Gnocchi Pesto

I tend to say this a lot - but it’s true a lot! If you’re looking for a recipe to impress your friends with… this is it! Gnocchi has this reputation for being complicated, but it’s really rather simple. Especially if you make it ahead of time and freeze it!

Another plus for this recipe - it’s pretty inexpensive! For the gnocchi itself - the only ingredient I needed to go out and buy was the potatoes. Amazing!

It’s no secret that pesto is my all time favorite sauce - but any pasta sauce would be delicious! This pesto though - it’s no joke. A little trick I learned in Italy - if you add some ice while you blend the sauce, it helps keep the pesto bright and green! This is not required, but it’s a pretty added touched.

Okay now that I finally wrote this recipe down after making it all these years - let me know if you decide to make i! What’s your favorite sauce to enjoy with gnocchi? Let me know in the comments and tag me on Instagram!

vegan gnocchi pesto recipe


4 russet potatoes
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp black pepper
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 ½ cups flour, plus more for rolling


Juice of 1 lemon
2-3 cloves garlic
½ cup toasted shelled pistachios
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 cups fresh basil
2 large ice cubes

  1. Preheat the oven too 400 degrees F.

  2. With a fork, pierce your potatoes a couple of times each. Place them on a baking sheet and allow to roast for 1 hour, or until tender. (Alternately, if you don’t have the time, you can cook your potatoes in the microwave using the potato setting.)

  3. While the potatoes cook, make the pesto. To a food processor or blender, add the lemon juice, garlic, and pistachios. Blend or pulse until the garlic and pistachios are finely chopped. Add all of the basil, nutritional yeast, and ice cubes. Blend or pulse until you’ve reached your desired consistency, then add in about ¼ cup of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut in half lengthwise. I like to keep the skins on, but feel free to peel them if you want to.

  5. Just before you start assembling your gnocchi dough, begin to bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a little salt to the water.

  6. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle (but still very warm), place the potatoes in a large bowl or food processor. Mash or pulse until relatively smooth (I happen to like a couple of potato chunks, though this is not traditional).

  7. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast to the potatoes and combine. Add the flour to the mixture ¼ cup at a time, mixing together between each addition. Only use enough flour to create what feels like a perfect ball of dough. You want to use as little flour as possible, so you may not use it all.

  8. To test if you have the right consistency, tear off a tiny little piece of the dough and drop it into the boiling water. If it rises to the top without falling apart, you are good to go. If it does fall apart, add a little more flour.

  9. Once the dough is formed, transfer to a floured surface. Tear off a piece of the dough ball and use your palms against the surface to create a long, even rope about a ¾ inch thick. Create little gnocchi pillows by slicing ½ inch pieces. These do not need to be perfect! Continue this process with the rest of your dough. At this point, you can choose to cook these right away or freeze for a later date. If you choose to freeze, toss the gnocchi with a little flour and place in an airtight container. I like to separate into layers by placing parchment paper between each layer. This helps prevent them from sticking together once frozen.

  10. If cooking now, using a slotted spoon or spider to drop the gnocchi into the boiling water. I recommend doing this in small batches, about 10 at a time, to keep the water at a consistent temperature. Once they rise to the top and stay there, they are ready to come out. Some may be done sooner than others, so you want to pay attention to that and take those out whenever they are ready. Transfer the cooked gnocchi to a baking sheet while you finish the rest, trying to keep them separated.

  11. Toss gnocchi with pesto. Sprinkle with a couple extra pistachios if you have them.

  12. Enjoy!