Quick Trader Joe’s Gnocchi with Meat Sauce

Quick Trader Joe's Gnocchi with Meat Sauce

Now that I am a Trader Joe’s devotee, I’m always on the lookout for little hacks and shortcuts to other recipes when I’m shopping in their store.  I bought this one time this winter…

…and we cannot get enough of it.

It’s cauliflower gnocchi and I legit think it tastes like regular gnocchi.  Not only the taste, but the texture too.  It’s such a simple little swap and my peeps didn’t even notice (probably because my yummy meat sauce was on top!).  One package is typically enough for all of us, but seriously, buy more than one.  You will be adding this to every pasta dish you make!!

This is one of those easy little recipes perfect for busy weeknight when you’re running from dance to baseball and back again.

This recipe serves four to six.

Shopping List
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 pound of ground beef
1 onion, chopped
salt and pepper
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 (28 oz) can of peeled tomatoes (I love San Marzano tomatoes!)
1 (12 oz) package of Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi, cooked per package directions
Grated Parmesan cheese to garnish

In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown up your ground beef in a drizzle of EVOO.  Once browned and crumbly, stir in your chopped onion along with a big pinch of both salt and pepper.  Let your onion saute a few minutes and then add in your chopped garlic followed by your can of tomatoes.  Bring everything up to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and allow everything to simmer together about 15 minutes.  With your spoon, gently break up the tomatoes as it simmers.  Add in another pinch of salt and pepper.

When you’re ready to serve, ladle this mixture down over your cooked gnocchi and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.

That’s it.  Dinner is done.

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  • Alexis deZayas April 4, 2019 at 5:00 am

    I’ve been looking for a way to cook that cauliflower gnocchi!! I’m so excited!

    • Lindsay April 4, 2019 at 6:44 am

      Throw them in the air fryer! They crisp right up and are delicious.

  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog April 4, 2019 at 5:20 am

    I want to try that cauliflower gnocchi so bad! Wish I could get it in Hong Kong. 🙁

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Samantha Barnett April 4, 2019 at 5:25 am

    I’ve had that very same gnocchi in my freezer for months. Months! All because I’m really not sure how to cook it. A friend also bought some when I did and said it all fell apart, while following the package directions, when she cooked it, so I’ve been hesitant. Any tips on how you cook up the gnocchi?

    • Mix and Match Mama April 4, 2019 at 5:40 am

      I just heat it up in the microwave for five minutes (stopping to stir halfway). Then we add it to our pasta sauce or sometimes (like with our meatloaf this Tuesday), I add a little EVOO with some Parm and serve!

    • Lindsay April 4, 2019 at 6:41 am

      Throw them in the air fryer! They crisp right up and are delicious.

    • Jennifer April 4, 2019 at 6:44 am

      A tip for cooking the gnocchi: do NOT follow package instructions! It comes mushy. Instead, try putting some EVOO in a skillet and cookie it that way, turning the pieces until they’re lightly browned on all sides. It keeps its shape and doesn’t get mushy. There’s a great Facebook group for trader joe’s And that’s how I found that tip!

      • Mix and Match Mama April 4, 2019 at 7:30 am

        Love this!! Thank you!!!

    • Sherry Kenney April 9, 2019 at 1:18 pm

      I’ve been microwaving it for 5 min and then sautéing it. Without microwaving first, it took a long time to sauté and came apart a little. It is so good when it turns golden and crispy in the pan!

  • Laura April 4, 2019 at 5:53 am

    Oh my goodness, I just bought the cauliflower gnocchi for this first time and made this recipe: I think I might be an addict it is just so good!!

  • Eileen April 4, 2019 at 5:58 am

    We’ve been eating that cauliflower gnocchi too . . . so good! One bag works as a side for the 5 of us, but I think I’d need 2 bags if it was our main meal. I hadn’t thought of turning into a main meal – looking forward to trying this.

  • Justyna April 4, 2019 at 6:24 am

    The best way to cook the gnocchi is frozen straight out of the bag in a little olive oil in the pan. Once they start to brown add a tablespoon of water and continue to cook until they are as crispy as you want them. Try it this way 🙂

  • Narci April 4, 2019 at 6:47 am

    Yum! This looks delicious! Adding this to the rotation very soon!

  • Michelle April 4, 2019 at 6:54 am

    We just made it this week! So yummy.

    Here is what we did:

    Sauté oil and garlic – add gnocchi and cook till browned. Added sauté spinach and sprinkled with lemon juice. Easy and refreshing! Love to add grilled chicken if your looking for extra protein!

  • Deb April 4, 2019 at 7:28 am

    If you have an air fryer, it’s absolutely the best way to cook the cauliflower gnocchi! (Ignore the package directions). The texture is so much better 🙂

    • Mix and Match Mama April 4, 2019 at 7:29 am

      I do have one!! What a great tip!!

  • Julie April 4, 2019 at 7:58 am

    I’m so glad I read this! I tried the gnocchi and it was very mushy and bland. I’ll definitely try again with the pan fry method. Also, Shay, you have to try the organic corn dippers! I heard about them on the local (Boston) radio station and my whole family is obsessed. They are great alone or with guacamole, salsa, hummus…

    • Mix and Match Mama April 4, 2019 at 9:11 am

      Adding it to my list!!

  • Kathryn April 4, 2019 at 8:31 am

    I toss my gnocchi in a little olive oil and bake at 400 for 20 minutes, flip and do another 5. Turns out perfect and crispy! Will have to make this meat sauce now!

  • Alison April 4, 2019 at 8:44 am

    Looks delicious!! I’d love to see a post about how you grocery shop and meal prep for a family of 6! How many times a week do you go to the grocery store to buy fresh meat?

  • Addison April 4, 2019 at 8:58 am

    I am obsessed with Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi! I too cook mine in some olive oil on the stove top — I like to cook low and slow for about 15 minutes. This dinner looks so good!

  • Meg April 4, 2019 at 9:03 am

    I second the air fryer OR they’re also really delicious roasted in the oven until they get lightly browned. We prefer the texture of them roasted, over cooking them in the microwave or even sautéing in a pan. We’ll cook some chicken sausage, a package of the gnocchi and then mix together with lots of pesto…so good! Can’t wait to try them with your meat sauce next!

  • Kim westcott April 4, 2019 at 9:07 am

    It really doesn’t taste like cauliflower?

    • Mix and Match Mama April 4, 2019 at 9:08 am

      No. I think the cauliflower rice they sell does…but I do not think the gnocchi does.

  • Amy April 4, 2019 at 11:29 am

    Try it with Pesto! Delicious!

  • Sheila April 4, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    I had this for the first time last weekend. My daughter fixed it for me. We ate it with chicken sausages and pesto! I went and bought 3 bags!

  • Chelsea April 9, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    I second the pan-fry method — I love when they get browned and crispy! I LOVED these with the TJ’s autumn squash pasta sauce…just another reason to be excited for fall… 😉

  • Katie April 11, 2019 at 8:07 am

    Love these! You MUST try the sweet potato gnocchi from Trader Joes. It will change your life!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 11, 2019 at 8:13 am

      Yes!!!! It’s so good!! I wish it didn’t have the sauce though. I would love to add it to my own sauces.