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.
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.
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.
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.