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The Secret Italian Ingredient That Makes Everything Taste Good

Ricotta is one of those dream ingredients that makes your food taste so much better. It's no wonder the Italians add it to so many of their famous dishes. It enriches pasta sauce making it taste creamy and delicious. Ricotta is also wonderful to bake with. It makes cakes and cookies light and fluffy, and adds a slight tangy flavor. Once you try a traditional Italian ricotta cheesecake, there's no going back. It's the secret ingredient you need to have in your fridge. It even makes a perfect quick snack - ricotta on toast, anyone? Here are fifteen creamy ricotta recipes that will convince you of its magnificence.

Sumptuous Pasta

1. Baked Ziti with Sausage

Rave Review: "I used extra ricotta because the family loves it. This is my new favorite!!! Yum =)" — amberln

Baked Ziti with Sausage

Photo by cooking monster bryan

2. Stuffed Shells

Rave Review: "Just perfect. So simple and basic, yet so delicious!!!" — CLS1220

Stuffed Shells III

Photo by House of Aqua

3. Chef John's Turkey Manicotti

Rave Review: "Made this manicotti tonight and it was delish and so easy!"— SHRIEKINGVIOLET

Chef John's Turkey Manicotti

Chef John's Turkey Manicotti | Photo by Allrecipes

4. Chef Johns Ricotta Meatballs

Rave Review: "Wonderfully delicious, moist, melt-in-your-mouth meatballs." — Sherri

Chef Johns Ricotta Meatballs

Photo by Chef John

5. Spinach Mushroom and Ricotta Fettuccine

Rave Review: "I made this tonight , adding garlic, onion and Italian spice. Everyone loved it." — Linda Gibbs

Spinach Mushroom and Ricotta Fettuccine

Photo by Life Tastes Good

Divine Desserts

6. Italian Cream Cheese and Ricotta Cheesecake

Rave Review: "Easily the BEST cheesecake I've ever eaten! And with no crust to distract from the creamy "cheese" taste...yum!" — KatMac

Italian Cream Cheese and Ricotta Cheesecake

Photo by Kimbery

7. Italian Cheesecake Cookies

Rave Review: "Love this!! So light, fluffy, and moist!"— Amy

Italian Cheesecake Cookies

Photo by Pam Ziegler Lutz

8. Blueberry Ricotta Squares

Rave Review: "This is a keeper!! Fast and so simple. Wonderful and not too sweet. My guests loved it. I will absolutely make it again." — JOAN431

Blueberry Ricotta Squares

Photo by gitano

9. Cannoli

Rave Review: "These are amazing. Super easy to make but very time consuming. But, so very worth it!!!" — Rachel Poplaski


Photo by Kims Cooking Now

10. Ricotta Cheese Cookies

Rave Review: "These cookies are great...wonderfully light and airy!" — Amy

Ricotta Cheese Cookies

Photo by smclanton

11. Chef John's Ricotta Pie

Rave Review: "The crust is easy and flaky, the filling not sweet but light and would go perfect with a dessert wine or cup of coffee or tea." — SouthwestHiAltCook


Tasty Snacks

12. Ricotta and Tomato Sandwich

Rave Review: "Nice sandwich it was light and fresh. I used tomatoes from the garden with a home made ricotta and fresh basil. It does not get any better than this" — Ren Causley

Ricotta and Tomato Sandwich

Photo by cc3s

13. Zavioli with Spinach and Ricotta

Rave Review: "These were delicious and fun to make! Loved that these were healthier and gluten-free friendly too!" — SuzyQ

Zavioli with Spinach and Ricotta

Photo by Buckwheat Queen

14. Stuffed Tomatoes with Grits and Ricotta

Rave Review: "This is a true 5-star winner. Very different and interesting combination of grits and cheese. All who tried this recipe were quite impressed." — Ron

Stuffed Tomatoes with Grits and Ricotta

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

15. Mushroom and Ricotta Bruschetta 

Rave Review: "This was really nice. Light and bright...the hot flakes gave it zing and the lemon was a surprise on the tongue." — lass

Mushroom and Ricotta Bruschetta

Photo by lutzflcat


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About Vicky McDonald

Always looking for more cheese! I love to bake, potter about the garden, and drink lemony gin & tonics in the sun. I also blog at