Saturday, May 14, 2011

Creative Ways to use Ravioli

Who doesn’t like ravioli? Ok, so a few of you don’t like it, but most of us like it, whether it’s out of a can, fried as an appetizer or cooked fresh with pasta sauce. It’s a very versatile form of pasta, this Italian cousin to the Polish pierogi. So, I thought I’d discuss several ways you can serve it besides those I mentioned. All but one of these images links to either the recipe or the site from which it came.


I first saw this sometime in the last year. I immediately thought, “Why didn’t I consider this before???” Think about it – here you have little pasta pillows full of ricotta cheese all ready and waiting to be layered with meat sauce and mozzarella. How easy can you get?

Some meat sauce recipes call for uncased Italian sausage and others use ground beef. I say use whatever pleases your family. Rachael Ray has a recipe that also adds chopped escarole to her meat sauce, but you could use kale, spinach, or other greens. Again, fit your families’ tastes.

I was just thinking that you could also make a ravioli lasagna using meat filled pasta layered with ricotta (or dry cottage cheese) and meat sauce. Maybe one more step than the first one, but I’ll bet just as good!!

How about using a different kind of pasta sauce than you usually would?


I think this sounds awesome! If it tastes as good as the photo looks, it’ll be a real winner! 
    2 tablespoons butter
·         1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
·         1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
·         1 (16-ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
·         1 (25 to 27 1/2-ounce) package frozen cheese-filled ravioli
·         1 large (1 cup) red bell pepper, chopped
·         8 ounces (2 cups) Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
·         1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in 12-inch skillet until sizzling; add chicken pieces. Cook over medium-high heat until chicken is lightly browned (4 to 6 minutes). Add mushrooms; continue cooking until chicken is no longer pink and mushrooms are tender (4 to 6 minutes). Do not drain.
Spread 1/2 cup sauce into greased 13x9-inch baking dish. Arrange single layer of frozen ravioli over sauce; drizzle 3/4 cup sauce evenly over ravioli. Spread with 1 1/2 cups chicken and mushroom mixture, 1/2 cup red bell pepper and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients, except remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes.
Remove foil; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheeses are melted. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
Recipe Tip
To make ahead, prepare as directed above except do not bake. Cover; refrigerate up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, continue as directed above. Increase first baking time to 1 hour.

When I saw this next recipe, I knew that I was going to save it to try in the future. If you’re a lover of Mediterranean cuisine, you’re sure to find this one to your liking. I can’t wait to try it!


1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 (9 ounce) package beef ravioli
1/4 cup butter

1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (8 ounce) container plain whole milk

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt, mint, and ravioli. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the ravioli float to the top, then drain and keep warm.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in paprika, and keep warm as the ravioli are cooking. Stir garlic into the yogurt.
To serve, place the drained ravioli onto a serving platter or individual plates. Spoon the yogurt on top of the ravioli, then ladle paprika butter over top.

I would love to give you this recipe, but I found this salad on a pasta salad company’s site located in Australia. I still think it looks very tasty and the ingredient list is easy enough to duplicate. The salad is a blend of ravioli with roasted eggplant and other vegetables combined in a sun-dried tomato sauce. I’m assuming that’s a salad dressing rather than a pasta sauce since their vernacular and ours is different. It still looks good, doesn’t it?

I’m going to end with a recipe that fulfills all my comfort food needs while providing proper nutritional needs. This is another one I wouldn’t have considered before for ravioli. I’m sure you’ll find it especially interesting in that it is less than 500 calories per serving!


1 - 25 oz. package of frozen cheese ravioli
16 oz. salsa
6 oz. can tomato paste
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup corn
1/2 tsp. cumin
6 oz. cheddar cheese

Mix salsa, tomato paste, black beans and corn together in a bowl.  Layer half of the ravioli on the bottom of an 9 x 13 pan.  Layer half the salsa/bean mixture on top.  Then add half the cheese.  Repeat once ending with cheese.  Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

So, as the person who posted this last recipe implied, it may be time to think outside the box when it comes to ravioli. I can't wait to see what else is out there that I can make with them. I'm already thinking that maybe pierogis could be used in some of these recipes. How about you?

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