3 Frozen Ravioli That Are (Almost) Better than Homemade

published Feb 15, 2024
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closeup of cheese ravioli with basil garnish
Credit: Olivia Mack McCool

Homemade ravioli is undoubtedly a delicious treat, but for most of us that just isn’t in the cards for a weeknight meal — even for someone like me, a former professional cook who has made probably a thousand ravioli at home and at work over the years. Keeping a few bags of frozen ravioli in your freezer is a much easier way to satisfy that cheesy, stuffed pasta craving in a fraction of the time. The trade-off, however, is that some frozen ravioli have more in common flavor-wise with the bag they come in than homemade ravioli

Thankfully this isn’t true for every brand, and there are a few that actually deliver delicious pasta from the freezer section. It’s nearly impossible to tell which are great simply from the outside, so the only thing left to do was try them all. To keep it fair, all nine ravioli tested were as close to plain cheese as possible, with some leeway made for spinach and cheese flavors and excluding any variety that came with sauce. Here are the top three worth a spot in your freezer. 

Credit: Nick DeSimone

1. Market Pantry Cheese Ravioli

After just one bite, these ravioli — from Target’s lesser-known store-brand, Market Pantry — revealed themselves to be the winner. The base of this velvety filling is lots of creamy ricotta, but what makes it so tasty is the other cheeses, namely the Pecorino, a salty, funky sheep’s milk hard cheese that brings a huge pop of flavor and just a slight sharpness. These were also the only ravioli to contain mozzarella in the filling, which gives them a slight but satisfying cheese-pull effect when breaking them open. Of all the ravioli tested, these had the most flavorful and savory filling, likely due to the mix of flavorful hard cheeses. 

Credit: Nick DeSimone

The pasta had the perfect texture: slightly al dente without being chewy and not gummy or flabby like frozen pasta tends to get. The ratio of pasta to filling also felt totally spot-on, with just enough pasta to balance the rich filling. 

Buy: Market Pantry Cheese Ravioli, $4.59 for 25 ounces at Target

Credit: Nick DeSimone

2. Celentano Mini Rounds Cheese Ravioli 

These ravioli totally bring the flavor. The filling is a delicious mix of several cheeses, giving it a dynamic profile; you can really taste the salty notes of the Romano and Parmesan cheeses. The filling is very well-seasoned with an excellent balance of salt, a welcome kick of black pepper, and a slight herby tinge of parsley. Plus, they’re available at multiple retailers across the country, including Albertsons, Publix, Vons, Walmart, Wegmans, Winn-Dixie, and more.

Credit: Nick DeSimone

The only thing that kept them from snagging the top spot was the pasta-to-filling ratio; they had just a little too much pasta for the amount of filling. Additionally, although these were labeled “mini rounds,” they were about the same size as most other ravioli.

Buy: Celentano Mini Rounds Cheese Ravioli, $6.63 for 24 ounces at Instacart

Credit: Nick DeSimone

3. 365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Four Cheese Ravioli

The best thing about these ravioli is the texture of the pasta. If I didn’t know they were frozen, I would have guessed they were fresh. Of all the ravioli, these have the most al dente bite — not mushy at all. The filling is milder compared to others that ranked higher, favoring a more pure ricotta flavor than any funky Parmesan or other cheeses. The spinach was an excellent complement and helped the textural diversity in the filling. 

Credit: Nick DeSimone

Unlike other, larger ravioli that were considered, these struck an outstanding balance of pasta to filling. They would pair well with a more assertive sauce like a spicy arrabbiata or salty puttanesca. 

Buy: 365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Four Cheese Ravioli, $6.99 for 22 ounces at Amazon 

What frozen ravioli do you swear by? Tell us about it in the comments below!