You gotta try four cheese ravioli – it’s to die for! That pillowy pasta shell stuffed with a creamy blend of ricotta, parmesan, romano and mozzarella is like a little slice of cheesy heaven. Mmm mmm good! But hold up – as fab as it is solo, the right sauce can take this ravioli over the top. Choosing one to complement those four cheeses is kinda like finding your soulmate – it just clicks. Whether you’re craving something fresh and lively or rich and hearty, there’s a perfect sauce match out there.
Here are 15 delicious sauce options to consider for four cheese ravioli:
Tomato-based sauces pair beautifully with four cheese ravioli. The acidity of the tomato cuts through the richness of the cheese filling. At the same time, the creaminess of the cheese helps to mellow out an overly acidic tomato sauce. Here are some great tomato-based sauces for four cheese ravioli:
Easy Ravioli Sauce
This quick and easy tomato sauce only requires a few ingredients – canned diced tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, basil, and seasonings. Sauté the garlic in the olive oil until fragrant. Then add the diced tomatoes, basil, and seasonings of your choice. Simmer until warmed through and serve atop ravioli. The fresh flavor of the basil complements the blend of cheeses nicely. This is a fast weeknight dinner solution.
Creamy Tomato Sauce
For a richer, more decadent tomato sauce, make a creamy tomato sauce. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil, then add canned crushed tomatoes. Allow to simmer before adding heavy cream. The cream provides extra richness and helps to mellow out the acidity of the tomatoes. Garnish with fresh basil and parmesan. This sauce pairs wonderfully with the cheese-stuffed ravioli.
Arrabbiata is a spicy tomato-based sauce that originated in Rome. It gets its heat from red pepper flakes. To make it, sauté garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil. Add canned diced tomatoes, basil, and seasonings. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving. The touch of heat from this sauce adds excitement to the creamy four cheese ravioli. Just go easy on the red pepper if you don’t want it too spicy.
Marinara sauce is a simple Italian tomato sauce made from tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and herbs. Keep it chunky by crushing canned whole tomatoes with your hands rather than pureeing them. Cook low and slow for 45 minutes to an hour to develop maximum flavor. The classic taste of marinara sauce is a perfect pair for ravioli. Garnish with chopped fresh basil or parsley.
Of course, cheese sauces work wonderfully with a cheese-filled pasta. The cheese in the sauce enhances the flavor of the ricotta, parmesan, romano, and mozzarella tucked inside the ravioli. Here are some cheesy sauce ideas:
Creamy Parmesan Sauce
This sauce is made by sautéing garlic and shallots in butter and olive oil. Add chicken or vegetable broth and simmer. Finally, stir in heavy cream and parmesan, simmering until the sauce is silky smooth. Shower with extra shredded parmesan before serving for an extra hit of cheesy richness.
Blue Cheese Sauce
For a more pungent cheese sauce, use crumbled blue cheese. Melt butter in a skillet and add flour to make a roux. Slowly pour in milk, whisking constantly, then stir in heavy cream once thickened. Add crumbled blue cheese like gorgonzola or Roquefort, stirring until melted and smooth. The tang of the blue cheese balances the creaminess of the ravioli filling.
Cheese Mornay Sauce
This classic French sauce starts with a béchamel sauce base of butter, flour, and milk. Shredded cheese like Gruyère, Swiss, and Parmesan is then stirred in until melted and velvety smooth. For variation, add sautéed mushrooms, onions, or broccoli. Drizzle with extra cheese on top. The cheese mornay perfectly coats each tender cheese-filled bite.
Burrata Cream Sauce
For an ultra-rich and decadent sauce, use fresh Italian burrata cheese. Drain the creamy burrata and add it to a pan with butter, cooking until melted. Then stir in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss the hot ravioli in this velvety cheese sauce – it will cling nicely to each piece. The creaminess of the burrata is sensational with the four cheese filling.
Fresh herb sauces work nicely with the blend of cheeses in the ravioli filling. Their fresh, aromatic flavor cuts through the richness. Here are some tasty herb sauce ideas:
Parsley Garlic Oil
Heat extra virgin olive oil in a pan with minced garlic just until fragrant – do not let the garlic brown. Remove from heat and stir in a generous amount of freshly chopped Italian parsley. The fresh, grassy flavor of parsley paired with the mellow sweet garlic is fantastic with ravioli. Simply toss the hot pasta with the oil and herbs.
Basil Walnut Sauce
Pulse walnuts, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor until smooth. Add fresh basil leaves and pulse briefly to incorporate. The nutty flavor and texture of the walnuts complements the cheeses in the ravioli. Toss the hot pasta with the sauce to coat evenly. Garnish with grated parmesan.
Lemon Herb Butter Sauce
Melt butter in a skillet and add the zest and juice of one lemon plus chopped fresh herbs like parsley, basil, thyme or rosemary. Once warmed through, add the hot pasta and toss to coat evenly. The bright, fresh lemon and herbs cut through the rich cheese filling perfectly.
Creamy Pesto Sauce
Make a quick pesto by pureeing basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, parmesan, and salt and pepper. Then stir the pesto into some warmed heavy cream before tossing with the ravioli. The pesto clings nicely to the pasta, infusing tons of herby basil flavor. The cream adds richness to balance the parmesan in the ravioli.
Hearty meat sauces also pair deliciously with creamy cheese-filled pasta. The bold meat flavors stand up well to the rich ravioli filling.
This classic Italian meat sauce features a slow-cooked ragu of ground beef, pork, onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, wine, and aromatics. Simmer for 2-3 hours until thick and rich. Toss the ravioli gently in the sauce to coat. The hearty, meaty bolognese is so satisfying with the creamy cheese ravioli.
Italian Sausage Ragu
For a quicker meat sauce, sauté removed Italian sausage from its casings in olive oil. Add diced onions, carrots, and celery and cook until softened. Then stir in canned crushed tomatoes, red wine, and seasonings and simmer 30 minutes. Toss with ravioli and garnish with parmesan. The pork sausage enhances the savoriness of the cheese.
Bacon Cream Sauce
Cook bacon pieces until crispy. Remove bacon, then sauté minced shallots in the rendered bacon fat. Stir in chicken or veggie broth and heavy cream, cooking until thickened. Crumble in the cooked bacon. Toss ravioli gently in the sauce so the bacon bits stick to the pasta. Bacon and cheese are a match made in heaven.
If you want a lighter sauce without meat or heavy cream, vegetable-based sauces are the way to go.
White Cream Asparagus Sauce
This elegant springtime sauce features fresh asparagus. Sauté chopped shallots in olive oil. Add vegetable broth and heavy cream, simmering until thickened. Then stir in bite size pieces of lightly steamed asparagus tips, cooking just until heated through. The fresh asparagus flavor complements the cheeses inside the ravioli.
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
For an autumnal twist, make a sauce with canned pumpkin puree. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil, then add pumpkin, vegetable broth, heavy cream, and fall spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. Simmer until heated through and season to taste. The blend of cream and pumpkin is unique but delicious with the four cheese ravioli.
Mushroom Cream Sauce
Sauté sliced mushrooms like cremini, shiitake, or oyster in butter or olive oil. Add minced shallots toward the end and cook until softened. Stir in vegetable or chicken broth and heavy cream, simmering until thick enough to coat the pasta. Shower with chopped parsley before serving. Earthy mushrooms and rich cream go so well with the cheese-filled pasta.
More Unique Sauce Ideas
Beyond the basics, there are so many possible sauces that would complement four cheese ravioli wonderfully. Get creative with ingredients you have on hand. Here are just a few more ideas:
- Creamy spinach and artichoke sauce – a blend of chopped spinach and artichoke hearts in a creamy Parmesan sauce.
- Sun-dried tomato sauce – made with oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, basil, cream, and chicken broth.
- Peanut or almond sauce – created by pureeing roasted nuts with olive oil, garlic, lemon, nutritional yeast, and seasonings for a nutty flavor.
- Mexican style sauce – using ingredients like canned green chiles, corn, black beans, cilantro, and cumin.
- Greek sauce – with olives, artichoke hearts, spinach, feta, lemon, and oregano.
- Carbonara sauce – sautéed bacon and peas in a parmesan cream sauce.
- Chicken sausage sauce – with crumbled spicy chicken sausage, kale, and cannellini beans.
- Thai coconut curry sauce – with coconut milk, green curry paste, and stir-fried veggies.
1. What are some quick and easy sauce options for four cheese ravioli?
For fast sauce ideas, try an easy tomato sauce made with canned diced tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and herbs. A quick pesto made in the blender is another option. Or sauté veggies like mushrooms in olive oil and toss with the ravioli.
2. What sauces pair best if I want something fresh and light?
Herb sauces made with ingredients like parsley, basil, lemon, and olive oil are fresh options. You could also do an olive oil based sauce with diced tomatoes and spinach. Or make a light cream sauce with vegetable broth instead of heavy dairy.
3. What are good meat sauce options for four cheese ravioli?
Hearty Bolognese with ground beef, pork, tomatoes, and wine is a classic choice. Italian sausage ragu also pairs well. For a quicker meat sauce, crumble and sauté bacon, then toss the ravioli in a bacon cream sauce.
4. How can I make a veggie sauce for four cheese ravioli?
Try a creamy sauce with sautéed mushrooms or asparagus tips. A pumpkin Alfredo sauce is unique. Or go for a vibrant green sauce made with pesto and sautéed spinach or zucchini.
5. What spices complement four cheese ravioli best?
Classic Italian herbs like basil, parsley, oregano and thyme are always a safe bet. Garlic, pepper flakes, or nutmeg add nice flavor too. Stay away from stronger spices that might overpower the cheeses.
6. Is it okay to just use jarred pasta sauce with four cheese ravioli?
Absolutely! Look for high-quality jarred tomato or cream based sauces. Basil, mushroom, or roasted garlic flavors pair nicely with the four cheeses in the filling.
7. What sauce alternatives are there for those avoiding dairy?
Nut or seed based sauces made with ingredients like almonds, cashews, or sunflower seeds make great non-dairy options. A sauce with olive oil, artichokes, veggie broth, lemon, and herbs is also dairy-free.
8. How can I make an elegant sauce for entertaining or a date night?
Go for a luxurious cream sauce infused with ingredients like prosciutto, sun dried tomatoes, or lobster. A white truffle cream sauce or champagne cream sauce also adds sophistication.
The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to finding the perfect sauce to pair with indulgent four cheese ravioli. With the right sauce, this classic cheese-filled pasta can be transformed into so many flavorful dishes suitable for any occasion. The key when selecting or creating a sauce is to choose complementary flavors that balance out and enhance the richness of the ricotta, parmesan, romano, and mozzarella tucked inside the tender pasta pillows.
Vibrant tomato-based sauces, decadent creamy cheese sauces, hearty meat ragu sauces, light and fresh vegetable or herb sauces – there are so many excellent options to suit any preference. Don’t be afraid to get creative and come up with your own signature sauce to really make that ravioli shine. Raid your pantry for ingredients, explore different flavor combinations, and put your personal spin on classic sauce recipes. The possibilities are endless.
With an entire world of sauces to explore, you’ll never get bored serving up this beloved cheese-filled pasta. Four cheese ravioli is so versatile – one day you can delight in it served with a quick yet flavorful tomato basil sauce, the next day try an elegant mushroom marsala cream sauce for a more sophisticated feel. Share it at a casual family dinner doused in meaty bolognese, or plate it elegantly on date night with a decadent white truffle sauce. However you choose to sauce it up, four cheese ravioli is always comforting, craveable, and guaranteed to satisfy.
What Sauce Goes with Four Cheese Ravioli
- Easy Ravioli Sauce
- Creamy Tomato Sauce
- Arrabbiata Sauce
- Marinara Sauce
- Creamy Parmesan Sauce
- Blue Cheese Sauce
- Cheese Mornay Sauce
- Burrata Cream Sauce
- Parsley Garlic Oil
- Basil Walnut Sauce
- Lemon Herb Butter Sauce
- Creamy Pesto Sauce
- Bolognese Sauce
- Italian Sausage Ragu
- Bacon Cream Sauce
- White Cream Asparagus Sauce
- Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
- Mushroom Cream Sauce
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add ravioli and cook per package directions until al dente, about 2-3 minutes.
- Drain ravioli well and reserve some pasta water.
- Make your sauce while ravioli cooks. Good choices are vodka sauce, pesto cream, or tomato basil.
- For vodka sauce: Sauté shallots in oil, then add tomato puree and heavy cream. Simmer.
- For pesto cream: Mix basil pesto into heated cream or half-and-half.
- Add cooked ravioli to pan with chosen sauce. Gently toss to coat, adding pasta water if needed to thin.
- Remove from heat once ravioli is well coated in sauce.
- Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Serve warm.