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Potato Free Paleo Gnocchi

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Potato Free Paleo Gnocchi

Italians know it well, making gnocchi without the right potatoes can be a key for disaster. Imagine making gluten free paleo gnocchi that are potato free as well! …That’s one tough recipe to come up with!

I remember my grandpa, when I was a little girl, carefully selecting potatoes from the carriage loaded of produce he would bring home from the fields. He always made sure that my grandma would only used the best, starchier tubers to prepare herinfamous gnocchi recipe, that we used to enjoy seasoned with a sage, gorgonzola and Parmigiano sauce.

So many wonderful family lunches had this dish as a protagonist!!

Today, I want to show you guys how I turn these epic gnocchi memories into reality without potatoes, flour and respecting the paleo, grain free canons as well!

How Can You Make Your Gnocchi Be Paleo?!?

I know your concerns. And before I tried this recipe, I was very skeptical too. But you know what? Not only is it possible to make this recipe paleo. It’s also possible to make AIP (Auto Immune Paleo) as well, as it’s also free from nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers).

The key for the success of this recipe lies in the replacements. And here I really want to stress on the important of using the right kind of squash to replace potatoes.Kabocha Squash, also known as Japanese Pumpkin or Buttercup Squash, has a very distinctive, chestnut like flavor, and its firm and starchy consistency is perfect to replace white potatoes when making potato free gnocchi.

As for the paleo, grain free flours we can chose to replace regular wheat flour, cassava is by far the best choice. Starches like tapioca or arrowroot would make your gnocchi taste like glue. Trust me, I made that mistake before and I talk by experience ;(

Cassava flour instead, keeps your paleo gnocchi dough nicely together while still keeping their final texture soft and delicious to eat.

A Gnocchi Sauce for Everyone!

As you’ll have the chance to test yourself, this paleo gnocchi recipe is a much lighter, healthier version of the original. And because I know that you all have different preferences when it comes to seasonings, I prepared two different kinds of sauces: one for the Balsamico lovers (just like me) and one for those who don’t want to give up their beloved cheese sauce (just like my husband)!

Potato Free Paleo Gnocchi





No. of


    • 600 gr Kabocha Squash, raw (make sure you use this kind of squash as the other ones are too watery and your gnocchi won’t stick together)
    • 1 pinch of Salt
    • 1 pinch Nutmeg (avoid if on the AIP)
    • 100 gr Cassava Flour (I use Amafil)

For the Balsamico Saffron Sauce

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 leaves of Sage
  • 20 gr Coconut Milk
  • 1/8 tsp Saffron
If you prefer to season your Potato Free Paleo Gnocchi with a more cheesy flavor, this dairy free cauliflower “cheese” sauce is for you!
Dairy Free Cauliflower Cheese Sauce:
  • 1/2 Cauliflower, steamed
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • Himalayan Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
    1. Cut the squash, clean it and steam it until soft.
    2. Mash it with a fork or with a potato masher.
    3. Add in salt, nutmeg and flour and knead well.
    4. Take pieces of dough and roll them in between your hands making little balls.
    5. Set the gnocchi aside on a board covered with a piece of parchment paper so they don’t stick to each other.
    6. Fill a medium sized pot half way with water and bring it to boil. When the water starts to boil, add in a pinch of salt and pour in the gnocchi making them slide gently from the board to the water.
    7. To prepare the Balsamico Saffron sauce, heat up the olive oil in a small pan. When it starts to fry, add in the sage that you previously washed and cut. Let if cook until is starts to get crispy, then press it down with a fork until it breaks in small pieces.
    8. Add in the coconut milk and the saffron, mix for a couple of minutes and set aside.
    9. Cook your paleo gnocchi for about 4 to 5 minutes and when they start to float on the surface, strain them with a wire strainer and put them in the plates a bit at the time.
    10. As you place each portion of gnocchi in the plate, scoop a table spoon of sauce on top of them until completely seasoned.
    11. Add a drizzle of aged Aceto Balsamico from Modena on top of your paleo gnocchi and enjoy!!
Procedure for the Dairy Free Cauliflower Cheese Sauce
  • Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until you get a very creamy sauce.
  • Season your paleo gnocchi with it and enjoy!

Now, I can’t wait to hear from you!!

  • What is the gnocchi sauce recipe you liked the most?
  • Have you ever tried to make grain free gnocchi before?
  • What replacements did you use to make them potato free?

Leave a comment below and share your experience. I am excited to learn new ways to cook this delicious Italian dish in the perfect allergy free version!

And if you are looking for more grain free and AIP compliant recipes, check out my “AIP Italian Cookbook” that features over 45 Auto Immune Paleo authentic Italian dishes and a fun AIP ingredient guide!!

Lots of love from Italy!! Ambra

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Ambra Torelli
Born and raised in Italy, Ambra visited over 20 countries and now she divides her time in between Italy and the US, where her husband is from and where she moved in 2011 work as university professor of Italian Literature. She writes about food, travel and things that inspire her! more about ambra

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  • Gwen April 4, 2016 1:46 pm

    Thank you for this – it all looks amazing! I will try it as soon as I can get the cassava flour and squash!

    • ambra April 5, 2016 12:54 am

      Gwen, thank you so much for your feedback!! Cassava is really a life savior if you want to eat grain free.
      I can’t wait to see your dish, so don’t forget to share that!!



  • Paula February 22, 2017 6:50 am

    YUM. I’m currently living in Italy and having difficulty sourcing some of the AIP-approved flours. Was wondering if cassava flour is “fecola di tapioca” in Italy? Grazie

    • ambra February 22, 2017 7:36 am

      No, unfortunately that is tapioca starch. When
      I am in Italy I either buy Amalfil cassava flour in EBay or at the ethnic or Chinese stores… it should say “farina di manioca” 🙂

      • Paula February 22, 2017 8:56 am

        Thank you for your reply Ambra. I just found a recipe to make your own cassava flour from yuca. Looks like it might be the best option after all.

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