Ricotta is a deliciously rich and creamy Italian cheese. It’s a cheese that can be eaten on its own or combined with a few ingredients to transform a dish. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or something in between, ricotta is an underrated cheese that deserves a place at the table. Cooking with ricotta is fun and easy. We’ve compiled a variety of recipes from breakfast to dessert that highlights all the goodness that ricotta has to offer.
Our Favorite 15 Fun Ricotta Recipes
Desert, breakfast, and main entrees included, here are our favorite 15 fun ricotta recipes that you should try:
1. Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Lemon Compote
The trick to making delectably light and fluffy pancakes is adding ricotta. If you can use a mixer to whip egg whites into stiff peaks, then you can make this recipe. Adding the blueberries directly to the skillet assures you’ll get the perfect number of blueberries in every pancake.
The recipe shows you how to make your own sweet and zingy compote to add as the perfect topping to your fluffy pancakes. However, if you are short on time, you can swap in store-bought preserves. Or just serve with butter and syrup, either way the result is delicious.
2. Ricotta Blueberry Coffee Cake
Perfect for breakfast or afternoon tea, this coffee cake is irresistibly moist thanks to the addition of ricotta. Not a fan of blueberries? No problem, just swap in another berry like raspberry or blackberry for an equally delicious cake. The batter is nice and thick so it will suspend even the heaviest of berries, creating the perfect bite every time.
Since the batter is so dense, you’ll need a full hour to bake your ricotta blueberry coffee cake. Always test for doneness with a cake tester. However, if you stab a blueberry, you’ll need to pick another spot to test.
3. Honey Ricotta Stuffed French Toast
Make a show-stopping brunch with honey ricotta-stuffed French toast. As you cook the toast, you’ll get a crispy egg crust with a melty lemon ricotta filling. Simply top with fresh fruit, syrup, and honey to make the perfect weekend breakfast dish.
The key to the perfect stuffed toast is cutting thick slices from your loaf of French bread. No pre-sliced bread for this recipe. Slices about 1 ½ inches thick let you pack in a mouthwatering amount of filling without worrying about leaks or breaks in the bread. If you do end up with a few holes, don’t worry. The coating of egg will seal those up when you slap the slice on the griddle.
4. Honey Ricotta Dip with Pistachio and Apricot
This dish tastes and sounds fancy, but is super easy to prepare. It’s a great appetizer for a dinner party or around the holidays. This dip is delicious on crackers, bread, and toast. If you have any leftovers, it makes a great breakfast.
Honey ricotta dip takes only 10 minutes to prepare, but you’ll need to soften the cheese first. If you have time, leave it sit out at room temperature for an hour. However, if you need to speed up the softening process, you can gently microwave it at 50-percent power or cover it with glass dish that has been heated with boiling water for five minutes.
5. Ricotta Spinach Grilled Cheese
Most grilled cheese sandwiches don’t need a recipe. However, this ricotta spinach grilled cheese recipe puts a fun and delicious spin on the classic grilled cheese sandwich. Plus, you get a serving of vegetables coated in gooey cheese and crispy bread. It’s an overall winning recipe.
You will put in a few minutes of prep work to get the sandwich filling ready. Spinach can release a lot of moisture as it cooks, so you want to pre-wilt the leaves to prevent your sandwich from getting soggy. The whole process shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes and then you are on your way to enjoying a new spin on a comforting classic.
6. Fig, Ham, and Ricotta Pizza
Partly sweet, partly savory, this ricotta pizza just might become your new favorite. It’s super easy to put together thanks to store-bought refrigerated pizza dough. The combination of figs, ricotta, ham and balsamic blend together to create pure magic. You’ll feel like you’re dining at a fancy restaurant instead of eating homemade pizza.
Getting a restaurant-quality crispy pizza crust at home is possible. Give your oven ample time to heat up with a heavy pizza stone or baking sheet placed on the center rack. Plan for at least 30 minutes of pre-heat time, and up to an hour depending on the size of your pizza stone and oven.
7. Ricotta Gnocchi with Lemony Sage Brown Butter Sauce
If your mouth is watering just at the name of this recipe, wait until you try it. Making homemade ricotta gnocchi is easy and fun, not to mention delicious, with the help of this recipe. You won’t believe it only takes 30 minutes from start to finish to prepare such a delectable ricotta dinner.
The sauce has five simple ingredients. Investing in quality parmesan cheese and butter will really help enhance the flavors of this recipe. Freshly grated parmesan is always better. If you despise grating cheese by hand, you can use your blender to quickly and easily grate blocks of parmesan cheese.
8. Ricotta Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms
Meaty portabella mushrooms are dressed up with a velvety cheese filling to create a versatile and fun dish. Stuffed mushrooms can be served as a side dish or a vegetarian main. This recipe shows you how to make your own pesto sauce, which brings a bright, vibrant herbaceous flavor to the mushrooms.
The recipe tops the stuffed mushrooms with a slice of fresh tomato. This really enhances the flavors of the dish, bringing a bit more acidity. However, if tomatoes aren’t in season, feel free to leave them off. You’ll still make a wonderfully flavorful dish.
9. Chicken Tamales with Black Beans and Spinach
It’s a ton of fun to make your own tamales at home. It might take a few tries to master the technique for filling your corn husks, but the effort is greatly rewarded. This chicken tamale recipe serves up a lighter product by mixing the masa harina with an equal amount of ricotta cheese.
The recipe calls for pre-cooked chicken since the tamales don’t steam long enough for the filling to cook through. It’s a great recipe to use when you have leftover rotisserie chicken. Otherwise, you can cook a couple of chicken breasts to shred for the meat in this recipe.
10. Spiralized Zucchini and Summer Squash Casserole
Make this spiralized zucchini and summer squash casserole for a lighter yet still satisfying dish. Broiling the veggie noodles gives them the perfect al dente texture. The ricotta cheese is mixed with basil and parmesan to make a flavorful, rich sauce without needing to simmer something on the stove for hours.
It’s a lot of fun to spiralize the zucchini and summer squash yourself, but if you’re short on time you can buy pre-spiralized noodles from most grocery stores. This dish cooks quickly under the broiler. You can make it even during the summer months without heating up your kitchen too much.
11. Zucchini and Ricotta Galette
Don’t be intimidated by the French name, a galette is a savory pie made by hand without a pie dish. There are endless ways to fill a galette, both sweet and savory. This galette combines buttery flakey crust with creamy ricotta cheese and perfectly cooked zucchini.
Homemade pastry dough is irresistibly buttery and flakey, but you can always substitute store-bought pastry dough. If you’ve never made homemade pastry before a galette is the perfect way to start. Any mistakes or leaks add to the rustic charm of the dish.
The key to keeping your galette crisp is drying the zucchini slices before adding them to the pie. Removing the extra moisture prevents you from making a galette with a soggy bottom. The result is a stunning dish that is flakey, creamy, and perfectly cooked.
12. Ricotta and Mint Fritters
Fritters are a fun and filling dinner option. These ricotta and mint fritters pack in a healthy serving of vegetables while keeping a light texture. The mint really makes the dish, adding a vibrant zing to the cheesy filling.
Mustard and vinegar combine to make the perfect dressing for dunking or drizzling. In fact, the dressing is so delicious you might want to make extra to enjoy for the rest of the week.
If you aren’t a fan of mint, the herb can be swapped with basil or rosemary for an equally delicious version of these fritters. These fritters are best served warm straight from the pan, but leftovers heat up well and are almost as delicious as fresh.
13. Cannoli Dip with Chocolate Covered Cannoli Chips
Bring the flavors of Sicily home with this fun ricotta dip that is easier to make than the traditional cannoli. Crunchy chips pair perfectly with the creamy dip but feel free to use graham crackers or vanilla wafers to save time.
This dip comes together with practically no effort. Just whip the ingredients together and then let it all chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. It’s perfect to make just before dinner and will be ready to serve when it’s time for dessert. This sweet, creamy, subtly orange dip is sure to please everyone.
14. Ricotta Gelato
If you have an ice cream maker, you can make high-quality Italian gelato at home. Adding ricotta to the ice cream base results in an irresistibly creamy ice cream that is rich in flavor and texture. You’ll have to drain your ricotta overnight before you can make this fun recipe, but it’s well worth the wait.
This recipe has a slightly nutty flavor thanks to the freshly grated nutmeg. Feel free to experiment and have fun with flavorings by adding other spices or fruits to the mix. Avoid adding any additional liquids as these can alter the crystal structure when the ice cream freezes, creating a rougher texture for your gelato.
15. Lacy Brown Butter and Ricotta Cookies
Lacy cookies are fun to look at and delicious to eat. These lacy brown butter and ricotta cookies are packed with flavor yet light in texture. They are so delicious you might want to make a double batch.
Brown butter is easy to make but also easy to burn. Keep a close eye on your pan, stirring almost constantly to prevent burning. You’ll be rewarded with toasted, nutty butter than pairs beautifully with creamy ricotta cheese, or really anything for that matter.
These lacy brown butter and ricotta cookies are fancy enough to give as a gift, yet easy enough to make on a whim. The cookies last for a week when stored at room temperature, but it’s doubtful you won’t have eaten them all by then.
What Sort of Fun Ricotta Recipes Do You Love?
If you’ve never used ricotta for anything other than lasagna, you’ve been missing out on all the delicious and fun ways to include ricotta in your cooking. These recipes show you how to harness the full potential of this underrated, delicious, and spreadable cheese.
What’s your favorite fun ricotta recipe to make at home? We’d love to read about it in the comments below. If we really love it we may just add it to one of our future lists!
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Thank you for reading through our list of fun ricotta recipes. We hope you had fun trying something new and found a few new favorites.
Until next time, happy cooking!
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