Pumpkin-Shaped Gnocchi – the cutest addition to your autumn table! Easily made with just a few ingredients in 20 minutes, these simple bites are festive and cozy.
Originating in Italy, gnocchi (singular gnocco) are similar to dumplings and traditionally made from cooked potatoes, semolina, wheat flour, breadcrumbs, egg, and cheese. If you’re a gnocchi fan, be sure to try this recipe for leftover mashed potato gnocchi this holiday season!
Today’s recipe is a bit of a detour from the traditional, but a fun project as temperatures start to drop in the autumn season. As a bonus, from start to finish it is ready in just 20 minutes.
How to Make and Form Pumpkin Shaped Gnocchi
Once you cook and mash the sweet potato, combine with some flour, salt, and nutmeg to create a dough that is a similar texture to Play-Doh. Then, roll the dough into thin logs (about the circumference of a quarter) and slice into 1-inch sized pieces.
To form the pumpkin shapes, use a knife to make 6-8 small indentations in the top of one dough ball, evenly spaced (like a pizza, but not sliced all the way through). This will form the pumpkin “ridges.” Press one pumpkin seed in the top for the “stem.” It is OK if your gnocchi are slightly flat on top – this will actually help them sit correctly on the plate once they’re cooked.
If you do not have sweet potato, regular potato will work just as well here! Of course you will not have the same orange color, but some pumpkins are white so who cares.
I have not tried making this with pumpkin puree (in place of the potato), but please let me know if you do! I would imagine the texture would be slightly different and that you may need more flour to bring things together).
The brown butter sauce I’ve featured here is more of a cheat than anything, but if you’d like to see the full version, be sure to check out this recipe for Sage Brown Butter Pasta Sauce.
I hope you enjoy these little pumpkin gnocchi! Be sure to leave a rating and review if you try them, I always like to hear what people think/if you tried anything different.
Pumpkin-Shaped Gnocchi – the cutest addition to your autumn table! Easily made with just a few ingredients, these simple bites are festive and cozy.
1 sweet potato, medium
Up to 1cup of all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Up to 1/4cup nondairy milk, optional
20 pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 TBS vegan butter
1 TBS cashew parmesan, optional
1 tsp dried sage or rosemary, optional
To cook the sweet potato, pierce with a fork a few times and microwave for 8 minutes, flipping halfway through. This will ensure it cooks evenly. If you do not have a microwave, feel free to roast it or cook in the Instant Pot. Let cook slightly, then scoop out interior flesh from skin until you have about 1 cup, mashed.
In a medium bowl, combine mashed sweet potatoes, 1/2 of the flour, and salt. Slowly, using a spoon or your hands, bring potatoes and flour together. Try not to over-mix as this will make the gnocchi heavy and gluey. Add the nutmeg and 1/4 cup more of the flour,. Mix until just combined (no flour spots remaining). If you dough is still fairly sticky, add the rest of the flour. If dough is still dry, add a small splash of milk to bring things together. Ideally, you want to see a texture of Play-Doh.
Set a medium pot of salted water on the stove to boil. Meanwhile, separate gnocchi dough into four equal pieces.
On a lightly floured surface (such as a large cutting board), roll each piece of dough into a log shape about 1 inch in diameter (nearly as thick as a quarter). Use a knife to slice 1 inch sections of the log off at a time, forming little gnocchi pillows. For me, this is about the size of the tip of my thumb. No need to make these perfect, your best approximation is just fine. Roll into small spheres.
To form the pumpkin shapes, use a knife to make 6-8 small indentations in the top of one dough ball, evenly spaced (like a pizza, but not sliced all the way through). This will form the pumpkin “ridges.” Press one pumpkin seed in the top for the “stem.”
If your water is not yet boiled, store the gnocchi in the fridge until it is rolling. Once water is at a steady boil, add gnocchi in batches and cook for about 3 minutes. You will know they are ready once they rise to the top of the water. Use a slotted spoon to dish them out of the water and onto a plate.
Heat a skillet over medium and add your butter, letting it get foamy and fragrant. Stir in cashew parmesan and dried herbs if using. Drizzle brown butter sauce over gnocchi and serve right away.
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:5 minutes
Serving Size:One half of recipe
Saturated Fat:8.3 grams
Unsaturated Fat:3.3 grams
Trans Fat:0 grams
Keywords: sweet potato, gnocchi
About the Author
Emily (Frigon) Meyers is the founder of Garlic Head, a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets while saving time and money. She is a lifelong vegetarian and 10+ year vegan. Garlic Head does not focus on labels - it focuses on creating food that everyone can enjoy.
Emily earned a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University along with degrees in Economics, Spanish, and Global Sustainability from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been featured on numerous podcasts and websites including The Food Institute, VegNews, Buzzfeed, and the Boston Globe.