Inspired by the U.S.’s Southern cuisine, this vegan recipe using gnocchi is smoky, savory and hearty! It works for any time of year. If you use prepackaged vegan gnocchi, it cooks up under 30 minutes.
Is it the way fresh basil interacts with the smoky notes of the tempeh bacon? Or the hint of sage with the fatty, salty butter? Or the slight sweetness from the sweet corn, and the way that collards work so well with smoked paprika? All together, this vegan gnocchi dish is the epitome of American comfort food.
For this recipe, I tore up Lightlife Smoky Tempeh Strips into bite-size pieces. If you have trouble finding prepackaged tempeh bacon where you live, you can always make super easy homemade tempeh bacon from scratch.
I also used Colgin Liquid Smoke – Natural Apple Flavor. A few drops of liquid smoke stirred in at the end made the dish that much more enjoyable, but it is completely optional and still a very good smoky dish without it.
Smoky Gnocchi with Sweet Corn, Collard Greens and Tempeh Bacon
1 pound package of vegan gnocchi (or make your own from scratch)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 ounce package of tempeh bacon, torn into pieces (store bought OR make your own)
¼ tsp rubbed sage
1 cup frozen sweet corn
2 cups collard greens, center veins removed and torn into bite-size pieces
2 Tbsp vegan butter
¼-½ tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp torn fresh basil leaves
Liquid smoke – optional – (see note above)
Vegan parmesan, to top – optional
1. Fill a very large pot with water. Cover with a lid, and bring it to a boil. While you are waiting on the water to boil, you can work steps 2 and 3 of this recipe.
2. In a large skillet, add olive oil, shallots, garlic and the torn up tempeh bacon. Saute over medium heat for ~4 minutes or until the bacon crisps up a bit. If it sticks to the bottom, add a little more oil or turn the heat down. Add the rubbed sage, and stir around another minute.
3. Add the sweet corn, collards, vegan butter, smoked paprika, lemon juice and nutritional yeast. Stir around over medium-low heat for ~4 minutes or until all the crusties from the bottom off the pan come off, and the collards are wilted and soft enough to eat and enjoy. Set aside.
4. When the large pot of water comes to a boil, add the gnocchi. Follow the directions on the box or the recipe for boiling them. Usually, gnocchi boils for 1-3 minutes or until they float to the top of the water. Then, drain off the water.
5. Immediately after draining off the water, add the gnocchi to the skillet. If using liquid smoke, add a few drops (I did between 3-5). Add the fresh basil leaves. Stir everything until well combined. Taste, and adjust flavors, if needed (more lemon juice?). Top with vegan parmesan and serve immediately.