Apple & Sage Cauliflower Gnocchi


More Winter Recipes

Originally published in January 2020; updated January 2021.

My favorite kind of meal is one that is slightly indulgent yet healthy. When it comes to food, it’s all about balance. For example, this cauliflower and sage gnocchi is made with one full head of cauliflower, nutritious Piñata apples, and sage, but also butter and cheese.   

When it comes to gnocchi, I could eat it every day. I love the little soft and pillowy balls of dough. Seeing as I eat gnocchi at least once a week, I thought it would be fun to develop a healthier version using cauliflower as the base. I’m not even kidding when I say you can’t even tell that it’s made from cauliflower, which is incredible. I love the cauliflower gnocchi you can get pre-made from the grocery store – we eat it all the time when I don’t feel like making gnocchi from scratch. I thought to myself that I could probably make a homemade version, possibly even better! I grabbed my head of cauliflower and went to work.  

Are you a gnocchi-nut too? Check out this version with apples and sausage.

After a few trials and errors, I realized that it is extremely important to wring out the cauliflower after steaming. My steamer was too close to the water and a lot of the water became absorbed by the cauliflower. In the end, this resulted in a sticky dough that was quite difficult to work with. Once I managed to get the gnocchi to appropriate texture, it was then just a matter of shaping those cute little gnocchis into their desired shape. After I was done shaping them, all they needed was a quick cook in some boiling water for 3 minutes. So easy. 

I knew that I wanted to toss the gnocchi in a luxurious brown butter sauce. I browned some butter, added some sweet Piñata apples, and some fried sage for the perfect combination. I topped the whole meal with some Parmesan cheese, of course. My kids ate it, my in-laws ate it, my husband ate it, and no one even guessed they were made from cauliflower. So, if you’re like me and always trying to get those extra veggies into your kids or add a little more balance to your life, might I suggest this apple and sage cauliflower gnocchi? No one will be the wiser.  

Apple, Sage & Cauliflower Gnocchi


  • 5 cups chopped cauliflower
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 8 TBSP of butter
  • 2 Pinata apples from Stemilt, peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 TBSP of fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated

Perfect for Meatless Monday, this apple and sage cauliflower gnocchi is a crowd pleaser! Its flavors are rich enough that those eating it won't even know it's made with fruits and vegetables.

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  • Yield
    4 entrees servings
  • Prep time
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  1. Steam the cauliflower until it is soft, roughly 5 minutes. Remove the cauliflower from the steamer basket and let it cool. Place the cauliflower into a tea towel or cheesecloth and squeeze out any and all additional water. You want to squeeze the towel really tight.
  2. Place the cauliflower into a food processor and pulse until it is finely ground. Add 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour and pulse until the mixture comes together into a ball. Place the dough onto a well-floured surface.
  3. Knead the dough for roughly 3 minutes. Add additional flour if the dough becomes too sticky. The amount of flour you will need depends on how wet the cauliflower was. Shape the kneaded dough into a ball and set it to the side.
  4. While you are preparing the gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  5. Using a pastry cutter or a knife divide the dough into 4 pieces.
  6. Take one piece of dough and roll into a long rope approximately 1 inch thick. Using a knife, cut the dough into ½ - 1-inch pieces, depending on how thick you want your gnocchi. I tend to err on the smaller size. To shape the gnocchi, you can either roll them into tiny balls and push them against the back of a fork to get the signature gnocchi indents, or you can take the gnocchi as it and push it against the back of a fork. Either method works well. Another option is to purchase a gnocchi board, but it is definitely not necessary.
  7. Place the gnocchi onto a baking sheet covered with a towel until you are ready to cook. Continue rolling and cutting the other three pieces of dough into gnocchi shapes. Cover with a towel.
  8. In a large frying pan, add the butter and heat on medium until it starts to brown.
  9. Add the apples and saute until tender.
  10. Add the gnocchi to the boiling salted water and cook for 3 minutes until the gnocchi floats to the surface. Add the cooked gnocchi to the apples and butter along with the chopped sage. Fry for a few minutes until the gnocchi has slightly browned.
  11. Season with salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Serve warm!

Nutritional Information

Per Serving

  • Calories: 572
  • Fat Content: 31g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 17.2 g
  • Unsaturated Fat Content: 11 g
  • Trans Fat Content: 1 g
  • Carbohydrate Content: 64 g
  • Protein Content: 12.4 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 72 mg
  • Fiber Content: 6.7 g
  • Sugar Content: 13 g
  • Sodium Content: 1075 mg