Skip to Content

Italian Baked Ricotta

Italian Baked Ricotta is a delicious and creamy dip using ricotta cheese, thyme, garlic, and lemon. This recipe is great as a spread for crostini or tossed with hot pasta, and takes less than 30 minutes to make!

Baked Ricotta in a baking dish with crostini around it on a wooden cutting board.

If you are looking for a delicious Italian appetizer or a tasty spread for crostini, this is the dish for you! Easy to make and such a crowd pleaser, you are going to love Baked Ricotta!

And, for another delicious Italian-inspired appetizer, be sure to try this Eggplant Caponata Recipe or these simple Italian Deviled Eggs. Looking for a cocktail to go with your appetizer? Don’t miss my super easy Limoncello Spritz!

Why this Italian Baked Ricotta is the BEST!

Creamy, delicious, and so satisfying, this recipe for baked ricotta is sure to be your new favorite! Plus, it comes together in just minutes and is so simple to make.

If you have leftover ricotta, this is a great recipe to use it on. The recipe calls for 2 cups of ricotta cheese, but you could easily modify the recipe to use up whatever ricotta you have on hand.

Moreover, this recipe is completely foolproof and make-ahead friendly. Quite literally you just stir all of the ingredients together then bake. You could make the entire dish ahead of time too and then just bake before serving.

Overhead photo of recipe on a cutting board with crostini and a checkered napkin next it.

Another reason baked ricotta is such a great recipe is because it’s so versatile. You can spread the warm ricotta mixture on crostini, or use the cooled mixture as a dip for veggies. I like toss leftover baked ricotta with hot pasta for a simple weeknight dinner.

Recipe Ingredients

overhead photo of ingredients including thyme, lemon, cheeses, and olive oil.

The ingredients for this recipe are simple: ricotta cheese, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic, lemon, and thyme. You can also add red chili pepper flakes to spice it up.

  • Ricotta Cheese: you can use whole milk or part skim ricotta for this dish. No need to drain the ricotta before using. 
  • Cheeses: feel free to play around with the cheeses in this recipe. Fontina or Gruyere would be excellent substitutions. 
  • Thyme: if you don’t have fresh thyme, you could use 1 teaspoon dried thyme in its place. You could also substitute fresh rosemary for the thyme. 
  • Serving Suggestions: Italian Baked Ricotta is excellent served on top of crostini. Simply cut  a baguette, drizzle the slices of bread with olive oil, and toast alongside the ricotta until light golden brown. You could also serve this as a dip for crackers and veggies. I like to toss leftover dip with hot pasta for a quick meal. 
Baked Ricotta spread of slices of crostini on a wooden cutting board.

How to Make Italian Baked Ricotta

Baked Ricotta is a super simple appetizer or spread to have on hand. It comes together quick and takes only 20 minutes to bake.

To start, you will need a small casserole or baking dish to cook the ricotta dip in. I like to use a small 8 x 4 casserole dish but you could using baking dish or loaf pan.

process shots showing how to make recipe including adding all ingredients to a bowl, spreading into baking dish, topping with shredded cheeses, and baking.

Step 1: stir together all of the ingredients in a large bowl, saving half of the mozzarella and parmesan to sprinkle over the top. Use a rubber spatula to ensure the ingredients are all combined well.

Step 2: spread the ricotta mixture into the baking pan.

Step 3: top the ricotta mixture with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. (You could also just mix in all of the cheese into the mixture instead.)

Step 4: bake the dish in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until the baked ricotta is bubbly. To brown the cheese on top, you can set the oven to broil and continue cooking for a minute or two. Be sure to watch the ricotta, as it will brown very quickly.

You can serve the ricotta straight out of the oven and have guests dip their crackers or crostini into the hot dip. Alternatively, you can spread the ricotta onto crostini and top with a sprig of thyme.

Baked ricotta in a baking dish with crostini crackers next to it on a wooden cutting board.

Recipe Tips and FAQs

To ensure the best baked ricotta, be sure to follow these suggestions:

  • Use whole milk ricotta cheese if you have it. Part skim can be used but it will not have as creamy of a texture.
  • Fresh herbs are best for this dish. In a pinch you can substitute a teaspoon of your favorite dried herbs.
  • Prep ahead and bake before serving. Baked ricotta is best served warm, so put it in the oven right before serving.
What to serve with Baked Ricotta?

Crostini are the most common accompaniment to a delicious baked ricotta dip. To make, slice a baguette into rounds and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until light golden brown in color. You can spread the dip on the crostini ahead of time or let guests dip the crostini right into the dip. Baked ricotta is also delicious served with crackers, and the cold dip is great for fresh veggies. Leftover baked ricotta can be heated up and stirred into warm pasta for a tasty meal.

How to store Baked Ricotta?

Cover and refrigerate any leftover ricotta dip for up to a week. You can also cool and freeze any unused dip in an airtight container for up to a month.

close up of baked ricotta spread onto a crostini slice.

More Ricotta Recipes!

I love to bake and cook with ricotta whenever it possible. The ricotta gives the dish a light texture and flavor. Here are some of my favorite recipes with ricotta cheese:

Zucchini Ricotta Roll Ups

Blueberry Ricotta Coffee Cake

Asparagus Ricotta Frittata

Chocolate Ricotta Bundt Cake

Zucchini Ricotta Ciambella

Almond Ricotta Cookies

overhead photo of the dip in a casserole dish on a wood countertop with crostini next to it.

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or review in the comments section further down the page.

Stay in touch with me through social media @ Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. Don’t forget to tag me when you try one of my recipes!

Baked Ricotta
Print Recipe
4.91 from 10 votes

Italian Baked Ricotta

Italian Baked Ricotta is a delicious recipe that can be used as a dip for crackers, a spread for bruschetta, or tossed with hot pasta!
Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time28 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Baked Ricotta
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 180kcal
Cost: 6-7

Equipment

  • small casserole dish (about 8 x 4 inches)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella, divided
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a small casserole dish or baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine the ricotta, half of the mozzarella and parmesan, olive oil, garlic, thyme, lemon juice and zest, kosher salt, and red pepper flakes. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the ricotta is hot and bubbly. To brown the top of the cheese, place under broiler for a minute or two until golden in color. Serve with toasted bread if desired.

Video

Notes

  • Ricotta Cheese: you can use whole milk or part skim ricotta for this dish. No need to drain the ricotta before using. 
  • Cheeses: feel free to play around with the cheeses in this recipe. Fontina or Gruyere would be excellent substitutions. 
  • Thyme: if you don’t have fresh thyme, you could use 1 teaspoon dried thyme in its place. You could also substitute fresh rosemary for the thyme. 
  • Serving Suggestions: Baked Ricotta is excellent served on top of crostini. Simply cut  a baguette, drizzle the slices of bread with olive oil, and toast alongside the ricotta until light golden brown. You could also serve this as a dip for crackers and veggies. I like to toss leftover dip with hot pasta for a quick meal. 

Nutrition

Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 290mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 411IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 207mg | Iron: 1mg
Baked Ricotta
Recipe Rating




Sandy

Sunday 10th of April 2022

This looks so easy and delish! I cannot wait to try it!

angelakallison

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

Hope you love it!

Tayler Ross

Tuesday 1st of March 2022

I absolutely love ricotta, and I cannot wait to try this baked version! Perfect for my next get together!

Beth

Tuesday 1st of March 2022

This is so delicious! I'm going to making this for an easy appetizer over and over again!

Genevieve

Tuesday 1st of March 2022

Oh I love Ricarda and I’m Italian and this recipe looks delicious! I know what I will be making this weekend.

Jenn

Tuesday 1st of March 2022

Adding ricotta to my grocery list STAT! This looks so super tasty and I cannot wait to try it! Thanks for the recipe.