Health Tips > Recipes > Appetizers > Spinach Ricotta Dumplings

Spinach Ricotta Dumplings

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  • 2 10 oz. packages frozen spinach, chopped
  • 1/3 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp. fresh garlic puree
  • Pinch of black pepper and oregano
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon, dissolved in as little water as possible
  • Nutmeg, to taste (optional)
  • 1/3 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce (recipe follows), or use a healthy commercial spaghetti sauce

Directions (Marinara Sauce):

  1. In a blender combine three cups peeled and coarsely chopped tomatoes, 1/4 cup white wine, 1 teaspoon pureed garlic, oregano and pepper to taste (add salt if desired). 
  2. Blend to a slightly chunky consistency. 
  3. Pour into pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce just comes to a boil. Makes about three cups.


  1. Defrost and squeeze out all excess moisture in frozen spinach.  Place spinach in a large bowl and add all remaining ingredients except the marinara sauce. 
  2. Using a large spoon, mix well. Adjust amount of bread crumbs or egg whites as necessary to achieve a cohesive mixture. 
  3. Chill well to improve the consistency.
  4. Using your hands, roll chilled mixture into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter (or smaller, if desired).
  5. Arrange the dumplings in a shallow baking pan so they do not touch each other. 
  6. Place in a moderate oven (325-325 degrees) and set a pan of hot water on a lower shelf to steam the dumplings and prevent them from drying out.
  7. Bake about 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden. 
  8. They may be served immediately with marinara sauce. However, for moister dumplings, cool them slightly, then cover with marinara sauce, and let sit for an hour or more so they absorb some of the tomato juices.
  9. Reheat before serving. Makes approximately 50 small meat balls.

Nutritional Analysis:

Yield: 12 servings, four to five balls per serving

Calories: 68
Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Protein: 5 g
Fiber: 1 g

Recipe provided by Kathy Duran-Thal, RDN, LD, Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services