Similar in shape and made out of similar ingredients, ravioli and pierogi are two definitely similar types of pasta, but they are most certainly not the same. They are close and distant cousins at the same time, sharing the same ancestry, but developed in different directions. So, what are the differences between pierogi and ravioli?
Pierogi are Eastern European, while ravioli are Italian. They use the same dough but contain different fillings and are differently cooked. The traditional ravioli filling is ricotta cheese, and pierogi are filled with potatoes. Both come in many variations.
Both ravioli and pierogi are delicious, but they are different in taste and texture. Some love them both, but others are more inclined towards one or the other. Therefore, in the following paragraphs, I will explain the differences between ravioli and pierogi. Knowing the differences between pierogi and ravioli will save you time and regret ordering the one you don’t like.
Ravioli vs. Pierogi: Differences
Essential differences between pierogi and ravioli are the filing and the cooking method. These differences, consequently, make these two dishes entirely separate, which gives them entirely different uses. In the paragraphs below, I will explain the aspects in which pierogi and ravioli differ.
Even though they seem similar, their appearances still give them out, so it is virtually impossible to mistake pierogi for ravioli and vice versa. Ravioli are square-shaped pasta pieces with a circle-shaped filling bump in the middle.
Pierogi are the Eastern European cousin of ravioli, given that they have the same base dough. Pierogi are half-moon shaped, and they are very similar to panzerotti both in shape and texture. You may as well call them the Eastern European version of panzerotti.
In terms of size, pierogi are slightly larger than ravioli. They are considered finger foods, as opposed to ravioli, which are more of an ingredient than a dish in itself.
Ravioli are soft and smooth to the touch with a visibly gentle texture and a light beige color. Pierogi have a rougher texture and are golden brown in color.
Pierogi and ravioli use the same dough, i.e., a mixture of flour, eggs, and water. They are initially made the same way, so you can further use the same dough for both.
You could say that ravioli is the fancier of the two, and pierogi is the more rustic one. The traditional filling for ravioli is ricotta cheese, but they are often filled with other cheeses, meat, vegetables, spinach, or mushrooms.
Pierogi are traditionally filled with potatoes, but there are variations filled with sauerkraut, brined vegetables, or cooked fruit.
Basically, both pierogi and ravioli are a sheer depiction of the cultures from which they come and what is most available and abundant in those regions. Italy is known for its delightful cheeses, and Eastern Europe is famous for its potatoes and vegetables, as well as its preservation methods.
They are both delicious and authentic but selflessly give themselves to the world. Therefore, you can find many variations of pierogi and ravioli, depending on where they are made.
Since they use very different fillings and are cooked differently, pierogi and ravioli taste very different, and there is no chance you will mix them up.
Potato pierogi taste somewhat bland due to the neutral potato flavor. Therefore, they require a flavor-giving addition, such as a sauce or a dish, to spice things up. Sauerkraut or brined vegetables pierogi are zingy, sour, salty, and tangy.
Mostly, ravioli are cheesy, as they are frequently filled with cheese. Ravioli get the taste from the filling, so whatever you fill them with, they will taste like that. The dough itself is a standard pasta dough, so it tastes like plain pasta.
The pierogi dough is fried and has more flavor, even without the filling.
Pierogi and ravioli start the same but develop in different directions. While they use the same base ingredients, they finish differently. After being stuffed, ravioli are boiled, while pierogi are fried.
This results in entirely different dishes. Due to the different cooking methods, ravioli and pierogi differ in their further uses.
Ravioli vs. Pierogi: Uses
While ravioli is more of an ingredient that needs further work, pierogi are finger foods and are often eaten as they are. You can nibble on pierogi, but ravioli need sauce, or a salad, or some kind of broth or soup which they can feature in.
Pierogi are also combined with sauces, but they are not served inside the sauce, like ravioli, but are dipped in sauce, like panzerotti.