Toasted ravioli is a wonderful party appetizer and is easy to prepare baked or fried. Personally, I believe fried ravioli has the best texture, but sometimes it is nice not to deal with the extra hassle, in which case using the oven is a great alternative.
This recipe is easy to prepare using refrigerated ravioli from the grocery store, although frozen is also fine if you thaw it first. Similar to making any other breaded treat, like mozzarella sticks, the ravioli is tossed in an egg wash, then gently breaded before being baked or fried.
Ingredients You Will Need
- Ravioli - You can make it from scratch if you are an over-achiever, but it is easiest to buy refrigerated ravioli from your grocery store.
- Plain Breadcrumbs - Italian breadcrumbs can be used instead, but then I would recommend omitting the other seasonings in this recipe as well.
- Italian Seasoning
- Garlic powder
- Parmesan cheese - Grated parm is better than shredded for this recipe because the smaller pieces will coat your ravioli better.
- Milk - Liquid is needed to thin out the egg, you can substitute water instead of milk if needed.
- Oil or Cooking Spray - You will need oil for frying and cooking spray if you are baking.
How to bread ravioli
Before you cook it, the ravioli needs to be breaded. You will create a breading station, just like you would to make fried chicken. Combine your beaten eggs and milk in one dish and your breading mixture of breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and seasonings in a second dish.
Using one hand, toss the ravioli in the egg wash, working in batches as needed. Then add them to the breadcrumb mixture and gently coat with your other hand. Place breaded ravioli on a large baking sheet until ready to cook.
How to bake it
If you plan on baking your toasted ravioli, I recommend setting it on a wire rack on the baking sheet, however, this is not required if you don't have one.
Lay the ravioli flat and give it a quick spray with cooking spray. The light oil coating will help it brown and 'fry' in the oven. Place the ravioli in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes, or until browned and beginning to crisp.
How to Fry it
You can fry your toasted ravioli in a deep fryer, or a tall sided pan, like a cast iron chicken fryer, or Dutch oven. Whatever you choose, add your cooking oil to it and heat it to 350 degrees, monitoring the temperature with a digital thermometer.
Working in batches as needed, add the breaded ravioli to the frying oil and cook for approximately four minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the toasted ravioli from the oil and let drain on paper towels, or on a wire rack.
How to keep it warm
You have made your toasted ravioli, but you aren't ready to serve it. Or perhaps, you are still making the rest of the batches and don't want things to cool off. The easiest solution is to heat your oven to a low 200 degrees and set the ravioli in there to keep warm until you serve it.
What to serve with it
Marinara sauce is the best choice for serving. However, you can certainly use any pasta sauce you have on hand as a suitable alternative. If you want to go a different route, or provide options, alfredo sauce works great for dipping as well!
Tips and Tricks
- When breading the ravioli it is best to use one hand in the wet egg wash, and the other hand in the dry breadcrumbs. This prevents you from breading your own fingers.
- The temperature of the frying oil will drop each time you add a new batch of ravioli so make sure to keep checking the temperature with your thermometer.
This popular appetizer was most commonly credited with being created in "The Hill" Italian-American neighborhood in St. Louis. There are multiple restaurants claiming to be the first to serve it including Mama Campisi's and Charlie Gitto's.
Yes, most commonly toasted ravioli is breaded and deep-fried. However, some home cooks prefer the simplicity of baking it instead.
Serve this as an appetizer to a spaghetti dinner, or along with a light salad. This is also perfect to serve as part of an appetizer spread for game day parties.
More Italian-Inspired Creations
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Toasted Ravioli - Baked or Fried
- 16 ounces cheese ravioli (thawed if frozen)
- 2 egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cooking Spray for baking or Oil for deep frying
- Marinara Sauce
- Set up a dredging station by combing the egg and milk in a dish, and beating it together. In a separate dish mix together breadcrumbs, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt.
- Working in batches, dip the ravioli fully into the egg wash, then let the excess run off and toss in the breadcrumb mixture to fully coat.
- Lay the breaded ravloili in a single layer on a large baking sheet until ready for cooking.
- Add cooking oil to a straight walled pan or Dutch oven until it is a couple inches deep. Heat the cooking oil to 350 degrees.
- Add the breaded ravioli in batches and fry for approximately four minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove each finished batch and set on a wire rack, or paper towels, to drain.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Spray ravioli lightly with cooking spray on each side and place the baking sheet in the oven to bake for 10 minutes.
- Serve with warmed Marinara sauce for dipping.