Incredibly Easy Low Carb Keto Ricotta Gnocchi


Incredibly Easy Low Carb Keto Ricotta Gnocchi is a melt-in-the-mouth, tasty, ketogenic version of the traditional recipe. 5.5g carbs per serving.

I love Italian food sooooo much. Bread. Pasta. Polenta. Semolina. Pizza. Gnocchi. Makes me drool just thinking about them all. But ketogenic life is prohibitive when it comes to many traditional Italian dishes because they are often based on what Italians themselves call ‘cucina povera’, i.e. ‘poor cuisine’, so termed because their main ingredient is grains, and in historical times of hardship grains were the only cheap food available to everyone.


So how does one cope with staying in ketosis AND indulge in Italian food? Surely that’s a paradox! But there are ways… you just have to be a little bit inventive and a little bit maverick!

So here is my keto gnocchi story….

Incredibly Easy Low Carb Keto Ricotta Gnocchi

A mozzarella gnocchi nightmare

I woke up one morning thinking about how to make gnocchi without white flour or potatoes, and it quickly became my morning obsession. I searched the internet for inspiration and sure enough lots of low carb gnocchi recipes popped up, all using mozzarella as the main ingredient, all very similar. The photos looked nice, the recipes seemed simple enough, so off I went to buy the recommended dry type of mozzarella. By ‘dry’ I mean the industrial mozzarella type that is vacuum packed and dry. Finding it proved to be an issue to start with. You see, I am currently at my house in Italy, and produce here tends to be seasonal, local and authentic. So I drove to 3 different shop before I eventually found ‘dry’ mozzarella. Not a good start.

Later on, my Italian ragú was simmering away and I started making the gnocchi, following recipe instructions to the letter. Sure enough, problem number two didn’t hide for long: my microwave melted mozzarella was just a ball of chewing gum swimming in cloudy water. Problem number three came next. As I continued to microwave the mozzarella chewing gum into submission, the most horrid smell of molten plastic was filling my kitchen.

Concerned, but determined to see the recipe through and have my gnocchi dinner, I ploughed on, trying not to gag. Still the chewing gum would not budge, so I decided that maybe, just maybe, adding the other ingredients would help, and I carried on, attempting to knead the impossible. A lot of frustration later, I took the squidgy, egg-wet rubbery ball from the bowl and nearly threw it over the field. But no. I had nothing else for dinner, and surely it would be edible? Unable to roll, shape or cut the alien mass, I pulled it apart into stringy blobs that I then plunged in boiling water.

Needless to say that the blobs almost dissolved in the hot water, and all I could do was scoop strings out with a sieve.

Trying not to be defeatist, I ate the chewing gum strings, which now resembled the same plastic mass I was trying to knead earlier. Topped with my ragú and lots of Parmesan, they didn’t taste too bad. Within an hour, however, my stomach was tight and felt uncomfortable. I hardly slept. I was in pain most of the night. That was that. End of mozzarella gnocchi for me.

Now, I am not suggesting for a minute that the recipe I’d looked at was flawed. It was likely down to the ‘mozzarella’ I used.  I hope I never come across that fake crap, ever, again.

Incredibly Easy Low Carb Keto Ricotta Gnocchi
My Gnocchi Disaster!

A ricotta gnocchi delight

After a painful night’s sleep half-dreaming about my house being flooded with chewing gum and me drowning inside, I got up with a fighting spirit and thought of an alternative. Ricotta. Why not? I use it in cakes, biscuits, pastry and cold desserts. So why not in gnocchi?

And with that, I cycled off to my favourite shop to buy some fresh ricotta.

The fresh counter ricotta was fairly dry already, but to be on the safe side, I wrapped it in muslin cloth, popped it in a colander on top of a bowl and left it in the fridge for a few hours.  If you buy packaged ricotta, it will be quite wet and you should strain it for 24 hours.

Once I mixed it with an egg and some lupin flour, I ended up with a very soft mix. Certainly not something I could roll out over a surface and cut – as I would have done in the past with a classic gnocchi mixture. 

And there comes the most ‘difficult’ part of this recipe: shaping quenelles. If you’ve ever watched Masterchef, you’ll know what to do. If not, making a quenelle means scooping a bit of mix with one spoon and then scooping it out again with the other spoon, over and over until you have a walnut-size egg shape. It’s really easy, but it may take some practice to get right, if you’ve never done it before.

Was it worth persisting on day 2? You bet! These beautifully soft and delicate easy low carb keto ricotta gnocchi were just divine!

Incredibly Easy Low Carb Keto Ricotta Gnocchi

I must admit that, as I was making quenelles and placing them on a flat dish, I worried about them being too soft. But to my surprise, they held their shape very well once plunged into the boiling water, and actually firmed up somehow. (Since that first attempt, I have been using Guar Gum and the gnocchi hold out even better)

I served them piping hot, topped with my Italian ragú (re-heated left-over from the previous night) and plenty of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

I have eaten these regularly since then and they’ve never failed me. Always great. Always delicious.

I hope you will try my Easy Low Carb Keto Ricotta Gnocchi. You will not be disappointed.

Enjoy my new, updated recipe!


  • Yield: 2
  • Serving: 1
  • Calories: 270
  • Fat: 17.5g
  • Net Carbs: 5.5g
  • Protein: 18g
Recipe type: Pasta and Gnocchi
Cuisine: Ketogenic. LCHF. Low Carb. Grain Free. Gluten Free.
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Perfect soft pillows and extremely simple. Melt-in-the-mouth and delicious.
  1. wrap the ricotta in a cheesecloth and place it in a sieve over a bowl for 24 hours.
  2. put strained ricotta in a medium bowl and whisk so as to get rid of any lumps.
  3. break the whole egg directly into the ricotta bowl, add salt and stir gently, using a fork.
  4. incorporate lupin flour and guar gum.
  5. scatter coconut flour over a plate.
  6. using 2 teaspoons, form quinels of ricotta mix, the size of small walnuts, easing each one onto the coconut flour plate.
  7. roll them gently in the coconut flour to coat them, and finally transfer them to another plate, nicely spaced from each other.
  8. you should end up with 32 gnocchi.
  9. put the gnocchi in the fridge while you bring a medium size pot of salted water to the boil.
  10. with the water on full boil, gently ease 7-8 gnocchi into it by hand, in quick succession, one at a time.
  11. as soon as they float, remove the gnocchi with a straining ladle and put them onto a serving plate.
  12. discard the coconut flour foam that will gather both on the ladle and at the top of the boiling water.
  13. repeat until you've cooked all the gnocchi.
  14. tilt the serving plate and soak up any remaining water that may seep out, using a kitchen paper towel.
  15. serve topped with plenty of Italian ragú and lots of freshly grated Parmesan.
Macros are for gnocchi only.

Metric kitchen scales are an inexpensive yet invaluable gadget to enable accurate measurement of ingredients. Store them upright in a cupboard or over your worktop and they'll only take up a tiny bit of space. Click HERE for the ones I use (UK Link). For U.S. option click HERE.


Enjoyed this post? I really value your feedback! Please leave me a comment. If you make this recipe, make my day and post a photo on social media with the hashtag #queenketo. Thank you! 🙂

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Average rating 4.6 / 5. Votes: 11


  1. HI – thank you for this recipe and I also miss Italian food, being raised on it. Found the guar gum on-line but Amazon is out of the Lupin Miracle Flour. Can Almond Flour be used and what would be the substitute amount? Thanks so very much! Annunciata

    • Hi Annunciata,
      Lupin flour is quite sticky, so, together with the guar gum, it helps hold the gnocchi’s shape. During testing, I tried almond flour, but the gnocchi pretty much disintegrated in the boiling water.
      I have been told by the Miracle (lupin) Flour suppliers that they’re expecting to receive stocks by end of May. So, you could either wait a while (their lupin flour is pure and truly superior), or buy it from another company for now. If you do go for an alternative, check that it isn’t a flour ‘mix’, though.

  2. Hi 👋 Antya, can you substitute Xanthan gum for guard gum?

    • Hi Carolyn, I originally used xanthan gum, then switched to guar gum because the texture was better (in my opinion). So yes, you can use xanthan (but 1 teaspoon, not 1/4).

  3. Very similar to the Romanian “papanasi” only replace the wheat flour with lupin flour+gum. Also papanasi are served as a light desert, flavoured with vanilla and lemon zest, lightly sweetened, topped with sour cream (or jam etc). Making them as soon as I find lupin flour!

    • Wow Isabela, that sounds amazing! If it works out and you want to share the recipe, maybe you could do a guest post??

    • Finally got the lupin flour, and last night I made grandma’s “papanasi”. I forgot the gum and I think it would have been good to add it, they were a little crumbly when warm, but taste wise they were a winner.

      400g farmers cheese (or drained ricotta), 2 eggs, 4 tablespoons lupin flour, vanilla, lemon rind, 3 drops splenda. Mixed well, dropped 9 spoonfuls onto a plate with lupin flour, hand-formed into 9 patties, panfried, sprinkled a little powdered xylitol on top.

  4. Marion Robinson

    Antya, I just LOVE the picture of your Gnocchi disaster.
    It’s made funnier by the fact, I went to a friends for lunch yesterday,
    & it looked just like that…it was AWFUL !
    Thanks for the new update, I’ll pass it on x

  5. Buongiorno! I have no guar gum handy, do you think that I can replace it with xantham gum? Thanks for all these great recipes (especially the Keto Low Carb Prosciutto, Cheese & Zucchini Quiche).

  6. Lupin flour? Is that keto?

    • There’s no such thing as a non-keto ingredient. As long as what you’re eating is within your carb limit for ketosis and the macros are correct, you can’t go wrong. In any case, lupin flour is grain and gluten free plus very low carb.

  7. I’m a huge fan of Italian food and have missed Gnocchi like crazy. I’m definitely going to try this recipe. Have you tried freezing and then re-heating the already cooked Gnocchi?

    • Hi Katy, unfortunately, ricotta doesn’t freeze well, so no, you need to make these fresh. But trust me,it really doesn’t take long at all once you get going with the quenelles. I hope you’ll like them – not quite gnocchi consistency, but I think it works :).

  8. What is the serving size for the recipe?

    • The recipe has been updated…you may want to check it out… 🙂

      Hi Angela. 2 servings. Although the portions may look small, they are extremely filling, especially when generously lavished with the ragù and topped with plenty of fresh Parmesan. It’s one of my early recipes, in the queue to be updated with further info…. Tip: ensure your ricotta is well drained or the gnocchi will disintegrate when plunged into boiling water. ☺

  9. Hi, the recipe looks great. Given that I eat Paleo most of the time (but will make an exception with the ricotta just this once!) did you ever try the recipe with the additional egg and coconut flour? 🙂

  10. Cari Martinez

    The snowflakes were incredibly distracting when trying to read your otherwise fantastic blog.

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