This super creamy vegan gnocchi bake is pure comfort food! With the rich tomato and coconut sauce, the soft gnocchi and the caramelized red onions, each bite is just heavenly!
Aromatics - what brings the flavor of this gnocchi bake to life is the aromatics! The creamy coconut and tomato sauce paired with some slow cooked onion, garlic, tomato paste, smoked paprika and dried rosemary, really ends up being a super flavorful recipe!
Black beans - these don't have an overwhelming flavor but their mild flavor paired with the aromatics results in a perfect combo. If you are on the look for more black beans recipes, you could try these easy black bean burgers!
Gnocchi - instead of making a pasta bake like this vegan pasta bake, I opted for some gnocchi. When roasted, they get this outter crispy layer and still soft in the middle!
The complete list of ingredients is located in the recipe card below.
Step by step instructions
Roasting the gnocchi
Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
Add the gnocchi to a large baking tray. Drizzle it with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat so that it doesn't get dry in the oven. This will make it super crispy! Cook for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.
While the gnocchi is roasting, let's make the super creamy tomato sauce!
Heat olive oil in an oven-safe pan (or if you don't have one, you will need to transfer the mix to a baking dish), over medium heat. When shimmering, add the chopped onion and fry for 8 minutes stirring to prevent it from burning.
Add the minced garlic and tomato paste and fry for 2 minutes until it gets darker.
Add the black beans, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and rosemary along with the tomato sauce and coconut milk. Stir well.
Stirring everything together
When the gnocchi are cooked, remove them from the oven and transfer to the pan. Turn on the grill function of the oven.
Stir the gnocchi with the remaining ingredients and when all coated, top it with nutritional yeast. Transfer to the oven, put it in a high rack and bake until golden (about 5 minutes).
Tips and variations
Gnocchi - when I first started testing this recipe, I didn't start by roasting the gnocchi and, while it does still work, they get much softer and not as much texture as they get when they are roasted and that is why I recommend roasting over boiling them.
Cooking the onion - I recommend cooking it slowly because it will really release much more flavor but, if you are in a rush, you can opt for cooking it for a shorter amount of time.
Black beans - I haven't tested this recipe with another type of beans but if I were to recommend any other that you could try, it would probably be brown lentils as they have a great texture for baked meals.
Sauce - if you are a fan of spicy meals, I would increase the amount of cayenne pepper and taste the sauce before transferring the dish to the oven. When serving, you can serve with some black pepper or chili flakes on top.
First of all, if you are looking for an appetizer, I love to pair tomato-based dishes with some vegan garlic bread as an appetizer!
To actually serve this, I would recommend serving this dish with some lemon juice on top, some black pepper as needed, and some salad on the side such as this avocado and mango salad.
How to store it
To store it, let it cool down, and when ready, transfer to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
How to freeze it
I have frozen this dish and it works really well! Simply put the airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to reheat it
To reheat it, I recommend reheating in a frying pan since the sauce will need to get liquid again. If too thick, add some water until you reach the desired consistency.
Frequently asked questions
Absolutely! Roasting the gnocchi instead of boiling will create a crispier outer layer and make it even better!
Gnocchi tastes like potato but not with an overwhelming flavor which is why it paires so well with so many different kinds of sauces.
When you roast it, yes, gnocchi is going to get crispy as long as you cover it well with some olive oil or neutral flavor vegetable oil.
If you try this recipe let me know!
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Try these creamy meals next!
Vegan Gnocchi Bake
- Frying pan (oven compatible)
- Baking tray
- 500 grams gnocchi
- 1 red onion diced finely
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 250 gram tomato passata
- 200 mL coconut milk
- 250 gram cooked or canned black beans
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
Roasting the gnocchi
- Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
- Add the gnocchi to a large baking tray. Drizzle the gnocchi with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat the gnocchi so that it doesn't get dry in the oven. This will make it super crispy! Cook for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Making the sauce
- While the gnocchi is roasting, let's make the super creamy tomato sauce! Heat olive oil in an oven safe pan (or if you don't have one, you will need to transfer the mix to a baking dish), over medium heat. When shimering, add the chopped onion and fry for 8 minutes stirring to prevent it from burning.
- Add the minced garlic and tomato paste and fry for 2 minutes until it gets darker.
- Add the black beans, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and rosemary along with the tomato sauce and coconut milk. Stir well and leave to cook for 8 minutes.
Stirring everything together
- When the gnocchi are cooked, remove them from the oven and transfer them to the pan. Turn the grill function of the oven on.
- Stir the gnocchi with the remaining ingredients and when all coated, top it with nutritional yeast. Transfer to the oven, put it in a high rack and bake until golden. In my oven it is about 5 minutes but this really depends on the oven.