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When you're having lobster ravioli, the question that comes up first is: what does lobster ravioli sauce actually look like? To tell you the truth, it can look like a lot of different things, but by far the best options (in my opinion) are a cream-based or a butter-based sauce. Lobster is such a rich, indulgent ingredient, it needs a sauce that can hold up to it. Plus, butter and lobster are bff's, they have been since the dawn of time.
I love making pasta sauces, and pasta sauces that go with lobster are one of my specialties (just ask my mom, lol). I've been making them for years, and have it down to a science. For this sauce, we're going to up the ante by cooking our lobster shells in the cream itself, which lends a subtle, gorgeous lobster sweetness to the sauce. It's the perfect complement for the lobster ravioli itself. If you aren't using fresh lobster or don't have lobster shells and only have the meat, don't worry, we'll go through that as well.
The Sauce Options
Like I mentioned above, there are so many choices when it comes to lobster ravioli sauce. If you're looking for something butter based, I have an amazing brown butter and pine nut sauce that pairs beautifully with lobster ravioli (seriously, it's so good). You can also try alfredo, garlic butter (again, similar to my brown butter recipe), vodka sauce, or in this case, pink sauce (we're adding a little tomato paste to bring out the sweetness of the lobster). It makes it the perfect romantic date night meal.
For this sauce, we've got a couple of things going on. First, the lobster shells themselves add amazing flavor. Second, the slight tomato taste adds sweetness, and third, we're going to add white wine, lemon and tarragon to bring everything together. If you've been eating lobster for a while, you'll know these are all classic flavors to pair with the crustacean. P.S. Try to get Chardonnay for the wine. You can use it in this sauce, and it also pairs perfectly with the meal afterwards!
How to Make Lobster Ravioli
Homemade lobster ravioli is divine. Like truly one of my favourite favourite foods of all time. And if you make it yourself, you get to control the ratio of lobster meat (high) to cheese (lower) in each ravioli. It's a fun, but time consuming task, better left to weekend cooking, but if you're up for a challenge, you will not be disappointed. I've got a whole how-to make lobster ravioli guide, plus that delicious brown butter sauce I mentioned. And! There's a video (of course):
Where to Buy Ravioli
Look, I'm not going to pull any punches here. As good as homemade lobster ravioli is, it's a PROCESS. If you don't have time but are craving the luxury, then just buy your ravioli. Trader Joe's and Costco both have awesome options if you're coming home from work late on a Friday night and just need something to pair with a buttery
bottle glass of Chardonnay. I'm not judging.
Call me crazy, but I'm a pretty firm believe that your lobster ravioli sauce should you know, contain actual lobster at some point in the process. So that's what we're going to do. You have several different options here - but the best, by far, is fresh lobster meat, including the shells to flavor the sauce. Luckily, I have a whole lobster guide that includes how and where to buy lobster, how to dispatch it, how to cook it, and how to break it down. It also has this handy how-to video:
So this, in my opinion, is the best way to go for this dish (because you get the meat and the shells this way. If you're not into this whole process, another great way to go is just by using frozen lobster tails. Prepare the tails as you would normally, chop up the tail meat, and use the tail shells as normal in this recipe.
Finally, you can also use frozen lobster meat from a can or a package. This is still good, but you'll have to make the sauce without the shells (which is fine, it will still taste good!), and you want to add your lobster meat right at the end, and just heat it through in the sauce.
NOTE: In the video provided below, I have lobster shells that were left over from another recipe, but I had eaten all the lobster meat, so this sauce doesn't show the meat part (which is also a totally fine way to do this!). If you ever break down live lobster and don't leave the shells, don't throw them out! They freeze beautifully and are perfect for soups, stocks, or pasta sauces.
As for the rest of the ingredients:
- Garlic: lots of fresh minced garlic is key for this recipe. It's awesome with the lobster.
- Onions or shallots (not pictured): My preference here is shallots, because their flavor is milder and they just go so well with white wine sauces.
- Tomato Paste: we're not going overboard here. We just need about a tablespoon to bring out the sweetness of both the tomato and the lobster.
- White wine: I use white wine in almost any cream-based pasta sauce I make, and it pairs especially well with seafood sauces.
- Lemon: the juice adds freshness to the sauce, and we'll also use the zest right at the end to brighten up some of the heavy cream.
- Heavy cream: carries the lobster flavor, and it's richness holds up well to the other ingredients in this sauce.
- Salt and pepper: it's so so so important to season this dish properly. You should be tasting it for salt once the sauce is nearly complete, and adjusting it as many times as you need to. If this dish is falling flat for you, I can almost guarantee it's because you haven't added enough salt. Pepper is also important here. It goes so well with any cream sauce, as it brings just a slight kick.
- Tarragon: we're not going to use this until near the end, as a garnish, so we get the full, fresh anise flavor of the tarragon. It's an important part of this meal though!
Make the Sauce
Making this sauce is pretty straightforward, once you've got your lobster sorted out. Note - if you're using live, whole lobster, it's best to prepare, cook and break it down before you start on the sauce.
If you're using lobster tails, you can remove the meat from the tail before cooking, chop it and cook it for a couple of minutes at the same time the garlic is in the pan. Remove it, and add it back in at the end just to warm up in the sauce. Use the lobster tail shells as described below.
If you're using just pure pre-cooked lobster meat, no shells, follow the exact same recipe, you just don't add the shells, and you don't need to strain the sauce.
- Finely chop your garlic and shallot/onions. Preheat a large cast iron skillet or a Dutch oven with olive oil over medium heat, and add the garlic and shallots, cooking for about one minute, until the garlic is fragrant.
- Pour in about ⅓ of a cup of white wine. Add the lobster shells, and let the wine reduce by about half.
- Add the two cups of heavy cream, submerging the lobster shells as much as you can. Bring to a simmer, and let the cream reduce by a half (this should take about ten minutes or so).
- Once the cream is reduced, strain the whole mixture back into the same pot you were cooking it in to remove the lobster shells and the garlic (if some of the garlic gets through, no big deal).
- You should now have a very smooth, thick cream sauce. Set aside for just a moment.
- Turn the heat back to medium low in the same pan you just had the sauce in. Add a little more oil. Whisk in about a tablespoon of tomato paste and some lemon juice until it's heated through. Add the cream mixture back to the pot.
- Add the parmesan cheese, and mix until it's melted into the sauce. Taste for salt and pepper seasoning at this point, and adjust as necessary. This is somewhat a matter of taste, but don't hold back on the salt, it's an essential ingredient in this dish.
- Add your lobster meat, and just heat through.
- Cook your lobster ravioli, and add it directly to the sauce. Place the entire dish in in a pasta bowl or a large serving platter. Garnish it with lemon zest, black pepper, and lots of fresh tarragon.
What to Serve Alongside
This is a pretty heavy dish, so something green and a little on the lighter side wouldn't go amiss. Simple roasted asparagus is always a great choice. On the other hand, if you're looking for the full date-night experience, this could be a side to an equally quality main, like:
- More Lobster (obviously)
- Individual Beef Wellington
- Fresh Oysters with Easy Tomato and Vermouth Granita
- Wagyu Burgers (Two Ways)
Always with lobster, is Chardonnay. If you have some on hand and can also use it in this recipe, even better. Chardonnay is buttery, which is perfect, but it can also be citrusy, which is also perfect.
For fresh, homemade ravioli, it takes about 90 seconds. If you're cooking it from frozen, it should take between 5-7 minutes.
A cream or butter based sauce works the best lobster ravioli. If you can incorporate flavors like lemon, garlic, and tarragon, those will all elevate the lobster flavor.
Chardonnay. It can have a buttery or citrusy flavor (or both) which pair excellently with the lobster.
You can find frozen lobster ravioli at many grocery stores. Costco and Trader Joe's both carry lobster ravioli. Your local Italian market may have fresh options available as well.
Lobster Ravioli Sauce
- 1 C lobster meat plus shells, if you have them
- 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 shallots or one small onion
- ⅓ C white wine such as Chardonnay
- 2 C heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¾ C parmesan cheese grated
- ¼ C fresh tarragon leaves
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- more parmesan and black pepper for garnish
- 20 pieces lobster ravioli (or a whole 15 oz package of frozen)
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or cast iron over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the white wine and the lobster shells, if using. Reduce the wine by about a half.
- Add the heavy cream. Bring to a simmer, and reduce by about a half again (this should take around 10 minutes). Strain into a separate bowl, and set aside momentarily.
- In the same pot your were cooking the sauce in, add the last table spoon of oil, the tomato paste, and the lemon juice. Heat through. Add the cream mixture, and mix until smooth. Add the parmesan cheese, season and taste. Add more salt/pepper as needed. Add the lemon zest. Add your lobster meat. Reduce heat to low.
- Cook the lobster ravioli for 90 seconds for homemade, or according to package directions. Drain, and add the ravioli to the sauce.
- Serve on a large platter or in a pasta bowl. Garnish with tarragon leaves, more parmesan, and black pepper. Serve immediately.
Suja md says
I love how versatile this recipe is! It's a perfect fit for my family! So delicious!
Thank you so much Suja!
This sauce is full of lobster flavor and creamy, it's the perfect topping for lobster ravioli.
Thank you Sharon!
Using the lobster shells in the sauce was brilliant and made the sauce very flavorful and delicious! Thanks so much for this recipe! My husband is already requesting this again for our next date night!
Thanks Joyce, I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
This is wonderful! In about 30 minutes I have a tasty dinner that my whole family will gobble up! Perfect!
So glad Beth!
Such a delicious, creamy sauce! All those flavors sound absolutely incredible and I love how easily it all comes together for a date night at home.
Thanks Tara - and I agree, I think it's perfect for a date night meal!
Made the lobster ravioli with cream sauce! It was amazing ! The detailed instructions made it easy! Also bought the recommended ravioli maker which is a “must have”! I haves tried others but cara is right, this one is the best !
Thank you Sharon! Super excited you had a good experience with this recipe, it's one of my favourites!
Plus the ravioli maker! YAAAASSSSS!
Sara Welch says
Gave this a try for dinner tonight and it does not disappoint! Turned out perfectly creamy and rich; hands down delicious!
So glad you liked it Sarah!
delicious dinner in 30 minutes? I can't wait to give this ravioli a try!
Woohoo! Thank you so much!
Pure luxury! What a great recipe, all the ingredients complement each other and don't overpower. We had some sauce leftover and used it for prawn pasta too! Delicious 🙂
What a fantastic idea Leva! So glad you liked it!
This literally looks like my perfect meal. I can't believe it'll be so easy to make at home! Thanks for this recipe and can't wait to try it out and impress!
Thank you Farah, it's totally one of my favourites, and I hope it becomes yours too!
Amanda Wren-Grimwood says
Made this sauce and it was absolutely gorgeous. Going to use prawns next time.
I'm so glad Amanda! And it would be amazing with prawns. Let me know how it turns out!
Suja MD says
I just love this and its was a big hit with everyone. And this was such a pleasing experience!
Thank you Suja, I'm so glad you enjoyed!
This sauce sounds perfect to go with lobster ravioli - so creamy and tasty!
Thanks Caroline, I really appreciate it!
So creamy and satisfying! Thank you so much for this fantastic elevated dinner recipe.
Thanks so much Tara - I'm so glad you liked it!
I made this for dinner last night and my whole family loved it! Thanks so much for sharing!
Yay! That's awesome Tayler, I'm so glad 🙂
Omg this was the BEST sauce ever!!! I seriously can't believe how creamy and how much flavor it had and how quickly it came together. I already can't wait to make it again.
Thank you Cam, I'm so glad you liked it!
The sauce looks so good, especially the color. Would love to give it a try.
Thanks Savita, I hope you do!
What a delicious sauce! This is perfect for my upcoming anniversary dinner. Thanks for the great recipe!
No problem - it's definitely great for special occasions!
This sauce looks amazing! This pasta looks delicious, it will be great served with salad.
Definitely - the pasta is pretty heavy so pairing it with a salad would be perfect!
It's like you sauced the ravioli with the most indulgent lobster bisque! This is so over the top - can't wait to make it for my boyfriend on our next date night in!
100%! It's definitely an indulgent meal!
This will be my first time making ravioli sauce and I'm feeling very confident about making it thanks to this helpful post.
Yay! You will love it, I promise!
Michelle G. says
So delicious! Made for dinner the other night and this is definitely my new go to sauce for lobster ravioli. We were having champange, so I used that instead of chardonay since it was open and it was excellent!
Yay, Michelle, I'm so glad to hear that! Also, 100% approve of swapping champagne for the chardonnay. What an amazing dinner!
I rarely post comments, but this is an incredible recipe! Bought a frozen 4 oz lobster tail, thawed, cut (nearly diced) and used the shell for the sauce. Unbelievable amount of flavor transfer for a small tail.
Tarragon is another very overlooked ingredient - only fresh will do, and it pairs perfectly on the Anise hints with the richness of the lobster.
Fresh local lobster ravioli with this is an absolute game changer - much appreciated for the recipe. This one is a keeper!
Hi Todd, thank you so so so much for your comment - it totally made my day. I have to say it's so refreshing (and rare) to read something that's so thoughtfully critiqued, so I appreciate it very much!
And 100% in agreement about all your points, especially the tarragon. The only reason I made it optional is because I know it can be hard to find sometimes 🙁
Thanks again for taking the time to be here, and come back anytime 😀
Noreen Griffin says
Thank you so much. I had lobster ravioli and put it in a tomato sauce and hated it. I knew then I’d have to make a specific sauce and this was PERFECT!!! I liked it more than the actual lobster ravioli ( I will be trying that recipe next). It was delicate but flavorful and really easy to make. I will be passing this recipe along to others.
Hi Noreen, I'm so glad you liked this sauce! My husband and I actually had it this weekend (with the homemade ravioli, I can't wait for you to try it!), and it's one of my favorite recipes. Thank you so much for your kind words!
I sampled some lobster ravioli at Costco and knew that's what I wanted to serve for Christmas this year. But I didn't know what kind of sauce to make. This recipe seems like the perfect solution! I will also get some chardonnay and serve a lettuce salad alongside. I'm excited to see how it turns out!
This sounds perfect Sarah! Please let me know if you have any questions, I'm happy to help if I can! Let me know how it goes!
How far in advance can do I make the sauce. Will I need to vary the process
Hi Sandy, I wouldn't make the sauce any more than a couple of hours ahead of time if you're using the lobster shells in the sauce. If you're not, it can be made about a day ahead.
I made this last night for my family visiting from Canada. They decided this recipe deserves an 8 out of 5 they’d have said 10 out of 5 but my family took points off because it took me too long to get it on the table and it smelled amazing while I was cooking it. This is now on the list of recipes I’m required to cook for family when visiting. I followed the recipe exactly, no need for tweaking. Thank you.
This review just made my week! I'm so glad you and your family loved it. Also, LOLing at "my family took points off because it took me too long to get it on the table." I feel like our families should definitely meet - this is the level of hostility I face when I'm taking too long to get something on the table 😂😂😂
This was the best pasta sauce/lobster ravioli I have ever had. I made this recipe but didn’t use any lobster meat or lobster shells and it turned out SO GOOD. I added spinach and sun dried tomatoes which was a great addition. I used 26 oz of refrigerated lobster ravioli from Costco and it was delicious. The 2 cups of heavy cream made a ton of sauce but it was perfect for the 26 oz of ravioli. This would be pretty saucy if I only used 15 oz of ravioli but the picture at the upper corner of the recipe would probably be accurate. When reheated the pasta would absorb the sauce so it all worked great. I did make a few substitutions. I used a small onion instead of shallots and I didn’t use any tarragon since I didn’t have any and instead of white wine I used vodka since that’s what I had. This was the best pasta sauce recipe ever. This was so delicious. I will 100% make it again. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!
Hi Kelly, you just made my day! Thank you so much for trying this sauce, and for reviewing. I'm so glad you loved it!! It's definitely one of my all-time favorites 😀