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Ravioli is arguably Italy’s ultimate gift to the culinary world, well, maybe alongside pizza. These al dente pasta squares ooze rich and flavorful fillings with every bite making them a dish that is equally as versatile as they are delicious. However, like with quiche, how versatile and varied ravioli is makes it somewhat difficult to decide what to serve with ravioli. Don’t worry, though; whether it’s a simple cheese ravioli, a more elaborate lobster ravioli, or anything in between, we’ve got you covered.  

What Goes Good With Ravioli?

When looking for something that goes well with ravioli, you may as well be asking what goes well with pasta. This is because ravioli are a type of pasta, meaning that many side dishes and accompaniments that go well with regular pasta likely will suit ravioli as well.

Pairing A Ravioli Filling With Complimentary Side Dish

With the above in mind, however, it is also important to remember that pasta is only one half of the equation that is ravioli. Obviously, the other half is the stuffing. As a result, this means that when deciding on a side dish, finding one that compliments the stuffing in question is important in order to truly elevate your ravioli dining experience.

What to serve with ravioli?

The Best Side Dish Options For Specific Types Of Ravioli

In most instances, sides which go well with ravioli are pretty universal. However, some side options are best suited to specific types of ravioli. Now many of these ravioli types can be made great with a variety of accompaniments, but if wanting some tried and true combinations, look no further than the suggestions below:

Butternut Squash Ravioli

When picking a side option for butternut squash ravioli then, sage should be your first instinct. This is because the flavors of sage and butternut will complement each other beautifully. As such, an excellent side idea is to use a sage vinaigrette over any side salad served with your ravioli or to roast some root vegetables in sage.

Another excellent idea when eating butternut squash ravioli is to have a side of broccoli rabe ready. Combined with roasted peppers, tomatoes, and a coating of romesco sauce, these will make a nearly unparalleled side dish for not just butternut squash lovers but near enough any other type of ravioli.

Lobster Ravioli

Just as sage and butternut squash go well together, lobster and corn are a classic and well-loved combination. Naturally, then when serving lobster ravioli, you may want to find a way of serving a corn side dish alongside your lobster ravioli. Fortunately, you’re in look since an excellent accompaniment for this type of ravioli is a creamy polenta. Of course, a lovely bowl of creamy polenta is also a winning combination with crab ravioli, but with lobster, we believe that it makes something truly special.

If wanting to add a bit of natural sweetness to your lobster ravioli meal, however, there is another option for you to consider. Charred sugar snap peas, of course! When these are slightly browned, they will complement your lobster ravioli beautifully.

What to serve with ravioli?

Spinach And Ricotta Ravioli

The beauty of spinach and ricotta ravioli is how wonderfully and deliciously light it is, especially when compared to meaty ravioli variants. Naturally, then you will likely want to maintain this lightness with the side dish options you serve alongside it.

With this in mind, an excellent choice for spinach and ricotta ravioli is to serve it with a caesar salad. Whether you include the anchovies is, of course, down to personal preference (personally, I love them); however, you really can’t go wrong when serving this elegant and flavourful Italian salad alongside some spinach and ricotta ravioli.

Universally Good Sides To Have With Ravioli

Whilst many types of ravioli will often be partnered with certain sides, such as the above options, there are also many ravioli side dishes that make for excellent side dishes when accompanied by a variety of different ravioli types. Some of our personal favorites are listed below:

  • Garlic Bread
  • Italian Bread
  • No-Knead Sourdough Rolls
  • Oven Roasted Vegetables
  • Tomato Sauce/Cheese Sauce
  • Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Balsamic Roasted Cipollini Onions
  • Spring Salad
  • Garlic Parmesan Green Beans

Garlic Bread

A classic of Italian food and well-loved the world over to the point of being dubbed the future by Peter Kay. Whether with or without cheese, garlic bread is an excellent accompaniment to most savor dishes, with ravioli being no exception.

Aside from being a wonderfully delicious harmony of garlic and bread, it can also be incredibly versatile. This is seen with how the basic idea can be transferred to all sorts of bread variations, from baguettes to pizza or focaccia. As such, no matter what type of ravioli you’re eating, there will always be a type of garlic bread well suited to accompany it.

What to serve with ravioli?

Italian Bread

Like with garlic bread, there are a variety of Italian bread types that you can serve on the side of a lovely bowl of ravioli. Some examples of which include ciabatta or focaccia, both of which can be excellently accompanied by olive oil, both of which will compliment your favorite ravioli sauce of filling excellently.

If feeling slightly more adventurous, though, you can always try your hand at making your own 

Italian bread. Focaccia, in particular, is quite an easy Italian bread to make as it doesn’t require raising and can even be baked on a pizza pan.

No-Knead Sourdough Rolls

Have you begun to notice a theme here? 

Don’t worry; this list of recommendations isn’t just going to be different types of bread. Although that wouldn’t be too terrible, would it?

Anyway, one of the most delicious and flavourful variations of bread one can get their hands on is sourdough. Naturally, then, when considering what type of bread to serve with any food, it would be foolish to not at least mention it.

When doing so, though, one of the best and simplest ways to do so is with no-knead sourdough rolls. These are simply, as the name suggests, rolls that don’t require any kneading; convenient, right?

Not only that, but these rolls will also be excellent at soaking up the cream sauce you may serve with your ravioli, meaning you can get the most out of your delicious recipes.

Oven Roasted Vegetables

As mentioned above, roasted vegetables like peppers and tomatoes are excellent with butternut squash ravioli. However, it would be foolish of us to not mention how wonderfully well a selection of various roasted vegetables will complement nearly any kind of ravioli.

When lightly seasoned in something like balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, or olive oil with some salt and pepper, your roasted veggies will soon come alive. 

The great thing about them as well is that a perfect vegetable side will be ready in roughly fifteen minutes of oven time. When roasting, though, just remember to spread them out well on your baking sheet so they will cook evenly.

What to serve with ravioli?

Tomato Sauce/Cheese Sauce

Naturally, when serving any pasta, ravioli included, the sauce can often make or break the dish. It’s true that certain ravioli varieties will work best with certain sauces. However, there are a couple of universally loved sauce options that most pasta lovers adore.

These, of course, are tomato sauce and cheese sauce, or potentially even a combination of both. Personally, I will use a tomato sauce with something like a ricotta cheese ravioli in order to provide some contrasting yet complementary flavors. Meanwhile, I like to use cheese sauces with more meaty varieties. That said, though, these two can often be used interchangeably to provide different yet equally delicious results. 

Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

Cheese is loved all over the world, and as such, a great variety of the stuff is available with a myriad of unique tastes and textures. One of the nicest, however, is parmesan cheese which, when finally and freshly grated, adds a delicious dusting of light cheesy and nutty flavoring to any dish it is sprinkled over.

Naturally, when choosing parmesan, you should avoid the pre-grated pots as these will inevitably be of inferior quality. Additionally, many people find that they smell like vomit which is not exactly an appetizing thought when eating dinner.

What to serve with ravioli?

Balsamic Roasted Cipollini Onions

If you’re unfamiliar with them, cipollini onions are essentially smaller and lighter onions that are also sweeter in taste than the average onion.

As a result of all these characteristics, cipollini onions are therefore excellent choices when making caramelized onions. However, to make truly something special, you can caramelize them in a mixture of butter and balsamic vinegar.

This is easily and quickly done in the oven by roasting them, and the result is nothing short of being absolutely delicious.

Spring Salad

This seasonal salad pairs perfectly with all sorts of ravioli, whether it be lobster, butternut squash, spinach, ricotta, or anything else in between.

As the name suggests, spring salad is made from a selection of seasonal vegetables associated with spring. Typically this includes:

  • Asparagus 
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Goat or feta cheese
  • Toasted nuts and or chickpeas
  • Avocado
  • Fresh herbs
  • Salad greens such as red leaf lettuce and arugula
  • A light zesty dressing including lemon, olive oil, balsamic/white wine vinegar and basil

Garlic Parmesan Green Beans

Green beans are a snappy and tasty vegetable that complement a lot of dishes excellently. Their crisp texture plays well with a wide variety of ingredients and options; such a generous coating of garlic and parmesan can really elevate them into being something truly wonderful.

These will pair excellently with particularly rich ravioli dishes, along with providing a great complementary flavor and texture to dishes abundant in cheese. When combined with the ravioli sauce of your choice, these will be especially delicious and have a near melt-in-the-mouth quality after the initial crunch.

Answered: What To Serve With Ravioli?

When debating what to serve with ravioli, you really have a lot of choices to choose from. Whether trying to pair the perfect side for the specific filling or simply trying to identify some sides that work well universally, you will have a lot of freedom to choose.

Hopefully, the above has given you some good initial ideas to start from. However, this is not a definitive list, so why not try out some combinations of your own? With a bit of ingenuity, you may discover something truly remarkable.

FAQ – What To Have With Ravioli?

What Sauce To Serve With Ravioli?

Ravioli can work with many different types of sauce, especially pasta sauces. However, if you are having trouble deciding which sauce to have with your ravioli then cheese or tomato are excellent choices which near enough always work exceptionally well.

What Sauce Goes With Cheese Ravioli?

When serving cheese ravioli tomato sauces tend to be your best bet as they will contrast with the ravioli whilst also complementing it. That said though, you can also double down on the cheese with a cheese or pesto based sauce. Alternatively, you can combine the two with a tomato and pesto sauce.

What To Serve With Fried Ravioli?

When eating fried ravioli a pot of warm marina and a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan are always excellent choices. However, if you want to go a step further then you may wish to serve some pesto and/or a light side such as a caesar salad alongside your ravioli.

What Meat To Serve With Cheese Ravioli?

Cheese and pasta a truly two of the most versatile foods around. As such, you can serve near enough any type of meat with them and it’ll be a hit. That said though red meat usually complements cheese ravioli best so thick-cut bacon, sausages, meatballs or even sliced steak will go down a treat. Additionally, whilst not red meat, chicken will also perfectly complement the flavours provided in a bowl of cheese ravioli.