I’ve been doing a little spring cleaning around CC, namely in the form of reorganizing our Recipe Index, and it became blatantly clear that the Appetizer category was looking a little barren. So this weekend I set out to fix that and went on the hunt for a fun first bite that would bring a little more life to the current list of recipes. The instant I spotted this recipe in Giada’s Everyday Pasta, I knew my search was complete. No deep frier required, all you need to make these crispy pockets of cheesy goodness is a deep frying pan or dutch oven and about 30 minutes or so of kitchen time. Oh, and if that weren’t enough- I’m kind of obsessed with this Marinara sauce. I actually came up with it a few weeks ago when making homemade pizza and quickly realized the combo of technique and ingredients makes it perfect for pizza, as a dipping sauce, or served over pasta. So definitely don’t overlook that part of the recipe!

I’m totally serving these guys for my next dinner party. How fun would it be to have a piping hot platter for guests to indulge in as they arrive? A total win!

Channeling-Contessa-Fried-Ravioli-2 Channeling-Contessa-Fried-Ravioli-5 Channeling-Contessa-Fried-Ravioli-1

Fried Ravioli adapted from Giada De Laurentiis’ Everyday Italian

  • 1 package store bought ravioli (about 24)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups Italian style bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
  • vegetable oil and olive oil for frying
  • fresh basil for garnish

For the Cheesy Marinara Sauce:

  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flake
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese

Preheat the oil: Fill dutch oven or deep frying pan with two inches of oil- 3/4 vegetable oil, 1/4 olive oil. Preheat until a thermometer reads 325°.

Prep the sauce: In a medium sized saucepan, sautée the onion in olive oil over medium low heat for 8-10 minutes, until very soft. Stir in garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add in the tomatoes, salt, and red pepper flake and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

While the oil heats and sauce cooks, prep the ravioli. Place the buttermilk in a shallow bowl. Place the bread crumbs, oregano, salt, and pepper in another bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for the ravioli. Dip first in the buttermilk, shaking when lifting out of the bowl, then dredge in the bread crumbs. Place on the baking sheet while you coat the remaining ravioli. Set aside.

Finish the sauce: Remove from the heat. Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce directly in the pot until mostly smooth. Fold in the  grated cheese.

When the oil is hot, fry the ravioli in batches, turning until golden brown- about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ravioli to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with extra cheese and shredded basil and serve with warmed sauce.

    • Clara

      Thanks, Ivana! Yes- they’re very photogenic :)

  1. Stop it right now. These look AMAZING! Seriously, making them ASAP.

  2. Looks delicious, I must remeber these next time I have guest, perfect appetizer.

  3. La Torontoise

    Thank you so much! Such a wonderful idea for the coming weeekend!

    • Clara

      You’re so welcome!

      • Nicole

        Do you let them thaw out or cook them frozen?

  4. I’ve never had fried raviolis!! This must taste delicious!! =)

  5. My GOODNESS these look good. And I love that they start with packaged ravioli. Joe is having friends over for a March Madness weekend in two weeks and I think these would be perfect to serve. Or are they too nice for guys? :)

    • Clara

      Oh they’d be perfect! My boyfriend inhaled them yesterday. You can make the sauce ahead and then just fry up the raviolis right before folks arrived. I used the Buttoni brand- 4 cheese- and those worked really well.

      • margaret

        Do you cook them frozen?

  6. We used to live in St. Louis, and “Toasted Ravioli” is the city’s claim to fame. There’s a big Italian neighborhood, and the story is that it originated there. Brings back memories!

  7. These look delicious! I actually have Giada’s Everyday Italian cookbook and remember eyeing this recipe when I first got the book…ahem, several years ago. Thanks for the reminder to give it a try! Your marinara sauce sounds tasty too! Appetizers are so under-rated in my opinion. I love parties with good finger food and tasty beverages!

    • Clara

      I know exactly what you mean- I’ve had that book for YEARS and never thought to make them. I can’t believe I waited so long!

  8. OMG this looks like the greatest tasting thing ever!

  9. OMG, these look soooo good! I absolutely LOVE fried ravioli. I would never even think to make them at home. A wonderful idea to feed friends at our next get together. I also love how they start with store bought ravioli. A definite time saver! : )

    PS your sauce sounds delicious too!

  10. This is frigg’n awesome! Must make!

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  12. Jane M

    Great idea! I’m going to give this a try at my next din din party.

  13. these are literally a st louis staple. everyone is obsessed.

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  15. maria

    Yep, toasted ravioli, T ravs, or just TR are definitely a St. Louis thing. On the menu at every restaurant and sporting event in town..Love. definitely try them out if you ever to our fair city

  16. Sarah

    Could you do this in a deep fryer instead of of the stove?

  17. Robin

    Could you use frozen ravioli (thawed of course)?

    • Clara

      Hi Robin! I think that should be fine. Enjoy!

  18. St. Louis is famous for these…….but we call them Toasted Raviloi, not sure why, when they are actually fried - but OH SO GOOD!!! these look incredible!!

  19. Hello, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if
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  20. yummmo!!! this looks fabulous! ill have to try! I love your pictures! what camera do you use :) I just started a blog ( newbie here!) any advice will be much appreciated:)
    Happy blogging

    • Clara

      Thank you so much, Gloria!

  21. Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to
    say that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll
    be subscribing on your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  22. Lindsy

    Hi! This looks AMAZING!! Do you boil your ravioli first, or just use the frying as the cooking method? I can not wait to eat these! Thank you for a great post!

    • Clara

      Hi Lindsy! So sorry for the delay. I don’t boil the ravioli first. If you’re using frozen, I’d let it defrost a bit. I used ravioli that’s in the chilled section of the grocery store.

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  25. Samantha

    Just had these for dinner and they were delicious! We found that the oil in the 400 degrees worked better and quicker. Sauce was good, but this is such an easy recipe without it!

  26. Denise

    Someone just told me about your blog and also “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook also a blog. The guy is also a teacher cook and part time actor. I just “Liked” his Facebook page and came to your site. It’s terrific. I love when people share blogs with each other. Denise

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  29. Mi

    Hi my hubby can’t have fried foods anymore… Can I BAKE these?

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  34. Cristianna

    I noticed that there weren’t many comments saying they tried this recipe, so I feel obligated to share my thoughts…I made it for dinner tonight for my girlfriend and I must say this recipe is definitely a keeper!! I heated the oil too hot, so the ravioli browned in about 10-15 seconds as opposed to 2-3 minutes, but they were still delicious. The marinara recipe is delicious as well of course. Thank you so much for sharing!!

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