Beefy Baked Ravioli Recipe: An Easy Fake-Out Lasagna

Beefy Baked Ravioli RecipeSince my local, grass-fed organic beef was delivered a few weeks ago, I’ve been thumbing through some “oldies but goodies” beef recipes and came upon Beefy Baked Ravioli. This recipe is one that my freezer club–that’s my small group of friends who cook and swap healthy freezer meals for each other once a month–has been making for years. I don’t know a man, woman or child alive who wouldn’t like this lasagna of sorts.

There are several things I think you’ll love about this recipe, besides that it’s comfort food at its best…

1 – Using the cheese ravioli enables you to skip the ricotta cheese/egg mixture step which saves time and mess. I buy the fresh or dried cheese ravioli at Trader Joe’s because there are no additives or preservatives unlike many of the frozen varieties.

2 – You can easily transform Beefy Baked Ravioli into a cheaper, easier, and vegetarian meal by leaving out the meat and adding in some chopped spinach, thus making it similar to my Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups. You might need to rename it, though. :)

3 – It freezes beautifully! That means it’s easy to make in bulk for your own family or to share with a friend, neighbor, or new mom who could benefit from a meal.

Freezer Meal Tip: Be sure to double this recipe and freeze the second one before baking for later. It’s a perfect weeknight meal and even provides leftovers for another meal or two. When ready to bake, thaw in the fridge overnight. Baking time may take longer because it will be so cold, so factor in another 20-30 minutes to the cooking time.

Here’s a shot of our Beefy Baked Ravioli after we devoured most of it for dinner…

baked beef ravioli

I think your family will thank you for this one…

Baked Beef Ravioli Recipe: An Easy Fake-Out Lasagna

Yields: Makes: one 9x13 casserole


  • 1/2 medium-sized onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef (preferably grass-fed, organic)
  • 1/2 lb pork sausage (preferably local, organic)
  • 2 jars spaghetti sauce (approximately 28 oz. each; I like Newman’s Own Marinara)
  • 1 can (15 oz) crushed Italian tomatoes
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Italian mix cheese (Romano, Parm, Asiago, etc)
  • 2 packages (10 oz.) fresh cheese ravioli, cooked al dente (I use Trader Joe’s)
  • grated Parmesan cheese, optional for serving


1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.

2) In large skillet over medium heat saute onions until soft. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute but don’t let it burn. Next, add beef and sausage to onions and garlic and turn up heat to medium-high. Cook until browned and no longer pink. Drain grease, then stir in sauce and crushed tomatoes and remove from heat.

3) Spread thin layer of meat sauce into bottom of baking dish. Arrange a layer of cooked ravioli over the sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and Italian cheese over the ravioli. Repeat layers, ending with the last of the sauce on top. (Freezer Meal note: Freeze the casserole at this point.)

4) Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes until hot throughout. Take foil off and bake about 15 minutes more or until bubbly at edges.

5) Let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.

Freezer Meal Instructions:

Prepare the casserole through Step 4, but do not bake. Wrap the unbaked casserole tightly before putting in the freezer.

When ready to cook, thaw in the fridge (may take up to 48 hours) or thaw in the microwave on defrost setting. Bake according to instructions.

If cooking directly from frozen state, increase baking time by 1 to 1 ½ hours (total baking time of about 2-2 ½ hours).

What kind of containers do you store these type of freezer meals in?

We highly recommend using a BPA-free container or dish. While it may be easier to buy the disposable Glad ovenware containers, it really makes sense to stock up on some quality, safe dishes that you can bake AND store in. After searching long and hard, I highly recommend using these containers from MightyNest:

Glass Baking Dish with Lid (6 cup)Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 8.26.21 PM

Glass Baking Dish with Lid (3 Quart)

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 8.31.45 PM

A few reasons I like these:

  1. Glass is a natural, non-porous material.
  2. Glass cookware doubles as food storageware.
  3. Glass is easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
  4. The clear lid allows easy visibility to your food.
  5. Because they are oven and microwave proof, you can cook, heat, and store your food all in one dish.
  6. Flat top allows for easy stacking.
  7. They are VERY affordable.

baked beef ravioli

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  1. Carla says

    I can’t call it Baked Beef Ravioli. It doesn’t roll off the tongue and I feel like it’s a tongue twister! But I am excited this recipe has been cleaned up and is now in blog land. Thanks Rach!!!

  2. Rachel says

    That’s what Jamielyn at I {heart} Nap Time named it for me, so that’s what I went with. :) Beefy Baked Ravioli does sound a little strange once I started thinking about it. When do we use the term beefy as a good thing? Ha!

  3. Natalie says

    I just made a veggie version of this subbing shredded carrot, onion and spinach for the beefy filling. To be perfectly honest my husband would certainly prefer the meat but I’m working with what I have. 😉 I’m excited to try it for dinner!

    • Rachel says

      I actually have a similar vegetarian recipe to this one too, Natalie, called Cheesy Spinach Baked Tortellini (in recipe index). We like the non-meat version. I’m sure yours will turn out great! (P.S. My husband sounds like yours…loves him some meat.)

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  6. Louisa says

    Just made two of these. Froze one. About to devour the next. Thanks for the recipes. I’m due with baby #2 in 10 days. It’s a make one freeze one week of cooking for me:-).

    • Polly says

      I just made it tonight as well. It makes TONS of leftovers. Good luck with #2!!

  7. Marnie says

    Hi! Wondering what the cooking instructions are from frozen? : ) Many thanks!!

    Oh, also, should I freeze in an aluminum 9×13 pan? Thanks a lot!

    • Rachel says

      You’ll want to put the whole casserole together and freeze it before baking. When ready to cook, either thaw in the fridge for at least 24 hours or thaw in the microwave on defrost. If it’s still frozen in the middle when you bake it, it will take a bit longer. Cover with foil if it starts to brown on top and is not warm in the middle. It’s ready when the edges are bubbly and the top is golden brown. Yes, you can certainly freeze this in a 9×13 pan. Just be sure to wrap/cover it tightly. I’ll work on adding the Freezer Meal instructions right away to this recipe.

  8. Amber says

    At what point do you freeze?

    • Rachel says

      I will work on the Freezer Meal instructions right now. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I had missed this recipe. You’ll want to put the whole casserole together and freeze it before baking. When ready to cook, either thaw in the fridge for at least 24 hours or thaw in the microwave on defrost. If it’s still frozen in the middle when you bake it, it will take a little longer. Cover with foil if it starts to brown on top and is not warm in the middle. It’s ready when the edges are bubbly and the top is golden brown. I hope that helps for now!

  9. Laura says

    If I am making this to freeze, could I use frozen ravioli?

    • Rachel says

      Hi Laura. I’ve only ever made this by cooking the pasta (usually frozen to begin with) until it’s al dente. I’m not sure what it would do to the recipe if you did not cook it first, but it might be worth a shot. I’m sure you’d have to cook it quite a bit longer and be sure to cover with foil. Let me know if you do it and it works. I’m always looking for ways to cut corners!

  10. Amanda Myers says

    Might be a silly question BUT…don’t you cook the meat before throwing it together to freeze? Just leave garlic and onions raw ? Thanks!

    • Rachel says

      The recipe calls for you to cook the meat and veggies in Step #2. Maybe you missed that? (It happens to me all the time!)

  11. Toni says

    Why does it need to be frozen before baking? I’m hoping to freeze meals so that I can stay on track with my diet and wanting meals to be quick and easy, so just wanting to make sure I’m doing it right! haha.

    • Polly says

      Toni- I think it can be done either way. I’ve baked mine and then divided it up into small portions to freeze and reheat for later. In some cases, reheating a meal that has already been cooked can dry it out or overcook it. However, this one is an exception in my book. Let us know if you have any more questions!

  12. Shawna says

    Can you put this in a crock pot? The only reason I ask is that I want to take it to work for a lunch.

    • Rachel says

      Do you mean to cook it or warm it up? I’ve never tried either, but I would guess you could put it in a small crock on the “warm” setting to keep it warm at work. As far as cooking it, I’ve seen other bloggers talk about cooking lasagnas in slow cookers but I’ve never tried it with this recipe. It’s a good idea, though, if it worked!

  13. Jean says

    In step #2 , how long does one cook the meat sauce after the sauce and the crushed tomatoes are added ? Thanks !

    • Rachel says

      Good question. I just updated the recipe. You do not need to cook it more at this point, unless you want to for a few minutes just to let the flavors combine more. I usually just remove it from the heat and use it immediately in the casserole.

  14. mmichelk says

    About how many adults would one casserole serve?

    • Rachel says

      Probably 6-8 easily.

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