Better than Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi that’s incredibly easy to make, Paleo, Vegan, and gluten free, and perfect for families or a healthy meal prep to any weeknight dinner!

plate of cauliflower gnocchi with pesto and cauliflower mash

So I’m sure by now you’ve heard all the rage over Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi.

I mean, everyone and their mother is posting about it on social media. Even I’ve shared it before!

But truth be told, I don’t know if I’ll go back to it…because I’ve created something much better. Yep, Better-than-Trader-Joe’s Cauliflower gnocchi that’s vegan, Paleo, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and soy free, and even tastes better than the original!

angled gnocchi

Seriously, you’re going to fall in love with making this cauliflower gnocchi. It’s easy (I walk you through all of the steps below), and just like any other pillow-y delicious potato gnocchi you’ve ever had, only made from cauliflower!

Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi Ingredients compared

Now, I know what you’re thinking: why go through the trouble of making cauliflower gnocchi if I can just get them at Trader Joe’s? What’s the difference?

Not a bad thought process, to be honest. But let me break it down for you why these copy-cat cauliflower gnocchi are actually way better than the Trader Joe’s version.

close up of cauliflower gnocchi on plate

Yes, you’ll have to do a little more work, but pasta is a labor of love kind of food anyways, and I think we actually enjoy our meals more when it’s made from scratch!

So here are the ingredients for Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi:

  • Cauliflower
  • Cassava flour
  • Potato starch
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt

And here are the ingredients for The Banana Diaries Cauliflower Gnocchi:

  • Cauliflower
  • Cassava flour
  • Arrowroot powder
  • Sea salt

Basically the same, except I found that you don’t actually need the oil, and I swapped in arrowroot powder for potato starch. Both are actually Paleo, but I actually cook with arrowroot over potato starch because that’s just what I naturally use. If you don’t have arrowroot powder, you can absolutely swap in potato starch.

But if the ingredients are basically identical, why, Britt, go through the process of making cauliflower gnocchi?

Here’s the honest truth: I truly think these homemade Paleo vegan gnocchi taste better. I’m not lying or trying to just make you go through a bunch of work to basically yield the same result.

plate of pesto gnocchi on cloth

These homemade cauliflower gnocchi actually taste much better than the Trader Joe’s version. No offense, TJ’s, I love you, but I dig my own version more!

But I think that’s what comes with making things from scratch versus buying it in store. Things often do taste better because it’s less processed. Just because the ingredients are the same doesn’t mean that the process is. There is quite a big difference between a machine making your food and a person that loves you!

Are cauliflower gnocchi healthy?

I think healthy is a very subjective term, and it’s getting more subjective by the day quite honestly. But let me break it down for you.

So traditional gnocchi is made with flour, cheese, potato, butter, salt, and eggs. I’m not going to make any judgments on foods because that’s not my role. However, if you’re looking for a more plant based gnocchi and one that can be enjoyed by those with Celiac or those who can”t consume gluten, these cauliflower gnocchi are for you.

gnocchi on a plate

The ingredients are simple:

  • Cauliflower
  • Cassava flour
  • Arrowroot powder
  • Sea salt

That’s it! So 6 ingredients compared to 4, which isn’t too bad! Plus these cauliflower gnocchi actually might be more budget friendly too.

How do cauliflower gnocchi taste?

Now, if you’ve never had Trader Joe’s gnocchi, I won’t go so far and say that these gnocchi taste identical to gnocchi that you’d get in an off-the-beaten-trail Italian restaurant.

But they do taste similar and have the exact same texture as more traditional gnocchi! Seriously, I cannot get over the texture of the gnocchi: it’s as if you just went and used regular flour and potato!

plate of pesto Paleo vegan gnocchi and vegan butter, pesto, and sea salt in small bowls

I think what really makes these gnocchi so cool is that you can really pair them with any sauce, and they’ll taste amazing. They basically just take on and amplify the flavors of the rest of the dish.

And they’re dairy free, egg free, gluten free, grain free, and vegan! So basically anyone can have these gnocchi and enjoy them, whether you need to follow a dietary restriction or not.

How to make Paleo vegan cauliflower gnocchi

So how do you actually make gnocchi?! Well, that old saying that pasta making is a labor of love is true, but it’s an easy labor of love.

Making Paleo cauliflower gnocchi is really easy and straight forward, it just takes a few steps! The only pieces of kitchen equipment that you’ll need to have on hand are a food processor and a large pot for boiling water.

Next simply begin by:

  • Steaming the cauliflower until it’s soft enough to mash. You can do this either via stovetop, with a little water in a pan and covering the cauliflower while it cooks on medium/low heat, or in the microwave.
  • Next, place the cauliflower into a food processor, and blend until it’s a puree. It should be smooth with no clumps.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower puree with cassava flour, arrowroot powder, and sea salt. Mix with a silicone spatula or spoon until it forms a dough. It should basically resemble a bread dough.
  • Divide the dough into 4 parts (they don’t have to be precisely even), and flour a clean surface using extra cassava flour.
cauliflower gnocchi dough

Next, while you’re rolling the dough into gnocchi, you can bring a large pot of water to a boil. That way when you’re done slicing the gnocchi (in the next steps), you can just move straight to cooking them!

gnocchi being sliced by knife
  • Roll 1/4 of the dough into a long stick, and slice about 1″ wide gnocchi. They don’t have to be exactly precise.
  • Repeat for the remaining dough, then bring them to the pot to boil.
  • Once the water is boiling, add a little olive oil (about 1 tsp) to the water to help the gnocchi from sticking together, and give the water a big stir so it creates a spiral. Carefully, lower up to 10 gnocchi into the spinning water and let them cook until they rise to the top of the water. That’s when they’re ready to be removed.
  • Remove the gnocchi from the water and place onto a clean plate. Repeat these steps for the remaining gnocchi.

Then that’s it!! You can choose whichever sauce you’d like to add to your gnocchi 🙂 I suggest this Paleo vegan basil pesto or your favorite tomato sauce!

plate of pesto gnocchi

Tips & Tricks for making Paleo vegan gnocchi

Just so that your Paleo vegan gnocchi come out perfectly each time, let’s go over a few tips:

  • The gnocchi will be sticky after they’re cooked! A little water added to the plate helps- only a tablespoon or two! But then once you add on the sauce, they won’t stick together anymore!
  • You don’t need to pan sear the gnocchi, but you can if you want to! Just add at least a tablespoon of cooking oil to the sauté pan before you cook the gnocchi or they’ll stick.
  • You can sub in a gluten free 1-to-1 flour here, but I highly recommend sticking with the cassava!
  • You can sub in potato starch for the arrowroot powder at equal ratios. Speaking of which, make sure either of these ingredients is within the expiration date and has been stored properly. Expired or starch that has not been stored properly won’t work!
  • Use whichever toppings you’d like for your cauliflower gnocchi! The options are endless 🙂
pesto with vegan gnocchi

I hope you love these cauliflower gnocchi as much as I do! Seriously, they are better than Trader Joe’s, I swear! If you give this recipe a go, let me know how it went for you down below in the comments section!

As always, I love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there.

Happy gnocchi making!

spoon with gnocchi

More Healthy Dinner Recipes

Paleo Vegan Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Paleo Vegan Lo Mein

Gluten Free Vegan Pad Thai

Paleo Vegan Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

Gluten Free Vegan Lasagna

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

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plate of cauliflower gnocchi with pesto and cauliflower mash

Better Than Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi (Vegan, Paleo, Gluten Free)

  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Better than Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi that’s incredibly easy to make, Paleo, Vegan, and gluten free, and perfect for families or a healthy meal prep to any weeknight dinner!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups steamed cauliflower mash (see notes)
  • 1 1/2 cups cassava flour
  • 1/3 cup arrowroot powder, can sub in potato starch
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Optional: 1/3 cup rosemary, basil, or favorite herb

Instructions

  1. Steam the cauliflower until it’s soft enough to mash. You can do this either view stovetop, with a little water in a pan and covering the cauliflower while it cooks on medium/low heat, or in the microwave.
  2. Next, place the cauliflower (and optional herbs) into a food processor, and blend until it’s a puree. It should be smooth with no clumps.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower puree with cassava flour, arrowroot powder, and sea salt. Mix with a silicone spatula or spoon until it forms a dough. It should basically resemble a bread dough.
  4. Set the bowl aside, and bring a large pot of water to a boil. While the water is heating up, start to make your gnocchi.
  5. Divide the dough into 4 parts (they don’t have to be precisely even), and flour a clean surface using extra cassava flour. 
  6.  Roll 1/4 of the dough into a long stick, and slice about 1″ wide gnocchi. They don’t have to be exactly precise.
  7. Repeat for the remaining dough, then bring them to the pot to boil.
  8. Once the water is boiling, add a little olive oil (about 1 tsp) to the water to help the gnocchi from sticking together, and give the water a big stir so it creates a spiral. Carefully, lower up to 10 gnocchi into the spinning water and let them cook until they rise to the top of the water. That’s when they’re ready to be removed.
  9. Remove the gnocchi from the water and place onto a clean plate. Repeat these steps for the remaining gnocchi.
  10. Serve with your favorite sauce and protein, and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 181
  • Sugar: 2.8 g
  • Sodium: 35.2 mg
  • Fat: 0.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 42.6 g
  • Protein: 2.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: Cauliflower gnocchi, Paleo vegan gnocchi, Paleo gnocchi, vegan gnocchi, Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi

pinterest image for cauliflower gnocchi