20 Sweet and Savory Ricotta Recipes

It's Such a Versatile Cheese

Heirloom Tomato and Ricotta Phyllo Tart

The Spruce / Leah Maroney

Ricotta cheese first came about as a way to use up the last milk solids in whey after making other cheeses. Today, you can easily make ricotta at home or pick up a tub of the soft cheese at the store. It's delicious used in savory recipes like pasta dishes and in sweet dishes like cakes and bars.

  • 01 of 20

    Low-Fat Spinach and Ricotta Pasta

    Low-Fat Spinach and Ricotta Pasta

    The Spruce

    When a craving for pasta hits, grab some nonfat milk and low-fat ricotta for this healthy, vitamin-packed spinach and ricotta pasta dish. Ricotta replaces the cream that's featured in similar dishes, providing the same velvety texture but without the extra fat. Spinach and basil add a lovely bright color and fiber to the mix.

  • 02 of 20

    Cheese Blintzes

    Cheese Blintzes

    The Spruce

    These thin, tender blintzes taste similar to French crepes, and they make a delightful breakfast or brunch when stuffed with a cheesy mixture. Note that the blintz batter does need to rest for half an hour, but you can make it ahead to save time. Serve these with fresh fruit or preserves for a sweet dish, or sour cream for a more savory presentation.

  • 03 of 20

    Smoked Salmon and Ricotta Crostini

    Smoked Salmon Crostini

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Bright smoked salmon and creamy herb-studded ricotta cheese top crispy baguette slices for a perfect appetizer that doesn't take long to make. Definitely spring for fresh herbs for this recipe; they have a more assertive flavor that really makes a difference. Fina-style ricotta cheese also works best, but you can use any kind you can find.

  • 04 of 20

    No-Bake Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars

    No-Bake Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

    Light and fluffy lemon cheesecake bars get their otherworldly texture from whipped ricotta and cream cheese in this easy, no-bake recipe. Chill them in the refrigerator completely, then decorate with lemon curd right before serving. You can also freeze them for another day. Let them defrost in the fridge before decorating, for the prettiest result.

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  • 05 of 20

    Butternut Squash Casserole

    Butternut Squash Casserole

    The Spruce

    Starchy new potatoes, sweet butternut squash, and creamy ricotta cheese all come together into a hearty casserole that makes a delightful potluck contribution or special-occasion side. To make it ahead of time, assemble the casserole and then cover tightly and freeze. Let it defrost completely before baking.

  • 06 of 20

    Classic Sicilian Cannoli

    Sicilian Cannoli

    The Spruce

    These shatteringly crisp fried pastry shells filled with a creamy sweet ricotta mixture appear at carnival time around Sicily. Cannoli often come with chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, or even sprinkles on the ends for both presentation and flavor. A cannoli mold will create the proper shape, but you can roll them around something cylindrical if you don't have the molds.

  • 07 of 20

    Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

    Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Weekend mornings will feel special with these fluffy ricotta pancakes made with blueberries and drizzled with a lemon glaze. The fruity flavors go perfectly together, and ricotta cheese gives the pancakes a tender texture that will have you coming back for seconds.

  • 08 of 20

    Homemade Three-Cheese Ravioli

    Homemade Three-Cheese Ravioli

    The Spruce

    These homemade ravioli get stuffed with Parmesan, mozzarella, and ricotta cheese for a creamy texture and flavor the whole family will love. They taste great with classic marinara, Kalamata olive, mushroom, or sun-dried tomato sauce, or even just a little butter and Parmesan cheese.

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  • 09 of 20

    Moist Ricotta Blueberry Coffee Cake

    Ricotta Coffee Cake

    The Spruce / Jennifer Meier

    Ricotta cheese gives this blueberry crumb-topped cake a lovely moist texture without affecting the sweet, fruity flavor. Either fresh or frozen blueberries work well in this recipe, which tastes delightful as a breakfast or brunch bread with a cup of coffee or tea.

  • 10 of 20

    Tomato and Ricotta Phyllo Tart

    Heirloom Tomato and Ricotta Phyllo Tart

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Pretty heirloom tomatoes give this crispy, cheesy tart a beautiful presentation that will dress up any appetizer table. You can assemble the tart ahead of time, then just top it with tomatoes before baking. It tastes great either hot or at room temperature, so it works well for summer get-togethers when tomatoes appear in droves at the market.

  • 11 of 20

    Italian Cheesecake

    Italian Cheesecake

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

    Italian cheesecake is nothing like the American version. It's crustless, making this recipe naturally gluten free, and the cake itself is made with fresh ricotta cheese rather than dense cream cheese. It makes a light and fluffy cake that can be flavored with citrus or nuts.

  • 12 of 20

    Crustless Spinach and Ricotta Pie

    Spinach Pie

    The Spruce 

    For breakfast, brunch, or a light dinner, try this vegetable-packed crustless pie with a delicious Mediterranean flavor. Buttery leeks, tender asparagus, and iron-rich spinach contrast well with creamy ricotta and sharp Parmesan cheese. If you love crust, pop it into a partially baked pie crust or a puff pastry shell.

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  • 13 of 20

    Meat Sauce and Ricotta Lasagna

    Lasagna With Fresh Ricotta

    The Spruce

    It doesn't get much more classic Italian than lasagna, and this meat sauce and ricotta version will please the whole family. The homemade red meat sauce is easy to throw together but adds tons of flavor. A mixture of ricotta and Parmesan adds a decadent creaminess.

  • 14 of 20

    Easy Baked Ricotta Cheese

    Baked Ricotta Cheese

    Michael Marquand / Getty Images

    It doesn't get much simpler than this baked ricotta cheese appetizer that you can whip up in under half an hour. Use fresh herbs for the best flavor, and feel free to experiment with a mix of thyme, basil, parsley, or other garden favorites. Serve it with olives and cured meats and some toasty baguette for spreading.

  • 15 of 20

    Ricotta Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Ricotta Chocolate Chip Cookies

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    These ricotta chocolate chip cookies have a lovely tender, moist texture from the addition of ricotta cheese into the batter. They come out crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and using miniature chips ensures even distribution. For variation, try adding chopped nuts or a little lime or lemon zest to contrast with the sweet chocolate.

  • 16 of 20

    Ricotta Cake With Cake Mix

    Ricotta Cake Recipe

    The Spruce 

    You can make a moist and delicious ricotta cake with just a few simple ingredients. Combine the soft cheese with a yellow cake mix and eggs for a simply delicious sheet cake. It's a dessert that's easy enough for a weeknight but special enough for a potluck.

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  • 17 of 20

    Indian Palak Paneer With Ricotta

    Palak Paneer

    KarinaUrmantseva / Getty Images

    Just because you don't have Indian paneer doesn't mean you can't enjoy this delicious Indian palak paneer. This slightly modified recipe uses ricotta cheese instead, blended with the traditional spinach and spiced with cumin, ginger, and turmeric. Make sure you use whole milk ricotta for the right texture.

  • 18 of 20

    Easy Cheesy Baked Ziti

    Meaty Ziti Bake

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Classic comfort food comes to town in this simple cheesy baked ziti casserole. Add ground beef or turkey for extra heft, toss in some roasted vegetables for nutrition, or serve it as is with a green salad and garlic bread for a red sauce Italian meal. It will quickly become part of your regular rotation.

  • 19 of 20

    Baked Ricotta Pudding Cake

    Ricotta Pudding Cake

    The Spruce / Jennifer Meier

    With a texture that falls somewhere between angel food cake and pudding, this ricotta cake comes out creamy and rich while still nice and light. It makes a beautiful, faintly sweet end to a meal. The dish will puff up in your oven and then fall quickly thereafter, but resist the urge to dig in immediately. It tastes best at room temperature.

  • 20 of 20

    Spinach and Ricotta Empanadas

    Empanadas

    EmmaKStudio / E+ / Getty Images

    A famous bakery in Colombia is rumored to be the first to craft these spinach and ricotta-filled empanadas that have become a popular snack all over South America. They reheat well and taste wonderful at room temperature too, so make extra and pack them for a simple lunch or afternoon bite.