Toasted ravioli is a delicious appetizer that can also be a main dish! But it actually isn't toasted at all! These tasty bites, crispy on the outside, with soft and gooey cheese on the inside, are actually fried! And in this recipe, I will also show you how to make toasted ravioli in the air fryer, as well as baked in the oven. Simple, crunchy, cheesy, and delicious!
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The first time I served my family toasted ravioli it was for a snack. In my head I envisioned everyone getting a plate, taking a few pieces of ravioli and some marinara sauce, and enjoying their food. But we didn't actually make it to the point of getting plates. Instead, everyone huddled around the platter of ravioli, and it went directly from hand to mouth. And my ears heard the words that bring delight to every cook, "Yum! This is good!" An instant hit!
These taste a lot like fried mozzarella sticks, though they aren't quite as cheesy. The breading, with Italian breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, gets nice and crispy, and then you bite into the ravioli to find warm, melted cheese. Can it get any better?
Which is Better, Fresh or Frozen Ravioli?
For the traditional, fried version of toasted ravioli, I prefer to use frozen ravioli. Why? Because it is so simple! Fresh ravioli can stick together and also falls apart easier. With frozen ravioli, each piece of ravioli is like a hard disk that is so easy to bread. When it cooks in the oil it softens, and the texture is perfect!
It is a little different when making toasted ravioli in the oven or with an air fryer. With these cooking methods, the pasta part of frozen ravioli becomes crisp, like a cracker. While there is nothing wrong with this, if you want a texture that is most like fried ravioli, use fresh ravioli when cooking in the oven or air fryer.
There is an extra step when using fresh ravioli. After breading, place the pasta squares in the freezer for 30 minutes. This allows them to firm up so that they do not fall apart while cooking. It also helps the breading to adhere to the noodles.
What Makes the Breading So Good?
I am all about the balance of easy and flavorful, and this breading has a perfect balance! It uses Italian breadcrumbs, then we boost up the flavor with some salt and pepper. The shredded Parmesan cheese takes it over the top.
The ravioli is dipped in an egg and milk mixture and then coated with the seasoned breadcrumbs for a crunchy, herb flavored coating.
3 Ways to Cook the Ravioli
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Traditional Cooking Method
- My favorite way to cook toasted ravioli is the traditional method, where it is fried in oil on the stove. This method results in the best texture on the outside while keeping the perfect creamy, cheesy middle.
- To cook on the stovetop you need a pan that has sides at least 3 inches high. Fill with 2 inches of oil. I use canola oil because it is what I have on hand, but peanut and vegetable oil work well for frying as well.
- Temperature is important! Use a candy/frying thermometer to monitor the temperature, keeping it between 350-375 degrees. Cooler than that and you will have greasy, soggy ravioli. If your oil gets hotter than 375 then it will brown before the inside heats up.
- Working in batches, place a few pieces of breaded ravioli into the pan. How many you can cook at once depends on the diameter of your pan. You want them to have plenty of space.
- These cook so fast! It just takes a minute or two on each side for them to become golden brown.
- Once they are done, scoop them out of the oil using a slotted wire scoop and place them on a paper-towel-lined plate.
- I love to sprinkle some additional Parmesan cheese onto the ravioli while they are warm. This isn't necessary, but it makes them pretty and I can't get enough cheese!
How to Cook Toasted Ravioli in the Air Fryer
- Cooking with your air fryer is fantastic because it cuts down on calories by 70-80%! If you are looking for an easy way to make your toasted ravioli a little bit healthier, here it is!
- Preheat your air fryer to 380 degrees and spray the basket with cooking oil. I love this avocado oil spray.
- The ravioli needs to be in a single layer in the air fryer basket, with a little bit of room between each piece, so they can crisp up.
- Spray them with oil to give them a nice fried-like texture.
- These take about 6 minutes or so to cook. You'll want to turn them over and spray them again, halfway through.
How to Make Baked Toasted Ravioli
- Cooking in the oven has the longest cooking time, but you can cook all of the ravioli at once, so it all evens out in the end.
- Preheat your oven to 425 and spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
- Lay your ravioli out in a single layer on the baking sheet. Leave some space around each ravioli. If they are touching then they won't get crispy. Give them a nice spray with cooking oil, or drizzle some oil over them.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the ravioli over and spray them again. Cook an additional 5-10 minutes until they are golden.
What Should I Serve With Toasted Ravioli?
- Toasted ravioli should be served alongside a dipping sauce. It is usually served with a marinara sauce, but it is also delicious with alfredo!
- This makes a great appetizer for your favorite Italian or steak dinner!
- As an entree, serve it with a green vegetable like broccoli or Brussels sprouts, a big salad, and breadsticks.
- Toasted ravioli is a popular St. Louis food, and was featured in our Missouri state dinner! For dessert, we had Gooey Butter Cake, another iconic Missouri food!
- If you are serving wine, this recipe pairs beautiful with Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Turn your oven to the "warm" setting or 175 degrees. Transfer ravioli onto a baking sheet and place into the oven while you cook the remaining batches of ravioli.
I love to make my toasted ravioli meatless, using a simple cheese ravioli. However, beef ravioli also works great! This is an especially great variation when serving as an entree.
Yes, it is a great make ahead recipe! Make the recipe all the way through, then lay the toasted ravioli in a single layer on a cutting board or baking sheet and place in the freezer for 2 hours. Then place in a zip-top freezer bag. The ravioli will keep in your freezer for 3 months.
Frozen ravioli can be reheated straight from the freezer. Place on a baking sheet and cook in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
- 1 pound cheese ravioli (I recommend frozen)
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- oil, if frying
- warm marinara sauce, to serve
- In a shallow dish (like a pie plate) combine the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and Parmesan.
- In another shallow dish, whisk the milk and eggs together.
- Place a single layer of the ravioli in the milk mixture and turn to coat.
- Working one at a time, remove the ravioli from the milk and let the excess liquid drip off. Place in the bread crumbs and turn to coat, pressing the crumbs into the ravioli.
- Set aside onto a plate. If using fresh ravioli, place in the freezer for 30 minutes. If using frozen ravioli, proceed with your preferred cooking method below.
Frying the Toasted Ravioli
- Fill a deep-sided pan with 2 inches of oil. Heat to 350 degrees. Use an oil thermometer to monitor temperature. Working in batches, fry a few at a time for 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan, if desired.
Air Fryer Toasted Ravioli
- Preheat air fryer to 380 degrees. Spray the air fryer pan with nonstick spray. Place the ravioli in a single layer and spray with cooking spray. Cook for 3 minutes. Turn over and spray the other side. Cook an additional 3 minutes.
Oven-Baked Toasted Ravioli
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with oil. Lay ravioli in a single layer on baking sheet, with a little bit of space between each piece. Spray top with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn over and spray with additional spray. Cook an additional 5-10 minutes, or until browned.