easy/meat free/recipes

The Best Way to Cook Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi: Pan-fried Cacio e Pepe Cauliflower Gnocchi Recipe

Posted September 25, 2018 by Stephanie

Now that it’s fall, I’m all about the carbs. I have to work on my winter body, after all ;) Jokes aside, I really do find that the cooler weather makes me want to eat ALL the things, which makes me a much more fluffier person in the fall and winter months, compared to spring and summer. I try to combat this by going on super long walks and dragging my butt to the gym (very very occasionally), but the thing that I find works best for me is being aware of what I’m eating and kind of sort of calorie counting.

I actually love calorie counting but I rarely let myself do it because I tend to get kind of obsessive and Mike finds it incredibly annoying to wait for me to enter my calories before I start eating. To be fair to him, I find myself annoying when I do it too LOL. Anyway I’ve recently gotten obsessed (like everyone else on the Internet) with Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi. I first read about it earlier this year – it came out in April – and since then we pretty much buy a bag whenever we’re at TJ’s. This isn’t sponsored by the way, I just really like Trader Joe’s because I’m basic like that ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Pan-fried Cacio e Pepe Cauliflower Gnocchi Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Pan-fried Cacio e Pepe Cauliflower Gnocchi Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Pan-fried Cacio e Pepe Cauliflower Gnocchi Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Pan-fried Cacio e Pepe Cauliflower Gnocchi Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

With much trial and error, I’ve found that the best way to cook cauliflower gnocchi is to straight up sauté it, frozen, right from the bag. The instructions tell you to add a bit of water to steam/boil it first, but I think they have much better texture when you just fry them. They get crispy on the outside and are soft and tender on the inside. They’re little fluffy pillows of goodness and they’re only 330 calories for the entire bag! That’s INSANE! I may have eaten a bag by myself in one sitting. Yup, maybe once or five times…

Usually though, what I like to do when I need a snack that is carb-y but not too calorie-full, I will make myself half a bag, which is the recommended serving size, fried in a bit of butter and pepper then tossed in parmesan. The gnocchi get kind of a cacio e pepe feel and hit all the right notes: salty, cheesy, peppery, and carb-y without being full of carbs. And the best part? One serving is just about 300 calories. Perfect for those cozy fall eating vibes without loading up on calories. Seriously so good!

Cacio e Pepe Cauliflower Gnocchi Recipe
serves 1


  • 1-2 tablespoons butter or oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 package cauliflower gnocchi (I got this at Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground parmesan
  • salt, to taste

In a non-stick skillet, heat up the butter and pepper over medium high heat. The warm butter will warm up the pepper and become more fragrant and pepper-y. Add the gnocchi, frozen from the bag, and fry until golden brown and crispy, flipping once, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and toss quickly with the parmesan. Taste and season with salt and extra pepper if needed. Enjoy immediately!

5 Comments

  1. Ok this sounds amazing and only 330 calories for an entire bag is mad!! (but great!!)

    Rebecca | http://www.peppermintdolly.com

  2. Marianna Florczyk says:

    where does that beautiful plate come from?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi marianna,
      it’s by cathy terepocki :) we found it at anthropologie!

  3. Anna says:

    This was absolutely delicious. I tossed in some spinach and chicken. The spinach was excellent, the chicken was unnecessary. I am so glad I followed your recipe.

  4. Angelina Spear says:

    I work at TJs and have had it both ways from the back of the bag, then tried this for dinner tonight. We were amazzzzed. Now everyone buying it from me is going to be sent to this blog! So much better than the boil and fry- and easier too!

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