Fried Ravioli

You’ve seen these on take-out menus all over town. Ravioli are dropped into a deep fat fryer and served with a non-descript marinara sauce. They’re fun, but usually, not very memorable.

While any version of ravioli will work beautifully here, there are a number of companies making very interesting, non-traditional fillings. When lightly breaded and fried, they make an outstanding appetizer. We love the pistachio/asiago filled ravioli we recently came across at our big box store, and these are what you see in the photos here.

These light & crispy pasta pockets need a worthy dipping sauce. I’m not a fan of those strangely sweet Italian tomato sauces described as “Marinara” sauce in many restaurants. My favorite dipping sauce for these is a simple combination of crushed Italian tomatoes and a tablespoon or two of bottled Italian salad dressing to give some zest.

Not haute cuisine, to be sure, these fried ravioli are a quick, inexpensive appetizer that may be made ahead, making them perfect for entertaining. With football parties and holidays around the corner, these are a no-brainer crowd pleaser

Fried Ravioli
Frozen ravioli
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
2 cups fine breadcrumbs
Oil for shallow frying (I prefer canola for this)
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Place the egg and milk in a shallow dish or pie pan and whisk to combine. Add the frozen ravioli (no need to thaw) to the egg mixture. With fingertips, toss the ravioli in to lightly coat in the egg.

Place the breadcrumbs in another shallow dish. With a fork, remove the ravioli from the egg and toss in the breadcrumbs to lightly moisten. It’s not necessary to evenly coat these with the crumbs.

Heat about 2 inches of oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Carefully add the ravioli and fry in a single layer, flipping once to brown on both sides (about a minute on each side).

Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Serve warm or at room temperature with a bit of parmesan cheese sprinkled over the tops.

Dipping Sauce
2 cups crushed Italian (San Marzano) tomatoes
2-3 tablespoons bottled Italian salad dressing

Place the tomatoes in a small saucepan. Add the dressing to taste and heat just until warmed up. Set aside until needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    • Neal Osherow
    • November 27th, 2011

    These are a traditional starter from St. Louis — we call them Toasted Ravioli. Traditionally with a ground beef/cheese/spinach interior, but cheese is also popular. Usually a bread crumb crust, but sometimes a batter. Very popular in my hometown.

  1. Thanks for sharing this — it’s a great appetizer with countless possibilities.

  2. What’s not to love about a ravioli? This is definitely a recipe I will try…thanks!

  3. This is a really cool idea. Nice ingenuity!

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