Published on March 5, 2019

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Imagery by Aaron Bengochea

When Trader Joe’s launched cauliflower gnocchi in April 2018, it immediately gained a cult following. This reaction was not exclusive to the gnocchi, though: It turns out that all iterations of the cruciferous vegetable as a carb replacement have quickly proved to be best sellers. In a recent episode of the Trader Joe’s podcast, we learned about the cauliflower food trend and how TJs is capitalizing on it—plus, how to actually cook that pesky gnocchi. It’s easier said than done.

This intel comes from Catherine, a product developer for the brand who oversees the frozen section, among others. “We’re really the first store to have riced cauliflower,” she explained in the episode. “You can now find it at other retailers, but we’re pushing it further. We’re doing a riced cauliflower risotto that will be out [later this year].”

Cauliflower as a substitute for high-carb foods is a massive trend in the culinary world. Catherine recommends using riced cauliflower for everything from pizza crust to mashed potatoes—though undoubtedly, the brand’s most famous rendition of the vegetable has to be its cauliflower gnocchi.

One thing we learned? Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi is sourced from Italy, and if the Italians can forgive this affront to the good name of pasta, so can we. The other thing we learned is that you’re probably cooking your gnocchi wrong. Boiling it, as one does with traditional gnocchi, will result in sad, goopy cauliflower clumps. Trader Joe’s team member Ross shed some light on how the pros cook this dish; consider your next weeknight dinner sorted.

  1. Instead of defrosting, dump your frozen gnocchi into a pan with a little olive oil or butter to get them coated.
  2. Add a little under a 1/4 cup of water to steam the gnocchi and soften them, and cook covered for a couple of minutes until the water is evaporated.
  3. Add a bit more oil or butter and saute until they’re crispy. The whole thing should take just under 10 minutes.

The great thing about pasta, even if it’s cauliflower, is that it can act as a neutral base for so many delicious toppings. If you’re looking to doctor your cauliflower gnocchi, try these easy hacks to take your dinner to the next level.

The One That’s Basically a Salad

 

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Toss your finished cauliflower bites with a bit of marinara sauce and coconut milk, and then mix in toppings like sauteed zucchini, edamame, and baby kale and cook on simmer for about two minutes. Topped with micro-greens, it’s a great combo of healthy and hearty.

The One That Tastes Like Comfort Food

 

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Yellow squash and chicken sausage sound like the ultimate wintry combo. Season with rosemary and herbs for a flavorful bowl to help you get through that midweek slump.

The One You Make for Leftovers

 

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For an unexpected take on pasta, try turning it into a sheet pan meal. This recipe is seriously genius—simply throw all your ingredients in one pan and pop in the oven. It’ll cook the gnocchi while roasting tomatoes and shallots for a super-filling dish that’ll provide leftovers for the week to come.

See more Trader Joe’s news:
Every New Trader Joe’s Product Launching This Month
The Best Trader Joe’s Products You’ve Never Heard Of
This Is Exactly What a Keto Expert Buys at Trader Joe’s

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