Hands-on Time
50 Mins
Total Time
50 Mins
Serves 6 (serving size: 6 dumplings and about 1/4 cup sauce)

Choose a low-moisture ricotta. If you can't shape a loose ball with the cheese, place it in a strainer, and drain the excess liquid for about an hour.

How to Make It

Step 1

Cook spinach in microwave according to package directions; cool slightly. Place spinach in a clean kitchen towel. Squeeze until very dry.

Step 2

Weigh or lightly spoon 5 ounces flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, spinach, ricotta, and next 6 ingredients (through 1 egg) in a medium bowl. Stir gently just until combined.

Step 3

Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour on a baking sheet. Drop ricotta mixture by tablespoonfuls onto floured pan to make about 36 dumplings. Sprinkle dumplings with remaining 1 tablespoon flour, and very gently shape each into a ball; gently roll on pan to lightly coat with flour. (Dumplings can be shaped ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight.)

Step 4

Place marinara in a large skillet over medium heat; cover and keep warm.

Step 5

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add 9 dumplings to water; cook 5 to 6 minutes (do not boil). Remove dumplings from pan with a slotted spoon, and place in marinara; keep warm. Repeat procedure 3 times with remaining dumplings.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.

Ratings & Reviews

disaster dinner

September 22, 2015
I made the recipe as written and my dumplings did not hold together.  To salvage dinner, I just dropped them in the marinara sauce and simmered until cooked through.  Maybe the dumpling needs more flour?

Fun recipe!

September 27, 2015
I was really nervous after reading the first review, but mine turned out great! My ricotta and spinach were really dry. I confess I used full fat ricotta. It was local, and since the calorie count was low anyway I was not deterred. It was time consuming, but so worth it! I was really excited when the little dumplings floated to the top of the water while cooking! Cooking Light, you're the best!

Very Good, But Misleading Directions

November 15, 2018
The flour quantities are very confusing and possibly incorrect. In the ingredients section it says 1.5 ounces flour, and 5 tablespoons flour. But in step 2 it says 5 ounces of flour (which is over a cup). I’m assuming here they mean 1.5 ounces of flour. And in step three it says 1/4 cup flour where as I’m assuming that’s where that 5 tablespoons comes from? That was the ratios I used and they turned out wonderfully. But if I had used 5 ounces of flour they would’ve been extremely dense and I’m sure would not have worked as well. I chilled the dough before cooking it and it worked out really well. I’d say these are definitely on my “to make again” list.The only change I made was to add a little bit of garlic powder because I love garlic (and I used grated parm vs shredded because i like the texture better). Also, be sure to wring out the spinach REALLY well - same for the ricotta... a little cheesecloth or cotton flour sack towel works wonders.

Just No

September 28, 2015
This was tasteless mush - the middle layer of a spinach lasagna at best. What did I expect from cheese soaked in hot water?

Good recipe

September 30, 2015
Mine also turned fine but I added a few steps at the instructions in order to dry well the mixture.1) I dried ricotta in a coffe filter before I add it to the mixture2) Once the mixture was ready I put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to become firmer3) After shaping the dumplings, into the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes againYou get a very good result. Flour them good in order not to be sticky as well. I froze some of them and boiled them later for a few minutes more and the result was great as well :)I used the cooking light marinara recipe and it's very good also.


October 12, 2015
I made these by following the recipe exactly and they turned out great!  I did make them a day ahead and had them in the refrigerator overnight before cooking. They also warm up really well so you can make them the night before or heat up the leftovers.  


October 12, 2015
These were a little weird. I followed the recipe with the exception that I cooked them in chicken stock. Mine help their shape alright and the flavor was good I was just a bit underwhelmed by the final product. If I were to make this again, which I probably won't, I would take the suggestion of the reviewer who refrigerated the dough and dumplings prior to coking. I just did not feel like these were as spectacular as the amount of work and hat went into them. 2.5 stars

For kids only?

September 30, 2016
Didn't read reviews prior to trying. Have to agree with those who described it as messy, time consuming, difficult to form, and overall not worth the effort. Don't know that I'll try again.