Say hello to Toasted Ravioli, perfectly golden brown, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside… and when dipped in warm marinara sauce? Forget about it! This recipe for Toasted Ravioli can be baked OR pan-fried (rather than deep fried). I like serving them as an appetizer or as a light meal alongside a salad. Use any kind of ravioli you want for this delicious Italian inspired appetizer!
I just love ravioli, and love that you can find just about any kind of prepared fresh or frozen ravioli at grocery stores. When you use already prepared ravioli, this easy toasted ravioli recipe takes only 20 minutes to throw together and will be your new favorite way to enjoy ravioli! I like eating these as a meal with a side salad but they’re also perfect as an appetizer.
And best of all? You can bread these and freeze them for later (and cook directly from frozen!) for an easy appetizer for unexpected guests or when you all of a sudden need something crispy and crunchy and cheesy. Which is like every day for me if I’m being honest. Actually these might be a little dangerous for me to keep in my freezer because they are so addictively delicious!
In this post I’ll go over ingredients and substitutions (including what kind of ravioli you can use), how to pan-fry OR bake the ravioli, and how to make ahead of time and freeze for later.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Ravioli – I used a store bought spinach and ricotta refrigerated fresh ravioli for this. You can use any kind you want – frozen or fresh! Cheese, beef, mushroom, small, big… whatever you want. I recommend looking for ravioli with as few added processed ingredients and preservatives as possible. You can also use homemade ravioli if you like.
- Milk – this is mixed with the egg for dredging. Whole milk is best but cream can also be used, or low fat/skim/plant-based milk/water in a pinch.
- Italian Style Seasoned Bread Crumbs – you can buy these pre-made at the store or you can easily make your own Italian Bread Crumbs by mixing plain bread crumbs with Italian seasoning and salt.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – for frying or baking, or another oil like canola or regular olive oil.
- Marinara sauce, parmesan cheese, and chopped parsley for serving (optional).
How to make Fried or Baked Toasted Ravioli
- First, bread the ravioli. Mix the egg and milk with a pinch of salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Put the bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Dip the ravioli in the egg mixture with one hand, shaking off excess, and place in the bread crumb bowl. Use your other (clean) hand to coat the ravioli in the bread crumbs, patting them into the surface as best you can. Transfer to a plate or baking sheet while you repeat for the others.
- Fry the ravioli. Heat about 1/4 cup of oil (or more if you need it) in a large deep heavy skillet (I like cast iron for this). Add the ravioli and fry on each side for about two minutes each. Because you are pan frying instead of deep frying, you may need to use the back of a spatula to gently press down on the ravioli in order to maximize contact with the hot oil. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and do two batches if necessary so the pan isn’t too crowded.
- OR, bake the ravioli! Add 1/4 cup of oil to a baking sheet (yes, the full 1/4 cup) and bake at 425 degrees for 7 minutes, flip, and bake for 7 more minutes. Keep an eye on them and turn down heat to 400 if they cook too quickly. For a lower fat version, you can use cooking spray on the baking sheet and spray the tops of the ravioli as well, instead of the oil.
- Serve immediately, warm, with warm marinara sauce for dipping.
How to make ahead and freeze
To freeze prepared ravioli, bread the ravioli and place on a baking sheet. Stick the baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until pretty frozen, then transfer to a zip top bag or airtight container.
When you are ready to cook, just cook them directly from frozen! Allow for a little more frying time (at a slightly lower burner temperature) if frying, and change the oven temp to 400 and cook for 10-12 minutes on each side if baking. You may also find you need more oil if frying, since they won’t be as malleable and therefore difficult to make contact with the hot pan/oil unless they are submerged.
Other Italian Inspired Appetizer Recipes
- Prosciutto and Watermelon Skewers
- Panzanella Salad (Italian Tomato and Bread Salad)
- Italian Vegetarian Stuffed Mushrooms
- Spinach and Barley Arancini
- Roasted Tomato and Burrata Caprese Salad
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Toasted Ravioli (Fried or Baked)
- 10 oz. Ravioli fresh or frozen, any flavor (see notes)
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons milk or cream preferably whole (low fat, skim, plant-based, or even water will do in a pinch)
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 3/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs (see notes for how to make your own)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more if needed (for frying), or another oil (regular olive oil or canola or vegetable).
- marinara sauce, chopped fresh parsley, and parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
- Mix the egg and milk (2 tablespoons) along with a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper in a shallow bowl. Pour the bread crumbs (1 cup) into another shallow bowl. Get out a baking sheet or large plate to place prepared ravioli.
- With one hand, dip each ravioli into the egg and milk mixture, shaking gently to remove excess. Place in the bread crumbs and bread each side thoroughly, using your other clean hand to pat the breadcrumbs into the surface. Place breaded ravioli on a baking sheet or large plate.
- Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large heavy skillet (I like to use cast iron) over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (place the handle of a wooden spoon into it to see if it bubbles), add the ravioli to the skillet. Fry for about 2 minutes on each side, until the bread crumb coating is golden brown. I recommend using a fish turner/slotted spatula to flip them. Remove to a paper towel lined plate or baking sheet. Note: make sure the ravioli are spread out to not touch each other – you may need to do two batches, and you may need to add more oil if you do this. Also, keep an eye on the temperature of the oil, since all burners are different – if the ravioli is turning too dark or the oil starts smoking, turn the heat down to medium or even medium-low.
- Garnish the ravioli with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese if desired, and serve with marinara sauce for dipping.
- To bake instead of fry: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pour the 1/4 cup oil onto a rimmed baking sheet and spread out. Place the breaded ravioli onto the baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, then flip over and bake for 7 more minutes.
- If using frozen ravioli, you can use them frozen OR defrost them before using. The breadcrumbs may stick a little better if they are defrosted, and if frying it will be easier if they are a little more malleable, but either way is fine!
- I used spinach and ricotta ravioli for this. You can use any flavor you want – cheese, beef, mushroom… any kind! Ravioli also comes in different sizes and shapes – any is fine for this recipe.
- This recipe serves 4 as an appetizer and 2 as a light meal (I like pairing it with a salad for lunch).
- To make your own Italian seasoned bread crumbs, mix 1 cup plain bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (or 1/2 teaspoon each of dried parsley, dried basil, dried oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper) and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Here’s more on how to make your own Italian Bread Crumbs.
- Make ahead and freeze by breading the ravioli, flash freezing on a baking sheet, then transferring to a zip top bag or airtight container. You can cook directly from frozen! Allow for a little more frying time (at a slightly lower burner temperature) if frying, and change the oven temp to 400 and cook for 10-12 minutes on each side if baking.
- Large Skillet
- Slotted Spatula / Fish Turner