Here is a complete guide on how to make your own vegan ravioli from scratch! They might take a little extra time to prepare, but they are easier than it seems and super fun to make. This is a completely eggless and dairy-free recipe that combines a cheesy butternut squash filling with a quick and easy vegan bechamel sauce. Makes for soft and delicate ravioli that are loaded with so much flavor. Cannot be compared to store-bought ravioli!
We have had quite some fun making this vegan ravioli recipe for the blog!
Soft, tender, sweet & savory squash ravioli garnished with a flavorful vegan bechamel is what I call a successful homemade dinner! Making your own vegan ravioli from scratch can be a little messy and requires some hands-on prep/cooking time. But they are SO SO good. Totally worth the extra effort! Plus they are really fun to make.
And you don't even need any special equipment! If you have a pasta maker, then perfect, it will be even easier and quicker. But, I'll show you how I make them: no pasta press machine nor a ravioli cutter needed. They might not look perfect the first time you make them, but rustic and delicious ravioli entirely made from scratch is always better than store-bought, no matter how they look.
But first, please don't be intimidated by the whole process. I'll walk you through step-by-step so you can succeed right from the first time you make them. And once you master preparing the ravioli dough, then the sky is the limit! Fill them with whatever you like, such as vegan ricotta, spinach or mushrooms. And switch up the sauce for marinara, vegan pesto, classic butter-sage, etc. Really, there are no rules. They barely need a sauce, they are so good.
I chose to stuff my ravioli with a cheesy butternut squash filling and then garnish with an ultra simple vegan bechamel. The combination of flavors is outstanding! The creamy white sauce blending with the flavorful squash purée is simply the BEST combo, in my book anyway. Butternut squash is amazing blended into a smooth sauce to make a hidden vegetable mac and cheese or to turn into creamy squash soups, but I kept it in a coarse mash to stuff these ravioli with and it was perfect.
The recipe requires to make a ravioli dough + a ravioli filling + preparing the bechamel. The eggless ravioli dough is REALLY simple, requiring only flour, a tiny bit of oil and water. Completely made without eggs, yet so soft and smooth. Then, the most important step: it needs to be kneaded for a little while to create that delicate ravioli texture.
Once the dough is ready, then its where the real fun begins: crafting the ravioli!
You will have to roll the dough ultra thin and then scatter the filling over. Top with more dough, slice to isolate the ravioli and seal their edges. They only require a quick boil to be cooked through and then serve with your fav sauce.
I recommend you make these ravioli when you are not in a rush to put dinner on the table, so you can really enjoy the whole process without stress. Maybe even while sipping on a glass of wine.
Perfect dinner for romantic dates-in such as Valentine's day, but also great for when you have guests over so everyone can help out or try making them with your kids (only if you can handle the mess)!
Happy ravioli making ❤️
Vegan ravioli dough without eggs
Many fresh pasta dough recipes will include eggs to help create a dough that's smooth, well hydrated and silky.
But, you can make fresh pasta dough without using any eggs at all! Some classic pasta recipes from Italy actually don't include eggs, plus, pasta dough without eggs became normality during wars when eggs were rare. So, egg-free fresh noodles are totally possible and delicious too.
The secret to make fresh pasta without eggs is to knead the dough VERY well. I made this recipe a bunch and each time I would knead longer and better, which gave me improved ravioli each time. I even asked my husband to take over kneading the last time I made them so the dough could be worked really well.
So try to put some more people to work if you can. Knead for a while, take a break, knead again, etc, until the dough is ultra smooth, soft and also bounces back when poked. This means the gluten was well worked. Taking your time to knead will create better ravioli, but also will help you roll the dough thinner. I took a fresh pasta class back when living in Seattle and it feels like the Chef made us knead the dough forever!
Ingredients you'll need
For the pasta dough
- Flour: I used all purpose flour. I haven't tried using whole wheat flour, but I'm thinking it would make the dough too tough and more difficult to manipulate.
- Olive oil: you will only need a small amount for the whole recipe, but it will help create a soft dough.
- + Water: simply use room temperature water.
For the butternut squash ravioli filling
- Butternut squash: use fresh or frozen.
- Yellow onion + garlic: for flavor. Can also use shallots.
- Nutritional yeast: optional, but adds a delicious cheesy and umami flavor to the filling.
- Apple cider vinegar: its tanginess balances the overall flavor.
- Maple syrup: add more or less depending on your taste. Butternut squash is already sweet, so taste as you add more. I usually add only 1 teaspoon.
- Dried thyme: You can use other dried herbs if you prefer, but thyme and squash work so well together.
How to make them
Prepare the fresh ravioli dough
In a large bowl, combine the flour, olive oil and water. Stir well until it creates a shaggy ball of dough and looks mostly combined.
Then, transfer on a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for a minimum of 5 minutes, but I usually knead for about 10 minutes. The dough should become ultra smooth and not tacky anymore.
Transfer the ball of dough back in the bowl and cover with a damp towel for about 30 minutes.
Make the butternut squash filling
While the dough is resting, make the filling. Start by cooking the onion in a large pan until tender, then add the squash, garlic and dried thyme. Stir and cook on medium heat until the vegetables are soft, but not mushy. If needed, add some water to the pan once in a while to help steam the squash (I use about ½-3/4 cup total), especially if using fresh vegetables instead of frozen.
Once the vegetables are done, then keep on the stove until the water mostly evaporates. Then, remove from the heat and add the nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and a good pinch of salt. Use a potato masher (or a large fork) and mash the mixture right into the pan to a coarse purée. Set aside to cool down until ready to use.
Craft the ravioli
Slice your ball of dough in 4 mostly equal parts. Transfer 2 balls back in your bowl and cover. Roll the other 2 balls on a floured surface until ultra thin. Aim for a rectangulari-ish shape and try to roll the 2 balls about the same size. You want it to be super thin for a delicate ravioli texture, but not that thin that you can't manipulate without breaking it.
Once you have 2 thin sheets of dough rolled out, scatter the filling over the smaller sheet. Use 1 tablespoon for each ravioli and keep at least 2 inches in between them so you have enough space for sealing the ravioli.
Once the filling is distributed, then lift the other rolled sheet of dough (the larger one) and place over. Allow some of the dough to fall in between the filling.
Then, slice in between the ravioli (I like to use a pizza cutter!). Dust some more flour as you go so they don't stick. Then, one ravioli at the time, press around the filling to remove the trapped air and then seal the edges using a fork. Transfer the floured ravioli on a plate and set aside. Repeat the whole process with the other 2 balls of dough.
Once the raviolis are all done, let them dry out for a little. I usually make my bechamel sauce during that time.
Make the sauce
I love making my vegan bechamel sauce when serving these ravioli.
Boil and serve
Bring a large pot of water to boil and simmer the ravioli for about 2-3 minutes or until they float to the surface. Be gentle with them so they don't break! Use a large slotted spoon to remove them from the water: don't pour in a colander to drain as they might break!
Serve with the bechamel sauce and sprinkle freshly ground black pepper over. Enjoy!
Watch how to make it
- When rolling the dough, be sure to flour the surface! Trust me, I learned from experience! I initially thought that not using flour would help my dough stick to the counter and prevent it from bouncing back to me. But, it really stuck to my counter, I couldn’t remove it at all! Instead, be sure to knead your dough very well and give it a nice resting time, and you won't have any problem rolling it.
- Before sealing the ravioli with a fork, be sure to remove the air that's trapped inside. Air will expand when boiling, which can make your ravioli break/explode while cooking (see video).
- Don't over cook your ravioli! They are gentle and you don't want to end up with a mushy meal.
- Allow the ravioli to dry out a bit before simmering. I like to make them all, dust them with extra flour and let them hang out on the counter while I make the sauce and boil the water.
Shaping your vegan ravioli
There are many other ways to shape your ravioli! Shape them in circles, triangles, half moons or even into dumplings.
I like to spread the filling over the whole surface of the dough, then cover and slice in between, etc. I feel like I'm being more productive that way. But, you can also slice the sheet of dough into many circles, squares, etc and then add the filling over, top with another layer and seal. Does that make sense? Kind of crafting each ravioli one at the time.
As mentioned before, keep this recipe in mind when you feel like experimenting in the kitchen. Make the ravioli dough as is, but change up the filling and the sauce, there are so many great combos!
Ravioli filling ideas: mushroom, spinach, vegan ricotta, pumpkin, kale, sun-dried, tofu, tomatoes, vegan feta, olives, etc. If you have the time, you can choose different filling and have more than one flavored ravioli. You can even make Asian style ravioli flavoring mushrooms with ginger, garlic and a little soy sauce.
I have lots of pasta sauce ideas on my blog that would go well with this recipe, but here are a few of my favorites: walnut pesto, cauliflower Alfredo, marinara, cashew cream sauce. Or, go for a more classic ravioli presentation and drizzle a vegan butter sage sauce over your ravioli.
These ravioli actually store pretty well! Try to keep them apart from the sauce when storing, or the pasta dough will absorb it and you will lose a lot of the nice texture. You can keep them in an air-tight container for about 4-5 days. They do stick to each other while storing, so if you want to avoid that, then you might want to rub a little oil in between them.
You can use the microwave to reheat them. But even better: fry them! They will turn golden brown with some crispy edges. It can be a fun way to enjoy your leftovers.
Other vegan pasta recipes you might like
- Vegan creamy avocado pasta
- Tofu bolognese
- Penne pomodoro
- Vegan baked ziti
- Vegan lasagna roll-ups
- Lentil one-pot goulash
- Vegan white sauce lasagna
I hope you like these vegan ravioli as much as we do! If you try them, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how they were. Your feedback is so helpful!
Homemade Vegan Butternut Squash Ravioli
For the ravioli dough
- 3 cups all-purpose wheat flour
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
For the butternut squash filling
- 1 small yellow onion - diced small
- 2 cups butternut squash (fresh or frozen) - diced small
- 2 cloves of garlic - crushed
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 3-4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp maple syrup - or to taste
- salt and pepper - to taste
Vegan bechamel sauce (1 batch)
- Combine the flour, water and oil in a large bowl. Stir until mostly combined (it will become a shaggy ball of dough) and then transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for at least 5-7 minutes, but I recommend for 10 minutes. It should become an ultra smooth ball. Then, transfer back to the bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let the ball rest for 30 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, make the squash filling. Warm up a large pan (with or without oil) and then cook the onion for about 5-7 minutes or until tender. Then, add the butternut squash, thyme, garlic and a good pinch of salt. Cook until the squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Add some water to the pan once in a while if needed to help the squash steam (I use about ½-3/4 cup total of water). When the squash is cooked, let the water almost completely evaporate and then remove from the heat. Add the nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup and use a potato masher or fork to mash the vegetable into a coarse mixture. Taste to adjust seasoning and set aside to cool down.
- Once your dough is done resting, divide it in 4 equal portions. Transfer 2 of the balls back to the bowl and keep them covered. Then, on a floured surface, roll as thin as you can the other 2 balls. Aim to shape them about the same. You want them to be as thin as you can to create soft and delicate ravioli, but not so thin that they break easily when manipulated. If you have a pasta maker, definitively use it! Or do like me and roll by hand. Be sure to dust the dough with enough flour so it does not sticks to the counter.
- Choose the smaller of the 2 sheets you just rolled to distribute the filling over. Use one tablespoon of filling per ravioli and simply scatter the filling all over the sheet of dough keeping a space of at least 2 inches in between.
- Then, lift the other sheet of dough and simply place it over. Try to allow the dough to fall in between each of the filling as much as you can (which is why you need the larger sheet on top).
- Use a knife or a pizza cutter to slice in between the ravioli.
- To seal them, take them one by one and gently press around the edge trying to push the air out that might have been trapped inside. Then, use a fork and seal all around making sure not to leave any gaps. Dust with extra flour and keep going until you sealed all the ravioli. Repeat with the remaining 2 balls of dough. Let the ravioli dry out a little while you prepare the sauce.
- When ready to eat, bring a large pot of water to boil. Then, add the ravioli (in 2 batches if needed) and boil for 2-3 minutes or until they float. Remove them using a slotted spoon (don't pour in a colander, they might break!). Serve with a drizzle of vegan bechamel sauce and sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper over.
- Storage: leftovers store well in the fridge for 4-5 days. Try to keep them apart from the sauce.
- Depending on how thin you roll the dough, you should be able to make 30-40 ravioli.
- Instead of butternut squash, you can fill your ravioli with roasted mushrooms, vegan ricotta (add steamed spinach to it!), pumpkin and so much more.
- Feel free to use store-bought sauce to make the recipe go quicker. Other sauce ideas include marinara sauce, walnut pesto, cauliflower Alfredo and a simple vegan butter sage classic ravioli sauce.
- Be sure to flour the surface before rolling the dough or you might end up with a sticky mess.
- Do not overcook your ravioli!