Homemade Dandelion Gnocchi | Golden Italian Dumplings (vegan)

 reading time: 3 min

The marvellous thing about dandelions is that they don't just bloom once a year, like lilacs or meadowsweet or Himalayan balsam or other edible wild flowers, but they usually bloom twice! Once from April to June, even early July, and then – after turning into silver-tufted clocks – once more in late summer as a weaker late flowering, which can last until September or even October where I live.

Now pair that with one of my favourite comfort foods – gnocchi! Little round potato dumplings that can be easily made at home, using just a handful of ingredients. To round off, I've "bathed" them in a creamy white sauce with herbs and lemon zest. Yum!

Now let's stop talking, and let's make homemade gnocchi together!

Oh, and don't worry – if you don't have access to dandelion flowers, or simply don't want to go through the fuss of plucking the petals, you can just skip the flowers, and make regular gnocchi. If you don't have dandelion leaves at hand, simply use other fresh herbs instead, such as parsley or basil.

General Foraging Guidelines:

  • You should be 100 % certain you are identifying the correct plant. If you do not know what it is, DO NOT eat it! Do not pick if you're in doubt!

  • Don't harvest from contaminated areas such as busy roadsides, near industrial facilities, where dogs pee, along the edges of agricultural fields, old landfill sites etc.

  • Be mindful & harvest sustainably. Only pick from areas that have a plentiful supply, and never more than 1/4 of a plant, ideally only about 5 %.

  • Leave the harvesting area litter-free.

Dandelion blooming in August.


adapted from Gather Victoria

Preparation time
: 1 hour 30 min
Main ingredients: potatoes, spelt flour, dandelion
difficulty level: easy-moderate
serves: 4
suitable for
: vegan, lactose-free, egg-free, wheat-free, yeast-free, sugar-free, nut-free 


1 kg (2 lbs) potatoes, waxy are best
300 g (2 cups) spelt flour (I use type 1050 but any other flour also works)
50 g (1/3 cup) semolina (or sub more spelt flour)
1-2 tsp sea salt
1-2 tsp freshly ground pepper
a pinch of nutmeg
a large handful of dandelion blossoms

4 tbsp vegan butter
200 g (1/2 + 1/3 cup) vegan cream cheese
(I use the Simply V kind)
250 ml (1 cup) reserved gnocchi water
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
a small handful of dandelion leaves
1 tbsp spring onions or chives, chopped
1 tsp grated lemon zest
salt and pepper, to taste


Cook your potatoes with peel on in salted water for about 20–25 minutes, or until a fork can easily pierce a potato. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.

In the meantime, pluck the dandelion petals from the flower head. Give the dandelion leaves (and the dandelion petals, if you like) a good rinse, and chop finely.

Once the potatoes are cool enough to touch but still warm, peel and mash using a potato masher while still warm. Allow to cool.

Add the dandelion petals, semolina, flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Combine thoroughly using a spoon or fork first and then with your hands until you obtain a uniform mass. Do not knead too much, otherwise the dough will become tough. If the dough is still sticky, add some more flour.

Heat a pot with salted water (I use the same from before) until boiling.

In the meantime, shape a sample gnocchi by taking a grape-sized piece of dough and rolling it between your palms. Once the water is boiling, drop the sample gnocchi in the hot water until it floats to the surface. If it falls apart when cooked or taken out, you need to add some more flour and semolina to the dough.

Transfer the dough to a floured working surface. Form it into a ball and separate into 3 pieces that you shape into logs of about 3/4-inch or 2 cm width. Cut each log into pieces of about 3/4-inch or 2 cm length. Roll each piece into a little oval ball.

To make the typical gnocchi ridges for the sauce to cling to, roll each little dough ball over a fork or just press the gnocchi ball with a fork.

Lightly dust each little dough ball with flour.

To cook the gnocchi, drop them into salted boiling water until they come up to the surface.
Lift the cooked gnocchi up with a spider net spoon, and transfer to a bowl.

Reserve 250 ml (1 cup) of gnocchi water for the sauce.

In a skillet, heat up 2 tbsp vegan butter (or you could use a little olive oil instead). Add boiled gnocchi, and fry until golden-brown and slightly crispy. Set aside.

To the same skillet, add remaining 2 tbsp of vegan butter, along with garlic,
vegan cream cheese, reserved gnocchi water, nutritional yeast, grated lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer gently until the sauce is creamy and thick to your liking.

Add fried gnocchi back to the pan with cream cheese sauce and toss until nicely coated. Serve warm with chives or spring onions, plus a sprinkle of extra dandelion petals.


Looking for more foraged recipes? Check out some of my herby favourites:

Wild Herb & Garlic Butter (vegan)
Wild Garlic Nettle Strudel (vegan)

Homemade Ramson Gnocchi (vegan)