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46 Delicious Ricotta Recipes, from Pastas to Pancakes

If your experience with ricotta cheese is limited to lasagna, it’s time to reacquaint yourself with the Italian cheese. Whether it’s bring used as a creamy crostini topping or the key ingredient in extra-fluffy pancakes, ricotta cheese is as versatile as it is tasty. (And we’ll be the first to admit that we’ve eaten it directly from the container on more than one occasion, TYVM.) Here, 46 ricotta recipes to prepare for breakfast, lunch, dinner and every snack in between.

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What Is Ricotta Cheese?

Ricotta, which translates to "recooked" in Italian, is traditionally a whey cheese that can be made from cow, sheep, goat or water buffalo milk. Instead of being made from the curds like most cheeses, cheesemakers use the curds for whatever they like, then repurpose the remaining whey to create ricotta. It's heated with milk and some kind of acid that will cause it to curdle. Once the curds grow big and solid, the mixture is emptied into cheesecloth and strained. Although this is how it was initially done, ricotta is usually made from whole milk instead of whey in the U.S. nowadays. It's also lower in salt and fat than most cheeses and high in calcium and protein.

46 Ricotta Recipes We Love

1. Broiled Citrus Ricotta Toast

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, special occasion-worthy, vegetarian

This heavenly toasted brioche is slathered with cinnamon-sugar butter and ricotta, then topped with honey-broiled citrus and sea salt. Have you ever seen anything more beautiful?

2. Mini Spinach-Ricotta Calzones

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, vegetarian

Take your next party to a new level with these cheesy bites that are deceptively easy to make. Serve them with warm marinara or pesto for dipping.

3. Zucchini Ricotta Galette

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegetarian, special occasion-worthy

Savory pie for dinner? Sign us up. It’s ridiculously easy to assemble, but looks elegant enough to dole out at a dinner party.

4. Bacon, Fig and Ricotta Tartines

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

Fact: Everything is better with bacon, especially when it looks this fancy. Add some sweet-and-salty magic to the dish by candying the bacon.

5. Ricotta-Honey Ice Cream

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours
  • Why We Love It: no cook, vegetarian, <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser

Forget Häagen-Dazs. You can craft your own no-churn ice cream without any fancy equipment. (It will taste just as delicious, promise.)

6. Carrot-Ricotta Tart with Pesto and Pine Nuts

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, vegetarian, <10 ingredients, special occasion-worthy

Isn't she lovely? Using multicolored heirloom carrots is the key to this spring-inspired stunner. (Vibrant, store-bought pesto won't hurt either.)

7. Lasagna Soup

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, one pot, high protein

Your go-to casserole, in liquid form. It has all the essentials, from savory ground beef to crushed tomatoes to gooey mozzarella cheese.

8. Ritz Crackers with Whipped Honey Ricotta and Bacon

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly, one pan

Forgot to eat dinner again? You can have this satiating snack on the table in 15 minutes flat. (It'd work with goat or cream cheese too, BTW.)

9. Toasted Sourdough with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Ricotta and Pistachios

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, vegetarian, one pan

Snag the best cherry tomatoes you can find at the farmers market, roast them with herbs until jammy and serve with ricotta and toast. Ta-da.

10. Gluten-Free Ricotta Cheesecake

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: gluten free, crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, special occasion-worthy

Rich, creamy and downright impressive. Top this Polish cheesecake (called sernik) with melted chocolate, berry compote or caramel sauce.

11. Summer Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil and Ricotta

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, vegetarian

A bit of pasta water turns the tomato sauce glossy and rich in an instant. Go ahead and add fresh summer corn to the pot, too.

12. Baked Chicken and Ricotta Meatballs

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, high protein, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

Serve the meatballs and charred broccolini over pasta, on a hero roll or atop a bed of greens. (We won't tell if you slather them with extra ricotta cheese.)

13. Almond, Ricotta, Olive Oil and Lemon Drizzle Cake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

This beauty has Mother's Day brunch written all over it. It's finished with a zingy layer of lemon syrup before being topped with a simple, two-ingredient glaze.

14. Spicy Ricotta-Stuffed Phyllo Rolls

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, vegetarian

Dunk 'em in hot pepper jelly or sweet chili sauce for a punch of heat, or serve them to the kiddos with marinara sauce.

15. Ravioli Lasagna

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

It's just the twist on lasagna you've been craving. Choose whatever type of ravioli you'd like (mushroom! beef! spinach!)—just don't skimp on the cheese.

16. Grilled Flatbread Pizza with Artichoke, Ricotta and Lemon

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, vegetarian

If you're not noshing on this in the yard with a glass of vino in hand, what are you waiting for? The charred lemon slices on top are *chef's kiss*.

17. Sheet Pan Strawberry Shortcake with Black Pepper, Whipped Honey Ricotta and Togarashi

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

For the uninitiated, togarashi is a Japanese spice blend that's equal parts toasty, spicy and sweet. It's optional, but personally, we think it's essential in taking this dish from fantastic to unforgettable.

18. Skillet Pasta with Summer Squash, Ricotta and Basil

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, vegetarian, one pan

Helloooo, summer. Round up two yellow summer squash and turn them into a cheesy, carby masterpiece in your favorite skillet. In the words of Ina Garten, how easy is that?

19. Shakshuka with Sausage and Ricotta

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, crowd-pleaser, high protein

Ricotta salata makes for a salty finishing touch. Unlike the creamy, spreadable ricotta you know and love, this type is salted, pressed and aged, resulting in a firm texture that makes it ideal for slicing and crumbling.

20. Mixed Greens Lasagna

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

With all that mozzarella and ricotta in the mix, your kids won't even mind that the lasagna is packed with kale, spinach and arugula.

21. Asparagus, Pea and Ricotta Tarts

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, vegetarian, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

If spring were an appetizer, it'd look like this. Don't let the tarts' appearance fool you: They're a cinch to put together, since they start with store-bought puff pastry.

22. Honey Ricotta Dip

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, one pan, <10 ingredients

This party starter is as simple as mixing the ingredients, pouring them into a casserole dish and baking until golden brown. Serve the dip with plenty of crackers and bread for your guests.

23. Salami, Artichoke and Ricotta Pasta Salad

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, <10 ingredients, <30 minutes

Why settle for mayo-laden, store-bought macaroni salad when you can whip this beauty up in 20 minutes instead? The briny artichoke hearts and fresh rosemary are such a nice touch.

24. Grilled Peach, Chicken and Ricotta Pizza

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, high protein, beginner-friendly

Aka our favorite way to cook with summer peaches. Shred a store-bought rotisserie chicken instead of cooking your own to save time.

25. Roasted Sweet Potato and Bacon Open-Faced Sandwich with Herbed Ricotta

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, one pan

Sad desk lunch? We think not. Skip the soggy salad in favor of this crispy, savory sammy that contains 26 grams of protein per serving.

26. Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, one bowl, beginner-friendly, vegetarian, <30 minutes

Complete with blueberry syrup (and lemon zest, if you're fancy). Not only does the ricotta make the pancakes supremely light, but it also gives them a protein boost.

27. Raspberry Ricotta Croissant French Toast

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

Your decadent brunch will be ready in 30 minutes, thanks to store-bought croissants. We'll take extra maple syrup on ours, please.

28. Lasagna-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, gluten free

This grain-free, one-pan dish is a quick, tasty weeknight dinner that the entire family will scarf down. Feel free to substitute ground chicken for beef, turkey or sausage.

29. Sweet and Spicy Corn Pasta with Ricotta and Chives

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: gluten free, <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, beginner-friendly

We’re gonna let you in on a secret: Ricotta can be the X factor in a delightfully creamy pasta sauce. (Thanks for the tip, Phoebe Lapine.)

30. Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Pizza

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, vegetarian, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

With this recipe from Coterie member Heidi Larsen, you can whip up your own pie with just ten minutes of active prep.

31. Kale and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, beginner-friendly, vegetarian, kid-friendly

Tired of lasagna? It’s time to start stuffing giant pasta shells with greens and cheese—your picky kids will thank you for it.

32. Gougeres Tea Sandwiches with Spiced Carrots, Tapenade and Ricotta

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours and 20 minutes (includes marinating time)
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, vegetarian

Don’t be alarmed by the cook time—that’s just how long it takes to marinate the carrots. Might we suggest sipping some wine while you wait?

33. Lemon Ricotta Zucchini Pasta with Kalamata Olives

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, vegetarian, gluten free

Fewer than ten ingredients and ready to serve in a flash—Coterie member Ali Maffucci knows us too well. Use a Y-shaped peeler to make the zoodles if you don't have a spiralizer.

34. Honey-Lemon Ricotta Breakfast Toast with Figs and Pistachios

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, vegetarian, beginner-friendly

We don’t care what the Wheaties box says—this is the breakfast of champions. (Thanks, Monique Volz.) You can substitute the chopped pistachios for almonds, pecans or macadamia nuts if you'd prefer.

35. Mediterranean Roasted Sweet Potato and Farro Salad

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, beginner-friendly

You can easily make it nut-, gluten- and dairy-free, but we think this healthy bowl is all about the chopped hazelnuts, tender farro and creamy ricotta cheese.

36. Baked Spaghetti with Ricotta

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, one pan, high protein, <10 ingredients

The ultimate family-style meal that includes pasta, tomato sauce, cheese and a sneaky way to feed your kids some hidden veggies. Your secret is safe with us.

37. Artichoke Ricotta Flatbread

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, special occasion-worthy

Picture sinking your teeth into crispy flatbread, tender prosciutto, briny artichokes and all the Parm and ricotta your heart desires. Don't even get us started on the tangy lemon vinaigrette.

38. Meyer Lemon and Ricotta-Stuffed Crepes

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Warning: These light-as-air crepes are dangerously delicious. The recipe technically serves four, but we just might be able to polish 'em off on our own.

39. Chicken-Stuffed Shells

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, kid-friendly

Easy shredded rotisserie chicken meets broccoli and a decadent Cajun cream sauce for this 40-minute weeknight staple. Your kids won't miss the red sauce, promise.

40. Four Cheese Pizza with Caramelized Onions

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, vegetarian

Consider this your baking sheet's tastiest feat yet. Here, mild ricotta is paired with Grana Padano, fresh mozz and fontina cheeses to create a pizza for the books.

41. Summer Fruit and Honey Whipped Ricotta Crostata

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, beginner-friendly

A crostata is sort of Italy's take on the galette. This one is extra crisp and flaky, since the base is store-bought phyllo dough.

42. Butter Ricotta Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients

Yeah, sugar cookies are tasty...but a tad boring. This twist on the holiday essential is just as effortless to prepare, but offers a softer, more tender crumb.

43. Chai Spiced Apple Ricotta Galette

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, vegetarian

We're all for creamy ricotta and buttery puff pastry, but the spiced maple syrup is what really takes this masterpiece over the top. Make a double batch to drizzle on pancakes, waffles or even fried chicken.

44. Ricotta Pie

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

Thanks to store-bought pie crust, this Italian-style cheesecake only requires 10 minutes of hands-on prep. Might we suggest adding chopped nuts or dried apricots to the raisins?

45. Extra Fudgy Ricotta Brownies

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead, kid-friendly

Crowned with maple-dark chocolate frosting. A few teaspoons of instant coffee make the brownies' flavor incredibly bold and roasty.

46. Homemade Ricotta Cheese

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, make ahead, beginner-friendly

Ready to make some ricotta from scratch? OK, dairy queen. We bet you have all four necessary ingredients in your kitchen right now.

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Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.


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Stephanie Cain

Freelance PureWow Editor

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taryn pire
Taryn Pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...
read full bio