Butternut squash ravioli is a delicious and nutritious pasta dish that is popular during the fall and winter months when butternut squash is in season. But like any food, it’s important to pay attention to the calorie content, especially if you are monitoring your calorie intake. In this article, we will take a close look at the calories in a serving of butternut squash ravioli and provide some tips for enjoying this pasta dish as part of a healthy diet.
Calories in Butternut Squash Ravioli
The number of calories in a serving of butternut squash ravioli can vary considerably depending on the brand, portion size, and preparation method. Here are some general nutrition facts for a typical serving:
- 1 cup (about 4-5 medium ravioli) contains approximately 250-400 calories
- A 2 oz. portion (about 2 large ravioli) contains around 130-200 calories
- A 4 oz. portion (about 4 large ravioli) contains roughly 260-400 calories
As you can see, ravioli calories can range widely even within the same portion size depending on factors like the filling ingredients, pasta thickness, cooking method, and addition of sauce or other ingredients. Pre-made frozen ravioli tends to be higher in calories than fresh homemade ravioli.
Calories in Butternut Squash Filling
To better understand the calorie content in butternut squash ravioli, it helps to look at the nutrition in the key ingredient – the butternut squash filling. Here are the calories in 1 cup of plain roasted butternut squash:
- Butternut squash, without butter or oil: 82 calories
- Butternut squash roasted with 1 tbsp olive oil: 132 calories
- Butternut squash roasted with 1 tbsp butter: 204 calories
As you can see, roasting the squash with some added fat significantly increases the calorie amount compared to plain roasted butternut squash. The filling for ravioli often contains butter or oil to enhance flavor. So the more butternut squash filling in each ravioli, the more calories it will contain.
Calories in Ravioli Pasta
In addition to the filling, the pasta dough itself also contributes a certain amount of calories:
- 2 oz dry pasta: 200 calories
- Fresh pasta dough: Approximately 110 calories in 4 oz uncooked
Ravioli pasta is essentially a combination of flour, eggs, oil or water, salt, and sometimes enriching ingredients like milk or spinach. Homemade pasta is usually lower in calories than dry pasta.
Impact of Cooking Method
How the ravioli is cooked also affects its calorie content. Here’s how much the cooking method adds:
- Boiled: Minimal additional calories
- Pan-fried: Around 50 additional calories per tbsp oil used
- Baked: Around 45 additional calories per tbsp oil used
- Sautéed: Around 50 additional calories per tbsp oil/butter used
Deep frying adds the most calories – between 70-90 additional calories per tbsp of oil used. Whenever possible, boiling is the lowest calorie option.
Calories from Sauce
Many people enjoy their butternut squash ravioli with sauce, which adds additional calories:
- 1/2 cup marinara sauce: Around 80 calories
- 1/2 cup alfredo sauce: Around 200 calories
- 1/2 cup pesto: Around 160 calories
- 1/2 cup brown butter sage sauce: Around 180 calories
Rich, creamy sauces like alfredo tend to be higher in calories than tomato-based sauces. Making sauces from scratch allows you to control the amount of oil, butter, and cream used.
Tips for Lightening Up Butternut Squash Ravioli
Here are some easy ways to enjoy butternut squash ravioli as part of a healthy diet by limiting calories:
- Purchase fresh ravioli and check the nutrition label for calorie information. Look for options with less than 200 calories per serving.
- Limit portion size to 2-3 large or 4-5 medium ravioli.
- Boost nutrition by stuffing ravioli with roasted squash instead of cheese or creamy fillings.
- Opt for boiling instead of frying in oil if cooking at home.
- Avoid heavy cream-based sauces and stick to tomato sauce or pesto.
- Use a light drizzle of olive oil instead of heaps of cheese or butter.
- Fill up on non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, spinach or cauliflower.
With smart choices and moderation, butternut squash ravioli can be part of an overall balanced diet. Focus on controlling portions, limiting added fats, and pairing it with lighter accompaniments and sides.
Nutrition Benefits of Butternut Squash Ravioli
Beyond calories, butternut squash ravioli provides some valuable nutrition:
- Vitamin A – Butternut squash is high in carotenoids like beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A supports eye health and immune function.
- Vitamin C – With 9% DV per serving, butternut squash ravioli provides immune-strengthening vitamin C.
- Potassium – Each serving contains 15-20% of the recommended potassium intake, which regulates blood pressure.
- Fiber – The butternut squash and pasta provide around 5-7 grams of fiber per serving to support digestion.
- Magnesium – Butternut squash contains magnesium to help regulate nerves and muscles.
So in moderation, butternut squash ravioli can be part of a nutritious diet and provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
Butternut Squash Ravioli Calories in Different Restaurants
To give you a sense of how butternut squash ravioli calories can vary depending on where you enjoy it, here is the nutrition data for popular restaurants:
|Olive Garden||5 ravioli||460|
|Carrabba’s Italian Grill||3 ravioli||290|
|Cheesecake Factory||5 ravioli||1000|
As you can see, calories range widely from 290 to 1000 per serving! The preparation methods, portion sizes, pasta quality, fillings, and sauces all play a role. Your best bet is to check calorie information ahead of time so you can make informed menu choices.
Butternut Squash Ravioli Calories in Frozen Options
For a quick and easy dinner, many people opt for frozen butternut squash ravioli that can be boiled, sautéed, or baked at home. Here are nutrition facts for some popular frozen brands:
|Celentano Foods||4 ravioli||260|
|Trader Joe’s||4 ravioli||300|
The calorie range for frozen is 260-320 per serving depending on the brand. Celentano is on the lower end while Trader Joe’s and Aldi are a bit higher. Check labels and stick to single servings to keep calories in check.
Butternut Squash Ravioli Recipe Nutrition Facts
If you want to control calories and nutrition, making homemade butternut squash ravioli is a great option. Here are nutrition facts based on a basic 4-ingredient recipe:
Homemade Butternut Squash Ravioli
- 2 oz. fresh pasta dough (about 2 large ravioli): 110 calories
- 1/4 cup roasted butternut squash: 41 calories
- 1 tbsp grated parmesan: 22 calories
- 1 tsp olive oil: 40 calories
Total (2 large ravioli): 213 calories
By making it yourself you can control the quality of ingredients. Use fresh vegetables, whole grain pasta, and limit fat for a lighter calorie dish.
Low Calorie Butternut Squash Ravioli Ideas
Here are even more tips for lightening up butternut squash ravioli at home:
- Swap out half the pasta for spiralized zucchini or squash noodles to decrease carb content.
- Mix in roasted cauliflower or spinach in the filling for extra nutrition.
- Use part-skim ricotta or Greek yogurt instead of full-fat cheese.
- Top with cherry tomatoes, arugula, and a drizzle of lemon juice instead of heavy cream sauce.
- For an easy veggie side, sauté broccoli rabe in garlic and chili flakes.
- Add shrimp to make it a main meal but watch portion sizes.
With a little creativity, you can enjoy butternut squash ravioli as part of a healthy meal plan even if you are limiting calories. Focus on fresh ingredients, smart cooking methods, and nutritious accompaniments.
Butternut squash ravioli can contain anywhere from 130 calories for 2 small ravioli up to over 1000 calories for a loaded restaurant portion. The ingredients, cooking method, portion size, and accompaniments can all impact the calories. Your best bet is to check labels, control portions, limit added fats, and fill up on non-starchy vegetables. Made with whole ingredients and eaten in moderation, butternut squash ravioli can be part of an overall nutritious diet.