Creamy Gnocchi with Tomatoes, Olives, and Spinach
A quick and easy vegan gnocchi recipe with pillowy potato dumplings, juicy cherry tomatoes, olives, spinach, and a creamy basil sauce. This gnocchi recipe is nutritious, delicious, and ready in under 25 minutes!
This is one of my favourite dishes to make when I'm craving something fresh, comforting and easy to prepare. Autumn is here but the weather is London is still mildly warm and sunny, so I'm holding on to the final day of sunshine with this vibrant, summery gnocchi recipe.
Why you'll love this creamy and vibrant gnocchi recipe
The simple creamy sauce gets tons of flavour from the fresh basil, turmeric and garlic. Imagine pillowy morsels of gnocchi, juicy cherry tomatoes, succulent black olives and fresh spinach lusciously coated in a herby and garlicy sauce. The tomatoes in this recipe are warmed through but not cooked enough to lose their bite. The crisp and juicy cherry tomatoes go beautifully with the soft gnocchi and creamy sauce, so it's important that you add the tomatoes last. What makes this recipe even better is that the veggies and herbs in this dish provide a great source of vitamin A, C and k, and they’re high in minerals such as potassium, iron and folate. Healthy, delicious and quick to make – what’s not to love about that?!
What is Gnocchi?
Essentially, gnocchi is a small dumpling that’s made of out of a combination flour, cooked mashed potatoes, and sometimes eggs, but you’ll find that readymade gnocchi doesn’t usually contain eggs, so they’re a great vegan option. Gnocchi can be made with other vegetables such as pumpkin and sweet potato, but the most common variety is the one made with regular potatoes. Well-made gnocchi has a pillowy and slightly chewy texture, which makes it the perfect base for combining with any sauce of your choice.
What to serve with this creamy gnocchi
This dish is delicious on it’s own, but here are a few sides that go really well with it:
Leafy green Salad with a tangy dressing
Crispy garlic bread
Fresh crusty bread
Ingredients for this recipe
Here’s everything you’ll need to make Creamy Gnocchi with Tomatoes, Olives, and Spinach – consider it your shopping list!
Gnocchi – I’ve used ready-made vegan potato gnocchi for this recipe, but you can use different kinds of gnocchi, or, if you have time you can even make them from scratch.
Olive oil -- I’d suggest you use extra virgin olive to give the sauce an intense olive flavour.
Garlic – This recipe calls for 6 cloves of fresh garlic which may seem like a lot, but it’ll be cooked down in the sauce which will leave a delicious garlicy taste without it being too overpowering.
Coconut milk -- I’ve used coconut milk to give the sauce a creamy consistency, but if you prefer your sauce to be a little thicker, you could use coconut cream instead.
Turmeric – ½ tsp ground turmeric will give the sauce a beautifully rich golden colour.
Vegetable Stock – You’ll need either 1 cube of vegetable stock or 1 tsp vegetable bouillon. The vegetable stock or bouillon will give the sauce a delicious savouriness.
Onion powder – You can use either onion powder or onion granules. Do not use fresh onion as it takes much longer to cook.
Spinach – You’ll need about 100g of fresh spinach. I’d suggest you use baby leaf spinach as the larger leaves can be pretty big, so it’ll save you having to chop them.
Tomatoes – The tomatoes are heated but not cooked, so make sure to use good quality cherry tomatoes as it’ll make a huge difference in the end result.
Olives – I’ve used a combination of pitted black and green olives, but you could use other olive varieties, just make sure they’re pitted!
Basil – Dried basil gives a more intense flavour compared to fresh basil, so I’ve used a combination of fresh and dried basil to give the sauce an intense, basil flavour.
Lemon Juice – a bit of lemon juice will help to balance the creaminess of the sauce.
Salt & Pepper – you’ll need some salt and freshly cracked black pepper to season the sauce.
How to make creamy Gnocchi with Tomatoes, Olives and Spinach
Add the olive oil and minced garlic to a large high sided pan or a saucepan and cook for 2 minutes over a medium heat. Pour the coconut milk into the pan and add the turmeric, crumbled vegetable stock cube, onion powder, finely chopped fresh basil and dried basil, and cook for 3-5 minutes.
Stir in the spinach leaves and pitted olives and cook for around 3 more minutes until the spinach has wilted. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add the gnocchi. Generously season the water with salt and cook for 2-4 minutes or until the gnocchi floats to the top of the boiling water.
Season the sauce with salt, freshly ground black pepper and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Remove from the heat and add the halved cherry tomatoes. You want the tomatoes to remain succulent and firm, so the residual heat will warm the tomatoes without cooking or softening them. Drain the gnocchi and then stir them into the cooked sauce. Top with fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil and serve immediately.
How to Store and Reheat this Gnocchi
To store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
To reheat: If you have any leftovers, I recommend reheating them on the stove over low heat. The sauce has a tendency to thicken when stored in the fridge, so you many need to add 1 tsp olive oil and a few tablespoons of water to loosen it. I wouldn’t suggest you microwave the gnocchi as it can cause the gnocchi to become tough and rubbery.