These Keto Gnocchi with Pesto are the perfect dinner option! They are pillowy yet sturdy in texture and the perfect base for all your favorite Italian-inspired dishes. These gnocchi are keto, low-carb, grain-free, and gluten-free!
Keto Gnocchi With Pesto
Traditional gnocchi are tender little dumplings that melt in your mouth and are made from potatoes and flour.
With a keto diet, both of these ingredients are avoided due to their higher carb content.
But don't worry! Thankfully, going keto doesn't mean you have to give up on gnocchi forever!
Say hello to our Keto Gnocchi!!
No, we didn't use potatoes - that would be way too many carbs. Instead, we made the most amazing gnocchi out of cauliflower.
It's amazing how tender and delicious they are. Tossed with homemade basil pesto, this is a true culinary treat!
Keto Gnocchi Ingredients
There are two parts to this recipe - the gnocchi and the pesto. Here's what's in the gnocchi.
- Head of Cauliflower - You will use the entire head and cut it up into florets.
- Mozzarella Cheese - The mozzarella cheese helps the gnocchi hold together. You don't have to use shredded cheese, you can slice the cheese. You'll be melting it and shredded cheese melts faster, but it isn't required.
- Egg - You'll need 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk.
- Parmesan Cheese - Freshly grated Parmesan tastes the best in the gnocchi.
- Coconut Flour - You can find it in the baking aisle of your grocery store or online.
Keto Pesto Ingredients
Here's what we used in our pesto. It's so simple.
- Basil Leaves - Use fresh leaves. The dried herbs don't work at all for fresh pesto.
- Garlic Cloves - Again, you'll want to use fresh garlic, not the dried powder.
- Parmesan Cheese - We used fresh grated Parmesan.
- Walnuts - Pesto is normally made with pine nuts, so you can use those instead.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Avocado oil will work too.
- Butter - Use unsalted butter.
What Do You Serve With Keto Gnocchi
This recipe works well as both an entree or side dish. and is so versatile.
It goes with almost any kind of protein that you prepare. Try one of these:
Also, don't forget dessert! Here is our a step-by-step video of how to make our most popular recipes - Keto Zucchini Bread Whoopie Pies!
How To Make Keto Gnocchi
The entire recipe is in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
We personally love sharing a few tips and step-by-step pictures first.
So we can set you up for success!
Step #1. Chop and Steam The Cauliflower
Cut up your cauliflower into small florets.
Set a steamer basket inside a large pot and fill with just enough filtered water to reach the bottom of the basket.
Place cauliflower florets into the basket and cover with a lid. Bring the water to a boil and steam the cauliflower for only 5 minutes or until a fork can pierce through them but is met with some resistance.
Step #2. Squeeze Out the Liquid From The Cauliflower
This is a very important step. Wrap the steamed cauliflower in a dish towel and squeeze out as much water as you can.
If you leave any water in the cauliflower, it will make the gnocchi not able to set up as well.
So roll up your sleeves and squeeze out all the excess water you can!
Step #3. Make the Gnocchi Dough
Melt the mozzarella cheese in the microwave until it is fully melted - about 90 seconds.
Put the cauliflower, mozzarella, egg and yolk, parmesan cheese and coconut flour in a food processor and pulse it until it's combined.
It should look like a dough, like in the picture below. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap - tightly - and refrigerate it for 2 hours.
This is another critical step. Don't skip it.
Step #4. Make the Gnocchi Pieces
After the dough has chilled for a couple of hours, roll out the dough on parchment paper into 2 foot-long ropes that are 1-inch in diameter.
Next, cut up the gnocchi pieces. Cut them all the same size, about an inch long.
Boil the gnocchi until the pieces all float to the top. This should only take about a minute.
Then, lay them on a paper towel to dry and bake them in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes.
Step #5. Make the Pesto
This couldn't be easier. There is almost no cooking required.
Put the basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and walnuts into a food processor and process it all together until it is all combined.
Step #6. Slowly Add the Olive Oil
After it's all combined, begin to add the olive oil a little bit at a time and pulse until it is smooth.
It should look like the picture below.
Step #7. Make Brown Butter
Melt your butter in a saucepan on low-medium heat until it has a nutty aroma and has turned brown.
Then, put the pesto mixture in a bowl and mix in the brown butter.
Step #8. Toss the Gnocchi in the Pesto
Now take your baked gnocchi and toss them in the pesto.
Seriously smother them in the scrumptious green sauce, it has a mild flavor with a nutty bite.
Don't like pesto? Make our Bolognese Sauce instead!
How To Store Keto Gnocchi
If you want to store the gnocchi, we suggest only tossing the amount of gnocchi that you are going to eat in the sauce. Storing the gnocchi in the fridge with the sauce on it will change the texture.
The cauliflower bites will soak up the sauce and become pretty soft.
Store the gnocchi pieces separately from the pesto in airtight containers. You can keep them in the fridge for about a week.
Quick Keto Gnocchi Tips
Before you start cooking, here are a few pro-tips for you:
- You want to steam the cauliflower just for 5 minutes to soften it.
- It is important to squeeze as much of the liquid out as possible from the caulifllower.
- Divide the dough into quarters, then roll each quarter into a 2 foot long rope that it 1-inch in diameter.
- Tape the corners of a piece of parchment down to your counter. It makes rolling the ropes out so much easier.
- Allowing the dough to cool in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours will make it easier to roll out.
- 1 cauliflower head cut into florets
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
For the Pesto
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves loosely packed
- 2 cloves garlic whole
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup butter
For the Gnocchi
- Set a steamer basket inside a large pot and fill with just enough filtered water to reach the bottom of the basket.
- Place cauliflower florets into the basket and cover with a lid. Bring the water to a boil and steam the cauliflower for 5 minutes or until a fork can pierce through them but is met with some resistance.
- Carefully place the cauliflower in a dish towel and squeeze as much of the liquid out as possible.
- In a medium bowl, microwave the mozzarella for 60 seconds, remove it and stir, and microwave it again for 30 seconds or until it is completely melted.
- In a food processor, combine the steamed cauliflower, melted mozzarella, egg and yolk, Parmesan cheese, and coconut flour.
- Pulse until combined and a dough is formed.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- Heat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Tape a large piece of parchment paper to your kitchen counter.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and roll each part out on the parchment paper into 2 foot long ropes that are 1-inch in diameter.
- Use a knife to cut out gnocchi pieces that are each 1-inch long. Set aside.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil over high heat.
- Transfer the gnocchi pieces to the pot and boil for just 1 minute or until the gnocchi float to the top.
- Remove them from the pot and place them on a paper towel to dry.
- Transfer the boiled gnocchi to the lined baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 5-10 minutes.
For the Pesto
- While the gnocchi are baking, make the pesto. Place the basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and walnuts in a food processor or blender; process to combine.
- Slowly pour in the olive oil and pulse until smooth. Set aside.
- Make your brown butter by heating the butter in small saucepan on low-medium heat for about 8-10 minutes or until the butter has a nutty aroma and has turned light brown.
- Transfer the pesto to a medium bowl and whisk in the brown butter.
- Add in the baked gnocchi and toss to fully coat with the pesto-butter mixture.
We Can't Wait To See You Try It!
We love seeing our recipes come to life!! We can’t wait to see how you make these and loving seeing each person's unique spin on it! Tag us on Instagram @cleanketolifestyle or use the hashtag #CKLrecipe!