Baked ricotta dip is the very definition of easy entertaining. Seriously. It’s just ricotta, eggs, and Parmigiano-Reggiano beaten and baked until puffed and golden. There’s not even a need to be ever so gentle as you fold the ingredients together as with a soufflé. Entertaining gets no easier and guests are no happier. Don’t forget to prepare to accept accolades because there’s going to be some serious gushing over this rich, indulgent, satisfying little cheese number. Tasting is believing. Set it out on its own with sliced baguette and crackers or crudités or as part of an antipasto platter with charcuterie.–Renee Schettler

Baked Ricotta FAQs

What do I serve with baked ricotta?

We’ve been tempted to sidle up to this dish with nothing more than a spoon and say it serves one. If you’re a little less greedy than us, you can set it out as a light dinner or as an appetizer with wine and scoop it up with or slather it over crostini, dried fruits, blanched vegetables, anything, really. A drizzle of honey along with a sprinkling of black pepper is really quite nice.

Does ricotta cheese need to be drained?

That depends on the recipe. If you’re making cannoli or cheesecakes, you may need to drain the liquid from your ricotta. For this recipe, baked ricotta, no draining is necessary.

A parchment lined deep baking pan filled with baked ricotta.

Baked Ricotta

4.79 / 32 votes
This rich and indulgent baked ricotta is easy to make and supremely satisfying, making it perfect for entertaining.
David Leite
CourseHors d’Oeuvres
CuisineItalian
Servings4 servings
Calories318 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time35 minutes

Ingredients 

  • Butter for the baking dish
  • 15 to 18 ounces fresh whole-milk ricotta, (not reduced fat)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • A few oregano leaves, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 chile pepper, such as jalapeño or serrano, seeded and thinly sliced (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Butter a 2-cup baking dish.
  • Beat all the ingredients in a bowl with a fork or a standing mixer until well combined. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and bake until golden and puffed, 25 to 30 minutes, give or take a little depending on how shallow or deep your baking dish.
  • Let cool slightly prior to serving straight from the baking dish by the generous spoonful. (Okay, so you can serve the dip hot, but honestly, it's even more spectacular when allowed to cool somewhat.)

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Nutrition

Serving: 1 portionCalories: 318 kcalCarbohydrates: 4 gProtein: 24 gFat: 23 gSaturated Fat: 14 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 7 gTrans Fat: 0.01 gCholesterol: 164 mgSodium: 532 mgPotassium: 174 mgFiber: 0.1 gSugar: 1 gVitamin A: 816 IUVitamin C: 1 mgCalcium: 528 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2012 Manuela Darling-Gansser. Photo © 2012 Simon Griffiths. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Baked, puffy, and golden, this ricotta dip is wonderful with pita chips or veggie crudités. A quick whisk of the ingredients and a pour into the pan is all it takes to have this at the table in minutes. Try to use a shallow baking dish to maximize the amount of cheese that browns since the puffy crust is the most alluring part of this dip. It’s a cold-weather version of the Herbed Ricotta Dip that was a huge hit with my family. I omitted the chile since it would’ve been a turnoff for my kids.

This recipe is so quick and easy to put together and makes for a sophisticated-looking starter to share or an interesting alternative to a cheese board. We served it with a mix of crackers and chutneys to everyone’s delight. The oregano and chile lend subtle flavors to the cheese and the Parmigiano lends a gorgeous melty texture to the fluffy ricotta.

I chose to interpret “a few leaves” as “leaves from a few stems,” otherwise there wasn’t going to be much point in buying and using the oregano. I used a red jalapeño chile.

This super simple recipe turned out to be a cross between a quiche and a soufflé, but easier than either. My tasters loved its creamy texture and cheesy taste. I used a jalapeño but it was quite mild and we all thought a little more heat would’ve been a nice contrast. The oregano and a healthy grinding of black pepper worked really well.

l imagined I’d rather fold in than beat the ingredients together. However, I used homemade, fairly dense ricotta, which required mixing rather vigorously. The dish still puffed up nicely and baked to a lovely golden brown. I served this with some crackers because someone (I’m not mentioning names) finished the baguette I’d put aside. The bread probably would’ve been better. Frankly, I’d eat it as a light dinner with a spinach salad or as breakfast with a slice of buttered toast.

This recipe reminds me what the TC designation is all about. It didn’t appeal to me greatly just from reading it, but I made it and it was way above my expectations. Delicious, really, and for so little effort. The taste is savory without being heavy. There’s a lot of Parmigiano in this, so it has a big influence on the flavor.

I think what we’re supposed to end up with is a spoonbread texture (sorry if you aren’t from the South and are unfamiliar with that culinary wonder). I let mine go an extra 5 minutes in the oven, and in hindsight I’d let it go a little longer still. This may have to do with the shape of the baking dish I used. I’d suggest a 3-cup capacity if you make this. I had a mixture a bit over 2 inches deep, so that might explain the need for a bit more time in the oven.

I found the best way to serve it was just like spoonbread—scoop it out with a serving spoon onto plates. l highly recommend giving it a try. There’s no need to gently fold the ingredients together. This isn’t a soufflé. Nor is there a need to beat them. This is a thick mixture. I found the best utensil for mixing it to be a fork, and the best description of the process to be mashing it together, then stirring a bit. I did beat the egg just a bit with a fork before adding, to make sure it mixed in evenly. I think the instructions are fine as written. This is really a very easy recipe that’s best not to overthink.

As a fan of good ricotta on bread, I was a little curious how much better baked ricotta could be for the increase in effort. I should’ve known that warm cheese typically trumps cold cheese!

I made a well in the ricotta and then added the eggs so I could break the yolks and premix the eggs before mixing it all into the ricotta. I used a seeded jalapeño pepper, but could see leaving the pepper out and topping the cooked ricotta with a jalapeño jelly. I served it with slices of fresh baguette, chutney, dried apricots, pesto, roasted garlic, and roasted tomatoes—basically, bread and the ricotta plus a spread of various toppings. The Parmigiano gave the ricotta some needed saltiness and I recommend tasting the cold mixture (maybe before adding the eggs, if you’re squeamish about that) to get a sense of how much salt to add.

This is definitely going into dinner party rotation, though I suspect I may need a double batch.

This is a great alternative to the traditional dips set out for various events and parties. It’s creamy, unique, and simple to prepare. A great dip when you want to show up to the party with something unexpected.

Because the cheese is served warm, it tastes great on sliced baguette topped with a little fresh Roma tomato, and it was also fantastic stuffed into those multicolored mini peppers. Everything we put it on was that much easier to eat. The pepper (I used a jalapeño) adds just the right oomph to the dip.

This incredibly simple appetizer will knock your socks off. We couldn’t get over how delicious and addictive this dish was. It comes together very easily and bakes up into glorious, decadent, fluffy goodness that pairs very well with a baguette. I used a fancy, fresh, hand-dipped ricotta that was extraordinary! I think with the complexity of all the other flavors, next time I’ll try a low-fat ricotta and this should work just as well. I used 1 whole jalapeño and only a few oregano leaves as suggested. Next time, I’ll stick with the jalapeño but will increase the oregano, as it was perfect in this dish. I had to bake it roughly 32 minutes for a golden and puffed finish. I can’t wait to make this again!

There’s a rustic quality that I really enjoy about this baked ricotta. There are many ways to serve it but I went with a final cheese course at the end of a nice meal. Honey and pistachios drizzled over the top of a small wedge really made it special.

One other thing I like about this recipe: it’s so fuss-free that if you’ve got some leftover ricotta—let’s say after a holiday lasagna feast—this is just the thing to do with it as it breathes new life into orphan ricotta containers. I tested with a 15-ounce container, as that’s the standard weight of commercial supermarket ricotta.

I incorporated all of the ingredients with a thorough folding. It’s important to get the eggs incorporated. It took a bit longer than 25 minutes for baking—more like 30 to 32 minutes for the cheese to get golden and less “jiggly.”

Where do I begin? This delightful, creamy concoction was first spread on a thin slice of baguette, then used as a dip for fresh crisp vegetables, and finally tasted by the spoonful (possibly the best way!) While it was very good hot from the oven (I couldn’t wait), I was only going to give it an 8 at that point. However, when it cooled, I gave it a 10!

It’s so easy to make and so much lighter than some typical baked spread or dip recipes, such as spinach artichoke and others that are cream cheese-based. I used a jalapeno, however, next time I will not remove all the seeds or I will use a serrano pepper for more heat. I was a little too light with the salt and will add more next time.

This recipe is nearly perfect as written, but I think it lends itself to experimentation with other cheeses and various herbs. I can visualize this being a nice filling for an omelette. Breakfast tomorrow?




About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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Recipe Rating




66 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    I made this for NYE. It tasted great! The top did not brown up like the photo, but I did put it under the broiler to create some brown, and I sprinkled with some paprika to dress it up a bit. My main problem was it was very thick. Solid thick. It really had to be sliced and put onto the bread. Not a lot of it was eaten (due to an overabundance of food more so than the baked ricotta itself, I like to think). So on New Year’s Day, I dumped it into a mixing bowl, added some cream and more chopped chile because I wanted a bit more bite to it. Then I used a hand mixer to blend it, scooped it into a smaller dish, and baked it again, really just long enough to warm it. It was a much better consistency. I used a store-made whole milk ricotta; I’ll make it again, but maybe try a different ricotta.

    1. Hi Laura, I don’t know for sure why you had an issue with the texture but I suspect it was the choice of ricotta. Most store-bought ricottas are loaded with gums and stabilizers. Can you find fresh ricotta?

  2. 4 stars
    first recipe i’ve tried from your blog…came out nothing like picture..top wouldn’t brown nor get crusty…even under broiler. it had yellow tint from egg with brown spotting…taste was good..but again nothing like that picture…i did use commericial supermarket ricotta whole milk.

    1. sam, I’m so sorry to hear you’re less than pleased with the results. The first thing that comes to mind is the oven temperature. Do you have an even thermometer that you can check the temperature? And the other thing that is odd is that it didn’t brown even with the broiler. That has me stumped, as anything will brown under a broiler.

      1. thank you for the reply. yes, oven temp is accurate. Under the broiler, i did get browning, but just spots across. it was mostly yellow tinted top. there was no crusting or deep browning as in your picture. is the cheese in your picture a special artisan ricotta?

        1. Hello, Sam. The picture is from the cookbook by Manuela. The ricotta is not artisan. As you can see, several of our testers have commented on the browning, and I, too, have never had a problem with it, so I’m really confused….

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe certainly deserves an “Honest Entertaining” award; not too hard or time consuming plus delicious! VARIATION: I added dried figs (with stems cut off), to the baking pan before pouring in the cheese mixture. I found the figs added a pleasurable contrast in flavor.