Adapted from one of the internet’s best recipes for crispy roast potatoes, this oven roasted cauliflower gnocchi is one of my favorite ways to prepare frozen gnocchi. It’s unbelievably crispy and flavorful with bits of fried garlic and rosemary leaves coating each piece. You can serve this roasted cauliflower gnocchi as a side dish in place of potatoes or as an appetizer with a little Calabrian chili dipping sauce. But enough chit chat, let’s get roasting!
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How to Roast Frozen Cauliflower Gnocchi in the Oven
This recipe is adapted from J. Kenji López-Alt’s recipe for the best roast potatoes ever. In his original recipe he parboils large chunks of potato in alkaline water before infusing olive oil with garlic and rosemary to roast the potatoes with. We borrowed his technique for infusing our cauliflower gnocchi and tossing the roasted gnocchi with the crispy garlic and rosemary pieces.
You’ll find a visual recipe walkthrough below, but we’d encourage you to check out his recipe and accompanying video if you need some extra help, especially when it comes to infusing the olive oil.
Heat olive oil, minced garlic, rosemary leaves, salt, and pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the garlic turns golden brown.
Unlike the original recipe for potatoes, we were able to get the amount of olive oil down to 3 tablespoons instead of 5. If you don’t have a small saucepan, you can use a small skillet. Just keep an eye on your garlic as it may cook faster in a shallow pan.
If you’re not used to cooking with rosemary, you’ll want to make sure to remove the rosemary leaves from the stem. To do this, pull backwards or in the opposite direction the leaves are growing.
Microwave frozen cauliflower gnocchi before adding the olive oil, using a fine mesh strainer to reserve the garlic and rosemary for later.
We used cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe’s, but any frozen cauliflower gnocchi should work fine for this recipe.
Add the cauliflower gnocchi to a rimmed sheet pan and bake for around 45 minutes at 450ºF, flipping halfway through.
The part of the cauliflower gnocchi that’s in contact with the pan will get the most browning action. So be sure to flip them halfway through and use a spatula that’s sturdy enough to get any crispy bits that might be a little stuck to the pan.
Toss the roasted cauliflower gnocchi with fresh parsley as well as the reserved garlic and rosemary.
Working quickly in this steps helps everything stick together a bit better. You could also add a tiny bit of freshly grated parmesan to assist with binding the crispy bits and adding some extra flavor.
And that should do it. You’ll find a short recipe Q&A below, and the full recipe card below that. Let me know if you have any questions I haven’t covered in a comment at the bottom of the post.
How can I make roasted cauliflower gnocchi in the air fryer?
I would do everything the same with microwaving the gnocchi and infusing the oil, but I would add the oil in batches so it doesn’t all end up at the bottom of your air fryer. I’d start with half the oil on the gnocchi and air fry for around 8 minutes at 400ºF. Then toss the gnocchi in the remaining olive oil before air frying an additional 8-10 minutes or as long as you need to get it as crispy as you’d like. Shaking the gnocchi in the air fryer basket often will be key to even browning, especially with two bags of cauliflower gnocchi in at once.
Do I have to use all 3 tablespoons of olive oil?
I know it seems like a lot, but you’re really looking at 1/2 a tablespoon per bag of cauliflower gnocchi. The problem with reducing the amount of olive oil really comes with the infusion process. With less oil, it’ll be challenging to complete that process.
That being said, you could always use a pre-infused olive oil and dry roast the garlic and rosemary for adding to the roasted cauliflower gnocchi. I guess you could even used dried rosemary and something like a roasted garlic paste.
There are ways around the olive oil if you need to reduce the fat and calorie content. You’ll just need to get creative and expect a slightly less crispy/flavorful finished product.
What should I serve with roasted cauliflower gnocchi?
Like I mentioned in the introduction, this recipe works great as a potato-like side with a protein or main dish. Here’s a handful of pairing ideas:
- mustard balsamic air fryer chicken thighs
- crispy pan fried chicken breast
- garlic parmesan air fried chicken tenders
- spicy buttermilk baked chicken tenderloins
- sriracha bbq baked chicken meatballs
And you could always use them as an appetizer or snack. They reheat surprisingly well, especially if you can pop them in an air fryer or back in the oven for a few minutes.
However you end up serving your roasted cauliflower gnocchi, I’d love to hear about it. Be sure to stop by again and let me know in a comment or recipe review!
- 3 Tbsp (48g) Olive Oil
- 2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
- Small handful freshly picked rosemary leaves, finely chopped
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 bags Frozen Cauliflower Gnocchi
- Small handful fresh parsley, minced
- Preheat oven to 450ºF and place the frozen cauliflower gnocchi in a covered microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 6 minutes and drain any remaining water from the bowl. Set aside.
- Add the olive oil, minced garlic, rosemary leaves, salt, and pepper to a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring regularly, for 2-3 minutes until the garlic starts turning golden brown. Use a fine mesh strainer to add the oil to the gnocchi and reserve the garlic rosemary mixture for later.*
- Toss/stir the gnocchi in the oil before adding to a rimmed sheet pan. Bake for 25 minutes before flipping/stirring with a metal spatula. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
- Transfer the cooked gnocchi to a bowl and toss with reserved garlic rosemary mixture and fresh parsley.
*If you wanted to skip the oil infusion, you could toss the gnocchi in a mixture of oil, crushed garlic, and herbs halfway through cooking (so you don't burn the garlic). See my air fryer roasted radishes or air fried cauliflower gnocchi for examples. The latter would also be a good example of an alternative, faster cook method.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 210Total Fat: 11gCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 2g