Shell Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage and Kale

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Healthy, comforting, and utterly delicious!  Say hello to my Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale.  It’s a traditional comfort food made healthy with a homemade Italian Chicken sausage flavored with garlic and fennel.  Hearty shell pasta perfectly cups the creamy parmesan cheesy sauce for every bite.  Finally, Kale… In this recipe, the kale is cooked in the flavorful sauce so it wilts down and melds into the backdrop so perfectly.  Kale brings texture and healthy veg-balance.  Parmesan on top is the salty and nutty finish!

Homemade Italian Sausage – with Ground Chicken!

Have you ever made your own Italian Sausage? It’s incredibly easy and right at your fingertips as long as you have a few simple ingredients. My version for this recipe uses ground chicken, which is a leaner meat than pork or beef.  It works really great for Italian Sausage because it sticks together nicely.

To make this yourself, all you need is fresh minced garlic, Italian parsley, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper!  You can make a couple pounds of this ahead, then portion it out and freeze it for later.

Here a few recipes to use it in!

Fork with bite of shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale that's also on a plate. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

Nothing special for this one! Just a large pot to cook the pasta in and a large skillet/frying pan for cooking the sausage, then the sauce. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning.  It comes with a glass lid, which is perfect for watching your dinner cook!

Oh, and mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD FOR YOUR PASTA WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details) 

For this recipe, you really want to eat it right after you mix it all together when the sauce is still creamy.  But, you can get everything ready to go ahead so all you do is cook it and in 30 minutes, you have dinner!

Dice the onion and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to cook. Clean the kale and dry it in a clean towel.  Then rough chop it into bite-size pieces.  Store the kale in the fridge with a cool damp towel on top until ready to cook.

Knife dicing onion for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 

Cleaned & chopped kale for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 

You can also mix the Italian Sausage ahead of time as well.  Mince the garlic, chop the parsley, and measure out the fennel seed, salt, and pepper.  Mix all of these ingredients with the ground turkey or chicken.  Store in a container in the fridge until ready to cook.Italian Sausage ingredients in bowl for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 

Raw Italian Sausage mixed in bowl for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 

Note: If you prefer to buy premade Italian Sausage, look for the bulk.  If all you can find is Italian Sausage Links in casings, make sure it is raw.  Then cut the casing and squeeze the meat mixture out into the pan. 

COOK YOUR PASTA WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE AND KALE

To start, boil your pasta according to package instructions.  Before draining the pasta, be sure to save a cup of the cooking pasta water to use in the sauce.

To a preheated large pan/skillet, add a tsp of Olive Oil and then add the Italian Sausage, breaking it up with a spatula or spoon into small bite-size pieces. Let it sit and sear for about 4-5 minutes. Then stir so that the other sides sear. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until no pieces are pink and look fully cooked through. Remove to a plate.Raw Italian Sausage in pan for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 

Italian Sausage cooking in pan for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 

Cooked Italian Sausage on plate for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 

Add another tsp of Olive Oil if needed, then add the onions and garlic. Stir so they do not burn. Cook on medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes until the onions are translucent.  Add the kale, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.Cooking kale in pan for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 

While the kale begins to cook, make the slurry by adding the 2 tbsp of cornstarch to the milk and stirring until dissolved.Cornstarch & milk slurry for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 

Add the chicken broth and the milk slurry to the pan. As the sauce heats up, it will start to thicken, so be sure to stir every couple minutes as this happens to prevent clumping. Once the liquid has thickened a little, about 4-5 minutes (note, it will not be very thick, just a little bit thicker than it was), add the sausage back to the pan.

Kale sauce in pan for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 

Thickened Kale sauce in pan for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 

Italian Sausage being added to kale sauce in pan for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce.  

Test the Kale, if it needs to cook more, cover and let cook for another few minutes. If the Kale is cooked to your liking, add the cooked pasta, 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan Cheese. Mix to combine. If needed, you can add more of the pasta water to thin out the sauce.Shell pasta added to sauce in pan for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 

Mixing parmesan with pasta and Italian Sausage in pan for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 

Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale in a pan. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 

Serve the pasta garnishing with more Parmesan Cheese.

ENJOY! 😍 Carrie

Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale on a plate. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 

Shell Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage and Kale

Healthy, comforting, utterly delicious - that's today's Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale.  The sauce is loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel.  Kale is cooked in the flavorful sauce so it wilts down and melds into the backdrop so perfectly. Hearty shell pasta perfectly holds the creamy parmesan cheesy sauce in each shell cup.  Parmesan on top is the salty and nutty finish! #healthypasta #healthyitalian #familydinner #dinnerideas

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 562 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Italian Sausage

  • 16 oz Ground White Meat Chicken - raised w/o antibiotics (or ground turkey)
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp Parsley Chopped
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seed
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

All Other

  • 10 oz Uncooked Pasta, Shells or Orecchiette
  • 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, small
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 2 cups Kale, chopped
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Mince the garlic, chop the parsley, and measure out the fennel seed, salt, and pepper. Then add all to the ground chicken in a large mixing bowl. Mix to combine. Cover the bowl and store in the fridge until ready to cook.

    Italian Sausage ingredients in bowl for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 
  2. Dice the onion and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to cook.

    Knife dicing onion for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 
  3. Clean the kale and dry it in a clean towel.  Then rough chop it into bite-size pieces.  Store the kale in the fridge with a cool damp towel on top until ready to cook.

    Cleaned & chopped kale for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 

Cooking Steps

  1. Boil a large pot of water for the pasta. Once the pasta water is boiling, add a splash of Olive Oil and a pinch of salt. Add the pasta and stir so that it doesn't stick it itself. Boil the pasta until al dente. Remove 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta. Leave the pasta in the strainer until the sauce is ready.

  2. To a preheated large pan/skillet, add a tsp of Olive Oil and then add the Italian Sausage, breaking it up with a spatula or spoon into small bite-size pieces. Let it sit and sear for about 4-5 minutes. Then stir so that the other sides sear. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until no pieces are pink and look fully cooked through. Remove to a plate.

    Italian Sausage cooking in pan for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 
  3. Add another tsp of Olive Oil if needed, then add the onions and garlic. Stir so they do not burn. Cook on medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the kale, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.

    Cooking kale in pan for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 
  4. While the kale begins to cook, make the slurry by adding the 2 tbsp of cornstarch to the milk and stirring until dissolved.

    Cornstarch & milk slurry for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 
  5. Add the chicken broth and the milk slurry to the pan. As the sauce heats up, it will start to thicken, so be sure to stir every couple minutes as this happens to prevent clumping. Once the liquid has thickened a little, about 4-5 minutes (note, it will not be very thick, just a little bit thicker than it was), add the sausage back to the pan.

    Italian Sausage being added to kale sauce in pan for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 
  6. Test the Kale, if it needs to cook more, cover and let cook for another few minutes. If the Kale is cooked to your liking, add the cooked pasta, 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan Cheese. Mix to combine. If needed, you can add more of the pasta water to thin out the sauce.

    Mixing parmesan with pasta and Italian Sausage in pan for Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 
  7. Serve the pasta garnishing with more Parmesan Cheese.

    Shell Pasta with Italian Sausage and Kale on a plate. It's loaded with a salty homemade Chicken Italian Sausage flavored with garlic and fennel in a parmesan, garlic and kale sauce. 

Recipe Notes

  1. You could replace the homemade Italian Sausage with 1 lb (16oz) store-bought bulk Italian Sausage
  2. For the pasta, I used medium shells, but you could use any pasta you like.  The small-cut pasta with a cup shape to capture the parmesan and sausage is traditional, but any will taste great!
  3. For the parmesan, you can use grated or shredded.  The grated is best as it can really mix into the dish to create a sauce.

 

Homemade Cauliflower Gnocchi Recipe in Tomato Sauce

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Soft and silky, but also hearty and filling! These Cauliflower Gnocchi are the perfect little vessel for a delicious sauce. This Cauliflower Gnocchi recipe is a healthier version to traditional gnocchi, because it’s made with cauliflower! But you don’t even taste the cauliflower, only the soft pillowy goodness. Add my simple and quick Tomato Sauce and you have soft pillows of heaven.

These little gnocchi are also fantastic because you can make a ton and freeze them!  Before cooking them in water, freeze them on a sheet pan.  Then transfer them to storage containers and store in the freezer for up to 4 months.  Click here to get my printable cheat sheet with 10 Freezer Hacks to make easy dinners!

Cauliflower Gnocchi cut on marble.  They are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth!  Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

Why You Should Make Your Own Gnocchi

First, it’s easy!  I know, I know, it’s obviously easier to buy them already made.  But, unlike pasta, there is no rolling out the dough forever or needing a pasta machine.  Nope, this one can be as rustic as you want and only requires your hands!

And, since it’s so easy, it’s fun to make these with kids or friends!  So, have a Gnocchi-Making Party!  It’s a great excuse to get together.  It’s also a great way to bond with the kiddos and get them in the kitchen with you.

Finally, you can make them healthy!  This version has cauliflower, potato, and gluten free flour.  But you can make them with sweet potatoes or butternut squash or pumpkin.  And when you make anything from scratch, you know exactly what’s going in.  For gnocchi, that means no added preservatives or ingredients you cannot pronounce.

Here are some other sauces that I’ve made with pasta that would taste fantastic with this Cauliflower Gnocchi Recipe:

Whole Cauliflower for Cauliflower Gnocchi, which are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

CAULIFLOWER HEALTH BENEFITS!

Cauliflower is not only versatile, it’s a great Low-Carb diet food full of health benefits!  While it’s low in carbs, it’s high in Fiber and contains so many vitamins and minerals.  Cauliflower is a Cruciferous Veggie, just like Broccoli and Kale, which we all know are extremely good for us.  So, it also contains important Antioxidants which can help to reduce the risk for heart disease and may have anti-cancer effects.  

Try these other delicious and healthy Cauliflower recipes:

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

PREP-AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR CAULIFLOWER GNOCCHI RECIPE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details)

For this recipe, you can make and cut the gnocchi ahead and then freeze them before cooking them in water.  Then simply add them to boiling water while frozen to cook.  You can also make the sauce in advance and warm in a skillet and then toss the gnocchi in to combine.

Cut your cauliflower into small florets.  Peel the potato and cut into small dices.  Immediately add the potato to cold water in a small pot so it doesn’t brown.

Cauliflower florets for Cauliflower Gnocchi, which are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

Cook the cauliflower and potato in separate pots.  Place the cauliflower in a large pot with about 2 inches of water. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot and steam until the cauliflower is fall apart tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Bring the potato to a boil and then simmer until fork-tender, 10 to 12 minutes.  Drain well.

Cut raw potatoes in pot for Cauliflower Gnocchi, which are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

Drain the cauliflower and then put it in a dish towel and squeeze any  excess water out.

Cooked cauliflower in dish towel for Cauliflower Gnocchi, which are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

Ringing out cooked cauliflower in dish towel for Cauliflower Gnocchi, which are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

While the cauliflower and potato are still hot, mash them together until the mixture is smooth (use a potato ricer if you have one). Mix in the flour, Parmesan, salt and pepper.

Cooked cauliflower and potato in dish for Cauliflower Gnocchi, which are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

Mashed cauliflower and potato in dish for Cauliflower Gnocchi, which are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

Flour added to mashed cauliflower and potato in dish for Cauliflower Gnocchi, which are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

Flour, cauliflower and potato mixed in dish for Cauliflower Gnocchi, which are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower  

Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the eggs. Mix well to combine.

Mixing egg in center of cauliflower gnocchi dough in dish for Cauliflower Gnocchi, which are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

Mixing egg into cauliflower gnocchi dough in dish for Cauliflower Gnocchi, which are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

Separate dough into three-four equal parts and roll out into 1/2-3/4″ diameter ropes on a surface dusted lightly with cornstarch. Cut the ropes of dough into 1″ pieces.

Cornstarch on surface for cauliflower gnocchi dough.  These Gnocchi are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

Rolling out gnocchi dough into ropes on surface for cauliflower gnocchi dough.  These Gnocchi are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

Cutting gnocchi on surface for cauliflower gnocchi.  These Gnocchi are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

Roll each piece across the tines of a fork to create ridges. Set aside on a cornstarch-dusted baking sheet.

Rolling gnocchi on fork on for cauliflower gnocchi.  These Gnocchi are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

COOK YOUR CAULIFLOWER GNOCCHI RECIPE! 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi to the pot and cook until they float to the surface, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon,  transfer them to sheet pan while the rest cook. Cauliflower gnocchi cooking in boiling water.  These Gnocchi are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

Transfering cooked cauliflower gnocchi from water to sheet pan.  These Gnocchi are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

Cooked cauliflower gnocchi in sheet pan.  These Gnocchi are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

For this recipe, I went with a very simple and traditional tomato sauce.  My version cooks up fast since you are spending more time making the gnocchi from scratch.  It’s the perfect sauce to go with these hearty gnocchi!  You could also go with a simple garlic butter sauce…yum!

ENJOY! 😍 Carrie

Cauliflower Gnocchi in tomato sauce on plate with parmesan and parsley. They are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflowerGnocchi on plate with parmesan and parsley. Cauliflower Gnocchi are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

Homemade Cauliflower Gnocchi Recipe in Tomato Sauce

Soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! These Cauliflower Gnocchi are the perfect little vessel for a delicious sauce.  This Cauliflower Gnocchi recipe is a healthier version to traditional gnocchi, because it's made with cauliflower!  But you don't even taste the cauliflower, only the soft pillowy goodness. Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and you have soft pillows of heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower #familydinner #Pasta #italianrecipes

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword cauliflower, gluten free, gnocchi
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Gnocchi

  • 1 head Cauliflower about 4 cups florets
  • 1 Large russet potato
  • 3.5 cups Gluten-free all-purpose flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Large eggs
  • Cornstarch (for surface for rolling out)

Tomato Sauce

  • 28 oz 28 oz San Marzano Tomatoes, whole peeled 
  • 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Vegetable Base (such as Better than Bouillon brand)
  • 1 cup water (or replace water and vegetable base with 1 cup Vegetable broth)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1 tsp Oregano (or Italian Seasoning Blend)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated for garnish
  • 1 tbsp Italian Flat leaf Parsley for garnish

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Mince the garlic for the sauce and store in the fridge until ready to use. Cut your cauliflower into small florets.  Peel the potato and cut into small dices.  Immediately add the potato to a small pot and cover with cold water so it doesn’t brown.

    Cauliflower florets for Cauliflower Gnocchi, which are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower
  2. Place the cauliflower florets in a large pot with about 2 inches of water. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot and steam until the cauliflower is fall-apart tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

    Cauliflower florets in pot for Cauliflower Gnocchi, which are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower
  3. While the cauliflower cooks, also bring the potatoes to a boil and then simmer until fork-tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain well.

    Cut raw potatoes in pot for Cauliflower Gnocchi, which are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower
  4. Drain the cauliflower and then put it in a dish towel and squeeze any excess water out.

    Ringing out cooked cauliflower in dish towel for Cauliflower Gnocchi, which are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower
  5. While the cauliflower and potato are still hot, mash them together until the mixture is smooth (use a potato ricer if you have one). Mix in the flour, Parmesan, salt and pepper.

    Mashed cauliflower and potato in dish for Cauliflower Gnocchi, which are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower
  6. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the eggs. Mix well to combine.

    Mixing egg in center of cauliflower gnocchi dough in dish for Cauliflower Gnocchi, which are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower
  7. Separate dough into three-four equal parts and roll out into 1/2-3/4″ diameter ropes on a surface dusted lightly with cornstarch. Cut the tubes of dough into 1″ pieces.

    Cutting gnocchi on surface for cauliflower gnocchi. These Gnocchi are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower
  8. Roll each piece across the tines of a fork to create ridges. Set aside on a cornstarch-dusted baking sheet.

    Rolling gnocchi on fork on for cauliflower gnocchi. These Gnocchi are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

Cook Gnocchi

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi to the pot and cook until they float to the surface, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain well.

    Transfering cooked cauliflower gnocchi from water to sheet pan. These Gnocchi are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

Make Sauce

  1. Add the olive oil and the minced garlic and stir to combine and cook for 1 minute. Add the vegetable base and water or Broth and stir.

    Adding vegetable base to garlic and water in pan for cauliflower gnocchi. These Gnocchi are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower
  2. Add the tomatoes and break them up with a spatula.  Mix to combine.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  TIP: If you do not have a cover for your skillet, you can use a sheet pan or just aluminum foil.

  3. Add your cooked gnocchi to the tomato sauce and stir to combine. Sprinkle parmesan and parsley over top and enjoy!

    Cauliflower Gnocchi in tomato sauce on plate with parmesan and parsley. They are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower

Gnocchi on plate with parmesan and parsley. Cauliflower Gnocchi are soft, silky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth! Made with cauliflower, they're a healthier version to traditional gnocchi! Add my simple Garlic Butter Sauce or Tomato Sauce and they are heaven.  #dinnerideas #gnocchi #cauliflower