Make restaurant-style sweet potato gnocchi that’s soft and pillowy right at home! Need a quick sauce that’s sure to please? Brown butter, sage, and a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts will do the trick.
Homemade gnocchi might sound intimidating, but my easy-to-follow steps will guide you from plain old sweet potato, to a gourmet bowl of gnocchi, without the stress.
While a sage brown butter sauce is totally optional, there’s really no better way I can think of to serve sweet potato gnocchi! The subtle sweetness of the gnocchi and the toasty, salty, earthy richness of brown butter and sage is really unparalleled.
It’s a variation on a classic Italian dish, a fall staple, and a crowd-pleaser…let’s make sweet potato gnocchi!
P.S. if you’re loving brown butter recipes, try my Whipped Ricotta with Brown Butter Sage & Honey. Yes please!
Why You’ll Love This Sweet Potato Gnocchi Recipe
It’s hard to beat homemade sweet potato gnocchi with a decadent brown butter sauce. Here are the top reasons why you’ll love this recipe:
- Perfect texture: gnocchi should be soft, pillowy and delicate. These are exactly that!
- Delicate, delicious flavor: sweet potato gnocchi is a touch sweet…a blank slate for many sauces.
- Versatile (don’t want brown butter sauce?): try an alfredo sauce, pesto, or a quick garlicky herb olive oil drizzle.
- Drop dead gorgeous: this dish is the essence of fall…I mean look at it! I’m swooning.
- A freezer staple: double or triple the recipe and freeze gnocchi for later.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi Ingredients
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- Sweet potatoes – sweet potatoes are the base for sweet potato gnocchi…duh! They add a delicate sweetness and softness to the gnocchi.
- All-purpose flour – flour helps create a dough.
- Whole milk ricotta cheese – ricotta creates a light, delicate dough that’s tender and pillowy.
- Parmesan cheese – parmesan adds nutty, complex flavor.
- Large egg – an egg bind everything together.
- Salt – salt adds flavor.
- Ground nutmeg – nutmeg adds subtle warmth.
Sage Brown Butter Sauce
- Fresh sage leaves – fresh sage and sweet potato is a match made in heaven.
- Salted butter – salted brown butter is the best rich, luscious sauce for sweet potato gnocchi.
- Chopped hazelnuts – toasted hazelnuts are incredible with brown butter. They’re earthy and buttery with a hint of sweetness.
How to Make Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!
Scrub and dry sweet potatoes. Poke each sweet potato 3 times with a fork. Microwave for 13-18 minutes until easily pierced.
Slice open and scoop out sweet potato flesh once cooled.
Measure out 1 cup of sweet potato and mash well.
Add ricotta, parmesan, egg, salt, and nutmeg. Mix well.
Incorporate ¾ cup flour. Add 2-4 tablespoons of flour if sticky.
Flour a surface and form the dough into 4 ropes, each a ½ inch thick.
Cut ropes into 1-inch pieces using a knife or bench cutter.
Bring a pot of water to boil while making the sauce (optional).
Toast hazelnuts at 375 degrees for 5-9 minutes.
Brown butter over medium heat (5-10 minutes to melt, bubble, and then brown). Add sage leaves and let bubble for 30 seconds before setting aside.
Drop gnocchi into boiling water. Boil for 30 seconds after floating, which takes 2-3 minutes total.
Transfer gnocchi into sage brown butter. Gently toss.
Plate the gnocchi, topping with parmesan and toasted hazelnuts.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
I don’t recommend baking sweet potatoes for this recipe. Microwaving them dries them out a bit and creates a starchy texture which is best for gnocchi dough!
This recipe is not tested with regular potatoes. Sweet potatoes have a different texture than regular potatoes so I don’t recommend trying this recipe with regular potatoes!
Yes, you can! Place formed gnocchi on a floured baking sheet, cover, and pop in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Store leftover cooked sweet potato gnocchi in the fridge after they’ve cooled. Drizzle them with a little olive oil to prevent sticking. Heat gently on the stovetop with a little olive oil or butter, or microwave in increments of 30 seconds, to reheat. Enjoy within 2 days.
Place the shaped gnocchi on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure they are not touching each other. Let the gnocchi freeze until they are firm. Once the gnocchi are frozen, transfer them to an airtight freezer bag or container. Use within 3 months. When you’re ready to cook them, simply drop them into boiling water and cook for a few minutes until they float, just like you would with fresh gnocchi.
Other Italian Recipes You’ll Love!
- Classic Italian Salad
- Italian Chicken Pesto Pasta
- Classic Italian Gremolata
- Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup
- Creamy Lemon Pasta (Pasta Al Limone)
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- 1 cup sweet potato about 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour plus more for working surface
- ¼ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese plus more to garnish
- 1 large egg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Sage Brown Butter Sauce
- 20 fresh sage leaves the small ones are most tender
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- ⅓ cup chopped hazelnuts
- Scrub and dry sweet potatoes to remove any dirt. Poke each sweet potato 3 times with a fork. Place them on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 13-18 minutes until a fork easily glides in and out of the sweet potato flesh.
- Slice open sweet potatoes and scoop out the flesh when they’re cool enough to touch.
- Measure out 1 cup (saving any leftovers for something else!) and mash sweet potato well in a medium bowl.
- Once sweet potato isn’t hot enough to scramble the egg, add ricotta, parmesan, egg, salt, and ground nutmeg. Mix well.
- Add ¾ cup flour. Mix until just combined. Don’t over-mix. The mixture should feel like slightly sticky, soft dough. If dough is very sticky (sticking to your hands like crazy!), add 2 more tablespoons of flour and mix. If the dough is still very sticky, add 2 more tablespoons of flour.
- Flour a clean working surface and your hands. Form dough into 4 ropes that are ½ inch thick. The dough may be a bit sticky so keep re-flouring your hands.
- Use a sharp knife or a bench cutter to cut ropes into 1 inch pieces. It’s okay if pieces are rustic and imperfect!
- Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Salt water if desired. While water is coming to a boil, make the sauce (optional).
- Toast hazelnuts at 375℉ for 5-9 minutes until fragrant. Set aside.
- In a large pan, add butter over medium heat. Let melt, then bubble, and then turn brown (will take 5-10 minutes). Once butter starts to brown, stir frequently. Butter is done when it’s mahogany brown. Add in sage leaves, letting bubble for 30 seconds before removing from heat and setting aside.
- Drop gnocchi into the boiling water. Gently stir to separate any that might stick together. Let boil for 30 seconds past when the gnocchi float. Total boil time is about 2-3 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove gnocchi and place directly into the sage brown butter. Gently toss.
- Plate, topping with more parmesan and toasted hazelnuts.
- I do not recommend baking sweet potatoes. Microwaving them will create a starchier, drier texture which helps create the perfect gnocchi dough.
- Use Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese if possible for best results!
- Sweet potato gnocchi dough will be slightly sticky, soft, a bit hard to work with.
- Over-flouring will result in rubbery, tough gnocchi.
- Overcooking will produce a mushy gnocchi.