Our 13 Best Ricotta Recipes

Ricotta-Fava Toasts Recipe
Photo: Eva Kolenko

Our favorite ricotta recipes include quinoa pancakes, crispy tacos, and ricotta mousse. Ricotta cheese is soft, delicately sweet, and inexpensive. The word "ricotta" means recooked in Italian, and the cheese is produced by reheating the leftover from making other cheeses like mozzarella and provolone. Ricotta originated in Italy, where it could be made from the milk whey of any dairy animal, including cows, sheep, goats, and Italian water buffalo. It brings creamy, spongy goodness to any dish.

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Quinoa Pancakes with Ricotta and Lemon

Breakfast scene with quinoa pancakes, blueberries, syrup
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Prop Styling by Kathleen Varner / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey

Nutty whole wheat flour, creamy ricotta, and tender cooked quinoa add flavor and texture to these fluffy pancakes that get even lighter thanks to whipped egg whites. Lemon zest, vanilla, and maple syrup add just enough sweetness to balance the slightly bitter quinoa.

02 of 13

Asparagus and Fava Bean Tart with Herbed Ricotta

Asparagus and Fava Bean Tart with Herbed Ricotta
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Lemon zest and thyme add subtle fragrance to this showstopping tart's ricotta filling, balancing the savory Parmesan and prosciutto. Gently pressing on the par-baked pastry while spreading the filling is key to creating a crisp crust.

03 of 13

Kubaneh Toast with Brown Sugar Ricotta and Berries

Kubaneh Toast with Brown Sugar Ricotta and Berries Recipe
Tara Donne

The molasses in brown sugar is naturally acidic and works to turn milk and cream into ricotta while also leaving behind a sweet caramel flavor. Set up the ricotta and start baking the bread the night before you plan to serve the toast.

04 of 13

Broccoli-Rabe and Ricotta Frittata

Broccoli-Rabe and Ricotta Frittata

Though frittatas are often served cooled as a first course, they make an equally good main dish, either warm or at room temperature. Here ricotta mellows the bite of broccoli rabe.

05 of 13

Baked Ricotta with Spice-Poached Rhubarb

Baked Ricotta with Rhubarb Recipe | FWCooks
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop styling by Audrey Davis

This thin pudding-like cake tastes even better when you make it ahead of time. Play around with this dish by trading in your lemons for orange or lime zest. It's one rhubarb dish you'll want to make year round.

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Ricotta-Fava Toasts

Ricotta-Fava Toasts Recipe
Eva Kolenko

The delicate, milky flavor of fresh ricotta pairs with the grassy, lightly sweet taste of fava beans.

07 of 13

Barley Salad with Parsley and Walnuts

Barley Salad with Parsley and Walnuts

Barley is versatile enough to be served warm or at room temperature, as in this terrific salad with walnuts, parsley and salty bits of ricotta salata cheese in a lemon-garlic vinaigrette. It can be served as a main course or as a side for grilled chicken or pork.

08 of 13

Ricotta Hotcakes with Honeycomb Toffee Butter

Ricotta Hotcakes Recipe
Gregory DuPree

Honeycomb toffee, honey, and salt add a sweet, crunchy bite to the butter that tops these ricotta hotcakes studded with fresh banana. Using an electric griddle helps maintain an even temperature over the cooking time, resulting in fluffy, moist pancakes.

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Crispy Ricotta-Kale Tacos

Crispy Ricotta and Kale Tacos
Victor Protasio

Heat the tortillas in a hot skillet before stuffing them with the savory ricotta-kale mixture. (Warming them up makes them more pliable and less likely to break during the stuffing and cooking process.) Try them with the suggested tomatillo and pistachio salsa for a tart and crunchy kick.

10 of 13

Delicata Squash and Sausage Crostata with Ricotta and Honey

Delicata Squash and Sausage Crostata with Ricotta and Honey
Justin Walker

In their book Wine Food, sommelier Dana Frank and recipe developer Andrea Slonecker pair funky, bright wines with flavorful, vegetable-forward dishes. They compare crostatas and galettes to pizza, making them the perfect weeknight dinner. This version layers fennel-spiced sausage, chile, delicata squash, and honey for a dinner that pairs well with a northern Italian Dolcetto.

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Ricotta Mousse

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Chef Joe Flamm used this three-ingredient ricotta mousse to help cinch his season 15 Top Chef win. Flamm used the rich, vanilla-scented mousse to dress up a simple brown sugar cake, but it's also an easy and delicious way to elevate your favorite brownie recipe or to serve with in-season berries or fresh fruit.

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Crostini with Ricotta, Honey, and Fava Beans

Crostini with Ricotta, Honey, and Fava Beans
Eric Wolfinger

This simple appetizer is all about the stellar ingredients in California's Napa region. Chef Sarah Heller of Radish Leaf Cuisine tops sourdough crostini with sheep's milk ricotta from Bellwether Farms in nearby Sonoma, along with fresh favas and a drizzle of wildflower honey. You can use fresh cow's milk ricotta if sheep's milk is not available.

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Herbed Ricotta with Grilled Bread

Herbed Ricotta with Grilled Bread
© Abby Hocking

Food & Wine's Justin Chapple makes this simple herbed ricotta for almost all of his parties because it's such a crowd-pleaser. It's decadent when spread on toasted bread but also delicious served with crudités.

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