Yes, ravioli can absolutely be served cold. In fact, chilled ravioli makes for a refreshing and delicious meal on a hot summer day. Many ravioli recipes are specifically designed to be served cold from the fridge. The key is using a pasta dough that holds up well after cooking and chilling. Fresh homemade ravioli or store-bought refrigerated ravioli are both good options for cold ravioli dishes.
What is ravioli?
Ravioli is a type of stuffed pasta consisting of small packets of dough filled with cheese, meat, vegetables, or other ingredients. The dough is sealed around the filling to create pillow-shaped pieces that are either square, round, or semi-circular. Ravioli is usually served in a sauce or broth. Traditional ravioli fillings include ricotta cheese, spinach, ground meat, seafood, and a mix of cheeses like parmesan, mozzarella and romano. Ravioli originated in Italy and is now popular worldwide as a fresh or frozen pasta meal.
Is it safe to eat cold ravioli?
Yes, it is perfectly safe to eat properly handled ravioli cold. Ravioli that has been freshly refrigerated and kept chilled at 40°F or below poses no risks. Just like any perishable food, ravioli should not be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. As long as chilled ravioli is consumed within 3-5 days and reheated to 165°F before serving, it will be safe from any bacterial growth. When buying prepared or frozen ravioli, follow package instructions carefully for storage.
What are the benefits of cold ravioli?
Eating ravioli cold has several advantages:
- Chilled ravioli is refreshing on a hot day
- The flavors of fillings like cheese, vegetables and herbs stand out more
- Cold ravioli holds its shape better when topped with sauce
- No need to cook and reheat – it’s ready to eat from the fridge
- Cold ravioli works well for make-ahead appetizers and side dishes
- Chilled ravioli salads allow textures and flavors to mingle
The cool temperature allows the bright, fresh fillings of the ravioli to take center stage rather than being overpowered by a hot dish.
What types of ravioli work well served cold?
Almost any well-made fresh or frozen ravioli can be served cold right out of the refrigerator. Here are some of the best varieties to eat chilled:
- Cheese ravioli – Ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, goat cheese
- Vegetable ravioli – Spinach, butternut squash, mushroom
- Seafood ravioli – Shrimp, crab, lobster
- Meat ravioli – Chicken, prosciutto, salami
- Fruit ravioli – Apple, lemon, blueberry
The key is that the filling should be rich, flavorful, and able to hold its texture when chilled. Cheese, seafood, vegetable, and fruit fillings are naturally well-suited to being served cold.
What ingredients make the best cold ravioli?
To make tasty homemade ravioli for eating cold, look for these ideal ingredients:
- Produce with crunch – Bell peppers, spinach, zucchini
- Soft tangy cheeses – Ricotta, goat cheese, mascarpone
- Bright fruits – Lemon, strawberry, mango
- Savory meats – Salami, prosciutto, chicken
- Hearty fish – Tuna, salmon, crab
- Robust herbs – Basil, dill, parsley
Produce that retains crispness after cooking or cheese that stays creamy when chilled make tasty fillings. Bold seasonings like garlic, onions, and herbs also help the flavors shine through.
What ingredients should be avoided?
Ingredients that become soggy, mute, or mealy when cold are less desirable for chilled ravioli. Stay away from these items:
- Starchy vegetables like potatoes or corn
- Watery produce such as tomatoes or cucumbers
- Delicate herbs like cilantro
- Soft cheeses like brie or mozzarella
- Lean meats like chicken breast
- Mild white fish
These ingredients either lose their texture, flavor, or appeal when prepared ahead and served cold. heartier choices make the ravioli filling more bold and interesting.
What dough works best for cold ravioli?
The dough encasing the filling plays a key role in cold ravioli. The pasta dough must be sturdy enough to hold its shape after cooking and chilling without becoming soggy. Here are tips for dough when making ravioli to serve cold:
- Choose semolina flour or durum flour rather than all-purpose – it gives more structure
- Add whole eggs rather than just yolks for protein and structure
- Rest the dough thoroughly to allow gluten to develop before rolling
- Roll dough to 2-3 mm thick so it’s sturdy but still tender when cooked
- Undercook the ravioli slightly so it doesn’t get mushy when chilled
The right pasta dough makes all the difference in getting tender yet firm ravioli that holds up after cooling. Store-bought fresh pasta or homemade dough with added structure both work well.
What sauce pairs best with cold ravioli?
Sauces and condiments complement chilled ravioli both as toppings and stir-ins in pasta salads. Savory, bright sauces add moisture and flavor. These sauces make excellent additions:
- Pesto – Fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan
- Marinara – Tomato sauce, garlic, red wine vinegar, oregano
- Alfredo – Heavy cream, parmesan, garlic, pepper
- Gorgonzola cream – Gorgonzola, parmesan, cream, thyme
- White wine lemon sauce – Butter, lemon juice, white wine, shallot
- Tapenades – Olive, artichoke, roasted red pepper
Aim for sauces that cling well, rather than a thin dressing that will pool at the bottom of the dish. Go light on oil or cream-based sauces which congeal when chilled.
What are good ways to serve cold ravioli?
Beyond a simple plate of chilled ravioli with sauce on top, there are lots of tasty ways to serve and enjoy it:
- Ravioli salad – Toss with lettuce, tomato, cheese, olives, dressing
- Ravioli skewers – Thread on skewers with cheese cubes, grapes, basil
- Ravioli appetizer bites – Top with tapenade, prosciutto, smoked salmon
- Ravioli side dish – Drizzle with pesto, parmesan, chopped nuts
- Ravioli tray bake – Layer with sauce and mozzarella, bake cold
- Stuffed ravioli – Fill larger ravioli with cheese/spinach filling
Let your creativity run wild! Just about any combination of proteins, vegetables, herbs and sauces can elevate chilled ravioli.
Can you freeze ravioli to eat cold later?
Absolutely! Freezing cooked ravioli is a great way to prepare a large batch ahead of time to have cold ravioli ready when you want it. Here’s how:
- Cook ravioli until just shy of al dente, drain and rinse with cold water
- Spread out ravioli in a single layer on a sheet pan to freeze individually
- Once frozen, transfer ravioli to a freezer bag or container
- Thaw ravioli in the fridge before gently reheating in sauce
- Alternatively, add frozen ravioli directly to soups and stews to cook
Frozen ravioli maintains its texture very well. Just be sure to slightly undercook initially before freezing so it doesn’t get mushy when reheated.
Tips for making cold ravioli
Follow these tips for perfect refrigerator ravioli every time:
- Handle dough gently to avoid ripping when boiling
- Press filling into dough wells firmly so ravioli seal tightly
- Use a sturdy dough – semolina or egg pasta works great
- Undercook the ravioli by 1-2 minutes before chilling
- Shock in an ice bath after boiling to stop cooking
- Drain and dry ravioli well before saucing or the sauce will slide off
- Store chilled ravioli in an airtight container up to 5 days
Proper handling is important both in shaping and cooking the ravioli to end up with tender, sauce-clinging pasta when served cold.
Cold ravioli recipes
Here are a few delicious cold ravioli recipes to try:
Pesto Caprese Ravioli Salad
- Cheese or spinach ravioli
- Cherry tomatoes, halved
- Mozzarella pearls or fresh mozzarella, diced
- Torn fresh basil
- Prepared pesto
- Balsamic glaze
- Olive oil
Toss chilled ravioli with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, pesto, a drizzle of balsamic glaze and olive oil. The classic Caprese flavors pair wonderfully with the pasta.
Ravioli Seafood Cocktail
- Lemon ravioli
- Cooked shrimp, crab, or lobster meat
- Chopped celery and red onion
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- Olive oil
- Chopped fresh dill
Marinate seafood in lemon juice, zest, olive oil, dill, celery, and onion. Toss with chilled lemon ravioli for a seafood cocktail twist.
Mediterranean Ravioli Meze Platter
- Assorted vegetable or cheese ravioli
- Baba ghanoush
- Mixed olives
- Grape tomatoes
- Feta cheese
- Pita chips
Arrange small bites of chilled ravioli, hummus, baba ghanoush, olives, tomatoes and feta. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with pita chips.
Serving ravioli cold straight from the fridge is not just convenient – it’s delicious! The pasta holds its shape while the filling flavors shine when chilled. Nearly any type of ravioli works well prepared ahead and eaten cool. Keep ravioli safety in mind by using fresh ingredients and chilling within 2 hours of cooking. Serve creatively on salads, platters and in appetizer bites for easy make-ahead meals perfect for summer. Ravioli transforms from a hot comfort dish to a cool, refreshing treat when served fridge-cold.