21 Ridiculously Creamy Ricotta Pasta Recipes
Ricotta is a mild Italian cheese that's classically paired with pasta, spinach, and tomatoes for a heavenly flavor combination. It's soft enough to spread and works like a charm for stuffing ravioli, manicotti, or jumbo shells. So if you're in the mood for a creamy pasta dish, give one of these top-rated ricotta pasta recipes a try!
In true Italian style, this ricotta spaghetti dish with garlic and basil turns the simplest of ingredients into a luxurious meal. Spoon the pasta into warm serving bowls, and season with coarsely ground black pepper and lemon juice for added zing.
White Cheese Chicken Lasagna
Shredded cooked chicken is layered with noodles, a generous serving of ricotta, spinach, and white sauce for a tomato-free lasagna dish. The next time you need a hearty pasta dish for a family gathering, give this 5- star recipe a go.
Gnudi (Ricotta Gnocchi)
Traditionally, these ricotta-based gnocchi (known in Italy as gnudi) are made with spinach, but this recipe uses fresh basil. They only take minutes to cook; serve hot with melted butter, pesto, or a tomato sauce for a satisfying supper.
Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shells
Jumbo pasta shells are stuffed with a mixture of ricotta, basil, garlic, fennel seeds, and spinach. Cover with your favorite tomato pasta sauce and bake for a family-friendly weeknight meal. Stuff extra shells and freeze in individual portions for ready made suppers.
Pasta with Ricotta and Turmeric
While the fusilloni pasta cooks, you can make a rich sauce with just 4 ingredients: Italian ricotta cheese, grated Grana padano, turmeric, and black pepper. Fold the pasta into the sauce, adding a bit of pasta water to make a delightful dinner for two in just 20 minutes.
Hearty Vegetable Lasagna
Try this popular, highly-rated vegetable lasagna that has a creamy blend of ricotta and mozzarella, and plenty of tomato sauce. Just listen to reviewer M&M: "Wow, I can't say enough about this recipe. Being a vegetarian for 50 years, my lasagna never tasted as good as this."
Three-Cheese Pasta Bake
Ricotta cheese and grated Parmesan are mixed into a creamy sauce and tossed with ziti pasta. Transfer into a baking dish and top with a layer of mozzarella cheese for a simple but tasty pasta bake. Stir in some leftover roast ham or top with bread crumbs for added texture.
Spinach and Ricotta Tortellini
Squares of pasta are stuffed with the classic Italian filling of fresh ricotta and spinach. Watch this recipe video to learn how to fold the pasta dough into ring-shaped tortellini. You can make the tortellini in advance and keep it chilled for a day or two — they only take a few minutes to cook!
Spaghetti Lasagna Florentine with Crab
Tender crab meat is added to a creamy ricotta and Parmesan cheese sauce. Add a layer of cooked spaghetti, and top with a veggie-rich tomato sauce to make this Italian-inspired seafood lasagna. You can vary the type of shellfish you use — shrimp or mussels would be good substitutes.
Baked Ziti with Sausage
Recipe contributor Ashley says she is constantly asked to make this popular baked pasta dish with Italian sausages, ricotta, and ziti pasta. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil so it cooks evenly and stays moist. Try it with plant-based sausages if you prefer a vegetarian spin.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna
This colorful lasagna has layers of butternut squash, ricotta, and spinach in every bite. Add a layer of pesto or sauteed mushrooms for added flavor. Serve with a simple Italian salad to cut through the richness of the lasagna.
Three Cheese Manicotti II
Manicotti shells are large pasta tubes made for filling. In this recipe they are filled with a decadent ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese mixture. Reviewer Debra Power suggests using a piping bag for filling the pasta shells: "Super fast and much easier!"
Homemade Four Cheese Ravioli
Making your own ravioli pasta from scratch does take time, but this recipe is well worth it. The filling is made with ricotta, cream cheese, mozzarella, and provolone. Serve with marinara sauce and top with a rich pesto cream for a restaurant-worthy appetizer.
Turkey Bake with Whole Wheat Pasta
A hearty, midweek meal that uses whole wheat penne, low-fat ricotta, and ground turkey to create this satisfying pasta bake. You can use any type of pasta you like, including gluten-free or lentil.
Cacio e Pepe Lasagna
Recipe contributor Sahara B adds her own twist to the classic Italian dish 'cacio e pepe' (which translates to 'cheese and pepper') by cooking noodles, ricotta, mozzarella and Pecorino as a lasagna-style dish in individual ramekins for easy serving. Garnish with parsley and paprika if desired.
Creamy Ricotta Pasta Sauce
"Ricotta gives this sauce a cheesy tanginess that we don't get with heavy cream," says Chef John. "I love to top this orecchiette pasta with lots of ricotta salata, a great summer cheese." This recipe adds pesto to the sauce but you could add caramelized mushrooms, leftover grilled veggies, or sun-dried tomatoes for variety.
This 5-star lasagna made with pumpkin, mushrooms, nutmeg, and ricotta cheese will not disappoint! In fact, it could become your favorite fall pasta dish. Reviewer Nora says: "I felt like I was eating a seasonal dish at a fancy French restaurant!"
Pasta alla Norma (Eggplant Pasta)
This classic Sicilian pasta dish made with fried eggplant, ricotta cheese, ripe tomatoes, and fresh basil is a wonderful vegetarian dish for any one who loves Italian cuisine. Garnish with grated ricotta salata cheese for an extra treat.
Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna Rolls
Ricotta and spinach are a classic pairing in Italian cooking. These homemade pasta roll ups are no exception, and are a tasty alternative to homemade lasagna. You can use fresh lasagna noodles from the store if you are short on time. Serve with a sage butter sauce for an incredibly fresh tasting meal.
Kale Lasagna with Meat Sauce
We all know how good a flavor partner spinach is to ricotta cheese, but kale is the perfect substitute in this rich, meaty lasagna. Like all good lasagnas, it takes a bit of time to prepare, but you can make the sauce in a slow cooker ahead of time and assemble layers the next day.
Delicious Meatless Baked Ziti
This comforting baked pasta dish uses ricotta, goat cheese, and shredded mozzarella for a perfect creaminess. Don't stop at mushrooms and spinach — this vegetarian dish can handle a whole range of soft vegetables, such as zucchini, eggplant, or broccoli florets.