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

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. Get the recipe for Homemade Ricotta »

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. Get the recipe for Pappardelle with Mixed Mushrooms, Ricotta, and Walnuts »

Grilled Corn and Ricotta Dip

In this summery take on cheese dip, chef Sara Hauman of Huxley in San Fransisco tosses grilled sweet corn into a pool of milky ricotta, aromatics, and herbs, then bakes the mixture until it’s bubbling and brown. Get the recipe for Grilled Corn and Ricotta Dip »

Spring Pea Ravioli with Prosciutto & Pea Shoots

Spring Pea Ravioli with Prosciutto & Pea Shoots

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. Get the recipe for Ricotta and Egg Gnocchi with Olives, Capers, and Tomato Sauce »

Buckwheat and Ricotta Gnocchi with Cream, Peas, and Spinach

Buckwheat and Ricotta Gnocchi with Cream, Peas, and Spinach

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.

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.

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.

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.
Ricotta pancakes soaked in cardamom syrup and sprinkled with pistachios make a creamy, ethereal dessert. Get the recipe for Ricotta Pancakes in Cardamom Syrup (Malpura) »

Baked Ricotta with Orange Blossom Cherry Sauce

Frozen cherries and orange blossom water make a deliciously sweet topping for creamy baked ricotta.

St. Joseph’s Day Fritters

These crunchy Sicilian fritters are topped with a cinnamon-ricotta filling. Get the recipe for St. Joseph’s Day Fritters »

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.

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. Get the recipe »

Sicilian Cassata Cake

Fabrizia Lanza taught us to make this classic Sicilian cake, rimmed in pistachio marzipan. Get the recipe for Sicilian Cassata Cake »

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. Get the recipe for Charred Sweet Potatoes with Pickled Shallots, Pistachios, and Ricotta Salata »

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) »
Calzones don’t always have to be baked—this ham and ricotta version is deep-fried.

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. Get the recipe for Ham and Cheese Calzone (Calzone di Prosciutto e Ricotta) »

Broccoli Rabe, Cannellini Bean, and Ricotta Crostini

Broccoli Rabe, Cannellini Bean, and Ricotta Crostini

Russian Cheese Pancakes (Syrniki)

Home cook Yelena Bachko gave us the recipe for these tangy, tender pancakes, made with tvorog (a type of quark).

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.

Syrup-Soaked Cheese Pastry (Knafeh)

Syrup-Soaked Cheese Pastry (Knafeh)

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.

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.

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.

Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli

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

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) »

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.

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 »

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.

Ricotta Crostini with Cherry Tomatoes

Ripe cherry tomatoes add sweetness to crostini topped with fresh ricotta.

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.