Ravioli for a Crowd!

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I’ve been in party mode and haven’t really cooked “normal” for a while, so I thought I would share with you how I prepped for a recent party I had for 26 with the main course being 200 homemade ravioli.
Homemade ravioli holds a special place in my heart because I can remember my mom and aunt making them together when my cousins and I were very young, white sheets covering dining room tables and beds, filled with drying ravioli. Today I make them a little different, no more drying on sheets, instead they go right into the freezer after they’re made.

All the ravioli were made a few days before and tucked away in my freezer ready for the big day, we made two different versions, meat and cheese.

Because I would be cooking so many ravioli at one time, there was no way I wanted to be boiling them while my house was filled with people, so I opted to make them the night before, something I’ve never done.

During the week prior to my party I went to a local restaurant supply store and bought commercial size heavy duty foil sheet pans, they were perfect to lay my ravioli on in a single layer.
They were huge and covered my whole oven rack, and even though I don’t have a commercial size oven I made them fit by slightly folding up the sides.

All my sauce was cooked ahead of time so assembling was pretty easy. After spreading sauce all over the bottom of the sheet pans I placed my slightly undercooked ravioli on top, single layer, placing more sauce on top. After they cooled down I sprinkled grated Pecorino on top and covered the pans with heavy duty aluminum foil and placed them in my second fridge, ( it’s older and has bigger shelves).

The day of the party I took them out of the fridge and got them to room temperature and with the foil still on, I baked them for only 15 minutes in a 350 oven until warmed through, after they were done I dolloped more warmed sauce on top and they were good to go! For a big crowd this was the perfect way to make them, no hot boiling pots all over the place, all that was done in advance.

Thanks to my family, all my dear cousins and their families for such a fun night!
So if you ever doubted cooking ravioli ahead of time for a large crowd like I did, no worries because it was a complete success!

Buon Appetito!
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  1. Oh Marie – You are my hero! How you manage to juggle all these huge pots, containers, people, etc. is like watching an acrobat. And I know everything tasted perfectly delicious.

  2. You had some great ideas here for feeding a crowd…the ravioli look delicious!

  3. That was amazing!! Seeing all that food made me think back to my first marriage. I was married to an Italian and I sure miss those holidays filled with family and food. Of course I wouldn’t trade my current husband for all the tea in China but I am just saying……

  4. What a fabulous idea! With my ceramic top stove, I shy away from making ravioli for a large crowd. I’ve thought of using the turkey fryer outside, but if it’s rainy or snowy, that’s problematic. I love your solution and will keep it in mind for Easter.

  5. So now I think you are a ravioli genius. Paul’s family now numbers 45 – and you are making me think it is do-able to do ravioli. Let’s see that would be 400 ravioli? Uh oh.

    And you know… I really would have liked one or two.

  6. You are ravioli Queen, Marie! Was this part of your Thankssgiving dinner?

    What a convenient way to cook for a crowd. I am all for doing as much as possible ahead of time, and the disposable trays mean less clean up afterward!

    I miss my old refrigerator with the big shelves!! Why are the new ones so much smaller even though they are the same square feet in dimension? I wish I saved my old one!

  7. What a great idea! They look beautiful.

  8. Marie, you are an inspiration just in time for my Chritmas gathering. great idea.

  9. You are so organized!! It all looks and sounds wonderful.

  10. you are making me itch to cook raviolis again!

  11. I wouldn’t mind packing this away in my freezer.

  12. Your awesome Marie.. these look amazing! Happy Holiday cooking to you!

    Dalla Mia Cucina

  13. You are a brave woman, Marie! And quite clever. Brava!

  14. Now that’s what I call being fearless in the kitchen.

  15. Now that’s some Italian cooking girlfriend, Wowzaaa your simply an amazing hostess.

    Merry Christmas Marie…haven’t been by in so long…so busy this time of the year, tis’ the season!

    Hope your well and enjoying the spirit of Christmas!

  16. I love this idea! I will have to try this.

  17. It’s been way to long since I’ve said hello to one of my favourite foodie-friends! How are you?

    I’m hosting my annual get-together next weekend and am definitely taking a cue from you and do stuff ahead too.

    Warm hugs.

  18. You are amazing, Marie! Warming all those ravioli up on aluminum foil sheets is brilliant. You are like a maestro in the kitchen. Your friends and family are blessed. 🙂

  19. Good food brings people together. Finger food is best suited for all occasions, it is light and people love eating it. I really like those food on your photos.


  20. WOW! great idea on warming them up.

  21. I ended up here completely by accident but so glad I did. The ravioli look wonderful! Now I am contemplating doing the same thing on Christmas Eve! Thank you so much for the inspiration! -b

  22. A brilliant labor of love! I am scheduled to make my lasagna this week ahead of time for Christmas dinner 🙂

  23. A very italian traditional dish, they looks so good!

  24. Oh WOW great buffet! 😉
    by italian girl!

  25. Yum!! We make a few hundred to feed our family every Christmas!

  26. How many eggs do you use for a 5# bag of flour

  27. Hi Marie, I love your idea. I used to make Ravioli for Christmas for a crowd, but your idea of do ahead is wonderful!
    I’d love your recipe for your dough in the food processor if you are willing to share.
    Thank You & happy New Year.
    From One of your previously from Chicago friends & regular readers.

    • Hi pat, I’m emailing you!

      • Hi Marie,
        It’s a perfect solution and convinced me that I will be able to make it as the starter for New Years Eve.
        Can I have your receipe for the dough in the food processor as well?
        Lasse (from Denmark)

  28. Your Ravioli looks yummy! What do you serve them with in the picture. Thanks

  29. Liked the idea!

  30. Makes a lot of sense to prepare them this way. A good method for fundraisers as well.

  31. Sandy Romeo says

    Hi Marie, Did you parboil the ravioli before baking? This sounds like a great idea!

    • Oh yes, look at my other ravioli posts for a crowd, just search ravioli on my blog and you will see visuals on how I did it Sandy.