Ravioli is a beloved Italian filled pasta – you can find them with a variety of fillings and sauces, in soups, and even fried! Whether you are cooking ravioli from the grocery store or making your own dough and filling at home, you will want to make the dish complete. So what sauce do you pair with ravioli – what do you serve with it?
One of the great things about ravioli is they can have a variety of fillings, meaning there’s no wrong answer. Marinara, alfredo, and an herbaceous pesto all make great sauces. Salad, garlic bread, shrimp, grilled meat, wine, and more all make delicious pairings to eat with ravioli.
How Would You Describe Ravioli?
Ravioli are like perfect pillows of pasta, filled with: creamy cheeses, meat, mushrooms, or even a mixture of all the above. The tender sheets of pasta completely encase the filling and then are stamped out into little squares, waiting for a sauce to bathe in. You can find ravioli with other various shapes, but those may be called different names.
When making ravioli at home, you can even make spinach pasta for a fun and tasty green ravioli. Making them yourself also allows you to fill them with whatever you want, like a walnut and shrimp filling. Although, traditionally, ravioli are simply filled with a ricotta cheese and spinach mixture and served with a red tomato sauce.
What Should I Serve with Ravioli?
When planning out your next meal with ravioli, it’s important to think about what you will be serving with it. Will it act as the main course, or do you want it to take the side seat?
There are even options for ravioli dessert! Yes, you read that correctly, dessert ravioli. Let’s explore all the tasty options.
In Italian cuisine, pasta is typically considered a first course to a larger meal, or primo. The main course, or ‘il secondo’, usually consists of meat or fish. Here are some great second course dishes to serve following ravioli, or along with it.
Who doesn’t love a good steak? If you have never had the pleasure of enjoying a Bistecca alla Fiorentina, or Florentine steak, you should definitely put it on your must try list.
This Tuscan dish is not for the faint of heart as the steak is served rare, and definitely for the beef lover. Its simplicity makes it special. While you could use another cut of beef, a thick porterhouse is recommended.
A hot sear on the grill, cooking the unseasoned steak only to rare and then removing it to rest is the process for this Italian steak. Once the steak is off the grill, you season with good kosher salt, freshly cracked pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.
The flavor of the steak is wonderful! Indulging in this steak after a delicious bowl of ravioli would make for a wonderful meal!
Parmesan Baked Pork Chops
If you grew up with shake and bake pork chops, think of this as an elevated version.
- Season 2 inch thick, boneless pork chops with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle both sides with olive oil.
- Then dredge your pork in an even mixture of Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.
- Bake in a casserole dish at 375 for about 45 minutes, or until done.
The combination of olive oil, parmesan cheese, and bread crumbs help to retain the moisture in the pork and would pair so nicely with most any type of ravioli.
Roasted Chicken Thighs
Another great main course is roasted chicken thighs. You will want to use bone-in chicken thighs with the skin as this will provide crispy skin and moist, flavorful chicken.
Simply season the thighs all over with your favorite spice blend and drizzle on olive oil. Bake at 400 until the skin is crispy and meat is cooked through. Add a nice side salad along with the roasted chicken thighs and ravioli for a great meal!
Lamb chops have an earthy and somewhat grassy flavor that would go so well with a mushroom ravioli. Whether you are searing your lamb chops and finishing in the oven or grilling them, they would make an excellent main course along with ravioli. For a nice bright flavor, consider serving with a mint sauce.
Halibut en Papillote
For the seafood lover, try serving your ravioli with Halibut en Papillote. When you hear “en Papillote” this just means something that is cooked enclosed in parchment paper. Halibut is the classic fish for this dish.
Simply place one piece of fish in the middle of a large piece of parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, basil, pine nuts, and squeeze of lemon before wrapping the parchment paper in a neat little package. Bake until the fish is cooked.
Flank Steak with Italian Chimichuri
For a great, quick cooking and less expensive steak option to serve with ravioli, try a flank steak served with an Italian chimichurri, otherwise known as Salsa Verde. Chimichurri is an herb based condiment traditionally made with parsley and cilantro.
The Italian version, salsa verde, replaces the cilantro with basil and also adds more briny flavors. WIth the addition of: capers, anchovies, and lemon juice, this sauce is excellent served alongside a grilled flank steak and ravioli. Be sure and serve with some toasty bread to sop up all the juices!
Shrimp scampi is a super flavorful, garlicky shrimp dish that is typically served with angel hair pasta. But why not, serve it with ravioli instead? Cook the shrimp in: olive oil, butter, white wine, lemon, and lots of chopped garlic. Top the shrimp scampi with some fresh grated parmesan and serve with your favorite ravioli for a delicious meal.
Another classic pasta pairing is chicken parmesan. It’s best to work with thin chicken breasts as this ensures even cooking.
- Using the standard breading procedure of: flour, egg wash, bread crumb – coat each chicken breast.
- Fry in a little oil and butter on the stove in an oven safe skillet until chicken is cooked.
- Drain the skillet of excess grease and pour in your favorite tomato sauce.
- Add your cooked chicken into the sauce.
- Top with grated mozzarella and place under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly.
Whether you are serving the chicken parmesan after your ravioli course, or along with it, you are sure to enjoy this combo!
For a bright spring dish, try serving a lemon ricotta ravioli along with a roasted or grilled salmon. Finish the two in a light cream sauce studded with spring peas or fava beans and fresh lemon zest. This will not only make your taste buds sing, but makes for a stunning presentation.
Because ravioli can be such a filling and complete meal, sometimes you just need a nice side dish (or two!) to eat along with the ravioli. Here are some great options for no matter what mood you are in.
Sometimes just serving ravioli with some crusty, garlic bread is all you need for a delicious, complete meal! Whether you are serving your ravioli as part of a soup or in a sauce, having some garlic bread to eat with it is a good idea.
No matter what type of ravioli you are serving, a roasted vegetable side makes for a great pairing. You can use whatever vegetables are in season and roast them in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Try root vegetables, such as: parsnips, carrots, and sweet potatoes in the fall or butternut squash, brussel sprouts, and leeks in the winter. For spring and summer options, try roasting: corn, tomatoes, onions, broccoli, or cauliflower.
If you are needing something that offers a little more substance to go along with your ravioli, try grilled portobello mushrooms. This offers a great vegetarian option, but also “meaty” enough for anyone.
Simply rub olive oil, salt, and pepper on both sides of your portobello mushrooms and grill for about 8 minutes total, flipping once. Finish these giant mushroom caps with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and chopped parsley for an earthy, hearty, and tasty side dish that pairs nicely with ravioli.
Ratatouille is a great way to use all of those vegetables in your refrigerator before they go bad. It’s also a great dish to serve with ravioli. A traditional ratatouille contains: eggplant, tomatoes, onions, zucchini, garlic, and herbs that are stewed together. This hearty and robust vegetable dish would be excellent served with ravioli.
Tuscan White Beans
Cannellini, navy beans, or great northern beans all make excellent choices when making Tuscan white beans. This humble Italian side dish would make for a great pairing to ravioli. You could use dried beans or canned will work just fine also.
If using canned, simply heat up the beans in olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper, then finish with fresh lemon. This makes for a bright side dish with the ravioli.
Prosciutto wrapped Green Beans
You may be more used to seeing asparagus wrapped in bacon, but here is a delightful twist to that classic: prosciutto wrapped green beans.
Wrapping the thinly sliced prosciutto around a bundle of green beans (4-5 per bundle), drizzle with olive oil and freshly cracked pepper before roasting in the oven. This makes for a quick and flavorful side dish that will pair nicely with any type of ravioli.
Peas and Pancetta
Another excellent meat and veggie pairing is pancetta and peas. Pancetta, the Italian cousin to bacon, can be rendered down to a salty and crisp nugget of flavor that goes well with peas. This flavorful duo goes well with ravioli and makes for a tasty meal.
Zucchini and Ricotta
For a meatless vegetable option, try pan frying large chunks of zucchini in olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve the zucchini on top of ricotta cheese that has been drizzled with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and chopped herbs. This bright and satisfying side dish will pair nicely with most any ravioli.
Salads are a great, versatile side dish or can even serve as a satisfying main dish. They are great because the options are endless on how to make one!
Adding your favorite fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, and other proteins to your favorite lettuce and tossing with a variety of dressings make it easy to tailor a salad to exactly what you want to eat. Enjoying one with a bowl of ravioli makes for a well balanced meal.
Spinach salads make such a great side dish to pasta. The contrast of a heavy pasta with a light salad makes for a good choice. Another great thing about spinach salads, is you can enjoy them year round by having spinach as the base and adding in other ingredients that are in season.
For a summer salad, try peaches, tomatoes, and pine nuts for a nice crunch. Winter spinach salads are great with pomegranate seeds, blue cheese, walnuts, and a balsamic vinaigrette. No matter the season, serving a spinach salad along with ravioli is a great idea.
Another great, classic salad to serve alongside ravioli is a Caesar salad. No matter what type of ravioli you are serving, it is sure to compliment the classic Caesar salad.
For a super quick meal, heat up store bought ravioli with your favorite jarred sauce and serve along a bagged Caesar salad kit from your grocery store! Dinner is ready in under 15 minutes!
The ever classic Salad Nicoise is such an elegant option for your next meal. This French salad consists of oily and briny ingredients: olives, anchovies, and oil packed tuna, mixed with lettuce, lettuce, green beans, green peppers, basil, boiled eggs, and potatoes.
Like anything, there are more modern versions, but the classic Nicoise would be beautiful alongside a bowl of ravioli.
A Greek salad would be a great side dish to eat with ravioli. Greek salads are often briny and acidic, making a great balance to ravioli, which can sometimes feel heavy.
Start with chopped romaine, or other lettuce of choice, and add: tomatoes, Kalamata olives, red onion, cucumber, pepperoncini rings, and feta cheese. Toss this mix with a simple vinaigrette and you have a bold, delicious, and bright salad to eat with your ravioli.
Whether you are serving the ravioli as dessert or looking for a tasty ending to your ravioli meal, there are some fun options to explore!
Want a fun way to impress your guests? Or even if you’re just enjoying a meal with your family, these sweet filled ravioli are so fun to make! Using wonton wrappers as a shortcut, lay out several on a lightly floured counter and follow these simple steps.
- Place a spoonful of sweet ricotta, studded with mini chocolate chips in the middle of each wonton wrapper.
- Top each mound with another wonton, pressing around the filling to get the air pockets out.
- Using a sharp knife, ravioli stamp, or cookie cutter, cut each ravioli to seal.
- Drop 4-5 into oil that’s been heated to 350 and fry until lightly golden, flipping once.
- Drain on paper towels and dust powdered sugar all over, serve with fudge and caramel sauces.
The wonton wrappers not only serve as a shortcut, but also fry up beautifully.
Cheesecake filled Ravioli
Making a cheesecake inspired filling for ravioli is simply heavenly. Lightly sweetened cream cheese is mixed together with sugar, egg, and a splash of vanilla.
Using either wonton wrappers as a shortcut, or homemade pasta dough these raviolis can be fried or baked. Serve with your favorite sweet dipping sauce for a sweet and fun dessert
Chocolate ravioli do exist! Some specialty stores carry these delicious treats or you can make your own. Pasta dough is transformed with the addition of cocoa powder.
Choosing your favorite sweet filling like a sweet ricotta or cream cheese makes these out of this world. You can serve chocolate ravioli with a creme anglaise sauce, raspberry puree, or or just dusted with powdered sugar.
If you are serving ravioli as your meal and looking for a delicious ending, tiramisu is a great choice. This sweet Italian classic is lovingly known as a “pick me up” dessert since it has espresso. Spongy cakes, called lady fingers, are generously soaked in espresso and layered with a sweet mascarpone filling.
Cocoa powder and shaved chocolate finish this rich and sophisticated dessert. Indulging in a creamy but light dessert such as Tiramisu would be a delightful way to end your meal of ravioli.
Serving gelato (Italian ice cream) after ravioli is a great way to end your meal. You can find several flavors of gelato in most grocery stores making this a quick choice to have. A fun idea if having a dinner party, is to serve several flavors of gelato to see which is the favorite!
Ravioli is such a great meal choice, because not only can they be made with different fillings, you can serve it with a variety of sauces. Depending on the filling, what you have in your pantry, or what mood you’re in, the possibilities are almost endless!
Whether your ravioli are filled with cheese, meat, or a combination, you can’t go wrong with serving them with a classic marinara.
Using a jarred marinara and frozen ravioli makes for one of the easiest dinners. Alternatively, you can make both sauce and pasta from scratch.
Creamy Alfredo doesn’t just have to be reserved for fettuccine! Mushroom ravioli go particularly well with the creamy, cheesy sauce. Other ravioli fillings to consider serving with alfredo sauce are: meat, seafood, spinach, or a combination of these.
Pesto makes a great choice of sauces for most any ravioli. There are several different types of pesto all with slightly different flavors. Some are basil forward, while others are a little more subtle.
For a milder tasting pesto, making it versatile on most any food, try mixing together: spinach, toasted walnuts, garlic, parmesan, and olive oil. Process these together in a food processor and season with: salt, pepper, and fresh lemon juice.
Whether the ravioli is stuffed with: cheese, meat, veggies, or seafood, the spinach pesto will pair well.
Another red tomato sauce, ragu, would make a great choice as a sauce for ravioli. Ragu is made with meat, sometimes a combination of beef, pork, and lamb; along with onions, celery, carrots, wine, and a tomato product.
Some ragus are saucy, while others are more meat based. Serving a ragu with a cheese filled ravioli would make for a smart combination.
Butter sauces are so versatile and do a great job of accentuating the foods paired with it. Making a brown butter sauce with some garlic, sage, salt, and pepper would make a flavorful sauce over pumpkin filled ravioli.
A classic Italian soup is Tortellini en Brodo, or tortellini in broth. Substituting the tortellini with ravioli would make a very simple, yet flavorful and filling meal. Cooking the ravioli, whether store bought or homemade in a good quality broth makes for a comforting bowl of soup when it’s cold out.
Most any beverage can be enjoyed with ravioli, although some pair better than others. If you are looking for something that brings out the flavors or just blends in nicely with the ravioli there are some great options.
White wines can be crisp and refreshing, fruity or dry or somewhere in between. Most white wines would pair well with ravioli, no matter the filling and sauce. A particularly well paired dish would be an oaky and dry Chardonnay with mushroom filled ravioli, served with an Alfredo sauce.
There are so many varieties and blends of red wine, some heavy and bold, others oaky, fruity, or dry. A medium bodied Merlot or Malbec would go great with classic ravioli and beef ragu. Try to find a red wine that is not so full bodied, as ravioli can be a heavy dish.
Coffee would make for an enjoyable drink with ravioli, in particular a dessert ravioli. Serve a decaf coffee if it’s later in the evening and enjoy with a chocolate ravioli. Chocolate and coffee are a match made in heaven!
Another great drink choice with ravioli is sparkling water. Sparkling water offers a subtle carbonation that doesn’t impact the flavor profile of your meal. Even if you are serving a flavored sparkling water, the slight flavor it provides shouldn’t impact the taste.
Raviolis can be found with a multitude of fillings, paired with different sauces, and enjoyed with many different things. If you are looking for ways to enjoy these soft pillows of pasta, there are so many options.
Eating a cheese and spinach filled pasta with classic marinara is sure to be delicious. You can also try a pumpkin filled ravioli with a sage butter sauce for an unique and flavorful Combination. For a sweet treat, try making your own ravioli, frying them up and serving with a dessert sauce!