If you're a foodie like me, chances are you probably have a favorite type of cheese. Parmesan, mozzarella, gouda, feta... the possibilities are endless. While certain cheeses seem to be more suitable for specific recipes, one in particular is able to carry its weight in most dishes—ricotta.

Ricotta is a fresh cheese that tastes slightly sweet and creamy, making it perfect for both sweet and savory foods. The word ricotta literally means "recooked" in Italian, and this dairy delight is made by boiling whey (the liquid remaining after cheese-making) with an acid and a thickener. Technically, since ricotta is made using whey, it’s considered a dairy byproduct rather than an actual cheese. However, there are some versions of ricotta that are produced using whole milk. Semantics aside, ricotta is one of the most versatile ingredients that can be incorporated into any dish for a creamy twist. Read on to discover some of my favorite ricotta recipes.


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Make way, avocado toast! If you're looking for a new way to spice up your daily breakfast or snack, ricotta toast is the answer. There's something enticing about the way the crunchy exterior of toast complements the soft and light texture of ricotta. In fact, this article was inspired by ricotta toast! Personally, I enjoy my toast with a generous spread of ricotta, a few slices of strawberries, and a delicate drizzle of honey. Feel free to customize the toast as you like—think fruits, jams, vegetables, and herbs. 

#SpoonTip: Why not have the best of both worlds? Indulge yourself by having ricotta and avocado on the same slice. 


While most people might associate ricotta with lasagna, there are plenty of ways to use it in other pasta recipes as well. Try mixing the cheese into your sauce or garnishing your dish with a spoonful of ricotta for a creamy yet refreshing taste. And if you have some time to spare, consider making stuffed pasta shells—it's as easy as packing the shells with ricotta, adding some marinara sauce, and leaving it in the oven to bake. 


Mozzarella might be the traditional staple for pizza, but there's nothing wrong with adding a little more cheese on top! Whether you're ordering out or making your own pizza at home, you'd be surprised by how profoundly a few dollops of ricotta can change a slice's texture and flavor profile. The freshness of the cheese marries well with anything zesty or tangy, such as fire-roasted peppers or sun-dried tomatoes, so be sure to try this combination the next time you order out.


What's better than thick and fluffy pancakes? Thick and fluffy pancakes with ricotta. No, but seriously, if you haven't tried adding some ricotta to your pancakes, you're missing out. As I mentioned in previous recipes, simply adding a layer of ricotta between your pancakes will elevate this classic breakfast food instantly. You can also incorporate the cheese directly into your batter, which will yield extra rich and fluffy pancakes.


Unsurprisingly, ricotta pairs flawlessly with soups, especially those with a creamy base. Swap out the heavy cream or other dairy bases your recipes might call for in favor of ricotta. Since ricotta is fresh and mild, it doesn't overwhelm the other flavors. I find that blended soups, such as roasted tomato soup or butternut squash soup, tend to work well with ricotta.

Still not convinced? Then make sure to try and make some of these recipes yourself! Hopefully, it will assist in cementing the fact that ricotta is one of the best and most versatile cheeses out there.