What is Cheese Ravioli?

Cheese ravioli is a type of filled pasta consisting of pockets of cheese enclosed in a pasta wrapper.

What is Cheese Ravioli

It features a delicious filling of ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, and other cheeses encased in a pillow of pasta dough.

Cheese ravioli makes for a hearty, comforting, and flavorful meal that is sure to satisfy.

Cheese Ravioli Basics

At its core, cheese ravioli features a stuffed pasta pocket made by sealing cheese filling between two layers of thin pasta dough. Traditionally, the dough is made from flour, eggs, olive oil, and salt. The classic filling tends to be a mix of smooth, creamy ricotta blended with shredded mozzarella, parmesan, garlic, herbs, and seasonings.

Ravioli get their signature look from the crimped edges that seal in the filling. The small stuffed pasta pillows are usually square or round in shape. They are served either topped with sauce, baked into a casserole, or enjoyed on their own in broth.

Key Takeaway: Cheese ravioli features a ricotta-based cheese filling sealed between two layers of fresh pasta dough. Traditionally square or round, ravioli can be topped with sauce, baked, or simply boiled and enjoyed.

How to Make Cheese Ravioli

Making your own cheese ravioli at home allows you full control over the ingredients and flavors. With a little bit of time and effort, you can create a memorable homemade meal. Here is an overview of the simple process:

Make the Filling

In a bowl, blend together ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, garlic powder, salt, herbs, pepper flakes, and egg yolk until fully incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. The filling should be thick enough to hold its shape when scooped but still smooth and creamy. Set aside.

Key filling ingredients include:

  • Whole milk ricotta
  • Shredded mozzarella
  • Finely grated parmesan
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried Italian herbs
  • Salt
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Egg yolk

Mix Up the Dough

Whisk together flour, salt, egg yolks, olive oil, and cold water in a food processor until it forms a cohesive dough ball. Turn out onto a floured surface, knead briefly until smooth. Cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes before rolling.

Essential dough ingredients are:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Semolina flour
  • Kosher salt
  • Egg yolks
  • Olive oil
  • Cold water

Form and Fill the Ravioli

Divide rested dough into workable portions. Roll out pasta sheets using a pasta roller or rolling pin until paper thin. Place teaspoon-sized dollops of filling evenly onto sheet. Brush water around mounds and top with second pasta sheet. Press dough around each mound to seal. Use a fluted cutter or knife to trim ravioli. Allow formed ravioli to dry slightly before cooking.

How to form ravioli:

  • Roll dough into thin sheets
  • Scoop mounds of filling
  • Top with second dough sheet
  • Cut out individual ravioli
  • Let dry before boiling or baking

Cook the Ravioli

Finally, drop ravioli into gently boiling salted water. Cook for 2-4 minutes until the pasta is tender and the filling is heated through, with ravioli floating to the top when done. Toss with your favorite sauce and enjoy! Fresh ravioli can also be baked into comforting casseroles.

Cooking methods for fresh ravioli:

  • Boil gently until floating and tender
  • Toss with sauce
  • Or bake into casseroles

That is the basics of how to make delicious cheese ravioli right at home! From mixing up the filling to forming the pillowy pockets of pasta, with a little effort you can create an amazing homemade Italian meal.

Ingredients to Make Cheese Ravioli

As covered briefly above, making great cheese ravioli relies on two main components - the rich filling and the tender pasta dough enveloping it. Getting the balance of ingredients right in both elements is key for the best results.

For the Filling

The filling for cheese ravioli starts with a base of creamy ricotta cheese. Whole milk ricotta provides an ultra-rich and smooth texture. Blending in melty shredded mozzarella adds further creaminess and stretch. Finely grated parmesan offers a subtle tang and savory bite.

Seasonings like garlic powder, dried Italian herbs, salt, and red pepper flakes flavor the filling and balance the creamy cheeses. Finally, an egg yolk enriches the mixture further and helps bind everything together.

You can customize the filling by adding ingredients like spinach, caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes, ground meat, or mushrooms. But the cheese trio above makes a perfect basic mixture.

For the Dough

The pasta dough enclosure for cheese ravioli requires just a few simple ingredients. All-purpose flour forms the bulk of the mixture, producing a tender and pliable dough. Semolina flour adds slight tooth and bite to the texture.

Egg yolks and olive oil enrich the dough, keeping it smooth and elastic so it rolls out easily without cracking or crumbling. They also contribute to the golden hue and rich flavor. Salt seasons the mix. Finally, cold water brings everything together into an easy-to-work dough ball.

Letting the dough rest before rolling allows the glutens to relax for an easy, tear-free rolling process. The resulting thin sheets readily envelope the filling without breaking.

Key Takeaway: For classic cheese ravioli, the filling relies on a triple blend of ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan. The dough features all-purpose flour, eggs, oil, salt, and water for an easy-working mix.

Flavorful Cheeses for Ravioli Filling

The cheese filling is what defines cheese ravioli and makes it so crave-worthy. Playing around with creative cheese blends can take these pasta pockets to new heights of flavor. Consider mixing in any of the following:

Goat Cheese

Tangy, tart goat cheese adds loads of flavor complexity and a lovely creaminess. Pair it with sweeter cheeses like mozzarella or brie. Goat cheese ravioli is delicious served with browned butter or pesto sauce.


Crumble vibrant Italian gorgonzola into the filling blend for a pungent bite. Gorgonzola ravioli plays beautifully with walnuts, pears, and honey. Or serve simply with olive oil, cracked pepper, and parsley over the top.


Nutty, alpine Gruyère melts beautifully into a super smooth texture. Fold shredded Gruyère into the ricotta base along with parmesan and seasonings for a decadent cheese blend. these ravioli are divine with browned butter sage sauce.

Pepper Jack

For a kick of heat and smoky flavor, substitute mild mozzarella for pepper jack cheese. The heat complements ricotta’s subtle sweetness. Pepper jack ravioli stands up well to hearty meat sauces.


Soft, buttery brie makes the filling extra decadent. Use an equal mix of brie and ricotta blended with parmesan for the perfect push and pull of textures and flavors. Brie ravioli with mushrooms or truffle sauce is a match made in heaven.

So try mixing up the cheese blend next time you make homemade ravioli! Playing with peppery, herby, nutty, sweet, tart, and pungent cheese varieties lets you create truly special pasta pockets.

How to Cook Cheese Ravioli

That tender homemade pasta dough and luscious cheese filling begs to be cooked up just right. Here are three classic cooking methods for enjoying cheese ravioli fresh or frozen.


Boiling freshly made cheese ravioli until al dente remains the quickest, easiest route. Once floating at the top, transfer ravioli with a slotted spoon directly to your heated sauce of choice. Toss gently to coat pasta without breaking. Top with herbs, cheese, or breadcrumbs.


For a comforting baked pasta dish, layer boiled ravioli in a casserole dish with your favorite sauce and extra cheese. Top with more shredded mozzarella or parmesan before baking until hot and bubbling. Baked ravioli also works well with besciamella sauce in place of tomatoes.


You can also sauté boiled frozen or fresh cheese ravioli to reheat. Melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Once foaming sauté ravioli until warmed through and lightly browned in spots, about 3 minutes per side. Toss with extra sauce, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, herbs, etc. The dumplings develop a lovely toasty exterior while keeping that molten filling inside.

Whether boiled, baked, or sautéed, properly cooked fresh cheese ravioli is an absolute joy, with that pasta hitting the ideal tender yet toothsome texture. So choose your preferred preparation method and enjoy!

How to Serve Cheese Ravioli

A bowl of perfect cheese ravioli still deserves a proper sauce, sides, garnishes, or wine pairing to round out the meal. Here are serving ideas:

  • Simple Sauces: Fresh marinara, basil pesto, toasted walnut cream, browned butter sage, truffle cream, rosemary béchamel all shine with cheese ravioli. Or just mix pasta with good olive oil, black pepper, and parmesan.
  • Hearty Baked Dishes: Combine ravioli in casseroles with meat ragu, sausage, prosciutto, mushrooms, spinach, and assorted cheeses for easy baked pastas.
  • Fresh Salads: Enjoy hot ravioli over fresh greens, chopped tomatoes, shredded carrot, red onion, herbs, balsamic dressing, and shaved parmesan for a balanced meal.
  • Sautéed Veggies: Quickly sauté broccolini, asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, or other veggies in garlic and olive oil to pair.
  • Crunchy Breadcrumbs: A crispy, toasty layer of panko, Italian breadcrumbs, or grated parmesan atop sauced ravioli adds fun texture contrast.
  • Cheesy Garnish: Fresh basil, parsley, snipped chives, shaved parmesan or pecorino make any ravioli dish feel a little more complete.
  • Light Wine Pairings: Pinot gris, fruity Italian whites, dry rosés, and light-bodied reds like Pinot Noir make good pairings.

Get creative with cheeses, sauces, addons, veggies, salads, etc. when serving homemade cheese ravioli!


What type of cheese is used for ravioli filling?

Ricotta cheese makes the classic base for ravioli filling. Ricotta provides a light, smooth, mildly sweet texture perfect for enclosing within delicate pasta. Shredded mozzarella and finely grated Parmesan almost always feature as well for added richness and flavor contrast.

Can you freeze homemade cheese ravioli?

Absolutely! Allow freshly assembled ravioli to dry on a lightly floured sheet for 30 minutes, then arrange in a single layer and freeze solid. Transfer frozen ravioli to an airtight freezer bag or container and freeze up to 3 months. Cook frozen ravioli 2-3 minutes longer than fresh when boiling.

How long should you boil fresh ravioli?

Fresh homemade cheese ravioli takes just 2-4 minutes to boil, just until the pasta is tender, and the filling is heated through. The dumplings will float gently to signal doneness. Take care not to overcook. Then immediately drain and add to sauce.

Can you bake pre-made ravioli?

Pre-made or homemade ravioli bake up deliciously. You can boil then bake, or simply bake chilled or fully frozen ravioli straight in the oven as you would frozen lasagna. Just cover with sauce and extra cheese and bake at 375°F until bubbly and golden.


From folding that rich, creamy cheese filling into delicate homemade pasta dough to serving up the final sauced, cheesy bowls of goodness, making cheese ravioli is a labor of love that pays off in the best way.

Now that you know what defines cheese ravioli, how to make and fill it properly, mix up creative cheeses, cook using various methods, serve with sauces and sides, and enjoy to the fullest!

AGAH Productions
AGAH Productions