Brown-Butter Sweet-Potato Gnocchi with Seeds

brown butter sweet potato gnocchi with seeds
Photo: Paola + Murray
Prep Time:
55 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 50 mins
4 to 6 Serves

These heavenly little dumplings are as light as a cloud, have a touch of earthy sweetness, and fit the bill for a quintessential fall-season meal. After making the four-ingredient gnocchi dough, they're cooked and lightly crisped in a pan of brown butter. Finished with fried sage and a blend of nutty seeds, one savory crunch will be sure to send you soaring.



  • 1 pound sweet potatoes (2 to 3)

  • 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 1 large egg, room temperature, beaten

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt


  • 3 tablespoons pepitas

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 stick unsalted butter

  • Handful of fresh sage leaves, sliced if large


  1. Gnocchi: In a pot, cover potatoes with 2 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until easily pierced with the tip of a knife, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and let sit until cool enough to handle. Peel and quarter potatoes and let cool completely.

  2. Using a ricer or colander, press potatoes into a large bowl. Add flour, egg, and salt to bowl and gently stir until a ragged dough forms, being careful not to overwork. Transfer dough to a floured work surface and gently knead until dough just becomes uniform in color (sprinkling surface and hands with more flour as needed to prevent sticking).

  3. Divide dough into 6 pieces; roll one out to an approximately 3/4-inch-diameter rope. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick "pillows." Transfer in a single layer to a rimmed baking sheet generously dusted with flour. Repeat with remaining dough.

  4. Sauce: Heat a large skillet over medium. Add pepitas and sesame and poppy seeds; cook, shaking frequently, until pepitas puff slightly and begin to pop, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and season with salt and pepper.

  5. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat, swirling occasionally, until dark golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add sage leaves to brown butter and cook until darkened slightly, about 45 seconds. Remove skillet from heat. Using a fork, transfer sage to plate with seeds.

  6. Meanwhile, cook gnocchi in a large pot of generously salted boiling water until they float and are al dente, 3 to 4 minutes; drain. Add to skillet with brown butter and return to medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until gnocchi begin to crisp at edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve topped with seeds and sage.

Cook's Notes

Use plenty of flour when rolling and shaping the dough to prevent sticking; any excess will fall from the pasta when boiling. For maximum fluffiness, use a ricer, not a masher, to break up the cooked sweet potato and be sure to not overwork the dough in step two.

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