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Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi Recipe

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This purple sweet potato gnocchi uses only 4 simple ingredients to make a delicious go to weeknight meal. Pair it with a flavorful garlic butter sauce and it can’t be beat.

close up of sweet potato gnocchi on a plate with sage leaves

Mahalo to Foodland Hawai’i for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Fluffy sweet potato balls of dough boiled and pan seared in a delicious buttery sauce make for the perfect switch up on a classic dish. Serve this sweet potato gnocchi side or a main dish and be sure to wow your family and friends. 

I mean if you love sweet potato and pasta or dumplings then this is the recipe for you. Super easy and just a few ingredients. And even better, it can be made in no time. So whipping it up for a weeknight meal is totally possible

sweet potato gnocchi dough

Gno-What? Gnocchi (noh-kee) are Italian dumplings or pasta. There are many recipes for gnocchi, however most recipes call for potato, egg, flour, and cheese.

But of course here in Hawai’i I decided to make a twist on the classic gnocchi recipe and make purple sweet potato gnocchi. 

maika'i whole peeled garlic for sweet potato gnocchi

Ingredients for this sweet potato gnocchi recipe

(Full recipe instructions and ingredient amount are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post)

For the gnocchi

  • Sweet potato. I like to use Okinawan or Moloka’i sweet potatoes. If you can’t find these you can use the orange variety of sweet potato.
  • Flour. All purpose flour works well here.
  • Parmesan cheese. Freshly grated works best, but you can use pre grated if need be
  • Egg. This will help bind the dough together.
  • Salt. This helps bring out the flavor of the potato and balance out the sweetness.

For the garlic butter sauce

  • Unsalted butter. If you only have salted butter it can work as well. You may want to omit the extra added salt in the gnocchi dough.
  • Sage leaves. Frying sage will mellow its earthy, herbaceous flavor and it pairs perfectly with butter and garlic.
  • Maika’i Garlic Cloves. For an extra added layer of flavor.
sweet potato gnocchi ingredients

Purple sweet potatoes are also known as Okinawan sweet potatoes or Moloka’i sweet potatoes and are very popular in Hawai’i.

How to make sweet potato gnocchi

  1. For the gnocchi: Wrap the sweet potato in a damp paper towel and heat in the microwave for 5-10 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce the potato. Alternatively you can bake the potato. See instructions below. Set aside to cool.

2. Peel skin off of the potato. Add potato to a large bowl and mash using a fork or potato masher.

3. Add flour, parmesan cheese, egg, and salt to the bowl. Mix until combined and the dough is no longer sticky. Add flour about a tablespoon at a time if your dough is still sticky.

4. Separate the dough into four equal parts. Take one piece and roll into a long rope about 1 inch thick. Cut the rope into about ½ inch pieces.

sweet potato gnocchi rolled and cut

5. Place a fork tine side down on your work surface. Roll each gnocchi over the tines of the fork to create indentations and set aside.

rolling sweet potato gnocchi on a fork

6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add gnocchi in batches. Boil for 3-5 minutes or until the gnocchi float to the surface. Drain well and set aside.

*For baking: Preheat the oven to 400F. Using a fork, poke a few holes into the potato. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a fork can pierce the potato easily.

How to make sweet potato gnocchi sauce

There are many variations of sauces that can be used. One of my favorites is a garlic, butter, and sage sauce. To make this sauce you’ll need to set a large pan over medium heat. Add butter, sage, and garlic. When the butter begins to bubble, add gnocchi. Cook until lightly crisped and golden brown. Cool slightly and enjoy. Optional top with Parmesan.

frying sweet potato gnocchi in a pan

Tips for the perfect purple sweet potato gnocchi

  • Use a potato ricer to get fine fluffy potatoes. This looks like a large garlic press and helps create even pieces.
  • Mix the dough white the potatoes are warm. This will help the egg incorporate into the batter better.
  • Do not over mix the dough. This will create excess gluten and create a tough dough.
  • Do not over boil the gnocchi. This will give you a chewy, dense dough.

FAQs

  • How to store?
  • Sweet potato gnocchi are best eaten fresh. If you have leftovers, place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. This will keep for 3-5 days.
  • Can you freeze sweet potato gnocchi?
  • Yes. Gnocchi are best frozen prior to cooking. Place gnocchi on a baking dish and allow to freeze slightly. Then place in an airtight container or zip top bag and freeze. This will keep for up to 2 months.
  • How to reheat?
  • Gnocchi can be reheated in the microwave or in a frying pan. If frozen, allow to defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat.
  • Can you make gnocchi in the air fryer?
  • Yes. Preheat to 400F. Boil gnocchi until they begin to float. Remove and drain excess water. Place in the air fryer and cook for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Shake the basket halfway through the cook time.
  • What to serve with sweet potato gnocchi?
  • Sweet potato gnocchi can be served on its own as an appetizer or main dish. It can also be served as a side dish alongside grilled meats or poultry.
  • sweet potato gnocchi on a plate with sage leaves

    Other great sweet potato recipes to try

    close up of sweet potato gnocchi on a plate with sage leaves

    Sweet Potato Gnocchi

    Yield: 4 servings
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 40 minutes

    This purple sweet potato gnocchi uses only 4 simple ingredients to make a delicious go to weeknight meal. Pair it with a flavorful garlic butter sauce and it can’t be beat.

    Ingredients

    For the gnocchi

    • 1 large sweet potato
    • 2 cups flour
    • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
    • 1 egg
    • ¼ teaspoon salt

    For the sauce

    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 2 sage leaves
    • 2 Maika’i Garlic Cloves, finely minced

    Instructions

    1. For the gnocchi: Wrap the sweet potato in a damp paper towel and heat in the microwave for 5-10 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce the potato. Alternatively you can bake the potato. See instructions below. Set aside to cool.
    2. Peel skin off of the potato. Add potato to a large bowl and mash using a fork or potato masher.
    3. Add flour, Parmesan cheese, egg, and salt to the bowl. Mix until combined and the dough is no longer sticky. Add flour about a tablespoon at a time if your dough is still sticky.
    4. Separate the dough into four equal parts. Take one piece and roll into a long rope about 1 inch thick. Cut the rope into about ½ inch pieces.
    5. Place a fork tine side down on your work surface. Roll each gnocchi over the tines of the fork to create indentations and set aside.
    6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add gnocchi in batches. Boil for 3-5 minutes or until the gnocchi float to the surface. Drain well and set aside.
    7. For the sauce: Set a large pan over medium heat. Add butter, sage, and garlic. When the butter begins to bubble, add gnocchi. Cook until lightly crisped and golden brown.
    8. Cool slightly and enjoy. Optional top with Parmesan.

    Notes

    * For baking the sweet potato: Preheat the oven to 400F. Using a fork, poke a few holes into the potato. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a fork can pierce the potato easily.

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    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 365Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 281mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 11g

    Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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    By on November 20th, 2021

    About Relle

    Aloha, my name is Relle and welcome to my little home on the internet where I like to share all my favorite Hawaiian recipes (and local ones too).

    I am a wife, mom of two, and nurse practitioner here in the beautiful state of Hawai’i. I was born and raised in Hawai’i and I am of native Hawaiian descent. In my spare time I love to cook and bake and I have compiled many of my favorite recipes here for you to enjoy.

    More posts by this author.

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