Deep-Fried Ravioli


Fried ravioli! These are so yummy, it’s almost ridiculous. They’re oh-so-crispy on the outside, and oozing with creamy, molten cheese on the inside.

Start with fresh ravioli. (Frozen will work, too. Just thaw them completely in the fridge first.) For this recipe, I used a four-cheese ravioli made locally.

Use any quality ravioli that you like. Nowadays, you can find all sorts of creatively filled ravioli at most markets, so you’ve got a lot of possibilities. (And, of course, you can also make your own. More on this to come soon.)

For an uber-decadent version of this appetizer, take it completely over-the-top and use lobster ravioli.

Dipping sauces for Deep-Fried Ravioli

Now, your sauce will depend, of course, on the type of ravioli you’re using. Here are 4 ideas:

+Four-cheese ravioli with fresh marinara sauce
+Spinach and cheese ravioli with ranch dressing
+Lobster ravioli with homemade aioli
+If you can find a sweet, ricotta filled ravioli, serve them with melted chocolate laced with a spoonful of raspberry jam

Deep-Fried Ravioli: A note on technique and ingredients

Like my Garlic and Spinach Parmesan Rice, this is more technique than exact recipe.

I like to use olive oil here, but that can get expensive. Canola or peanut oil would work as well.

If it needs to be said, hot oil is nasty, nasty stuff. Be careful, and keep pets and children (etc.) away from the pot.

Deep-Fried Ravioli

Fresh ravioli
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh parsley, minced (for garnish)

Heat the deep-frying oil

Line a plate or sheet pan with a few paper towels. Set aside.

Set a large, heavy-bottomed pot on the stove. Fill it with 2 1/2 – 3 inches of oil. Turn the heat on high.

Deep-Fried Ravioli: Prep your ingredients

While the oil is heating, unwrap your ravioli. Sort through them quickly, and pull any apart that might be stuck together.

Pick out any ravioli that look suspect. (Ravioli that aren’t completely sealed will basically explode open when they hit the hot oil.) Set those aside or toss them.

Chop the parsley and set it aside.

How do I know when the oil is hot enough to deep fry?

Good question.

You can use a candy thermometer to check the temperature of the oil. Shoot for about 350 degrees. That’s hot enough to ensure that the ravioli cook through without absorbing a lot of oil, but not so hot that they’ll burn.

Or, you can do what I do: Just do a quick visual check. Give a ravioli a quick dip in the oil and see if it starts bubbling rapidly.

With your hand or a slotted spoon, dip a ravioli partially into the hot oil. If bubbles quickly form around it (i.e. the ravioli starts to fry), your oil is hot enough. If you don’t see any bubbles, remove the ravioli and test again in a few minutes.

When the oil is ready, it will look about like this:

Warning: If you do this the way I did, be very, very careful. Oil burns are nasty. If you’re not comfortable or familiar with frying, definitely dunk your ravioli using a slotted spoon.

How to fry the ravioli

The whole cooking process is very, very fast. Don’t fry your ravioli til you can give it your undivided attention.

When the oil’s hot enough, add your ravioli to the pot. Do this in batches. When you put them in, the oil should immediately bubble up around them, like this:

After a minute or so, they should start to float up to the surface.

Stir the ravioli around, turning them over, with a slotted spoon or skimmer.

How do I know when the fried ravioli are cooked?

Ravioli are bitty things, so they’re not going to take long to fry.

When they’re puffy and golden brown, yank them out of the oil with a slotted spoon or skimmer. Let them drain for a minute over the pot, then transfer them to your paper towel-lined plate or sheet pan to drain.

If your oil was hot enough and you didn’t crowd the pot, they really shouldn’t be greasy at all.

Sprinkle with kosher salt to taste.

Repeat this process until you’ve used up all the ravioli. When each batch comes out of the oil, sprinkle it with kosher salt (to taste) while it’s still hot. This helps the salt stick. (If you’re frying a large batch, keep them warm in a 200-degree oven ’til they’re all fried.)

Sprinkle the heap with chopped parsley.

Serve and enjoy!

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. Jessie-I’ve never heard of these before. WOW. Can’t wait to cook some up. You have great ideas for dipping sauces too. I’d think that they would be wonderful on all types of pasta too. Thank you. Sister Javamanjoe

  2. Ok that is some serious food porn. I’ve had breaded & fried raviolis before, in fact, they were the only edible thing in my college cafeteria. But I’ve never had just fried raviolis. Why do they explode if they’re open a bit? I can’t fry manicotti?

    • They would burst because the steam would build up quickly and find the easiest exit, the weak spot. A properly made ravioli has no weak spot.
      you COULD fry mannacotti, but i would not reccommend it unless you fried the empty tubes then put the filling in. I’m not an expert, but it is how i would do it if i did

  3. Thanks, guys! Can’t make these too often…I could eat the whole plate myself! ­čśÇ

    Nick–OH, never breaded them before. That’s next on the list.

    When there’s a bad seal on the ravioli, the stuffing–especially if there’s moisture–will expand when heated and pop the ravioli open. Whenever I’ve fried a ravioli that’s been open a little, the stuffing always boils out in the oil (and then burns and makes a mess).


  4. These look delicious and so easy and no recipe to write down or ingredients to remember-perfect! All technique! I think my kids will love these.
    Thank you
    Oh, Great pictures too!!

  5. Hey Jessie! I swear, I think you’ve got some southern in you somewhere. I’ve made this once before using Trader Joe’s cheese ravioli’s, and they melt in your mouth (and their addictive) I’m going to have to try the spinach with ranch, my kids will love that! Thanks for the awesome mouthwatering photos!

  6. Jessie, you have really outdone yourself with this one ! Its funny how this is such a rare recipe – yet makes so much sense at the same time!

    I can only imagine how the nice crispy skin enveloping melting mozzarela + sun dried tomato filling….

    oh such a good recipe, stumbled, stumbled, stumbled!

  7. The lore I know of these says they originated in my hometown – St. Louis. The original version was breaded in italian breadcrumbs and served only with red sauce. But it’s nice to see a St. Louis staple coming into its own.

  8. Jessie- These look absolutely EVIL, but my New Year’s resolution is on life support anyway. I’m going to make them! Which sauce is your favorite? The comments about broken seals sound like good advice. You won’t make any points with your cleanup crew if you end up with a bunch of melted cheese bobbing around in hot oil.

  9. […] 5. Deep Fried Ravioli at The Hungry Mouse I will be guest posting at Jessie’s next week, but first, you must go check out her deep fried ravioli recipe, it’s makes so much sense to fry ravioli that I don’t understand why not more people have done it. I suppose it’s abit like Jap style Gyozas but I will have to try this for myself, seriously London faux italian restaurants – fry some raviolis please, I will gladly pay money to eat it. Read the recipe here. […]

  10. i do this all the time! but i dip em in milk and cover them with panko with some parm and garlic seasoning. then i make a veggie sauce of food processored tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, red onions and some spaghetti sauce and of course, more garlic.


  11. Absolutely delicious. Even works with pre-made frozen ravioli, just thaw in hot water then fry em up. Definitely not as good with fresh but, pretty good.

  12. you know these are a st. louis tradition and much better if you bread them first. dip em in eggwash and then coat in herbed bread crumbs. they will cook evenly and the crunch is better. just casually mentioning it.