How to Cook Frozen and Fresh Ravioli

To prepare frozen or fresh ravioli, boil it on the stovetop or cook it in the microwave.
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Ravioli is pasta that is shaped into a pocket, which is filled with various fillings. Fresh or frozen ravioli, when cooked and combined with a tasty sauce, makes a meal that all ages find appetizing. It goes well with a salad or a main dish such as baked fish or chicken.

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If you're wondering how long to cook fresh ravioli, the answer depends on the cooking method you choose. Cooking frozen ravioli takes a bit longer, but thawing isn't necessary.

To prepare fresh or frozen ravioli, you can boil it, fry it on the stovetop, cook it in the microwave or bake it in the oven.

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How to Thaw Frozen Ravioli

"If you are working with frozen ravioli, you don't need to thaw it before cooking: Just cook it a little longer, about 4 to 6 minutes," Erica Mouch, RDN, CD, says.

How to Boil Fresh or Frozen Ravioli

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh or frozen ravioli

  • Large pot

Whether your fresh ravioli is homemade or store-bought, you can boil it on the stove top quickly, Mouch tells LIVESTRONG.com.

"First, bring to a boil 4 to 6 quarts of water in a large pot. Once the water is boiling, add a heaping teaspoon of salt and the ravioli," Mouch says. Make sure they are not attached to each other as they drop into the water.

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"If it's homemade, fresh ravioli cooking time is 2 minutes. If your pasta is store-bought, cook it for 4 to 6 minutes," Mouch advises. Frozen ravioli should be cooked for an additional 4 to 6 minutes.

How to Microwave Ravioli

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh or frozen ravioli

  • Microwave-safe large bowl

Aside from ravioli, any pasta may be cooked in the microwave. "Pasta needs to be rehydrated, and microwaving it in water will rehydrate it as well as boiling," Mouch says.

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"Place it in a microwave-safe large bowl with 2 1/2 cups water. Cover it with vented plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 5 to 8 minutes, or until cooked through, stirring once," Mouch says. It's done when the ravioli floats to the top of the bowl.

How to Bake Ravioli

Things You'll Need

  • Ravioli, fresh or frozen

  • Sauce

  • Wide, shallow pan

  • Spoon

  • Aluminum foil

  • Fresh herbs or cheese, optional

You can bake ravioli instead of boiling it. When baked, frozen and fresh ravioli develop a pleasant chewiness that bursts with flavor from the sauce it absorbs — something you don't get with boiling.

1. Heat the Oven and Your Sauce

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat up a sauce of your choice, in a saucepan until warm, or make your own from scratch. Choose light cream- or butter-based sauces, such as garlic butter and sage, or oil-based sauces like pesto.

2. Combine the Sauce With Water or Stock

Mix the sauce with water or stock, using a 4:1 ratio. For example, mix 1/4 cup of liquid with every 1 cup of sauce. The ravioli will absorb the extra liquid, and the sauce will reduce and return to normal thickness.

Mix water in even if you are using butter- or oil-based sauces; the ravioli will absorb the water and any remaining will evaporate.

3. Prepare Your Baking Dish

Spread a 1/4- to 1/3-inch layer of sauce in the bottom of a wide, shallow dish or gratin dish using a spoon. Place the ravioli on top of the sauce, spacing them about 1/4-inch apart.

4. Sauce the Ravioli and Bake

Spread a thin layer of the sauce on top of the ravioli with the back of a spoon.

Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake fresh ravioli for about 5 minutes, then remove the foil. Turn the ravioli over in the sauce and bake another 3 to 5 minutes. Add more sauce to cover the ravioli, if necessary.

Baking Frozen Ravioli

Bake frozen ravioli for 10 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes.

5. Remove Your Ravioli From the Oven

Take the ravioli out of the oven and let it sit for several minutes to firm up.

Stir the ravioli and serve it as-is or add more sauce to taste. Garnish with fresh herbs, grated cheese or gremolata, a mix of fresh parsley, lemon zest and minced garlic.

How to Fry Ravioli on the Stove

Frying ravioli thickens the outer layer and melts the cheese inside, making for a delectable appetizer or savory snack. For a different twist on an old favorite, fried ravioli is undoubtedly a crowd pleaser.

Things You'll Need

  • Ravioli, fresh or frozen

  • Sauce of choice

  • Cooking oil

  • Food thermometer

  • Slotted spoon

  • Plate

  • Paper towels

1. Heat Your Cooking Oil

Pour cooking oil into the bottom of a deep frying pan so it is 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep. Place the skillet on the burner and set it to medium.

2. Discard Damaged Ravioli

Sort through the ravioli to make sure that none of them are stuck together. Discard any that are damaged as the filling will leak out while frying.

3. Check the Oil Temperature

Test the temperature of the cooking oil with a kitchen thermometer. The oil should be 325 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit before frying the ravioli.

4. Fry the Ravioli

Using a slotted spoon, set the ravioli into the hot oil in small batches to avoid overcrowding them in the pan. The oil around the ravioli will bubble if the oil is hot enough. If you don't see bubbles, take the ravioli out and allow the oil to heat longer.

Fry the ravioli for about 1 minute for fresh ravioli and 5 to 6 minutes for frozen. They will float to the top and have a golden brown color when they are finished.

5. Remove, Let Cool and Serve

Remove the ravioli from the pan. If you use tongs, be gentle so as not to damage them. Place the ravioli onto a paper towel-lined plate.

Top the ravioli with sea salt, grated cheese or parsley before serving if desired.

Ravioli and Pasta-Cooking Tips

Mouch says you don't have to cook ravioli in sauce. "If you want a one-dish meal, you can cook fresh or frozen ravioli in broth. Cooking it in a sauce has the potential to make the sauce more gummy. When it comes to ​ravioli en brodo​ (ravioli in broth), the extra starch isn't a negative," she explains.

You can serve ravioli and other pastas with marinara sauce. Other sauce options include a butter sauce, seasoned with basil or lemon juice, or a mushroom sauce with added cream and Parmesan cheese. For made-from-scratch ravioli, the Mayo Clinic has a recipe for one stuffed with butternut squash.

Choose Nutritious Ravioli

Cheese is the most common filling in ravioli, but they may also have ground beef or sausage, along with different vegetables. Since red meat is associated with some adverse health effects, the most nutritious types of ravioli are those with vegetables.

In addition, instead of choosing ravioli made with white flour, look for those made with whole-grain flour. If your supermarket doesn't carry them, you can order them online. Whole grains are a great source of fiber.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you should check the label to find out how much fiber a package of ravioli or pasta contains. If it contains at least 3 grams per serving, it's a good source; and if it contains at least 5 grams per serving, it's an excellent source. Alternatively, you can make whole grain ravioli at home.

Whole grains are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, reports the Whole Grains Council. They're also linked to a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes.

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