Vegan sheet pan 20-Minute Pesto-Gnocchi with Burst Tomatoes is quick, easy and cheap to make. Use an air-fryer or oven. No saucepan required.
8-ingredients, kid-friendly, and just 20-minutes to make, this delicious dinner is perfect for weeknights.
The cashew pesto is versatile. Keep the recipe in your arsenal for roasted or raw veggies, potatoes, and pasta.
- Cherry or grape tomatoes
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Frozen gnocchi
- Lemon juice
- Vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
See recipe card for quantities.
For making 20-Minute Pesto-Gnocchi with Burst Tomatoes:
Drizzle the tomatoes and unpeeled garlic with olive oil, or spray with cooking oil.
You can roast the gnocchi in an air-fryer or oven. It's much quicker in an air-fryer, but both will work.
Drizzle the frozen gnocchi with olive oil, or spray with cooking oil.
Roast the gnocchi until crispy and golden brown.
For the pesto:
Make the cashew pesto using the roasted garlic. Squeeze the garlic from their skins, and discard of the skins.
Add more olive oil or water as desired when blending the pesto.
Note: If you are not using a high-speed blender, soak the cashews in boiled water for 30 minutes before making the pesto. This way, the pesto will be smooth and creamy.
- Cashews - instead of cashews, you can use almonds, walnuts or pine nuts for making the pesto
- Tomatoes - use mini Roma tomatoes if you prefer
- Gnocchi - the gnocchi can be replaced with a pasta of your choice
- Vegan parmesan - nutritional yeast can be substituted for the vegan parmesan for adding B12
See this Green Pea & Avocado Pesto on my website!
This recipe does not require a high-speed blender. A regular blender will work just as well. However, I highly recommend owning a high-speed blender. It comes in very handy for blending nuts and other hard foods. It's worth every penny.
Refrigerate any remaining pesto in an air-tight container for up to 2 days.
💡 Top tip
Regardless of which type of blender you are using, soaking nuts or seeds for pesto beforehand makes for a creamier pesto. To cut down on prep time, plan ahead and soak from the night before.
Pesto is typically made with nuts or seeds, which add variable amounts of protein. This pesto recipe is made with cashews, but they can be substituted for walnuts, almonds, or pine nuts.
Of all the nuts, per calorie, almonds are highest in protein. Pistachios are second, and cashews third. Hazelnuts, walnuts, and Brazil nuts are next on the list.
Peanuts have more protein than almonds, per calorie, but they are technically legumes.
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20-Minute Pesto-Gnocchi With Burst Tomatoes
- ⅔ cup cashews
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes or grape (about 1 ½ pounds)
- 4 garlic cloves unpeeled
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 24 ounces gnocchi (2 packets) frozen, or 16 ounces dry pasta (cooked)
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves packed
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- ⅓ cup vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Soak cashews: If you don’t own a high-speed blender, soak the cashews in boiled water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF if you are not using an air-fryer.
- Cook pasta, if using: If you are using pasta instead of gnocchi, cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet until al dente.
- Roast tomatoes and garlic: Spray or drizzle the tomatoes and garlic with olive oil. Air-fry at 400º for about 5 minutes, or roast on a large rimmed baking sheet for 15 minutes, until the tomatoes burst.
- Roast gnocchi: Spray or drizzle the frozen gnocchi, if using, with olive oil. Roast at 400ºF in the air-fryer for about 7 minutes, or until golden brown, tossing halfway. Or roast on a large rimmed baking sheet at the same time as the tomatoes for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove the skins from the roasted garlic cloves and discard.
- Make pesto: Transfer the cashews, basil, garlic, olive oil, parmesan, and lemon juice to a blender. Add 2 tablespoons water. Blend on high until smooth, adding more olive oil or water until the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
- Optional: Transfer the pesto and tomatoes to a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, mixing the tomatoes into the pesto, until warmed through.
- Serve the gnocchi with the tomatoes and pesto.
- Use fortified nutritional yeast to add vitamin B12.
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an ESTIMATE only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe.