This creamy Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi & Sausage Skillet is a little better for you comfort food with a whole lot of flavor made only in one pan!
I’ll be the first to admit, this isn’t the lightest recipe I’ve ever posted here at HH, but damn, it’s too good not to share.
For the past few years, I make my sheet pan Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi and Sausage or my Sheet Pan Pesto Red Shrimp and Cauliflower Gnocchi recipes every single time I make TJ’s cauliflower gnocchi. Which is every time I go to Trader Joe’s using my healthy Trader Joe’s Meal Plan and Shopping List. Still, this time I finally tried something different. I threw sausage, gnocchi, and spinach in a pan and mixed it with an easy creamy, rich sauce that had us licking the pan, and now I have a new go-to cauliflower gnocchi recipe!
I think I’ve been hesitant to cook TJ’s Cauliflower Gnocchi on the skillet for a while because the first time I followed the back of the package directions was a disaster. NEVER follow the package directions, seem more about defrosting below.
Luckily I’m no longer scared because this cauliflower gnocchi and chicken sausage skillet is creamy, cheesy, comfort food in every bite. It’s perfect for those nights you wish you could eat out, but can’t. At least with this recipe, you’ll get take out quality take out worthy comfort food that’s better for you (real food ingredients and cauliflower gnocchi = extra veggies) with minimal dishes. PJ’s are always better than dressing up anyway!
Mr. Hungry said this is now his favorite Trader Joe’s recipe I’ve ever made, and he wants me to make it all the time! So, I’ll have to add it to the 35+ healthy Trader Joe’s recipes we enjoy every month. He also told me the other day that when he was a kid, he thought Trader Joe’s was a weird health store his Grandma went to. That he would get mad (as a kid) when his Grandma would bring Trader Joe’s versions of things like Oreos or other stuff, like why couldn’t she just bring the real thing? Haha oh man, kids.
Who doesn’t remember feeling this way when their parents bought store brand stuff? Now, he, of course, loves that I shop at Trader Joe’s, first because their ingredients are typically cleaner and healthier, something Grandma knew long before us and because Trader Joe’s and the store reminds him of his sweet Grandma bringing him treats as a kid.
What was your first impression of Trader Joe’s? Cool hip new store? Or weird health store for Grandmas only?
How to Make Creamy Cauliflower Gnocchi & Sausage Skillet
For this recipe, you start by browning the sausage and then set it aside. Next, we want to crisp up the cauliflower gnocchi, and the most crucial aspect of that is that you defrost it. The secret to TJ’s Cauliflower Gnocchi is defrosting it before cooking it, trust me, this extra planning step is annoying I know, but I promise I wouldn’t have you do it if it wasn’t worth it! Speaking from a place of failed recipes and disappointment, trust me when I tell you it will crisp up so much nicer if it’s defrosted before cooking.
To defrost the whole bag, you can let it thaw in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours, or you can microwave the contents of the bag in a microwave-safe bowl fast. Either way, once it’s good to go, proceed with your defrosted cauliflower gnocchi!
Once it’s all crispy, you’ll add in the half and half with the gnocchi to let it thicken. This will take somewhere between 3-5 minutes. The hotter your pan, the quicker it will thicken, but also, the more risk of burning you will have, so keep it on medium-high and be patient. Once it’s slightly thickened, you’ll add back in the chicken sausage, followed by parmesan cheese. Stir that up into a creamy, cheesy, delicious mess, and add a few giant handfuls of spinach to mix in. That’s it! Easy peasy!
One Pan Creamy Trader Joe's Cauliflower Gnocchi & Sausage Skillet
- Add chicken sausage with 1/2 tablespoon oil to a large non-stick skillet on medium-high, cook until browned on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add cauliflower gnocchi to the pan with the remaining oil. Let cook in oil without touch for 5-10 minutes, until gnocchi starts to brown on the side down. Individually turn over with tongs and brown/crisp on the other side.
- Add half and half to the pan and cook until thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Add chicken sausage to the pan, followed by the parmesan cheese. Mix well to combine and then stir in the spinach until wilted.