Cauliflower gnocchi with chicken sausage and fresh thyme is a quick, easy, and healthy dinner. After a long day, nothing beats a delicious, 20-minute recipe. Especially on a weeknight. This dish is bursting with flavor, textures, and is perfect for meal prep. It’s also naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and packed with protein.
What is cauliflower gnocchi?
I buy cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe’s, which is made from simple ingredients: cauliflower, cassava flour (a gluten-free flour made from a vegetable called cassava root), potato starch, olive oil, and sea salt. It’s stored in the freezer section, and I like to grab 2-3 bags at a time. Along with this recipe, there are many different ways to cook Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi. And if you don’t live near Trader Joe’s, don’t fret. You can either prep homemade cauliflower gnocchi or simply use regular gnocchi for this recipe.
Meal Prep-Friendly recipe
Although I make this meal often, it tastes slightly different each time. Based on what I have in the fridge, I get creative: I’ll swap the thyme for fresh basil, sage, or oregano, add diced zucchini or artichoke hearts to the pan, or I’ll use a plant-based sausage to make this veg-friendly. This recipe is very forgiving. Simply use what you have on hand. For example, when we have pesto in the fridge, I always add a few generous spoonfuls. It coats the gnocchi with incredible flavor, making them taste like little pillows of heaven. Speaking of gnocchi, you certainly don’t have to use cauliflower gnocchi. As previously mentioned, any type of gnocchi will do.
Lately, I’ve been all about one-sheet / one-skillet / one-pot dinners. It’s easier, more convenient, and truthfully, life is better when there are fewer dishes to do — especially with a toddler running around. I’ve also been hooked on blending hearty comfort food with summer’s vibrant produce. Enter: this satisfying, one-pan dinner.
One Pan Ingredients
Cauliflower gnocchi: Regular gnocchi works as well, of course. However, cauliflower gnocchi (found in the freezer section at Trader Joe’s) is packed with choline, fiber, and antioxidants. The best part? You would never know they’re packed with cauliflower.
Chicken sausage: The chicken sausage adds robust flavor, satiation, and muscle-building protein. To make vegetarian, omit sausage or use your favorite plant-based links.
Cherry tomatoes: Rich in color, cherry tomatoes contain vitamin C and antioxidants, which boost immunity. They soften when sautéed, adding lovely flavor to this one-pan meal.
Yellow onion: Onions add an incredible depth of flavor, along with antioxidants to help fight inflammation. You can swap yellow onion for red onion or shallots.
Banana pepper rings: Banana pepper rings (typically found in the same aisle as jarred olives, canned artichokes, etc. at the grocery store) have a spicy kick and subtle acidity. If you can’t find jarred banana pepper rings, you can use one chopped bell pepper.
Thyme: Aside from adding incredible flavor, fresh thyme is a source of vitamin C, iron, and other vitamins and minerals.
Extra-virgin olive oil: Extra-virgin olive oil helps protect against insulin resistance and diabetes, can improve heart health, and boosts skin health. It aids in stabilizing blood sugar levels, which can be beneficial when eating simple carbohydrates.
Cauliflower Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage
- 1 package Trader Joe's frozen cauliflower gnocchi (otherwise, use 3 1/2 cups of your favorite cooked gnocchi)
- 3-4 links chicken (or plant-based) sausage
- 1 cup baby cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/4 cup mild banana pepper rings
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme (sprigs removed)
- sea salt, black pepper, and red chili flakes to taste
- Place frozen gnocchi in a bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Let thaw.
- Over medium heat, add one tablespoon olive oil, along with the minced garlic and fresh thyme to your large pan. Sauté for a few minutes (until the onions are translucent). Stir often.
- Toss in your diced sausage and continue to mix, letting each coin fry on both sides.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, then toss in your thawed gnocchi, tomatoes, and mild pepper rings. Let the gnocchi fry on each side for 2-3 minutes. I find that shaking my pan fries the gnocchi evenly.
- Add sea salt, black pepper, and red chili flakes to taste. Turn off the heat, then plate. To garnish, add a few thyme leaves.
- Enjoy! This will keep, in the fridge, for 2-3 days. To re-heat, add oil to a small pan and sauté until hot.