Easy Pantry Dinners: 5 Meals with Frozen Ravioli

I'm not sure when ravioli wiggled its way into my weeknight meal repertoire, but a package now lives permanently my freezer. Ravioli and its stuffed-pasta kin are a boon on late nights when I need a meal on the table STAT. Do you ever use frozen ravioli for quick meals?

I typically buy my ravioli and tortellini pre-made from either the farmers market, Whole Foods, or Trader Joe's. I keep one or two packets in the freezer at a time, rotating the fillings so I don't get bored.

1. Simple Pasta Dish - Of course, the most straight-forward and obvious use for ravioli is in a simple pasta dish. Toss the warm pasta with a few chopped tomatoes, some wilted greens, or a favorite sauce, and dinner is served.

2. Big Dinner Salad - This is also one of my favorite make-ahead lunches. I usually quick-caramelize onions and toss them with the cooked ravioli, salad greens, a handful of nuts, and whatever fresh veggies I have around.

3. Ravioli Soup - You can cook the frozen ravioli right in the simmering broth for a super quick soup. Other veggies are a bonus.

4. Ravioli Stir-Fry - This is nothing fancy, but it gives some variety to the same old plate of pasta. I stir-fry some vegetables and add the cooked ravioli at the end. The edges of the ravioli crisp up in the hot pan and get nicely crunchy.

5. Ravioli Bake - Layer ravioli in a baking dish with some tomato sauce and a variety of chopped veggies to make a quick free-form casserole. Bake at 350°F until bubbly. It takes a little more time than the other dishes, but nice for a simple dump-and-cook meal.

What are your favorite quick meals with ravioli?

Related: Quick Weeknight Meal: 5 Pizzas for Late Summer

(Image: Emma Christensen)

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