Famous for its delicious creaminess and mild taste, ricotta cheese can add incredible flavor to a variety of appetizers, main courses, and even desserts. You can elevate any dish you are making to mouth-watering heights.
From savory pasta and lip-smacking flatbread to some of the sweetest and most decadent desserts imaginable, here are the best ricotta cheese recipes that you must try.
Savory Ricotta Cheese Recipes
#1. Barilla Lasagna
With rich layers of ground meat, marinara, and creamy ricotta, this dish is decadence personified. While ricotta is responsible for the gooey goodness of this meal, adding mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano creates a cheesy trifecta that will ensure the dish is moist, flavorful, and irresistible. You’ll have a steaming plate of this Italian masterpiece ready in just under an hour!
Refreshing and perfect for summertime, this flatbread pizza combines cherry tomatoes, fresh zucchini, and goat cheese. And ricotta is the magic ingredient that brings everything together. Top it off with some chopped fresh basil, a pinch of sea salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice. It’s an incredibly savory pizza that stands out from all the rest.
#3. Baked Ricotta
Looking for the perfect baked cheese dish to serve at your next dinner party? This ricotta appetizer has you covered! The bake consists of ricotta, a bit of parmesan, an egg, along with Italian seasoning and rosemary. Pair it with your favorite crackers, some baked bread, or even fresh veggies for an irresistible meal.
Spinach, ricotta, marinara, and jumbo pasta shells make this vegetarian meal an instant crowd-pleaser. To ensure that the dish is extra creamy, add some mozzarella. Done in just 50 minutes, these delicious bites will make for a hearty weeknight dinner for the entire family.
Calzones are tasty turnover pizzas that you can stuff with any filling you like. In this recipe, you combine kale sauteed with onions, mushrooms, and three types of cheese: ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan. While this dish is vegetarian, you can also include pepperoni or your favorite sausage to add a protein boost. You’ll want to make this delicious, easy-to-make dinner over and over again.
Crunchy on the outside and gooey and soft on the inside, these 5-ingredient cheese balls will leave everyone wanting more. These ricotta balls work well with any dip you like, from marinara to pesto. Fry them or bake them, they’re just as delicious even if you prepare them a few days ahead and pop them into a freezer.
Creamy ricotta is the absolute star of this fulfilling and protein-dense meatball soup. Meatballs, ricotta, your favorite seasoning, and mini lasagna noodles make this wholesome meal truly irresistible. Perfect for a filling lunch or a comforting dinner after a long day, you’ll find yourself reaching for seconds after just one taste!
#8. Ricotta Gnocchi
Done in just 20 minutes, this gnocchi is both delightfully pillowy soft and light. While a traditional gnocchi recipe requires potatoes, this one uses ricotta to cut the prep time in half and needs four ingredients: ricotta, flour, egg yolks, and parmesan cheese. Season with your favorite spices, shape your gnocchi and then put them into boiling water for two minutes. And voila — your dinner is finally ready!
Ricotta and parmesan create the irresistible crunchy that this bread is famous for. While perfectly moist and hearty, this bread is equally delicious toasted, grilled, or as a side dish to your dinner. Although the prep, rising, and bake time add up to a little under 4 hours, the flavorsome result is more than worth the wait!
#10. Ricotta Manicotti
Inviting, rich, and refreshing — this dish is the definition of decadence. Long, tube-shaped manicotti, brown Italian sausage, ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, and Italian seasoning combine into a perfect baked meal. Like many Italian classics, this dish is ideal for quiet dinners and bustling backyard parties alike!
This recipe combines chicken breasts marinated in Italian seasoning with marinara sauce and a luscious mix of ricotta and parmesan. Incredibly easy to whip up and ready in just 50 minutes, this recipe is a great choice for busy weekdays. Serve it with some pasta, and don’t forget to pour yourself a glass of your favorite white wine!
This salad is a perfect choice for those hot summer days when you can barely get off the couch, let alone cook a full-on meal. All you need are some heirloom tomatoes, red onions, radishes, and cucumbers. Drizzle some olive oil and balsamic vinegar over them, and add your seasonings and a few dollops of soft ricotta. And just like that, your salad is ready!
Sweet Ricotta Cheese Recipes
A perfect mix of American and Italian cheesecake, this dessert proves that ricotta makes an excellent addition to savory and sweet recipes alike. Cream cheese and ricotta cover the almond crust, while the raspberry jam makes for a fantastic topping. Finish everything off with fresh raspberries to bring out the tart sweetness of the jam, and your new favorite cake is ready!
Moist, soft, and covered with a simple frosting, these cookies taste divine and are incredibly easy to make. The ricotta is an adventurous addition to regular cookie batter that makes the batter extra moist and tangy. Don’t skip the lemon zest; it adds an irresistible citrusy taste while offsetting the sugar and cheese wonderfully.
If you’ve ever struggled to get your pancakes to be as soft and moist as your grandmother used to make, ricotta can help! It’s a perfect addition that makes the pancakes melty and more crepe-like. Serve with maple syrup, plain butter, or a cup of blueberries or raspberries to make the pancakes taste even more divine!
A staple of Sicilian cuisine, cannolis are fried tube-shaped pastries. In this recipe, they are filled with ricotta and chocolate chips, creating the sweetest and most refreshing dessert! Ready in just 15 minutes, this recipe requires only five ingredients to whip up a scrumptious sweet treat. Feel free to think outside the box and add new ingredients. From orange and lemon zest to sprinkles and chopped pistachios — your options are infinite!
This easy-to-make one-bowl cake is the perfect mix of sweet and tangy. The ricotta brings moisture to the batter, the strawberries are a delicious juicy addition, and the vanilla and lemon tie everything together beautifully. Add powdered sugar and lemon zest or just use some good old whipped cream for a refreshing dessert perfect for spring and summer.
Can you get a better combination than cheese and chocolate? This recipe wonderfully highlights the unique blend of ricotta and chocolate chips. Perfectly moist and served with just a sprinkle of powdered sugar, this cake is perfect for breakfast, an afternoon snack, or even as a full-on dessert cake. Pair it with warm milk, coffee, or your favorite tea.
French toast, summer berries, ricotta, and homemade brioche all baked in a casserole — this dessert is simply to die for. The blueberries and raspberries add a pop of color as well as some nutrition to the carb goodness that is this dish. Ready in just 50 minutes, it is a fantastic option for a lowkey house party and a big breakfast alike.
The best thing about this recipe is its versatility. Choose any seasonal fruit you want, from pineapple and mango to strawberries and peaches. Any fruit will combine perfectly with the sweet and savory mixture of ricotta, mascarpone, and maraschino cherry juice. Finally, top it all off with some whipped cream, and your perfect summertime dessert is ready!
Indulge your sweet tooth with this tasty ricotta ice cream recipe! You’ll only need four ingredients to make it! For the base, mix thickened cream, caster sugar, and creamy ricotta. Next, pop it into your freezer for about six hours. Serve it with sliced strawberries dipped in sugar.
As far as desserts go, you can never go wrong with a timeless classic like a lemon cake. In this recipe, ricotta makes sure that lemon juice isn’t too overbearing, making the cake incredibly refreshing. While the instructions call for a powdered sugar topping, you can also try a limoncello or lemon cream cheese frosting. This dessert is an absolute gamechanger!
Gluten-free and light, this chocolate and almond cake topped with amaretto chocolate sauce and ricotta will become your new favorite dessert. The ricotta offers the perfect contrast to the chocolate, ensuring the cake will not overwhelm your taste buds. For a more bite-sized option, you can also use the batter to make cupcakes!
#24. Ricotta Crumb Bars
Tender, creamy, and flavorsome — these ricotta bars offer the perfect combination of a crumbly crust and gooey filling. The topping and crust are made of all-purpose flour, baking soda, butter, and a pinch of salt. The filling is meltiness personified, combining eggs, ricotta, vanilla extract, and granulated sugar. Together, these layers make for a wonderful dessert loved by kids and adults alike.