HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Please don't crucify me!!!! Gnocci question...

I've been reading gnocchi recipes and am looking forward to spending a cold saturday afternoon trying my hand at making it. HOWEVER, I was driving back from my lunch break and thought.."Wait! Can potato flakes be used to make an EASY gnocchi??" I realize that I should and will make the real thing, but has anyone every tried this? I was thinking Potato Buds brand with a little water, flour, and egg. Please no lectures on why I should just attempt the real recipe...because I have enough integrity that I will make the attempt until it works out. It's just an innocent question.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. my memory of potato buds is from summer camp and no amount of butter and salt made them taste even edible. why use a foul-tasting product as your foundation? gnocchi require so few ingredients.

    technically i am quite sure it's "possible", but i can't see the texture coming true or the flavor being desirable.

    1. potato flakes are also notorious for becoming incredibly gluey and dense. You'd probably have more problems getting a good result than working from scratch.....but you'd get there faster!

      1. If you google it, there are quite a few recipes for it. I'd say, if you like potato flakes, give it a try. I don't know if you'd ever get the fluffiness of using real potatoes.

        1. No lecture, but a question. If it's your first time at making Gnocci, why would you want to try an alternative ingredient? What would you have as a prior experience to compare them to? I don't see why you couldn't use potato buds to prepare Gnocci but I've never tried it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: todao

            It was a thought...not an action. Sometimes I just think about things/ideas without wanting to put them into action. I'm sure that I am not the only person that does this.

          2. If you do end up trying this, please let us know how it goes.

            I've never made instant potatoes, but one advantage I do see to using them for gnocci is that the moisture level would be predictable (i.e. with fresh potatoes, you never really know until you've cooked and tasted them, and the addition of flour is never the exact same each time). Gluey and foul-tasting does not bode well though... hm.

            1. You know, during a recent stint of morning sickness I ate (and actually enjoyed) some instant mashed potatoes (needed something really quick). I think they were an organic brand-- maybe Cascade or something? They were not as gluey as what I remember from cafeteria type potatoes. That might be the way to go.

              Another "short cut" I like for gnocchi, and which I think keeps them light, is to use baked potato instead of boiled. No peeling. No chopping. This is from the Dean and Deluca cookbook-- the recipe is a winner.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Procrastibaker

                I secretly *love* potato flake mashed potatoes. I try not to cook from boxes (preservatives, salt, etc) so I always make mine from scratch, but I do actually like them. I think of them as an entirely different food than real mashed potatoes.

                1. re: hollyd

                  You make your own potato flakes from scratch?

                2. re: Procrastibaker

                  The baked potato idea is wonderful! And I could have a yummy snack to keep me focused during my gnocci making! I'll check out the cookbook.

                3. If you don't want to go to the trouble of starting from scratch, maybe the mashed potatoes in a bag found in the dairy section of the grocery store might be a netter alternative than dried flakes.

                  1. Check out this blog when you get a chance. This couple made gnocchi from potato buds, baked potatoes, and boiled potatoes in the same day and then compared the results. Interesting!


                    3 Replies
                    1. re: bear

                      Thanks bear! I loved the thoroughness with which they pursued an idle question.

                      1. re: bear

                        Terrific link. I love how much they got their nerd-on with this. Thanks for sharing.

                        1. I've only ever made gnocchi once, and this was when an Italian (like, newly arrived to the US) neighbor walked me through it step-by-step. Not kidding, we started with refrigerated mashed potatoes. I was shocked, but he said it was a totally acceptable shortcut, and they came out great. I don't think powdered potatoes would really yield the texture you want (in fact, it would just be a gummy mess). I think we used "Simply Potatoes" back when they had a plain, unseasoned cooked potato product without milk. I'd guess you could use Ore Ida "Steam & Mash" potatoes to cut down on the work. http://www.oreida.com/varieties/steam...

                          But please don't use the potato buds. Ick.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                            other than at a hot salad bar station, you can buy mashed potatoes? i must live under a rock cuz i just discovered microwave-able pre-made pancakes too. jeebus. (no, i didn't buy them.)

                            i have made them with baked potatoes and like that better, but am not a huge fan of potato gnocchi in general. i prefer the gnocchi souflée type, which is basically savory paté choux dough gussied up. they are a snap.

                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                              Isn't the pate choux gnocchi a French dish, as opposed to Italian? Then there's the Roman gnocchi - a (wheat) semolina 'polenta', baked with lots of butter and cheese.

                              1. re: paulj

                                yes, i've heard them called parisian gnocchi. don't care, lalala, they are hella easy to make and light as a cloud. i do like the semolina ones too, with shrooms and gorgonzola.

                          2. if it doesn't turn out, you could use it to cover your nail holes on your wall. (c:

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: raygunclan

                              Yuk Yuk Yuk!!!! Hilarious! I guess I just thought of this bc I survived off of Potato Buds as a toddler. After my mom stopped breast feeding me, she said we were in a poor state financially and that instead of buying daily servings of baby food jars, they would feed me one jar of fruit or veg a day and my other meals were Potato Buds or mashed up leftovers that I could digest. I never have had a problem with them getting gummy, and will use them if the hubby wants mash without telling me in advance. (Yeah, i'll have rice or noodles on and he'll be like...You know, I really think I want mashed potatos with this...puppy dog face....)

                            2. Works better with instant potatoes than with real potatoes because you can control the amount of moisture you add so that the gnocci don't turn out gluey from adding too much flour.

                              In Argentina, where gnocci are eaten even more than in Italy, boxes of instant potatoes come with a gnocci rolling board included.

                              1. im just curious - how many of the people who said it cannot be done, or it can be done but would turn out with a bad taste or texture have ever tried? I'm not advocating it, i'm just asking.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: thew

                                  That's why I enjoyed The Great Gnocchi Debate in the link I posted from Food in My Beard above. They actually made them from boiled, baked, steamed and instant and did a side-by-side comparison. Pretty neat, and no speculation. Just the facts, ma'am.