15-Minute Fall Gnocchi Recipe

Sher Castellano must be a mind reader, because how else would she have known that our love for Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi knows no bounds? Indeed, we've been dreaming about ways to combine it with autumn vegetables like kale and sweet potatoes. If you've been looking for the perfect easy fall dish, you're in luck, too.

According to Castellano, it's the "comfort and ease" that keeps her returning again and again to this recipe. It's so good that she actually has a take on it for every season of the year. For example, in the summer version of this recipe, she swaps the kale and sweet potatoes for basil and tomatoes. 

The one thing that does not change is her insistence on the use of Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi, which she says "is a cult classic for a reason, and if you know how to make it well, you know why." Well, dear reader, you are about to learn exactly how to do that because Castellano walks you through her perfect, virtually fool-proof method below. All it really takes is a nonstick pan and a few simple but delicious and hearty ingredients. Let's get to it, shall we? This divine gnocchi paired with sweet potatoes, kale, and sage with a creamy parmesan finish is not going to make itself!

Gather your ingredients for this 15-minute fall gnocchi

To make Castellano's recipe for 15-minute fall gnocchi, you are, of course, going to need one 12-ounce bag of Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi (which you can find in the store's frozen foods section). 

Add to that 1 medium sweet potato, which you will need to peel and cut into ¼-inch thick half-moons. You'll also need 1 cup of chopped green kale (packed into the measuring cup), ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon shallots (minced), 3 fresh sage leaves (minced), ¼ teaspoon of black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese.

Start by cooking the cauliflower gnocchi

To start off the actual cooking process, first place the frozen cauliflower gnocchi in a nonstick sauté pan with ½ cup of water. Turn the heat to medium, and cover. Allow the gnocchi and water to simmer for 5 minutes. 

Once that's done, remove the cover to see if the water has evaporated. If it has, the mixture will have left a starchy glaze on the pan. If so, turn off the heat, transfer the gnocchi to a bowl, and set it aside to rest while you work on the other ingredients. Let the pan cool next, then rinse it thoroughly to remove any extra starch, and return it to the stove.

Cook up the sweet potatoes and the kale

Now that you've placed the rinsed-out pan back on the stove, add in the sweet potato slices, chopped kale,  salt, and the remaining ½ cup of water to the mixture. 

Turn the heat up to high and allow the mixture of veggies, salt, and water to come to a full boil. Naturally, you'll want to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't boil over (if that starts to happen, just turn the heat down slightly). Once it reaches a boil, allow the veggies to cook for 4 more minutes.

Add your seasonings and cooked gnocchi to finish

After those 4 minutes have passed, add the olive oil to the pan with the sweet potatoes and kale. At this point, a fair amount of the water should have cooked off.

Then add the minced shallots and the minced sage to the mix and sauté it all for about 1 minute at medium-high heat. Next, turn off the heat to add the gnocchi, the pepper, and the cheese. Toss to combine and serve immediately. Yes, really, all the cooking is done and you're ready to chow down! 

If you want, feel free to top this with more grated parmesan and some freshly cracked black pepper. And while this certainly makes a wonderful and delightfully easy weeknight meal for you and a family, why stop there? It's also impressive enough to "make on the weekends or for guests," Castellano says. 

15-Minute Fall Gnocchi Recipe
5 from 41 ratings
This divine gnocchi paired with sweet potatoes, kale, and sage with a creamy parmesan finish is delicious, hearty, and supremely easy to make in just 15 minutes
Prep Time
Cook Time
15-minute fall gnocchi
Total time: 15 minutes
  • 1 12-ounce bag of Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into ¼-inch half-moons
  • 1 packed cup green kale, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup water (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon shallots, minced
  • 3 fresh sage leaves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Optional Ingredients
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Cracked black pepper
  1. Place the frozen gnocchi in a nonstick sauté pan with ½ cup water and simmer, covered, over medium heat for 5 minutes. The water will evaporate and leave a starchy glaze on the pan.
  2. Turn off the heat, transfer the gnocchi to a bowl, and set aside.
  3. Rinse the cooled pan thoroughly to remove any extra starch, then return it to the stove.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes, kale, salt, and the remaining ½ cup water to the pan. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.
  5. Then turn down the heat slightly and cook for 4 minutes.
  6. Add the olive oil, shallots, and sage. Sauté for 1 minute.
  7. Turn the heat off and add in the gnocchi, pepper, and cheese. Toss to combine.
  8. Serve immediately, topped with more grated parmesan cheese and fresh black pepper, if desired.
Calories per Serving 476
Total Fat 17.6 g
Saturated Fat 3.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 39.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 67.8 g
Dietary Fiber 6.8 g
Total Sugars 4.5 g
Sodium 791.3 mg
Protein 12.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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