Italian Baked Ricotta Cheese Dip with Herbs

Make this creamy baked ricotta cheese dip for the holidays and see a crowd gather! Whole milk ricotta is baked with fresh herbs, garlic and a bit of lemon zest for a cheesy spread perfect for crusty Italian bread or crackers. Keep this easy dip in your back pocket to add to your favorite appetizer recipes list!

small red baking dish with baked ricotta dip being scooped with a wooden spreader.
Baked ricotta dip makes the best appetizer and is equally at home a dinner party or a tailgate.

Put out a delicious appetizer and they’ll come running. Well…I, for sure, will come running. Whether it’s my crowd favorite pepper jack cheese dip or this baked ricotta cheese dip, you’ll find me and my friends standing by it, boxing each other out for the best bite.

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Everyone loves a good cheese dip recipe

Especially when it’s a simple as this one! Some other things you’ll love about this easy ricotta dip:

  • One bowl recipe. A stand mixer (or hand mixer) makes quick work of this appetizer prep.
  • Elegant comfort food recipe. A warm cheese dip that manages to be elegant and not heavy at the same time.
  • Creamy texture. The perfect dip to spread on crackers or as the centerpiece for a cheese board.
  • Make ahead cheesy dip. You can mix the recipe, pour it in the baking dish and bake it in time for your guests to arrive.

Other dip and appetizer recipes like this you’ll ♥️: whipped ricotta with figs, cheesy baked Reuben dip or potato and tenderloin crostini. Or serve baked ricotta with a basket of fresh made Italian focaccia bread …so good!

Best kind of ricotta for ricotta dip

Just like in cheese lasagna or ricotta cheese ravioli, ricotta cheese thickens up when beaten and baked with eggs.

This easy appetizer is made with whole milk ricotta but you certainly can use part-skim ricotta, deli counter fresh ricotta or homemade ricotta.


Pro tip

If your ricotta has a lot of liquid, drain it using a fine mesh strainer in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight if the time is available to you.

Ingredient rundown

Other than the previously discussed ricotta cheese, we’ll be adding lots of good stuff to this creamy dip.

white bowl of ricotta cheese with a wooden spoon on a dark brown background with small bowls of parmesan cheese, garlic cloves, lemon, and brown eggs.
Whole milk ricotta cheese, parmesan, herbs, lemon zest and seasoning come together for the best ricotta dip.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • More cheese! How about some parmesan cheese and to make it even cheesier, I’d grate in some buttery fontina or mozzarella. (You won’t see it those last two in my photos but I’ve tested them since and it’s so good!)
  • Eggs. I tested and will share 2 different ways to incorporate the eggs in this recipe, pretty much with the same results. You can choose which you prefer.
  • Fresh garlic. About 3 cloves finely minced. Such good flavor!
  • Fresh thyme. Minced as well. You can also use 1 teaspoon of dried thyme instead.
  • Lemon zest. Some recipes call for lemon juice but I have found that it causes the ricotta to curdle as it bakes, creating an undesirable texture.
  • Seasoning. Red pepper flakes, kosher salt and pepper.

Time to make a simple appetizer

whipped eggs in a stand mixer on a brown background.
Method #1: beat eggs for two minutes.
mixing bowl of stand mixer with ingredients for baked ricotta dip.
Add remaining ingredients and mix together.
unbaked ricotta cheese dip sprinkled with parmesan cheese on a brown background.
Pour into baking dish.
close up of finished baked ricotta dip in a red small baking dish on a wooden rattan tray
Bake ricotta dip until golden brown.
  • Grab a medium mixing bowl and a hand mixer (or use a stand mixer).
    • Method #1: Beating eggs first. Beat eggs on their own for 2 minutes. Then mix in ricotta.
    • Method #2: Beating eggs and ricotta together. Add the eggs and ricotta cheese to the bowl and beat for about 2 minutes.
  • With either method: add the parmesan cheese, garlic, herbs, and seasoning and stir to incorporate.
  • Use a microplane grater to zest the lemon and stir into the cheese mixture.
  • Pour into a small baking dish, sprinkle with additional parmesan and bake until golden brown.

Baking tip

Place the dip under the broiler for a few minutes for a nice golden brown topping.

-Josie + Nina

What to serve with baked ricotta dip

Pita cracker with baked ricotta dip on top
Pita crackers (love the ones from Trader Joe’s) make a great vehicle to serve baked ricotta dip.

A equally great option for an elegant dinner party or game day, serve this delicious dip with:

  • ​pita chips
  • baguette slices
  • crusty bread chunks (like Italian bread)
  • fresh veggies like celery, thick strips of red pepper, and cucumbers

Storage, Reheating and Freezing Suggestions

Storage. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Reheat. Warm in a 325˚ oven until heated through. Or microwave in 30 second increments (you might have to stir in a little milk or cream).

I do not recommend you freeze this this baked ricotta dip.

Made this recipe?

I’d love it if you’d share your review and leave a star rating and comment!

small red baking dish with baked ricotta dip being scooped with a wooden spreader.
5 from 1 vote

Italian Baked Ricotta Cheese Dip with Fresh Herbs

Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:35 minutes
Broil time:2 minutes
Total Time:42 minutes

Equipment

  • small baking dish

Ingredients
 

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350˚.
  • Beat the ricotta and eggs in a medium mixing bowl either with a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Stir in the 1/2 cup of the parmesan, garlic, herbs and seasoning.
  • Pour into a small baking dish, sprinkle over remaining parmesan and bake for 35 minutes. Turn on the broiler and bake until browned about 1-2 minutes.
  • Garnish with additional lemon zest and fresh thyme, as desired.
  • Serve with pita chips, chunks of Italian bread or French baguette; or fresh veggies like thickly sliced cucumbers, stalks of celery, and big pieces of red pepper.
Course: Appetizer, brunch, Cheese, Tailgate
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Lori Murphy
Did you make this recipe? Tag @josieandnina or tag #josieandnina!

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