Gluten Free Italian Buckwheat Gnocchi Recipe

gnocchi.jpgThe other night I followed through with my menu plan and made some extremely unconventional gnocchi. This gnocchi was baked, not boiled, and cut into rounds more like a croquette than a gnocchi. But DH was ecstatic over the dish, and any dish with greens that DH is ecstatic over is something to take note of. I recently opened a box of Cream of Buckwheat that had been hiding in my pantry forever. We used it for hot cereal several days, and it struck the perfect balance for me- hearty and whole grain without being too heavy. Mild but not insipid, thick but not lumpy. Good stuff, and DH pronounced it not too different from oatmeal. But then I was reading a recipe for spinach gnocchi and noticed it called for semolina. Semolina, a kind of wheat flour, makes me think of the Indian Rava, or cream of semolina. And that made me think of my new discovery, cream of buckwheat. So, I decided to make my own version of this recipe, using cream of buckwheat instead of semolina and substituting beet greens and a few leaves of red chard for the spinach. (DH far prefers beet greens to spinach.) It made the whole house smell good, especially when I threw together some garlic bread using an unfavorite baguette brought home from Austria. DH proclaimed it to smell “just like a restaurant,” and the whole meal tasted like a restaurant meal, too. So, if you’re tired of the same old potato gnocchi- why not try something really different, like cream of buckwheat gnocchi? It should be even more nutritious, and it was definitely delicious.

If it’s not in your local store, get your Wheat-free, Gluten-free Pocono Organic Cereal, Cream of Buckwheatfrom Amazon. :)

gnicchisauce.jpg gfgnocchibread.jpg

Buckwheat Gnocchi with Greens
14 oz. fresh spinach OR beet greens from one bunch of beets plus any other greens to make 2 or 3 cups of fresh greens
3 cups milk
1 1/4 cup Cream of Buckwheat cereal (Pocono)
1/8 cup butter
4 oz fresh grated parmesan cheese
fresh grated nutmeg
salt, freshly ground pepper
2 eggs, beaten
Blanch your beet greens or spinach until nicely cooked, drain thoroughly and chop into small pieces.

Rinse a pot with water and place on burner still damp. Let warm and then add your milk, heating until the milk begins to boil. Slowly add your (uncooked) Cream of Buckwheat cereal grits to the milk and stir. Let mixture come back to a boil and then lower heat, stirring frequently for up to ten minutes or until mixture has thickened nicely to a grit-like texture. Take off the burner and add butter, cheese, and seasonings. Let mixture cool for a few minutes (up to five) and then add your beaten eggs and mix thoroughly.

If you’d like, separate out some of the mixture for plain gnocchi (no greens). Mix greens into the other half of the “dough” and combine thoroughly.

There are 2 preparation options.

1)scoop out little balls of the dough and form them into a little gnocchi shape, placing them on a baking tin in a single layer sprayed with non-stick cooking spray as you make each one.


2)spread the batter on cookie tins about 1/2 inch thick and let cool in refrigerator. When firm, use little cookie or biscuit cutter to cut out gnocchi “rounds” (more like croquettes, really) and place on a single layer on a baking tin sprayed with non-stick cooking spray as you make each one. Top each round with extra parmesan cheese. (Really, do, it adds a lot of flavor and interest)

Place in pre-heated 375 degree oven and bake for 35 minutes or so. Remove from oven and reserve.

You can either serve as is with a yummy homemade tomato sauce OR to take it up a notch…

Heat 1 or 2 tsp. butter with 1 or 2 tsp. garlic flavored olive oil in a cast iron pan. (To make oil, just sautee up some garlic in the oil and then remove the garlic from the pan, leaving the oil.- I actually used oil from a garlic bread mash topping of garlic, parsley, and pepper, so there was infused parsley in the oil too, yum.) When warm, add a single layer of your baked gnocchi. After they warm and get a little golden brown, turn them over. When done, remove from pan and serve with your sauce.


DH was amazingly enthused about this dish, and gobbled it down. I had to take the gnocchi away from the table or he said he would eat it all right then. lol. We will be making this again- AND it’s a great, fun way to use cream of buckwheat cereal.

A very untraditional gnocchi, on many points, but we liked it.

All Purpose Pasta Sauce
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (thyme, sage, oregano), or 1 tablespoon dried spices
1/2 medium carrot, finely grated
2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes or 1 can whole tomatoes and 5 or 6 home grown heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped (reserve juice from can and any from the tomatoes) OR 1 28 oz. can peeled tomatoes and 1 14 oz. can stewed tomatoes
GF Spaghetti noodles
Grill or roast your fresh tomatoes until charred and skin comes off easily. Chop roughly and retain any juice. In a sauce pan or dutch oven, heat the oil to medium, and add your diced onion and garlic, cooking until lightly golden (about 10 minutes). Lower heat if needed. ThroIn a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add spices and grated carrot and cook for about five minutes. Add tomatoes and any juice or liquid from the can or fresh tomatoes and let come to boil, stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn. Turn down heat and simmer on low for half an hour until thickened. Add salt to taste.

Use on pasta, and/or for vegetarian sloppy joes.

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11 Responses to “Gluten Free Italian Buckwheat Gnocchi Recipe”

  1. [...] Friday: Italian Spinach and Beet Green gnocchi with buckwheat grits Tomato sauce homemade gluten free artisan bread (postponed) [...]

  2. This looks great, and I actually have a full box of that buckwheat cereal. Do you have ideas for making it milk-free (the cheese is probably ok)? Also, how do you prepare the cereal as cereal? Thanks, Yum!

  3. Hi M,
    Thanks! It was a great dinner for us. To make it milk free (I assume lactose free) you can prepare the buckwheat with water instead of milk, or use a lactose-free milk (dairy, plain rice milk, plain soy milk). The milk mostly adds richness and flavor. Hope this helps!

  4. Yea for easier gnocchi. We’ve made gnochhi a couple of times, but it still turns out a bit on the heavy side. Your recipe looks much easier and more fun =) And I’m loving the greens in it too.

    We’ve been cooking regular buckwheat groat with milk/water for breakfast. It makes a mushy hot cereal with a very unique (in a good way) tasted. It’s definietly a nice change from grits and oatmeal.

  5. This looks very interesting…thank-you for posting this and providing inspiration!!!

    Gnochhi was one of my favourite recipes back in my eating dark ages ;) I now live gluten/dairy/legume/tomato free so I’ll have my work cut out for me but I think it is doable.

    I will use my sesame milk (recipe will be posted on my blog soon) and maybe add nutritional yeast in order to make it dairy free. I will also use organic buckwheat grits. I don’t eat tomatoes either so I would serve it with a selection of grilled mushrooms with garli and fresh greens.

    Thanks for inspiration…I love your site..

  6. I’m so glad you published this – I have stopped eating refined grains and white potatoes, since like so many celiacs I was actually eating a more processed and higher carbohydrate diet than before I went GF. I’m actually doing the South Beach Diet at the moment, too. So this is the first gnocchi recipe I’ve seen that incorporates a whole grain and would work with the new way that I’m eating. Yum! BTW, I adore the Pocono Cream of Buckwheat cereal. It’s so good – I used to eat it with maple syrup, butter, and dried cranberries. Mmm.

  7. Hi Mary Frances! Yup, buckwheat cereal is my new favorite thing. I just ordered a case from Amazon. (Thanks to for whoever gave me that tip on SillyYaks!) I want to try some of the recipes on the box, too. :)

    Hi Orla, You are very welcome. I am very intrigued by your dairy-free substitutions. I go through vegan dietary moods but lately I’ve been in a dairy mood- I blame Austria. heh heh. Nutritional yeast sounds good. You could also add some kind of ground nut… pine nuts or cashew or something… hmmm, thinking. Sesame milk sounds interesting, I will definitely check out your blog. Thank you for your sweet comments. You made my day!

    HEYA BAY! Long time no see. ;) Great to see you again. I have been trying to improve the nutritional quality of my diet lately- brown rice, lentils, buckwheat- I really do feel more, well, whole, when I eat the whole grains. DH can be a tough sell, though, because he loves Japanese white rice and other bad things. heh heh. I’m so glad this recipe might work for you- please tell me how you like it. I only made it the second way (in rounds) so I’m curious how my idea about hand shaped gnocchi would work.

    I always think of you when I make your recipes- brussel sprouts, chebe knish, and socca. LOVE THEM! Hope you are having a fabulous time in New York!

  8. Love the twist here on a classic dish. How fun! I have to go back and read the recipe, and see if my co-op carries this stuff. I have yet to experiment with buckwheat at all…this is making me think.

    Great job as always Sea!

    SM :)

  9. [...] green pesto into the buckwheat grits! If you love buckwheat cereal as I do, you might enjoy my Buckwheat Gnocchi Recipe (not vegan as written, but [...]

  10. [...] yummy kabocha pumpkin gnocchi once, and a gluten-free ricotta cheese gnocchi, and I even made novel buckwheat gnocchi recipe, but I hadn’t adapted a plain potato gnocchi recipe before until I found the inspiration for [...]

  11. You’ve inspired me! I’m going to try and make GF gnocchi tonight! But I’ll make it in the more traditional way with potatoes and boiling – wish me luck! (I’ll post the results on my website!)

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