As a professional chef, I have always been fascinated by the versatility and creamy texture of ricotta cheese. Its rich and velvety flavor can elevate any dish, from appetizers to desserts. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting out in the kitchen, recipes with ricotta cheese offer a world of culinary possibilities. Join me on a gastronomic journey as we explore the delectable realm of ricotta cheese and discover how this humble ingredient can transform ordinary meals into extraordinary delights. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and impress your loved ones with these mouthwatering recipes that showcase the sheer brilliance of ricotta cheese.

The Ultimate Recipes with Ricotta Cheese

Indulge in the creamy and versatile goodness of ricotta cheese with these delectable recipes. Whether you’re in the mood for a savory dish or a sweet treat, ricotta cheese adds a luxurious touch to any meal. From lasagna to cannoli, these recipes will inspire you to get creative in the kitchen. So grab a tub of ricotta cheese and let’s get cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios

General Information:

  • Making Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 30 minutes
  • Servings: 4

Instructions:

Step 1: Savory Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

These stuffed shells are a crowd-pleasing dish that combines the richness of ricotta cheese with the earthiness of spinach. A perfect main course for any occasion!

– Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

– Cook the pasta shells according to the package instructions, then drain and set aside.

– In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, dried Italian herbs, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

– Add the cooked spinach to the ricotta mixture and stir until well combined.

– Stuff each cooked pasta shell with the ricotta and spinach mixture, then place them in a baking dish.

– Pour your favorite marinara sauce over the stuffed shells, covering them completely.

– Sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on top.

– Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Step 2: Sweet Ricotta Pancakes

These fluffy ricotta pancakes are a delightful twist on a breakfast classic. Serve them with syrup, fresh berries, or a dollop of whipped cream for a truly indulgent treat!

– In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, flour, milk, eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix until well combined.

– Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat and lightly grease with cooking spray or butter.

– Pour 1/4 cup portions of the pancake batter onto the skillet, spreading it slightly with the back of a spoon.

– Cook until bubbles form on the surface of the pancake, then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown.

– Repeat with the remaining pancake batter.

– Serve the pancakes warm with your favorite toppings, such as maple syrup, fresh berries, or a dusting of powdered sugar.

Step 3: Creamy Tomato and Ricotta Pasta

This simple yet flavorful pasta dish is a perfect weeknight dinner option. The combination of tangy tomatoes, creamy ricotta, and aromatic herbs will have you coming back for seconds!

– Cook your choice of pasta according to the package instructions, then drain and set aside.

– In a large skillet, heat some olive oil over medium heat.

– Add minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.

– Add crushed tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

– Stir in the ricotta cheese until it melts into the sauce.

– Season with dried Italian herbs, salt, and pepper to taste.

– Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss until well coated in the sauce.

– Serve hot, garnished with fresh basil and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.

Step 4: Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast

Elevate plain chicken breast into a gourmet meal with this delicious stuffed chicken recipe. The combination of juicy chicken, creamy ricotta, and vibrant spinach is simply irresistible!

– Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

– Butterfly the chicken breasts by slicing them horizontally, leaving one side still attached.

– In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, cooked spinach, grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and black pepper.

– Stuff each chicken breast with the ricotta mixture, then secure with toothpicks.

– Heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.

– Sear the stuffed chicken breasts for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

– Transfer the chicken breasts to a baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.

– Remove the toothpicks before serving.

Step 5: Lemon Ricotta Cake

This light and zesty cake is a delightful combination of tangy lemon and creamy ricotta. Perfect for any occasion, this dessert will impress your guests with its refreshing flavors.

– Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

– Grease and flour a round cake pan.

– In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

– Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

– Stir in the ricotta cheese and lemon zest.

– In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

– Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.

– Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top.

– Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

– Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 6: Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Boats

These satisfying zucchini boats are a perfect way to enjoy a healthy and flavorful meal. Filled with a savory ricotta cheese stuffing, they make a delicious vegetarian main course or side dish.

– Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

– Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise, then scoop out the flesh, leaving a hollowed-out shell.

– In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh herbs, minced garlic, salt, and black pepper.

– Fill each zucchini boat with the ricotta mixture, pressing it down slightly.

– Place the filled zucchini boats in a baking dish.

– Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese.

– Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender and the cheese is golden brown.

– Serve hot, garnished with fresh herbs.

Step 7: Ricotta and Berry Parfait

This refreshing and elegant dessert is a perfect way to showcase the creamy ricotta cheese and sweet summer berries. Layered with honey and crunchy granola, it’s a treat for both the eyes and the taste buds!

– In a serving glass or bowl, layer a spoonful of ricotta cheese at the bottom.

– Top with a layer of mixed fresh berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.

– Drizzle with honey and sprinkle some granola on top.

– Repeat the layers until the glass or bowl is filled.

– Finish with a dollop of ricotta cheese and a sprinkle of granola.

– Serve chilled as a delicious and wholesome dessert.

Ricotta cheese is truly a versatile ingredient that can elevate both savory and sweet dishes. Whether you’re in the mood for a comforting lasagna or a delightful cannoli, these recipes with ricotta cheese are sure to satisfy your cravings. So, grab a tub of ricotta cheese and let your culinary creativity run wild!

recipes with ricotta cheese

Important Things to Keep in Mind When Making Recipes with Ricotta Cheese

When it comes to cooking with ricotta cheese, it’s no secret that this creamy and versatile ingredient can elevate any dish to new heights. With its smooth texture and mild flavor, ricotta lends itself well to both sweet and savory recipes, making it a staple in the kitchen. Whether you’re making a rich lasagna, a fluffy cheesecake, or simply spreading it on toast, there are a few important things to keep in mind that will help you make the most of this delicious cheese.

1. Choose the Right Ricotta: When selecting ricotta cheese for your recipes, it’s important to opt for the highest quality available. Look for a brand that uses only fresh ingredients and traditional production methods. Avoid ricotta that contains excessive preservatives or additives, as these can affect both the taste and texture of your final dish. Keep in mind that the texture of ricotta can vary, so choose a smoother variety for dishes where you want a creamy consistency and a chunkier one for recipes where you want the cheese to hold its shape.

2. Drain Excess Liquid: Ricotta cheese has a high moisture content, which can impact the texture and prevent your baked goods from setting properly. To ensure the best results, drain excess liquid from the cheese before incorporating it into your recipe. To do this, simply place the ricotta in a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth-lined colander and let it sit for about 20 minutes. You’ll be amazed at how much liquid is released, resulting in a creamier and more stable final product.

3. Pair it Right: Ricotta cheese is incredibly versatile and pairs well with a variety of flavors. For savory dishes, complement its mild creaminess with herbs like basil or thyme, and enhance its richness with ingredients like Parmesan or pancetta. When it comes to sweet recipes, ricotta’s natural tanginess can be balanced with a touch of honey or a sprinkle of sugar, while citrus zest can add a refreshing twist. Don’t be afraid to experiment and let your taste buds guide you when deciding on the perfect flavor combinations.

4. Use it as a Substitute: Ricotta cheese can often be used as a healthier and lighter alternative to other dairy products in recipes. It can be substituted for cream cheese in cheesecakes and dips, for cottage cheese in lasagnas and stuffed shells, or even for bechamel sauce in pasta dishes. Its creamy texture and mild flavor make it a versatile substitute that can help you cut down on calories without compromising taste. Just remember to adjust the seasoning accordingly, as ricotta has a slightly different flavor profile than the original ingredient.

As you embark on your culinary journey with ricotta cheese, these important tips will ensure that your recipes turn out successful and delicious. By choosing the right ricotta, draining the excess liquid, pairing it with complementary flavors, and experimenting with substitutions, you’ll be able to unlock the full potential of this wonderful ingredient. So, go ahead and let ricotta cheese take center stage in your kitchen, and prepare to be delighted by the mouthwatering results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking to add some creamy goodness to your recipes? Check out these frequently asked questions about using ricotta cheese in cooking.

1. What are some popular recipes that use ricotta cheese?

Ricotta cheese is a versatile ingredient that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Here are a few popular recipes that make great use of ricotta:

In the savory department, you can try making homemade lasagna with layers of ricotta cheese, marinara sauce, and lasagna noodles. Another delicious option is stuffed shells, where jumbo pasta shells are filled with a mixture of ricotta cheese, spinach, and herbs, then baked in marinara sauce.

If you have a sweet tooth, you can whip up a batch of fluffy and creamy ricotta pancakes for a decadent breakfast treat. Ricotta cheesecake is also a crowd-pleaser, with its creamy texture and slightly tangy flavor.

2. Can I use ricotta cheese as a substitute for other dairy products?

Yes, ricotta cheese can often be used as a substitute for other dairy products in recipes. One common substitution is using ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese in recipes like lasagna or stuffed shells. Ricotta has a similar texture, but a milder flavor compared to cottage cheese. It can also be used as a replacement for cream cheese in certain recipes, like cheesecake.

However, it’s important to note that ricotta cheese does have a distinct flavor, so it may not be a perfect substitute in all recipes. It’s always a good idea to taste test and adjust seasonings as needed when substituting ricotta cheese for other dairy products.

3. How do I store ricotta cheese?

Once opened, ricotta cheese should be stored in the refrigerator. It is best to transfer the cheese to an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Ricotta cheese should be consumed within 3-5 days of opening.

If you have a large quantity of ricotta cheese that you won’t be able to finish within that time frame, you can also freeze it for later use. Simply transfer the ricotta to a freezer-safe container and label it with the date. Frozen ricotta cheese can be stored for up to 3 months. However, keep in mind that the texture of the cheese may change slightly after thawing, so it’s best to use it in cooked dishes rather than as a spread or dip.

4. Can I make my own ricotta cheese at home?

Absolutely! Making ricotta cheese at home is easier than you might think. All you need is milk, an acid (such as lemon juice or vinegar), and a strainer or cheesecloth. Here’s a simple recipe:

1. Heat 4 cups of milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it reaches a gentle simmer.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar to the milk and stir gently.
3. Continue to simmer for a few minutes until the milk begins to curdle and separate into curds and whey.
4. Remove from heat and let it sit undisturbed for about 10 minutes.
5. Line a strainer with cheesecloth and place it over a bowl.
6. Carefully pour the curdled milk into the strainer, allowing the whey to drain off.
7. Let the ricotta cheese sit in the strainer for about an hour to drain off any excess liquid.
8. Transfer the ricotta cheese to a container and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.

5. Is ricotta cheese healthy?

Ricotta cheese can be a healthy addition to your diet when consumed in moderation. It is a good source of protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients. Ricotta cheese is lower in fat and calories compared to many other types of cheese. However, it is still important to be mindful of portion sizes, as ricotta cheese does contain some saturated fat and sodium.

Incorporating ricotta cheese into balanced meals and recipes can provide a creamy, flavorful element while also adding important nutrients. As with any food, it’s important to consider your overall dietary needs and preferences when including ricotta cheese in your meals.

What to Do with Leftover Ricotta Cheese – CHOW Tip


In conclusion, recipes with ricotta cheese are a delightful addition to any culinary repertoire. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook looking to impress, the versatility of this creamy cheese opens up a world of possibilities in the kitchen. From savory dishes like lasagna and stuffed shells to sweet treats like cannoli and cheesecake, ricotta cheese adds a rich and indulgent element to every bite. So, don your apron, gather your ingredients, and let the magic of ricotta cheese elevate your cooking to new heights. Get ready to savor the flavors and impress your loved ones with these delectable recipes. Happy cooking!