Cauliflower rice is so 2018. The next best thing to happen to the veggie? Cauliflower gnocchi (gnauliflower?), which has been flying off Trader Joe’s shelves since it was introduced last spring.
“Instead of being made the traditional way from potatoes, this dish includes ingredients like cauliflower, cassava flour, potato starch, extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, author of Read It Before You Eat It – Taking You from Label to Table. And they only contain 140 calories per one-cup serving.
Before you get nervous about the 22 carb grams of carbs, Taub-Dix says to note the carbs are coming from nutritious veggies. With six grams of fiber per serving, T.J.’s gnocchi serves up 20 percent of your recommended daily value. Subtract the fiber from the carbs, and you only end up netting 16 grams. On the plus side, it has zero sugar, which will help stabilize your blood sugar (and prevent post-meal sleepiness).
“Although I’m a big potato fan, these gnocchi are a great way to get more veggies to your plate in a fun fashion,” she says.
Though Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi only has two grams of protein, consider this an opportunity to experiment with different pesto or tomato sauces paired with chicken, seafood, or beans to up the satiety factor, she says.
When preparing the cauliflower gnocchi, avoid boiling it, since this can render it mushy. Steal Taub-Dix’s trick for keeping it crispy and firm by sautéing it in a pan along with garlic, olive oil, smoked paprika, and sliced almonds.
Since cauliflower gnocchi tastes neutral enough to pair perfectly with any sauce, here are 15 great pasta sauce recipes to elevate your next dish.
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Broccoli Arugula Pesto
Sure, basil and pine nuts are great and all, but did you know virtually any green vegetable you have lying around works in pesto sauce? Swap pine nuts for roasted almonds and you’ve got yourself a heart-healthy sauce.
Per serving: 51 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated), 1 g carbs, 63 mg sodium, 0 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein
Slow Cooker Italian Meat Sauce
Think of this as your go-to, post-workout sauce, since it contains the same amount of protein as three eggs. Great red meat swaps include ground turkey or tofu.
Per serving: 218 calories, 13 g fat (3 g saturated), 10 g carbs, 175 mg sodium, 5 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein
Slow Cooker Supreme Pizza Dip
Hear me out: if it tastes amazing on nachos, chances are you’ll find it delicious on a carb-ternative like cauliflower gnocchi. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.
Per serving: 131 calories, 10 g fat (6 g saturated), 6 g carbs, 268 mg sodium, 2 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein
Red Pepper Sundried Tomato Sauce
Give your gnocchi a subtle pizza-esque vibe with this sauce that’s full of bright colors and nutrient-rich ingredients.
Per serving: 178 calories, 18 g fat (1 g saturated), 5 g carbs, 122 mg sodium, 3 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein
Easy Orange Cheesy Sauce
Boxed Kraft Dinner will always be an option, sure—but if you can swing the extra few minutes, it’s definitely worth it to whip up your own vegan mac and cheese sauce made with carrots, paprika, onion powder, and more.
Per serving: 220 calories, 15 g fat (1 g saturated), 19 g carbs, 76 mg sodium, 1 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 4 g protein
5-Ingredient Walnut Cream Sauce
Give fettuccini Alfredo a run for its money with this creamy dish that—surprise!—contains no actual cream at all. Simply blend omega-3-rich walnuts to their desired texture and serve over gnocchi.
Per serving: 51 calories, 5 g fat (0 g saturated), 2 g carbs, 284 mg sodium, 1 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein
Whipped Almond Ricotta
Doesn’t this sound like what dreams are made of? Transform slivered almonds, nutritional yeast, lemon, and salt into a pillow of fluff. Toss your gnocchi with olive oil, then drop dollops of this drool-worthy vegan cheese to your dinner.
Per serving: 162 calories, 14 g fat (1 g saturated), 7 g carbs, 178 mg sodium, 1 g sugar, 4 g fiber, 6 g protein
Healther Alfredo Sauce
I’m definitely not throwing shade at Alfredo sauce, since it’s one of the most delicious things to happen to Italian food. But this healthy update uses cauliflower to get that signature creamy texture, so you can be confident it pairs well with T.J.’s gnocchi.
Per serving: 97 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated), 4 g carbs, 355 mg sodium, 1 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 7 g protein
Chunky Vegan Marinara
Getting enough servings of veggies has never been easier. This sauce has so much substance it’s basically a meal in and of itself. Dice zucchini, eggplant, red pepper, and anything else in your fridge that needs to go soon, and top with Parmesan or nutritional yeast before serving.
Per serving: 56 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 11 g carbs, 486 mg sodium, 7 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein
Coconut Cashew Cream Sauce
You often see coconut in sweet settings like smoothies and desserts, but thanks to its neutral, delicate flavor, it totally works blended with cashews and salt, and topped on cauliflower gnocchi.
Per serving: 56 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated), 2 g carbs, 4 mg sodium, 1 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 2 g protein
Simple Burst Cherry Tomato Sauce
Cherry tomatoes are the candies of the vegetable world (well, technically a fruit), but they get that much sweeter when tossed in heat. Top with regular or hemp seed Parmesan for added flavor and nutrients.
Per serving: 64 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated), 6 g carbs, 7 mg sodium, 3 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein
Vegan Spicy Cilantro Cream Sauce
There are some people who can’t stand the taste of cilantro, and others who want to add it to everything. If you belong to the latter camp, this garlicky and tangy sauce is just the thing your gnocchi needs.
Per serving: 93 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated), 5 g carbs, 307 mg sodium, 1 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 3 g protein
Slow Cooker Tomato Sauce
Slow and steady wins the race with the ultimate no-fuss tomato sauce that uses both fresh garden and dried pantry herbs. Plus, DIY ensures you’re taking in less sodium than if you were to eat the canned stuff.
Per serving: 72 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 12 g carbs, 313 mg sodium, 7 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein
Slow Cooker Tikka Masala
Think of gnocchi as your rice base, allowing you to experiment with all kinds of flavorful, protein-rich dishes. Since cauliflower is a major player in Indian cuisine, you know this combo will rival takeout any day.
Per serving: 271 calories, 18 g fat (0 g saturated), 10 g carbs, 128 mg sodium, 4 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 20 g protein
Vegan Yum Sauce
Thanks to the addition of chickpeas, silken tofu, nutritional yeast, coconut milk, almonds, and curry powder, this sauce is both a nutritional and taste powerhouse that’ll be perfect over a heaping bowl of gnauliflower.
Per serving: 135 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated), 12 g carbs, 202 mg sodium, 1 g sugar, 6 g fiber, 10 g protein
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