One Ingredient, from Breakfast to Dessert: Ricotta Recipes You’ll Love

Ricotta is oft-forgotten and under-appreciated in the cheese world. This fluffy, airy cheese rarely earns a prized place on a dinner party cheese plate in the same way that creamy brie, mozzarella, and pecorino typically do. Often, you’ll see ricotta relegated to a singular duty: ravioli filler.

Plated is here to change your perspective on ricotta, which can be a surprising key ingredient to make your beloved recipes even better, in every dish of the day. We’re talking everything from pancakes to soups to stuffed mushrooms—all you need to get started is fresh ricotta (a lot of it) and a willingness to take your cheese game to the new places.

Ricotta pancakes

The ricotta lends these pancakes a perfect, airy fluffiness, without leaving much trace of a cheesy flavor.

1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Butter, for cooking

If your ricotta seems to have a lot of liquid, set it in a fine mesh strainer to drain off excess liquid about 30 minutes before you start cooking. If your ricotta seems fairly dry and compact, you can skip this step.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Combine ricotta, milk, egg yolks, and vanilla in a separate, larger mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the ricotta and milk mixture, stirring gently until just combined.

Beat the egg whites with a handheld electric mixer until stiff. Stir a small scoop of the egg whites into the pancake batter to lighten the batter, then fold in the remaining whites with a spatula.

Heat a griddle over medium-high heat. Melt a small bit of butter in the pan, just enough to coat the surface. Use a 1/3-cup measure to pour batter onto the hot griddle. Cook the pancakes for about 3 or 4 minutes, until the undersides are golden and you see a few bubbles popping through the pancakes. Flip the pancakes and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, until golden. Repeat with the remaining pancakes.

Serve the pancakes immediately, with maple syrup, fruit jam, lemon curd, or powdered sugar.

(The Kitchn)

Ricotta pizza

If the idea of eating pizza for lunch sounds like a bit too much for you, think of this as more of a light flatbread.

Ricotta + red pepper soup

The ricotta provides a nice creamy balance to the red peppers, without diminishing the peppers’ bright flavor.

2 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 (16-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, rinsed and drained
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine chicken stock, ricotta, half-and-half, black pepper, red bell peppers, and garlic in a blender. Process 1 minute, or until smooth.

Pour mixture into a large saucepan over medium heat; bring to a simmer. Stir in lemon juice and salt. Divide soup among 4 bowls; top evenly with chives.

(Adapted from MyRecipes)

Spaghetti + meatballs

Ricotta is a great secret ingredient to help keep your meatballs moist. Pair with spaghetti, or with ricotta gnudi.

Dinner toast

There’s a classier way to have bread and cheese for dinner than throwing together a quick grilled cheese sandwich (though that’s undoubtedly delicious, too). Elevate your cheesy toast dinner dreams with these classy ricotta toasts, complete with thyme-roasted tomatoes and truffle honey. And to make it even fancier, we’ve added a crispy, salty, flavorful salad that you’ll actually be excited about.

Ricotta-stuffed mushrooms

Cheesy-stuffed portobello caps don’t have to be limited to the vegetarian menu anymore! These meaty, cheesy portobellos are filled with sweet Italian sausage, herbs, and a mix of Parmesan and ricotta cheese, then baked until golden, tender, and bursting with juicy flavor. The light, airy texture of the ricotta perfectly balances the rich sausage and earthy mushrooms in every bite—and the drizzle of balsamic glaze on top just pulls it all together.

Ricotta chocolate pizza

In this dessert pie, we’re all about using pizza dough (see: this list). White chocolate and ricotta are combined for the ultimate cloud-like topping. Last but not least, we drizzle our pie in blueberry compote and a sprinkle of mint, but feel free to customize to your heart’s desire!

Ricotta cheesecake

There are two distinct schools of cheesecake making—the dense, creamy, New York cheesecake made with cream cheese, and the airier, traditional Italian preparation with ricotta. Take it from us—they are both delicious, but ricotta-based cheesecake is a bit lighter and fluffier in its texture—which basically means it’s easier to reach for that second slice of dessert. And we are all about that second slice. 

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for pan
1 1/2 pounds whole milk ricotta cheese, puréed until smooth
6 large eggs, separated3
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter and sugar a 9-inch springform pan (3 inches deep). Whisk together ricotta, egg yolks, flour, 6 tablespoons sugar, the zest, and salt in a large bowl.

Whisk egg whites with a mixer on low speed until foamy. Raise speed to high, and gradually add remaining 6 tablespoons sugar, whisking until stiff, glossy peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes. Gently fold a third of the whites into ricotta mixture using a rubber spatula until just combined. Gently fold in remaining whites until just combined.
Pour batter into pan, and bake until center is firm and top is deep golden brown, about 1 hour. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake; release sides to remove from pan, and let cool completely.

Serve with fresh berries.

Did you know Plated also offers dessert? Try it today!

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