Have you ever had toasted/fried ravioli before? I don’t see it on menus very often, but it’s sometimes offered as an appetizer at Italian restaurants or pizzerias.

And it’s amazing. (Then again, it’s deep fried pasta filled with cheese. Of course it’s awesome!)

When I came home to find a shipment of Monterey Gourmet Foods™ ravioli and pesto to play with, it took me about 2 seconds to decide what I wanted to do with it.

This oven-toasted ravioli does away with the guilt that goes along with fried food, and it swaps out the lighter flavors of roast chicken and pesto for the more traditional garlic and marinara. It makes a great appetizer or entree, and the flavors are perfect for spring.

I’ll be honest: I wasn’t expecting the Monterey Gourmet Foods ravioli to be anything worth writing home about, but I was actually really impressed with it.

I’m kind of bummed they don’t seem to be available around here. The ravioli was filled with chunks of chicken (it wasn’t ground or mushy), and they had great flavor. While we ate, I couldn’t stop talking about how “chicken-y” it tasted.

The same with the pesto: while it was a little thick for my liking, it tasted super basil-y and it wasn’t oily at all. I don’t think I’ve ever had store-bought pesto that tasted that fresh!

I also really appreciate that the company uses all natural ingredients, dairy and meat from cows that aren’t treated with hormones or antibiotics, and (according to the package) eggs from free-range chicken. They also make an effort to use non-GMO ingredients. (You can read more about their “natural principles” here.)

I usually stay away from meals with multiple components, since they tend to take a ton of time, but this was also one of the easiest ones I’ve made in a while. The ravioli itself takes almost no time to make–5 minutes to boil and 10 minutes in the oven.

The longest part is waiting for water to boil, and you can use that time to prepare the other elements.

Since I was turning on the oven anyway, I cut some baby carrots in half and tossed them with olive oil and cumin. I started roasting them while the water boiled, and by the time the ravioli were done toasting, they were perfect.

I also took a few minutes to throw together one of our favorite kale salads, based on this one, which is just kale dressed with honey, white balsamic, rice vinegar and olive oil and topped with dried cranberries and Parmesan. Simple. Easy. Delicious.

I even had time to set the table with placemats and a fake flower arrangement that was temporarily relocated from the living room.

Oven Toasted Ravioli
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These oven toasted ravioli are crispy and delicious, without any added fat from frying. Since fresh ravioli (found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store) have a shorter cooking time than frozen ones, this treat can be on your table in a half hour.
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 package (8 oz) Monterey Foods Roast Chicken and Mozzarella Ravioli, or other fresh ravioli
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned Bread Crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Pesto, such as Monterey Foods Basil Pesto with Almonds and Pine Nuts
  • Olive Oil Spray
Preparation
  1. Preheat the oven to 450*F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the ravioli according to the directions on the package, using the shortest recommended cooking time. (For the Monterey ravioli, this was 5 minutes.) Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Mix together the bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon pesto in a shallow dish. Working one at a time, dredge the ravioli in the bread crumbs so that it is lightly coated. (If the breading won't stick, damped the ravioli with a little water.)
  4. Place the breaded ravioli on a baking sheet and spray with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes, or until toasted. Serve with additional pesto.

 

 

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