Italian ravioli with spinach and cheese close-up on a brown plate. horizontal, rustic style

How To Boil Ravioli Without It Breaking Open

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Ravioli makes for a great dinner, where you get little pockets of filling in each mouthful, cooked in a sauce of your choice!

You can choose to make the ravioli at home, buy it fresh, or keep some frozen ravioli for when you need a quick-fix dinner. But whichever type of ravioli you cook, the last thing you want is for the ravioli to break open when boiling.

How do you boil ravioli without it breaking open? The secret to boiling ravioli without it breaking open is to be very gentle. You should also allow the water to come to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer when placing the ravioli in. You should also avoid stirring the ravioli too often and should use a spoon instead of a fork when stirring.

If you are looking to make perfect, unbroken ravioli at home, then read on to find out the best way to cook ravioli without it breaking open!

How To Properly Cook Fresh Ravioli

You can buy fresh ravioli from the grocery store, or you could be brave and attempt to make it at home on your own!

When cooking fresh ravioli, or any fresh pasta, you need to remember that it is delicate — you need to be very gentle when handling and cooking fresh pasta.

Here is how to cook fresh ravioli without it breaking open:

  1. Fill a suitable pot with around 4 quarts of water, depending on how much ravioli you are cooking. Add in a pinch of salt.
  2. Allow the water to come to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer.
  4. Very gently, add the ravioli to the simmering water one at a time.
  5. Once all the ravioli are in the water, gently stir them using a spoon (a fork might pierce them). This helps to stop the ravioli from sticking.
  6. Leave the ravioli to cook for up to 3 minutes. You can cook them for 2 minutes instead if you prefer your pasta al dente.
  7. Once cooked to your preference, use a skimmer or slotted spoon to gently lift the ravioli out of the water. You could also drain it in a colander, but this could cause the ravioli to break apart.
  8. Drizzle the ravioli with some extra virgin olive oil or top it with a sauce of your choice.

How To Properly Cook Frozen Ravioli

Ravioli is popularly sold frozen, and this makes a convenient meal to keep in the freezer for when you need a weeknight dinner. However, you still have to be careful to not break frozen ravioli while cooking.

Cooking frozen ravioli is a little different from cooking fresh ravioli. First, it is not as delicate as fresh ravioli, and as it is frozen, it requires a longer cooking time.

Here is how to cook frozen ravioli without it breaking open:

  1. Fill a pot with around 4 quarts of water, depending on the amount of ravioli you are cooking. Add in a pinch of salt.
  2. Allow the water to come to a boil.
  3. As the water is boiling, drop in the ravioli carefully.
  4. Lower the heat and let the water simmer instead of boil.
  5. Give the ravioli a gentle stir with a spoon to prevent them from sticking together.
  6. Allow the ravioli to cook for between 6-8 minutes depending on how you want it cooked.
  7. Remove the cooked ravioli from the pot using a skimmer or slotted spoon. 
  8. Top the ravioli with extra virgin olive oil or your preferred pasta sauce.

What Temperature Should Ravioli Be Boiled At?

It can be difficult to keep a track of the exact temperature the ravioli is cooking at.

Instead, it is recommended that the water is allowed to come to a boil before fresh ravioli is added. Just before the ravioli is added to the pot, bring the water down to a simmer.

Bringing the water down to a simmer not only helps to cook the ravioli evenly and gently, but it prevents the ravioli from rolling around in the pot too much and potentially breaking open.

However, if you are cooking frozen ravioli, it is advised to put the ravioli into the pot while the water is boiling, and then bring it down to a simmer.

How Long To Boil Ravioli

How long you need to boil ravioli will depend on the type of ravioli you are cooking. Fresh ravioli cooks faster than frozen ravioli, so you do need to adjust your cooking time accordingly.

The length of time that ravioli needs to be cooked will also depend on how you prefer your pasta, whether you want it al dente or a little more tender.

For fresh ravioli, the recommended cooking time is between 3-4 minutes, with 3 minutes giving you a firmer pasta, and 4 minutes being on the softer side.

For frozen ravioli, the recommended cooking time is between 6-8 minutes. This allows the ravioli to warm up from the inside out, and cook evenly. Once again, 6 minutes would be for al dente, while 7-8 minutes would give you a softer pasta.

How Often Should You Stir Ravioli?

Stirring ravioli can be a little tricky since you do not want to break the ravioli open as it cooks, but you also do not want them to stick together during the cooking process.

It is best to stir ravioli with a spoon instead of a fork, to reduce the chances of the fork breaking the pasta. 

Stir the ravioli once as it is placed into the pot, and then another one or two times, very gently as it is cooking.

A small stir is all you need to stop the ravioli from sticking together, which also helps to prevent breaking.

What Is The Best Way To Drain Ravioli?

Gentle cooking is not the only way to prevent ravioli from breaking. You need to be careful when draining the ravioli as well!

One of the most popular ways to drain pasta is to place it in a strainer or a colander, but with ravioli, this can break it apart, so unless absolutely necessary, it is best to avoid this method of draining.

The best way to drain ravioli once it has been cooked is to remove the ravioli from the water using a skimmer or a slotted spoon. This way, you can gently lift out each ravioli without breaking them apart.

What Is The Best Way To Store Ravioli?

Once you have successfully cooked and drained your ravioli without it breaking apart, and once you have eaten enough, you might have some leftovers to pack away.

Ravioli will likely dry out slightly in the fridge, so it is worth adding a little extra sauce to the ravioli or topping it with an extra drizzle of olive oil before you put it away.

Place the leftover ravioli into an airtight plastic container and place it in the fridge. Use this within 3 days.

If you want to store the ravioli for a longer period of time, place it into a plastic freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing, and label the bag with the date. Make sure to use the ravioli within 3 months for the best quality.

Final Thoughts

Ravioli is absolutely delicious, no matter the filling or the sauce you serve it with. However, cooking ravioli can be tricky since they can break apart easily if you are not gentle with them, and if you do not cook them carefully.

The best way to cook ravioli without it breaking apart is to allow the water to come to a boil, and then bring it down to a simmer, before adding the ravioli.

Allow it to cook for the recommended amount of time, and then remove it with a slotted spoon or skimmer.

Keep in mind that the cooking time and cooking instructions are different for fresh ravioli and frozen ravioli, so make sure to follow the right instructions for either to get the best results possible.

Related Questions

Now that we’ve learned how to boil different types of ravioli, as well as how to store it, here are some additional questions we thought you might have.

Why is my ravioli cracking?

If you have been gentle with handling and cooking your ravioli, and it is still cracking, then it could be because the ravioli has been overcooked and you have left it in the water for too long.

Overcooking can cause ravioli to crack and the filling to leak out.

How do I stop ravioli from sticking after cooking?

Stirring the ravioli as it cooks will help to prevent it from sticking, but the ravioli might stick once it has been cooked.

The best way to prevent the pasta from sticking once cooked is to drizzle some olive oil over the ravioli or rinse it with cool water if you are not going to eat it right away.

Why do you add salt to pasta water?

Adding salt to pasta water will help to add flavor to the pasta, but it is not an essential step that needs to be followed.

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