Faux-Fried Ravioli Bites

This post is dedicated to Jenna.. who’s fried ravioli obsession led to many memorable heist jobs from our college cafeteria – my girl straight up brought tupperware.

Maybe fried ravioli is a central PA thing? I’ve not seen it on a menu around here… I guess it makes sense as all you have to do is hit up a PA state fair in Pennsyltucky to be regaled by what one can indeed fry. Oreos? Check. Twinkies? Check. Snickers bars? You betcha.

Fried ravioli is bad for you – let’s just leave it at that. THIS recipe is a whole-heck-of-a-lot lighter! I loved it so much I will DEFinitely be bringing it next time I’m in charge of an appetizer. The bottom line is that it’s fun to dunk crunchy things into bowls of dip. Kids know this – it’s a great way to get them to eat things they’d otherwise turn their noses up at. Last night I felt like I was at a restaurant with a big, indulgent appetizer as my din-din. I sauteed a bunch of kale in garlic and olive oil to up the veggie factor and it was just about perfect. So yes, though this is technically an appetizer it was REALLy fun as dinner – a nice change of pace. Sure to please your kids, as well.

Lastly – tomato sauce. You could dunk these in a vodka blush sauce, some prized homemade marinara, or even an alfredo sauce! The sauce I used is a specialty, homemade, delightful sauce that HAPPENS to be made by my cousin’s husband and his brother (who I also went to school with since first grade). The Vesper Brother’s sauce is available at Gentiles (in Newtown Square), and various farmer’s markets on the Mainline, but it won’t be long before it’s at Whole Foods! I put a picture in below – look for it – it was delicious! A very authentic, comforting, all purpose sauce.

Faux-Fried Ravioli Bites

Serves 6-8 as Appetizer, 2-4 as Dinner

Adapted from Clean Eating Magazine

12 oz. bag/box frozen or fresh ravioli – any kind (I used spinach and cheese)*

2 egg whites

1/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided

1/4 tsp. black pepper, divided

1/2 c. Italian Style bread crumbs

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

Pinch cayenne pepper

Tomato Sauce for dipping/serving

*You can find ravioli fresh in the specialty areas of any big grocery store or Trader Joe’s, and that would work well. If you buy frozen, it’s half the price. There are lot’s of different flavors, and

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

3. In a small bowl, mix egg whites, 1/8 tsp. of the salt, 1/8 tsp. of the pepper together with a fork.

4. In another bowl, whisk bread crumbs, remaining salt and pepper, cheese, oregano, thyme and cayenne together until blended.

5. Dip a ravioli in the egg whites and shake to drip off excess. Next, dredge in the bread crumb mixture. Lay ravioli on prepared baking sheet.

6. Repeat steps with each ravioli.

7. Bake, turning once, for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

8. Warm sauce in a small bowl for dipping, and serve immediately. I popped a few leftovers in my mouth well after dinner – they were still amazing. You could most definitely make these before going to a friends house and serve them at room temperature – especially if you microwave your dipping sauce.

Baby girl enjoyed them cold for lunch the next day…

*If frozen, thaw in fridge overnight or on counter for about 30 minutes

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