Use It Up Challenge: Leftover Ricotta Cheese
Fig, Ham, and Ricotta Pizza
Ricotta cheese is dreamy and our homemade version is simply the best you'll ever taste. It's silky and creamy, milky and slightly sweet, moist and never grainy. The cheese is delicious eaten by the spoonful, and once you've had your fill of it unadorned, you can turn it into an array of dishes that are as healthful as they are delectable.
Thinned out a little and made creamier, ricotta can be used as both the sauce and the cheese for pizzas and flatbreads. Top pizza dough with a ricotta cheese mixture, figs, onion, and ham to make this quick weeknight meal.
Roasted Red Pepper and Ricotta Soup
To make your satisfying supper hit the table even faster, go ahead and prep this creamy soup through step 1 in the morning. Then, all that's left to do is heat the soup and throw together a salad.
Ricotta Lemon-Blueberry Waffles
A sweet berry mixture tops these ricotta cheese-flavored waffles. Seriously, what's not to love?
Blood Orange Cannoli Cups
These cute cannoli cups are filled with ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, orange rind, orange juice, and cream, and topped with mini chocolate chips.
Ribbon Salad with Lavender-Ricotta
Pour a homemade dressing of ricotta cheese, buttermilk, lemon rind, lemon juice, and honey over carrot ribbons to make this simply delicious salad.
Choose a low-moisture ricotta. If you can't shape a loose ball with the cheese, place it in a strainer, and drain the excess liquid for about an hour.
Penne with Ricotta and Greens
This saucy vegetarian pasta takes on a subtle peppery bite from the arugula and watercress, so feel free to leave out the red pepper if feeding heat-sensitive palates.
Sweet Pea Crostini with Ricotta
Making your own ricotta is incredibly simple and doesn't require special equipment. Our microwave trick is foolproof. The pea mixture is quick and easy to make, but you can also mix it up ahead, along with toasting the bread, so that you can simply assemble the crostini when you are ready to serve.
Bacon and Ricotta-Stuffed Mushrooms
Kids may squirm at the sight of mushrooms, but these stuffed, bite-size starters are sure to please mature palates around the room.
Asparagus, Ricotta, and Egg Pizza
Arranging the dough on a hot pizza stone or skillet will get the crust nice and crisp. Keep an eye on the pizza after you add the eggs so they don’t overcook.
Cherry Almond Ricotta Drop Scones
Reserve half of the citrusy-sweet ricotta mixture to dollop over the warm scones. These crumbly, cakelike biscuits are best enjoyed the day they are made.
Linguine with Ricotta Meatballs
Fresh pasta takes only two to three minutes to cook. Bring your pot of water to a boil early, and drop the pasta in just before the meatballs are finished so that everything is done at the same time. Ricotta cheese makes the meatballs light and tender and not too dense; they're a bit too fragile to toss with the pasta, so they're scooped out of the sauce and then placed on top at the end. If you can't find fresh linguine, use fresh fettuccine.
For those nights when you just don't have the 12 minutes to cook dried fettuccine, reach for refrigerated fresh pasta: It's done in about two minutes. The texture is deliciously different: more delicate, with a slightly springy bounce.
You can pop a waffle in the toaster and have it ready by the time you’ve checked your daily email. Top it off with a dollop of part-skim ricotta cheese and raspberry preserves, and you’ve got fruit, protein, and whole-grains all in one perfect desk snack.
Tomato Ricotta Tart
This crust, made tender and flaky with heart-healthy olive oil, makes the perfect base for farm-fresh tomatoes and earthy-sweet basil. For a less expensive alternative to pine nuts, substitute toasted sunflower seeds.
Spiced Warm Muesli with Honeyed Ricotta
Grains, nuts, and a touch of brown sugar unite to create a protein-and-whole-grain-packed breakfast with 38g whole grains per 2/3 cup.
Sautéed Snap Peas with Ricotta Salata and Mint
Floral lemon zest (but no tart juice) allows the sweet pea flavor to shine. Chop mint, grate lemon rind, and crumble cheese while the peas cook. Serve with panini or other sandwiches, grilled chicken, or pork chops.
Sausage, Fennel, and Ricotta Pizza
Dollops of ricotta cheese top this quick and crispy pizza. Use a preheated pizza stone or baking sheet to ensure an extra-crisp crust.
Keep weekday mornings interesting with this cheesy and nutty toast for breakfast. The creaminess of the ricotta makes for a deliciously indulgent base and the simple nut toppings keep this toast uncomplicated and straightforward.
Phyllo Cups with Ricotta, Chèvre, and Thyme
Start making the phyllo stacks about 30 minutes after you put the cheese mixture in the refrigerator. Or make the cheese mixture a day ahead, and assemble before guests arrive.
Summer Squash and Ricotta Galette
Here's a fantastic crust that you can swap in for a standard butter-based one. You can make the dough in advance, and chill until ready to use.
Crisp sheets of sugared phyllo, creamy ricotta and honey, and showstopping strawberries combine to create a delightful dessert that everyone will be sure to love. Seconds, please!
Roasted Vegetable and Ricotta Pizza
With an extensive list of vegetables rounding out the ingredient list and creamy dollops of ricotta sprinkled atop, this pizza will be irresistible from the first bite.
Pappardelle with Baby Spinach, Herbs, and Ricotta
Fettuccine will also work if you can't find pappardelle. Have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go before beginning to cook—the pasta needs to be hot when mixed with the other ingredients to create a creamy consistency.
"Semifreddo" is an Italian term that refers to any number of frozen or chilled desserts. Here we offer a frozen orange-scented mousse made with ricotta cheese. It's worth the effort to search out the best ricotta you can find.
Herbed Ricotta Tart
Perfect any time of day, this Herbed Ricotta Tart gets a headstart by incorporating a refrigerated pizza crust dough. Dill and chives add fresh, fragrant flavor. "I followed this recipe exactly and it was fabulous," praises sprater1. "Used fresh herbs from my garden. My kids (4 and 6 years old) loved it too!"
Ricotta-Pea Ravioli with Asparagus and Mushrooms
Flour, or "doppio zero" (double zero), is high-protein Italian flour that's as fine as talcum powder, so it makes an especially silky dough. It's available in many Italian markets, as well as online (Amazon.com carries it). You can substitute all-purpose flour, but the pasta won't be as finely textured. Use a mandoline or vegetable peeler to shave the asparagus.
Lemony Herbed Ricotta and Roasted Tomato Bruschetta
This bite-size bruschetta recipe is dressed in flavorful herbs and makes a perfect appetizer to pair with a classic Italian entrée.
Open-Faced Sandwiches with Ricotta, Arugula, and Fried Egg
This open-faced sandwich might be more commonly devoured with a fork and knife, but we won't judge you if you opt to lose the utensils. You won't be able to resist the combination of peppery arugula, creamy ricotta, and salty Parmigiano-Reggiano all topped with a beautiful fried egg.
Prosciutto, Peach, and Sweet Lettuce Salad
Serve this light main-course salad with a hunk of crusty baguette and a glass of chilled Riesling, which will stand up to the sweetness of peaches and honey. Choose ripe, juicy peaches, and leave the peel on for more texture. Ricotta salata is a milky, mild, slightly salty cheese that's easy to crumble; you can substitute feta or goat cheese. The crowing glory: a sprinkling of cooling, fresh mint leaves. Salty-sweet-crunchy-creamy: all rolled into one glorious salad.
Four Cheese Pizza
Premium ricotta—like Calabro brand, which has a creamy texture and rich, full flavor—makes a big difference in this recipe.
Chocolate Chip Cannoli
We prefer the fresh taste of this Chocolate Chip Cannoli recipe's homemade ricotta, which can be made up to 4 days ahead. If you don't have time to make ricotta from scratch, substitute 4 cups part-skim ricotta, and proceed to step 3.
Three-Cheese White Pizza with Spinach
Fresh garlic slices are baked atop this creamy Three-Cheese White Pizza with Spinach. The spinach is kept fresh by adding it to the pizza toward the end of cooking. The higher quality the ricotta cheese, the creamier and more delicious the pizza; we prefer Calabro brand.
Easy Ravioli Lasagna
Okay, this won't win any beauty contests. But we guarantee your family will go nuts for it. With ricotta cheese and spinach already tucked inside each ravioli, this is a shortcut way to a well-rounded lasagna.
Individual White Chicken Pizzas
The key to these amazing cheesy pizzas is to make fresh ricotta cheese, which is more moist and creamy than store-bought. Pack your freezer full of these cheesy pies. You'll thank us again and again.
Linguine with Sweet Pepper Sauce
The glorious finish to this dish is Burrata—a very soft buffalo milk cheese with a supercreamy center. The name in Italian means "buttered," hinting at the sweet, rich flavor. If you can't find it, substitute ricotta cheese.
Turkey Sausage and Spinach Lasagna
Spicy sausage gives this dish some kick, though you can also go with mild. Three cheeses—ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan—make it wonderfully indulgent.
Port-Glazed Pear Tart with Rosemary-Cornmeal Crust
The shortbread-like crust stands up well to a luscious ricotta filling that's topped with pretty port-stained pears. Larger pear wedges (as shown) are stunning; you can also cut the pears into thin slices and arrange spokelike on top. Prepare the crust and pears up to 1 day ahead and refrigerate. Assemble just before serving.
Tuscan Lemon Muffins
Bake our Tuscan Lemon Muffins to keep on hand for satisfying hold-you-over snacks. The tart, rich flavor comes from a favorite Italian combo—olive oil and fresh lemon. Reviewer JaneBaines said, "I think these deserve FIVE stars! They're VERY good. They were even better the next day because they are very moist and substantial without being heavy."