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Cauliflower Orange Gnocchi

27 reviews / 4.5 average

An at-home version of the Bar La Grassa favorite: Cauliflower Orange Gnocchi! Pillowy gnocchi, glossy sauce, paper-thin cauliflower. IT’S SO GOOD.

This post is sponsored by DeLallo and is a brand new recipe that’s part of our Fall 2022 SOS Series! View the full series.


TODAY IS A BIG DEAL!

This recipe is a recipe that I’ve thought about recreating for a long time, and here we are. It’s happening.

And doubly awesome is that it’s happening SOS-style! Three cheers for delicious and easy.

This gnocchi comes from a restaurant (more on that in a second) and if you’ve never had it, it’s going to shock and delight you:

  • pillowy bites of gnocchi
  • supremely thin-sliced cauliflower
  • minced shallot
  • all browned in some butter
  • tenderly coated in a light cream “sauce” if you can even call it that
  • with orange juice and zest (yes, orange)
  • and just a little spicy from some red pepper flakes
  • and a handful of chives on top

Oh my word, it’s so good. I wish I was eating it right this second.


In This Post: Everything You Need For This Gnocchi


Prefer To Watch Instead Of Read?

Bar La Grassa Cauliflower Orange Gnocchi (The OG)

The OG of this recipe comes from a restaurant in Minneapolis called Bar La Grassa – the gnocchi is beautiful, luscious, rich, and simultaneously delicate. The actual pieces of gnocchi are tiny and pillowy and light, and the little bits of roasted cauliflower plus a light coating of creamy, slightly orange-y (!) sauce with a handful of fresh chives over the top just make the whole dish a rare and unexpected gem.

There are very few meals I’ve had that have ever made me cry, but the first plate of this gnocchi that I ordered after all the pandemic lockdowns and shutdowns of the last few years literally brought me to tears. It is heavenly. Otherworldly. Just so darn good.

A year or so ago, I posted a video of this gnocchi to Instagram and someone (hi, Alix!) followed up with an email in which they SENT ME THE RECIPE. The restaurant recipe. There was some uncertainty on where it came from – best guess from the original sender was that they wrote it down from a televised interview with the head chef Isaac Becker years ago (this is why I love all of us).

I balked at it for a while – how could I even attempt to make this at home? I couldn’t. Or… could I?

But what I’ve settled on sharing is a homemade version that is REALLY, REALLY GOOD – mostly true to the recipe that was emailed to me, but just a bit more semi-homemade than the real deal restaurant version, making it ideal for the regular home cooks of the world who love delicious things.

So, yes, you have to go to the restaurant to experience the real, life-changing thing.

But you can, in fact, get the truly amazing restaurant flavor at home as an easy, easy, easy weeknight dinner.

Homemade Gnocchi Vs. Pre-Made Gnocchi

When I made the gnocchi from scratch (as instructed from the recipe), I didn’t feel like it had a huge payout. After a lot of admittedly amateur work, my gnocchi didn’t turn out nearly as tender and lovely as the restaurant version.

So I’ve decided to leave that to the pros and use pre-made gnocchi. It saves time, of course, but also – if you buy the right brand (DELALLO!) it’s going to be very, very delicious and make you wonder why you were ever spending all that time making your own gnocchi anyway.

I keep my pantry stocked with these packages of gnocchi and use them for all kinds of quick meals – most commonly, the millionaire gnocchi and the crockpot chicken gnocchi soup.

And now, this cauliflower orange gnocchi. I cannot get enough of this, and thanks to our fave brand of all truly authentic Italian products, it can become a FAST and delicious weeknight masterpiece.

(For the record, it’s not hard to make homemade gnocchi! I don’t want to discourage you from trying it, especially for a weekend. I find this gnocchi – with ricotta! – is incredibly forgiving if you have the time and desire to try your hand at the homemade stuff.)

How To Cut Cauliflower On a Mandoline

How you cut the cauliflower will make or break this dish.

You have to cut the cauliflower on a mandoline.

Something magical happens to that cauliflower when it is sliced into thin little papery pieces and then hits a hot pan of sizzling butter with a bunch of freshly minced shallots. OH BABY. This is next-level cauliflower.

Here’s a little video showing how you can cut the cauliflower on a mandoline:

Basically, you’ll want to remove the bigger portions of the stem and break the cauliflower down into medium-large florets. From there, you’ll turn the florets sideways to run them down the mandoline. You don’t want to put the top of the floret directly onto the mandoline – it’ll just crumble everywhere. The stem is what holds it together. What you’ll be left with kind of looks like flat, papery little trees, with stems and tops.

I often find that I end up with a little side-bowl of the crumbles and extra bits that fall of the sliced cauliflower – it’s just going to happen, even when you do it correctly, because cauliflower is crumbly like that. But it’s all good – those extra pieces are perfect to save and use in a super fast batch of cauliflower walnut taco meat or cauliflower soup.

If you don’t have a mandoline, I’d recommend just using a sharp knife to try to replicate what you see in the video – thin, tree-like slices.

This recipe is just a thing of beauty. Weeknight-friendly, restaurant quality, and just so many happy, pillowy, cozy little bites.

Cauliflower Orange Gnocchi: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make homemade gnocchi for this?

Sure can! We have a guide to making homemade gnocchi that will get the job done.

How could I add meat to this?

The gnocchi in itself can be a full meal, but if you wanted to eat it as more of a side, I’d imagine it would go beautifully with some roasted chicken or grilled steak!

Is gnocchi gluten-free?

Typically, gnocchi is not gluten-free because it contains wheat flour. BUT DeLallo is a genius and also sells gluten-free gnocchi as well as CHICKPEA GNOCCHI! Gnocchi for everyone!

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A picture of Cauliflower Orange Gnocchi

Cauliflower Orange Gnocchi


  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 34 servings 1x

Description

An at-home version of the Bar La Grassa favorite: Cauliflower Orange Gnocchi! Pillowy gnocchi, glossy sauce, paper-thin cauliflower. IT’S SO GOOD.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 package gnocchi (I use DeLallo)
  • 23 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • a medium-large head of cauliflower, cored and thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces on a mandoline (about 3 cups)
  • 2 shallots, minced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/41/2 cup heavy cream (see notes)
  • 1/21 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (more to taste)
  • juice and zest of 1 orange (about 2 tablespoons of juice, zest to taste)
  • chives for topping

Instructions

  1. Cook the gnocchi according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. Heat the butter over high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add cauliflower, shallot, and cooked gnocchi; let it sit for a few minutes and then stir and repeat. You want the cauliflower and gnocchi to get browned, and the shallots to get soft.
  3. Add in the cream, orange juice, red pepper flakes, and salt. Simmer for just a minute or two until desired consistency is reached – everything should be coated in a silky light sauce.
  4. Serve immediately topped with fresh chives and orange zest. OH MY GOODNESS.

Notes

Most nonstick pan manufacturers will recommend not using high heat because it can wear down the pan faster and potentially cause the pan to give off toxic fumes (especially an empty pan), so just use the highest level of heat you are comfortable with. I usually use a high-ish heat – like 8/10 – with my Caraway brand nonstick pans. The higher heat is necessary for getting that pretty browning on the gnocchi and cauliflower! 

Using 1/4 cup heavy cream will give you a light, barely-there coating. It’s delicious. Using 1/2 cup of heavy cream will give you something more substantial, rich, and “saucy.” Also delicious. You pick!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Bar La Grass, gnocchi, cauliflower gnocchi, easy dinner, one pan dinner

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Thank you to DeLallo for sponsoring this recipe!

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61 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Lori

    Looks delicious! Anyone else pan fry gnocchi instead of boiling? We like texture better!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Elyse

    Can you please share what mandoline you use? I used to have one but I couldn’t ever get it to work right so I threw it out!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Kathy Lynn

      I think the key is having enough cauliflower. Mine was small. I had a hard time slicing on my mandolin especially using a guard (which I always do) so next time I will use a large cauliflower. I didn’t get any orange flavor (didn’t use zest) even when squeezing some juice after plating. I really did enjoy this and will make it again. I also added parmesan on my plate but it really didn’t add anything. I always salt to taste (in response to too salty) along with pepper flakes. Looking forward to making a trip to have the real deal.






  3. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Rian

    Oh my. This is also my absolute favorite dish at Bar La Grassa (and let’s be honest there are SO MANY to choose from). I dream about it. I can’t wait to try making it, my husband is going to be so excited!! Thank you for this. 🙂

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Erin

    Ok I love the idea of a full series of MSP restaurant copycat recipes!!

    This, the Mucci’s bucatini…. maybe there are others already on the site that I’m forgetting?

    Here are my submissions:
    Bibim Grain salad from Young Joni
    Salmon Farro bowl from Surly (I have been working on this one for years, and it’s good but missing… something??)
    Cauliflower Black Butter soup from Red Rabbit (HOW is it so good? Butter is the answer, I know – afraid to think about how much)

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Holly

    This is my favorite meal. I dream of it and was also very emotional when I finally got to enjoy it after Bar La Grassa re-opened. Excited to try to make it at home!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    REK981

    I cannot wait to make it this weekend!! It looked SO good on Instagram yesterday!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Holly Wolsey

    I’m wondering if there is a typo on the 1.5 tsp salt it calls for? That really ruined my dish. I desperately tried to salvage it, but it was still crazy salty. Also I think 1-2tsp on the chili flakes is intense! I used 3/4 tsp.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Stephanie

      You have theee ingredients that need a lot of salt; cauliflower, potato and the fat from the heavy whipping cream. Typically fat can take a lot of salt. I salted the water for my gnocchi very liberally and then salted the dish at the end with a tsp of salt and thought it was perfect. I am not a huge salt lover. Most of my family salt their dishes after I cook.

      Full review: we used the whites of green onions because I forgot the shallots and used closer to the 1/2 cup of heavy cream and this is delicious! I preferred it before adding the zest, so I’ll skip that part next time. Adding to the rotation!






    2. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Emily B Gale

      I agree, I thought it was too salty! I will definitely reduce the next time around.

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sarah

    The flavor is fabulous! I sliced the cauliflower with the mandolin slicer and it was very easy. I used 1 tsp of red pepper flakes. I love some heat but it was pretty spicy. I don’t think I couldn’t have eaten it if I had used 2 tsp. Maybe my flakes are extra spicy. I think when I make again I will used 1/2 tsp and it will be perfection. Great Recipe!






  9. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Judi Jacobs

    This was so delicious I didn’t want to stop eating. Slicing the cauliflower with the mandolin is slightly aggravating but so worth it. Texture and taste out of this world. Make it as written!!!!






    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi, Molly! This is actually one recipe where Lindsay doesn’t recommend substitutes. We haven’t tested out cream alternatives, but if you try something out, we’d love to hear!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Made this last night and it was 10/10 delicious! I omitted the red pepper flakes as I also served it to my 10 month old daughter – we all loved it!






  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Jess

    Made this tonight – burnt the shallots but other than that it was great! Will be making again (and not burning anything).






    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Sam

      This was shockingly good. I thought the combo sounded super strange but I loved it. I’ve already made it twice. The first time I made it the suggested way – delicious! The second time I made it an ultra lazy way and I cooked a bag of riced cauli in the microwave, squeezed out extra moisture in a kitchen towel and used in place of the fresh sliced cauli and then used two frozen sauteed onion cubes (target sells them) in place of the shallot. It was totally a bit less special – I get why the recipe is written as-is. BUT it was still so good if anyone else is a lazy bum like me 🙂






  12. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Ana

    Had this tonight and this was 10/10! I used 2 packages of gnocchi, 1 cup of heavy cream and 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes. It was AMAZING! my family loved it! The flavors were so amazing together!






  13. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Chelsey

    Simple and so so tasty!! I don’t own a mandolin but do own a spiralizer and carefully and patiently made one of the attachments work for this. It made perfect little trees!






  14. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Morgan M.

    Whoever created this recipe is a food genius. The flavors sound a little unusual, but I made this last night and it might be the best thing I have ever eaten. I doubled the gnocchi and sauce for our family of 5, but otherwise made it as written. My carnivore husband did not miss having meat, and my five year old son declared he loves cauliflower “when it has this sauce.” Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kelley

    Obsessed with this recipe!! Tasted just like BLG! I have been looking for this copy cat recipe for years. I wouldn’t change a thing!






    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Christina

      Y’aaaaaallll, this is so good! It comes together quick and the flavor combo is so fun- the salt makes everything pop. Next time I will get better gnocchi but that one’s on me.






  16. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Vickie

    Made tonight and I really enjoyed! Slicing the cauliflower was easy but a real mess but I agree that the texture is worth it. My husband didn’t care for the orange flavor (I liked it). If I had to omit the orange any suggestions what to add instead? Garlic? He just isn’t a citrus person.






    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi, Vickie! This is actually one recipe where Lindsay doesn’t recommend any substitution, so it’s hard for us to say what would work well in place of the orange. If you try out something though, we would love to hear!

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Katie

    This recipe is so simple, very few ingredients. It has your basics of salt, acid, fat, and heat and it just makes a beautiful dish! I was hesitant about the mandolin because cauliflower doesn’t have a clean cut sometimes, but the texture of the cauliflower was so nice in it and I do not recommend skipping out on this step! It was so so good, definitely making it again!






  18. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Jill

    I had pretty high expectations after seeing this recipe on IG and then reading other reviews here. My first bite was underwhelming, but I have to say as I got further into the dish and had orange zest and green onions in the mix, the taste just got better and better! Like others, I added double the gnocchi and increased the amount of cream and orange juice. Adults of the house agreed it had great flavor and was very filling! Kids of the house didn’t care for it and they will be having cereal for dinner which is disappointing, but it was fun to try something new.

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Liz

    My orange zest seemed to make it more bitter than I would have liked and will consider cooking longer on high to fully cook cauliflower next time. And will likely stick to the lower side on the red pepper flakes. Thanks for the quick recipe though for a weeknight!






  20. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Wantasaab

    This was delicious!! I veganized it with Miyokos butter and almond milk and it was a hit with me and the husband. Thank you so much!

  21. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Bailey

    Don’t knock it till you try it—seriously so good! If the combo sounds strange then I strongly encourage you to just give it a try. Super simple & so delicious!






  22. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Katie

    This is a great recipe! My husband and I are big Bar La Grassa fans but with a toddler and new baby we don’t get out much. Next time I’ll double this for leftovers – so, so good!