Maultaschen (German Stuffed Pasta)

Once You’ve Had Maultaschen, You’ll Want It Again And Again!

Have you ever had Maultaschen? This German stuffed pasta – which translates to “mouth bags” in German – is layers of spiced meat blend and yummy pasta dough.

Like a dumpling, Maultaschen is often referred to as German ravioli and gets served in a simple broth or pan-fried with some butter and fried onions.

This recipe might be a few steps to make, but it’s definitely worth the effort!

three german maultaschen in bowl with beef broth with fried onions on top
Maultaschen served in beef broth!

Maultaschen are actually from the Swabian region of Germany – the same region that gives us recipes like Swabian potato salad and German spaetzle!

However you choose to enjoy them, this recipe whips up a dish that warms you up and fills you up!

Recipe Tips/Substitutions

Maultaschen are traditionally made with “Bratwurstbrät” in addition to ground meat. That’s the contents of a bratwurst sausage. You can easily get this at the butcher in Germany.

Since it is difficult to find in North America, we just make our version with ground beef and pork. The blend of meats tastes just as delicious as versions with Bratwurstbrät (in our opinion).

german maultaschen in bowl with beef broth
Look at those – layers of pasta and meat stuffed inside!

There are another few modifications you can make to the Maultaschen recipe. For example, you can choose to remove the spinach to keep the middle consistency more about the meat.

You can also make the meat blend “finer” by using a food processor or a meat grinder. Speaking of meat, you can also add some smoked meat to give the “stuffing more flavor”.

Traditionally a stale bun is also added to the recipe. We usually do this since we have crusty rolls on hand normally. But in case you don’t usually have rolls at home, you can also add some bread crumbs. Just make sure that they are unflavored!

How to Make Maultaschen – Step by Step Instructions

To make this delicious stuffed pasta dish, you can check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for exact measurements.

For those wanting to follow along with process photos, you can see them below.

If you’ve never made Maultaschen before, following the visuals might be really helpful since you’ll be able to see what each step should look like!

eggs and flour in metallic mixing bowl
Add the ingredients to a mixing bowl.

First, it’s time to make the pasta dough. If you don’t want to make your own you can also use store bought pasta dough and just prepare the filling!

To make the dough, add flour, eggs, salt, and oil to a medium sized mixing bowl.

hand mixer with dough hooks blending dough in silver bowl
Mix the dough together.

Start mixing everything together using the spiral dough hooks of your electric mixer.

Slowly pour in the water and keep mixing for a few minutes.

ball of dough on counter top
Form the dough into a ball.

Towards the end, use your hands to knead the dough for a couple of minutes to get a feel for it. It should have quite an elastic consistency.

Form the dough into a ball and place it back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a dishtowel and set it aside.

piece of bun soaking in bowl of water
Soak the stale bun.

Now it’s time to prepare the filling. If you’re using a stale bun – and not bread crumbs – soak the bun in a small bowl with cold water.

You might have to place something on top of it so that it actually stays underwater. Let it soak until the bun is soft (this might take a few minutes), then squeeze out the water and set it aside.

chopped onion sautéing in black frying pan
Saute the onion.

Also, chop the onion into small pieces and sauté it in a frying pan in approximately one teaspoon of oil until it is translucent.

Remove the pan from the heat and let the onions cool slightly.

raw spinach in silver pot on stove top
Blanch the spinach.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, drop in the washed spinach and boil it for 2-3 minutes.

cooked spinach in strainer in sink
Run the spinach under cold water.

Remove the spinach from the pot and run it under cold water. Then squeeze out the water and chop the spinach into small pieces.

meat blend with egg and spinach in clear glass bowl on counter
Add the ingredients for the filling to a mixing bowl.

Add the ground pork, ground beef, chopped spinach, eggs, chopped parsley, sautéd onion, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to a large mixing bowl. Also, rip the soaked bun into small pieces and add it as well. Alternatively, add the bread crumbs.

meat blend with spinach in bowl mixed with hands
Mix everything together.

Mix everything together with your clean hands. If the mixture feels overly wet, feel free to add some more breadcrumbs.

Place the bowl with the filling in the fridge while you’re rolling out the pasta dough.

maultaschen dough rolled thin on counter with rolling pin behind
Roll out the pasta dough.

You can either roll out the dough using a pasta maker or a rolling pin and lots of flour.

To make it easier for yourself, separate the dough into two parts of equal size.

Take one half and briefly knead it with your hands. Then add (quite a bit of) flour to your countertop and roll out the dough until it is approximately 30 inches by 9 inches in size and quite thin (see photo above for reference).

Be gentle and patient since it can take a while and you don’t want to put holes into your dough. Add more flour as needed, it’ll help.

raw meat blend spread on rolled dough on counter top
Spread the meat mixture onto the dough.

Now, thinly spread half of the meat mixture onto the rolled out pasta dough.

Make sure to leave around 1 inch of space at the top, bottom and sides.

folded dough with raw meat spread inside
Fold the bottom part of the dough.

Fold the long bottom part up – just under halfway. Press down gently. Then tuck in the left and right edges.

folded dough on counter top with flour behind
Fold the dough again.

Fold the large bottom part over again and press down again.

paint brush in hand putting water on raw Maultaschen dough
Brush the edge of the dough with water.

Brush a tiny bit of water onto the top edge without meat and flip it over to “seal the dough”. Once again, press down gently.

maultaschen pasta pockets with wooden spoon pressing down on the dough
Press down with the handle of a wooden spoon.

Now use the handle of a wooden spoon and firmly press down approximately every 2.5 inches.

pizza cutter slicing Maultaschen dough pouches on counter top
Cut the dough.

Then cut the dough along these pressed lines using a pizza cutter or sharp knife.

raw maultaschen stuffed pasta sitting on counter top
Maultaschen waiting to be boiled.

Press down along the edges of the small Maultaschen again, if necessary.

However, you don’t need to worry if some of them don’t close – the filling shouldn’t spill out during boiling if you are gentle.

Repeat the same steps with the second half of the pasta dough and the meat mixture.

dunking maultaschen pasta into boiling water with straining spoon
Cook the stuffed pasta in simmering water.

Bring a large pot with lightly salted water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low once boiling so that the water is just simmering.

Add the first batch of Maultaschen to the pot. Let them sit in the hot water for approximately 15-20 minutes until done.

Gently run a wooden spoon along the bottom of the pot every once in a while to make sure no Maultaschen are sticking to the bottom.

lifting maultaschen from silver pot on stove with straining spoon
Remove the filled pasta with a straining spoon.

When they rise to the top, you know they are (almost) done.

Let them sit in the hot water for a couple more minutes, then remove the Maultaschen with a straining spoon.

bowl of maultaschen meat pasta with broth and onions
We finished our Maultaschen with a little chopped parsley and those fried onions!

Serve the Maultaschen in hot vegetable or beef broth – as seen above. Or pan fry them in some butter and serve them with “melted onions” (onions that are gently fried in butter with water being added every once in a while until the onions are nicely golden brown).

Storage Tips

You can store cooked Maultaschen in a sealed container or in a sealed bag in the fridge for a couple of days. Just make sure that they have cooled first and are relatively dry.

You can reheat them in the microwave or in a pot of hot water. Alternatively you can pan fry them in butter.

If you have lots of cooked Maultaschen left over, you can also freeze them. Let them cool first, then place them on a small cookie sheet or similar and place that in your freezer for an hour or so. Make sure that the pastas are not touching.

After an hour, when they are already pretty frozen, you can transfer them to a sealed bag. Doing it this way will make sure that they are not sticking to each other.

These same steps (minus letting them cool) also work when you want to freeze raw, uncooked Maultaschen.

If you are wondering how do you cook frozen Maultaschen, you simply remove them from the bag and place them in simmering water until they are fully cooked (when frozen raw) or reheated (when frozen cooked).

FAQ

What is a Maultaschen?

Maultaschen is a German stuffed pasta traditionally filled with meat and spinach – and served in a hot broth or fried in butter. It is also referred sometimes to as a German ravioli.

What does Maultaschen mean?

In English, Maultaschen literally means “mouth bags”.

What kind of dough can you use for Maultaschen?

You can use pasta dough to make Maultaschen. This is a dough made from flour, eggs, salt, oil, and water.

What do you eat with Maultaschen?

Maultaschen are commonly served on their own in two ways: in a hot broth – like beef or vegetable – or fried in butter with fried onions. You can serve them with a green salad on the side.

Related Recipes

If you are looking for more hearty and meaty German recipes, try out these ones:

german maultaschen in bowl with beef broth

Maultaschen

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Maultaschen - also known as German Stuffed Pasta - are definitely worth the effort. These mouthwatering "mouth bags" filled with ground meat, spinach, and onion are served in a hot broth or fried in butter and served with fried onions!

Ingredients

The Pasta Dough

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 medium-sized eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup + 1-2 tablespoons water, lukewarm

The Filling

  • 7 oz spinach
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 bun, stale or 3 tablespoons bread crumbs, unflavored
  • 2 medium-sized eggs
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions

  1. First, make the pasta dough (alternatively you can buy pre-made pasta dough). For that, mix the flour, eggs, salt, oil, and water first using the spiral dough hooks of your electric mixer. Then - towards the end when the dough is better mixed - use your hands. Keep kneading with your hands until the dough has an elastic consistency. Then form it into a ball and set it back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a dishtowel and set it aside.
  2. Now, it's time for the filling. If you're using a stale bun for the bread component, soak it in water for a few minutes until soft. You might have to place something onto the bun so it stays underwater. Squeeze out the excess water and set it aside.
  3. Finely chop the onion and sauté it in a frying pan in one teaspoon of oil until translucent. Remove the pan from the heat and let the onions cool slightly.
  4. Wash the spinach, then boil it for 2-3 minutes in a pot of water. Remove it from the pot and run the spinach under cold water. Squeeze out the water, then chop the spinach into small pieces.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground pork, ground beef, chopped spinach, eggs, chopped parsley, and sautéd onion. Also, rip the soaked bun into small pieces and add it - or add the breadcrumbs. Finally, add salt, pepper, and nutmeg and mix everything together using your clean hands. If the mixture is overly wet, add a few more breadcrumbs. When you're happy with the consistency, place the bowl with the meat mixture in the fridge.
  6. Now it's time to roll out the pasta dough. You can either do that by using a pasta maker or rolling it out by hand using a rolling pin and lots of flour. To make it easier, separate the dough into two parts of equal size. Use one half and briefly knead it with your hands. Then add flour to your countertop and roll it out until it is approximately 30 inches by 9 inches in size and quite thin. This might take a while - add more flour as needed.
  7. Thinly spread half of the meat mixture onto the rolled out pasta dough, leaving at least 1 inch of space at the top, bottom and sides. Now fold the long bottom part over, just under halfway, and press down. Now tuck in the left and right edges. Fold the long bottom part over again and press down again. Brush some water onto the top edge without meat and flip it over to "seal the dough".
  8. Now use the handle of a wooden spoon and firmly press down approximately every 2.5 inches. Then cut the dough along these pressed lines using a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Press down along the edges of the small Maultaschen again, if necessary. However, you don't need to worry if some of them don't close - the filling shouldn't spill out during boiling if you are gentle. Repeat the same steps with the second half of the pasta dough and the meat mixture.
  9. Bring a large pot with salted water to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low once boiling so that the water is just simmering. Add the first batch of Maultaschen to the pot (don't add too many, they need enough space to float to the top) and let them sit in the hot water for approximately 15-20 minutes until done. Gently run a wooden spoon along the bottom of the pot every once in a while to make sure no Maultaschen are sticking to the bottom. When they rise to the top, you know they are (almost) done. Let them sit in the hot water for a couple more minutes, then remove the Maultaschen with a straining spoon.
  10. Serve the Maultaschen in hot vegetable or beef broth (just place the Maultaschen on a deep plate, pour a little hot broth over them) or fry them in some butter and serve with "melted" onions (onions that are gently fried in butter with some water added every once in a while until the onions are nicely golden brown).

Notes

  • Don't put too much filling on the dough or else it will be very hard to fold and close properly.
  • Be gentle when you are boiling the Maultaschen - place them in gently and remove them gently, too.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 594Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 206mgSodium: 730mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 33g

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice. The exact values can vary depending on the specific ingredients used.

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