20 Sweet and Savory Ricotta Recipes

Ricotta cheese first came about as a way to use up the last milk solids in whey after making other cheeses. Today, you can make ricotta at home using whey, or more commonly a soft cheese similar to ricotta using whole milk. Adjust the draining time to control how solid the cheese comes out, for use in a wide array of both sweet and savory recipes for every meal.

  • 01 of 20

    No-Bake Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars

    No-Bake Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars

    Elaine Lemm

    Light and fluffy lemon cheesecake bars get their otherworldly texture from ricotta cheese that gets whipped in with the creamed 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.

  • 02 of 20

    Moist Ricotta Blueberry Coffee Cake

    Ricotta Blueberry Coffee Cake. Photo by J. 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.

  • 03 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 features in similar dishes, with that same velvety texture but without the extra fat. Bright spinach and basil add a lovely bright color and fiber to the mix.

  • 04 of 20

    Baked Ricotta Pudding Cake

    Ricotta-Pudding-Cake.jpg
    © Image 2014 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.

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  • 05 of 20

    Crustless Spinach and Ricotta Pie

    spinach-pie.jpg

    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. It tastes great either hot or chilled.

  • 06 of 20

    Eggplant Ricotta Lasagna

    Eggplant lasagna

    Ryman Cabannes, Corinne-Pierre / Getty Images

    It doesn't get much more classic Italian than lasagna, and this eggplant and ricotta version will satisfy both vegetarians and meat-lovers. Using jarred spaghetti sauce cuts down on time, and with hearty mushrooms, melt-in-your-mouth eggplant, and three kinds of creamy cheese, you'll never miss the beef.

  • 07 of 20

    Cheese Blintzes

    Cheese blintzes recipe

    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.

  • 08 of 20

    Smoked Salmon and Ricotta Crostini

    Smoked Salmon Crostini

    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.

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  • 09 of 20

    Butternut Squash Casserole

    Butternut squash casserole recipe

    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 then freeze. Let it defrost completely before baking.

  • 10 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.

  • 11 of 20

    Ricotta Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Ricotta Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Ricotta Chocolate Chip Cookies. 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.

  • 12 of 20

    Ricotta, Bacon Jam, and Brussels Sprouts Grilled Cheese

    Ricotta, Parmesan, Bacon Jam + Brussels Sprouts Grilled Cheese
    Ricotta, Parmesan, Bacon Jam + Brussels Sprouts Grilled Cheese. Grilled Cheese Social

    Take grilled cheese out of your childhood and into your adult lunchtime repertoire by using rich ricotta, sharp parmesan, and sweet and savory bacon jam in this superb sandwich. Using rosemary focaccia gives it a lovely herbal aroma. Make extra bacon jam to have on hand for spreading on other sandwiches or mixing into eggs for breakfast.

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  • 13 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.

  • 14 of 20

    Classic Sicilian Cannoli

    Bradley Pavard/EyeEm/Getty

    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 cannolo mold will create the proper shape, but you can roll them around something cylindrical if you don't have the molds. Use a high-quality ricotta cheese or make your own, for best results.

  • 15 of 20

    Homemade Three-Cheese Ravioli

    Homemade 3 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 sundried tomato sauce or even just a little butter and parmesan cheese.

  • 16 of 20

    Romanian Cheese Bread

    Romanian Pasca
    L.Kenzel/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons 3.0

    This sweet leavened bread, or Pasca, gets filled with a cheesy mixture for a dessert traditionally made for Easter. The filling tastes similar to cheesecake, but the breaded exterior makes it unique. Try it for a special brunch or any time you crave something a little different.

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  • 17 of 20

    Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

    Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes
    Leah Maroney

    Saturday or Sunday morning 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. Use either fresh or frozen berries, depending on the season.

  • 18 of 20

    Tomato and Ricotta Phyllo Tart

    Heirloom Tomato and Ricotta Phyllo Tart

    Leah Maroney

     

    Pretty heirloom tomatoes gives 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.

  • 19 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.

  • 20 of 20

    Easy Cheesy Baked Ziti

    Meaty Ziti Bake
    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.