Toasted Ravioli with a Spinach and Tomato Sauce

by Anjali @ The Picky Eater on April 3, 2012

Nothing compares to the taste of fresh ravioli, made from scratch.

Nothing compares to the three hours it takes to make fresh ravioli from scratch either.

And because I love it so much, I’m totally willing to… make store-bought ravioli taste pretty close to homemade ravioli, in under 30 minutes!

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve made ravioli from scratch before and it was delicious, and it was actually fun for a once-in-a-while project too. But during the week, I don’t have that kind of time.

So how do I make store-bought ricotta and spinach ravioli taste like it was freshly made that day?

Toast it!

It sounds weird, but it works beautifully. After the ravioli is cooked, I lightly pan fry them on each side with a bit of cooking spray. It makes the pasta puff up like fresh ravioli, and gives the skin a great texture (you’ll see what I mean in the directions).

The husband loves this meal, and I love that I found a way to sneak some extra veggies into this dish to make it even healthier. All you need is a few fresh ingredients to complement the store-bought stuff, and you’re all set.

The Ingredients

  • 2 packages of Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli: I like the kind from Trader Joe’s – each package has about 9 HUGE ravioli so you don’t need that many for a filling dinner
  • 1 box fresh spinach
  • 1 jar tomato sauce: make sure you get a variety with no sugar added. I like Muir Glen’s Organic Garden Vegetable sauce, because it has some extra veggie thrown in and it’s nice and chunky
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • a pinch of crushed red pepper
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Garlic bread (optional) – the husband loves this Alexia garlic bread, so he has it as an accompaniment to the pasta. I get pretty full from the pasta alone, so I opt-out of the garlic bread
The Directions
Step 1: Cook the ravioli according to the package directions (should only take 3-4 min max). Drain and set aside.

Step 2: Heat a large pan over medium heat. Spray lightly with cooking spray, and add 5-6 ravioli to the pan (depending on how many will fit).

Step 3: Lightly pan fry the ravioli on each side for a few minutes, until the outside becomes golden brown and a little crispy. Repeat with all the ravioli you have.

Doesn’t that look great? Meanwhile…

Step 4: Saute the spinach, garlic, and crushed red pepper in 1/2 tsp olive oil for a few minutes, until the spinach is wilted. Add in the jar of marinara sauce and bring to a simmer.

Time to plate! Start with the ravioli…

I love how they don’t look like your typical store-bought ravioli and how light and fluffy they are.

I took 5 ravioli (believe me, with the size of these, that’s a lot!) Then I topped them with a HUGE serving of the tomato/spinach sauce.

Yay for sneaking more veggies in!

The nutritional stats are pretty great too: 5 of the Trader Joe’s ravioli have about 350 calories, 3g fiber and 14g protein. With the sauce, that’s an extra ~50 calories and ~4g fiber. For 400 calories, 7g fiber and 14g protein – this is a super satisfying, delicious meal.

You won’t believe the ravioli is store-bought after you dress it up with my tricks, and your pasta sauce will taste close to homemade with the added veggies and spices.

It’s like an escape to Italy in the middle of the week.

Toasted Ravioli with a Spinach and Tomato Sauce

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 5 ravioli + 1/4 of the sauce

Calories per serving: 400

Nutritional Info Per Serving: 400 Calories, 7g Fiber, 14g Protein

Ingredients

  • 2 packages of Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli: I like the kind from Trader Joe’s – each package has about 9 HUGE ravioli so you don’t need that many for a filling dinner
  • 1 box fresh spinach
  • 1 jar tomato sauce: make sure you get a variety with no sugar added. I like Muir Glen’s Organic Garden Vegetable sauce, because it has some extra veggie thrown in and it’s nice and chunky
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • a pinch of crushed red pepper
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Garlic bread (optional) – the husband loves this Alexia garlic bread, so he has it as an accompaniment to the pasta. I get pretty full from the pasta alone, so I opt-out of the garlic bread

Directions

  1. Cook the ravioli according to the package directions (should only take 3-4 min max). Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Spray lightly with cooking spray, and add 5-6 ravioli to the pan (depending on how many will fit).
  3. Lightly pan fry the ravioli on each side for a few minutes, until the outside becomes golden brown and a little crispy. Repeat with all the ravioli you have.
  4. Saute the spinach, garlic, and crushed red pepper in 1/2 tsp olive oil for a few minutes, until the spinach is wilted. Add in the jar of marinara sauce and bring to a simmer.
  5. Plate 5 ravioli, and a huge helping of the sauce (about 1/4 of the recipe)
http://pickyeaterblog.com/easy-healthy-recipe-ricotta-and-spinach-ravioli/

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

jenn aka the picky girl April 3, 2012 at 11:05 am

Yummy. On occasion I buy the store ravioli and really like it. Alas, I’ve never had fresh, so I don’t know the difference. I’ll definitely try your trick! Thanks. 🙂

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater April 3, 2012 at 11:10 pm

I’ve usually noticed that store-bought ravioli doesn’t taste as “fluffy” as fresh – but this trick totally takes care of that! I’m sure you will love it when you try it!

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Tammi April 3, 2012 at 11:25 am

YUMMY!!! I was hoping to make some for my hubby on Friday night before going out myself, maybe I’ll try this, have you tried frying them before? Like deep frying?

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater April 3, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Thanks Tammi! Noo – I haven’t deep fried them, although I’ve heard that’s quite a decadent once-in-a-while treat 🙂 The pan-fried version is a really good healthy alternative to deep frying though, because you get the same crispy skin without any of the calories!

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Andy April 3, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I don’t know if you knew this or not but Toasted Ravioli is actually a popular appetizer in St. Louis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toasted_ravioli

Your version is definitely healthier though.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater April 3, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Ha I had no idea!! That’s pretty cool 🙂 Sounds like me and St. Louis were kind of on the same page – thanks for letting me know!

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Andy April 19, 2012 at 6:31 am

Just wanted to say that I made this and it turned out really well. I used the Organic Marinara from Trader Joe’s (the no-salt variety) and added some red pepper flakes to the sauce. It was a delicious meal that was even better the next day!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater April 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Awesome!! That’s so great Andy – and I love the addition of the red pepper flakes – I’ll definitely be trying that next time!

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Arpita April 3, 2012 at 12:55 pm

This looks great! I love making toasted ravioli coated with bread crumbs and cheese, baked in the oven & marinara sauce for dipping, try it sometime!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater April 3, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Ooooh I’m sure that is delicious! So basically instead of pan-frying them, you coat them with breadcrumbs and cheese and bake in the oven? I’m sure my hubby would love that! (I’d probably use panko breadcrumbs and a sprinkling of parmesan to cut the calories – do you think that would work?)

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Arpita April 4, 2012 at 5:28 am

yes, i cook the ravioli as per the directions, and i have a bowel of bread crumbs/panko mixed with some black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, & 3 tsp reduced fat italian blend cheese. i dip the ravioli in half and half then into the bread crumbs (i do a double coating so i dip once more in half and half then again in bread crumbs) and lay them on a tray sprayed with LOTS of pam (thats the secret to a crispy ravioli) then spray the top once they’re layered, and bake and dont forget to flip them in between. delicious!!!! Let me know how they turn out!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater April 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Oh awesome!! I think I might use egg whites instead of the half and half – this will be fun to try!

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joytron April 3, 2012 at 5:45 pm

I just stumbled on your site yesterday via Reddit and wanted to say I’m a huge fan. The pictures are inspiring and it’s great to have a resource like this for healthy recipes. I’ll post more specific comments after I make some of these! Cheers.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater April 3, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Aw, thank you so much!! 🙂 I can’t wait to hear what you think after you make some of my recipes – enjoy!!

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Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi) April 4, 2012 at 5:51 am

What a yummy idea!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater April 4, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Thanks – so glad you like it!

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California Callie April 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm

oh! I’m sure that taste delicious, look easy to made .. I can wait to try this recipe of your’s..I’m sure my kid’s would love to eat this healthy Toasted Ravioli with a Spinach and Tomato Sauce .. Thank’s for sharing this healthy recipe..

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater April 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Thanks so much! Let me know what your kids think of this recipe! 🙂

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Sarah April 23, 2012 at 5:23 am

Nutritious and yummy recipes for all!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater April 23, 2012 at 6:58 am

Thanks Sarah! Hope you like it!

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Reham montaser May 6, 2012 at 10:15 pm

This is very good I love Italian food

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater May 6, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Thanks! Hope you like it when you try it!

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Grace May 31, 2016 at 6:12 pm

I recently found your blog, and I love it! However, this is not toasted ravioli. I’m from St. Louis, and we invented toasted ravioli, and this, while it looks absolutely delicious and much healthier than what is found here, is not a true toasted ravioli recipe. They gotta be deep fried! 😉 Just thought I’d point that out just in case you find yourself in the area!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater June 1, 2016 at 8:23 pm

Thanks Grace! haha yes, I know this isn’t true Toasted Ravioli, I suppose I should have put the recipe name in quotes — because it’s more like “Toasted” Ravioli 🙂 I have tried the deep fried version and I agree they are very tasty! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind words about my blog!

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