Fantastic finger food to feed a crowd, especially when you're hosting a party! Spinach and ricotta rolls are easy to make and a great option for your vegetarian guests. Make sure to roll with thawed puff pastries to avoid any cracks!
To my fellow Sydney readers who are currently in lockdown, these are a great mid-arvo snack option. #isobake. Otherwise, save this recipe for when we can safely invite guests over!
In the meantime, if you're down for more baking, give this Aussie classic Cheese and Bacon Rolls a go!
- Fresh spinach is preferred as most of you would agree, sauteed spinach with garlic tastes amazing. Can use either baby spinach or English spinach. Lazy substitute (albeit a tad less tasty): frozen spinach (no need to saute, just thaw and squeeze out juices.
- Sesame seeds add an aromatic, nutty taste to the spinach and ricotta rolls. Fun substitute: poppy seeds.
- Parmesan cheese I'm a huge advocate of grating your own at home. Not only is it more economical, they just taste and melt perfectly. Store-bought grated parmesan contains anti-caking agent which means they don't melt as well and can get grainy.
Step by step instructions
Prepare the spinach and ricotta filling
To prepare the spinach and ricotta filling, simply saute the spinach, squeeze out the spinach juices then mix with ricotta, parmesan cheese, spring onions, salt and pepper.
Easy yet delicious. The nutty and umami-packed (savouriness) parmesan cheese adds a layer of complexity to the contrasting mild and creamy ricotta cheese.
Squeezing out as many liquids as possible is crucial to puffy and flaky spinach and ricotta rolls. Otherwise, the bottom of the pastry will get soggy and doughy.
By roughly chopping the spinach just before combining it with the rest of the filling ingredients breaks it up and avoids the odd stringy bites.
Roll it up and bake
To begin, cut 2 puff pastries into half, forming 4 long rectangle sheets. Just like rolling a sausage roll, spread the filling (¼th per sheet) onto the puff pastry in a long log shape. Like image #5 below. Don't miss the ends!
Now, brush one end of the sheet with whisked egg to help seal the rolls then cut each log into 3 even pieces. This will makes 12 mini rolls.
Neatly place the rolls onto a lined baking tray, ensuring gaps in between to allow for puffing room. Brush with more egg and generously sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake at 210°C/410°F for about 25 minutes or until gloriously golden.
Once baked, transfer the rolls onto a cooling rack to allow any excess steam (from the spinach) to escape. This will ensure the bottoms stay crispy!
Tips for making this perfect every time
- Let the puff pastries thaw fully before rolling. Otherwise, they'll crack (like the last one in step by step image #10)!
- Do not overstuff the rolls. What happens? They pretty much break open in the oven (trust me, been there, done that). You can avoid this by equally dividing the filling in this recipe by 4 (a quarter of the filling per sheet).
- Really get in there and squeeze as much spinach juices out as possible. This is key to flaky rolls and no soggy bottoms.
- Before rolling, taste the filling and make sure there's enough salt and pepper. Seasoning is important!
Good to know (FAQs)
No, not when making these puff pastry rolls. Cottage cheese has a much high water content which would make these rolls soggy.
Reheat in the oven at 210°C/410°F for about 5 minutes will do the trick!
Up to 5 days in the fridge and up to 6 months in the freezer. Make sure to store in an airtight container
Absolutely! However, do saute the mushrooms beforehand and evaporate excess liquids in the pan (as above, no soggy bottoms). Be mindful of not over stuffing the pastries. If adding extra ingredients, offset with less ricotta or spinach.
If you've got leftover ricotta cheese, here are some ideas:
- make spinach and ricotta cannelloni later on the week
- bake an Italian style cheesecake
- add it to a creamy pasta bake (such as lasagna)
- make ricotta pancakes!
Made this recipe? Let me know your thoughts or questions by dropping a note in the comments section below! I'd love to hear from you 🙂
Happy baking and eating! - Gen
Spinach and Ricotta Rolls
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry thawed (note 1)
- 1 egg whisked
- sesame seeds substitute: poppy seeds
- 280 g /10oz baby spinach leaves about 7 big handfuls
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Spinach and ricotta filling
- sauteed spinach (above) juice squeezed out
- 375 g /13oz ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (note 2)
- 1 bulb spring onion finely chopped
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 210°C/410°F (190°C/370°F fan-forced).
- Saute spinach with garlic and olive oil in a large pan until just wilted. About 1 minute.
- Remove spinach into a bowl and when cool enough to do so, squeeze out as many liquids as possible with your (clean!) hands. Reserve or discard spinach liquids. (note 3) Roughly chop squeezed spinach.
- In a large bowl, combine spinach and ricotta filling and mix until well combined. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
- To assemble the rolls, cut each puff pastry sheet with a sharp knife by half, into two long rectangles.
- Spread ¼ of the filling onto each rectangle sheet in a log form, lengthways. Brush egg onto the opposite end. Roll up like a large cigar and seal. Repeat for remaining 3.
- Cut each rolled pastry into 3 equal pieces, making 12 small rolls. Place onto a lined baking tray, seam side down. Ensure wiggle room between each roll as they will puff up!
- Brush each rolls with whisked egg and generously sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes or until deep golden.