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Sweet Potato Gnocchi-Easy Homemade Recipe 

With this simple 3 ingredient Sweet Potato Gnocchi recipe, you can have a restaurant quality dinner at home.  Sweet potatoes put a delicious spin on an Italian classic!  Toss them in a creamy sage and parmesan cheese sauce for an amazing flavor experience! 

A white bowl filled with sweet potato gnocchi in a creamy sauce and topped with sage leaves.

You won’t believe how quick and easy it is to make homemade gnocchi! You need only a few ingredients and about 30 minutes.

There isn’t anything quite as good as homemade gnocchi.  We grew up on Nonna’s homemade pasta and gnocchi and were absolutely spoiled by it.  Now I love to make Gnocchetti SardiCheese Ravioli, Butternut Squash Ravioli and other homemade pastas to keep the tradition going! 

Homemade gnocchi are lighter and more flavorful than any store-bought version. Unfortunately, a lot of people are intimidated by the process of making them from scratch. Well, this recipe is going to change all of that!  I have outlined some simple steps and provided my best tips for making sweet potato gnocchi at home.

What are Sweet Potato Gnocchi?

So just what are “gnocchi”?  Pronounced, /ˈn(j)ɒki/ N(Y)OK-ee, they are basically little Italian potato dumplings.  The word gnoccho (singular) literally means, knot or knuckle in Italian.  Sweet potato gnocchi simply substitute sweet potatoes for regular potatoes in gnocchi.

Traditional Italian gnocchi are made of flour, mashed potato, and egg, but it is common to see variations of these ingredients across all of Italy.  Some recipes leave out the egg, others add fresh herbs, ricotta cheese or parmesan cheese.  These are all just regional differences.  

The use of ingredients such as sweet potatoes are considered non-traditional, but that is okay because they are very tasty!

The gnocchi shape is common across Italy.  They can be made with ridges, which are perfect for holding sauces.  Or they can be left plain like little lumps. 

How ever you choose to shape them, your family is going to be so impressed when you serve sweet potato gnocchi that you made from scratch! But only you will know that it was so much easier than it looks!

A photo of a sweet potato, fresh sage, an egg, a stick of butter, a bowl of flour and a bowl of grated cheese on a wooden board with labels over each item.

Ingredients You Need and Notes  

Sweet Potatoes:  The potatoes will need to be cooked, peeled, and mashed.  

All Purpose Wheat Flour:  You can also use “00” Flour in this recipe. If you choose to use “00” flour you may need to add a little extra to absorb the moisture from the egg.   According to Masterclass,  “The difference in grind size affects the hydration levels of either flour—recipes that call for baby powder-fine 00 flour require far less water than those that use AP flour.” 

Egg: A room temperature egg will blend into the dough evenly.

Unsalted Butter:  I like to use unsalted butter since Parmesan cheese is salty.  This will give you the opportunity to season the sauce to your liking.

Fresh Sage Leaves: If the leaves are large, chop them roughly.  You can leave smaller leaves whole.

Parmesan Cheese: Use good quality cheese to get the creamiest texture in your sauce.  Freshly grated is best but you can also use good quality parmesan that was grated in the store.

Easy Step by Step Instructions and Tips

Mashed sweet potato in a glass bowl on a wooden board.

1. Cook the Sweet Potatoes

There are a few ways that you can prepare your sweet potatoes for this recipe.  I recommend either cooking them in the microwave or roasting them in the oven.  Both methods are effective and do not add any excess moisture to the potatoes.  

The fastest and easiest way is to microwave them.  Just poke holes in the sweet potatoes with a fork and cook them on high for 5-7 minutes.  Turn the sweet potatoes over and cook them for another 5-7 minutes.  A fork should be able to pierce through the center of the potato easily.  

You can also roast them by placing the whole sweet potatoes in a 425-degree F oven for about 40-45 minutes.  They will be fork-tender all the way through when done. If your potatoes are very large, they may take a few minutes longer to cook.

Once they are done, let them cool slightly so you can handle them. then peel and mash them.  You can use either a potato ricer or a potato masher.  I often use a potato masher and it produces soft creamy sweet potatoes.

2. Make the Gnocchi Dough

A. Combine the flour, cooled mashed sweet potato, egg and salt in a large bowl.  

B. Mix the ingredients together using a fork or your hands until the dough starts to form.  

C. Pour the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead the dough a few times until it forms a ball.  The dough will be tacky and slightly soft so make sure you flour your hands and work surface.  

D. Cut the gnocchi dough into eight pieces.  Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll it into a long log about 1/2″ thick.  Using a sharp knife cut the log into 1″ pieces. You can leave the gnocchi like this.  

E & F. If you want to make authentic ridged gnocchi, use a gnocchi board or the back of a fork. Use the side of your thumb to press firmly down on the dough and away from you. This will make the gnocchi curl and creates the desired ridges.  Just make sure to flour your hands so the dough does not stick to your fingers.  

G. Place the gnocchi in a single layer on a floured baking sheet until you are ready to cook them.

Cook the sweet potato gnocchi in a large pot of boiling water.  As soon as the gnocchi floats to the top of the pan they are done.  This should only take 2-3 minutes.   

3 photos showing sage leaves cooking in butter, sweet potato gnocchi tossed in the butter and the gnocchi in a creamy sauce.

3. Make the Parmesan Sage Sauce

A. While the water boils for the gnocchi, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Once the butter has melted add the sage and lower the heat so that the butter does not burn.  Continue to stir the butter and sage until the butter is a golden brown and the sage is crispy.   

B. When the gnocchi is ready, drain it, reserving a cup of water.  Place the gnocchi in the butter sage sauce, tossing it to coat it.  

C. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the grated parmesan cheese.  The sauce will become creamy and thicken.  Add enough of the pasta water to thin the sauce to your desired consistency.  Season the sauce with salt and black pepper to taste.  Serve the gnocchi with additional grated cheese. 

Cooking Tips

  • Gnocchi should have a bite to them, after all, they are dumplings but to make the lightest gnocchi:
    • Don’t add too much flour to the dough. If the dough is sticky, dust it with flour as you shape it.
    • Add the flour to the sweet potato mixture a little at a time so you don’t add more than you need.  
    • Don’t overwork the dough or the gnocchi will be tough and dense.
  • Bring the water to a rolling boil before adding the gnocchi.  You want the gnocchi to cook quickly once they hit the water, so they stay fluffy. 
  • Cut the butter into about 6-8 pieces before adding it to the pan.  This will allow it to melt evenly so that it does not start to burn before all of the milk solids have melted. 
  • Watch the butter carefully as you cook it, it can go from brown to burned quickly. 
  • You can allow the gnocchi to brown a bit in the butter sauce.  This gives them a wonderfully toasted flavor.
  • If you don’t want the crispy sage in the sauce, just remove it from the brown butter, with a slotted spoon before adding the gnocchi.  It has already flavored the sauce.
  • For a pretty plating, top the gnocchi with some fresh sage leaves.

Serving Suggestions

In Italy gnocchi is typically served as a first course or a “primo”.  But these sweet potato gnocchi are hearty enough that you can serve them as a main dish as well.  

If you want to be traditional, they are a delicious starter for a simple roast chicken or a top-round roast beef dinner.  If you would rather make them the focal point of your dinner, a simple side salad or vegetable is all you need to complete your menu.   

You might also like these gnocchi with my Pancetta and Herb Butternut Squash Ravioli sauce.

A white bowl of sweet potato gnocchi in a cream sauce topped with sage leaves.

Storing and Freezing Homemade Sweet Potato Gnocchi 

Leftover sweet potato gnocchi should be stored in an airtight container.  Properly stored, it can last in the refrigerator for several days.  

This is a great make ahead dish.  Uncooked gnocchi can be frozen for 2-3 months.  Go ahead and make a double batch so you have some ready for an easy weeknight dinner. 

To freeze them, lay the gnocchi out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and place them in the freezer.  Once they are frozen, they can be transferred to a freezer bag or a freezer safe container.  To cook them, just place the frozen gnocchi right into to the boiling water and wait until they float to the top.  

​FAQ’s

Why are my sweet potato gnocchi mushy?

If the gnocchi are mushy, they probably cooked too long.  Ideally, gnocchi should be a bit toothy, like al dente pasta.  They only need a couple minutes to cook.  As soon as they float, they are done.  If they sit in the boiling water too long, they can become soft and mushy.

Why is my sweet potato gnocchi gummy?

The gnocchi can become too glutenous if there is too much flour in them or if they are overworked.  To avoid this, add the flour a little at a time and work the dough just until it comes together.

What happens if the gnocchi don’t float?

If your gnocchi don’t float you may not have used enough flour when making the dough.  But not all your gnocchi need to float for them to be done.  As soon as a handful of gnocchi float to the top of the pan, that is your sign to take them all out of the water.  

I love to get your feedback so if you tried this Sweet Potato Gnocchi Recipe or any other recipes on this website, please leave me a comment below.  I hope you enjoy our recipes and look forward to hearing from you!

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A bowl of sweet potato gnocchi topped with a cream sauce and sage leaves.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Sweet Potato gnocchi are a delicious twist on an Italian classic. In this easy homemade recipe soft sweet potato dumplings are tossed in a creamy parmesan and sage sauce. They are an impressive dish as a first course or as a main dish.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course First course, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 526 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Gnocchi board or a fork
  • 1 Large mixing bowl
  • 1 Pasta pot
  • 1 Sauté Pan
  • 1 Potato masher or Potato ricer

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb Sweet Potato cooked, peeled and mashed
  • cups All Purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ cup Butter unsalted
  • cup Sage Leaves fresh, rough chopped if large
  • cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions
 

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

  • Combine the flour, mashed sweet potato, salt and egg in a large bowl. With a fork or your hands, work the ingredients together until they come together into a dough. Pour the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead it together gently to form a ball.
  • Cut the dough into 8 pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time roll it out into a log about ½" thick, then cut it into 1" long pieces. You can leave the gnocchi as is or create ridges in the dough. With floured fingers, take one gnocchi at a time and place it on the gnocchi board or the back of fork. Using the side of your thumb press down and out on the gnocchi to create the ridges and curl the dough. Then place the gnocchi on a floured baking sheet until you are ready to cook them.
  • Fill a pasta pot with water and set it on the stove to boil. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add the gnocchi to the pot, salt the water generously and give the gnocchi a stir. When the gnocchi start to float the are done and can be drained or removed from the pot with a slotted spoon. This should only take about 2-3 minutes. Reserve about a cup of the gnocchi water for the sauce.

Parmesan Sage Sauce

  • While the water for the gnocchi is coming to a boil, melt the butter in a sauté pan set over medium heat. As soon as the butter is melted, add the sage and turn the heat down to low. Stir sauce until the butter begins to turn golden brown and the sage gets crispy.
  • Add the drained gnocchi into the brown butter and toss to coat them. Remove the sauté pan from the heat and stir in the grated parmesan cheese. The sauce will get creamy and begin to thicken. Add a little of the reserved water and stir until you get the sauce to your desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste before serving. Pass additional parmesan.

Notes

Cooking Tips

  • Gnocchi should have a bite to them, after all, they are dumplings but to make the lightest gnocchi:
    • Don’t add too much flour to the dough. If the dough is sticky, dust it with flour as you shape it.
    • Add the flour to the sweet potato mixture a little at a time so you don’t add more than you need.  
    • Don’t overwork the dough or the gnocchi will be tough and dense.
  • Bring the water to a rolling boil before adding the gnocchi.  You want the gnocchi to cook quickly once they hit the water, so they stay fluffy.
  • Cut the butter into about 8 pieces before adding it to the pan.  This will allow it to melt evenly so that it does not start to burn before all of the milk solids have melted. 
  • Watch the butter carefully as you cook it, it can go from brown to burned quickly. 
  • You can brown the gnocchi a bit in the butter sauce.  This gives them a wonderfully toasted flavor.
  • If you don’t want the crispy sage in the sauce, just remove it from the brown butter, with a slotted spoon before adding the gnocchi.  
  • For a pretty plating, top the gnocchi with some fresh sage leaves.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingsCalories: 526kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 13gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 819mgPotassium: 466mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 16986IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 257mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Italian dumplings, autumn, simple, make ahead
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

1 thought on “Sweet Potato Gnocchi-Easy Homemade Recipe ”

  • 5 stars
    What a great Autumn dish! Italian fusion! And sweet potatoes are not only delicious but healthy. ❤️

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