I’ve never even pronounced gnocchi correctly, let alone made it! (For the record, it’s “nyow·kee.”)
So it’s safe to say that I was skeptical. One, because cooking is not my forte. Two, because I was having guests for dinner.
My sister, her husband (who I later found out does NOT like sweet potatoes and her 18-month-old son). My sister is honest, I admire that about her. Her husband doesn’t pull any punches either. And my 18-month-old nephew, like any toddler, will eat what he wants and deposit what he doesn’t on the floor.
It was clear I was opening myself up for some comments when I set this homemade sweet potato gnocchi on the table. Eyes darted to and fro, each wondered who was going to be the first to give it a try. We each plated a serving and slowly forks rose as we each took that first bite.
…and then we ate more. And more!
This gnocchi became an immediate family favorite. The flavor didn’t take a single critique, only the size I made the dumplings. Apparently my family doesn’t like the extra step of cutting them once before eating. So making bite-sized dumplings was an easy recommendation.
Those of us who took conservative, (read bird-sized), portions the first go-round refilled our plates until there was nothing left.
And that’s when I learned that sweet potato gnocchi is probably more of a side-dish than the main course when feeding men and young boys. Because once the dish was scraped clean, all eyes were back on me wondering where the rest of the meal was. …and I hadn’t made anything else!
Lesson learned. Gnocchi might not be the main dish, but it’s definitely a scrumptious side dish that would pair well with a grilled chicken breast or fish fillet.
Try this easy sweet potato recipe yourself! I’ve made sure to include all my lessons learned, so if you are anything like me and know nothing about making gnocchi, you’ll be able to make this dish like a pro!
The Benefits of Sweet Potato Gnocchi
This recipe puts a spin on the traditional gnocchi potato dumpling dish, to make it a healthier alternative. One medium sweet potato is about 100 calories (baked, with skin).
Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are incredibly rich in beta-carotene (the antioxidant that makes them orange!). Beta-carotene converts to Vitamin A and helps to improve eye health and prevent vision loss. Beta-carotene can also promote gut health and support your immune system.
But more than Vitamin A makes sweet potatoes so amazing. Sweet potatoes are low on the Glycemic Index, making them a better option than white potatoes for type 1 and type 2 diabetics.
The high potassium in sweet potatoes helps regulate blood pressure. Their high fiber content aids in healthy digestion and improves gut health. And improved fertility has been linked to healthy iron levels provided by sweet potatoes and other iron-rich foods.
Sweet potatoes also contain the nutrient Choline. This essential nutrient helps reduce inflammation, maintain cell membranes, assist in fat absorption, and improves sleep and memory.
Sweet potatoes are a versatile root vegetable that can be prepared in many ways, and paired with a wide variety of dishes — making them a great pantry staple! Be sure to keep this nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich, sweet or savory potato on hand as a healthy carb option. Look for a variety of sweet potatoes at your local grocery store.
Because sweet potatoes are a healthy addition to any rainbow plate, let’s explore the benefits of swapping out white potatoes for sweet potatoes more in-depth.
Eating sweet potatoes will:
- Fight dehydration
- Help manage diabetes in type 1 and type 2 diabetics
- Reduce the risk of, and treat stomach ulcers
- Support the immune system
- Help maintain healthy blood pressure
- Reduce inflammation
- Alleviate arthritis pain
- Improve digestion and gut health
- Promote fertility
How to Make Sweet Potato Gnocchi
There are sweet potato gnocchi recipes…
…and then there are EASY sweet potato gnocchi recipes.
This means you can either boil, dry, rest, cool, and rice your sweet potatoes before making them into small dumplings…
You microwave them and get done in about 30 minutes. For argument’s sake, let’s focus on making this recipe as easy as possible!
Because, let’s face it, we all just want to enjoy our fall dish and reap the health benefits without spending unnecessary hours in the kitchen, right?
Here are a few things to remember when making sweet potato gnocchi…
- Cook the sweet potatoes before you begin preparing the gnocchi. Be sure to poke the potatoes a few times with a fork and wrap them in a few wet paper towels. Cook time is between 5-7 minutes in the microwave. This time can vary. Potatoes will be soft when they are cooked.
(I used steamable sweet potatoes from the frozen veggies section, cooked them and then used my food processor to puree them.)
- Use a food scale to measure 1 pound of cooked sweet potatoes for the recipe.
- Less is more. When kneading the dough, less is more. Too much kneading and the gnocchi will end up hard and heavy instead of the soft and pillowy dumplings you are going for.
- Add the flour slowly, not all at once. The recipe calls for 1 cup of almond flour, but you may not use the entire cup or you may use more. This will vary depending on how much moisture your sweet potatoes maintained during cooking. By adding the flour little by little, you can control the consistency of the dough much easier.
- Lightly toss freshly cooked gnocchi in olive oil to prevent the pillow-like dumplings from sticking together.
- Sweet potato gnocchi (before you combine with sauce) freezes really well. Save yourself some time in the future and make a double batch of the dough, cook it and freeze half for the next time you make this amazing fall dish!
- Plan the main course! A grilled chicken breast or fish fillet would go well with this fall side.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi Recipe
1 pound sweet potato, cooked
1 cup almond flour
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ginger
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons almond flour
1 ½ cups almond milk-room temp or slightly warmed
¾ cup parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon sage
½ teaspoon rosemary
½ teaspoon oregano
Fresh parsley for garnish (I forgot this, whoops! …it would make it pretty.)
Sweet Potato Gnocchi:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you prepare the gnocchi.
- Scoop flesh from cooked sweet potato into a mixing bowl. Discard the skin.
- Mix in egg, salt, black pepper, allspice, ginger until it’s mostly smooth.
- Add flour ½ cup at a time, kneading gently. Once the dough is easy to handle, transfer to a floured surface and roll out into a long skinny rope about the diameter of your thumb. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Add the gnocchi to the boiling water and let cook until it rises to the top.
- Scoop out cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon or strainer and place in a bowl prepared with about 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Toss to coat gnocchi and set aside.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi Sauce:
- Heat butter in a large skillet on medium to high heat until butter begins to bubble and foam. Add the gnocchi and pan-fry until it turns golden brown.
- Add in sage, rosemary, and oregano.
- Remove from heat and let cool just enough for the butter to thicken.
- Whisk almond flour and parmesan cheese into almond milk to make the cream.
- Add cream to the skillet of golden brown gnocchi, toss and serve immediately.
Give it a try!
If I can make this sweet potato gnocchi for kids and dinner guests, without even knowing what gnocchi is or how to say it, you certainly can too!
From picky eaters to sweet potato averters, to tantrum-throwing toddlers, this recipe was a definite success. Everyone liked it. Everyone said they would want it served again.