Recipe: Beet Gnocchi with Arugula Pesto

A few simple swaps make this homemade gnocchi healthy and delicious.

Photo by Asia Bradlee

Photo by Asia Bradlee

Winter may bring snow, cold weather, and flu season, but it’s not all bad—it’s also the the time to embrace a versatile and flavorful vegetable: beets. Beets are loaded with antioxidants that may help fend off illnesses, and they serve as an all-natural food coloring that makes your meal fun and festive.

For optimal flavor, pair this homemade beet gnocchi with our recipe for arugula pesto. You will need a food processor for this recipe, though a blender may also work in a pinch.

Serves 5-6 

  • 3 cups unbleached, enriched flour
  • 2 beets
  • 6 golden mini potatoes
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp garlic


Bring a pot of water to a boil. Peel the potatoes and boil for 35 to 50 minutes, until tender. While the potatoes cook, scrub and peel the beets and place them in another pot of boiling water. Cook until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.

When the potatoes are done, use a potato masher to lightly mash them until smooth. When the beets are done, chop them into smaller pieces and place them in a food processor. Process them in short pulses, until they’re fine enough to be easily mixed, but not so much that they are liquified.

In a bowl, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon salt, beets, and potatoes. Knead the dough to combine, adding flour as necessary. The dough should not be very sticky. Spread flour on a wide surface and roll out the dough. Cut the dough into roughly 10 smaller portions, and roll each one into a tube. Chop the tube into smaller pieces. Each one will yield roughly six to eight gnocchi. Repeat with each portion of dough.

Bring another pot of water to a boil and cook the gnocchi in increments. They’ll rise to the surface and float when they’re done. Once they’re cooked, remove them from the water with a slotted spoon.

Next, make the pesto. Place the arugula, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt in the food processor. Pulse until well-combined and almost liquified.

Mix the gnocchi and pesto together and serve warm.