Oven-Fried Ravioli

One of my most favorite appetizers from the Olive Garden is the fried ravioli.  I mean, are you kidding?  They are just ridiculous.  They serve it with warm marinara and also this equally ridiculous ranch-style dip.  The guilt I feel when I eat these things is terrible.

I decided there must be a better way.  Let’s bake them!

Now, my recipe isn’t necessarily anything special.  Do a Google search for baked ravioli and you’ll get all sorts of variations.  This is one that works well for me every time, and I’m sure it’s because they’re double dipped in the egg and breadcrumbs (oh yes!).  And don’t skip the extra dip, it make all the difference.

The first time I made these, we ate the whole batch…seriously.  With some warm marinara sauce these are every bit as good as the fried version!

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Oven Fried Ravioli

  • 20 (about 1 pound) frozen or fresh ravioli (gluten free if you like)
  • 2 eggs
  •  1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned Panko breadcrumbs (gluten free if you like)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the kind in the can)
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Boil ravioli for about half the time on the package directions (or until soft).  Drain and toss with a little olive oil to prevent sticking; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine breadcrumbs, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano, along with the Parmesan cheese.  Stir to combine.  Whisk the eggs and milk together in a separate bowl.

Working in batches of 3 or 4, dip the ravioli in the egg and allow excess to drip off.  Coat in breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere.  Set on parchment paper and continue until all ravioli is done.

Repeat dipping process once more for each ravioli.  Spray lightly with olive oil spray and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve immediately with marinara sauce or Ranch dressing.  Enjoy!

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Fall is (sort of) making an appearance here in Florida, and with Halloween just a few days off, pumpkin carving is in full swing.  What to do with those handfuls of pumpkin guts?  With a little work, you can sort out the seeds and roast them for a healthy treat!

Have you ever noticed how much seeds (and nuts) cost in the supermarket?  It’s ridiculous.  So save the pumpkin seeds you’ve got and save some cash!

There are several ways to roast the seeds, but my preferred way is low and slow.  I’ll give alternative cook times if you don’t have an hour to wait, but roasting them slowly allows them to fully dry out and minimizes chewiness.

Here’s the recipe – or really, just how to roast perfect seeds.  The seasonings are up to you!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • Fresh pumpkin seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Seasonings of your choice

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Separate the seeds from the pumpkin flesh; wash the sorted seeds in water and pat dry.  Put them in a bowl and add a drizzle of olive oil.  I like to put the oil in my hand and then stir the seeds with my fingers.  All you want is a very light coat so the salt and seasonings will stick.

Here’s the fun part.  Add a little salt (or not) and whatever flavors you prefer – Cajun, garlic, curry, Old Bay, or chili powder…or how about trying some cinnamon and sugar?  You really can’t go wrong!  I use about half a teaspoon of seasoning per cup of seeds, but adjust to your liking.

Spread the seeds on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper (you can do without but it keeps the seeds from sticking to the pan; don’t add nonstick sprays, it will add too much moisture).  Try to get them in a single layer with minimal overlaps.

Bake for 45-60 minutes, check for crispness at 45 minutes (this means take one out and eat it!).  If you have a lot of seeds on the tray, stir them around halfway through to help evenly cook them all.

If you don’t have that much time, preheat the oven to 350-375 degrees and roast for about 35 minutes.  Just keep an eye on them!

After they’ve cooled, store in an airtight container at room temperature.  How long will they keep?  I don’t know – ours never make it more than a few days!

Enjoy!


Artichoke & Roasted Red Pepper Flatbread Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza?  It’s an American staple.  I adore pizza topped with almost anything.  Problem is, it is calorie-laden, and you don’t always know what you’re getting with takeout or frozen versions.  Why not make your own, using fresh cheeses and lower-calorie crusts?

That’s what I did.  Actually, it’s what I do all the time.  I usually pile on fresh veggies and maybe chicken, but today I had some marinated artichokes and jarred roasted red peppers calling my name.  Here’s what I did with them.

I always use fresh Mozzarella for homemade pizza.  If you can stop yourself from eating it all beforehand, there is just no substituting with shredded versions.  The Parmesan is more forgiving, and the store bought shredded available (usually) in the deli is just fine.

I used a multigrain flatbread – the brand was Joseph’s and it was next to the pita bread in my deli.  If you want to make a gluten free version here, try Udi’s gluten free pizza crusts, available in the freezer section.  Gluten free crust is crispy by naure so it will work the same as the flatbread does here.

Be sure to cover the flatbread end to end, or the exposed areas will burn!

Artichoke & Roasted Red Pepper Flatbread Pizza

Makes one flatbread pizza.

  • 1 flatbread or small pizza crust
  • 4 ounces fresh Mozzarella cheese (sliced into 4)
  • 3 jarred, marinated artichoke quarters, cut into smaller pieces
  • 1/4 cup jarred, roasted red peppers, cut into pieces
  • olive oil
  • fresh basil leaves
  • ground pepper
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

Rub one side of the flatbread with a small amount of olive oil.  Using a paper towel, wipe off excess oil.  Bake at 450 degrees just until beginning to brown; flip and bake until other side is just crisping up, 1-2 more minutes.

On oiled side of flatbread, spread 1/4 cup pizza sauce all over, taking care to cover to every edge so the bread doesn’t burn when you put it back in the oven.

Top with the 4 Mozzarella slices; chopped red peppers; and artichokes.  Bake at 400 degrees until melted and browning, watching the bread as you go, 5-10 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with fresh basil leaves and red pepper flakes.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!