Baked ravioli with spinach makes a great weeknight dinner without much effort. Refrigerated ravioli go straight from package to pan along with spinach, mozzarella cheese, and a simple homemade tomato sauce.
Ever have those days when you just feel like you've got yourself together? I certainly have plenty of the opposite but I had a day recently where I motored through my to-do list with reckless abandon.
A dress with too-long straps finally made its way to the tailor (on my list for weeks), wedding vendors were finalized, indoor plants were watered, wrinkles were steamed out of curtains, and the longest overdue haircut was squeezed in. I even remembered to wear extra eye makeup to my haircut so I didn't spend an hour staring at my reflection in the mirror thinking I resemble Mr. Potato Head. Why is the lighting in that chair so bad?!
To cap things off I came home and made this baked ravioli with spinach and mozzarella in just over a half hour. Weeknight dinner win!
Refrigerated ravioli have been a part of our dinner rotation for awhile. I use them in this recipe for crispy baked toasted ravioli that is a total reader favorite, but I'll sometimes switch it up and prepare them according the package directions (boil and top with sauce). This baked ravioli with spinach falls in the middle ground between the two for a relatively quick and easy main dish.
Ten ounces of baby spinach leaves might look like a ton for a recipe that yields three/four servings, but it shrinks down significantly after it's blanched.
I keep things basic in the recipe card and zhush up crushed tomatoes with Italian seasonings and sauteed onion and garlic, but you can absolutely use your favorite jarred marinara sauce to save some steps.
Oh, and just another note about the ravioli: you don't need to pre-cook them for this recipe. They'll become perfectly soft and tender during the bake time. And use your favorite flavor! A cheese or spinach/cheese variety will make this dinner vegetarian.
Can I use frozen ravioli?
Yes, you can. I tend to go for refrigerated for this baked ravioli because it shaves a considerable amount from the cook time, so that's how the recipe is written below. However frozen ravioli will also work. You don't even need to thaw them!
Arrange them in a single layer (unsticking them from one another as needed) as the recipes says, then increase the bake time until they're cooked through. They may need around 45 minutes to an hour to cook through. I strongly recommend covering the baking dish with foil for most of the cook time so the cheese doesn't burn before the baked ravioli are cooked through. Just remove the foil for the last 15 minutes or so.
Easy recipe steps
After a quick boil to tenderize the spinach, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil. Once golden, stir in the crushed tomatoes and other seasonings (if not using a jarred marinara). That's all the "pre-cooking" we need.
Squeeze out excess moisture from the spinach, then press it down first in a greased 8" x 8" baking dish. Add about half of the super easy tomato sauce on top, and then the ravioli. Try not to overlap them too much so everything heats evenly. A ten-ounce package of ravioli fit just about perfectly in this size dish.
Next spread the remainder of the sauce over top, then Parmesan, fresh basil, and mozzarella. Bake until the mozzarella is melty and everything is heated throughout, and you're all set to dig in.
- You can use 16 ounces of your favorite jarred tomato sauce to in place of the crushed tomatoes and seasonings to save time.
- While this recipe uses a 10-ounce package of ravioli, you can use a larger size, no problem. Just change up the baking dish size to accommodate.
Baked Ravioli with Spinach and Mozzarella
- 10 oz baby spinach
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
- Half of one medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 16 oz crushed tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried parsley
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
- 1 10-oz package refrigerated ravioli (see note for using frozen)
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- 6 fresh basil leaves, sliced thin
- 4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray an 8"x8" baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add baby spinach leaves and let boil for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Immediately place spinach in a colander and run cold water over top. Set aside.
- Add olive oil to a skillet set over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add garlic. Continue sautéing for another 2 minutes, then remove skillet from the heat.
- Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, and crushed red pepper. Stir.
- Squeeze as much moisture as you can out of the spinach and place in an even layer on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Pour about half of the sauce on top of the spinach, and then place the ravioli over top in a single layer.
- Pour remaining sauce over the ravioli and evenly sprinkle Parmesan. Scatter basil slices over top and then mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 12 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer
I made extra sauce because I had a 20 oz jar of passata on hand, and I’m glad I did. Since I had lots of time I simmered the sauce for an hour or so.
I don’t usually like oven ready pastas and if I were making this for company I’d definitely pre boil the ravioli a little. I noticed the difference but my husband didn’t. The ease of assembling without the boiling and draining is worth the little resistance in the pasta. I also baked it longer - 20mins covered and 20 mins uncovered.
All in all, it’s a keeper, thanks!
This was amazing. I used Italian four cheese for the top because I had it on hand. I also used a box of crushed tomatoes with basil because the grocery store didn't have any fresh basil. I would definitely make this again.
So glad you liked it, Julia! 🙂
Kasey Schwartz says
This is definitely a MUST-TRY recipe! I love to use ravioli in recipes like this, but have never thought about adding spinach! YUMMY!!! Can't wait to try it!
Amanda Livesay says
Oh my gosh, the haircut think made me laugh so hard! I'm the worst at showing up for a haircut with yesterday's mascara smudged until my eyes and then I can't even look at myself in the mirror because of it. Love this recipe! My boys love anything with ravioli and I love any time they'll each spinach without a fight!
I haven't made ravioli in ages. This recipe surely looks delicious. I love all the cheese and flavors. I must make this asap for my family. They will be thrilled.
Ack, I desperately need one of those days!! And also yes, I always HATE looking at myself in the mirror at the salon. I always look horrible. But this dinner looks seriously perfect!