This Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi (Air Fryer) is the easiest appetizer or pasta swap. It's delicious served on its own with dipping sauce or you can use it in place of pasta tossed with your favorite sauce. The air fryer cooks this cauliflower gnocchi perfectly ensuring it is crispy on the outside and soft and pillowy in the center.
The iconic Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi has been one of my favorite freezer staples for years now. It is so tasty and is a great option if you are craving something lighter than traditional pasta. Even my picky husband likes it.
I am honestly surprised this is only my second recipe (first was this soup) on the blog using this cauliflower gnocchi.
So today I am spilling the beans on my favorite way to prepare this stuff to eat on its own or for using in place of pasta.
The air fryer is by far the best way to cook cauliflower gnocchi. The convection heat prevents the gnocchi from becoming mushy and wet. It also perfectly browns the exterior, but does not burn or overcook the gnocchi.
I coat the Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi with some parmesan and garlic for extra flavor. This recipe is simple, yet so tasty. Hope you enjoy!! xx
- Easy & healthy
- Made of mostly cauliflower
- Appetizer or entree
- Less than 30 minutes start to finish
- Kid friendly
- Cheesy & crispy exterior
- Lower in carbs and calories compared to traditional pasta
- Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi: Since this item has become so popular, I have seen other grocery stores, like Whole Foods come out with their brand of cauliflower gnocchi. Other brands should work for this recipe, but I have only tested this with the TJ’s one. Do not thaw before cooking.
- Olive Oil: Swap for avocado oil.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts is located on the recipe card below.
Helpful Equipment & Tools
- COSORI Air Fryer Max XL: One of the most popular and highest rated air fryers on the market costing less than $150.
- OXO Good Grips Box Grater: Quality grater with a small container that fits on the bottom to catch cheese.
- Duralex Mixing Bowl Set: The best & most affordable glass mixing bowls that I use daily.
- Season the Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi.
- Air fry & enjoy!
Step by Step
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, toss the gnocchi, olive oil, parmesan, garlic, and salt together.
Step 2: Arrange the gnocchi in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
Step 3: Air fry at 400 for 14-16 minutes or until browned, shaking the air fryer basket 2-3 during the cooking process.
TIP - Cook the gnocchi in batches to avoid overcrowding the basket.
TIP - Do not forget about the sauce.
Make Ahead & Storage
- The gnocchi is best served fresh. I recommend only preparing as much as you need at a time to avoid leftovers. You can easily half the recipe and only use half of the bag.
- Refrigerator: Store leftover air fryer cauliflower gnocchi in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days.
- Reheating: Reheat leftover cauliflower gnocchi in the air fryer at 380 degrees for 4-6 minutes or until heated through.
- Freezer: Do not refreeze cooked cauliflower gnocchi. The texture and taste will degrade significantly.
- Toss the cauliflower gnocchi well. Be sure every piece is coated in the oil and seasoning. If some of the pieces are frozen together, that is okay. They will loosen during the cooking and shaking process.
- Shake the basket. This ensures every side of gnocchi browns and becomes crispy.
- Serve with sauce for dipping or use in place of pasta. This gnocchi can be served on its own as an appetizer with marinara for dipping or it can be tossed with pasta sauce.
- Every air fryer cooks differently. This is why most of my air fryer recipes instruct you to check the food at least once during the cooking process. My air fryer seems to be pretty powerful (compared to others) so if at the end of the cooking time, you find the gnocchi is not brown enough, you can cook it for another 2-3 minutes.
- This recipe easily doubles. You can double this Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi (air fryer) recipe and cook the gnocchi in batches. Hold cooked gnocchi in the oven at 200-225 degrees or serve it as it is ready.
- Spices: Toss the gnocchi with ½ teaspoon of italian seasoning, onion powder or ¼ teaspoon of chili flakes for extra flavor.
- Dairy-free/paleo: Omit the parmesan cheese.
- Pan-frying: While the air fryer is the best cooking method, pan frying the cauliflower gnocchi in olive oil is the second best method. Add 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the gnocchi for 8-10 minutes or until browned and remove from the heat. Toss with the parmesan, garlic and salt.
- Oven: You can also make this gnocchi in the oven, but I find this way takes too long. Toss the gnocchi in oil and spices as directed in the recipe. Bake the gnocchi at 425 degrees on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 20-25 minutes or until browned.
Serve on its own with a dipping sauce:
- Alfredo sauce
- Vodka sauce
- Pesto aioli
- Buffalo sauce
You can also toss it with any of the sauces above and serve it with a protein on top or extra cheese like you would with pasta. I love to toss it with vodka sauce and serve chicken sausage on top. The options are endless, just use it like you would use pasta.
For this Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi (air fryer), there is no need to boil or thaw the gnocchi before air frying it.
Reheat leftover gnocchi in the air fryer at 380 degrees for 4-6 minutes or until heated through, shaking halfway through. Cauliflower gnocchi is best served fresh though.
Healthy has a different meaning to everyone so I will not tell you if it is healthy or not, but I will share some facts about the gnocchi. It has less calories and carbohydrates than traditional pasta. It is gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo. It is made mostly of cauliflower which is high in fiber.
The ingredients are cauliflower, cassava flour, potato starch, olive oil, and sea salt.
Yes, they are gluten-free because the only flour in them is cassava and potato starch.
While the cauliflower gnocchi has less carbs than traditional pasta, it is not low carb or keto friendly.
Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi (Air Fryer)
- 1 12 ounce bag Trader Joe’s frozen cauliflower gnocchi*
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil*
- 2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- fresh chopped herbs
- more grated parmesan
- Review all recipe notes and instructions before beginning.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the gnocchi, olive oil, parmesan, garlic, and salt together.
- Arrange the gnocchi in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
- Air fry at 400 for 14-16 minutes or until browned, shaking the air fryer basket 2-3 during the cooking process.
- Top with chopped herbs, more grated parmesan, and serve with your favorite pasta sauce.
All stuck together. Cheese stuck to the bottom of air fryer. A real mess, tasted good, but ended up ll mushed together.
Oh no! I have never seen this be an issue. Did you follow the recipe exactly as stated? What kind of air fryer are you using? It could also be the type of cheese.
Amy Liu Dong
Such an easy, delicious, and healthy to make.
I personally love and enjoy eating this dish.
This was such a fun dinner for our family! Quick, easy and delicious!!
Amy Liu Dong
A perfect dish to make for tonight's dinner.
I am pretty sure everyone will love it.
Loved using my airfryer for these!!
Do you have a sauce recipe for the gnocchi? Thank you!
I usually just use a jar of marinara or my homemade version.
Temp for air fryer?