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Brown Butter Sage Cauliflower Gnocchi

The heavenly combination of nutty brown butter and sage is a classic gnocchi sauce that tastes absolutely divine on Trader Joe’s frozen cauliflower gnocchi.


brown butter sage cauliflower gnocchi with butternut squash

How To Cook Trader Joe's Cauliflower Gnocchi

Grown and crafted in Italy, these frozen little baubles of low-carb goodness are really versatile. You can sauté them until they are crispy in a pan on the stovetop—no thawing needed. Or—you can boil or microwave them. For this brown butter-sage gnocchi recipe, we like to boil them to warm them through. They’ll get a chance to crisp up in a hot pan along with the brown butter and sage, but it’s nice to have them already mostly-cooked by the time you toss them with the sauce.

ingredients for brown butter sage cauliflower gnocchi with butternut squash

Brown Butter-Sage Sauce is a Two-Ingredient Wonder

This easy pasta sauce is emblematic of everything that we love about Italian cuisine. With just two ingredients—butter and fresh sage—it’s the very essence of simplicity. It’s all about technique, namely, knowing how to transform a plain stick of salted butter into a caramelized, nutty, richly-hued liquid worthy of being called a sauce in its own right. A little fresh sage lends an earthy, herbal fragrance and a bit of much-needed balance.

How To Make Brown Butter-Sage Cauliflower Gnocchi

Brown-butter sage sauce is delicious with most any type of pasta—potato gnocchi is a classic pairing, so we’re not exactly breaking the mold by serving it with cauliflower gnocchi. This of this recipe as a healthy spin on a classic Italian pasta dish. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Make brown butter. If this is your first time, try not to worry! Brown butter is pretty easy—just take it slow and be wary of burning. We want browned butter, not burnt. Tip: cutting the butter into small pieces before melting it makes it less likely to burn.
  2. Add some peeled, cubed butternut squash. (conveniently also available at TJ’s! P.S. no, this is not a sponsored post—we just happen to really love Trader Joe’s!)
  3. Crisp the cauliflower gnocchi! Add the sage and gnocchi, and sauté until the gnocchi is a bit brown and crispy on the outside, and airy-pillowy on the inside. And you’re done!
ceramic bowl of brown butter sage cauliflower gnocchi with butternut squash

Tools You’ll Need:

Three More Recipes with Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi

Good thing this stuff comes frozen—it’s really easy to stock up!

Are You A Brown Butter Fanatic Now?

We hope you’re as in love with this sauce as we are. Let us know how this cauliflower gnocchi with butternut squash and brown butter-sage sauce went over in your house! Snap a photo and then tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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Brown Butter Sage Cauliflower Gnocchi

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  20 min
  • Calories: 455


  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage
  • 1 lb cubed butternut squash
  • 1 package Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi


  1. In a medium sized skillet melt butter over medium heat. As the butter melts, it will begin to foam. The color will slowly turn from a pale yellow to lightly golden and to finally, a toasted brown. Once the butter smells slightly nutty it’s ready for the butternut squash.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium/low and add in the butternut squash stirring often. Cook until squash is soft enough to be pierced with a fork. Increase heat to medium high and add the fresh sage along with the gnocchi, cooking until the gnocchi begins to brown, about 4-5 minutes.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories455
  • Protein4 g
  • Carbohydrates32 g
  • Total Fat37 g
  • Dietary Fiber8 g
  • Cholesterol61 mg
  • sodium458 mg
  • Total Sugars4 g

Brown Butter Sage Cauliflower Gnocchi

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Sam

    Do you precook the gnocchi?? Mine is very firm from the package...

    If you need to cook it longer you can, the trader joe's one we used in this recipe cooked fine as written.

  • colbe

    Do we cook the gnocchi from frozen? Or thaw first? Thanks

    Thaw first, hope you enjoy!

  • jenn

    this was SO DELICIOUS and so easy. Such a comforting meal.

    Thank you Jenn!