This cauliflower gnocchi and sausage skillet is the perfect weeknight meal! It is packed with red bell peppers, kale, Italian sausage, and crispy gnocchi for an easy and flavorful dinner.

Beige pan with gnocchi, sausage, and kale garnished with parmesan cheese on a white and black marble surface.

This recipe is…

It took a little while, but we finally tried the much-hyped Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi and we were impressed! This really is a great healthier convenience food that will help add some variety to your weeknight dinner routine.

Gnocchi with Sausage Ingredients

Cauliflower gnocchi ingredients on a grey and white marble surface.

Our first order of business after trying it was to create this one pan cauliflower gnocchi and sausage skillet for an easy 30 minute meal. It has crispy Italian sausage, sweet red bell peppers, and our classic lemony kale, and we topped it off with a little freshly shredded parmesan.

How to Cook Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi

First things first, let’s talk about how to cook Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi. You may have heard that following the package instructions is NOT the way to go with cooking this gnocchi, as it will result in a sticky, gummy mess. Here are the three things we found most important for getting your gnocchi crispy:

  1. Defrost it! The package advises that you cook the gnocchi straight from frozen, but we found that defrosting first was the way to go, because the excess water from frozen gnocchi makes it stick to the pan and causes a soggy texture. You can either leave the gnocchi at room temperature for an hour or two, or microwave it in 30 second intervals until fully defrosted. Then, you’ll want to thoroughly pat it dry – remember, excess moisture is the enemy here!
  2. Use your best non-stick pan. We found this to be key to getting the crispiest gnocchi. We first tried with a cast iron skillet, but found that the gnocchi was sticking, so we used this non-stick pan instead and it worked like a charm!
  3. Add enough fat to the pan. This isn’t the time to be stingy with your oil. Fat serves two purposes here – first, it helps prevent the gnocchi from sticking, and second, it ensures perfectly browned, crispy gnocchi.

How to Make Sausage Gnocchi

Browned gnocchi in a pan.
Hand shredding kale with a butcher knife on a wooden cutting board.
Hand squeezing a citrus juicer over top of kale and veggies in a saute pan.
Hand dicing red peppers on a wooden cutting board.
Italian sausage browned in a pan.
Hand pouring salt from a small white bowl over top kale in a saute pan.
Hand mincing garlic with a chef's knife on a wooden cutting board.
Red pepper and garlic in a pan.
Top down view of a beige pan with gnocchi, sausage, and kale garnished with grated parmesan cheese. There's also a block of parmesan cheese and a microblade to the bottom right and a grey linen with a serving spoon to the top left.

To finish this cauliflower gnocchi and sausage skillet, you’ll simply cook up the sausage, saute the peppers, wilt the kale, then toss it all with a bit of lemon juice and parmesan. If you want to speed up the cooking process, you can easily cook the gnocchi in one skillet while the sausage is cooking in a separate skillet, but we wanted to go the as-few-dishes-as-possible route! We hope you love this dish!

Cauliflower Gnocchi with Sausage

5 — Votes 8 votes
By Cassy Joy Garcia
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
This one pan gnocchi sausage skillet is the easiest meal to get on the table, all in under 30 minutes!


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 bag Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi
  • 1 pound Italian sausage casings removed
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 head lacinato kale shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice about one lemon
  • Shredded parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)


  • Defrost the gnocchi: you can either leave the gnocchi out at room temperature for about two hours, or microwave in 30 second intervals until fully defrosted. Pat the gnocchi dry.
  • Add one tablespoon olive oil to a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the defrosted gnocchi. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, until browned, then flip and cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until browned.
  • Remove the gnocchi from the pan, then add the sausage to the pan. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until crisp, then remove from the pan and drain off the excess fat.
  • Add the remaining tablespoon olive oil to the pan along with the bell pepper and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the bell pepper is wilted, then add the shredded kale. Cover the pan to steam the kale for 3-4 minutes, until wilted, then stir in the lemon juice and salt.
  • Add the sausage and gnocchi back to the pan, then sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese and serve!

Recipe Notes

  • If you’d prefer to use a different kind of gnocchi, just follow the cooking instructions on the package and proceed with step 1.
  • A good non-stick skillet is essential for getting the gnocchi crisp! If the gnocchi starts to stick, just gently loosen it from the pan and let it continue to crisp.


Calories: 605kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 1410mg | Potassium: 367mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 957IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 5mg

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 605
Keyword: cauliflower gnocchi, sausage gnocchi, sausage pasta

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About the Author

Cassy Joy Garcia, NC

Cassy Joy Garcia, a New York Times best-selling author, of Cook Once Dinner Fix, Cook Once Eat All Week, and Fed and Fit as well as the creative force behind the popular food blog Fed & Fit.

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  1. Very simple delicious recipe! Cooking times are off — I had to cook everything almost 1.5-2x longer.

    1. Hi Blair! We are glad that you enjoyed the recipe, but sorry that the cooking times did not work out! Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. -Team F&F