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Can you cook ravioli straight from frozen?

Quick Answer

Yes, you can absolutely cook ravioli straight from frozen. There are a few simple tricks to ensure perfect, al dente ravioli when cooking directly from the freezer. The main keys are using a large pot of boiling water, not overcrowding the pot, and cooking just until the ravioli float to the top. With these tips, you can skip the hassle of thawing and cook frozen ravioli to creamy, pillowy perfection.

Cooking Frozen Ravioli

Cooking ravioli straight from the freezer is easy, convenient, and avoids the extra time and mess of thawing. Here are some key tips for perfect results:

Use Plenty of Water

Cook ravioli in a large pot with lots of water, at least 6 quarts of water for 1 pound of frozen ravioli. This helps the ravioli cook evenly and prevents them from sticking together. Bring the water to a rapid boil before adding the ravioli.

Don’t Overcrowd

Add the frozen ravioli slowly and in batches if needed to prevent overcrowding the pot. Frozen ravioli need room to move around and cook properly. Overcrowding will cause them to stick.

Cook Until Ravioli Float

Once added to boiling water, frozen ravioli will sink to the bottom at first. Cook them according to the package time, usually 2-3 minutes, until the ravioli float to the top and look puffed. This means they are cooked through.

Avoid Ripping Ravioli

Use a gentle hand when stirring or retrieving ravioli from the pot. Frozen ravioli are delicate and the filling can leak if ripped. Consider using a slotted spoon or skimmer to remove cooked ravioli.

Keep Sauce Separate

Cook any sauce for the ravioli separately to avoid diluting the flavor. Simply toss the cooked ravioli with your favorite sauce after draining.

Tips for Freezing and Thawing Ravioli

While cooking ravioli straight from frozen is easy, you may also find yourself needing to properly freeze or thaw ravioli. Here are some useful tips:

Freezing Ravioli

– Lay ravioli out in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid, about 2 hours. This prevents them from sticking together.

– Once frozen, transfer ravioli to a freezer bag or airtight container. Squeeze out excess air and seal.

– Label with the type of ravioli and date frozen. Ravioli will keep frozen for 2-3 months.

Thawing Ravioli

– For food safety, thaw frozen ravioli in the refrigerator overnight. This prevents bacterial growth.

– You can quick thaw in cold water but cook immediately after thawing. Change the water every 30 minutes.

– Cook within 1-2 days of thawing. Do not refreeze thawed ravioli.

Choosing the Best Frozen Ravioli

With so many frozen ravioli options on the market, it can be tricky to choose the best quality. Here are some tips for picking great frozen ravioli:

Check the Ingredients

Choose ravioli with simple, high quality ingredients like:

– Durum wheat or semolina flour for the pasta dough

– Real ricotta, mozzarella or parmesan for cheese ravioli fillings

– Fresh herbs and spices vs. artificial flavors

– Real meat or seafood vs. fillers if meat-filled

Watch Out for Rips or Tears

Inspect the frozen ravioli carefully before buying. Pass on any packages where the ravioli look cracked, ripped or misshapen. This could indicate uneven cooking or fillings leaking out.

Seek Proper Storage and Handling

Only buy frozen ravioli that is rock hard in the store freezer. Avoid any thawed or soft packages. For food safety, the ravioli should be kept frozen until you are ready to cook.

Check the Best By Date

Make sure the frozen ravioli has at least 6 months before reaching the “best by” or expiration date printed on the bag. This gives you plenty of time to use it.

Read Customer Reviews

Check online customer reviews of different frozen ravioli brands. This can reveal any issues with quality, taste or preparation. Go with highly rated products.

Different Types of Frozen Ravioli

There are so many delicious varieties of frozen ravioli. Here is an overview of some popular types you can buy:

Cheese Ravioli

Classic cheese ravioli feature a rich ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella or combination cheese filling. They pair well with both meat and cream-based sauces.

Meat Ravioli

Chicken, beef, pork or turkey ravioli boast a savory meat filling. Hearty meat sauces or basil pesto work well.

Seafood Ravioli

Crab, shrimp and lobster ravioli offer a delicate, briny seafood taste. They are delicious with lemon garlic sauce or herb butter.

Vegetable Ravioli

Roasted vegetable, mushroom, spinach or butternut squash ravioli make a nice meatless meal. Tomato sauce is a classic pairing.

Herbed Ravioli

Oregano, basil, Asiago cheese or sundried tomato flavors infuse this ravioli with herbs and spice. Walnut or champagne cream sauces complement nicely.

Dessert Ravioli

For a sweet treat, try chocolate, fruit or sweet ricotta ravioli dusted with powdered sugar or cinnamon.

5 Easy Frozen Ravioli Recipes

Here are 5 delicious yet simple recipe ideas for frozen ravioli:

1.Chicken Alfredo Ravioli


  • 1 bag frozen chicken ravioli
  • 2 cups alfredo pasta sauce
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • Chopped parsley for garnish


  1. Cook ravioli according to package directions until float and al dente, about 3 minutes.
  2. Drain ravioli and toss with warmed alfredo sauce and parmesan.
  3. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve immediately.

2. Shrimp Scampi Ravioli


  • 1 bag frozen shrimp ravioli
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook ravioli according to package time until float.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.
  3. Deglaze pan with white wine. Let reduce by half.
  4. Toss cooked ravioli with garlic butter sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve warm.

3. Ravioli Lasagna Bake


  • 1 bag frozen beef ravioli
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • Fresh basil and oregano for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cook ravioli according to package time until just underdone, about 2 minutes less.
  3. Drain ravioli and toss with 1/2 jar of marinara sauce.
  4. Layer half the ravioli in a casserole dish. Top with ricotta dots, mozzarella and parmesan.
  5. Repeat layers and top with remaining sauce.
  6. Bake 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.
  7. Cool 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with basil and oregano.

4. Lemon Garlic Shrimp Ravioli


  • 1 bag frozen shrimp ravioli
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Boil ravioli 2-3 minutes until float and cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat. Sauté garlic 1 minute.
  3. Add broth, lemon juice, parsley and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Toss drained ravioli with lemon garlic sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Garnish with more parsley and lemon wedges.

5. Three Cheese Ravioli with Pesto


  • 1 bag frozen three cheese ravioli
  • 1/2 cup prepared basil pesto
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish


  1. Cook ravioli 2-3 minutes until al dente.
  2. Toss hot ravioli with pesto sauce until coated.
  3. Top with diced tomatoes and toasted pine nuts.
  4. Garnish with fresh basil. Serve warm.

Cooking Different Frozen Pasta Shapes

While ravioli gets the most freezer aisle spotlight, many other pasta shapes freeze well too. Here are some tips for cooking frozen pasta:

Frozen Pasta Shape Cooking Tips
Penne or Rigatoni Boil 6-8 minutes in salted water until al dente with a little bite left.
Lasagna Noodles Boil 4-5 minutes just until pliable enough to roll around a fork.
Spaghetti Cook frozen spaghetti 7-9 minutes until strands are tender but not mushy.
Gnocchi Frozen gnocchi only needs 90 seconds in boiling water until they float.
Tortellini Cook 4-5 minutes until tortellini float to the top.

The key for any frozen pasta shape is boiling in plenty of salted water and testing frequently for doneness. Drain immediately after cooking and proceed with your planned sauce or recipe.

Storing Leftover Cooked Ravioli

Have leftover cooked ravioli? Here are some storage tips:

  • Let ravioli cool completely before storing.
  • Store ravioli and sauce separately in airtight containers.
  • Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
  • Can freeze leftover ravioli for 2-3 months. Cool completely then transfer ravioli to freezer bags or containers, removing excess air.
  • When reheating, add a splash of water or sauce to prevent dried out ravioli.

Properly stored, leftover ravioli maintains its taste and texture beautifully for multiple meals. Simply reheat gently before serving.

Common Problems When Cooking Frozen Ravioli

Cooking frozen ravioli is simple but there are a few common problems to avoid:

Ravioli Sticking Together

– Use plenty of boiling water – at least 6 quarts for 1 pound ravioli

– Don’t overcrowd pot – cook ravioli in batches

– Gently stir after adding ravioli to water

Ravioli Falling Apart

– Be gentle when stirring and draining

– Do not overcook – remove from heat as soon as ravioli float

Waterlogged Ravioli

– Drain immediately after cooking

– Do not rinse cooked ravioli with cold water

Ravioli With Hard Centers

– Fully cook ravioli until float and puffed

– If making lasagna or casserole, undercook ravioli slightly before baking

Ripped or Leaking Ravioli

– Handle gently when removing from packaging

– Use slotted spoon or skimmer to remove cooked ravioli

Cooking Frozen Ravioli FAQs

How long does it take to cook frozen ravioli?

Cook frozen ravioli for 2 to 3 minutes until they float to the top of the pot and look puffed up. This ensures they are heated through.

Should you thaw frozen ravioli before cooking?

Thawing is optional – you can absolutely cook ravioli straight from the freezer. Just allow an extra minute or so of cook time.

Can you refreeze thawed ravioli?

It is unsafe to refreeze thawed ravioli. Cook ravioli within 1-2 days of thawing in the refrigerator.

What is the best way to reheat cooked ravioli?

Gently reheat leftover cooked ravioli in simmering sauce or by steaming until warmed through, about 3-5 minutes. Do not microwave ravioli.

How do you store leftover cooked ravioli?

Let cooked ravioli cool fully, then refrigerate in a sealed container up to 4 days. You can also freeze cooked ravioli for longer storage.


Cooking frozen ravioli is an easy weeknight meal option with minimal prep needed. Just boil in plenty of salted water for 2-3 minutes until the ravioli float to the top. Resist overcrowding the pot, handle ravioli gently, and drain immediately after cooking for perfect, pillowy pasta. Pair cooked ravioli with your favorite sauce and enjoy. With the proper handling, frozen ravioli cooks up tender and delicious. Now go savor this fast, flavorful pasta straight from the freezer.