Baked Ravioli with Spinach
This delicious baked ravioli is easy, cheesy, and comforting. Ready in about 30 minutes, with minimal prep and clean-up, this is the perfect crowd-pleasing dinner for busy nights.
When you are in the market for easy comfort food, this baked ravioli hits the spot. It takes just 5 minutes to throw together, then bakes in the oven to cheesy, warm, pasta perfection. But a couple small steps make all the difference to add flavor and texture to what is otherwise a very simple meal.
That’s why this is the best baked ravioli recipe you will find. 😉
Baked ravioli is the last dish I photographed in our old home before the tree fell on it, and it’s also the first dish I cooked in our rental, because it’s so dang simple that I could manage it even amidst the chaos of moving and replacing the things that were damaged. So you know this one is truly quick and easy!
Why You’ll Love It
- Short and sweet ingredient list. Minimal shopping required — always a win.
- Hands-off cooking. Literally 5 minutes of prep, then baked ravioli cooks itself in the oven, leaving you time to make any sides, clean up, or just sip some wine.
- Crowd-pleasing and versatile. Most everyone loves baked pasta, and you can use any type of ravioli you like: meat-filled, cheese-filled, veggie-packed.
Ingredients & Common Substitutions
- Pasta sauce. Any that you like. A jar is your friend for keeping things simple, or if you have, say, leftover marinara or vodka sauce, it will be amazing in this.
- Ravioli. You will want a fairly large package, or two smaller packages, and they can be absolutely any flavor that you like. You could also swap in tortellini, though the cooking time may vary.
- Spinach. A handful of fresh spinach adds texture and at least a bit of veggie goodness to this cheesy, comforting, carb-lover’s meal. Of course, you can leave it out if you don’t have or want it.
- Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Mozzarella is the classic for any baked pasta, with its easy melting and mild flavor. I highly recommend a bit of Parmesan for its tangy, salty kick. Use fresh-grated or shredded Parmesan if you have it, but pre-shredded will work just fine here as well.
- Spices and aromatics: Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, and garlic or garlic powder. Fresh herbs are an optional but very nice garnish. I usually use basil or parsley; sprigs of oregano or thyme would be lovely, too. No fresh herbs on hand? Sprinkle on a bit of dried parsley for color at the end.
How To Make Baked Ravioli
Your first step here is one of those small extras that makes this otherwise basic baked pasta pack a little more oomph. You’re going to mix the sauce together with some garlic and seasonings. No weak sauce here!
Next, spread a small amount of the sauce in a thin layer across the bottom of a large baking dish.
Now, it’s simply a layering game. You’ll work in this order:
- Half the ravioli.
- Half the remaining sauce.
- A sprinkling of spinach.
- Half the mozzarella and half the Parmesan.
Adding the layers in this order is another small thing that ensures baked ravioli perfection. Every piece of ravioli gets coated in sauce, which is important so they become tender but not dried out, and the cheese is evenly distributed for maximum melted cheese-pull goodness.
Cover the dish with foil and bake, then remove the foil and return to the oven to finish. Voila!
Pro Tip on Broiling: To get a nicely browned top, broil the dish for the last 1-3 minutes of cooking time, but only if you are using a ceramic or metal baking dish. Do not broil if using a glass or Pyrex baking dish. They can sometimes crack (or even explode!) from the extreme direct heat.
Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions
- Making Ahead: Baked ravioli can be prepped up to 2 days in advance. Assemble it fully, cover tightly with foil, then store in the fridge until ready to bake. I find that after more than 48 hours in the fridge, the texture begins to be compromised.
- Freezing: Baked ravioli can also be prepped and frozen for up to 3 months. Cover the pan very tightly and wrap in an extra layer of plastic wrap or a freezer-safe bag if possible. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before baking, or bake straight from frozen. If baking straight from frozen, plan to add at least 30 minutes to the cooking time. You’ll know it is finished with the sauce is bubbling and the cheese fully melted.
Serve baked ravioli with breadsticks or garlic bread and a simple salad for the ultimate classic Italian comfort food dinner. Great salad pairings include an everyday Italian salad, Caesar, or a simple arugula or spinach number.
More Frequently Asked Questions
Can I bake ravioli instead of boiling it?
Absolutely! That’s why this recipe works so well and is so simple to throw together. As long as the ravioli is covered by sauce, it will absorb some of that liquid and become tender in the oven just as it would submerged in boiling water.
The same, of note, is true of tortellini and other filled pastas, so those work as a good substitute in recipes of this kind, as well.
How to reheat baked ravioli?
Individual portions reheat perfectly well in the microwave for 90-120 seconds. Cover the plate or container to avoid sauce splatters. Larger portions reheat well in the oven. Ten minutes at 250 degrees does the trick for me.
Should I thaw frozen ravioli for cooking?
No! Save yourself time and cook ravioli directly from frozen. Simply add a bit of extra cooking time to be sure it is done, especially if there is meat inside. This works, incidentally, whether ravioli is baked, as in this recipe, or boiled it on the stovetop. This makes it a great item to keep in the freezer for emergency dinners!
Can I cut this recipe in half?
Absolutely! Just bake it in an 8”x8” or 9”x9” pan instead of a larger rectangular pan. Or, make the full recipe, but in two smaller pans; save one in the freezer for a rainy day, or deliver it to a friend or neighbor.
More Comforting Pasta Recipes To Try
- Gnocchi Alla Vodka
- Gnocchi with Pesto and Charred Cherry Tomatoes
- Creamy Tuscan Tortellini
- Creamy Tortellini Alfredo with Peas
- Tortellini with Mushrooms, Butter, and Garlic
- Pesto Cavatappi
- Smoked Salmon Pasta
If you try this Baked Ravioli, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.
Baked Ravioli with Spinach
- 1 (~20 ounce) jar marinara sauce or any other pasta sauce you like
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch red pepper flakes optional
- 10-12 cranks fresh-ground black pepper
- 18-20 ounces refrigerated ravioli any flavor, uncooked
- 1-2 cups fresh baby spinach chopped
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- fresh parsley or basil optional garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Combine sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, red and black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. Pour about 1/2 cup of the mixture into a large baking dish (9”x13” or similar) and spread into a thin, even layer across the bottom.
- Arrange half of the ravioli in a single layer over the sauce. Top with about half of the remaining sauce, followed by about half of the spinach, mozzarella, and Parmesan.
- Add remaining ravioli, followed by remaining sauce, spinach, and cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes. You'll know it is ready when the sauce is bubbling and the cheese fully melted. (See note about broiling.) Sprinkle lightly with fresh herbs, if desired, and serve.
- No Stress: The amounts in this recipe are very flexible. Use a little more or less of anything, it’s very forgiving.
- Broiling: If you are using a ceramic or metal baking dish and want a nicely browned top, go ahead and broil the dish for the last 1-3 minutes of cooking time. Do not broil if using a glass or Pyrex baking dish, however. They can sometimes crack (or even explode!) from the extreme direct heat.
- Halving: This recipe halves well, just bake in an 8”x8” or 9”x9” pan instead. Or, make the full recipe, but make in two smaller pans and save one in the freezer.
- Making Ahead: Baked ravioli can be prepped up to 2 full days in advance. Assemble it fully, cover tightly with foil, then store in the fridge until ready to bake. I find that after more than 48 hours in the fridge, the texture is less than ideal.
- Freezing: Baked ravioli can also be prepped and frozen for up to 3 months. Cover it very tightly and wrap in an extra layer of plastic wrap or a freezer-safe bag if possible. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before baking, or bake straight from frozen by adding at least 30 minutes to the cooking time.