy Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Easy Sweet Potato Gnocchi

This is an updated post from the Macheesmo Archives!

This Easy Sweet Potato Gnocchi was my attempt to make a light carb pasta and it has become one of my favorite overall pastas because the dough is so easy to work with. Kids absolutely love it also!

Some weight loss people are crazy about eliminating carbs ever since this guy named Atkins… My goal with this post though was to make something is very delicious and slightly healthier than you might otherwise eat.

I came up with this delicious sweet potato gnocchi recipe that turned out much better than I thought it would.

It must be stated for the record that I originally thought about making an even healthier recipe by trying to make cauliflower gnocchi. When I told Betsy about my idea, she honestly replied, “That sounds disgusting.”

I decided she was right. Plus, I’m not sure that it would have technically worked. So I went with sweet potatoes. They are packed with flavor and are slightly healthier than normal potatoes (sweet potato vs. normal potato).

Since really gnocchi is just the veggie plus a bit of flour and an egg, it’s actually pretty healthy for you. Where people get in trouble with gnocchi is the sauce so I used a light tomato sauce rather than the truly rich brown butter.

Easy Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Easy Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Just a moment please...

Yield
Serves 6.
Prep Time
Total Time

You can make gnocchi! It’s easier than you might think. Sweet potatoes are easier to work with starchy potatoes and make a beautiful gnocchi. I like it with a simple tomato sauce, but it’s also great with brown butter!

Ingredients

2 medium to large sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled, boiled
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 1/2 - 2 Cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

Sauce:

1 28 ounce can tomato sauce
3-4 tablespoons fresh basil
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter, for simmering
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Helpful Equipment

scraper blender

Directions

1) Peel sweet potatoes and cut them into large 2 inch cubes.

2) Boil potatoes in a large pot of salted water (use approximately 1 tablespoon of kosher salt per gallon of water) Drop chunks of potatoes straight into the water and let them cook until they are very tender, about 20 minutes.

3) After cooking, move the potatoes to a bowl lined with paper towels (this will soak up a lot of water). Let them rest for a few minutes.

4) Add dried potatoes to a much larger bowl and mush them up with a fork.

5) Let potatoes cool completely by placing them in the fridge for 30 minutes.

6) For sauce, add a large can of tomatoes (28 ounces – you can use the juice and tomatoes if you want it even lighter) and a few Tablespoons of basil to a blender. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and some garlic and blend it up. This is your sauce.

7) Add one egg to the potatoes and mix well.

8) Slowly add flour, 1/4 of a cup at a time, until the dough starts to come together (approximately 1.5 cups of flour total).

9) To form the gnocchi, take about 1/6 of the dough and add it to a well-floured surface. Turn it around to coat it completely in flour and then start slowly rolling it into a long snake.

10) Once you get the rope of gnocchi to the right width (about the width of your thumb), chop it into 1/2 inch sections.

11) Take each little gnocchi nugget and roll it gently over the tines of a fork to make gnocchi ridges. Place gnocchi on a lightly floured baking sheet.

12) Add gnocchi to a pot of simmering, water. When they float, they are done!

13) Serve with light tomato sauce or, if you can spare the calories, browned butter is the only way to go. Just toss the gnocchi into the browned butter when they float.

Making the gnocchi

As you can see there isn’t much to this recipe. It’s really all technique which you should not stress out about unless you work in a restaurant and are intending to sell your little pillows of flavor for actual cash money.

For me though, the goal was to produce something light and very tasty.

Start by peeling your sweet potatoes and cut them into large 2 inch cubes. Also, get a large pot of salted water boiling (I use about 1 Tablespoon of kosher salt per gallon of water).

Drop these chunks of potatoes straight into the water and let them cook until they are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Sweet Potatoes for Gnocchi

Very tender

The key to making these gnocchi light is to ultimately add as little flour as possible to the dough. That means that you need to draw out as much water as possible from the cooked potatoes. After cooking, I suggest moving the potatoes to a bowl lined with paper towels which will soak up a lot of water. Let them rest for a few minutes.

Easy Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Dry them off!

Then add your dried potatoes to a much larger bowl and mush them up with a fork. No need to bust out the mixer or anything. These mash much easier than normal potatoes. I tried to spread my potatoes out because they need to cool completely before we continue with the recipe.

Once the sweet potatoes are cool, add an egg and a pinch of salt!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Add an egg once they are cool.

The sauce issue

I was trying to think of a very low calorie sauce to serve with these guys. Normally, I would sauce them with a little browned butter, but I thought maybe a very light marinara would work.

Basically, I just added a large can of tomatoes (28 ounces) and a few Tablespoons of basil to a blender. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and some garlic (optional) if you want and blend it up!

Sauce for gnocchi

Easy sauce.

Notice that I left out cheese and any oil at all. I was still worried that the basil and tomato would overpower the sweet potato so this should be a very light sauce.

Sauce for gnocchi

Sauce done for now!

Gnocchi Dough

Ok. Back to the gnocchi dough. Once your sweet potatoes have cooled to at least room temperature (sticking them in the fridge for 30 minutes would be a good call), add your one egg and mix it well. Then slowly add your flour, 1/4 of a cup at a time, until the dough starts to come together.

Gnocchi

Dough done.

Ultimately, you want something that is very soft, but manageable. Something like loose Play-Doh. I ended up adding about 1.5 Cups flour to my dough. Knowing how much flour to add is where experience comes in. If you just follow the recipe you might end up with gnocchi that don’t hold together or are hard as rock.

Just work slowly. Eventually, your dough should look something like my picture.

Forming the gnocchi

To form the gnocchi, take about 1/6 of the dough and add it to a well floured surface. Turn it around to coat it completely in flour and then start slowly rolling it into a long snake.

Be gentle here people. Try to get it as even a thickness as possible. You’re going for about the thickness of your thumb. Going slowly, I was able to roll mine out to about an 18 inch string of sweet potato awesomeness. Again, you don’t want to add too much flour to the outside of the dough, but if it’s sticking don’t be afraid to sprinkle more down.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Gnocchi ready!

Once you get the rope of gnocchi to the right width, chop it into 1/2 inch sections!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Gnocchi!

Now. If you are doing a lazy man’s homemade gnocchi (is there such a thing?) you can just cook these as is, but if you want them to have a more traditional feel, you need to add the gnocchi ridges.

Take each little gnocchi nugget and roll it gently over the tines of a fork. The dough should be very soft and it won’t take much pressure to leave the impressions of the fork on the gnocchi.

Once you make the ridges, set the gnocchi on a very lightly floured baking sheet while you do the others.

If I had to guess, I would say this recipe makes easily 100-120 gnocchi. Probably more. I never got into a perfect groove with my grooves. I’m very far from expert at this.

Cooking the gnocchi

Cooking these guys couldn’t be easier once you have them made. Just add as many as you need to a pot of simmering, water. A rolling boil will destroy your work! When they float, they are done!

Gnocchi

Simmer simmer

Saucing the Gnocchi

Again, normally I might toss these with brown butter but the tomato sauce is a nice lighter touch. I simmered the tomato sauce with a little butter to give it some richness though.

Sauce for Gnocchi

Butter Tomato

Then add your floating gnocchi right to the skillet!

Gnocchi

Done deal

The results of this Easy Sweet Potato Gnocchi: Awesome.

Easy Sweet Potato Gnocchi

32 comments on “Easy Sweet Potato Gnocchi

  1. @dawn… sorry maybe that wasn't very clear. Actually I didn't think the tomato worked that great. It just overpowered the potato. Basically it tasted like tomato-basil gnocchi, which was good, but not RIGHT.

    A light cream sauce or butter sauce was much better although not as healthy…

  2. I too, have a anti-cat device, to stave off a fifteen-pounder, Mr. Big.

    It was great meeting you at the HH last night. I'm coming to your house, and we'll fry up some taffy.

  3. Brown butter and sage with a bit of freshly grated nutmeg would be amazing, as would any light cream sauce, however not very healthy. I would think the sweet potatoes would pair well with a tart fruit sauce. Not cranberries in this case (Thanksgiving is over) but maybe another fall fruit like pomegranate. A vibrant and healthy sauce drizzled on the plate before the pasta is added, made either from pomegranate juice or pomegranate molasses. Pomegranate molasses is popular in Middle Eastern cuisine, but you can make it at home if you have the gumption and/or do not have access to a good international market. Here is the site to a blog, The Perfect Pantry, which wrote about Pomegranate molasses recently and even includes a recipe on how to make it if you felt so inclined. That would be my idea for a healthier alternative for a sauce for these gnocchi.

    http://www.theperfectpantry.com/2009/01/pomegrana

  4. I love sweet potato with chipotle, and I like the idea of using even plain molasses in a sauce. Maybe those flavors could be combined to make a sauce for these gnocci. I'd be really tempted to throw in butter though.

    Looks delicious!

  5. Hmmm…it may not be a lot healthier than butter, but what about a light drizzle of maple syrup? These sound really good, so I'll have to put sweet potatoes on my list for the next time I go shopping. :-)

  6. Good ideas everyone! Thanks for the comments.

    Maple syrup I think would be awesome. Chipotles would work also as long as you were careful with them. Could get too spicy really quickly!

  7. yum! I've made pumpkin gnocci before, and sweet potato sounds just as good. I don't know about cauliflower… I actually think it might be awesome!

  8. Dude. I am totally making this. I made regular gnocchi once and it was amazing. Of course I have sweet potatoes sitting around from getting all excited at seeing them 25¢ a pound last week. Plus I seem to suddenly have some free time tomorrow.

    Maybe a light cream sauce with a hint of chipotle? I bet chipotle would work with creaminess.

    Will report back. Agent 42 out.

  9. Sounds and looks yummy! I've made Butternut Squash gnocchi with grated nutmeg added to the dough, with a sauce of melted butter and sage leaves. I like the idea of using sweet potatoes, although I would roast them, and the apple cider reduction sounds intriguing. Already made your Ricotta gnocchi. Brilliant! (although I added grated nutmeg to that also) Glad I found you.

    1. Hey Wanda, not sure on that. I’ve never tried it with semolina so only one way to find out. Give it a shot and good luck. :)

  10. Just stumbled on this – Def going to give it a try. I made a pumpkin sage vodka sauce recently where I mashed the pumpkin and mixed it with flax milk (super creamy) to cut out some of the cream and it turned out amazing – bet it would taste great with this.

  11. Sweet potato cooling in freezer as I type. Am contemplating the sauce. Seriously did one commentator make a sauce with vodka?

  12. Oh wow! This looks delicious. We recently decided to be vegetarians and are always looking for fantastic recipes to add to our collection. I’m not brave enough to make my own gnocchi, but I”ll be sure to try out this recipe. Thanks again!

  13. Do you find the dough is easier to work with than the potato version? My first (and last) attempt at making gnocchi they all just fell apart and were basically just blobs!

  14. Thanks – I asked my husband to buy sweet potatoes this week and he bought 3x more than I intended. Now I know what to do with them!

  15. Hi Nick,
    This is super awesome. Although I’m not really a fan of Potato, but I think this will certainly be tasty so I’ll consider giving it a shot. I’m sure my children will also like it.

    Thanks for sharing.

  16. YUM! Was just looking for something different to do with sweet potato and this sounds delish. And am I the only one who thinks cauliflower gnocchi sounds kind of awesome?!

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