If your household is anything like mine, there is a hectic quality to weeknights that can leave little time for cooking. Between Hubby, myself, and the kids…somebody is either coming or going. Those few hours after work or school can equal time crunch.
Easy yet tasty recipes are coveted on tightly scheduled weeknights. As rushed as it can get, we all still appreciate something yummy to sit down to at dinner time.
Between the kids’ sports and homework, what’s a girl to do for dinner? Answer: Easy, Cheesy Baked Ravioli Casserole. YUM. This dish single-handedly converted my kids into ravioli fans.
I usually whip up a hearty meat sauce using ground turkey or beef for this casserole. You can easily make this meatless by, well, omitting the meat 🙂
It’s amazing that frozen ravioli can be so easily transformed into this hearty and tasty dish, happily packed with tomato sauce, various cheeses, and chunky ground meat.
This baked ravioli casserole is an entire meal in one dish. And it tastes like you spent a long time at the stove.
The aroma of this bubbly ravioli bake will momentarily divert everyone away from their activities. “What’s that cooking in the oven?” Yes, they will answer the call to fulfill that hunger for a delicious, hot meal at the table.
As usual, here’s my favorite part: this casserole is easily assembled the night before! YES. I am a major proponent of anything that can be prepped the night before. Assemble it at night, put it in the fridge, and bake it up right before serving dinner.
Of course, you can just do it all the same day too. Either way, you’ll want to keep this recipe in your rotation of simply fantastic recipes that can be whipped up in under an hour. Leftovers make for an awesome lunch or another dinner the next day! Enjoy.
RECIPE (one 9×11 dish)
2 lbs ground beef or turkey
1 package (25 ounce) frozen cheese ravioli
1 can/jar (26 oz) Hunts Premium pasta sauce
1 (28 oz) plain (not salted) diced tomatoes, juices reserved
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese
2 tsp dried oregano
1 TB freshly ground black pepper
1 TB garlic powder
1 TB onion powder
1 TB white sugar
Freshly grated Parmesan for topping
Cook ground meat in large heavy pot over medium high heat. Stir and break up pieces until cooked through. Drain any excess grease. Turn heat off.
Add pasta sauce and diced tomatoes with juices to the pot. Add oregano, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and sugar. Stir to incorporate well.
Spread 1/3 of the meat sauce evenly onto the bottom of a 9×11 baking dish. Arrange 1/2 of the frozen ravioli over the sauce. Spread 1/2 of mozzarella and 1/2 of Colby cheeses over the ravioli. Repeat layers. You should end with last 1/3 of the sauce on top. Sprinkle top evenly with Parmesan.
If using right away, cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake at 450F for 30 minutes, or until ravioli is tender.
If not using right away, cover tightly with foil and place in fridge. When ready to use, loosen foil and bake at 450F for 50-60 minutes.
Note: I like to add frozen chopped spinach to this casserole. It’s delicious and adds veggie power! Just be sure it’s defrosted and squeeze out all water before layering it on.