How to Make Pumpkin Gnocchi

Pumpkin gnocchi is a tasty first course, an easy recipe made with few ingredients. One above all: the Pumpkin. This is the recipe for pumpkin gnocchi without potatoes, dressed with sage butter sauce. 

So first of all, use a sweet pumpkin, such a butternut squash or a kabocha squash. Then, if you want to get delicious, soft but compact homemade pumpkin gnocchi, you have to cook the pumpkin in the oven so as to make the pulp dry out.

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Many add a boiled potato to the dough. If you use a high quality pumpkin (please NO pure canned pumpkin. Just…NO) and cook it in the right way, the potato is not necessary.

We are going to show you how to shape pumpkin gnocchi using a gnocchi board. And finally how to properly cook gnocchi and season with a light sauce, not to alter their taste.

Rich in nutrients, including mineral salts and vitamins, the pumpkin is a typically autumnal vegetable that is harvested and used in the kitchen when it’s completely ripe and the pulp is sweeter.

This vegetable is excellent for preparing pumpkin soup, pasta dishes, such as pumpkin ravioli, or even a pumpkin semifreddo.

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How to Make Pumpkin Gnocchi Recipe

  • Prep Time:40 min
  • Cook Time:40 min
  • Yelds:4


For Pumpkin Gnocchi

  • 600 g (about 2 ½ cups) of cooked pumpkin pulp (that is, 1 pumpkin of about 1,3 kg /2,8 lbs). Use a sweet pumpkin, such a butternut squash or a kabocha squash
  • 300 g (2 ¼ cups) of all purpose flour
  • 1 medium egg
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • a pinch of nutmeg

For the Seasoning

  • 100 g (about 1 stick) of butter
  • 5/6 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano


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Step 1) – First, you need to clean the pumpkin and cook it. Everyone has their own method. We are going to show you what we think removes water from the pumpkin as quickly as possible. Cut the pumpkin into thin slices then place them on a baking sheet pan covered with baking paper.

Cook in a static oven preheated to 200°C (390F) for 15-20 minutes or in a ventilated oven at 180°C (350F) for 10-15 minutes, until they start to slightly dry. This way the pumpkin will dry out and will not release the water during the preparation of the pumpkin gnocchi dough.

pumpkin gnocchi step 2

Step 2) – Place the flour on a work surface and, using your hands or a spoon, create the classic fountain shape. Crush the pumpkin with a potato ricer directly on the flour. Add salt and black pepper and flavor with a pinch of nutmeg.

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Step 3) – In a little bowl, beat the egg up. Give the mixture again a fountain shape and make a hole in the center then pour the egg. Incorporate it with a fork and work it until it’s homogeneous.

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Step 4) – Work the dough with your hands as little as possible and quickly. Give it the shape of a loaf. Now cut a piece of pumpkin dough with a dough scraper or a sharp knive.

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Step 5) – Then with your hands make a long roll of dough as thick as a finger.

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Step 6) – Slice the roll every 1,5/2 cm (about half inch), so as to have small cylinders.

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Step 7) – Now slide the gnocchi one by one on a gnocchi board to give them the classic striped pattern on the surface (only if they are firm enough, otherwise forget it. They will be delicious all the same!). Homemade pumpkin gnocchi are ready!

Keep reading and find out how to cook and season pumpkin gnocchi!

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How to Store Pumpkin Gnocchi (Freezing Gnocchi)

You can store pumpkin gnocchi in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours before cooking.

In any case, we suggest freezing them. Yes, it’s better if you FREEZE them. It’s a little trick. This way you can make pumpkin gnocchi even some days ahead of time and, when you want to eat them, you have just to take the gnocchi directly from the freezer and, without defrosting, cook them.

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Here’s how to store pumpkin gnocchi: place them, well spaced, on a tray covered with a floured cloth or baking paper. Place the tray into the freezer. Wait for 2/3 hours then transfer them in food plastic bags and put them back into the freezer. Do NOT put freshly-made-still-soft gnocchi in plastic bags, otherwise they will stick to each other!

Cook gnocchi still frozen in boiling water, directly from the freezer to the pasta pot. This way they will retain the softness and texture of homemade pumpkin gnocchi.

How to Cook Pumpkin Gnocchi

So, now it’s time to cook the pumpkin gnocchi. Let’s see how to do it.

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Step 1) – In a rather large pasta pot, bring the water to a boil and add the necessary coarse salt. When the water boils, add the gnocchi a few at a time. You see that the gnocchi, due to their weight, go to the bottom, especially if they are frozen. Cook over high heat.

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Step 2) – After 1 or 2 minutes, the dumplings come to the surface. They are cooked! As soon as they rise to the surface, take them with a skimmer slotted spoon and drain them well. Pumpkin gnocchi are cooked and ready to be seasoned. Let’s see how to do it.

How to Serve Pumpkin Gnocchi

Pumpkin gnocchi have a sweet, delicate flavor. The sauce you use to dress them should not overpower their flavor. Therefore, the best dressing for pumpkin gnocchi is a sauce made with butter, some fresh sage leaves and a sprinkling of Parmigiano.

So, let’s see together how to make sage butter sauce for pumpkin gnocchi.

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Step 1) – In a saucepan, melt the butter and flavor it with the sage leaves on low heat for about 2 minutes.

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Step 2) – In a bowl, put 2/3 tablespoons of sage butter sauce. When the gnocchi are cooked, place them in the bowl with the sauce, a few at a time.

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Step 3) – Finish seasoning them by adding all the sauce. Then add a couple of tablespoons of grated Parmigiano cheese.

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Step 3) – Stir gently, from bottom to top so as not to break them. You will see that the gnocchi are creamy, but, if they are not creamy enough, add a tablespoon of cooking water. Add a little Parmigiano on top before serving.

What if Pumpkin Gnocchi Dough is too Soft

It may happen that the pumpkin gnocchi dough is a little soft. This is given by the water contained in the pumpkin. If the pumpkin is too watery and has not dried sufficiently during cooking, the dough will be soft. What to do? Here are some alternative ways of making pumpkin gnocchi with a soft dough.

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If the mixture is too soft to work on a surface, you can put it in a pastry bag. When it is time to cook them, drop small pieces of dough directly into the boiling water. Or take the dough with a teaspoon and drop it into the pot, with the help of another teaspoon.

If, on the other hand, you have managed to cut the gnocchi but they are too soft and sticky to be striped as per tradition, rather than add too much flour, cook them without striping, they will still be delicious!

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5 thoughts on “How to Make Pumpkin Gnocchi”

  1. I make pumpkin gnocchi with Kobocha squash which I process and freeze in 2 cup portions. When defrosted, there is a lot of liquid. I put it in a fine sieve and let some of the liquid drain off, then added just enough flour (gluten free, better batter) to make a very soft dough. Refrigerating the dough would make it easier to handle. They are delicious! Kobocha squash is very sweet and flavorful!

  2. I used fresh pumpkin (not sure what variety, maybe sugar?) and roasted until dry as recommended, then just squashed it up with my hands since I don’t have a ricer. It was quite a wet dough, but I resisted adding flour which was definitely the right move– they came out great! Was my first time making gnocchi, and was surprised at how tender and pillowy they were. Highly recommend!

  3. Just made pumpkin gnocchi for the first time and it was perfect. My pumpkin was not quite ripe, which meant it was very starchy, not watery. I did not have to add any potato.

    • I made this with some fresh pumpkin that seemed too runny even after baking. I cooked it in a saucepan until much of the liquid had boiled off, stirring constantly. Seems like you could do that with canned pumpkin, too.


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