Potato gnocchi – gluten free

My beautiful daughter Tamara moved back home a few weeks ago and I am overjoyed at having her home so we can watch girly movies, go shopping, get our nails done together and I can cook her wonderful home made meals. She tells me I am turning into her nonna by always having a meal ready for her when she gets home. She has been eating gluten-free for about a year (which has really helped her feel better) but it does present a bit of a challenge for my usual repertoire of home made pasta, cakes and her favorite gnocchi. Last week I was determined to make gluten-free gnocchi for her as it had been so long since she had been able to eat them (photo below is Tamara with her nonna Livia).

Tamara and her nonna

It was so much easier than I thought it would be! Armed with Blue Moon potatoes from the local Farmer’s Market, which have a bluish skin and are floury which makes them ideal for gnocchi, I trawled the Internet for information on what to use in place of regular plain flour. The were recipes with sweet rice flour, cornflour, gluten free bread flour, tapioca starch and a whole lot more. I liked the sound of a recipe using potato flour in place of regular flour. I felt I couldn’t go wrong mixing potato with potato.

blue moon potatoes

The result was quite spectacular. I was worried that they would fall apart when boiled due to the lack of gluten, but it didn’t happen. They stayed together beautifully. They were a bit difficult to roll so it took a bit more time than it would normally take to prepare them. And you can’t roll them on the back of a fork to give them a little curl to hold the sauce in. However they were tender and like pillows of potatoes. Using regular plain flour to make gnocchi you run the risk of incorporating too much flour and them becoming chewy. This doesn’t happen when you mix potatoes with potato flour. We ate them covered in a rich tomato basil sauce. They were delicious and I am now a convert to the gluten free way for gnocchi…and Tamara is pretty happy too!

gnocchi with tomato and basil salsa

Gluten free potato gnocchi with a simple tomato basil sauce
serves 4
2-3 large Blue moon (or Desiree) potatoes – about 750g
1 cup potato flour
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tin of chopped peeled tomatoes
1/2 onion, peeled and whole
50g unsalted butter
Stem of fresh basil (or about 6 fresh leaves)
Pinch salt
Pinch sugar

Scrub the potatoes and place in a large saucepan, 3/4 filled with cold water. The potatoes should be whole and unpeeled. It is easier if they are a similar size so they all have the same approximate cooking times. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the potatoes are tender (start testing them at 20 – 30 minutes depending on how large they are) when prodded with a fork. Drain (removing one at a time if needed) and peel. Place the cooked potatoes through a potato ricer (or mash them finely) and spread out onto a chopping board. 

Whilst the potatoes are cooking make the tomato sauce. Place all the ingredients in a smallish saucepan on medium to low heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, discarding the onion and basil before serving.

gnocchi all rolled

Make a well in the center of the still warm cooked potatoes. Break open the egg in the center of the potatoes and sprinkle over the cup of potato flour and salt. Mix with your hands until the mixture is uniform and make a large loaf shape. Cut off a slice of the potato mixture and cut into cubes that are approximately 2 or 3 cm across. Roll each cube between the palms of both hands until you form balls. Set aside and work on the rest of the potato loaf one slice at a time (covering the loaf with some plastic wrap to prevent it drying out). Cover the gnocchi you have rolled as you prepare them with a clean tea towel (again to prevent them from drying out).

all rolled - gnocchi

Boil a large pot of salted water. Gently drop the gnocchi in the water (don’t throw the lot in at once as you may overcrowd the pot, drop them in a handful at a time ) and cook them a few minutes until they rise to the surface. The potatoes are essentially already cooked so you will just need to heat the gnocchi through.

plate of gnocchi close

Lift the cooked gnocchi out of the water carefully with a slotted spoon, a few at a time, and place on warmed plates. Spoon over the prepared tomato sauce (or other favorite sauce) and scatter with grated parmigiano before serving.

Related posts on this blog:
Potato gnocchi stuffed with prunes
Eggplant and potato gnocchi
Ricotta gnocchi

25 comments on “Potato gnocchi – gluten free

  1. Great to know! My husband also has to eat gluten free and I’ve always stayed away from a lot of what my mom makes (like homemade gnocchi) because I’m always convinced the GF alternatives will ruin it. Will have to give this a try!


    • My blog post is not clear on potato flour vs potato starch. Interestingly what I use is called “Nature’s First Potato Flour (actually a starch)”. Quite confusing! I would suggest using potato flour. I will change the blog post to reflect this – thanks for pointing it out.


  2. i made this for dinner last night (my first time making gnocchi) for myself, a housemate and her friend and it turned out really lovely 🙂 thanks for the recipe. i improvised on the sauce…fried out the onion (chopped) with some crushed garlic and left it in for a stronger flavour…not sure if its authentic italian but it was tasty! I was really impressed that they held together. Also i did the little imprint with the back of a fork and they didnt break apart! But i couldnt curl them. Ah well. i was wondering if the quantities would be the same with regular all purpose flour?


    • Hi Kath, that is fantastic that they worked out so well and cute that you made the fork imprint as well. For regular gnocchi, the quantities are approximately the same, but I would hold back on the flour just a bit and only add if they don’t hold together. The less flour you can get away with, the softer and more pillow-like they will be.


  3. I made these last week for dinner (with the sauce) and they worked beautifully. I cooked the leftover gnocchi and put them in the sauce for reheating the next day for lunch – not so good. I would definitely recommend making these and eating them all fresh as it if you eat as leftovers they really change in texture and taste. Thanks so much for the GF recipe. I have really missed gnocchi!


  4. wow. thanks so much for posting this recipe. They turned out amazing! I could eat them every night. I am so grateful when recipes like these that I find on my gluten free journey makes me not miss gluten at all.


    • my pleasure – I am so glad they worked out well and you like them. It is so hard being gluten free with some foods – glad you have a gnocchi solution now and thanks for commenting


  5. Good morning, could i be a pest and clarify it is potato FLOUR you used in this recipe as opposed to potato STARCH, just want to use the right one and as i have had a lot conflicting opinions in regards to this when trying to purchase potato flour with many shops trying to tell me they are the same thing, which by what i have researched they are miles apart from each other in taste and characteristics. Thanks , ps cant wait to try your recipe,


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