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Fried Ravioli with Marinara Dipping Sauce


This appetizer is surprisingly light and crunchy. It's also very easy to make ahead, and then to deep fry once your guests have arrived.

This recipe is adapted from Giada De Laurentiis.

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Rate this recipe 4.3/5 (24 Votes)


  • Homemade quick marinara sauce:
  • Olive oil, for frying (I use peanut oil)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs (I use Japanese Panko crumbs for extra crunch and season them with Italian seasoning)
  • 1 box store-bought cheese ravioli (about 24 ravioli)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 jar store bought marinara sauce, heated, for dipping (I make my own)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (buy San Marzano if possible)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, dried*
  • 1 teaspoons basil, dried*
  • or 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 whole bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Servings 4
Adapted from


Step 1

Pour enough oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 325 degrees F.

While the oil is heating, put the buttermilk and the bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Working in batches, dip ravioli in buttermilk to coat completely.

Allow the excess buttermilk to drip back into the bowl.

Dredge ravioli in the bread crumbs. Place the ravioli on a baking sheet, and continue with the remaining ravioli.

When the oil is hot, fry the ravioli in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried ravioli to paper towels to drain.

Sprinkle the fried ravioli with Parmesan and serve with a bowl of warmed marinara sauce for dipping.

To make marinara sauce:
Over medium heat, heat oil in a large pot until hot. Add onion and garlic, sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until the onions begin to appear translucent.

Add the tomatoes, stir to mingle the flavors. Add in the herbs and bay leaves.

Sprinkle in sugar, salt and pepper.

Lower the heat and continue to simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir occasionally.

Serving ideas:

Add a ladle full of marinara sauce to a bowl of pasta and meatballs. Top with Parmesan cheese and basil.

In a piece of halved french bread, add meatballs, sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Put under broiler to toast bread and melt cheese.

Chicken Parmigiana: In an oven-proof dish, put a layer of marinara sauce. Add a layer of frozen breaded chicken tenders. Add another layer of sauce, followed by parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Top with chopped parsley. Put in the oven long enough to cook the chicken fingers appropriately, making sure not to burn the cheeses.

Store in an air-tight container, or freeze for future use.

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