Trader Joe's Cauliflower Gnocchi: A Review

Cauliflower seems to be all the rage nowadays. Every time I go to the grocery store, it seems like brands have replaced the carbs with cauliflower in more and more items, such as pizza crust, rice, mash, and pasta. I am not the biggest cauliflower fan, but I am always trying to broaden my palette and try new things. There has been a TON of hype online about Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi; I was very curious what the big deal was, so I headed over to our local TJs to put it to the test.

As soon as I walked into the store, I immediately headed to the frozen section. I was greeted with a sign above where the gnocchi should’ve been, stating that I had to ask an associate if I wanted to buy a bag. The gnocchi is so popular that they literally keep it hidden in the back of the store. And, on top of that, each customer is only allowed to purchase two bags per transaction. I asked the associate why, and she said that when it first was released, the gnocchi bags would sell out within 2 hours of the store opening! I am not sure if this is a universal Trader Joe’s policy, but this whole process definitely intensified my desire to try the gnocchi.

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Two bags in hand, I arrived home and my mom and I began to make dinner. The preparation was very simple. After doing some research, the best way to make this gnocchi is to sauté it in a pan with some oil and crushed garlic. It only takes a few minutes to turn a golden brown, and it is ready to be served. The packaging also gives you instructions on how to boil the gnocchi as well as microwave it, if you’re in a hurry. While cooking, I was still pretty skeptical about how it would taste. I have tried making cauliflower dishes in the past, and it never turned out well; the food took forever to make and wound up tasting pretty gross. My kitchen was filling with the smell of garlic and seasonings, and my mouth was definitely watering…

Much to my excitement, the gnocchi was absolutely delicious! It tasted just like regular potato gnocchi and had the same chewy texture as well. We mixed it with shrimp, sautéed asparagus, zucchini, and tomatoes. To top it off, we finished it with a light pesto sauce. Overall, this was definitely an incredible dinner; one I will be remaking in the future. Since the gnocchi itself is pretty plain, there are endless possibilities in terms of meal ideas. You could eat it with Bolognese sauce, make it into mac & cheese, and even make a cold pasta salad.

Photo courtesy of Emily Page

The bags are 12 ounces and only cost $2.69 per bag! There are a little over two servings in a bag as well, so it is a great price for the amount of food you get. It contains only five ingredients: cauliflower, cassava flour, potato starch, extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt. One cup is 140 calories, and the whole bag is 330 calories. Compared to standard potato gnocchi, where one cup is 255 calories, or penne pasta, with one cup containing 200 calories, this is a much healthier option. It comes frozen, so there is no need to worry about the food going bad before use. Below, you can see a more in-depth nutritional breakdown. 

Photo courtesy of Emily Page

In my opinion, this product is definitely worth the hype. It is cheap, versatile, and healthy, which is the best kind of meal for a busy college student. Trader Joe's has a whole selection of cauliflower substitute foods that I am so excited to try, including pizza crust, rice, and hash-browns. But make sure you get to your local Trader Joe's early in the day and ask for two bags from the back, because this "pasta" is flying off the shelf faster than you can say ‘cauliflower’!