Baked Ricotta with Garlic & Herbs

When company’s coming, and you need something delicious to serve with drinks, make this easy baked ricotta appetizer. It’s warm, creamy, and spreadable, and every bite has a burst of flavor from fresh garlic and herbs.

Serve this easy appetizer with toasted bread and garlic-roasted grape tomatoes, and your guests will be in heaven!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This cheesy appetizer will become one of your year-round favorites because it's:

  • Fast and easy. Just mix the ingredients and bake. 
  • Cocktail party perfect. This baked ricotta appetizer definitely takes cheese and crackers up a few notches.
  • Warm and creamy. There’s something about warm cheese spread on slices of toasted bread. I could eat it all day!
  • Amazingly flavorful. Ricotta isn’t the most flavorful cheese, but you won’t believe the difference adding garlic, herbs, and a bit of Parmesan makes.
A white ramekin with baked ricotta. A plate of toasted bread and a bowl of garlic roasted tomatoes are in the background.

Recipe Ingredients

Here are the main ingredients you’ll need to make this baked ricotta appetizer. I’ve listed a few substitutions and variations in the section below.

Be sure to check out the recipe card below for the complete list of ingredients with measurements.

Ingredients needed to make baked ricotta.

Whole milk ricotta cheese. Whole milk ricotta works better than low-fat in this recipe because it’s thicker and less watery. I recommend straining the ricotta cheese to remove any liquid.

Fresh herbs. I love a mix of fresh oregano, rosemary, thyme, and basil. You only need about one tablespoon of minced herbs in total. 

Egg. An egg gives this baked cheese dish a light, souffle-like texture.

Grated Parmesan cheese. This adds a salty, nutty flavor. Make sure you use fresh, grated (not shredded) Parmesan. Buy good-quality cheese from the cheese department, not the one on the store shelf with the green label! 

Substitutions and Variations

  • Use grated Romano cheese instead of Parmesan.
  • If you don’t have an herb garden or want to use only one herb, I recommend thyme or basil. You can also experiment with other herb combinations like chives, parsley, and marjoram.
  • Add a teaspoon of lemon zest for a lemon-herb baked ricotta.

How to Make Baked Ricotta

1. Strain the ricotta. Place the container in a mesh colander set over a bowl. Let the cheese drain for about 30 minutes. Press it down with a spatula once or twice to remove as much liquid as possible.

2. Measure the ingredients. Add everything to a mixing bowl large enough to whip with a hand mixer or whisk. 

Steps 1 & 2 to make baked ricotta.

3. Mix the ingredients. Use a hand mixer on medium speed for about one minute or until the mixture is light and fluffy. If you don’t have a mixer, use a whisk and some muscle power.

Steps 3 & 4 to make baked ricotta.

4. Transfer the ricotta mixture to a ramekin or small casserole dish that holds at least 14 ounces. Sprinkle extra Parmesan cheese over the top, drizzle with olive oil, and bake. Let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

A white ramekin filled with baked ricotta. Thyme sprigs garnish the appetizer.

Expert Tips

  • Use smaller amounts of strong-flavored herbs like rosemary or fresh oregano because they might be overpowering. 
  • If you want to serve this with garlic-roasted tomatoes, put them in the oven when you strain the ricotta. Everything will be warm and ready at about the same time. 
  • Use a ramekin or baking dish that holds about 16 ounces. You'll have about 12 ounces of cheese mixture but it will puff up in the oven.
  • Before baking, place your ramekin or baking dish on a sheet of foil or a pan in case it runs over.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this appetizer with crackers or bread for spreading. I like to toast slices of French baguette in a hot pan with some olive oil to get them crispy.

If desired, serve this baked cheese with warm garlic-roasted grape tomatoes, chopped sundried tomatoes, basil pesto, or roasted red pepper pesto.

Pair this appetizer with crisp white wine or a summer cocktail like a strawberry basil shrub.

Stir leftover baked ricotta into warm penne pasta and top it with homemade tomato pasta sauce or roasted tomatoes.

A white ramekin with baked ricotta. A white plate of toasted bread and a bowl of roasted tomatoes are alongside the baked ricotta.

Recipe FAQs 

Can you make baked ricotta in advance?

You can combine your ingredients several hours in advance and keep them in the refrigerator. About an hour before you'd like to serve it, transfer the ricotta mixture to a ramekin or baking dish and bake it.

How long can you keep leftovers?

Leftover baked ricotta can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. I don’t recommend freezing it.

Related Appetizer Recipes

Don't miss these other tasty and easy warm appetizer recipes.

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

Recipe

A white ramekin with baked ricotta. A white plate of toasted bread is in the background.

Baked Ricotta with Garlic & Herbs

A creamy, warm appetizer to spread on bread or crackers
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Diet: Lower Carb, Heart Healthy, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Drain time for ricotta: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6
Calories: 110kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 ounce container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary or your favorite combination
  • 2 medium garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese divided
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  • Place the ricotta cheese in a mesh colander over a bowl and let the liquid drain for about 20 minutes. Press down on the cheese with a spatula once or twice to extract any liquid.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Place the drained cheese in a mixing bowl and add the minced herbs, garlic, egg, two tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. Use a hand mixer and mix for one minute on medium speed.
  • Spray a ramekin or small baking dish that holds about 16 ounces. Set the baking dish on a foil-lined pan.
  • Add the ricotta cheese mixture to the baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of Parmesan cheese over the top. Drizzle the olive oil over the Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cheese is light golden brown.
  • Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Best served warm.

Notes

To make this ahead of time, combine all of the ingredients except for the last tablespoon of Parmesan cheese and the olive oil. About one hour before you're ready to serve, pour the ingredients into a prepared ramekin or baking dish. Add the final tablespoon of Parmesan and olive oil and bake.
Store leftovers covered, in the refrigerator for up to three days.
To make roasted grape tomatoes to pair with this baked ricotta, toss a pint of grape tomatoes and 3-4 peeled garlic cloves with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Add a sprig of thyme and roast at 375ºF for about 50 minutes, or until the tomatoes are softened.  You can do this while the cheese strains and everything will be ready at about the same time.

Nutrition

Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 94mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 0.03g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 253IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag me @CravingSomethingHealthy!

10 Comments

  1. Y'know I really disliked ricotta as a kid since I had a bad experience with it in a "healthy" cheesecake. However, I've grown to like it more and more lately. This looks SO delicious and is easy too. Saved for my next culinary adventure thanks 😀

    1. Hi Natalie! SO glad I could tempt you with it - I think it's worth another try with more grownup tastebuds!

  2. Whoa, this sounds amazing and your photos are gorgeous! I'm a big fan of ricotta too. You should try whipping it and using it as a spread on burgers and sandwiches. I did that with meatball sliders (on my blog) and it was awesome!

    1. Thanks Sonali! Love the idea of using it on a spread too - I've been eating the leftovers on toast with avocado 🙂

  3. Oooh, this looks great. I do a version of baked ricotta that's been pressed and sliced into cubes, almost like paneer. But this soft, spreadable, dippable version looks fantastic. And like the perfect dinner with a glass of wine, if i do say so!

  4. I've been wanting to try a Baked Ricotta dip for my next gathering. Cannot wait to try your caramelized tomatoes! Looks delicious!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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