Cauliflower Gnocchi and Sausage

at a glance
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
5 — Votes 7 votes

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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.

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.

Cauliflower Gnocchi Recipe with Sausage

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

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.

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

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.
Hand holding a serving spoon with a spoonful of gnocchi and sausage with kale over a white and black marble surface. There is a block of parmesan with a microblade and two lemon wedges in the background, as well as the pan with the pasta dish.

How to make Sausage Gnocchi

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!

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.

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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.

Cauliflower Gnocchi with Sausage

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
5 — Votes 7 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 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!

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Cauliflower Gnocchi with Sausage
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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.
Meet the Author
Cassy Headshot

Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
Get to know Cassy

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    Recipe Rating

  1. Karen says

    Karen —  03/22/2019 At 09:34

    I don’t eat meat, can you think of something to replace the sausage and still enjoy a nice taste. I love your recipes…they bring a lot of joy to our family. I ordered your book and am so excited.

  2. Lane says

    Lane —  03/23/2019 At 16:00

    Is there onion in this recipe? Step 4 is a bit confusing when it states “cook… until the onion is translucent and bell pepper is wilted.” I had to double check the recipe, just wanted to verify.

    • Jess Gaertner says

      Jess Gaertner —  03/27/2019 At 05:21

      Hi Lane! We just edited that part, and it should read correctly! There is no onion in this version, but it would be a lovely add in if you’d like!

  3. Jessica says

    Jessica —  03/24/2019 At 14:30

    Hi! In step 4 you mention to sauté until onion is translucent but you do not mention onion in the Ingredients. Can you clarify?

    • Jess Gaertner says

      Jess Gaertner —  03/27/2019 At 05:20

      Hi Jess! That step has been taken out, although onion would be a great add in if you’d like to toss it in!

  4. Silvia says

    Silvia —  03/26/2019 At 19:27

    5 stars
    Delicious and super easy! Some of the comments mentioned the onion, I added about half of one because I thought hey that would actually be yum whether it was supposed to be in or not, and it worked great!

    • Jess Gaertner says

      Jess Gaertner —  03/27/2019 At 05:19

      Hi Silvia! So glad you liked it! Just updated the recipe, and while the original version doesn’t have onion, I’m glad to hear it tasted DELICOUS with!

  5. Stephanie says

    Stephanie —  04/03/2019 At 17:27

    This was delicious!! All of our kiddos approved, which is high praise 😉 The only adaptation I made was subbing a pinch of red pepper flakes for the jalapeno, as I didn’t have one. Definitely making this again!

  6. Michele says

    Michele —  09/28/2019 At 13:22

    5 stars
    this is so good!! my Trader Joe’s is on a manufacturing delay for cauliflower gnocchi so I used regular and it was fantastic. Get extra kale! I didn’t buy enough and wish I had. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Sarah says

    Sarah —  10/06/2019 At 06:12

    My Trader Joe’s was out of cauliflower gnocchi so I substituted their sweet potato gnocchi and it was delicious! Kids and skeptical husband approved!

  8. Terry says

    Terry —  01/06/2020 At 20:44

    5 stars
    This is DELISH! I added extra garlic because I always do. I also used spicy Italian sausage. Next time, I’ll double the recipe because I wish I had more left over!

  9. Stacy Peterson says

    Stacy Peterson —  01/25/2020 At 12:39

    5 stars
    Made this with Paleo Chicken sausages from Costco. I also added onion with the pepper/garlic. It was such a pleasing dish. It will become part of our meal “rotation.” I’d like to have it around for an easy breakfast. Thanks again, Cassy!

  10. Erin says

    Erin —  01/29/2020 At 09:34

    Looks great! Does it reheat well? I’m looking into this for meal prep.

  11. Dani says

    Dani —  08/26/2020 At 16:46

    5 stars
    Very good! Huge hit. Good way to sneak in some veggies.

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  08/31/2020 At 08:07

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed this, Dani!

  12. foodie4days says

    foodie4days —  04/14/2021 At 20:31

    5 stars
    DELICIOUS. made my own adjustments. instead of kale, I used spinach. Also, instead of adding lemon at the end, I added Marinara sauce. It was a hit with the family

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  04/15/2021 At 08:09

      We’re so glad everyone loved it! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

  13. Hillary says

    Hillary —  10/27/2021 At 18:06

    5 stars
    This recipe was amazing! I subbed for Italian seasoned ground turkey to make it a little leaner. It was very easy and I appreciated that I didn’t have very many dishes after. Will definitely put this into my weeknight rotation.

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  10/29/2021 At 15:03

      Oh good, I’m so glad you loved it, Hillary! Thanks so much for letting us know!

  14. Marianne says

    Marianne —  12/17/2021 At 17:43

    Excellent. I used spinach instead of kale. Also will add another pepper and more spinach next time. Maybe another bag of gnocchi too

  15. Kara says

    Kara —  06/10/2022 At 16:39

    I used regular gnocchi and spinach instead of the cauliflower gnocchi and kale because I had them already and needed to use them up. But it didn’t matter, this was delish! My entire family devoured it!

  16. Blair says

    Blair —  07/06/2022 At 19:31

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

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  07/06/2022 At 20:57

      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