Cauliflower Gnocchi Mac & Cheese

Cauliflower Gnocchi Mac & Cheese is a healthier take on the traditional macaroni and cheese! Gnocchi made with cauliflower instead of pasta will have you coming back for seconds!

You might have heard.

Of these particular fluffy gems from Trader Joes.

Does Cauliflower Gnocchi ring a bell? Better yet, you might have seen this package splashed all over the interwebs. Look familiar now?

Truth: finding a package of Cauliflower Gnocchi is like trying to find a unicorn. I randomly went to Trader Joes the other day to see if they indeed had a few bags. I ended up snagging the last two! As I waited in line to checkout the cashier noticed the Cauliflower Gnocchi and said, “You got lucky.”

So apparently, people go to Trader Joes and buy up like 10 bags of this stuff at a time. I get the hype, but why would one want to hoard cauliflower gnocchi? Well, it wasn’t until I finally tried it that I fully understand it’s amazingness. Even Mr. B said it tasted better than regular gnocchi. GASP!

Anyway, today I wanted to share with y’all the best way to cook it because the secret is to not follow the instructions on the back. Instead here is what you do:

1) Place the gnocchi on a microwave safe plate lined with a paper towel. Microwave the gnocchi for about four minutes.
2) Pat the gnocchi dry with a paper towel to get rid of any moisture.
3) Preheat a skillet to medium heat and add olive oil.
4) Add the gnocchi and sear on one side for about two to three minutes or until golden brown.
5) Flip to the other side and repeat. Just be sure to not over cook because they will become rubbery!

Not to complicated, huh? Once you’ve got all your cauliflower gnocchi cooked all you need to do is make the cheese sauce, mix everything together and bake. And what you get is the most luxurious Cauliflower Gnocchi Mac and Cheese!

Cauliflower Gnocchi Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 4 bags of Trader Joes Cauliflower Gnocchi (or you can use regular gnocchi)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup panko
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9X13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place the gnocchi on a microwave safe plate lined with a paper towel. Microwave the gnocchi for about four minutes on high. I would do one bag at a time.
  3. Once thawed, pat the gnocchi dry with a paper towel to get rid of any moisture.
  4. Preheat a skillet to medium heat and add olive oil. In batches saute the gnocchi until crispy about two to three minutes per side adding more olive oil as needed. Just be sure to not over cook because they will become rubbery!
  5. Place the cooked gnocchi in a large bowl.
  6. Preheat a medium saucepan to medium heat. Melt 5 tbsp butter. Add the flour and begin to whisk for about a minute. Gradually pour in the milk and continue to whisk until thickened about four to five minutes.
  7. Once thickened add the cheese and turn off the heat. Continue to whisk until the cheese sauce is smooth. Pour the cheese sauce over the bowl with the gnocchi. Gently stir to combine.
  8. Pour the gnocchi into the prepared baking dish.
  9. Melt remaining one tbsp butter in the microwave. Add it to a bowl with panko and cayenne. Stir to combine.
  10. Place the panko mixture on top of the gnocchi and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve and enjoy!
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