Homemade Sweet Potato-Whole Wheat Gnocchi

Sweet Potato Whole Wheat Gnocchi | Dinner of Herbs

Is gnocchi considered pasta?

It seems to be sold in the same section as pasta at grocery stores, but I am not sure.  I am wondering, because as a general rule, I am not a huge pasta fan.  Sure, I eat it and enjoy it every once in awhile, and I grew up with fairly regular meals centered around the delicious, disturbingly orange Kraft Mac’n’Cheese.  Gnocchi may have changed all this.

Speaking of Kraft’s Macaroni and Cheese…when these gnocchi are finished and still warm, they taste exactly like macaroni and cheese.  The texture isn’t terribly far off, either!  If you are a taste-tester and continual grazer while cooking (like me!) you might also notice that the gnocchi dough before and after boiling (but pre-crisping) tastes a lot like Cheez-Its.  In other words, it is amazing that any gnocchi actually made it to the dinner table as a finished product.

Sticky gnocchi dough, ready to be rolled out.
Sticky gnocchi dough, ready to be rolled out.

I’ve had regular, whole wheat, and basil gnocchi.  I have been wanting to try sweet potato gnocchi for awhile, but I have not had any luck finding it at the grocery store, so I decided to take matters into my own hands after seeing this recipe.  I made a few minor modifications to the gnocchi.  I also made a slightly different dish with the gnocchi than the one listed in the link.  I will post that small recipe next time!

Gnocchi, post boiling.  NOTE: Do NOT put your gnocchi on a baking sheet like this.  See note at end of post.
Gnocchi, post boiling. NOTE: Do NOT put your gnocchi on a baking sheet like this. See note at end of post.

The Recipe


2 c mashed sweet potato

2/3 c low-fat ricotta

1/2 c parmesan cheese

1 tsp salt

1/2 c white whole wheat flour

3/4 c all-purpose flour + more for dusting countertops

Servings: 8

Wash, peel, and dice the sweet potato, while bringing a medium-sized pot of water to a boil on the stove.  Add the sweet potato to the pot and boil until soft, about 12-15 minutes.  Drain the sweet potato, and mash thoroughly.  Add the two cups of sweet potato to a large bowl.  Mix in the ricotta, parmesan, and salt.  Slowly begin adding the flours and mixing.  The dough will still be somewhat sticky.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove.  Generously flour your countertop and hands, and place the dough on the counter top.  Divide dough into 6 equal pieces.  Roll each piece out into ropes with 3/4 inch diameter.  With a floured knife, slice each rope into approximately 1 inch long pieces.  Use a floured fork to slightly flatten each piece.  Add the dough pieces to the boiling water in batches.  They will sink initially, but they will become more puffy and float when they are read to be taken out.  With a slotted spoon, remove the gnocchi from the water and place on a wire cooling rack to allow to drain well*.  Allow the gnocchi to cool completely and dry before moving on to the next step.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add the gnocchi and allow to crisp on both sides, which will take approximately 2 minutes per side with a preheated skillet.  Optionally, you can add a little olive oil at this point for flavour.  Enjoy!

Gnocchi, drying and cooling before being 'crisped'.
Gnocchi, drying and cooling before being ‘crisped’.  I call it ‘crisping’ because I did not use oil, and ‘frying’ implies the involvement of oil.

*I placed my boiled gnocchi on a baking sheet, as suggested in the original recipe…but that did not allow it to drain well or dry on the bottom at all, so when I tried to fry it, it was sticking like crazy and falling apart.  The second batch, which was dried on both sides, worked much better.  Both were delicious, though!


39 thoughts on “Homemade Sweet Potato-Whole Wheat Gnocchi

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  2. Wow! This looks so good – I usually don’t make gnocchi because I’m not a big fan of regular potatoes, however I LOVE sweet potatoes. I can’t wait to try this – it’s exactly what I consider the perfect Italian-American “mash-up”!

  3. Being Italian, I say yes to Gnocchi being pasta. Yours look super delicious! Wow! I have got to try this out. I make Gnocchi, but never with sweet potatoes and whole wheat flour. Great idea!

  4. I’ve been seeing this in Pinterest lately – glad you tried it!! Looks amazing! Putting it on my to do list when it’s less than 80 degrees. 🙂

  5. Darn it, you are determined to get me to buy sweet potatoes with your tempting recipes! Nobody in my house likes sweet potatoes including me (I grew up hearing about how that was all my parents had to eat during the war and I should be grateful to have it). But my daughter does love the “blue box” mac and cheese (despite the disturbingly orange color) and we could munch on cheese-its all day long. Your description of this recipe may well erode my aversion to sweet potatoes…

    1. 🙂 You figured me out. I am attempting to convert everyone into sweet potato fans, one recipe at a time! The gnocchi is enjoyably cheesy, though if your kids are used to Kraft, then you might want to make a sharp cheddar cheese sauce for this to satisfy them. You should try it!

  6. You and your sweet potatoes 🙂 These look amazing–gnocchi is good, but this would be crazy-good. Thanks for sharing the baking sheet (non)tip. Glad to learn from your experience! Wonder if my kids would like since it’s a bright color and slightly mac-and-cheese like. Did you serve it with a sauce?

    1. I am actually going to post the recipe that I used to make this gnocchi into a meal on Friday, but for you–such a loyal reader 🙂 –I will tell you ahead of time. I did not use a sauce. I ‘crisped’ them, which is what I call frying them without oil, in a nonstick pan, and then I added some brussel sprouts that I had sauteed in a little olive oil, garlic, and sage in another pan. I prefer my gnocchi to be a little crispy. I know many people serve it in a sauce or even a soup, but I don’t think I would like the soggy texture as much.

      1. I love that you gave me a Sneak Peek–thanks 🙂 Sounds yum. So no sauce, but the gnocchi are more like pasta nuggets. yum 🙂

    1. Well, depending on how little your “little ones” are, they could probably ‘help’ roll the dough out–because who doesn’t like to play with their food? And it is an interesting colour…and it is cheesy. Add just a little cheese sauce to it, and it will be just like macaroni and cheese. If you try it, let me know how it goes! 🙂

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