Are you looking for a new and exciting way to enjoy gnocchi? Then you HAVE TO try this crispy and delicious Air Fryer Gnocchi Recipe! And if you're also a obsessed with your air fryer, I'm certain you'll absolutely love this this dish.
It's made with fresh gnocchi (or frozen gnocchi) and tossed in a vegan-friendly red pesto, this recipe is super easy to make and perfect for any meal. Not only is this air-fried gnocchi dish ultra-fast to make, but it's also packed with flavor, and interesting texture - and sure to impress!
Whether you're new to air fryer cooking or a total air frying pro, this recipe is a must-try. So, get ready to whip up a dish that's sure to become a new favorite!
❤️ What's Amazing About this Recipe:
- It's vegan-friendly!
- It uses an air fryer for ultra-fast cooking
- The deliciously, crunchy breadcrumb coating is simply fantastic!
- Easy to make
- Can be made with homemade or store-bought gnocchi
- The recipe is easily customizable with ingredient substitutions (see below!)
- Can be served in a variety of ways - I've listed a few tasty ideas in the post below!
- Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days
- Can be made in the oven as well as the air fryer
This air fryer gnocchi recipe is a game-changer for anyone looking to enjoy a delicious, vegan-friendly meal in no time at all. The combination of crispy gnocchi and tangy red pesto is already a winner, but the addition of a delicious dip, such as your favorite sauce, Spicy Butter Bean Dip or vegan whipped cream cheese takes the recipe to another level!
Introduction to Using an Air Fryer
Air fryers are a revolutionary kitchen appliance that allows you to cook delicious, crispy food with very little oil. They work by circulating hot air around the food, creating a crispy exterior without the need for deep-frying - simply magical!
If you're looking to eat healthier without sacrificing flavor, an air fryer is a must-have. For more information on how to use an air fryer (and how not to), read this detailed post about whether you can put water in an air fryer!
Why make this recipe in an air fryer
Air fryers allow for ultra-fast cooking with very little oil. In this recipe, the air fryer crisps up the gnocchi to perfection, creating a deliciously crunchy exterior without the need for deep-frying.
Additionally, air fryers are incredibly easy to use and make cooking a breeze. This recipe is perfect for anyone looking to enjoy a delicious, vegan-friendly meal in no time at all.
If you're in the market for a new air fryer, let me tell you that I absolutely love my Ninja Foodi! I've had it for years and it's a fantastic all-rounder that it great not only for air frying but also for baking, grilling, dehydrating and roasting.
🌱 Ingredients & Notes
- Vegan-friendly gnocchi - Use any brand of vegan-friendly gnocchi or simply make your own at home!
- Vegan red pesto - Use any store-bought or homemade vegan-friendly red pesto. I used Zest Red Pesto for this recipe.
- Breadcrumbs - I used golden breadcrumbs for a delicious crunch.
- Salt & Pepper - To season to taste if needed. I like to use sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Oil spray - For best results, use rapeseed oil spray or avocado oil spray.
- Fresh basil - Use fresh basil leaves for garnish.
- Tomato sauce to serve - Use your favorite marinara sauce or make a delicious homemade dip, such as vegan whipped cream cheese to dunk the crispy air fryer gnocchi.
Not sure where to find fresh or frozen gnocchi? Check your local grocery stores or try a pack of shelf-stable gnocchi, like Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi. You can also try making your own homemade gnocchi using traditional potato gnocchi or sweet potato gnocchi (both are delicious with this recipe!)
If you love gnocchi in all shapes and forms, also try this Gnocchi Carbonara Recipe - ultra creamy, vegan-friendly and a simply a must try on your meal plan for this week!
🔄 Possible Ingredient Substitutions
Here are some possible ingredient substitutions, in case you don’t have everything to hand:
- Gnocchi - this recipe also works a treat with sweet potato gnocchi, carrot gnocchi or spinach gnocchi, both homemade or store-bought!
- Pesto - you can also use vegan basil pesto instead of vegan red pesto
- Breadcrumbs - swap the golden breadcrumbs for Panko breadcrumbs
- Oil - use olive oil spray instead, make sure it’s intended for use in high temperatures
- Herbs - use fresh parsley or oregano for garnish instead of basil
Feel free to experiment with these substitutions or others to make the recipe your own.
🔪 Instructions (Step-by-Step)
This recipe can be made in 3 simple steps:
Step 1 - Cook your gnocchi according to packaging instructions until they are soft but not mushy.
Step 2 - Toss them with red pesto and breadcrumbs until evenly coated.
Step 3 - Place them in a single layer in the air fryer basket and lightly spray them with oil. Cook for 13-15 minutes, shaking the basket every 5 minutes, until they're all crispy and golden brown.
This recipe is perfect for anyone looking for an easy way to enjoy gnocchi in a new way. Try it out today and let me know what you think in the comments below!
🍽️ Serving Suggestions
Here are some tasty serving suggestions for air fryer gnocchi:
- Dip the crunchy gnocchi into whipped vegan cream cheese, vegan sour cream or hummus, or try a spicy dip such as this fiery Butter Bean Dip!
- Toss the gnocchi with sautéed spinach and garlic for a healthy and flavorful side dish
- Serve the gnocchi with a side of roasted vegetables, such as bell peppers, eggplant or asparagus.
- Top the gnocchi with a sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese and fresh herbs, such as parsley or basil.
- Pair the gnocchi with a simple salad dressed - they add a delicious crunch!
- Serve the gnocchi alongside a hearty vegetable soup or stew for a comforting meal.
Feel free to get creative and come up with your own serving ideas!
Store any leftover cooked air fryer gnocchi in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer or oven until warmed through and crispy. Do not freeze cooked gnocchi, as they may become mushy when thawed.
💡 Expert Tips
Here are a few extra tips to make the best gnocchi in your air fryer:
- Use cooking spray to prevent sticking: Before adding your food to the air fryer basket, lightly coat it with cooking spray. This will help prevent your food from sticking to the basket and make cleanup easier. The best way is to use rapeseed or avocado oil spray. For an even easier clean up, get an air fryer liner!
- Preheat the air fryer: Just like with an oven, it's important to preheat your air fryer before cooking. This will ensure that your food cooks evenly and comes out crispy.
- Don't overcrowd the basket: It can be tempting to fill the air fryer basket to the brim, but overcrowding can prevent your food from cooking properly. Place the gnocchi into the basket in a single later, leaving some space between them to allow for proper air circulation and ensure that everything cooks evenly.
- Shake the frying basket every 5 minutes to ensure the gnocchi is cooked evenly.
⚠️ Note that cooking times may vary depending on your air fryer, so keep an eye on your gnocchi to ensure they don't burn.
✨ Recipe Variations
- Use different sauces - Instead of red pesto, try using a different sauce for the gnocchi, such as basil pesto or chili pesto.
- Make it spicy - Add some crushed red pepper flakes to the coating before air frying or serve the gnocchi with a drizzle of sriracha sauce for a bit of heat.
- Experiment with other seasonings - You can also add dried basil, dried oregano, onion powder, or any other spices you like - or use a store-bought seasoning mix, such as Everything Bagel, Italian, ranch, cajun, Jamaican jerk or taco seasoning.
- Make it sweet - Gnocchi are wonderfully versatile! Why not try making a sweet crispy gnocchi version by adding sugar and cinnamon before air frying, and serving them alongside a delicious chocolate dip?
♻️ What to Do with Your Leftovers
If you have any leftover ingredients from this recipe, here are a few tips and tricks to use them in your next epic creation!
- Gnocchi - Try making a delicious Gnocchi Carbonara!
- Pesto - Stir leftover pesto into Vegan Shakshuka or drizzle it into soup such as Creamy Tomato Soup or Spicy Swede Soup for an extra flavor boost!
- Breadcrumbs - Add Vegan Schnitzel to your meal plan this week, or use them for divine Vegan Arancini.
❓ FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use homemade gnocchi in this recipe. Simply cook the gnocchi until they're soft and then follow the recipe as written.
Yes, you can use frozen gnocchi in this recipe. Simply thaw the gnocchi and then follow the recipe as written.
Yes, you can absolutely make this recipe in the oven! Simply preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and bake the gnocchi on a lined baking sheet for roughly 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Note that the cooking time may vary depending on your oven, so keep an eye on the gnocchi to ensure they don't overcook or burn.
🔜 Related Recipes
Check out the the blog for more easy and delicious air fryer recipes that you can try at home! Here are a few of my personal favorites:
📌 If you love Pinterest you can pin any of the images to your boards!
Here's a handy recipe card that you can print out and keep in your kitchen for easy reference:
Air Fryer Gnocchi
- 1 air fryer
- 1 measuring cups and spoons
- 1 medium mixing bowl
- 1 serving dish
- 8.8 oz gnocchi (250g) vegan-friendly
- 4.2 oz red pesto (120g) vegan friendly
- 1 oz breadcrumbs (30g) golden
- oil spray rapeseed oil or avocado oil
- fresh basil for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- marinara sauce optional
- Cook the gnocchi in a large pot of water until they are soft but not mushy. Drain the gnocchi and transfer them to a mixing bowl.
- Toss the gnocchi with the red pesto and breadcrumbs until evenly coated and season to taste with sea salt and pepper if needed.
- Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C). Place the gnocchi into the air fryer basket in a single layer and lightly spray them with oil.
- Air fry the gnocchi for 13-15 minutes, shaking the air fryer basket every 5 minutes, until they are crispy and golden brown.
- Transfer the air-fried gnocchi to a serving dish, sprinkle with fresh basil and enjoy alongside your favourite marinara sauce or homemade dip!
- Nutritional information for reference only. These are estimates and may vary depending on the specific brands and types of ingredients used.
- If you don't have an air fryer, you can also bake the gnocchi in the oven at 400°F (200°C) for 20-25 minutes.
- Add a sprinkle of garlic powder to the breadcrumbs for a garlicky twist!
- For best results, use rapeseed or avocado oil spray.
- Keep an eye on your gnocchi while they're cooking to ensure they don't burn. Cooking times may vary depending on your air fryer.
- Use an air fryer liner for easy clean up.
- Leftover gnocchi can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer or oven until warmed through and crispy.
- Experiment with different sauces to dip the gnocchi in, such as marinara sauce, spicy butter bean dip, hummus, whipped vegan cream cheese or vegan alfredo sauce!
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