Ricotta Recipes

We love this mild fresh cheese

Ricotta is a fresh cheese that we go crazy for. Its mild flavor and rich, creamy texture makes it a perfect comfort food. From pillowy gnocchi to airy coffee mousse, we've rounded up our favorite ricotta recipes.

You can buy ricotta at a supermarket, but it's easy to make it at home. All you have to do is cook together milk, buttermilk, and half & half, let the mixture cool, and strain it through a cheesecloth. That's all there is to it. You'll never get the store-bought stuff again.

One of the simplest ways to enjoy fresh ricotta is on a crostini. Try pairing it with simple toppings like spicy soppressata, sweet broiled cherry tomatoes, or black olives, lemon zest, and mint. For something a little heartier, top your ricotta crostini with rosemary-scented cannellini beans spicy sautéed broccoli rabe.

Fresh ricotta makes for beautifully ethereal gnocchi. Check out our vibrant beet and ricotta gnocchi with wilted beet greens and tangy balsamic vinegar or earthy buckwheat gnocchi with cream, peas, and spinach. For gnocchi that are soft but still substantial, we use both ricotta and potato. Try them served in a tomato sauce with briny olives and capers.

With its tangy sweetness, ricotta is a refined dessert ingredient. It serves as the base for our easy but elegant coffee mousse, which is rich, creamy, and just a little bitter. Mixed with an egg, ricotta bakes into an amazing custard. We love topping baked ricotta with a floral cherry-orange blossom compote.

Find all of these dishes and more in our collection of ricotta recipes.

Homemade Ricotta

Homemade Ricotta

This recipe comes courtesy of Jenn Louis, chef-owner of Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern in Portland, Oregon. We featured Louis' ricotta gnocchi in our April 2015 issue, and we can't stop making this super-creamy ricotta—to add to gnocchi and everything else—because it's so easy and so darn good.Farideh Sadeghin

Pappardelle with Mixed Mushrooms, Ricotta, and Walnuts

Pappardelle with Mixed Mushrooms, Ricotta, and Walnuts
A mix of sautéed mushrooms, toasted walnuts, ricotta, thyme, honey, and pappardelle, this pasta dish needs only a green salad on the side.Farideh Sadeghin
Grilled Corn and Ricotta Dip

Grilled Corn and Ricotta Dip

Nothing tops bubbling, hot-from-the-oven cheese dip—unless that dip is also loaded with fresh, sweet, lightly charred summer corn and fresh herbs.Matt Taylor-Gross

Spring Pea Ravioli with Prosciutto & Pea Shoots

Dinner Party, Spring Pea Ravioli
Homemade ravioli is a great weekend project recipe. Make them on a Sunday and freeze them for the week ahead; you can pop them directly in the boiling water from the freezer—they'll just need an extra minute or so to cook. Get the recipe for Spring Pea Ravioli with Prosciutto & Pea Shoots »Farideh Sadeghin

Ricotta and Egg Gnocchi with Olives, Capers, and Tomato Sauce

Ricotta and Egg Gnocchi with Olives, Capers, and Tomato Sauce
These soft gnocchi from Tuscany are the ultimate version of the kind most commonly served at Italian-American restaurants. The dish is amped up with briny chopped capers and green olives.Con Poulos

Buckwheat and Ricotta Gnocchi with Cream, Peas, and Spinach

Buckwheat and Ricotta Gnocchi with Cream, Peas, and Spinach
Buckwheat flour gives this gnocchi weightiness and an earthy flavor that pairs perfectly with a spring mix of peas and spinach.Con Poulos

Beet and Ricotta Gnocchi with Wilted Beet Greens and Aged Balsamic

Beet and Ricotta Gnocchi with Wilted Beet Greens and Aged Balsamic
For this Piedmontese dish, a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar adds a tangy complexity.Con Poulos
Ricotta and Honey Sandwich

Ricotta and Honey Sandwich

A dollop of ricotta on earthy-sweet oat bread is delicious; add a drizzle of sourwood honey and it's elevated to the exquisite. For a bit of sophisticated heat, top with a sprinkle of freshly-crushed red pepper flakes.Helen Rosner
Citrus Salad with Arugula & Ricotta Salata

Citrus Salad with Arugula & Ricotta Salata

Adapted from Anna Watson Carl's cookbook The Yellow Table, this salad is best made in the winter when blood oranges are readily available. Navel oranges make a good substitute in other seasons—either way, it'll be the prettiest dish on the table.Signe Birck
Eastertide Tart (Torta Pasqualina)

Eastertide Tart (Torta Pasqualina)

This epic Genoese tart, filled with swiss chard, was traditionally made with 33 layers of dough—one for each year of Christ's life.Zoe Schaeffer
Ricotta Pancakes in Cardamom Syrup (Malpura)

Ricotta Pancakes in Cardamom Syrup (Malpura)

Ricotta pancakes soaked in cardamom syrup and sprinkled with pistachios make a creamy, ethereal dessert.Ariana Lindquist

Baked Ricotta with Orange Blossom Cherry Sauce

Baked Ricotta with Orange Blossom Cherry Sauce
Frozen cherries and orange blossom water make a deliciously sweet topping for creamy baked ricotta.Helen Rosner
St. Joseph's Day Fritters

St. Joseph's Day Fritters

These crunchy Sicilian fritters are topped with a cinnamon-ricotta filling.Todd Coleman
Swiss Chard and Cheese Dumplings (Strozzapreti)

Swiss Chard and Cheese Dumplings (Strozzapreti)

In Corsica, these herb-packed cheese dumplings showcase the wild greens of the island and make a great starter course to a summer meal.Beth Rooney
Ricotta Scramble with Tomatoes (Requeson Revuelto)

Ricotta Scramble with Tomatoes (Requeson Revuelto)

This scramble of fresh ricotta, flavored with chiles, onions, and tomatoes, is delicious wrapped in warm tortillas or piled on toasted bread.Penny De Los Santos
Sicilian Cassata Cake recipe

Sicilian Cassata Cake

Fabrizia Lanza taught us to make this classic Sicilian cake, rimmed in pistachio marzipan.Landon Nordeman
Charred Sweet Potatoes with Pickled Shallots, Pistachios, and Ricotta Salata

Charred Sweet Potatoes with Pickled Shallots, Pistachios, and Ricotta Salata

Like a lot of chefs, Jared Bennett of Metropole in Cincinnati is into charring vegetables to amplify their natural sweetness inside, and lend them a pleasantly bitter crust. The secret, he says, is precooking many of the vegetables and then just searing them in a smoking-hot cast-iron pan, so they don't go to mush before getting a char. One of his signatures: this sweet potato side dish with pomegranate, lemon juice, pistachio, and ricotta salata.Farideh Sadeghin
Zucchini, Onion and Ricotta Pie (Torta Salata di Zucchine e Cipolle)

Zucchini, Onion and Ricotta Pie (Torta Salata di Zucchine e Cipolle)

Squash, peppers, or eggplant can be substituted for the zucchini in this simple, savory summer pie. Get the recipe for Zucchini, Onion and Ricotta Pie (Torta Salata di Zucchine e Cipolle) »Ingalls Photography
Fried Ham and Ricotta Calzones

Fried Ham and Ricotta Calzones

Calzones don't always have to be baked—this ham and ricotta version is deep-fried.Farideh Sadeghin
Ham and Cheese Calzone (Calzone di Prosciutto e Ricotta)

Ham and Cheese Calzone (Calzone di Prosciutto e Ricotta)

This hefty calzone is stuffed with ricotta and two types of cured pork, and topped with a tangy tomato sauce.Todd Coleman

Broccoli Rabe, Cannellini Bean, and Ricotta Crostini

Broccoli Rabe, Cannellini Bean, and Ricotta Crostini
Crusty, garlicky toasted bread is topped with creamy ricotta, rosemary-accented beans, and spicy sautéed broccoli rabe in this quick, satisfying Italian appetizer.Andre Baranowski
Russian Cheese Pancakes (Syrniki)

Russian Cheese Pancakes (Syrniki)

Home cook Yelena Bachko gave us the recipe for these tangy, tender pancakes, made with tvorog (a type of quark).Todd Coleman
Ricotta and Roasted Pepper Frittata

Ricotta and Roasted Pepper Frittata (Frittata con Ricotta e Peperoni)

Calabrians in Italy sometimes add sliced cured sausage to this popular frittata on Easter, to celebrate the end of Lent.Andre Baranowski
Syrup-Soaked Cheese Pastry (Knafeh)

Syrup-Soaked Cheese Pastry (Knafeh)

In this recipe, kataif, a bird's nest-like phyllo dough, is layered with fresh cheese and doused in amber-hued syrup.Eilon Paz
Zucchini Stuffed with Ricotta (Zucchine Ripiene con Ricotta)

Zucchini Stuffed with Ricotta (Zucchine Ripiene con Ricotta)

In this dish, zucchini are stuffed with the twin stars of Calabrian cheese making: pecorino and ricotta. Flecked with tomato and mint, they are equally good eaten hot or at room temperature.Landon Nordeman
Pizza with Snow Crab, Ricotta, Shishito Peppers, and Wasabi Aioli

Pizza with Snow Crab, Ricotta, Shishito Peppers, and Wasabi Aïoli

Asian-style toppings—shredded snow crab, spicy shishito peppers, ginger-wasabi aïoli—adorn a Western-style pizza at Park Hyatt Tokyo's New York Bar.Ingalls Photography

Ricotta and Coffee Mousse

Ricotta and Coffee Mousse
Elegant and easy to prepare, a classic mousse flavored with espresso and topped with a dusting of chocolate is a great way to end a romantic meal.Helen Rosner
Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli

Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli

Tangy tomato sauce, bolstered with mushrooms, zucchini, and squash, tops these tender ravioli filled with spinach and cheese.Maxime Iattoni

Epiran Feta Tart (Alevropita)

Epiran Feta Tart (Alevropita)
Made with a simple egg batter, this feta-studded tart hails from the region of Epirus in southeastern Europe. Get the recipe for Epiran Feta Tart (Alevropita) »Ingalls Photography
Rachetta (Racket-Shaped Pizza with Mushrooms and Tomatoes)

Rachetta (Racket-Shaped Pizza with Mushrooms and Tomatoes)

A portion of the crust for this pizza is stuffed with earthy roasted mushrooms to mimic a tennis racket handle.Todd Coleman
Temple-Orange Tart

Temple-Orange Tart

Every part of the orange is used in this subtly sweet tart, including the zest, juice, and flesh. If temple oranges are not available, navel oranges or tangerines make excellent substitutions. Get the recipe for Temple-Orange Tart »Andre Baranowski
Ricotta Crostini with Soppressata

Ricotta Crostini with Soppressata

Creamy, luscious cows' or sheep's milk ricotta pairs beautifully with soppressata and grilled, toasted, or fried slices of crusty bread for a simple and rustic crostini.André Baranowski
Ricotta Crostini with Cherry Tomatoes

Ricotta Crostini with Cherry Tomatoes

Ripe cherry tomatoes add sweetness to crostini topped with fresh ricotta.André Baranowski
Ricotta and Olive Crostini

Ricotta Crostini with Black Olives, Lemon Zest, and Mint

The combination of lemon zest, flavorful olives, and refreshing mint gives this crostini a Mediterranean twist.André Baranowski