Fried Ricotta Cheese and Venison Ravioli

We watch a ton of Food Network and have always wanted to make fried ravioli. Giada has made them before, and we're sure Emeril has, too. They're cheesy and crunchy, and divine when dipped in warm marinara sauce. This is the perfect finger food, great for a mid-day snack or served as a fancy hors d'oeuvre-- I can never spell that word right. Our version of fried ravioli is filled with fresh ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan, some beautiful ground venison, and then encased in what we call our secret, half-assed way of making ravioli: store-bought egg roll wrappers! No mess, no gadgets, no nothing. Just dip your ravioli in our mixture of Panko and breadcrumbs, fry and you've got yourself little pockets of goodness. You can just lie to people and tell the you made the dough from scratch. They will bow down at your feet. ;-) 

Did you know that the singular form of ravioli is raviolo? Ah, I love Wikipedia. 

Servings: 40-45 ravioli
Prep Time: 30-45 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
- 1/2 lb. ground venison
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tbs. Kraft grated Parmesan Cheese, and extra for sprinkling
- Kosher/sea salt and pepper, to taste
- a couple dashes of balsamic vinegar or Worcestershire sauce (optional) 
- 1 package of egg roll wrappers (16 oz. gave us plenty to work with)
Breadcrumb Mixture
- 3/4 cup of plain breadcrumbs
- 3/4 cup of Japanese "Panko" breadcrumbs
- 3 tbs. Italian seasoning
- 3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
- about 3 eggs
- 1 cup of milk

- oil for frying
- marinara sauce

1. In a skillet, brown ground venison with freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of salt. Make sure to break up the ground meat into tiny pieces.  Stir in a dash or two of balsamic vinegar or Worcestershire sauce to brighten up the flavors. We used no oil because we had a nonstick skillet.

Once browned, take off heat allow the meat to cool.  
2. Next, transfer the cooled meat to a medium-sized bowl. Add 3/4 cup of ricotta cheese, 2 tbs. of grated Parmesan and more freshly ground black pepper, if desired. 
Combine well with a fork. 
3. Place one egg roll wrapper on a dry, flat surface. Scoop 1/2 tablespoons of cheese and meat mixture onto the wrapper, like so-- 4 for the corners and 1 in the middle. Don't drop filling too close to the edges or to each other. 
With your fingers, gently flatten out the mounds of filling.
Have a small bowl of water ready. Dip your finger into the water and wet the outside edges of the fillings. This will seal the ravioli.
Then place a second sheet of egg roll wrapper over the filling, lining up the edges.

Gently press down around the filling to seal each individual ravioli, making sure to get rid of all air bubbles. 
With a knife or pizza cutter, cut around each filling, leaving enough egg roll wrapper around the edges to keep a good seal. You will have scraps.

They don't have to be perfectly square. Ours were all kinds of shapes. :-)
With a fork, crimp ravioli.
Aren't they cute? Like little shellfish, or something.
4. In a shallow bowl, combine 3/4 cup of plain breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup of Panko, 3 tbs. of Italian seasoning and 3/4 tsp. of salt. Mix well.

In another bowl, combine 3 eggs and 1 cup of milk. Whisk well. If you want, you can divide this into thirds. We did that because the eggs get pretty goopy from the breadcrumbs.
Here comes the fun part...
5. Dip each raviolo in egg wash, then the breadcrumbs, egg wash and breadcrumbs again. Double coat. 

This will take awhile, so you should sing.
Place coated ravioli on clean, dry plate(s), laying them in one single layer.

Then place them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to set. You can freeze any extras for later.
6. Heat about 1 inch of oil in a skillet/pan. When the oil reaches about 350 degrees, fry the ravioli until golden and crispy, about 30 seconds to 1 minute each side. 

Fry in batches. One layer only. 
Drain on paper towels.
Sprinkle with more grated Parmesan cheese. 

And enjoy with your favorite marinara sauce and white wine! We had a bottle of sauvignon blanc. 

You can also make them ahead of time, freeze and fry on a rainy day.
We also baked some crimini mushrooms, filled with bubbling mozzarella cheese. Mmmm! So good. One of our favorite sides.
Here is Rick peeling off the melted cheese. He was as intent as a squirrel with nuts.

Well, we both hope that you will like this recipe. As always, thanks for visiting our blog!


  1. These look amazing!! I would show my husband, but he would want to come move in with you guys. :) Great post, thank you so much for sharing.


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