Fluffy, No-Fuss Gnocchi Belongs In The Air Fryer

The instructions on a package of Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi say you can sauté, boil, or microwave your little pillowy bites, but people have caught on to an even better way to cook gnocchi: in the air fryer. In a video that has garnered over 65 thousand likes, TikTok user @thetinybride shares their recipe for air fryer cauliflower gnocchi, to which the user adds chicken sausage, garlic, and bruschetta sauce. While the end result looks scrumptious, this method doesn't just apply to Trader Joe's products — as it turns out, any type of gnocchi can get tossed in the air fryer for an easy, quick dinner. 

Simply throw the frozen gnocchi (no, it doesn't have to be cauliflower) in the air fryer for about 11 minutes, as in the popular video. But if you just buy a shelf-stable package from the store or make homemade gnocchi yourself, the hands-off process is very similar and will yield just as delicious results. Let's find out how to do it.

A quick method to pillowy perfection

We know that the air fryer excels at making things crispy, so why not give gnocchi the same treatment? And we're not talking about the air-fried pasta chip trend you may have seen floating around on social media — while gnocchi is usually eaten like a pasta, it's technically a dumpling made mostly from potatoes. When you throw them in the air fryer, they don't get crunchy like noodles would. Instead, you'll get little pillows that are still soft on the inside, but golden and crispy on the outside. In fact, this method may even be preferable to boiling, which can make homemade gnocchi overly chewy.

So if you want to try it out, here's what to do: toss your gnocchi in a little olive oil and any spices or herbs you'd like. Salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and Italian seasoning all sound delicious, as does some parmesan cheese. Then simply pop them in the air fryer for up to 15 minutes, making sure to shake the basket a few times throughout cooking. If you'd like, you can serve them with your favorite pasta sauce (marinara and pesto are tasty options), along with another hit of parmesan and red pepper flakes. But the dumplings are so delicious on their own, you may not even need it.