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Is Gnocchi Vegan? What Does It Depend on and How to Be Sure?

Gnocchi are fresh potato-based pasta or dumplings, but are they vegan-friendly? The short answer - It depends. In this article, we've covered thoroughly if vegans can eat gnocchi or not.
Zeynep Ozdemir, RDN

Written by Zeynep Ozdemir, RDN. Updated on December 15, 2022.

Gnocchi is a type of Italian pasta, and it is possible to include it in a plant-based diet if its key ingredients include potatoes and vegan flour.

However, some gnocchi recipes may use non-vegan-friendly products. In this article, we will discuss what gnocchi are, what non-vegan ingredients they can contain, and how they can be made vegan.

Although some would say gnocchi are duplings, it’s actually a fresh potato-based pasta according to the Journal of Food Science.

No matter if they are pasta or dumplings, let’s see if vegans and plant-based individuals can eat them.

Can Vegans Eat Gnocchi?

Both yes and no. The answer to this question will depend on the ingredients of gnocchi, but of course, there is gnocchi that vegans can eat.

What Are Gnocchi?

Gnocchi is circular dumplings prepared with flour plus potatoes, as well as yellow polenta or semolina flour.

They are among the oldest handmade pasta, prepared by cutting tiny pieces of dough and heating them in hot water.

They may be bought commercially or handcrafted.

Non-Vegan Ingredients

If you may assume that gnocchi includes just flour (which is often vegan), salt, and potato, then you can be right to consider it vegan.

However, dumplings like these are vegan, although other recipes ask for the inclusion of non-vegan materials.


The most probable way to spoil a perfectly excellent plate of gnocchi for a vegan is the egg.

Eggs are often utilized to aid in the binding of dough.

This is optional, although some people like the added richness it adds, as well as the textural change that results in a somewhat spongier end product.


As is the case with classic Roman gnocchi, which is prepared with semolina and baked before serving, certain other gnocchi recipes may call for the use of dairy, most often milk.

Cheese is another kind of dairy to keep an eye out for. Gnocchi may be prepared without potatoes by using some type of cheese such as risotto and flour mixture.

Such recipes may also include a small amount of wheat, and they could be double non-vegan due to the usage of eggs to help to merge the dough.

How to Know If It Is Vegan?

These kinds of non-vegan components are often extremely simple to spot on gnocchi that has already been prepared.

However, in order to ensure that your gnocchi is 100% vegan for sure, the best choice is to either purchase from a vegan store or brand, choose a product explicitly labeled as vegan, or manufacture your own.

It is really simple to make your own gnocchi.

It will not only be a very fulfilling experience, but it will also save you from the need to check the product’s ingredient list for things like milk, cheese, eggs, or any other random and may be more difficult to notice E number, non-vegan ingredient, or additive.

Vegan Gnocchi Recipe

There are just four pantry-friendly components needed to make homemade gnocchi, which is incredibly simple.


  1. 500 g russet potatoes (peeled and baked)
  2. 20 g (2 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
  3. 200 g all-purpose flour (more can be added if needed)
  4. 1/2 tsp salt


1. Slice the cooked, cooled, and peeled potatoes into pieces. Press them with a potato ricer as part at a time. Alternately, thoroughly mash them to remove any lumps.

2. Mashed potatoes, salt, flour, and olive oil should all be combined in a big bowl. With clean hands, combine the ingredients and afterward gently knead them into a solid ball.

3. When the mixture starts to adhere to your hands, add more flour to help make it less sticky. The mixture will come all together if you add a little additional olive oil if indeed the flour isn’t absorbing and blending into the potatoes completely.

The secret is to avoid having a moist, sticky dough in order to make it simple to handle and shape into little dumplings.

4. Take a tiny portion of the dough and shape it into the gnocchi while covering it to prevent drying out.

Pinch a 1 tsp piece of dough into a ball with a rough form with your hand, and roll this between your palms to make it circular.

5. Put a fork onto the counter, pick up the ball, and put it onto the backside of the tines from the fork to create the characteristic gnocchi form.

6. Slide the dumpling along the fork’s tines while holding the dough piece between your thumb and index finger until you get to the counter.

Once the dough has turned under your thumbs, you should see grooves around three-quarters of the dough and a little inset hole where your finger was.

7. Continue with the remaining gnocchi dough pieces. If the mixture ever becomes too sticky, add a little additional flour to the leftover unshaped mixture and knead it in.

This will prevent the shaped gnocchi from sticking to one another.

8. Bring a big saucepan of salted water to a boil before beginning to cook the gnocchi.

Half of the gnocchi should be added to the saucepan and boiled for approximately 4 minutes, or until they float to the surface and continue to cook for a further minute.

Boil the new batch of gnocchi after removing the cooked ones with a spoon.

9. The prepared gnocchi may be used in your preferred dish or kept in the refrigerator for up until a week.


Gnocchi is frequently naturally vegan, and when produced from vegan flour with potatoes, it is possible to include it in a plant-based diet.

Good gnocchi should come from a straightforward dough made of floured mashed potato, a bit of salt, and much flour, as you could use in order to achieve a sturdy, bound gnocchi result.

However, the egg is used in many gnocchi recipes to help with binding. Other recipes may include cheese for the same reasons and to enhance flavor, while milk may also be used in certain gnocchi.

To eliminate these risks, it is sufficient to carefully check the labels of the products. Another way is to make your own gnocchi and it’s pretty easy.

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