Yam Gnocchi With Basil Pesto and Balsamic Mushrooms, Vegan and Gluten-Free

I love-love-love Italian flavours. Always have. I had gnocchi for the first time a couple of years ago (I know, I can’t believe it either) and it was the most delicious food I’d ever had. In a light garlic basil oil with sundried tomatoes, it tasted like heaven. Then and there I decided that I would somehow recreate it for myself, although I had no idea how it was made or what I had to do to make it gluten-free.

I’m really pleased with this recipe for yam gnocchi, not least because it is both gluten-free and vegan (hooray), but because it’s a delicious flavour pairing. I intended to serve the gnocchi with pesto alone and was making the balsamic mushrooms for another dish, then accidentally tried them in the same mouthful. I think you’ll agree the combination is perfect – the balsamic sweetness offsets the savoury pesto delicately and creates a beautifully rounded flavour.

Note: this yam gnocchi, due to its gluten-free and vegan nature is a little more delicate than the usual variety. When it cooks it may not look at though it has ‘set’ like regular gnocchi. Allow the pieces to drain for a moment and this will help them firm up. (Also, once you cover them in pesto you won’t care!)

Vegan Gluten-Free Yam Gnocchi, Basil Pesto and Balsamic Mushrooms Recipe

Cuisine: Italian

Yam Gnocchi With Basil Pesto and Balsamic Mushrooms, Vegan and Gluten-Free


  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium yam, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup brown rice flour
  • 1 large bunch basil
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons cashews
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    Balsamic Mushrooms:
  • 1½ cups small brown mushrooms, diced
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    To Serve:
  • Mixed baby leaves
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts


  1. Prepare the gnocchi. Boil the potato and yam together in a saucepan of water for 15 minutes until soft.
  2. Drain and mash until smooth, adding the garlic, salt and pepper, then add the flour, kneading into a dough. (It’s tempting to add less flour as the mixture can look a little dry – don’t do it!)
  3. Roll the dough into two sausages about 3cm wide and cut each into 1.5cm slices. Gently press a fork into one surface of each piece, flattening them slightly as you do so. Set aside on a tray.
  4. For the pesto, pulse all ingredients except half the olive oil in a blender to form a loose mixture. Gently stir in the rest of the oil until almost combined. Set aside.
  5. Heat the mushrooms with the vinegar, salt and pepper in a pan until bubbling gently. Cook on low for 15-20 minutes until the mushrooms are soft and the vinegar no longer tastes acidic. Set aside.
  6. Add the gnocchi to a large pot of boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes, until they float to the surface. Remove from the heat and drain.
  7. Serve the gnocchi over a bed of baby leaves. Add the balsamic mushrooms and drizzle pesto over the plate. Finally, sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on top and enjoy.

This recipe was republished with permission from Vancouver With Love.

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Yam Gnocchi With Basil Pesto and Balsamic Mushrooms, Vegan and Gluten-Free
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