What’s the best way to cook cauliflower gnocchi? This air fryer cauliflower gnocchi recipe is the best way to stop cauliflower gnocchi from getting mushy. Learn how to cook frozen gnocchi and make them crisp, delicious, and brown. I’m using Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi, but you can air fry Green Giant cauliflower gnocchi as well. This air fried cauliflower gnocchi recipe is vegan, grain free, and gluten free.
Gnocchi are an Italian dumpling often made of potatoes and wheat flour. They are often boiled like pasta, and served with a sauce. Yummy!
So, the first time I purchased a bag of frozen cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe’s, I prepared them like potato gnocchi. Following the instructions on the bag, I brought a pot of water to a boil and cooked the gnocchi until they floated. This took about 6 minutes.
Unfortunately, it turned my gnocchi into a sticky, gummy mess instead of pillowy, fluffy dumplings. Cooking cauliflower gnocchi in the microwave was similarly disastrous. Luckily, there’s an easy way to keep cauliflower gnocchi from getting mushy.
Today you’ll learn how to cook Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi in air fryer. Though not the traditional way to cook gnocchi, air fryer cauliflower gnocchi is absolutely delicious. It’s crispy, golden brown, and works well as part of a quick weeknight meal.
What does Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi taste like? I think this air fried gnocchi tastes more like tater tots than pasta. The cauliflower taste is mild, not overpowering at all.
What does Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi cost? At the time of writing, the price of a 12-ounce bag of Trader Joes cauliflower gnocchi is $2.79. Prices may vary by store location.
- ⭐ Benefits of Making Gnocchi in Air Fryer
- 🥘 Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi Ingredients
- 🔪 How to Make Air Fryer Cauliflower Gnocchi
- ️⏲️ Cooking Time and Temperature
- 🌡️ Leftovers
- 🍝 Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi Recipe Ideas
- 📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👩🏻🍳 Other Air Fryer Cauliflower Recipes
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
⭐ Benefits of Making Gnocchi in Air Fryer
Why make cauliflower gnocchi in the air fryer? Here are some reasons to make this simple air fryer recipe:
- Healthier option: You could make deep fried cauliflower gnocchi, but air fryer gnocchi is a healthy alternative. With air frying, you won’t be adding a lot of extra fat and calories from the frying oil.
- Easy: Grabbing a bag of TJ’s cauliflower gnocchi is so much easier than making homemade cauliflower gnocchi. Plus, with air frying, there’s no sticking to the pan like there can be with pan fried gnocchi.
- Fast: You can air fry crispy cauliflower gnocchi in 20 minutes. The cooking process is very hand-off, so you can tend other parts of the meal while it air fries.
- Versatile: Cauliflower gnocchi works as a snack or a side dish. It's perfect with many different sauces and dips.
- Delicious way to eat vegetables: According to the Trader Joe’s website, their cauliflower gnocchi is 75% cauliflower. (Other brands may contain less of this veggie.) If you’re looking for a new tasty way to eat more veggies, this should fit the bill.
🥘 Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi Ingredients
Here is your shopping list for this cauliflower gnocchi air fryer recipe:
- 12-ounce bag of Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi
- Cooking oil spray
Seriously, that is it. I like to serve gnocchi with a sauce, and I have some suggestions below for sauces. A little drizzle of garlic butter would be nice too.
By the way, here’s the ingredients for Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi:
- Cassava flour
- Potato starch
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
The simple ingredients list will fit many “clean eating” type diets. I liked that this product uses items that can be found in many health food stores (and some well-stocked supermarkets).
The only kitchen equipment you need for this is an air fryer; I use a 10-Quart Kalorik Digital Air Fryer Oven. You can use your Ninja Foodi, Philips, Nuwave, Pampered Chef, Actifry, Instant Pot Vortex, Cosori, Breville, or another air fryer.
Be sure to check the food early and often the first time you try an air fryer recipe. Some air fryer brands cook faster than others. Using a different brand of cauliflower gnocchi will likely impact the air frying time as well.
🔪 How to Make Air Fryer Cauliflower Gnocchi
Mist your air fryer basket or air fryer tray with cooking spray. Place the frozen gnocchi in a single layer on the tray. Spray the gnocchi well with the cooking spray.
If you have an air fryer oven, use the top rack position closest to the heating element.
️⏲️ Cooking Time and Temperature
How long to cook Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi in air fryer? What temperature to air fry Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi? Air fry gnocchi for a total of 19-20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200C).
If the gnocchi were frozen stuck together, you can break them apart after the first 5 minutes of cooking. They will cook more evenly if they aren’t touching.
After the first 10 minutes of cooking, flip the gnocchi. There’s no need to add more cooking spray. Air fry for the final 9-10 minutes.
These air fryer directions get you gnocchi that are firm and browned on the outside. They’re sturdy like a tater tot (not mushy or soggy at all) and will hold sauce well.
Is gnocchi supposed to be chewy or crispy? As mentioned above, classic gnocchi is boiled and is not really chewy or crispy. We’re breaking tradition here because the texture of cauliflower gnocchi is so much better crisped up. (Trust me on this!)
If you don’t want crispy gnocchi, you can air fry for 15 minutes total instead of 20. (I don’t recommend it, but we all have different preferences when it comes to taste.)
The bag of Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi is relatively small. It's unlikely you’ll have leftovers (unless you live alone). Keep leftover cooked cauliflower gnocchi in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Reheat cold cauliflower gnocchi in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes at 350F (177C). If you have an air fryer oven, use the top rack.
🍝 Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi Recipe Ideas
How to eat Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi? You can eat them with tater tots with a dip like ketchup, BBQ sauce, Buffalo sauce, salsa, or ranch. Some other ideas are to use them in soups or casseroles, or season them with cinnamon or Everything Bagel seasoning.
My favorite way to eat Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi is as a substitute for pasta. Here are some sauce ideas for gnocchi:
- Keto pesto sauce
- Keto cheese sauce (make cauliflower gnocchi mac and cheese!)
- Alfredo sauce
- Marinara sauce (and Parmesan cheese)
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of Air Fryer Cauliflower Gnocchi has 175 calories, 20 grams net carbs, and 2.5 grams protein. This is for half a bag of Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi. Nutrition information will vary by brand of gnocchi and your portion size.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Cauliflower gnocchi is a veggie-rich snack or side dish. Like all items with flour, it gets the bump to level 3.
How healthy is Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi? The answer to this question depends on what your health goals are. According to Trader Joe’s, their gnocchi is 75% cauliflower, and the rest is flour, starch, and oil (plus salt).
One cup of cauliflower (cooked from frozen) is only 34 calories and 1.8 grams of net carbs. One cup of cauliflower gnocchi is 140 calories and 16 grams net carbs. Starches, flour, and oils can add a lot of calories to food without adding a lot of volume.
If you have a weight loss goal, lightly seasoned cauliflower will (in general) be a better choice than cauliflower gnocchi. It’s lower in calories, net carbs, and sodium. However, it’s definitely possible to incorporate gnocchi into meals that may support weight loss.
I would consider cauliflower gnocchi to be a starchy side dish and add more protein and non-starchy veggies to the plate. Grilled chicken breast and garden side salad are two examples to help you create filling, low calorie meals.
Is cauliflower gnocchi healthier than potato gnocchi? Cauliflower gnocchi is (in general) a better choice than potato gnocchi if you’re looking for lower carb and lower calorie options.
Per Cronometer, one cup of potato gnocchi has 250 calories and 30 grams net carbs. You save over 100 calories and 14 grams net carbs per cup when you choose Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi instead.
Yes, this is vegan Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi. It’s perfect for plant-based, vegetarian, and vegan diets. It's also great for anyone who is trying to eat more vegetables.
These are gluten free cauliflower gnocchi, and also grain free. However, they are not Paleo compatible because they contain potato starch and Paleo usually eliminates potatoes. Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi are also not Whole30 friendly due to the starches.
Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi are not keto diet friendly, because they contain cassava flour and potato starch. These are both high carbohydrate ingredients. That said, these have 16 grams of net carbs per package serving and could fit some relaxed low carb diets.
Trader Joe’s recommends steaming and then pan frying cauliflower gnocchi on their packaging. Add ¼ cup water to frozen gnocchi, cover skillet, and cook on medium until water evaporates. This should take 6-8 minutes. Then uncover, add 2 tablespoons of oil, and sauté until browned, stirring frequently. (Note: air frying yields much better results.)
You can cook frozen cauliflower gnocchi on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Cook the gnocchi in a single layer for 20 minutes in an oven preheated to 425F (218C). The pan should be about ⅓ of the way down from the top of the oven.
You can store frozen cauliflower gnocchi for up to 6-12 months in the freezer for the best quality. Though you can eat cauliflower gnocchi that has been frozen longer than this, there may be some texture deterioration.
👩🏻🍳 Other Air Fryer Cauliflower Recipes
Need some more cauliflower recipes for the air fryer? Try these air fryer recipes next:
- Air Fryer Frozen Cauliflower Pizza
- 20 Best Frozen Foods for Air Fryer (includes air fryer cauliflower tots recipe)
- Air Fryer Frozen Vegetables (includes air fryer frozen cauliflower)
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi Air Fryer Recipe
- 12 ounces frozen Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi (340 grams)
- cooking oil spray
- Mist your air fryer basket or air fryer tray with cooking spray. Place the frozen gnocchi in a single layer on the tray. Spray the gnocchi well with the cooking spray.
- Put tray with gnocchi in top rack of the air fryer oven. Air fry for 10 minutes at 400°F (200°C). Flip the gnocchi and air fry 9-10 more minutes at 400°F (200°C).
- Serve with sauce, if desired.
One cup of cauliflower (cooked from frozen) is only 34 calories and 1.8 grams of net carbs. One cup of cauliflower gnocchi is 140 calories and 16 grams net carbs. Starches, flour, and oils can add a lot of calories to food without adding a lot of volume. If you have a weight loss goal, lightly seasoned cauliflower will (in general) be a better choice than cauliflower gnocchi. It’s lower in calories, net carbs, and sodium. However, it’s definitely possible to incorporate gnocchi into meals that may support weight loss. I would consider cauliflower gnocchi to be a starchy side dish and add more protein and non-starchy veggies to the plate. Grilled chicken breast and garden side salad are two examples to help you create filling, low calorie meals. Is cauliflower gnocchi healthier than potato gnocchi? Cauliflower gnocchi is (in general) a better choice than potato gnocchi if you’re looking for lower carb and lower calorie options. Per Cronometer, one cup of potato gnocchi has 250 calories and 30 grams net carbs. You save over 100 calories and 14 grams net carbs per cup when you choose Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi instead. Nutrition information is for half of a 12-ounce bag of Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi. Nutrition information may vary depending on your portion size and the brand of cauliflower gnocchi you use.