Bowls, Dinner, Fall, Healthy, Pasta, Sheet Pan, Stove Top, Vegan

Vegan Gnocchi with Sunflower Kale Pesto and Crispy Sweet Potatoes

We did a pretty good job cleaning up the leftovers after Thanksgiving this year, but for some reason no one wanted to finish the mashed potatoes. As the one who made them, I have to say I was a little offended. It all worked out though because it turns out that mashed potatoes make great gnocchi! I was a little worried that the added earth balance and soymilk would mess up the texture but they were actually super soft and pillowy! Vegan gnocchi is great because it’s only two ingredients and comes together in just a few minutes. If you don’t have any leftover mashed potatoes, this recipe will totally work with an equal amount of well mashed baked russet potatoes.

Vegan gnocchi with kale pesto crispy sweet potatoes

A few notes—

  • Whether you use mashed potatoes or baked russets, make sure they are really well mashed. You don’t want chunks of potato ruining the texture.
  • The amount of flour you need will vary depending on how dry your potatoes (or mashed potatoes) are. Creamier mashed potatoes will require more flour while plain baked russets will need less. Just make sure the dough isn’t sticky, and try to add as little as possible to ensure soft, fluffy gnocchi.
  • I like pan frying my gnocchi, but you could also boil it for 2-3 minutes in a large pot of heavily salted water.


1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt

4 cups leftover mashed potatoes or we’ll mashed baked russets
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (may need more – see note)
Olive oil for pan frying

1 bunch of kale (about 4 cups chopped)
3 tbsp sunflower seeds
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
Salt to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Toss the cubed sweet potatoes in olive oil, paprika and salt then spread evenly on a prepared baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until crispy.
  2. Meanwhile, make the pesto. In a blender, combine chopped kale, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, olive oil and garlic. Blend until no whole sunflower seeds remain, scraping down the sides as needed. Season with salt and set aside.
  3. To make the gnocchi, combine potatoes and flour, stirring until a dough forms. If it seems too sticky, add a pinch of flour. Working in batches, roll the dough into long ropes, sprinkling with flour to prevent sticking. Using a sharp knife or bench scraper. Cut into bite sized pieces and roll into smooth ovals.
  4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat a few tsp of olive oil over medium heat then add gnocchi. Fry for 2-3 minutes before flipping over each one. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi, adding more oil to the pan between batches.
  5. Divide the gnocchi among bowls, serve with a few spoonfuls of pesto and a handful of crispy sweet potatoes.