Whipped Ricotta Cheese Will Drastically Improve So Many of Your Favorite Meals — Here's How to Make It

Here’s a foolproof method for making the best whipped ricotta; plus, everything you need to know about wielding it to create delicious dinners in a snap.

Fresh homemade mascarpone. Traditional Mascarpone cheese in wooden spoon
Photo: Ivannag82

Whipped ricotta cheese is not a revolutionary idea, but still, I don't feel like it gets the accolades it deserves among home cooks. You'd be hard-pressed to find a meal that isn't improved by cheese — and with just a few simple tricks and a couple of extra ingredients, a simple cheese like ricotta can level-up any weeknight meal. We're talking about one of those elements that, in a matter of minutes, makes an otherwise mundane plate into an utterly impressive dinner experience.

The Basic Ingredients

This is nothing groundbreaking in terms of ingredients, but the secret here lies in the technique. This whipped ricotta gets its out-of-this-world airy texture from basically making a plain whipped cream and then incorporating it into the ricotta. That, along with the emulsification that happens between the water in the cheese and the olive oil, makes for pure magic.

Whipped Ricotta

  • 1 ounce heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

The Method

Start by whipping the cream in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until it starts to thicken slightly. Scoop the cream out into a separate bowl. Add the ricotta, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste to the mixer bowl and whip on medium-low speed until the cheese starts to look broken up and smoothed out. Add the cream back in and whip on medium-high for a few seconds, or until you have stiff peaks and a fluffy mound of cheesy deliciousness. Taste and add salt as needed.

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The Add-Ins

As written, this is a super basic recipe that can absolutely stand on its own. But, most of the time, I like to dress it up a little bit. Depending on what I'm using it for, I'll sometimes switch things up, but my basic additions are usually the zest of half a lemon, a tablespoon or so of Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, a pinch of chili flakes, and some freshly minced garlic (go light if you don't plan to cook the garlic first). Occasionally, I'll stir in some chopped parsley or torn basil at the end. For a simple dip, I love to swirl in just a drizzle of honey and if I'm feeling fancy, maybe a pinch of sumac and a few picked sprigs of thyme. For every add-in except the herbs, add it into the mixer along with the salt and pepper; fold in fresh herbs at the very end.

What To Do With It

Ok so you've made some whipped ricotta, now what? My number-one favorite way to use this recipe is underneath pasta. You heard me, underneath. Spread a circle of whipped ricotta on your plate first and then put the pasta down on top. This way, it's easier to swirl the pasta into the ricotta and get a more even distribution of ricotta across the whole plate. Ricotta is obviously great on pizza, and this whipped version is no exception. I usually prefer to dollop it on after the pizza comes out of the oven to preserve it's marshmallowiness; but when it's baked, it turns into a super soft puddle of creamy deliciousness, without the grainy texture that can sometimes occur with regular ricotta.

While pizza and pasta are naturally great vehicles for ricotta, a less-expected place I like to use it is on cheese and charcuterie boards. It's the perfect addition to cut through any spicy meats and brighten up any heavy flavors.

Go heavy on the seasoning (especially the lemon) and your whipped ricotta makes a wonderful dip for crusty bread or focaccia.

Whipped ricotta is also my trusty go-to when most any recipe needs to be livened up or "rounded out." Not only does ricotta bring richness and fattiness to the party, it's also a source of protein. It can tie together a few components and turn them into a well-balanced meal, in terms of both flavor and nutrition. Dropping a few dollops onto your plate can transform a few scrounged-up veggies and/or leftovers into a quick, filling dinner that feels lovely too. This is also a great trick to have in your back pocket for when some recipes don't go quite as planned. Pasta sauce turned out just a tad too salty? Toast a little burnt? An exceptionally boring and uninspired Tuesday night? When in doubt, go for whipped ricotta.


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