Vegan Gnocchi Puttanesca Twist On The Classic Italian Dish

Vegan Gnocchi Puttanesca with basil

Indulge in the rich, bold flavors of Vegan Gnocchi Puttanesca. This easy and delicious recipe is a vegan twist on the classic Italian sauce. Bursting with the bold tastes of olives, tomatoes, and capers. Perfect for your next vegan pasta night. This dish is sure to impress with its gourmet taste and quick preparation time of 20 minutes or less.

So, gather your loved ones and savor the bold and fragrant flavors of this vegan gnocchi puttanesca. Your taste buds will thank you! If you are a fan of Gnocchi recipes check out my collection of delicious vegan gnocchi recipes here.

Ingredients & Substitutions: What’s In A Vegan Gnocchi Puttanesca?

When it comes to vegan Italian cuisine, the key to success is sourcing high-quality ingredients. For this vegan gnocchi puttanesca recipe, that means starting with San Marzano tomatoes for a rich, authentic flavor. Fresh herbs like basil and parsley add a burst of freshness, while kalamata olives bring a tangy, briny depth. These ingredients come together to create a sauce that is truly worthy of the name “puttanesca” – a sauce that is simply bursting with flavor.

The ingredients for vegan puttanesca are simple, flavorful, and nutritious. You’ll need garlic, capers, olive oil, kalamata olives, red chili flakes, San Marzano tomatoes, fresh oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. You can also garnish your dish with fresh basil and vegan parm for added flavor and texture.

When it comes to the type of pasta, you can use any type you like, but spaghetti or gnocchi works particularly well with this sauce. Gnocchi is a soft and pillowy potato-based pasta that absorbs the flavors of the sauce beautifully. If you prefer a gluten-free option, you can use gluten-free pasta instead.

San Marzano Tomatoes

 Sourcing some good-quality Italian San Marzano tomatoes make quite a difference in the flavor of your sauce. If you find whole San Marzano tomatoes in the can this is actually the best choice. Crush them by hand to take this sauce to the next level. It’s all the little things that add up to make a truly bellisima Italian pasta sauce! 

Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs are the star of the show in my opinion! They totally change the flavor of any vegan pasta sauce with their freshness! I don’t have anything against dried herbs, they are extremely convenient and still add a wonderful flavor to so many vegan dishes. If you can’t get your hands on fresh herbs, use 1 tbsp of Italian spice blend instead. Add the Italian spice at the same time you add in your garlic and chili flakes. 

Kalamata Olives

Olives from the deli, or your local Italian supermarket, and always worth it in my opinion! They have a better flavor than those in the can or jar. If you’re an olive lover, you’re going to fall in love with this vegan puttanesca sauce! 

Helpful Tools

When making vegan puttanesca, having the right cooking tools can make all the difference in the world. Here are a few helpful cooking tools that can help you make the perfect puttanesca:

  • Large Pan: A large pan is essential for making the sauce for your puttanesca. It should be able to accommodate all of the ingredients, including tomatoes, olives, and capers.
  • Chef’s Knife: A sharp chef’s knife will help you to mince the garlic and chop the herbs more easily and precisely.
  • Cutting Board: You’ll need a sturdy cutting board to chop the garlic, olives, and herbs. Make sure it’s large enough to accommodate all of your ingredients.
  • Garlic Press: A garlic press can be a helpful tool to quickly and easily mince the garlic, especially if you don’t have a sharp knife or prefer not to handle garlic too much.
  • Colander: A colander will be useful for draining pasta or gnocchi after cooking.
  • Tongs: Tongs are helpful for tossing the pasta or gnocchi with the puttanesca sauce.
  • Grater: If you’re using vegan parmesan cheese, a grater will be necessary to grate the cheese over the top of the dish.

By having these cooking tools at your disposal, you’ll be able to make vegan puttanesca more efficiently and with greater ease. So make sure you have these tools on hand before you begin cooking, and you’ll be on your way to creating the perfect puttanesca in no time!

How To Make This Vegan Gnocchi Puttanesca

Making vegan puttanesca is easy and straightforward, and the end result is a delicious and flavorful dish that will impress your taste buds. Here are the step-by-step instructions:

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and chili flakes, and cook until fragrant. Adjust the amount of chili flakes to your own preference for spiciness.


Add the San Marzano tomatoes to the pan and cook on medium heat for 7-8 minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken.

Add the pitted kalamata olives and capers to the pan, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Stirring occasionally.


While the sauce is simmering. Cook your choice of pasta according to the package instructions. If you’re using gnocchi, simply boil it for 2-3 minutes until they float to the surface.

Once the sauce is done, season it with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with fresh herbs and vegan parmesan cheese.


Drain the pasta or gnocchi, and toss it with the puttanesca sauce until well-coated.

Serve your vegan puttanesca hot, and enjoy it with a nice glass of vino, if you’re so inclined! Buon Appetito!

Vegan Gnocchi Puttanesca with basil

Overall, making vegan gnocchi puttanesca is a quick and easy process that can be completed in less than 20 minutes. With the right ingredients and a little bit of effort, you can create a mouthwatering dish that’s perfect for any occasion. So go ahead and give it a try – your taste buds will thank you!

Gnocchi Puttanesca on fork

Tips & Tricks For This Vegan Puttanesca Recipe

  • Use high-quality ingredients: Since this recipe is relatively simple, it’s important to use high-quality ingredients to ensure the best possible flavor. Opt for San Marzano tomatoes, kalamata olives, and fresh herbs if possible.
  • Adjust the spice level to your preference: The amount of chili flakes you use in this recipe can vary depending on your personal preference for spice. If you’re sensitive to spice, start with a small amount and add more gradually as needed.
  • Cook the sauce low and slow: Cooking the sauce at a lower temperature for a longer period of time allows the flavors to meld together and creates a richer, more complex sauce.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta or gnocchi: Be sure to cook your pasta or gnocchi according to package instructions, and be careful not to overcook them. Mushy pasta or gnocchi won’t hold up as well when mixed with the sauce.
  • Use a large enough pan: Make sure your pan is large enough to accommodate all of the ingredients, including the sauce and the pasta or gnocchi. Overcrowding the pan can result in unevenly cooked pasta or gnocchi.
  • Top with vegan parmesan cheese: Vegan parmesan cheese adds a delicious and cheesy flavor to this dish. Grate it over the top of your pasta or gnocchi for an extra burst of flavor.
  • Serve with a nice glass of vino: A glass of red wine pairs perfectly with this hearty and flavorful dish. Enjoy with a glass of your favorite vino for the ultimate Italian-inspired meal.

FAQ: Vegan Gnocchi Puttanesca

Is puttanesca sauce vegan?

While traditional puttanesca sauce includes anchovies, it’s easy to make a plant-based version by swapping out the anchovies for a flavorful ingredient like capers. The result is a savory and delicious sauce that is perfect for any vegan pasta dish, like this vegan gnocchi puttanesca recipe.

What pairs well with Vegan Gnocchi Puttanesca?

This flavorful and zesty vegan puttanesca sauce is the perfect complement to a plate of tender gnocchi. Add a side salad for the perfect balance of greens and carbs. It’s also delicious served over spaghetti for a classic Italian dish. Experiment with different pasta shapes and textures to find your favorite way to enjoy this delicious sauce.

Can I add vegetables to vegan puttanesca?

Absolutely! Feel free to add some sautéed bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini to the sauce for added flavor and nutrition.

Can I make vegan puttanesca without olives or capers?

Yes, you can. While olives and capers are traditional ingredients in puttanesca, you can omit them if you don’t like them or don’t have them on hand. You may want to add some extra garlic or herbs for flavor.

Can I make vegan puttanesca gluten-free?

Yes, you can use gluten-free pasta to make vegan puttanesca. Just be sure to check the ingredients of any canned tomatoes, olives, or capers you use to ensure they are gluten-free as well.

Vegan Gnocchi Puttanesca with basil

Vegan Gnocchi Puttanesca

Satisfy your cravings with this vegan puttanesca! Bursting with tangy capers, kalamata olives, and a touch of spice, this dish is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Try out this vegan gnocchi puttanesca tonight!
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main, Main Course, Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people


  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil
  • cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 tbsp red chili flakes (or to taste)
  • 28 oz Can of San Marzano tomatoes (crushed)
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano (substitute thyme or parsley)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • fresh basil, chopped (optional)
  • vegan parm

Gnocchi or pasta

  • 1 500gram of gnocchi or spaghetti


  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and chili flakes. Adjust to your own spice preference.
  • Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook on medium heat for 7-8 minutes.
  • Add the olives and capers and reduce the sauce to a simmer.
  • While the sauce is simmering, cook gnocchi (or pasta) according to package instructions.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh herbs and vegan parmesan cheese.
  • Drain the pasta or gnocchi, and toss with the puttanesca sauce. Serve and enjoy with a nice glass of vino (optional!). Buon Appetito!



If you love olives, and you love Italian food, puttanesca is going to be your new favorite pasta sauce! It’s bursting with flavor, has simple ingredients, and comes together so quickly. Gnocchi with puttanesca tastes just as fancy as it sounds. This gourmet vegan meal comes together in 20 minutes or less! Talk about a win-win!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

In conclusion, this Vegan Gnocchi Puttanesca recipe is the perfect way to elevate your vegan pasta night with its flavorful and easy to make sauce. Using high-quality San Marzano tomatoes, fresh herbs, and kalamata olives will bring the taste of Italy right to your kitchen. This vegan version of the traditional puttanesca sauce is a delicious and satisfying meal that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Whether you’re new to vegan cooking or a seasoned pro, this recipe is a must-try

16 thoughts on “Vegan Gnocchi Puttanesca Twist On The Classic Italian Dish

  1. Marissa says:

    5 stars
    Wow this recipe is soooo tasty! Love the sauce even though I’m not the biggest olive fan this vegan pasta sauce is amazing. Thanks! 😁

  2. Victoria H says:

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe and I’m a huge fan of olives so this was perfect and super quick and easy to make!

    • spicyveganfood says:

      Hi Victoria, Thank you so much for the feedback and yes I love how quick and easy this vegan puttanesca recipe is! 🥰

  3. Chris says:

    5 stars
    Such a great delicious pasta dish!

    • spicyveganfood says:

      Hi Chris, thank you so much for the review! So happy you enjoyed this vegan pasta recipe. 😊

  4. Linda R. says:

    5 stars
    I’m not vegan, but I absolutely loved how this dish turned out. It’s a must-try for everyone!

  5. Alexis says:

    5 stars
    I enjoyed every bite of this dish and I love olives so this was great thank you Essy!

    • spicyveganfood says:

      Thank you so much for the feedback Alexis! We love olives here at Essy Cooks as well!

  6. Lynette says:

    5 stars
    This was a delicious meal!

  7. Nora says:

    5 stars
    This was so nice and I’m a huge fan of olives. Also made an olive garlic toast on the side which was delicious.

  8. Chelsey says:

    5 stars
    Loved this puttanesca!

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