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What to do with ricotta cheese? I’ve got you covered with these 17 yummy ricotta recipes that you’ll love, from terrific creamy pasta dishes to moist ricotta desserts, and everything delicious in between.
A convenient tub of ricotta cheese can go a long way, and these mouthwatering recipes will show you how to turn easily this soft, versatile cheese into an incredible vegetarian meal or sweet treat.
What is ricotta cheese?
Ricotta is an Italian fresh cheese, with a moist, fluffy texture and a slightly sweet taste.
Traditionally, ricotta (literally translated re-cooked) is made from cow, sheep, or goat milk whey left over from the production of other cheese. Rather than throw away that watery milk, the Italian cheesemakers cooked the whey to achieve, and drain, little curds to make ricotta. And we’re glad they did.
However, modern ricotta we buy at the grocery store these days is usually made from whole cow milk instead of whey. It’s a bit fattier than ricotta made by the traditional method, but it’s convenient, and its wonderful texture and flavor work in both sweet and savoury recipes.
However you like to use ricotta, there’s a recipe for it!
SAVORY RICOTTA RECIPES
The creamy ricotta is the perfect ingredient to make gnocchi, delicious and quick pasta dishes, rich fillings for cannelloni and pies. Plus, its spreadable texture is perfect to add freshness to crostini and pizza!
1. Lemon ricotta pasta
This scrumptious pasta with ricotta makes a delish weeknight meal ready in less than 15 minutes. Simple fresh ingredients, delicious flavor, and minimal effort for this no-cook sauce.
2. Crostini with ricotta and peas
What to do with leftover ricotta? What about these fabulous crisp crostini? They’re full of fresh flavor, and make healthy vegetarian appetizers or snacks ready in minutes.
3. Ricotta gnocchi
4. Spinach and ricotta cannelloni
These delicious recipes are the perfect choice for a classic Italian Sunday lunch.
5. Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
This scrumptious creamy sun-dried tomato and ricotta pesto will be fabulous with your pasta, and it’s ready in minutes. And if you’re after quick tasty meals, then you’ll love these quick pasta recipes and one-pot pastas.
6. Tomato basil pasta
7. Pasta with zucchini
These satisfying pasta recipes make cosy family meal perfect for busy weeknights!
8. Zucchini & herbed ricotta flatbread
This fresh and flavorful zucchini & herbed ricotta flatbread pizza is topped with herbed garlic ricotta cheese, zucchini, blistered tomatoes, and a little goat cheese for a quick and refreshing dinner recipe.
9. Spinach rustic pie
10. Baked ricotta
These simple yet delicious recipes will turn your ricotta tub into something amazing.
SWEET RICOTTA RECIPES
Ricotta is also the perfect ingredients for your sweet treats, it adds moisture and and makes delicious cakes, fluffy pancakes and berry casseroles for a mouthwatering breakfast.
11. Strawberry ricotta cake (super easy!)
The moist texture, the juicy strawberries, the vanilla and lemon hints, make this super easy strawberry ricotta to die for and perfect for all occasions.
12. Easy raspberry and ricotta cake (1 bowl)
You’ll love this moist raspberry ricotta cake, it’s bursting with fresh juicy raspberries and vanilla hints. Plus, it’s easy to make in one bowl, so simple, straightforward, and turns perfectly every single time.
13. Fluffy ricotta pancakes
These delicious ricotta pancakes are extra moist and fluffy. And easy to make too!
14. ITALIAN LEMON CAKE
Inspired by the Italian sbrisolona cake, the crispy crumble and the creamy ricotta filling with hints of lemon make this amazing ricotta cake to die for. If you look for ricotta dessert recipes, this recipe is for you!
15. Italian chocolate chip cake
16. Chocolate chip ricotta ice cream
The rich ricotta makes this chocolate chip cake and ice cream absolutely delicious.
17. Ricotta berry French Toast casserole
You’re going to love this French toast casserole featuring creamy ricotta cheese, fresh summer berries, and homemade brioche. It looks lovely too!
Notes & tips
Along with parmesan cheese and mozzarella, ricotta is a must in Italian cuisine. Whether it’s baked into scrumptious cannelloni or delicious cakes, stirred into creamy spaghetti, or spread on crusty pizza, this fresh Italian cheese is absolutely delicious.
Is ricotta supposed to be grainy or smooth?
Not all ricotta is created equal, and sometimes brands matter.
Despite our expectations, it’s not unusual to find a tub full of disappointing grainy or rubbery ricotta rather than soft, smooth, creamy curds.
However, although fresh ricotta from the counter is usually the best (sorry for stating the obvious!), you might find also a decent ricotta tub in the diary section of your grocery store. Here is a helpful list!
Can ricotta be frozen?
Yes, ricotta cheese can be frozen, but freezing affects the texture. It’s fine if you plan to re-use your ricotta leftovers for cooked dishes such as pies, cannelloni or cakes, but not ideal for other recipes.
I hope you’ll try and love some of these delicious, easy ricotta recipes. And let me know if you have any questions, I would love to hear from you x
Ricotta Recipes: 17 Yummy Ideas
- 8oz (220 grams) pasta
- 8oz (220-230 grams) baby spinach, washed
- 1 cup (250 grams) whole-milk ricotta
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 garlic clove, grated or pressed
- ⅓ cup (35 grams) grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
- 1 unwaxed lemon, zest and juice
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 3 lemon wedges, to serve (optional)
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook until al dente following the package directions.
- In the last minute of the pasta's cooking time, reserve some cooking water (about ½ cup) and add spinach to the pot. Stir and push the leaves down to submerge them in water.
- After 1 minute, drain and return pasta and spinach to the same pot.
- Add the ricotta sauce and some reserved pasta cooking water. Stir well to evenly coat the pasta in the sauce, add more cooking water if needed, you want everything nice and creamy.
- Serve immediately with grated Parmesan cheese if you wish, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and lemon wedges if desired (for extra freshly squeezed juice, but I leave it optional)
- Combine ricotta, olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon zest and juice in a bowl. Season with 1/4 tsp of salt and a good pinch of pepper.
- Stir until well combined, taste and make sure you're happy with the seasoning.
My family all love food with yummy ricotta, so I saved this list, thanks!
I’m so pleased, Mala! Thanks for sharing your feedback. Cheers x