There are so many cheeses out in the world that everyone loves, and so many recipes to use cheese. I'm not going to talk about mozzarella, burrata, gouda, or feta because I feel like they've been in the spotlight for too long; it's time for ricotta cheese to shine. Unlike the cheeses listed above that give you that ooey, gooey, melty cheese effect, ricotta cheese is a little different. Though it doesn't have the same effect, you still get the soft, spreadable cheese because ricotta cheese in its natural state is a soft cheese, unlike other cheeses that might be hard. Ricotta cheese is so delicious, and for good reason, because it has the protein, calcium, fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins you need. 

What is Ricotta? 

Ricotta cheese is made with animal milk that can range from cow, sheep, or goat, but in the U.S. it's more commonly used with cow's milk. The usual cheese-making process involves whey, the ingredient that gets separated from the process and left out, but it's actually a primary ingredient for making ricotta.

Ricotta cheese is produced by recooking whey with an acid until the proteins come together and small curds form. It ultimately forms a smooth, creamy cheese, smoother than cottage cheese actually because ricotta has smaller curds. The end product produces ricotta with a slightly sweet flavor, but overallbland flavor, which isn't a bad thing necessarily. This makes ricotta cheese a versatile ingredient where you can use it in so many recipes

Spoon tip: You can actually try making liquid whey at home if you're interested in making ricotta cheese. If you do decide to make ricotta cheese, use fresh milk because it has more fat and milk solids to curdle (aka form those small curds). 

Pronouncing Ricotta 

According to, there's actually three ways ricotta cheese is pronounced: ri-kot-uh, ri-kaw-tuh, and ree-kawt-tah. That last pronunciation is actually how Italians say it. However, the U.S. and U.K. both pronounce it differently, according to the Cambridge Dictionary. Americans pronounce it like the second pronunciation I mentioned above, while British people pronounce it just with a different pronunciation of the "o" in ri-kaw-tuh. 

When to Use Ricotta 

As I mentioned previously, ricotta cheese has a very natural flavor, which translates to its versatility in the kitchen. Ricotta can be eaten for every meal of the day, even dessert. For example, you can make this creamy ricotta cheesecake for your next dinner party that will surely impress your friends, or bake a batch of ricotta cookies. If you're more of the savory over sweet type, don't worry, there are plenty of options. You can combine ricotta and truffle to make this delicious flatbread. If that doesn't suit your fancy, this ricotta toast or one of these six toasts will definitely make you a fan of ricotta. Personally, my favorite way to use ricotta is in pasta, like this one with tomato sauce and ricotta cheese

I hope this inspires you to use ricotta more often, because it can actually be quite amazing and tasty if you use it right. It's not part of the melty, gooey cheese club, but it does make some amazing recipes, upgrading your toast and dessert game, and lots of other recipes. When you do look for ricotta cheese at your local grocery store, be mindful that there is a difference in texture between full fat and fat free, where full-fat ricotta is creamier and fat-free ricotta is more grainy. If you're up for the challenge, you can even make ricotta cheese at home.