Slavic meets Italian – Vegan pierogi with a spinach and ricotta filling are the perfect fusion of traditional Slavic and Italian cuisine. They not only make the hearts of vegetarians and vegans beat faster, but are also wonderfully popular with omnivores. Crispy on the outside, bulging on the inside with spinach and creamy vegan ricotta. A real dream!
The vegan dumplings are wonderful to prepare in advance and freeze.
Dumplings with spinach and ricotta
Spinach and ricotta are an absolute dream team, and not just in tortellini, as most of us are probably familiar with. Creamy, not too overpowering in aroma, and perfectly made for the al dente crust. Why packaged in pierogi when you could fill the spinach and ricotta filling in tortellini, ravioli, and the like?
Quite simply, pierogi – the Slavic version of dumplings – are still far too underestimated. Because quite honestly, they are in no way inferior to the Italian classics. And just between us, I think we all like stuffed dumplings a bit!
Admittedly, the vegan dumplings are not exactly a quick meal. They won’t be on the table in 30 minutes unless you have hidden super abilities “The Flash Style “.😋 So you have to bring a little time and patience with you.
So grab your iPad or phone, turn on your favorite series or podcast of your choice and make yourself comfortable. To an evening or afternoon full of dumplings making. Believe me, it’s almost meditative. You can take advantage of the moment and stock up on vegan pierogi. Maybe with different fillings. Then nothing stands in the way of some quickly prepared pierogi in the future.
Dumplings, Maultaschen, Dim Sum, Empanadas, Gyoza, stuffed dumplings are available in umpteen versions all over the world. Today we want to dedicate ourselves to the pierogi. Pierogi are widespread in the Slavic region, especially in Poland, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine. But they can also be found in other Slavic countries.
Traditionally, pierogi are dumplings are made with pasta dough, yeast dough, or puff pastry, which are served as a starter, main course, or even dessert. There are also no limits to your hearty preferences when it comes to the filling. From sauerkraut, minced meat, bacon, potatoes, mushrooms, quark, and cheese to cabbage, everything is allowed. Yes, the bulging dumplings taste delicious even when they are sweet.
Although the preparation involves a lot of manual work. From rolling out, shaping, filling to folding the pierogi, the actual cooking process is relatively simple. The pierogi are briefly cooked in boiling water and then either fried in a pan or baked in the oven.
How the vegan pierogi with spinach and ricotta work
These vegan pierogi are made from regular pasta dough. You can find the exact recipe below. You can’t go wrong with either the dough or the shaping of the pierogi. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided to make heart-shaped pierogi. Of course, you can also choose the classic shape. Whatever you decide, you really can’t really go wrong.
What you should consider when making pasta:
I used a pasta machine for my pasta dough. In principle, you can also simply roll out the dough very thinly. The pasta machine is therefore not absolutely necessary. Important when working with pasta dough; the part of the dough that you are not working with should be protected from drying out. Simply wrap the set aside dough in a damp kitchen towel. The pasta dough should also have some time to rest before processing (about 30 minutes). It’s best to wrap it airtight so it doesn’t dry out and put it in the fridge.
What you should consider when shaping, filling & folding:
It is important that you do not pack too much filling on the pierogi. Otherwise, it will quickly become a mess, as the filling will leak out everywhere and you will not be able to seal the pierogi properly. But after you’ve filled a few dumplings, you’ll get the hang of it straight away. The filling goes in the middle, whereby a 1 tsp filling should be enough. Moisten them with a little water so that the edges of the dough stick together well and do not split open during cooking. Simply dip your finger in water and run around the edges of the dough.
Are pierogi vegan?
The attentive readers among you already know the answer. Traditional pierogi are pure heartiness, are often filled with bacon or minced meat, and are therefore not vegan per se. However, since pierogi are also wonderful as a meal to use leftovers, it may well be that they are completely vegan. This very much depends on the filling used and the type of dough. So it’s best to always ask if you’re going to eat the delicious dumplings outside your four walls.
How is it when you buy the dough?
Let’s be real, we all have busy lives and sometimes things have to go fast. Ok, as fast as it can go with pierogi.😁
Perhaps you too are toying with the idea of getting ready-made pasta dough from a store. Unfortunately, I have to curb your enthusiasm here. Classic Italian pasta dough is made with eggs. So you can’t assume that it’s vegan. Sure, sometimes you’re lucky and the manufacturer doesn’t put eggs in the pasta dough. But a look at the list of ingredients is really very advisable here.
Less waste tips
As always, here are a few smart tips to help prevent waste:
- Pasta dough : You should be able to find the ingredients for this in a well-stocked bulk store. At least the flour. Otherwise, local mills offer the opportunity to buy large quantities of flour.
- You can find spinach without plastic at the weekly market.
- You can make ricotta yourself with a little extra effort and advance planning, e.g. E.g. this deliciously creamy almond ricotta .
- You can find spices in a well-stocked bulk store.
Alternatives to the products used
I don’t like spinach, what else can I use?
There are no limits to the filling. If you don’t like spinach, you can use another leafy vegetable. Arugula. Kale or Swiss chard also works wonderfully. You don’t have to choose the spinach and ricotta filling either. Instead, you can also fill vegan pierogi with sauerkraut, fried mushrooms, potatoes, vegan cheese, or vegan quark instead of ricotta. Be creative! Unusual combinations such as lemon and ricotta, truffles, pumpkin, or beetroot are also possible.
I don’t have a pasta machine, what else can I use?
As already written above, you don’t need a pasta machine for the vegan pierogi. You can simply roll out the pasta dough evenly. The dough does not necessarily have to be rolled out thinly. It can also be a little thicker if you like dumplings with a bite. I personally like it a little thinner, so I used the pasta machine.
It should be remembered here that you need two pieces of dough for the heart-shaped variant and not just one. Therefore, it makes perfect sense if the dough is not too thick.
I do not eat gluten, is the pasta dough also gluten-free?
First, you don’t necessarily have to use pasta dough. As you already know, you can also choose puff pastry or yeast dough for vegan pierogi. So if you already know gluten-free products, go for it!
In principle, you can of course also use a gluten-free pasta dough for this recipe. I personally haven’t tested the recipe gluten-free and I don’t have a gluten-free pasta dough recipe for you either. But there are tons of recipes on the internet that you can use instead of my pasta dough.
I don’t have a heart-shaped cookie cutter!
Absolutely not important! Use any other cookie cutter you like, or just use a wine glass to cut out dough rings. The shape does not necessarily have to be heart-shaped. Make sure your cutter isn’t too small, otherwise you won’t be able to put any filling in your vegan pierogi.
Also, note that you need two pieces of dough per dumpling for this recipe. You put them on top of each other. However, if you opt for the classic shape, you only need one round piece of dough per pierogi. That means you end up with more dumplings.
Meal prep tips
Vegan pierogi were born for meal prep. Since you should bring some time for the preparation, it is advisable to prepare the dumplings in larger quantities and then simply freeze them. So you always have fresh, vegan pierogi at hand.
Then simply put the frozen pierogi directly into boiling water. The dumplings can easily be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
What do the vegan spinach pierogi go with?
- for a cozy dinner with friends
- for celebrations such as birthdays and weddings
- as an appetizer for Christmas or Thanksgiving
- as leftovers
- as finger food at parties
- for brunch
What do you eat with vegan pierogi?
- Fried onions and vegan crème fraîche
- mixed green leaf salad
- steamed or roasted vegetables
- a cold beer
Why you should try these vegan pierogi:
- non dairy
- fried crispy on the outside
- creamy inside
- can be prepared wonderfully in advance
- can be frozen
- nice hearty
More recipes for vegan dumplings:
If you try these vegan pierogi with spinach and ricotta, I would really appreciate your feedback here in the comments and a 5-star rating. If you share your creation of this recipe on Instagram, please don’t forget to link @velvetandvinegar and use the hashtag #velvetandvinegar. So my community and I will definitely not miss your contribution.
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Vegan Pierogi with Spinach and Ricotta Filling
- cutter, food processor or blender
- pasta machine optional
- 200 g wheat flour organic
- 100 g semolina organic
- 1 tsp salt organic
- 1 tbsp olive oil organic
- 130-150 ml water
- 200 g spinach, frozen* organic
- 100 g ricotta, vegan organic
- salt organic, to taste
- pepper to taste, organic
- butter, vegan organic, for frying
- Mix all the dry ingredients for the pasta dough in a bowl.
- Form a well. Pour the liquid ingredients into the well and mix briefly with a fork.
- Knead the dough well for 10 minutes. Then place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Place spinach in a pan and cook, covered, with very little water on low heat until done. Set aside and let cool.
- Place spinach, ricotta, a little salt and pepper in a food processor and purée until smooth.
- Roll out pasta dough thinly, or alternatively chase several steps through a pasta machine Cut out hearts with a heart-shaped cookie cutter.
- Place 1 tsp spinach ricotta filling on half of each dough heart and place a second dough heart on top. Press the edges well with a fork. If necessary, moisten a little with water beforehand.
- Bring water to a boil in a pan. Cook the pierogi in it for 2-3 minutes.
- Heat butter in a frying pan and fry pierogi until crispy.
- Serve with chopped parsley, fried onions and chili flakes.
*the pierogi become crispiest in an iron cast pan.