Mix-and-Match Ravioli Fillings and Sauces for When Marinara Just Isn't Enough

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Mushroom Ravioli Filling
Photo: Scott Little

Using our top-rated sauces and homemade ravioli filling recipes you can design your own ideal flavor pairings to star in a rave-worthy Italian dinner. First, we explain how to make the dough from scratch, then we offer some of our best ravioli filling ideas. Lastly, it's time to get saucy: We're dishing about the tastiest pasta sauce options to spoon over each.

01 of 14

Fresh Pasta Dough for Ravioli

Fresh Pasta Dough for Ravioli
Scott Little

Grab some flour, water, salt, and eggs. This is where the best homemade ravioli begins. Though we call for a food processor to mix the pasta dough, there are also instructions for mixing by hand. To make it even easier to stuff these squares with a cheese ravioli filling or your desired filling combo, invest in a ravioli press.

Buy It: Eppicotispai Ravioli Starter Set, $70, Sur La Table

02 of 14

Sausage Ravioli Filling

Sausage Ravioli Filling
Scott Little

Sausage is a spicy, hearty filling for more than hearty hoagies and homemade pizzas. (Although we love it for those too.) Cook Italian sausage with fresh spinach, stir in creamy ricotta cheese, and add some sage to make hearty ravioli filling. A pinch of nutmeg adds subtle sweetness to this meat ravioli filling.

Test Kitchen Tip: Chill this classic ravioli filling as you prepare the dough so it's easier to stuff your pasta.

03 of 14

Mushroom Ravioli Filling

Mushroom Ravioli Filling
Scott Little

A combination of dried porcini and fresh mushrooms add pleasant earthy elements to this simple mushroom ravioli filling recipe. With so much umami and 10 grams of protein per serving, you won't miss the meat in this vegetarian dinner idea.

04 of 14

Crab Ravioli Filling

Crab Ravioli Filling
Scott Little

Not much time for cooking today? Try this crab ravioli filling, which could easily be transformed into a lobster ravioli filling instead. It takes only 20 minutes to saute this citrusy, caper-infused combo before stuffing it inside pasta. Or you can really shortcut dinner by serving the filling as a topping and skip stuffing individual ravioli.

05 of 14

Butternut Squash Ravioli Filling

Butternut Squash Ravioli Filling
Scott Little

Just when we thought we couldn't love butternut squash any more, this—one of our best ravioli fillings—landed on our Test Kitchen table as a new way to eat the veggie. Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, and roasted butternut squash join forces for a sweet-nutty pasta stuffing.

Test Kitchen Tip: If you prefer pumpkin to butternut, substitute an equal amount of that winter squash for an equally excellent pumpkin ravioli filling.

06 of 14

Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce

Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce
Andy Lyons

Yes, you can make the most of summer tomatoes in a topping for nearly any classic ravioli filling. Roast garlic and peppers, simmer with tomatoes and seasonings, and then can in jars for an upgrade on marinara that will last for months in your pantry. This Italian-inspired blend works deliciously with savory meat ravioli.

Homemade ravioli filling pairing: Sausage Ravioli Filling

07 of 14

Pressure Cooker Puttanesca Pasta Sauce

Pressure Cooker Puttanesca Pasta Sauce

Italian nonnas (grandmas) spend hours perfecting each batch of puttanesca, a traditional Neapolitan sauce featuring tomatoes, anchovies, olives, capers, and more. Hit fast-forward with this simplified sauce. It cooks in mere minutes in your pressure cooker or Instant Pot.

Homemade ravioli filling pairing: Mushroom Ravioli Filling

08 of 14

Herb Alfredo Sauce

Herb Alfredo Sauce
Karla Conrad

Leave the jarred Alfredo on the supermarket shelf. You can slow cook your way to an herb-scented meal masterpiece with this rich ravioli topper. To save time and make it possible to whip up this sauce any time of year, we call for purchased basil pesto rather than the fresh herb.

Homemade ravioli filling pairing: Butternut Squash Ravioli Filling

Buy It: Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry Programmable Slow Cooker, $80, Amazon

09 of 14

Browned Butter Sauce

Browned Butter Sauce
Scott Little

Everything is better with butter. Including pretty much any of our homemade ravioli filling recipes. Drizzle each bowl of pasta with browned butter, grated cheese, and herbs for a simple and sophisticated dish. Finish with fresh herbs and a dash of ground black pepper and your dinner table will practically feel like a Venician café (minus the gondola floating by, sadly).

Homemade ravioli filling pairing: Butternut Squash Ravioli Filling

10 of 14

Almond Sauce

Almond Sauce

We're nuts about this romesco-reminiscent red sauce that gets its thick, luscious texture from blended almonds. Try this Instant Ace Nova 56-Ounce Blender ($149, Amazon). The vibrant ruby hue comes courtesy of plenty of tomatoes and a couple of ancho chiles.

Homemade ravioli filling pairing: Sausage Ravioli Filling

11 of 14

Fresh Herb, Tomato, and Caper Sauce

Fresh Herb, Tomato, and Caper Sauce
Blaine Moats

Why use store-bought when you can blitz up this ravioli sauce in 10 minutes? With heart-healthy olive oil and almonds, plus handfuls of fresh herbs, your ticker and your taste buds will thank you for serving this peppy sauce. As you can tell from the photo, this ravioli sauce is also great on steaks.

Test Kitchen Tip: Freeze this tasty tomato sauce in quarter-cup portions in an airtight container, so you can defrost and toss with your favorite homemade ravioli any time of year.

Homemade ravioli filling pairing: Sausage Ravioli Filling

12 of 14

Fresh Tomato Spaghetti Sauce

Fresh Tomato Spaghetti Sauce
Andy Lyons

Call in the spice! And herbs, of course. Parsley, oregano, fennel, basil, marjoram—the whole Italian gang is here in this summery sauce that dazzles atop your best ravioli filling recipes (especially ones featuring similar ingredients—say, mushrooms—and aromatics, like garlic).

Homemade ravioli filling pairing: Mushroom Ravioli Filling

13 of 14

Cashew Cream Pasta Sauce

Cashew Cream Pasta Sauce
Blaine Moats

"Cheese" sauce made from cashews? Sounds crazy, but tastes crazy-good on chicken ravioli fillings, lobster ravioli fillings, and more. Think of the garlic-scented sauce as a vegan version of Alfredo!

Homemade ravioli filling pairing: Crab Ravioli Filling

14 of 14

Creamy Vino Sauce

Creamy Vino Sauce
Scott Little

Toss with a white wine, cheese, and herb mix to create a decadent sauce to pour over any noodly dish, such as chicken ravioli filling or your favorite seafood-stuffed pasta. Garlic and fresh basil infuse it with equal parts lusciousness, comfort food vibes, and fresh summer flavors.

Homemade ravioli filling pairing: Crab Ravioli Filling

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