Recipes with Chef William Turner: Vegan Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Growing up in South Carolina, sweet potatoes were a staple in our household. Now, usually, those potatoes are served drenched in butter and brown sugar, resembling a decadent dessert more than a vitamin-rich, nutrient-packed side dish. And seldom were they the entrée. This vegan-friendly take on gnocchi, the classic dumpling usually made with white potatoes, is sure to pack tons of flavor to keep those taste buds exploding. 

Not only is this dish vegan and flavorful, it’s also very doable and pretty easy to execute at home.  Like everything I cook, I encourage you to make this dish your own. —Chef William Turner

The Pomodoro Sauce

What is a pomodoro? It’s basically a smooth marinara that’s not chunky. 

  • 2 pounds of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6-8 cloves garlic
  • 1 small chili pepper diced
  • 1 tsp dry basil
  • 2 tsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Start by adding all the ingredients to a hot pan on medium heat, bring to a simmer, reduce to low and cover for about 15 minutes. Remove from stove and use an emersion blender until desired consistency is reached, less than a minute.

The Gnocchi
  • 3 pounds of sweet potatoes- cooked, cool, and mashed or (Riced)
  • 2.5 cups of AP flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • .5 teaspoons of pepper

Now there are a lot of different styles to how to roll the gnocchi and how to cook it. My approach is a little unusual, but gives me the best results.

  • Combine all dry ingredients and fold in to your mashed sweet potato. Continue to mix until a sweet potato dough is formed.
  • Dust a clean surface with flour and begin to work the dough.
  • Rolling into a half-inch thick, use a pizza cutter to cut into .5 inch squares.
  • Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  • Place an even layer of the dumplings into a lightly oiled skillet, and sauté 1 minute on each side until slightly brown.
  • Add the pomodoro sauce straight to the pan covering the gnocchi and bring to a simmer.
  • Finish this dish with fresh herbs, coconut milk, and vegan parmesan cheese. 
  • Enjoy!

Whether it’s a celebrity dinner, bachelorette party or corporate event, Chef William Turner has made a name for himself as the Valley’s go-to private chef. Learn more at

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