Perhaps this really should be called lazy lasagna. When cheese ravioli is tossed in an abundance of marinara sauce, piled in a casserole dish, layered with even more cheese, and baked, it takes on all the good qualities of the classic layered pasta dish.
A Ravioli Bake for Lasagna-Lovers
Why haven’t we always been baking our ravioli? Sure, it’s lovely tossed in a sauce and served in a bowl, but it’s even better when you pile each raviolo on top of one another, tucking extra cheese in between for good measure. To add textural intrigue, there’s a slew of sautéed mushrooms added to the mix.
The casserole is baked until the pasta gets just a little crisp around the edges while everything bubbles and becomes extra gooey. Then the ravioli can be scooped out or even sliced into lasagna-like squares so you can catch glimpses of their cheesy innards.
The bonus? Relying on store-bought fresh ravioli and jarred marinara sauce means this pasta bake can be assembled with incredible ease. The trick is to reach for a good-quality sauce here because it’s really what ties everything together. Then it’s just a matter of gathering the crowd and digging in.
Cheesy Ravioli Pasta Bake
4 (9-ounce) packages cheese ravioli (do not thaw if frozen)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for coating the baking dish
1 pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (24-ounce) jar good marinara sauce, like Rao’s or Newman’s Own
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Lightly coat a 3-quart casserole dish or a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil; set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ravioli and cook until it’s quite al dente, about 2 minutes, or 2 minutes less than suggested on package instructions, as it will keep cooking when baked. Drain and set aside.
Heat the oil in a sauté pan large enough to fit the ravioli over medium heat until shimmering. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until softened and lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the marinara sauce and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked ravioli.
Pour half of the ravioli mixture in the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. Cover with half of the sliced mozzarella. Pour the remaining ravioli mixture over the mozzarella. Top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake until the top is lightly golden and the cheese is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
- Make ahead: This dish can be assembled and refrigerated, covered in aluminum foil, up to 2 days in advance. Bake covered for 15 minutes, then uncover and bake for 20 minutes more.
- Two smaller casseroles: This can be prepared in 2 (8×8-inch) baking dishes instead, if you want to freeze half for a future meal.
- Freezing: The unbaked casserole can be frozen right in the baking dish for up to 2 months. Let it cool completely and wrap it tightly with a layer of plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Bake straight from the freezer covered with just foil for 1 hour, then uncover and bake for 15 minutes more.
- Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.