Like Olive Garden’s toasted ravioli, but better! This crispy fried ravioli is easy to make, yet impressive. Perfect for a party, or the family dinner table.
I’m sure you’ve all been to an Olive Garden at some point, but have you ever ordered their toasted ravioli appetizer? It’s soooo good! But, as with most restaurant appetizers, you don’t get very many. Grrrrr, don’t you hate that! A plate of 10 ravioli’s for the whole table? Ummm, I can eat that, (and more!) myself! Here’s a version you can make at home, that’s easy, part of it can be made ahead of time, and is impressive enough to serve at a party!
I know what you might be thinking… fried food isn’t easy! Well I’m here to tell you it can be 🙂 There’s no need to be afraid to fry things at home, and you don’t need any special equipment. Just some oil, and a heavy bottomed deep pot. I use my cast iron pans now, but I’ve used my stockpot before and it works just fine 🙂
Usually when I make these, I use regular Italian breadcrumbs, but lately, I’ve been using panko breadcrumbs that I season up with some spices. The crunch factor is just out of this world!
Here are the basics of frying…
You’ll need an egg wash, which I usually do 2 eggs, and about 1/2 a cup or so of milk, buttermilk, half and half, etc. Whisk it together pretty well.
Once you’ve dipped your ravioli in the egg wash and coated it well, toss and press it into your breadcrumb mixture. You want to really coat the whole surface.
Lay your breaded raviolis on a baking sheet lined with foil or wax paper (for easy cleanup). You can fry these up right away, or cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the next day. This is super helpful, since breading can take a little while.
Heat up your oil (canola, vegetable, peanut, sunflower, etc. – I don’t recommend olive oil), over medium heat. You can use a thermometer if you want, but I don’t have one, so I just toss a few breadcrumbs in the oil when I think it’s ready. If they bubble/sizzle and slowly turn golden brown, the oil is ready! Add your ravioli in batches, you don’t want to overcrowd your pan, or they won’t fry properly. I use a 12″ deep skillet and do about 10 raviolis per batch. They’ll fry for about 2 minutes per side, until they’re golden brown.
Use a slotted spoon or strainer to remove the raviolis from the oil and place them on a paper towel lined plate. This will drain excess oil 🙂
That’s it! As simple as bread, heat up oil, fry, drain.
I like to serve mine up with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and minced parsley or basil sprinkled over the top.
What’s a great appetizer without a dip? You can certainly make your own marinara sauce, but hey, sometimes, I just don’t have the energy to do that. I found this really yummy sauce from Prego that is a Merlot Marinara…. ohhhh it’s heaven in a bottle you guys! They’re not sponsoring this post, I just really like the sauce lol.
These fried raviolis could be an appetizer, or even a main dish! Usually I make these as the entree and serve a nice salad alongside 🙂 They’re so crispy, so crunchy, so flavorful, and so addicting!
I like to do a combination of beef and cheese raviolis… it’s like a little surprise every time you bite into one 🙂 For me, the best bargain is to use bags of frozen raviolis and just thaw them.
So don’t be afraid of frying, it’s actually kind of fun 🙂 You could also bake these instead, although I will warn you, they’ll lose that super crunchy exterior and golden brown color.
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- 30 frozen beef and cheese ravioli thawed
- 1 1/2 cups Italian Panko breadcrumbs (or add some garlic powder Italian seasoning and dried parsley to plain panko breadcrumbs)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- Canola oil for frying
- 1 jar marina sauce warmed, for dipping
- Thaw raviolis.
- Line a baking sheet with foil or waxed paper and set aside.
- Whisk eggs and milk together in a shallow bowl.
- Add breadcrumbs to another shallow bowl.
- Set up your breading station so you're working towards the baking sheet (egg wash, breadcrumbs, baking sheet).
- Add enough oil to your skillet or pan to be about 2- 2.5 inches deep. Heat over medium heat until the oil is hot enough. Test by tossing a few breadcrumbs in the oil... if they sizzle and bubble, the oil is ready.
- Dip the ravioli in the egg wash, coat in the breadcrumbs, then place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Repeat with remaining raviolis.
- Fry several raviolis (remember to work in batches), for about 2 minutes per side.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Before serving, warm the marinara sauce and sprinkle raviolis with grated Parmesan and minced parsley or basil.
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** Breading can be done the day before frying, just remember to cover baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
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