Yam Gnocchi with Basil Pesto & Mushrooms (vegan + gluten-free)

Overhead image of Yam Gnocchi with Basil Pesto & Mushrooms (vegan + gf). Image shows one grey plate and an antique silver fork on a mottled grey background. The plate contains golden-coloured yam gnocchi with pesto and wild sautéed mushrooms. Arugula and mushrooms are scattered over and around the plate and a grey linen napkin surrounds it.

This recipe for Yam Gnocchi with Basil Pesto & Mushrooms is an oldie but a goodie. I'm a huge fan of Italian flavours, and created it a few years ago after having gnocchi for the first time in a restaurant. In a light garlic basil oil with Italian vegetables, it was the most delicious food I’d ever had, and I decided that I would figure out how to recreate it for myself.

However, it took a little trial and error, and this recipe is the newly revamped version of one that's been on the blog for a while. Although the original recipe tasted great, the texture wasn't quite right and the gnocchi kept falling apart. It was - ah - unpredictable, to say the least!

Not so with this one! I’m really pleased with this recipe because the texture holds together well and the yam gnocchi don't fall apart! I also love the fact that the recipe is both gluten-free and vegan (hooray), as gluten-free gnocchi can be challenging to make.

I also adore the flavour pairing. I'd initially planned to serve these gnocchi with pesto alone,  as I was making the balsamic mushrooms for another dish. I accidentally tried a mouthful of them with the gnocchi and pesto and was blown away as the flavours go so well together. The balsamic tangy sweetness offsets the savoury pesto delicately and creates a beautifully rounded flavour. I hope you'll love them as much as I do.

Yam Gnocchi with Basil Pesto & Mushrooms - Note

Due to its gluten-free nature, this gnocchi can behave a little differently to the regular stuff. When it comes to using gluten-free flour in the recipe, I HIGHY recommend choosing a gluten-free flour blend, rather than just using brown rice or buckwheat flour, for example. Although I love working with both of these, the advantage of using a blend is that it will contain ingredients like potato starch and/or tapioca flour, both of which help the gnocchi to hold its shape. My favourite personally is Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Baking Flour. Have fun!

Yam Gnocchi with Basil Pesto & Mushrooms (vegan + gluten-free)

For a delicious and comforting meal that wows, try making this gluten-free and vegan yam gnocchi with basil pesto and balsamic mushrooms.
Prep Time55 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: gluten-free, healthy, Italian, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 4 people



  • 1 large bunch of basil, thick stalks removed
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 3 tbsp toasted cashew or walnut pieces
  • Salt and pepper

Balsamic Mushrooms

  • 2 cups small brown mushrooms, diced
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper


  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced (into 1½cm cubes - about 2 heaped cups)
  • 1 medium yam, peeled and diced (into 1½cm cubes - about 2 heaped cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt and pepper
  • cups your favourite gluten-free flour blend (I use Bob's Red Mill and recommend using one that has potato starch or tapioca flour in)

To Serve

  • 2 cups mixed baby leafy greens


  • Prepare all ingredients as instructed above.

For the pesto

  • Pulse all ingredients except half the olive oil in a blender to form a loose mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Scoop the pesto out into a glass jar and gently stir in the rest of the oil until almost combined. Set aside.

For the mushrooms

  • Heat the mushrooms with the vinegar, adding salt and pepper to taste in a small frying pan until bubbling gently.
  • Cook the mixture on low for 15-20 minutes until the mushrooms are soft and the vinegar no longer tastes acidic. Set aside.

For the gnocchi

  • Place the potato and yam cubes into a saucepan of hot water and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes until both vegetables are soft.
  • Drain and place the yam and potato back in the saucepan.
  • Using a potato ricer, mash until smooth and the two colours are totally mixed, adding the garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Transfer to a large bowl and add the flour, kneading the mixture into a dough. (It’s tempting to add less flour as the mixture can look a little dry – don’t do it!) 
  • Using your hands, divide the dough into four pieces.
  • On a floured surface, roll them into sausages about 2cm wide with your hands and cut each into 1.5cm-wide slices.
  • Roll each slice gently to make it more of a tube shape, and if you wish gently roll a fork along each piece for texture.
  • To cook, add all the gnocchi to a large pan of boiling water. When they float to the surface, cook for another 30 seconds and then drain. (You may need to do this in two batches.)
  • Spread gnocchi out on a large plate to prevent sticking until ready for use.

To serve

  • Serve the warm gnocchi scattered over a bed of baby leaves. 
  • Add the balsamic mushrooms and drizzle pesto over the plate. Enjoy!

Do you love Italian-inspired recipes too? Why not try my Easy Homemade Tomato Pasta Sauce, Vegan Leek & Onion Frittata or my Superfood Funghi Flatbread.

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