cauliflower gnocchi with mac and cheese sauce in a white bowl landscape photo

This Cauliflower Gnocchi Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food! Tender soft gnocchi covered in a dairy free creamy cheese sauce, you won’t even know it’s vegan, gluten free and actually healthy!

cauliflower gnocchi with mac and cheese sauce close up shot

Yesterday I shared how to make homemade Cauliflower Gnocchi. Today, I’ll be sharing one of my favourite ways to serve it! Cauliflower Gnocchi Mac and Cheese. YES you heard right. We’re combining two classic comfort foods and I know, there’s no macaroni in this so I think a more appropriate name would be Gnoc’ n’ Cheese.

Think soft, tender and chewy gnocchi covered in a creamy cheesy delicious sauce… your taste buds are about to be blown away. But plot twist, this recipe for Gnocchi Mac n’ Cheese is actually healthy and you won’t feel weighed down after eating it! It’s dairy free, gluten free, vegan and made from vegetables, a bit of cashews, nutritional yeast and spices.

This dish is perfect for a quick weeknight comfort food dinner or you can also fancy it up by baking it for dinner parties. Hint hint, thanksgiving in American is right around the corner and Christmas is coming 😉.

Alright, who’s ready to make some Vegan Cauliflower Gnocchi Mac & Cheese?!

gnocchi mac and cheese ingredients

Ingredients to Make Cauliflower Gnocchi Mac and Cheese

The Mac and Cheese sauce is based off my favourite Vegan Cheese Sauce recipe. Here’s what goes in this dreamy creamy sauce:

  • Cauliflower Gnocchi: or 2 cups (500g) gnocchi
  • Soy milk: or any plant based milk to get it the right consistency
  • Potatoes: adds thickness and creaminess
  • Carrots: gives it that classic slight orange colour and adds a bit of sweetness
  • Cashews: to make it extra creamy!
  • Nutritional yeast: of course, for it’s cheesy flavour

The additional flavour also comes from garlic, mustard, miso paste, lemon juice, onion powder, paprika and salt.

how to make cauliflower gnocchi mac and cheese vegan

How to Make Cauliflower Gnocchi Mac and Cheese

This Gnocchi Mac and Cheese is actually REALLY easy and quick to make. Especially if you just buy the gnocchi, thats one less thing to do. However, making your own really isn’t hard either — you can decide based on how you’re feelin’. But let me give you a quick run down of how to make this delicious Gnoc’ n Cheese:

  1. Cook up the gnocchi. Boiled, baked or air fried (my preferred way)
  2. Make the cheese sauce by blending all the ingredients
  3. Toss the gnocchi and cheese sauce together

And thats it! Super simple and easy. Garnish with some red pepper flakes, pepper and vegan parmesan.

To take it to the next level: you can also bake it and crisp up the top! This is especially worth it if you didn’t air fry or bake the gnocchi. Do this by transferring the Gnoc’ and Cheese into a baking dish and top it with some bread crumbs (or pancko) and vegan shredded cheese. Bake it at 375 F for 20-25 minutes, just until the cheese is melted and the bread crumbs have turned golden brown. This would be amazing to share during the holidays!

mac and cheese cauliflower gnocchi in a white bowl

Can you make Gnoc’ n’ Cheese in advance?

Yes! This Cauliflower Gnocchi Mac & Cheese is make-ahead friendly.

  1. Method one: Prep the cheese sauce and store it in an air tight container. Freeze the homemade gnocchi or snag some gnocchi at the store. When ready, just cook up the gnocchi and then mix together with the cheese sauce.
  2. Method two: Cook the gnocchi and make the cheese sauce. Mix it together and then let it cool. Place it into the fridge covered. When ready, top with vegan cheese and bread crumbs and bake in the oven for around 25 minutes until heated through and the cheese is melted.

Can you Freeze Gnocchi Mac & Cheese?

I wouldn’t suggest freezing it once you mix in the sauce and gnocchi, however you can freeze the gnocchi. If the sauce is frozen, it might produce some excess water once defrosted, but you can heat it up in a small sauce pan to evaporate the excess liquid. Once the sauce is defrosted, cook the gnocchi and pour the cheese sauce on top.

mac and cheese cauliflower gnocchi close up shot

I REALLY hope you guys try this one out. It’s seriously the ultimate comfort food that you can easily make for weeknight dinners or fancy it up for holiday parties! It’s also a great way to get your friends and family involved in the kitchen 🙂

mac and cheese cauliflower gnocchi close up bite shot

More Vegan Cheese Dishes to Try!

mac and cheese cauliflower gnocchi in a white bowl

If you recreate this Cauliflower Gnocchi Mac and Cheese recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
Hungry for more? Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Youtube and Pinterest for more deliciousness!

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Cauliflower Gnocchi Mac and Cheese

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x


This Cauliflower Gnocchi Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food! Tender soft gnocchi covered in a dairy free creamy cheese sauce, you won’t even know it’s vegan, gluten free and actually healthy!


Units Scale

Cauliflower Gnocchi: 

Mac & Cheese Sauce: 

  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 120g potatoes
  • 80 g carrots
  • 1/2 c cashews, soaked (65g)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp mustard Dijon
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 34 tbsp nutritional yeast (depending on how cheesy you like it)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt



For the Cauliflower Gnocchi:

  • TO BOIL: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower gnocchi and cook until they start to float (around 4 minutes), then remove them with a slotted spoon. 
  • TO AIR FRY: Line the bottom of your air fryer basket with parchment paper and then add cauliflower gnocchi. Air fry at 400F for 8 minutes and then shake the basket to flip the gnocchi and air fry for another 8-9 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Optional: spray with a bit of oil before putting in the air fryer for extra crunchiness. 
  • TO BAKE: Pre-heat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add on the gnocchi. Bake for 15 minutes. Then flip the gnocchi and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Optional: spray with oil before putting in oven. 

For the Mac and Cheese Sauce: 

  1. While the gnocchi is cooking, blend all the ingredients together in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides as needed.

Put it Together: 

  1. In a large pot or bowl, combine the cooked gnocchi and Mac and Cheese sauce until each piece of coated. Serve immediately and garnish with red pepper flakes, vegan parmesan, vegan shredded cheese, scallions and/or parsley!
  2. To bake: To take it to the next level, transfer the Gnocchi Mac and Cheese into a casserole dish pan and top with vegan cheese, panko and/or bread crumbs. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375F until the top is golden brown.
  3. Store any leftover in the fridge for up to 1 day if the gnocchi and cheese sauce is already mixed together. The gnocchi and cheese sauce keeps for longer (2-3 days in the fridge, 3 months in the freezer) if kept separate. 


  • Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer).
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: North American


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
  • Calories: 299
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Sodium: 187mg
  • Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3g
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 58g
  • Fiber: 9.8g
  • Protein: 10g
  • Cholesterol: 0


mac and cheese cauliflower gnocchi pinterest

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About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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  1. Made this last night and it turned out perfectly! I have made other cheese sauces and they often turn out too sweet (too much carrot). The addition of the miso gave it that fermented cheese like flavour most other sauces are lacking. Made the Gnocchi per your recipe and added half potato as my cauliflower was a little small. Was amazing and so easy! Will be revisiting this recipe again and again. Thank you