There’s nothing quite as nice as having your sights set on a particular entree for dinner and knowing it’s already in your kitchen. One popular dish that is able to be purchased in big bags at the store is ravioli.
This Italian favorite has been delighting diners for 700 years. Thanks to culinary creatives, what goes inside ravioli is what keeps foodies coming back. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life.
On the way back home, you might start to wonder how long the ravioli has been in the freezer. Perhaps you have even forgotten when they were purchased. Then fear washes over. Could they be bad?
Most likely, the ravioli is just fine. Once frozen, these tasty pockets of goodness are safe and sound in the freezer for up to seven months or so.
If you’re concerned it’s been longer than that or the ravioli themselves seem suspicious, stay tuned. We’re going to go over all the possibilities when it comes to long-term freezer storage and mealtime.
How can you tell if frozen ravioli is bad?
Upon picking a box of something from the freezer, it might not be immediately evident how good or not it is. There are a few things to take special notice of before and after the thaw. Here are a few suggestions on where to start.
Before thawing it out, take a solid look through the clear plastic wrapping. If the ravioli has turned any unusual colors, it’s probably gone past that window of freshness.
At some point in the freezing process, products that extend their welcome in the freezer can get burned. That’s essentially when all the moisture has left the item.
It can cause what’s in the packaging to shrivel up and become discolored. If the ravioli has taken on a different hue of beige or a new color entirely, avoid going any further.
Seems fine directly from the freezer? The next way to ensure the ravioli is a safe bet is to cook them.
If they have gone bad, your nose will be the first to let you know. There are several ingredient options that can go inside ravioli that go bad before others. Meat and cheese are among the fastest to spoil.
As long as your olfactory senses are in order, it will be obvious that the meat has gone rancid. Even if you aren’t sure what is causing the odor, you will know that it’s a bad one.
To be fair, whatever is inside the ravioli won’t go bad once it’s frozen. If you get a bad smell, the food might have been left out too long before it was put away.
In the opposite direction, the lack of delicious aroma filling the kitchen could also be a sign that the ravioli is no longer edible. Freezer burn on ravioli may not be visible at first glance.
Remember, that type of burn is from a lack of moisture. After cooking the ravioli and there’s no smell, be careful of that first bite. It might be completely devoid of taste. Technically, it is okay to eat, but why torture yourself?
Are expired frozen ravioli okay to eat?
The great thing about the freezing process is the lack of bacteria. In order to survive and wreak havoc on your food, bacteria needs a friendly environment.
Arctic temperatures freeze out unwanted bacteria, making anything stored away safe to eat. The expiration date is a guideline.
Eating ravioli not too long after the expiration date should be fine. However, six months after the date on the box might prove a rather bland dish.
Can you re-freeze ravioli?
This is a dilemma that has happened to many chefs and families alike. It’s not uncommon to cook something that has been frozen and not all of it gets eaten. Sure, you could put it in a container and toss it in the fridge, but who knows when you’ll get to it?
Ravioli is safe to re-freeze. It may not taste as high quality as the first time you ate it, but it is good.
Should frozen ravioli be thawed before cooking?
It depends on which type of ravioli we’re talking about here. If the ravioli was purchased at the store, check the cooking instructions. Most of the frozen ravioli are fresh-frozen, meaning they have already been cooked. Frozen ravioli that were pre-cooked should be prepared right out of the freezer.
Are you the one who cooked the ravioli and then put the rest in the freezer? It would not hurt the leftovers to thaw and reheat.
How do you cook frozen ravioli?
Depending on the brand and the type of ravioli purchased, the best place to get the answer is from the box it came in. Typically, you can expect to have a few different methods to choose from.
The fastest is the microwave and the ravioli is breaded. Cooking time will vary depending on the ingredients and the number of individual pieces being heated. It only takes a few minutes to go from frozen to plate-worthy in a microwave. However, this method often cooks unevenly where some parts will be cold and others like lava.
Some instructions have you dropping frozen ravioli in water where you boil them. This takes twice as long as the microwave, but they will all cook evenly. They will probably taste fresher and not rubbery.
Air fryers are better for breaded ravioli and take about as long as the pot does. The outside will be lightly crispy, and the inside will be nicely melted. It’s a great way to enjoy frozen ravioli.