Plantain Gnocchi in Coconut-Garlic Sauce on a table in a Studio
(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post/food styling by Gina Nistico for The Washington Post)
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Plantain Gnocchi in Coconut-Garlic Sauce

Plantains stand in for the traditional potato in this Caribbean riff on the classic Italian gnocchi. Cookbook author Denai Moore developed this recipe for a supper club she hosted in London. The sauce is little more than coconut milk and roast garlic, but it is deceptively rich and hearty.

Serve with a green salad.

Adapted from “Plentiful” by Denai Moore (Hardie Grant, 2023).


measuring cup
Servings: 3
  • 2 ripe plantains (yellow with a lot of black spots)
  • 1 head garlic, halved through the equator
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt, plus more as needed
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • One (13-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon shiro miso (white miso)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated vegan parmesan cheese, for serving


Time Icon Active: 30 mins| Total: 50 mins
  1. Step 1

    Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

  2. Step 2

    Pierce the plantains several times with the tip of a sharp knife and place on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Rub the cut sides of the garlic halves with 1 teaspoon of the oil and a sprinkle of salt, then place the cut sides back together and set the bulb on the same baking sheet. Roast the plantains and garlic together for 30 minutes, or until the plantains are blackened and the garlic is soft.

  3. Step 3

    Let the plantains cool about 5 minutes, then carefully trim the ends, make a shallow cut down the length of each plantain, just through the peel, and remove the peel (the peel may split during roasting, in which case, start peeling from there). Transfer the flesh to the food processor. Add the water and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and pulse to form a smooth mixture. Add the flour and process to form a dough, about 1 minute.

  4. Step 4

    Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Using your hands, bring the dough together to form a ball, then cut it in half. Roll each piece into a log about 3/4-inch thick, then cut across to make 3/4-inch-long gnocchi. If you like, roll each piece along the back of a fork to get the classic ridged shape.

  5. Step 5

    Squeeze the roasted garlic into the food processor (no need to wash after processing the plantains), then add the coconut milk, nutritional yeast, miso, vinegar and allspice and blend until smooth.

  6. Step 6

    In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil until it begins to shimmer. Add the gnocchi and fry without moving them, until well browned, about 4 minutes. (The gnocchi will begin to brown almost immediately; let them develop some color.) Flip the gnocchi and cook until well browned on the other side, another 4 minutes.

  7. Step 7

    Pour the coconut-garlic sauce into the pan and increase the heat to high. Cook until the gnocchi are well coated in the reduced, thickened sauce, about 5 minutes.

  8. Step 8

    Remove from the heat and serve, with a grating of black pepper and sprinkle of vegan parmesan.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • Calories


  • Carbohydrates

    72 g

  • Fat

    37 g

  • Fiber

    5 g

  • Protein

    10 g

  • Saturated Fat

    23 g

  • Sodium

    667 mg

  • Sugar

    21 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

Adapted from “Plentiful” by Denai Moore (Hardie Grant, 2023).

Tested by Jim Webster