Cheater Ravioli, or Awesome Sauce Lobster Ravioli from Trader Joe’s

Lobster Ravioli in a Light Cream Sauce

Update! – This post has long been a popular post here, and I decided it needed a little update. I’ve added new, prettier photographs, and revamped the recipe a bit to make it easier to follow. This is a super simple cream sauce that is perfect with any kind of ravioli, really, and in fact, with any kind of pasta. This sauce is one of the first things I learned to cook, and I love it because it’s very fast and requires only a small handful of ingredients. If you’re looking for a sauce for Trader Joe’s lobster ravioli this is a great choice, because it really lets the lobster shine. Now, back to the original post.

Yesterday I got to borrow the housemate’s car and drive myself out to Trader Joe’s, one of my favorite places in the world and one I don’t get to visit very often, seeing as it’s not very accessible by public transport. Not only did I get to buy cheap vinegar, delicious marinated meat stuffs, and the above pictured lobster ravioli, I got to drive around town all day, revelling in the freedom and glory that is being behind the wheel of a vehicle. God, how I’ve missed it these past four years. God, how I wish I could afford to buy myself a little zippy car to zip around town in. Times like these I am forced to admit that I am a southern California girl at heart, wedded to her  stick shifts and safety belts.

This afternoon of vehicular freedom was allowed provided I could transport Crystal to and from work–a guaranteed two hours’ driving time for me, but also a guaranteed late dinner. By the time we got home it was nearly 9:00 and I wanted something simple, fast, and light (it was very hot and sticky in our apartment).

When I was at Trader Joe’s, I did something unusual and bought lobster ravioli. I’m not sure why. I’ve never had lobster in my life. The one time I saw lobsters, live and about to be plunged into boiling water, it kind of grossed me out, so I’ve avoided them. And avoided things with lobster in them. Now I realize what a silly and bad idea that was. These ravioli were tender, sweet, delicate…and they are pre-made and bought from a market! I can only imagine how delicious they would be if I, say, made them at home. (The wheels have started turning in there already.)

I wanted to make a sauce that would be light and simple, and wouldn’t overpower the lobster, as I’d heard that it is some rich, rich stuff. And I decided snow peas would add an appropriate summery green splash to the dinner plate. [Updated: in my re-make, I served the ravioli and sauce on a bed of arugula; wonderful combination!] I decided to try my hand, yet again, at a cream sauce I learned to make years ago but had never quite perfected. It’s a very light cream sauce made without a roux, and everytime I tried it in the past, the cream would break and the flavors would be all wrong and it was generally a disaster.

The simplest, easiest cream sauce

Well this time it wasn’t a disaster at all. I don’t think I followed the technique exactly the way I learned it, as I seem to recall more steps involved, but no matter because this technique worked perfectly. It was simple and fast and very light and very garlicky. Crystal raved on and on about how perfectly it complemented the ravioli and peas, and without tooting my horn too loudly, I had to agree. The best part about this dinner is that it took maybe 15 minutes to put together.

So I’m ready to open the door to lobster and try it out in its pure, un-pasta-fied form. I’m ready to crack open claws and pull out tail meat. And I think for sure I’m going to have to try my hand at lobster ravioli for myself, because these were really incredible.

Now, if I could just cook myself up a car…

Lobster ravioli, arugula, perfect garlic cream sauce

Very Simple Cream Sauce

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: about 3-4 servings

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2-3 gloves of garlic
  • about 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • a generous pinch of salt

Heat a small skillet over medium heat. When it's hot, add the olive oil and butter.

While the butter is melting, mince the garlic. When the butter is fully melted and bubbly, add the garlic to the skillet and mix it around. A flat whisk is an excellent tool for this recipe, but a regular spatula or balloon whisk will work, too.

Let the garlic cook for about 30 seconds, until it's wonderfully fragrant. Then add the heavy cream, in a slow, steady stream, whisking all the while. Bring the cream to a steady boil, whisking and whisking continually. Add a solid pinch of salt (probably about one and a half teaspoons), and whisk away. The sauce will eventually thicken. When it's reached the consistency you like, and coats the back of a spoon nicely, it's ready. Pour it over your pasta (or mix the pasta into the sauce right there in the skillet).


This is a very adaptable sauce. You can add fresh or dried herbs, chopped ginger, a hint of mustard, some Parmesan, whatever strikes your fancy. Taste it to make sure you've salted it enough. If it's too salty, just add a little bit more cream to balance it out.

18. July 2007 by laura k
Categories: pasta, sauces | Tags: , | 14 comments

Comments (14)

  1. You’ve been missing out on lobster for so long, it’s truly a food for the gods.

  2. I heart Trader Joe’s too.. probably more than any shopper should love a store. I thought about you the last 2 times I’d been there.. their pizza dough – have you used it yet? It’s SO GOOD! They’ve got your basic white flour dough, a whole wheat flour dough and a garlic & herb dough. We tried the last one and it was scrumptious. I’ve got the plain in my freezer for tonight’s pizza dinner.. can’t wait. I also saw these ravioli and bought them! I’ll most definitely try your sauce with them, as well as the peas.. sounds perfect. =)

    Try them again in a light vodka sauce.. YUM.

    Am glad you are going to try lobster – you won’t be sorry (even though you have to mortgage the house to pay for it) it’s heavenly.


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  4. how wonderful! i was looking for a sauce to make specifically for the lobster ravioli i recently bought at TJ’s. brilliant! thanks!!

  5. I winged it a bit with a rendition of this and it way too garlicky. So I added some whole milk, then some mozzarella.

  6. try with wild mushrooms yumyum and fresh raviolli all made in advance can knock it together in miniutes:-P cool receipe though tweeked to own taste thanks for sharing it:-)

  7. I love ravioli from Trader Joe’s their pesto tortellini is also killer

  8. Thank you for this sauce. It was lovely with some crisped up fresh bacon bits.

    • It is a good one to have in the repertoire: easy, but elegant. It somehow feels special with only three or four ingredients. I love that. (Try it with leeks and thyme…amazing!)

  9. Great post. I bought said Ravioli and was looking for a simple sauce. My T.J’s is about five blocks away and I have three more less than three miles away in the W.L.A. area.
    Good blog style and easy to read. I pasted that simple recipe to my collection and emailed your page to my daughter (close by) and my son in AU. The water is boiling so away I go!
    Good Job!

  10. WOW.. Me too.. Thanks I was at TJ’s and also stumbled on the Lobster RAv… thanks for sending that simple little sauce

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  12. Great post. Thanks.
    Because some family members have pretty strict dietary needs, I’ve modifiyed this recipe along with some other tips from various posts on different sites…. Here we’re go for some of you that need reduced fat, carbs, salt, etc.
    To prepare sauce for two packages of delicious TJ’s lobster ravioli I used:
    Just a bit of PAM to cover non-stick pan, 2 garlic cloves, 4 oz of goat cheese, white truffle oil, about 1/2 cup of fat free half and half, 1/4 cup of dry white vine ( or champagne), mix well while cooking, about 4 minutes, add a dash of tarragon.
    I served TJ’ s lobster ravioli as suggested over greens and everyone loved it! Too bad I did not make more…..

    • Yes, this cream sauce isn’t one I’d point to if someone needed reduced fat (although I don’t think it’s carb count is that high…since it’s pretty much all fat). Your sauce sounds tasty! Of course, I’d probably use full-fat half and half, because the fat free stuff scares me. I do love the idea of a goat cheese based sauce, though.