36 Delicious Ricotta Cheese Recipes, from Pastas to Pancakes

·10-min read

If your experience with ricotta only goes as far as lasagna, it’s time to reacquaint yourself with the creamy Italian cheese. From a creamy crostini topping to the secret ingredient in extra-fluffy pancakes, ricotta cheese is as versatile in the kitchen as it is tasty. (And we’ll be the first to admit that we’ve eaten it directly out of the container on more than one occasion.) For a little inspo of your own, here are 36 ricotta cheese recipes to prepare for breakfast, lunch, dinner and every snack in between.

RELATED: 29 Burrata Recipes That Are Creamy, Dreamy and Downright Decadent

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?

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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.

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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 make, but looks elegant enough to dole out at a dinner party.

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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. Sweeten things up by candying the bacon.

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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.)

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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 doesn't hurt either.)

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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's got all the essentials, from the ground beef to the crushed tomatoes to the gooey mozzarella.

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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.)

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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.

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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 (also called sernik) with melted chocolate, berry compote or caramel sauce.

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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.

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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.)

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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 simple two-ingredient glaze.

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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.

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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.

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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*.

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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 for taking this dish from fantastic to unforgettable.

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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 (or zucchini) and turn them into a cheesy, carby masterpiece in your favorite skillet.

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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 on this breakfast favorite. Unlike the creamy, spreadable ricotta you know and love, this type is made from whey, resulting in a firm texture that makes it ideal for slicing and crumbling.

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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.

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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.

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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 together, pouring them into a casserole dish and baking until golden brown. Serve the dip with plenty of crackers and bread for your guests.

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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 flat instead? The briny artichoke hearts and fresh rosemary are such a nice touch.

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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 make magic with summer peaches. Shred a store-bought rotisserie chicken instead of cooking your own to save time.

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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 boasts 26 grams of protein per serving.

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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.

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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. Extra maple syrup, please.

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28. Lasagna-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes

  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, gluten free

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

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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 total cooking time—that’s just how long it takes to marinate the carrots. Might we suggest sipping some wine while you wait?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 way to tuck in some hidden veggies.

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RELATED: 40 Cheese Appetizers That Are Ooey, Gooey and Oh So Easy to Make

For even more great recipes, check out our first cookbook, Only the Good Stuff.

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