Kimchi + gnocchi + plant based sausage + oat cream + cheeeeeze = the ultimate winter comfort food for me right now!
creamy Kimchi & gnocchi bake
This kimchi & gnocchi bake is cheesy, creamy, tangy and dreamy… with a kick of heat from kimchi and gochujang. This plant based casserole is easy to make vegan, as long as you use vegan kimchi and cheese. This comforting vegetarian dish has sweetened our days often lately – it’s made with store bought gnocchi and comes together in a flash! All you need to do is chop a little, fry a little, mix a little and push the casserole in the oven for a while 🙂
store bought gnocchi ♥
Store bought gnocchi has become the quick fix I often lean into on a busy day. I make sure to have a bag ready to go at all times – they cook up in a few minutes and paired with a simple sauce a hearty meal is ready in no time! One of my favorite things to do with these pillowy balls of heaven is to make a sort of “moussaka” with them, but even a simple thing like pan seared gnocchi with butter and garlic is delicious.
Today’s creamy kimchi & gnocchi bake is one of the dishes I’ve cooked most often during the last months. It comes together rather spontaneously, since I always have some oat cream, kimchi and vegetarian sausage around… I also make sure to always have some grated cheese in the freezer. After that it’s just a matter of scouring the fridge for whatever veg there is – in my case it’s most often kale and some kind of root veg. I love to add some sweet potato or butternut squash to this gnocchi bake, since they add a nice touch of sweetness that balances of the tangy heat of the kimchi and the gochujang. But, you could easily throw in any veg you like and utilize frozen veggies too: sweet corn, green beans, cauliflower…
Pssst! The kimchi pictured here contains seafood. I eat everything so I don’t mind, but if you’re making this for a vegetarian or a vegan, make sure to use vegan kimchi!
Chop, fry, mix, bake
Once you take the time to cook this in peace once, the next time you’re likely to already make it on auto pilot. The recipe is simple – you just chop things, mix things and push everything in the oven. I do prefer to crisp up the pieces of sausage before adding them in to the bake, because it adds a nice texture to the finished bake. But, if I’m lazy or in a hurry, I literally just mix the sauce straight in the oven dish and throw the kimchi, gnocchi, sausage and veggies in. After that all that’s needed is a quick mix, a coating of cheese, and in to the oven it goes!
The result is a combination of various crispy bits, funky kimchi, soft gnocchi and a fiery creamy sauce… All buried under a layer of golden bubbling cheese. In a word: heavenly! In particular (I love the bits of kale that are peaking to the surface and turn into crisps…) Perfect for the wintertime. Digging into a bowl of this is as big of a treat after a long day at work, as it is after an outing in the snow!
This kimchi & gnocchi bake is easy to make vegan too, if you want to. Just make sure to check the ingredient list in the kimchi and gnocchi you use, and go with your favorite vegan cheese! You’ll find my other vegetarian and vegan recipes here – and below some of my favorites:
- Watermelon poke bowl (vegan)
- Charred cabbage wedges & vanilla hazelnut miso dressing
- Mapo tofummus: an addictive dip in the style of mapo tofu
- Gnocchi moussaka casserole
- Graveyard pasta with mushroom skulls
Creamy kimchi & gnocchi bake
- 1 casserole
- 500 g gnocchi (store bought)
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 250 g plant based sausage (chorizo style veggie sausage is my favorite!)
- 4-6 cloves garlic
- 100 g cavolo nero / kale
- 150 g vegan kimchi
- 300 g butternut squash / sweet potato
- 1 spring onion, white part
- 4 dl oat cream (or other plant based cooking cream)
- 1-2 tbsp gochujang
- 1 tsp raw sugar / agave syrup (or other sweetener of choice)
- ½ tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- ½-1 tbsp light soy sauce
- ½ tsp ground white pepper
- 300 g grated cheese (or vegan cheese)
- 1 spring onion, green part
- ½ dl Shaoxing wine / medium dry sherry
- If you have some Chinese Shaoxing cooking wine or dry/medium dry sherry around, a splash of it will add a lovely nutty aroma to the sauce.
- The amount of gochujang and soy sauce should be adjusted regarding on the salinity and heat of your choice of plant based sausage and kimchi. A tablespoon of gochujang and half a tablespoon of soy sauce should be a safe way to go in most cases!
- I've always got store bought toasted sesame seeds around, but they are easy to toast also at home. Just a few minutes on a dry pan in medium heat should do it, just make sure to shake the pan often to promote even toasting and avoid burning!
- Peel and cube the sweet potato or butternut (peeling the butternut is optional!) to a cube of about 1x1cm. Remove the stem of the cavolo nero / kale and chop the leaves to about 1 cm slices. Roughly chop the kimchi, making sure to collect all the juices from it in a small bowl.
- Slice the plant based sausage of your choice to about half a centimeter coins. Finely slice half of the garlic cloves you're using and finely mince the white part of one scallion. Heat the oil in a frying pan, and fry up the sausage until crisp and golden. Add the garlic and scallion to the pan and keep cooking until onion turns translucent.
- Add the gnocchi, the sausage bits and onion, kimchi, cavolo nero / kale + sweet potato / butternut squash to a large oven proof casserole. Add half of the grated cheese and toss everything together.
- Mix the gochujang with a splash of the oat creme to loosen it. Add in the rest of the oat creme, the kimchi juices, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and seeds, white pepper and the sugar together. Add a splash of Shaoxing wine or sherry if you wish. Grate the rest of the garlic cloves in to the sauce and mix.
- Pour the sauce over the ingredients in the casserole and mix to coat everything. Add the rest of the cheese on top and cook in an oven set to 175°C for about 40 minutes, or until the sweet potato / squash is fully cooked (you can test it with a fork).
- Turn on the broiler / grilling setting of the oven (225°c or 200°c convection oven), and wait until the kimchi & gnocchi bake turns golden and bubbly on the surface.
- Serve with finely sliced scallion greens.