Easy Cauliflower Gnocchi with Marinara Sauce

September 4, 2019

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This Easy Cauliflower Gnocchi with Marinara Sauce is a lighter, fresher way to get your pasta fix without the carbs! It’s freezer-friendly and made with simple, better-for-you ingredients like Mazola®​ Corn Oil!

September is National Cholesterol Awareness Month, and to spread awareness through my love of food, I recently whipped up an easy cauliflower gnocchi. It’s easier than you might think to make homemade gnocchi, especially when it’s made with only three ingredients – cauliflower, gluten-free flour, and Mazola Corn Oil. A clinical study showed Mazola Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, see Mazola.com.

Gnocchi is actually considered a dumpling that’s traditionally made with potato, all-purpose flour, and an egg. I’ve lightened up my gnocchi recipe by swapping out the potato for cauliflower. Instead of all-purpose flour, I used gluten-free flour (you could also use whole wheat flour or another flour alternative). In place of the egg, I used Mazola Corn Oil. It’s a simple swap that helps reduce saturated fats and cholesterol!

I think of gnocchi as pasta and you can’t have homemade pasta without a good homemade tomato sauce! So I also whipped up a homemade marinara sauce made with a can of low sodium crushed tomatoes, Mazola Corn Oil (instead of olive oil), garlic, onion, and fresh herbs! Toss the gnocchi in the marinara before serving and top with fresh basil and shaved Parmesan.

How to make perfect cauliflower gnocchi!

The first batch of gnocchi that I made was a little tricky for me. I was still trying to get the right consistency to roll out and cut into little rectangles. You don’t want your dough to be dry, but you don’t want it to be too wet either. The right consistency is somewhat sticky, so be patient while you’re forming the dough. 

If the dough crumbles while you’re rolling it out, add a little more water to it. If it seems too sticky, add a little flour. A little goes a long way, so work slowly! Once you get your dough right, making gnocchi is a breeze and takes just minutes to cook!

You can start the marinara sauce before working on the gnocchi. That way, you can give it time to thicken up and grab all of those delicious flavors! Bring to a boil, give it a good stir, then lower the heat. When it’s done, you can serve it alongside the gnocchi or lightly toss the gnocchi in the sauce and serve it with fresh basil and shaved Parmesan.

Easy Cauliflower Gnocchi with Marinara Sauce

Easy Cauliflower Gnocchi with Marinara Sauce


  • For the cauliflower gnocchi:
  • 4-5 c. cauliflower florets, or half a head of medium cauliflower
  • 2/3 c. all-purpose gluten-free flour, or your preferred flour
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. Mazola Corn Oil
  • 1 tbsp. water, plus more
  • For the marinara sauce:
  • 1 tbsp. Mazola Corn Oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 28 oz. can low sodium crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: crushed red pepper flakes, shaved Parmesan cheese, fresh basil leaves


  1. For the cauliflower gnocchi:
  2. Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until it looks a little like rice.
  3. Spoon the cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 5 minutes.
  4. Once microwaved, spread the cauliflower on a towel to cool.
  5. When the cauliflower has cooled completely, wrap it up in the towel and squeeze most of the water out. It's okay if there's a little moisture left as long as you squeeze out most of it.
  6. Place the cauliflower into the food processor and pulse it again until smooth. Then, gradually add in the flour.
  7. Add the garlic powder, Mazola Corn Oil, and water, and continue pulsing until a dough forms. Then, turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
  8. Break off small pieces of dough and shape them into little balls. Using the back of a fork, roll the dough down the prongs to make their shape.
  9. To cook the gnocchi: bring a pot of salted water to a boil and carefully add the gnocchi. Cook until the gnocchi float to the top (it'll only take a few minutes) and remove with a slotted spoon.
  10. For the marinara sauce:
  11. Heat the Mazola Corn Oil over medium heat.
  12. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring consistently, until the onion has softened and the garlic is fragrant.
  13. Carefully pour in the can of crushed tomatoes.
  14. Add the Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Stir.
  15. Bring sauce to a boil, then turn down the heat, letting the sauce simmer.
  16. The longer the sauce cooks, the better it will be, but cook until it has thickened up a bit, 10-15 minutes.
  17. Serve with gnocchi, crushed red pepper, shaved Parmesan, and fresh basil, if desired.
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We’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with recipes that are better for us since we’ve changed our eating habits. Adding Mazola Corn Oil to our recipes has been a simple swap that helps us keep our cholesterol in check.

Mazola Corn Oil is an all-purpose, cholesterol free cooking oil that is a smart heart-healthy* choice for your family. *See Mazola.com for more information on the relationship between corn oil and heart health. It has a variety of uses including baking, grilling, sautéing, stir frying, or mixing up a marinade or dressing.

This gnocchi was so good that I ended up doubling the batch! My husband and I have really enjoyed this recipe! The best part is that you can make it ahead of time and freeze it! Just shape the gnocchi, place it on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze. Then, you can divide it into freezer bags and enjoy it whenever you want!


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