Too tired to make dinner after work? Try this weeknight gnocchi dinner recipe! Vegan sun-dried tomato pesto gnocchi is the most comforting meal and comes together in 15 minutes. You might also like this zucchini pesto gnocchi recipe.
This gnocchi recipe is basically sun-dried tomato pesto pasta with a twist! It's really easy to make and comes together in minutes. We are huge fans of the "throw-everything-in-a-blender" type of recipes!
How to turn gnocchi into a filling meal
To make this vegan dinner more nutritious, we added some lentils. We like to used canned lentils to save time and keep things uncomplicated. Those are loaded with plant-based protein are will keep you full longer, while making sure your protein intake is sufficient. You could also add some cooked veggies, such as zucchinis to make it healthier if you'd like to.
Tomato pesto recipe
This tomato pesto recipe is made with 5 ingredients that you probably already have at home. Make sure to save this recipe somewhere (e.g., to a Pinterest board) to make it the next time your fridge is empty. Pantry recipes like this vegan sun-dried tomato pesto pasta are life-savers on busy weeknights.
What you'll need:
- Sundried tomatoes preserved in oil
- Tomato paste
- Sunflower seeds
- Apple cider vinegar
- Bell pepper from the jar (preserved in oil), optional
Step by step with pictures
Make the red pesto. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and a little bit of their oil to the bowl of a food processor. Add in the sunflower seeds, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar and bell pepper (if using). Blend until creamy.
Cook the gnocchi and drain the lentils. Bring water to a boil and cook the gnocchi according to the instructions on the package. If you're using canned lentils drain and rinse them well.
Pro tip: You know the gnocchi are cooked when they float to the top.
Toss the gnocchi in the red pesto. Add the drained gnocchi back to the pot (that you previously rinsed off). Add the sun-dried tomato pesto and the drained lentils to the pot and give it a good mix. Serve right away.
Substitutions and add-ons
- Gnocchi: you can substitute the gnocchi for any type of gluten free pasta you like.
- Sun-flower seeds: you can use almonds, walnuts or cashews instead of sunflower seeds. Note that using sunflower seeds is a great way to make this tomato pesto nut-free.
- Add-ons: top the gnocchi with you favorite vegan cheese, some black pepper or chili flakes.
- Chilli oil: if you like it spicy you could also add 1-2 teaspoons of chili oil to the the sun-dried tomato pesto before blending.
If you already know you'll have little time to cook after work, prepare the pesto rosso on your day off and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. When preparing dinner, all you need to do is cook the gnocchi and drain the lentils.
Storage and freezing tips
You can store the red pesto in an air-tight container in the fridge for 5 days. If you have some leftover pesto or doubled the quantities to keep some in the freezer for super quick meals, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
If you have some left-over sun-dried tomato pesto gnocchi (sauce and gnocchi already combined) store them in the fridge and eat within 2 days. You can also freeze the meal. Place it in the fridge to thaw overnight and find out how to reheat it below.
How to reheat gnocchi
Every time I reheated gluten-free free gnocchi (I use the brand Schär) they were hard as stone. I discovered that "steaming" is the best way to get them soft when reheating them. Here's how:
In a lidded saucepan: add the gnocchi and the tomato pesto to a saucepan with a good splash of water. Give it a stir. Put the lid on the saucepan and reheat over medium heat until warm and soft. The steam will soften the gnocchi and make the sauce creamier.
In the microwave: add the gnocchi and the pesto to a bowl with a good splash of water. Give it a stir. Cover with a plate and reheat for about 3 minutes until warm and soft.
More easy pasta dinner recipes
- Zucchini pesto gnocchi
- Spaghetti with vegan lentil bolognese
- No-tomato red pepper pasta (so creamy!)
- Vegan artichoke pasta bake (ready in 30 minutes)
Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Gnocchi
For the sun-dried tomato pesto
- ½ cup sundried tomatoes, packed (80 g)
- ¼ cup oil from sundried tomatoes or olive oil (50 g, 60 ml)
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds (35 g) or almonds, walnuts, cashews
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 bell pepper from the jar optional
- 10 ounces gluten free gnocchis e.g. (300 g) I use the brand "Schär"
- ¼ cup cooked or canned lentils
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes with part of their oil to the bowl of a food processor. Add in the sunflower seeds, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar and bell pepper from the jar (if using). Blend on high until creamy (see step-by-step pictures in post above).
- Cook the gnocchi until they float at the surface (takes about 2 minutes) or according to the instructions on the package.
- Drain the lentils.
- Toss the gnocchi in the sun-dried tomato pesto and give it a good stir. Add the lentils and serve right away.
- You can store the sun-dried tomato pesto in an air-tight container in the fridge for 5 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.
- Feel free to serve the gnocchi with some vegan cheese or to add chili oil to the red pesto.
- To reheat the gnocchi, add the gnocchi and the pesto to a saucepan (or a bowl) with a good splash of water. Give it a stir. Put the lid on the saucepan (or a plate onto the bowl) and reheat on the stove over medium heat (or in the microwave) until warm and soft. The steam will soften the gnocchi and make the sauce creamier.
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