This Vegetarian Ravioli Bake is the quick, easy, and delicious 30-minute meal you've been waiting for. Made with fresh pasta and topped with lots of cheese, there's enough greens in there to make this ravioli casserole a healthy dinner. If you love lasagna but are looking for something faster, this is the dish for you.
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Question: how much time do you spend washing dinner prep dishes on an average night?
The only acceptable answer is, “too much time, Nutrition Lady!”
I’m always looking for ways to cut corners in the dish department, and when I stumble upon a one-pot or one-pan recipe I feel like I’ve won the dinner prep lottery. If that recipe also happens to be delicious, cheesy, carby comfort food goodness that my kids will actually eat?
Winner, winner, one-pan dinner!
I’m particularly excited about this Vegetarian Ravioli Bake because not only is it super fast to make, the end result is one of those dishes that looks and tastes hella impressive and only you will know how easy it was.
Kylie’s recipe isn’t vegetarian – she uses spicy sausage in it – so I made it without the sausage, and it was decently good, but I felt like I was probably missing out on something. Not very long later, like, potentially even within the same week, I decided to try making it again, this time replacing the sausage with finely chopped walnuts and a good pinch of red pepper flakes.
And you know what? It was damn delicious. It's like a vegetarian lasagna (this Kale Lasagna is my favourite) but without any fussing around with layers of noodles.
This recipe immediately shot up the ranks and went into my heavy rotation, and I’ve been making it regularly ever since.
It’s the kind of thing that's fancy enough to throw together for an impromptu weeknight dinner party, but is also totally basic, easy, and comes together in just over 30 minutes.
You got that? This recipe is:
- A one-pan dinner
- Super fast to make
- Incredibly easy
- Packed with greens
- And hella delicious
Are you ready for this?
What do I need to make this ravioli casserole?
The ingredients list is short and simple. I'm willing to bet you have a lot of this on hand already. Here's what you need:
- Ravioli –-> We’re going for a whole pound of refrigerated ravioli.
- Pasta sauce –-> your favourite store-bought marinara will do the trick just fine.
- Greens –-> I used baby kale, but spinach is totes fine too.
- Walnuts –-> chopped nice and fine.
- Red wine –-> one for the pasta, one for you!
- Mozzarella –-> we’re going for the fresh stuff today.
- Red pepper flakes –-> to spice things up.
- Oregano –-> to round things out.
- Onion and garlic –-> your flavor makers.
- Olive oil –-> EVOO in the hoooouse!
Do I need any special equipment to make this dish?
In a perfect world, you’ll have a pan that can go right from the stove top into the oven. I love these wide, shallow Le Creuset pans and use mine all the time.
If not, you can start cooking on the stove top and then transfer everything into an oven-proof casserole dish to bake. It’ll mean washing another dish, but it’s not the end of the world.
How do you make a vegetarian ravioli bake?
Alrighty! Fire up your oven, set a pan on the stove, and let’s get cooking.
Step 1: (above) Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and sauté, stirring frequently, until translucent.
Step 2: (above) Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Stir to combine and sauté for another minute or two.
Step 3: (below) Add the chopped walnuts and red wine. Stir to combine, and let simmer for a minute to reduce the wine just a bit.
Step 4: (below) Add the pasta sauce.
Step 5: (below) Add the greens, and work them into the pasta sauce so they wilt down a bit.
Step 6: (below) Add the ravioli. Stir everything well, and work the ravioli into the pasta sauce so that everything is covered.
Step 7: (below) Scatter torn mozzarella over the top.
Step 8: (below) Cover the pan with a lid (or with foil if your pan doesn’t have a lid) and place into your pre-heated oven to bake for 20 minutes.
Step 9: Remove the lid, and bake for 10 minutes more.
Step 10: Eat your delicious, cheesy pasta.
How easy was that?!
Do I have to cook the pasta before adding it to this dish?
Nope! You simply make sure it's well-covered in the sauce, and it'll cook up nicely while the dish bakes.
I do think that the step of first baking the dish with a lid or cover on it is quite important for ensuring that the pasta is properly cooked, so don't skip it!
Can I use a different kind of pasta?
You can choose whatever kind of filled pasta floats your boat.
I will note that I have made this recipe with both ravioli and tortellini, and ravioli by far yields superior results. I think because tortellini is folded it doesn't cook quite as well in the pasta sauce.
If you do want to use tortellini instead, I recommend you either par cook it first, or add a bit of water to the casserole and extend the cooking time by about 10 minutes.
You can also use un-filled pasta if that's more your jam, or if you have leftover cooked pasta like rotini or penne that needs using up.
Can I make this dish in advance?
You sure can! You can fully assemble your vegetarian ravioli bake right up until the point you'd put it in the oven, and then let it cool and pop it in the fridge instead.
When you're ready to cook it, you can either let it come to room temperature before baking, or add 10 minutes to the covered cooking time.
Can you freeze leftover pasta?
Yup. Baked pasta dishes like this ravioli bake freeze really well. I like to wrap up individual portions in foil before popping them in the freezer. Related: Vegetarian Freezer Meals.
What goes well with baked pasta dishes?
You could also serve up a tray of Mediterranean Roast Vegetables, which are incredibly easy to make.
Is Baked Ravioli Healthy?
Here's what I love about this dish:
- Protein from the cheese-filled pasta and the cheese on top
- Protein and healthy fats from the walnuts
- An entire bag of baby greens up in there
- The tomato sauce provides lycopene, vitamin C, and helps your body better absorb the iron from the greens
It can be easy to go overboard with pasta dishes, especially those that are as cheesy and delicious as this Vegetarian Ravioli Bake is. Try to notice where your satisfaction lies, and stop there. You can always go back for seconds later!
Other recipes you might enjoy:
Vegetarian Ravioli Bake
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes or more if you like it hot!
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup finely chopped walnuts measure after chopping, not before
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 3 oz baby greens I used baby kale, but spinach is fine too
- 1 lb refrigerated ravioli I used cheese-filled
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella torn
- Pre-heat your oven to 350°F / 180°C.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, shallow, heavy-bottomed, oven-proof pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion, and sauté until translucent - about 3-4 minutes - stirring often.
- Add the garlic, chili flakes, and oregano. Sauté for 1-2 minutes more.
- Add the red wine and the walnuts, and stir to combine. Let the mixture simmer for one minute.
- Add the pasta sauce and the baby greens. Stir to combine, and to slightly wilt the greens.
- Add the ravioli, and stir it around, making sure it's all covered in sauce.
- Scatter the torn mozzarella over the top.
- Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the lid, and bake for 10 more minutes, until the cheese is brown and bubbling on top.
- Serve hot, with a side salad or garlic bread.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only.
- I used a 500g package of cheese-filled ravioli (just over 1 lb) so a slightly larger than 1 lb package is fine (20 oz or so)