Crispy Ravioli in Cherry Tomato Sauce (Vegetarian)

by Dorothy Reinhold on September 30, 2020

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Crispy Ravioli: Fresh ravioli get a turn in the skillet instead of being boiled, and a topping of quickly sautéed cherry tomatoes, for a dinner that goes from skillet to table in under 30 minutes.

As summer ends and school begins again, the annual re-tooling of the schedule begins.

Soccer practice, trumpet practice, play rehearsals, homework — always homework! — are wedged in, but still, dinner-hour looms. No matter what else is going on, we want a nice dinner.  We eat together every night; it’s a constant.

When the meal comes together quickly, without too much fanfare, prep or cleanup, it’s a blessing, especially on busy school nights.

Crispy Ravioli in Cherry Tomato Sauce on

This new recipe spins a favorite – fresh (not dried) ravioli – in a new direction, with a quick pan-fry instead of boiling. Maybe I’m just cranky, but ravioli always bursts open for me when I boil it, no matter how gently, so this cooking method solves that problem, too.

Fresh vs. frozen vs. dried ravioli

Fresh ravioli: This recipe calls for fresh ravioli, which is found in the refrigerated case at the grocery store. I am using fresh because it is a pretty fast saute in the skillet, and it works well for that.

Frozen ravioli: You could use frozen ravioli IF you thaw it completely first and then blot the outside dry. This removes the “fast” aspect of this dinner, since you have to plan ahead to thaw the rav. If you try to use frozen ravioli straight from the freezer, it will likely burn on the outside before the inside is completely thawed and cooked. So if you only have frozen, thaw it first.

Dry ravioli: Dry won’t work in this recipe, because it has to be hydrated first, and to do that you need to boil it. If you’re boiling it, you are cooking it, and you might as well just boil your dry ravioli and call it a day. You could always make the sauteed cherry tomato sauce and put it on your boiled ravioli though if you like the idea of this recipe and only have dry rav. 

How to make Crispy Ravioli in Cherry Tomato Sauce

Fresh ravioli in a dark skillet Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet and quick-fry the fresh ravioli, browning lightly on both sides. (Don’t walk away and leave it or it will burn. Ask me how I know.)6 Crispy Ravioli browned from the skillet on a white plateRemove them and put them onto your plates. (Yes, I know the ravioli in the skillet are triangles, and the ones on the plate are squares. I forgot to take the skillet photo the first time, and the next time I had bought a different shape!)

Cherry tomatoes sizzling in a skillet on

In the same skillet, quickly stir fry the cherry tomatoes. Have you ever made a sauce out of cherry tomatoes quickly sautéed in a skillet? I hadn’t either, but try it. In less than 5 minutes, you’ll have a delicious topping for your now-crisp ravioli.

Crispy Ravioli in Cherry Tomato Sauce on ShockinglyDelicious.comSpoon the cherry tomatoes onto the ravioli on the plate, garnish with fresh basil, and voila, dinner is served!

Crispy Ravioli in Cherry Tomato Sauce on a white plate on

Crispy Ravioli in Cherry Tomato Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 4.

Crispy Ravioli in Cherry Tomato Sauce

Crispy Ravioli: Fresh ravioli get a turn in the skillet instead of being boiled, and a topping of quickly sautéed cherry tomatoes, for a dinner that goes from skillet to table in 15 minutes.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 (9-ounce) packages fresh ravioli (not frozen) [often I will get 2 different flavors for added interest]
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes (20-24 ounces total) [a mix of colors is nice]
  • Pinch kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or pressed
  • 4 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (see note below)
  • Garnish: Fresh basil leaves


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. When shimmering, add one package ravioli, spreading out into a single layer. Fry for about 3-4 minutes, turning each ravioli at the halfway point, so both sides brown. Remove ravioli to 4 dinner plates and repeat with the remaining oil and other package of ravioli. When done, remove from pan to the same plates; all plates should have equal portions of ravioli on them.
  2. There will probably be oil left in the pan. If not, add a splash of olive oil, heat to shimmering, and add all cherry tomatoes. Sauté for a minute or two, add a pinch of salt, a few grinds of pepper, and continue sautéing another minute. Add garlic and sauté one more minute, until cherry tomatoes split and soften slightly. Most of them will still hold their shape. Spoon them out of the pan onto the ravioli.
  3. Sprinkle each serving with a tablespoon of cheese (see note below), garnish with basil leaves, and voila, dinner is served!
  4. Serves 4.


Recipe source: Inspiration for this recipe came from “Cooking Light: The Complete Quick Cook,” by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough (Time Home Entertainment, 2011). I then found the recipe for Quick Crisp Ravioli with Roasted Tomato Sauce online on their website. I have adapted it by eliminating several ingredients, an entire breading-and-frying cooking step, and altering the amounts of several other ingredients to suit our tastes. Play around and make your own version!

SPINACH VARIATION: On occasion, I have wilted spinach first (do that in the skillet before you do the ravioli) and put the ravioli on a bed of wilted spinach, making a complete meal out of it.

NOTE ABOUT CHEESE: Some brands of prepared ravioli have a little grated cheese and herb packet with them. If they do, you may use that instead of or in addition to the Parmesan called for in the recipe.

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Crispy Skillet Ravioli in Cherry Tomato Sauce -- top photo on a white plate, bottom photo in a dark skillet

Looking for more ravioli?

Gnudi Ravioli in red sauce in a white bowl against a green background

How about Gnudi (Nude Ravioli)?

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This recipe originally published on Shockingly Delicious Aug. 26, 2012. The post is refreshed, improved and republished today. 

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

SallyBR August 26, 2012 at 8:23 am

What a great, colorful meal! I would definitely use your twist with the wilted spinach, I’m very fond of a mixture of cherry tomatoes and spinach as a saucy component

now I am hungry! 😉


Dorothy August 26, 2012 at 10:26 am

Oh yes, spinach is pretty much a given! Or chard would work, or wilted beet greens.


Chelsea August 26, 2012 at 8:16 am

These look amazing! I love raviolis and pan frying them sounds so easy and delicious!


Dorothy August 26, 2012 at 10:27 am

I wasn’t so sure the pan-frying was going to work, but they are great and a bit chewy, which is the way I like them!


Angie @ Bigbearswife August 26, 2012 at 8:15 am

Beautiful colors!!!


Dorothy August 26, 2012 at 10:27 am

Thanks, Angie!


Lane @ Supper for a Steal August 26, 2012 at 8:05 am

Mmm crispy ravioli sounds like fried ravioli but a little healthier. Great idea to put it on a bed of spinach!


Dorothy August 26, 2012 at 10:27 am

Spinach, wilted beet greens or chard, or heck, dandelion greens or any other greens you favor!


Jen @JuanitasCocina August 26, 2012 at 8:00 am

LOVE the crispy ravioli! And that sauce is gorgeous!


Dorothy August 26, 2012 at 10:28 am

Thanks Jen!


diabeticFoodie August 26, 2012 at 7:17 am

What an innovative idea! Love that your family eats together every night.


Dorothy August 26, 2012 at 10:28 am

Diabetic Foodie,
Yeah, it just feels right, you know?


Paula @ Vintage Kitchen August 26, 2012 at 6:49 am

Love this idea for cooking ravioli! All in one skillet. Can´t get any easier. Happy sunday!


Dorothy August 26, 2012 at 10:29 am

I am queen of the one-skillet meal. The fewer pans to wash, the better, in my book.


Renee August 26, 2012 at 6:28 am

Love this! I’m making it this week for sure!!


Dorothy August 26, 2012 at 10:29 am

Great! Come and tell me how you like it!


katyabroad August 26, 2012 at 4:18 am

What a great idea for a ravioli topping – those tomatoes look so pretty and tasty!


Liz August 26, 2012 at 3:54 am

Oooh, those crispy ravioli look amazing! And such a simple sauce, too. Beautiful #SundaySupper!


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