If you’re in a pinch for time and need a quick appetizer, snack, breakfast, lunch, or dinner (truly the gamut!) look no further than whipped ricotta toast. In just 15 minutes you’ll have toasty bread topped with light, creamy, and delicious whipped ricotta and a drizzle of lemon-thyme honey. Plus, the opportunities for more toppings are endless (more on that below).
As if Italy hasn’t offered us enough delicious dishes (hello, lasagna!) we can also thank them for bringing ricotta into our lives. The word ricotta means “recooked” in Italian. This cheese is made by recooking the leftover whey from other cheeses, like provolone and mozzarella. If you’ve got 30 minutes you can make your own ricotta right at home with just a few pantry items or simply pick up a tub at your grocer.
Whole Milk Ricotta vs. Skim Milk Ricotta
When whipping ricotta, opt for whole milk ricotta, as the higher fat content will help produce a fluffier, lighter, and in my opinion tastier smear. Skim milk ricotta simply has too much water and not enough fat to yield the creamy, cloud-like consistency you want.
More Than One Way to Whip Ricotta
A food processor is the easiest way to whip ricotta. Pulse a few times with all the other ingredients until the magic happens—the ricotta will get airy and fluffy. If you don't have a food processor or simply despise doing dishes, have no fear: whip it by hand with a whisk and some arm muscle. Other options include using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or a handheld mixer.
Loads of Ways to Serve Whipped Ricotta
- Quick-pickled onions or radishes: Thinly slice a small red onion or 6 radishes. Place them in a heat-proof bowl or jar. Bring 2/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of black pepper to a boil until the sugar fully dissolves. Pour the pickling liquid over red onions or radishes. Let it sit for 15 minutes or overnight in the fridge.
- Jammy tomatoes: Place a pint of cherry tomatoes onto a baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinche of black pepper. Roast them at 425°F until they begin to burst, about 20 minutes. Let them cool to room temperature.
- Crispy prosciutto: Tear 5 to 6 slices of prosciutto into small pieces and heat them in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until crispy, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to cool.
Still More Riffs on Whipped Ricotta!
- Crudité dip: Skip the bread and spoon the whipped ricotta into a serving bowl. Drizzle with the lemon-honey and serve with crisp raw veggies for an elevated crudité platter.
- Charcuterie board: Whipped ricotta with a generous drizzle of lemon-thyme honey can add something unique to an otherwise “normal” charcuterie board. Spoon it into a bowl and serve it alongside salami, dried fruits, jams, hard cheeses and crackers for dipping and smearing.
- Berries and “cream”: For a quick dessert, top a bowl of fresh berries with a dollop of whipped ricotta and a sprinkle of raw sugar.
- Nutty crunch: Spread the whipped ricotta onto pita chips and top with chopped nuts. My favorite is pistachios, but almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, or cashews work well too.
- Put an egg on it: Liven up your breakfast routine by topping your ricotta toast with a perfect over-easy or sunny side egg and sliced avocados. Not a fan of runny yolks? Any style egg will do the trick!
- Smoked salmon: Bagel and lox-inspired, swap the cream cheese for whipped ricotta and top with thinly sliced smoked salmon, raw red onions, tomatoes, capers, and some fresh dill.
Other Delicious Ricotta Recipes
Easy Whipped Ricotta Toast
10 (1/2-inch) slices crusty sourdough bread
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for bread
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
15 ounces whole milk ricotta
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Flaky sea salt, for serving (optional)
- Food processor
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Toast the bread:
Lay the bread out on a large baking sheet. Brush both sides lightly with olive oil. Season the tops with 1 teaspoon salt total and a few grinds of black pepper. Bake until the tops are golden and toasted, about 10 minutes. You do not need to flip them halfway through.
Make the whipped ricotta:
Meanwhile, in a food processor, add the ricotta, lemon zest, olive oil, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Process until the ricotta is very smooth and very fluffy, 1 minute. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and process again for 30 seconds.
Make the lemon-thyme honey:
In a small bowl, stir together the honey, lemon juice, and thyme.
Assemble the toast:
Spread some ricotta on the toasts—it’s okay if it’s still a little warm—and drizzle generously with lemon-thyme honey. Sprinkle on flaky sea salt, if desired.
Add toppings (optional):
Enjoy the whipped ricotta toast as is or have fun with toppings (loads of suggestions in the headnotes above). Leave us a comment below if you have a favorite topping!
The whipped ricotta can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Leftover lemon-thyme honey can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 20g||25%|
|Saturated Fat 8g||42%|
|Total Carbohydrate 88g||32%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||11%|
|Total Sugars 25g|
|Vitamin C 3mg||15%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|