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Gluten Free Pizza Rolls and Toasted Ravioli

Okay, here it is!  This is so exciting for me, I never imagined being able to enjoy toasted ravioli again.  Not only is the toasted ravioli in the above photo gluten-free, but it is also allergy-friendly too!

This post is now linked to a great series that the lovely Jenn (a chemist!) over at Jenn Cuisine is doing called Gluten Free Substitutions. Seriously, who better than a scientist to teach us about the craziness called gluten-free baking?? :-D

The first time I had toasted ravioli was about 10 years ago, 5 years before my celiac diagnosis.  Mike and I had found a little hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant when we were still dating, and we quickly became regulars.  One night, we splurged on toasted ravioli and cheap Chianti, you know the type that comes in a straw-wrapped bottle?  While I can’t say the wine was anything to rave about (especially given the morning-after headache I had), the toasted raviolis were another matter.  One bite into the deep-fried puffy pocket of pasta dough, filled with seasoned ground beef and dipped in homemade marinara sauce and I was over the moon.  Mike often teases me that he thinks I kept dating him because of all the toasted ravioli and cheap wine.  Maybe, I say with a wink.

Actually, I would definitely say that those nights in the dimly lit Italian restaurant were the setting for the beginning of a true love affair, and I had no idea at the time what an amazing journey I was about to go on with the most compassionate and selfless man I have ever known.

When I was handed my celiac diagnosis in 2005, I seriously mourned the loss of that Italian restaurant.  Not necessarily for the toasted ravioli, but for the precious memories that I would never be able to relive with my husband.  I also felt guilty.  Guilty that by default, my husband had lost the chance to relive those memories too.  Want to hear something funny?  I felt so guilty that I actually told my husband to leave me, so he could go find someone else that he could enjoy toasted raviolis and cheap Chianti with, LOL!  Yep, I was in the dark pit of emotional hell back then.  Luckily for me, Mike had a much healthier attitude towards food and life than I did at the time and his positive outlook and support brought me back, only as a new and improved version of my former self.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to try and make my own gluten-free toasted ravioli, but I presume it had to do with never having made homemade pasta in my life, let alone stuffed pasta!  I assumed it would be time consuming and challenging given the nature of gluten-free flours, but I could not have been more wrong!  Pasta dough is different from the batter based doughs that are typical in gluten-free baking.  There is not a lot of moisture in pasta dough, which makes it really easy to work with.

You don’t even need to invest in expensive pasta machines or ravioli presses (unless you are a kitchen gadget addict like me).  Simply roll out the pasta dough, cut into desired shapes, add a little bit of filling, fold over the dough, wet the edges, press, seal and Tada!  You have made ravioli.  Easy peasy my friends, I promise. :-D

I think Mike and I fell in love all over again this weekend, only this time, sans the cheap Chianti headache and the toxic toasted ravioli, LOL!

To make the ravioli, I used the gluten-free, allergy-friendly pasta dough (click the link for the recipe).  I also used this recipe as my guide for beef ravioli filling.  I will re-post the recipe here so I can note my substitutions in an easier to understand format.

Beef Ravioli Filling

1/2 lb. Ground Beef (or use ground chicken or turkey.  I also think making a ground up mushroom paste would be tasty!)

1 small Onion, minced (I used about 1/2 cup)

1 Garlic Clove, minced (I just grated the garlic clove with a microplane grater)

1/4 cup minced Parsley (I was out of fresh parsley, so I just added 1 Tbs. each of dried Basil and dried Oregano)

2 Tbs. grated Parmesan Cheese (omit for dairy-free)

Salt, to taste (what’s great about making your own is that you can control the amount and type of salt you use; low-sodium salt is a great alternative.  If you are using the grated Parmesan cheese, you don’t need as much, since it is a salty cheese).

1 Egg, beaten (use 1 ‘Flax Egg’ to make egg-free)

In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook meat, onion, and garlic until all pan juices evaporate, onion is tender, and meat is browned.

Remove skillet from heat; stir in parsley or other herbs, cheese if you are using it, and salt to taste, then egg or flax-egg.

Cover and refrigerate filling until you are ready to use it.

The following is my attempt at a photo tutorial for making ravioli without special pasta gadgets (I just used a rolling pin so my ravioli were a little thicker than it would have been had I used my pasta roller, which can get the dough pretty thin). To see a video tutorial by an actual professional making fresh ravioli, click here (just pretend he is working with gluten-free dough…lest you start to “itch” like I did simply by looking at his toxic ball of gluten)! :mrgreen:

Depending on the size of the ravioli you are making, place a small amount of filling (1/2 tsp. – 1 tsp.) on the dough (right below the half-way point).  Moisten the edges of the dough with water.

Yes, I made my ravioli one by one…I will definitely go with the long sheet method next time!

Fold the dough over the filling and press on the sides to seal the ravioli (if you don’t get a good seal, your filling will leak out when you cook them).

I trimmed the edges to make them look a little nicer…

Super Simple Ravioli (above).

Yes, that’s right…I used my decorative paper scissors to beautify my spotted ravioli!  :-D This batch of pasta dough is spotted because of the flax egg I used.

At this point you can add the ravioli to some lightly salted boiling water and cook for just 2 – 3 minutes.  Drain and top with your favorite sauce:

OR, skip the boiling water and make toasted raviolis instead!

I used this recipe by Giada De Laurentis as my instructional guide, and just made the appropriate ingredient substitutions, super simple!

Substitution Suggestions:

  • Instead of using buttermilk as the dredging liquid, I just used water (Alisa, over at Go Dairy Free has a recipe for Dairy-Free Buttermilk that you might want to try), or, if you do not have an egg allergy, you could also dip the raviolis in an egg wash.
  • Kim, over at Cook It Allergy Free recently shared a recipe for Meatloaf Muffins and she used gluten-free pretzels (instead of breadcrumbs), I bet the pretzels would also make a great coating for toasted ravioli!

Not in the mood for toasted ravioli?  Well, how about some pizza rolls instead?

To make the pizza filling, I followed this recipe for Easy Homemade Pizza Rolls that I found on the Better Batter Gluten Free Flour website.  I simply swapped the mozzarella cheese for Daiya’s Mozzarella Shreds, used Applegate Farms Pepperoni, which are gluten-free and casein-free.  I made my own pizza sauce (for the first time ever), using this recipe that I found on AllRecipes.com.  It is so simple, you don’t even cook it!  Everyone thought it tasted just like Ragu pizza sauce, but because you make it yourself, you remove the risk of cross contamination! :-D

Are there any particular gluteny foods that you miss due to the special memories surrounding them?  If so, would love to hear about them!

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Comments

  1. Heidi,

    The recipe looks beautiful and all, but my favorite part is the picture of you and your husband. Love it :)

  2. Iris says:

    Those look wonderful! I actually really miss tortellini, which my mom used to pack in my school lunches when I was little (ahem…by little, I mean high school). I know what you mean about feeling guilty too. It's hard when you can't go to your special places anymore. It's great that you were able to recreate that special place in your own home.

    • Thanks Iris.

      Wanna hear something even weirder than your mom packing your lunch in high school? (I mean the word "weird" in the best way! At my high school, everyone left campus and went to Taco Bell for pure junk food, I can't think of anyone who even attempted to eat a healthy lunch. I think we need to make "weird" the new "cool")!

      I have NEVER had a tortellini in my life! It was one of things that I never got around to trying, I bet we could figure out how to make them gluten-free though! :-D

  3. What a charming, fabulous post, Heidi! I love that you shared some of you and your husband's story and that photo–sweet. :-)

    Now as far as the recipes, soon nobody will have to visit any other blogs … you've got everything one wants right here! I never had toasted ravioli before, but now I sure want some. ;-) Now, pizza rolls were always a favorite of mine. Just call yourself the dream fulfiller!

    xoxo,

    Shirley

    • Thank you Shirley. I recently realized that I have not talked about him much. I guess I always figured that no one would be interested in the details of my personal life, but this is my personal blog after all, and it's been missing something without much mention of the man who makes this beautiful glutadoodle life of ours even possible. ;-)

      xo,
      Heidi

  4. trish says:

    OMG, Heidi! They look AMAZING! I can totally understand your excitement! I can't wait to try them. Once upon a time (pre-celiac) I had toasted ravioli filled with Nutella. After I try yours, I might have some of those for dessert! Thanks so much!

    -trish

    • Hi Trish!

      Nutella ravioli!? OMG, that sounds so freakin' good!!

      I was also thinking that a cinnamon apple filling or…oh, oh, oh (sorry, this just came to me)…did you ever have that apple cheesecake chimichanga "thingamajig" from Applebees? Okay, I need to put that out of my mind right now and stay focused on my current projects first (gotta love ADD)! :-D

  5. Shelly says:

    Wow, these look sooooo fantastic! I've been wanting to make toasted ravioli since I tried them in a restaurant years ago, but wasn't sure how the kids would like them. Then my son was diagnosed with Celiac and I figured that was the end of that. He's a bit of a picky eater, and I've been telling him it's time to expand his palate. He likes to help me cook, so I think we've found our weekend project! Thanks – and I love the picture of you are your hubby. I can just see the little cartoon hearts floating above your heads!

  6. Casey says:

    It's not even 7am and my mouth is watering. I am totally trying this once we move and get unpacked and I have time. They look time consuming but delish! Did I notice grated cheese on top? What brand did you use? (we're dairy and soy free too so I haven't seen one that is both).

    • Casey,

      I'm really sorry to say this, but my photo is a bit misleading…the cheese you see is on the toasted Ravioli was from my plate and it is real Parmesan cheese (everything else about the ravioli was dairy-free though).

      I'm so sorry (but my search is on to find something dairy-free, casein-free and soy-free that is equally as tasty. I'll definitely let everyone know if I find something!

      xo,
      Heidi

    • Casey,

      The took some time to make the first time around, but after that (and getting creative with the scissors), it was really quick!

      The cheese was the real stuff (it was mine, not Luke's). I am on the lookout for a dairy-free and soy-free alternative. I heard that a lot of people like Nutritional Yeast Flakes…???

  7. Michelle Olejar says:

    Love the post, this one is bookmarked! Your dough turned out drier than mine, as a definite "redo" for me is in order. I have to figure out what I did wrong. I did attempt to put it through the machine, and I couldn't get it too thin because it was a little sticky. I love the pizza rolls and the ravioli. Thanks Heidi for this wonderful recipe! Ravioli is one of my favorite meals and I thought I was going to have to say good bye to it forever.

    Just a note: I bet you could also use this dough for pierogi's and pot stickers.

    • Michelle,

      Just remember, go slow on the water, 1 tbs. at a time and check the consistency before adding more.

      Pierogi and pot stickers are on my shortlist of things to try. I also think possibly Crab Rangoons!

  8. Maggie says:

    Heidi! Your boys don't know how lucky they are. Though it looks like Mike does :) This ravioli looks amazing and thanks for suggesting the mushroom filling. What a good and yummy idea. This recipe is totally up Pete's alley. I think I'll get him to make some this weekend. He rolls the spring rolls and makes the pancakes. I have no patience for these types of duties!

    • Heidi, I agree with Erin. I just LOVE that picture of you and Mike! How perfect!

      And for all of these ideas! You are just amazing! I cannot wait to give these a try.

      I am like Maggie and love the idea of the mushroom filling! Yum!

      I am so going to be making raviolis this weekend!

      You, my friend, are doing wonderful things over here at Adventures of a GF Mom!!

      xoxo

      • Thanks Kim! And I want to try the mushroom filling too…ohhh, what about a basil mushroom pesto with walnuts (I'm now scared of pine nuts, LOL)?!

        Please let me know how the raviolis go and feel free to call me when you are in total toasted ravioli bliss, and you impulsively decide to have another child, just so you can name one after me (or you could just get another dog and name it "glutadoodle"), hehe.

        xoxo,
        Heidi

    • Maggie,

      Thank you, but I think I am the one who got lucky. :-D

      Please let me know when you come up with a yummy mushroom filling recipe, I will definitely want to make it!

      xo,
      Heidi

  9. Lisa V says:

    Looks like I have a cooking project for this weekend… These will freeze great to have on hand too!

  10. Kristen says:

    Those look delicious! When can I come over so you can make me some? I need some cheap Chianti and some toasted ravioli right about now. Also, cute picture of you guys!

  11. Toasted ravioli in New Mexico? I thought everywhere (outside of St. Louis, where it originated), if they have it at all, called it fried ravioli!

    This is way beyond my cooking skills, but you make it look so easy!

    • Yep, toasted ravioli in NM (not sure where the restaurant owners originated from though…maybe St. Louis?).

      I promise, these are really easy…I know you can do it (especially if you really want one). :-D

  12. kelly says:

    Looks amazing Heidi!!! I tried to check out this post last night and your site was soooo busy I couldn't see it!!! It was worth the wait. You continue to outdo yourself. I LOVE the photo of you and Mike. =0)

  13. Oh my! I was in St. Louis a while back and everyone at the table was enjoying fried ravioli – I looked on in envy. Great recipe, thanks!

  14. What am I missing? (Oh the shame!) Pop Tarts.

    Shortly before my (and my 3 kids') gluten intolerance was diagnosed (I merely suspected it) I discovered a "healthier" homemade version. Then I waited until my results came back instead of just making it right away.

    Now my kids keep asking when we'll make GF poptarts, and I've never felt confident/up to it enough.

  15. Jenn says:

    omg these look fantastic!!!! I've never seen ravioli or pizza rolls done this way, this is so creative!!!

  16. Jennifer says:

    I love your site and am so excited to try many of the recipes. Does the pizza rolls and ravioli freeze and reheat well. I make alot in bulk to freeze for family to reheat while I am @ work. And how long is the goldfish good for after makingM thanks

  17. Hi! Just wanted to let you know I included your ravioli in my post "Allergy Friendly Holiday Cocktail Party" today. It looks delicious!

    http://allergyfreecookery.blogspot.com/2011/12/al

    Thanks!

    Lisa @ Allergy Free Vintage Cookery

  18. Chris says:

    This is amazing! Being from St Louis, and being gluten-free toasted ravioli are one of the things that I have been seriously missing! My sister(who also is gluten-free) was just asking me to make her some for Christmas!

  19. Kreativekonfections says:

    I think I’ve missed something witht he toasted ravioli. Do we toast them in the microwave or deep fry them??
    THanks!

  20. Angela Wade says:

    When you rolled your dough out, what did you roll it out on? I tried just plain on the counter with no flour…it stucks after it got rolled down so flat. Then I used flour, which was fine for keeping it from sticking, but the pasta turned out gummy (I read that happens when you have too much flour left on the outside).

    Tips? :)

  21. kate englebrecht says:

    My presentation wasn’t nearly as pretty but it was sooooo good!! thanks for this!

  22. reganmommy says:

    are the pizza rolls fried like the toasted ravioli? or are they baked?

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