This cauliflower gnocchi bolognese is a grain-free version of an Italian classic! It’s paleo, gluten-free, and can be made AIP friendly.

What is Bolognese Sauce?

Bolognese sauce is a rich pasta sauce that originates in Bologna. It’s made with tomatoes, ground beef, broth, celery, carrots, onions, herbs, and sometimes wine.

I studied abroad in Florence, Italy and am of Italian descent, so this rich meat sauce is close to my heart! Don’t get me wrong, I love a smooth sauce without meat as well, but Bolognese dishes are a complete, nourishing meal!


Tips & Tricks for this Cauliflower Gnocchi Bolognese

Use a shortcut by buying premade cauliflower gnocchi

If you can tolerate all of the ingredients, I suggest Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi! It’s not AIP (it has potato starch) but if you can tolerate it, it’s a great shortcut.

Make it nightshade free with nomato sauce

My recipe for nomato sauce fits perfectly here.

Trust your palate and add more or less broth if you like a thicker or thinner sauce

I use a moderate amount of broth for this recipe, but you can add more if you like the sauce to be thinner, or less if you want the sauce super meaty.

How to Make Cauliflower Gnocchi Bolognese

  • Prepare the sauce by browning the ground beef. Set aside and reserve the majority of the fat in the pan. Chop the vegetables and saute to soften. Pour in the tomato, broth, and seasonings and bring to a low simmer. Cover for 30 minutes to allow to reduce.

  • Prepare the cauliflower gnocchi fresh as directed, or buy pre-made cauliflower gnocchi.
  • Toss the cauliflower gnocchi in the bolognese and serve topped with fresh basil.


The Ingredients You’ll Need for the Cauliflower Gnocchi Bolognese

Ground Beef

Onion, garlic, carrots, and celery

These add a lot of flavor and body to the sauce, as well as some additional veggies.

Canned tomato (or nomato sauce)

You’ll use canned crushed tomato or sub nomato sauce to make it nightshade-free and AIP.

Beef broth & white wine

The white wine adds some flavor depth, but it’s optional. The alcohol will cook-off, but I choose to not cook with wine while pregnant, and you can easily sub more broth.

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Cauliflower Gnocchi Bolognese

  • Author: Michelle
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 servings 1x



For the bolognese

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups canned crushed tomato (sub nomato sauce for AIP)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (see notes for AIP)
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 46 fresh basil leaves

For the cauliflower gnocchi


  1. Using a large, deep saute pan, brown the ground beef and lightly season with salt and pepper. Once browned, set aside and reserve 2 tbsp of fat in the pan.
  2. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and saute for 4-5 minutes or until translucent. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes or until slightly fork tender.
  3. Stir in the crushed tomato (or nomato sauce), broth, white wine (if using) and reincorporate the ground beef. Stir well and season with parsley and dried oregano. Bring the sauce to a low simmer. Cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until the sauce is reduced and flavorful. Season further to taste.
  4. Add the prepared gnocchi to the pan and stir to coat in the sauce. Serve fresh topped with basil.


Though alcohol is not AIP compliant, cooking wine allows the alcohol to cook off. If you still choose to forgo the wine, just substitute for broth.

All nutritional information are estimations and will vary. Estimations do not include optional ingredients.

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 380
  • Fat: 11.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 41.3g
  • Fiber: 6.7g
  • Protein: 30.3g