Green Goddess Pesto Cauliflower Gnocchi Recipe (Vegan)

Healthy eating just got even more palatable with pillowy, chewy cauliflower gnocchi smothered in a bright, “cheesy,” veggie-packed vegan pesto!

I know I’m not the only one OBSESSED with the TikTok famous Baked By Melissa Green Goddess Salad.

I’ve even made my own Mediterranean version of the viral salad. You can find the recipe here!

So here I was, craving the lemony, garlicky dressing when it dawned on me… this would taste INSANE on pasta! It is a vegan pesto, after all — and what better to smother pesto all over than Italy’s finest?

But this is a healthy food blog, after all… and though I’m all for indulging here and there, for the most part I feel better and my family feels better when we stick to a lower gluten diet. Enter: Cauliflower gnocchi.

Why Cauliflower Gnocchi?

Traditional gnocchi is a dumpling pasta made with a potato and semolina flour mixture, creating a pillowy, doughy texture. However as desirable as it is, it is still pretty high in gluten. For the most part I try to keep our household gluten-free — reducing gluten from your diet has shown to reduce inflammation, digestion issues, headaches, improve sleep… even if you’ve never been diagnosed as gluten-intolerant or Celiac!

So you can imagine my delight when I discovered cauliflower gnocchi, one of the top tier gluten-free kitchen staples in our household! I have tried many varieties (as it has become more and more commonly found in grocery stores), but I always go back to the Trader Joe’s frozen Cauliflower Gnocchi. The texture and taste are superior, in my opinion!

What makes up the Vegan Green Goddess Pesto Sauce?

Okay, now onto the true star of the dish: the parmesany-but-not vegan green goddess pesto. With spinach, basil, lemon juice, garlic, raw nuts and shallot, the ingredients are healthy and clean. But how do you make a pesto with parmesan!?

The answer: nutritional yeast. I’ve long since been a fan of this vegan staple, as I’ve used it in so many of my most popular recipes like my Guy’s Grocery Games Vegan Nachos and Vegan Mac and Cheese. Nutritional yeast is a powder that tastes — you guessed it — totally cheesy! It is essential for bringing this pesto together and can also be found at Trader Joe’s and most grocery stores.

Here’s how you’ll make my Green Goddess Pesto Cauliflower Gnocchi:

  1. Blend all the ingredients together in a high-powered blender or food processor.
  2. In a skillet, heat a drizzle of oil then add frozen cauliflower gnocchi.
  3. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, then remove from heat.
  4. Drizzle the sauce over the gnocchi and serve immediately!

Yes, it’s that simple!! You’re 15 minutes away from a dish that will blow your socks off.. without having to unbutton your jeans 🙂

Looking for other Cauliflower Gnocchi recipes? Check these out!

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Green Goddess Pesto Cauliflower Gnocchi Recipe (Vegan)

Healthy eating just got even more palatable with pillowy, chewy cauliflower gnocchi smothered in a bright, "cheesy," veggie-packed vegan pesto!
3 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4 as a side


  • high-powered blender or food processor


  • 2 12-oz. bags frozen cauliflower gnocchi I like Trader Joe's best
  • 1 tbsp. olive or avocado oil
  • kosher salt and pepper

vegan green goddess pesto

  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled & smashed
  • 1 shallot peeled & quartered
  • 1/2 cup raw nuts use cashews, walnuts, pinenuts or macademia nuts for the creamiest sauce
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp. olive or avocado oil


  • Start by placing all pesto ingredients into your blender cup. Seal with lid and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Set aside.
  • In a large, non-stick skillet, heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium high heat. When warm, add in both bags of frozen cauliflower gnocchi.
  • Cook gnocchi for 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden. Remove from heat.
  • Pour blended pesto sauce over gnocchi and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately!
Keyword cauliflower gnocchi, pasta, pesto, vegan
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