10 Ways to Use Up Ricotta Cheese

About two years ago, I wrote a post with ten ways to use up buttermilk. It’s still one of my most popular posts.

Recently, though, I’ve been thinking about ricotta cheese.

I’ve found that buttermilk practically never goes bad (at least in my experience – I had a bottle that expired in mid-December and I finally used up the last of it on February 17th in a batch of pancakes (I generally don’t mention this to Bart who is deeply hesitant about expired dairy products).

Ricotta cheese, though, has a pretty short shelf life. Which means once I buy a container of it, I’m scrambling like a crazy person to use it up before mold shows up.

(Also, I never really liked ricotta cheese until we moved to North Carolina and I don’t know what’s different about the Kroger brand, but. . .I could eat that stuff plain (obviously I buy the whole milk version)).

  1. Green Calzones  – This is my go-to dinner when I’m trying to use up vegetables. 
  2. Stuffed Cannoli French Toast – Cannolis had zero appeal to me until I had one at Mike’s Pastry in Boston. Life changing. Four years later, we’re still talking about them. Who wouldn’t want one for breakfast? 
  3. Baked Manicotti – I love this recipe not only because it is delicious but because it also uses lasagna noodles instead of manicotti shells (I can’t be the only person who hates stuffing (or attempting to stuff) filling into those tubes)
  4. Kale and Ricotta Omelet – Eggs are one of my favorite things because they can be breakfast or dinner. Or lunch. 
  5. Crepes with Whipped Meyer Lemon Ricotta –  Never met a crepe I didn’t like. Also, I need to be neighbors with Elizabeth so I can steal some meyer lemons from her. 
  6. Lasagna Grilled Cheese – I make these ALL the time. And I never get tired of them (sometimes I add a smear of ricotta to my regular cheddar grilled cheese too. Just for fun). 
  7. Honey Ricotta Ice Cream – Just about time to roll out the ice cream maker again. Would it be weird to pack that for the summer when we leave for Bart’s internship? 
  8. Orange Ricotta Chocolate Chip Pancakes – Like buttermilk, ricotta is a great addition to pancakes. 
  9. Blueberry Pizza with Whipped Ricotta – Bart was dubious about pizza with fruit until I made this strawberry pizza last summer. So I’m pretty sure I could convince him on this one. 
  10. Pesto and Sausage Baked Ziti – I’m really into sausage right now. This one is on my menu for next week. 
P.S. A lot of the time, I just put ricotta on some bread (like french bread or banana bread) like jam and then drizzle some honey over the top. Quick and delicious. 

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  • Reply Sweetened Style March 11, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Great list! I`m always hesitant to buy ricotta simply because I never use it up in time! Thanks. 🙂

  • Reply heather March 11, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Yum! I've found ricotta works well on lots of pizzas and we make pizza all the time.

  • Reply Madeline March 11, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Ricotta is magic. Unfortunately Steve doesn't share my love of it. We usually buy it to make homemade meatball subs (Steve's recipe & it's goooood). I then find myself trying to put it in things that Steve won't notice. I have mixed it with marinara to make a tomato cream sauce for pasta. I use it as a topping for lasagna soup. I add it in with meatloaf (best meatloaf ever). And I add it in with mashed potatoes to make them creamier.

    I'm excited to try out some of these recipes!

  • Reply Feisty Harriet March 11, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    I often times just put a little bit in a bowl with a pinch of sugar, a little bit of lemon or vanilla extract, and a handful of blueberries. So delicious!


  • Reply Paige Flamm March 11, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    I'm drooling over those pancakes! Next time we have ricotta, we're having those!

  • Reply cat March 11, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Perfect timing, I have a jar of ricotta right now in the fridge I need to use up. I think I'll have the lasagna grilled cheese for lunch, yum.

  • Reply Erica March 11, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    i mix 2/3 plain yogurt with 1/3 ricotta cheese and add in jam or lemon curd and BAM! an after-dinner snack that is at least mildly healthier than ice cream.

  • Reply Becca March 11, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    I have a feeling this is another post I'll be referencing frequently. Not because I regularly find myself with leftover ricotta to use up, but because now I want to keep ricotta stocked in my fridge. Hello, ricotta Meyer lemon crepes?!

  • Reply Mel March 12, 2014 at 3:26 am

    I'm totally going to make those lasagna grilled cheese. I think I've seen you mention them before so it's definitely time.

  • Reply Lisa {} March 12, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Have you ever made your ricotta? It's a bit of a pain, but sooooo sweet and delicious. Great list!

  • Reply april March 12, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    I never have this problem with ricotta, but I also usually buy the small tub of it and use the whole thing in my lasagna. But all these sound so good I feel like going out and buying some all willy nilly! (and while I"m at it, buying a quart of buttermilk because I apparently didn't read you then and where was that post when I had buttermilk in my fridge from making banana bread?)

  • Reply Creole Wisdom March 12, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    I just eat it with a spoon. I rarely let myself buy it because it's so delicious and I could polish a whole container in one sitting :/ shameful, but true!

    Glad to know I'm not the only one who eats things past their exp dates and have never had an issue!

  • Reply Allie @ Everyday Adventures March 12, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Awesome! I'm not crazy about cheese, but when I buy ricotta for lasagna rolls, I never know what to do with the rest! And of course, I always buy the gigantic tub because it's cheaper per ounce …

  • Reply Tina Whitmore February 1, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    My personal favs are to replace the milk (but for 1/4 cup) in bread pudding, uses quite bit of the left over. also to cream it with squash makes it like a pudding!

  • Reply Breanne Murray November 27, 2015 at 1:40 am

    The cannoli stiffed french toast looks to die for. I bought some ricotta to make a spaghetti squash lasagna and have been looking for a recipe to finish it off all week

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