Ricotta and Spinach Filling for Fresh Pasta

Ricotta and spinach pasta filling in a bowl; pasta dough being filled to make ravioli

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
100 Calories
7g Fat
3g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 100
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 8%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 40mg 13%
Sodium 286mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 179mg 14%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 187mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Ravioli and tortellini hold a special place in our hearts. Being one of the ultimate comfort foods, pasta, in its many forms, is a go-to for many households. Topped or filled, it can be served so many ways for lunch or dinner that you never have to get bored with it.

Few flavor combinations for pasta are as delightful as spinach and ricotta cheese. Use this filling for fresh ravioli, tortellini, and other filled types of fresh pasta for a delicious meal that's both simple and sensational.


Click Play to See This Tasty Ricotta and Spinach Filling Come Together

"This recipe was super straightforward, tasty, and perfect for a homemade ravioli or lasagna filling. I happen to love spinach in my pasta dishes, and I will use this recipe over and over again." —Tracy Wilk

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

  • 10 ounces spinach, cleaned and trimmed

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for ricotta and spinach pasta filling recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Set a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or a couple of paper towels over a bowl. Add the ricotta and allow it to strain out excess liquid for 5 to 10 minutes as you continue with the prep.

    Ricotta draining in a metal strainer lined with paper towels placed over a large bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Boil a large saucepan of salted water. Plunge the spinach in to blanch it, then remove it 30 seconds later.

    Spinach leaves blanched in a saucepan with water

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Drain and cool the spinach under cold running water to stop the cooking.

    Blanched spinach draining in a metal colander

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Finely chop the drained spinach.

    Blanched spinach chopped on a cutting board with a chef's knife

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga 

  6. In a medium bowl, combine the chopped spinach with ricotta cheese, egg, Parmesan cheese, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Thick, dense spinach and ricotta filling in a bowl with a cooking spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

How to Use Ricotta and Spinach Filling

  • Use to fill the pasta immediately, or refrigerate for up to one day before using.
  • When filling ravioli or tortellini, add a small mound to the center of the pasta. Depending on the size of your dough, this can be 1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling. Don't overfill, since the pasta won't stay sealed while it is being boiled.
  • Seal the edges with a little water and press out any air. Boil the ravioli or tortellini for just a few minutes, or until they float.
  • This recipe makes enough filling for about 50 small ravioli.
  • If you have extra ricotta and spinach filling or don't get around to making homemade ravioli, use the filling to make calzones, as a lasagna layer, or combine with a little pasta water to make a creamy pasta sauce.

Recipe Variations

  • Use Swiss chard or kale in place of spinach.
  • Add some garlic. After blanching and chopping the spinach, heat 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil in a large skillet with 1 teaspoon minced garlic. When the garlic softens, stir in the spinach.
  • Stir in 2 tablespoons minced prosciutto or cooked pancetta. Adjust the seasonings if necessary.

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