This Cauliflower Gnocchi with Crispy Zucchini and creamy Whipped Goat Cheese is a new spring and summer favorite. Homemade or store-bought Cauliflower gnocchi tossed with pan fried lemony zucchini and nutty browned butter. Serve this quick-cooking gnocchi over creamy whipped goat cheese and top with plenty of cheesy garlic breadcrumbs. Every bite is layered with delicious spring flavors. When you’re in need of an easy, colorful, and fresh dinner…make this gnocchi!

overhead photo of Cauliflower Gnocchi with Crispy Zucchini and Whipped Goat Cheese

I’ve entered that time of the year when the excitement for summer builds more and more every day. This recipe is my way of showing you that I’m beyond ready for colorful produce. I’m so excited to create recipes with the warmer days in mind.

This fun gnocchi recipe was created simply with what I had in the fridge at the time. It’s quick-cooking, fun, and of course, delicious. Plus, raise your hand if you have multiple bags of Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi stashed away in your freezer?

If not cauliflower gnocchi, raise your hand if you have a ton of cauliflower, fresh or frozen, in your fridge?

Yeah, I’m guessing there are a lot of us. Cauliflower is having a true cooking “moment” and it seems as though we’re all a little obsessed. So, yes, I’m jumping on the cauliflower gnocchi bandwagon with this recipe.

But adding in all the flavor I can find. Along with plenty of creamy whipped goat cheese. Because when life gives you tubs and tubs of homemade goat cheese, you somehow find creative ways to use it. So, whipped goat cheese plus cauliflower gnocchi it is…and it’s delicious!

prep photo of Cauliflower Gnocchi before cooking

Let’s talk about this cauliflower gnocchi.

In full disclosure, I’ve never had the Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi before. We don’t have a Trader Joe’s around here, so I’ve never had the opportunity to buy it. That said, homemade gnocchi is pretty easy to make, so I simply made my own and added in plenty of parmesan cheese too.

I’m going to leave it up to you guys when it comes to deciding whether to make the gnocchi yourself or use TJ’s frozen gnocchi. Yes, my homemade recipe is good, but I can appreciate a quick store-bought gnocchi too. So do what works best for you and your time frame.

Either is going to be great when tossed with the fried zucchini and a bit of oily buttery sauce.

overhead photo of Cauliflower Gnocchi with Crispy Zucchini in skillet before plating

Now, on to that zucchini.

Before you do anything, make some breadcrumbs. Are these needed? Nope. But are they so delicious? YES. So pan toast the Panko breadcrumbs with garlic, parmesan, and basil. It’s very simple but adds a nice texture to the top of the gnocchi.

For the zucchini, I kept it pretty simple…ish.

The flavor comes from lots of shallots and cooking the zucchini at a high heat to give it a crisp on the outside, but soft on the inside texture. The zucchini turns buttery in the skillet and when seasoned with just a little salt, pepper, and fresh lemon, it becomes quite addicting. But that’s coming from me, the girl who loves zucchini.

Once the zucchini is pan fried, toss the gnocchi with a little butter too. As the butter cooks, it browns and then clings directly to the gnocchi leaving a subtle, nutty, buttery flavor throughout the dish. It’s not a heavy butter flavor, but lighter, which is nice for springtime.

At this point, the dish is pretty much done.

overhead close up photo of Cauliflower Gnocchi with Crispy Zucchini and Whipped Goat Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com

Well, almost, first whip the goat cheese.

You all know I like to add in that “extra special” finishing touch to all of my recipes.

Enter in whipped goat cheese. If you’re new to whipped goat cheese, it’s just what it sounds like. Goat cheese that’s been whipped in the food processor. It’s so creamy, light, and airy, and makes for the BEST base for gnocchi or pasta of any kind. When the warm, nutty, buttery, gnocchi is spooned over the light, creamy whipped goat cheese, the cheese melts into a sauce, mixing with the zucchini and gnocchi.

Oh my…SO GOOD!

overhead photo of Cauliflower Gnocchi with Crispy Zucchini and Whipped Goat Cheese with fork inserted into gnocchi

To recap, this cauliflower gnocchi is…

…extra soft and pillowy.

…has hints of lemon and fresh herbs throughout.

…is made healthier with the addition of cauliflower.

…tossed in an addicting zucchini “sauce”.

…spooned overtop whipped goat cheese.

…and topped with crispy, garlicky breadcrumbs

Every last bite is mouth-watering. And that’s really all you need to know…enjoy some springtime gnocchi!

photo of Cauliflower Gnocchi with Crispy Zucchini and Whipped Goat Cheese with fork in bowl

Looking for a few other gnocchi ideas? Try these…

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Herbed White Wine Pan Sauce

Skillet Baked Creamy Pesto Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi

Sunday Night Gnocchi Bolognese Bake

overhead photo of Cauliflower Gnocchi with Crispy Zucchini and Whipped Goat Cheese and fork in bowl with cauliflower gnocchi eaten

Lastly, if you make this cauliflower gnocchi with crispy zucchini and whipped goat cheese, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Cauliflower Gnocchi with Crispy Zucchini and Whipped Goat Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com
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4.57 from 88 votes

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

The Recipe

Cauliflower Gnocchi with Crispy Zucchini and Whipped Goat Cheese

When you’re in need of an easy, colorful, and fresh dinner…make this delicious gnocchi!

 

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 362 kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 pound cauliflower or potato gnocchi, homemade or store-bought
  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 zucchini or yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried thyme)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest and 1 tablespoon juice
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces goat cheese or feta cheese
  • fresh basil, dill, and or chives, for serving

Instructions

  1. 1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the garlic, the breadcrumbs, and basil. Cook, stirring occasionally until the breadcrumbs are toasted all over, about 3 minutes. Add the cheese and cook another 2 minutes, until fried. Remove the breadcrumbs from the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Set the breadcrumbs aside.

    2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the gnocchi until they float to the top and are cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Drain.

    3. Place the skillet back over medium heat. Add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and the shallots. Cook until the shallots begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the zucchini has caramelized and is golden brown, 5-8 minutes. Add the butter, the thyme, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. Cook until the butter begins to brown, 3-4 minutes. Drop the gnocchi into the sauce, gently tossing to combine. Remove from the heat.

    4. To make the goat cheese, combine the goat cheese, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and the lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. The cheese can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

    5. Spread the goat cheese into the bottom of each individual serving bowl. Spoon the gnocchi and sauce over the cheese. Top with breadcrumbs and herbs. Scoop the gnocchi up with the goat cheese and the sauce. EAT and ENJOY.

Cauliflower Gnocchi with Crispy Zucchini and Whipped Goat Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com
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4.52 from 75 votes

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

The Recipe

Cauliflower Gnocchi

Delicious homemade healthy gnocchi in under 30 mins!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 222 kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. 1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add cauliflower florets and cook until tender, 10 minutes. Drain well. Lay the cauliflower on a kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess liquid.

    2. Add the cauliflower to a food processor, pulse until smooth (or simply mash well with a fork). Add the cups of flour, parmesan, and salt. Stir the mixture until just combined. If the dough seems wet, add a tablespoon of flour at a time, until it can be formed into a ball. The dough should be sticky.

    3. Generously flour a clean counter and scrape the dough out onto it. Cut the dough into four equal sections. Working with one section of dough at a time, roll the dough into a rope about 1 inch thick and cut into bite-size pieces. Repeat this process with the other sections of dough. Place the gnocchi on a baking sheet that has been dusted with flour. At this point, the gnocchi can be kept covered in the fridge for up to 1 day and then boiled just before you are ready to eat. Or boiled right away.

overhead horizontal photo of Cauliflower Gnocchi with Crispy Zucchini and Whipped Goat Cheese