An appetizer the whole family will love. Fried ravioli in the air fryer – seasoned with basil, oregano, nutritional yeast, and garlic. On the side, marinara sauce for dipping. Vegan.
Finger foods bring people together. Whether everyone is snacking on a nacho plate with cashew queso or scooping into vegan spinach artichoke dip, there’s something about the experience that is communal.
Today I’m bringing another appetizer classic to the game – fried ravioli.
It is also known as toasted ravioli or breaded ravioli. Basically, it’s ravioli that’s coated in bread crumbs and fried until crisp and dippable.
Ravioli is already a hero in the pasta world. Who wouldn’t adore a pocket of dough stuffed with goodness like mushrooms, butternut squash, spinach, or non-dairy cheese? But when you coat it with spiced bread crumbs and fry it, it takes the whole taste & texture experience up a notch.
Today’s fried ravioli recipe is a little different, because instead of frying it in a vat of oil, these beauties are made in the air fryer. Dusted with a scant spritz of cooking spray, they are indulgent without being a heavy, oily mess.
(New to the air fryer scene? Here are 25+ vegan air fryer recipes you’ll want to try.)
Where can you find vegan ravioli?
Fried ravioli in the air fryer really couldn’t be easier since it’s made with store-bought pasta. There are several vegan options on the market, including Kite Hill and Rising Moon Organics (shown here).
Rising Moon has 2 vegan flavors – butternut squash & spinach Florentine. (Make sure to read the ingredients, because they sell non-vegan ravioli too.) I’ve made this fried ravioli with both flavors, and they’re each tasty in their own way.
The butternut squash is a little sweeter and more fall-like. The spinach Florentine has more of a classic ravioli taste.
Rising Moon pasta is sold in the freezer section. If by some miracle you get a package with ravioli that aren’t stuck together, you can make these air fryer ravioli straight from frozen. However, scoring a package of noodles that aren’t at least somewhat stuck together is a rarity.
Luckily, there’s an easy fix. The day before you want to make fried ravioli, pop the package into the refrigerator to thaw. Once they are thawed, it isn’t difficult to carefully pull them apart.
(If there’s a little bit of tearing, don’t worry about it. The panko bread crumbs will cover that area just fine.)
Surprisingly, the ravioli straight from the freezer and the thawed ones take the same amount of time to cook in the air fryer. I don’t know how the air fryer manages to cook the inside so perfectly whether it’s frozen or thawed, but I can only assume it’s some kind of sorcery.
To make fried ravioli in the air fryer, start by dipping the ravioli into aquafaba.
What is aquafaba?
Aquafaba is bean cooking liquid. It’s the viscous liquid you’ll find in a can of chickpeas, for example. If you make your own beans from scratch, the cooking liquid from homemade beans works equally well.
Not only does aquafaba allow the bread crumbs to fully stick to the ravioli, they also help them to get toasty brown. (That’s why I use aquafaba to brush the top of vegetable pot pie.)
Aquafaba alternatives for this recipe
When I was testing this recipe, I tried a variety of flour & dipping options. An aquafaba dip with a coating of seasoned panko gave the most pleasing results. However, if you happen to not have aquafaba on hand, fret not.
Instead, you can dip the ravioli into eggless mayo like Vegenaise (being careful to remove any excess mayo) and then into bread crumbs. Or you can dip them into non-dairy milk blended with a small spoonful of cornstarch, then seasoned bread crumbs.
Don’t skip the panko
For this recipe, definitely seek out panko bread crumbs. Don’t just use ordinary bread crumbs, which won’t offer the same kind of crackling exterior. Panko gives the noodles a firm crust.
The results of this fried ravioli are pretty spectacular. The spices in the breading give loads of flavor – basil, oregano, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper.
The combination of air fryer magic & the inherent crispiness of panko give a wonderful crunch. It’s perfect for dipping into your choice of marinara.
This dish makes a wonderful appetizer for a party. Or you can smother it in sauce, and voilà, you have lunch or dinner.
Vegan fried ravioli in the air fryer
- On a plate, combine panko bread crumbs, nutritional yeast flakes, dried basil, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Put aquafaba into a small separate bowl.
- Dip ravioli into aquafaba, shake off excess liquid, and then dredge in bread crumb mixture. Make sure that the ravioli gets fully covered. Move the ravioli into the air fryer basket. Continue until all of the ravioli has been breaded. Be careful not to overlap the ravioli too much in the air fryer, so that they can brown evenly. (If necessary, air fry in batches.)
- Spritz the ravioli with cooking spray.
- Set air fryer to 390 degrees. Air fry for 6 minutes. Carefully flip each ravioli over. (Don't just shake the basket. If you do, you'll lose a lot of bread crumbs.) Air fry for 2 more minutes.
- Remove ravioli from air fryer and serve with warm marinara for dipping.