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This vegan gnocchi is dressed in the richest, creamiest, zippy lemon sauce that just happens to be dairy-free! Served with hearty kale and seasoned with a garlic and a hint of thyme, this easy meal is pure vegan comfort food.

Gnocchi is my favorite comfort food. I mean, pasta potato dumplings(!)…does it get any better than that? Only if you smother those pasta dumplings in creamy sauce (spoiler: I did).

What I really love about this particular vegan gnocchi recipe is that in addition to being super delicious and comforting, it’s also really easy to throw together. Because how comforting can a meal really be if you have to spend the entire day working in the kitchen to enjoy it? We’re not doing that here!

I incorporated a few shortcuts that I think are pretty clever into this recipe. For one thing, the kale portion of this dish gets boiled right along with the gnocchi. This means you don’t have to blanch it separately like you often do with veggies that get added to pasta dishes. I also decided to ditch the cashews I normally use for creamy sauces, along with all the required blending and soaking, and use coconut milk as the base. Easy!

The result was a delicious skillet of vegan gnocchi that’s both easy enough for a weeknight, but also fancy enough for company.

Jump to:
  • Ingredients You’ll Need
  • How It’s Made
  • Leftovers & Storage
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • More Vegan Pasta Dinners
  • Vegan Gnocchi with Creamy Lemon Garlic Sauce

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Potato gnocchi. We’re using shelf-stable gnocchi because in my experience it’s more likely to be vegan than frozen. But you’ll still want to check your ingredients to be safe. And if you can find vegan frozen gnocchi, feel free to use it!
  • Lacinato kale. This is the dark green variety of kale that has a bumpy surface. It might also be labelled Tuscan kale or dinosaur kale at the store. You can substitute curly kale (or pretty much any variety) if you can’t find it.
  • Shallots. Red onion will work as a substitute if needed.
  • Garlic.
  • All-purpose flour.
  • Dry white wine. Not all wine is vegan. You can check to ensure yours is by running the brand through Barnivore.
  • Fresh thyme.
  • Coconut milk. We’re using full-fat coconut milk from a can. Don’t use the type sold in cartons.
  • Salt.
  • Lemon juice.
  • Lemon zest.
  • Black pepper.
  • Red pepper flakes. Skip these if you’re not into heat.
  • Vegan Parmesan cheese. This is optional and for topping. I’m a big fan of homemade vegan Parmesan cheese, but store-bought is fine as well.

How It’s Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • Start by boiling your gnocchi according to the package directions. Set a timer for this, and when you’ve got about 30 seconds left, add the kale and boil it with the gnocchi.
  • Drain the kale and gnocchi together in a colander.

Tip: This method works for just about any pasta and any veggie you’d add to pasta. I do it all the time, then add whatever sauce I’ve got on hand, and voilĂ : I’ve got a healthy dinner on the table that was super easy to make!

  • Heat up some more olive oil in a skillet and add finely chopped shallots. Cook them until they begin to soften up, then add the garlic and cook it with the shallots briefly.
  • Add some flour and stir to form a paste that coats the shallots, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in the wine and bring it to a simmer. Let the wine cook until it reduces by about half.
  • Add the salt and begin stirring in the coconut milk, a bit at a time. You can use a whisk to mix the ingredients if you have trouble getting the lumps out.
  • Bring the liquid to a simmer and let it cook for a few minutes, until the sauce thickens up.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and zest followed by the gnocchi and kale. Cook everything very briefly, just to get the gnocchi hot again.
  • Take the skillet off of the burner, give the sauce a taste test, and add black pepper, along with some additional salt if you’d like.
  • Divide your creamy vegan gnocchi onto plates and top each with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and vegan Parmesan.

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover vegan gnocchi will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this dish be made gluten-free?

I think so! I haven’t made a gluten-free version myself, but I think you’d be able to substitute a gluten-free flour blend for wheat flour to thicken the sauce. You’ll also need to use a vegan gluten-free gnocchi (DeLallo makes one).

Can I substitute light coconut milk or another variety of non-dairy milk?

You can, but I haven’t tested the recipe this way, so I’m not sure how it will turn out.

Does the sauce taste like coconut?

Not to me, but if you absolutely can’t stand the taste of coconut you may want to skip this one, or attempt it with another type of non-dairy milk (which I haven’t tested).

Where can I buy vegan gnocchi?

I’ve found that most supermarkets carry it! Many popular shelf-stable brands of gnocchi are accidentally vegan.

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