How to Make Whipped Ricotta—and Our All-Time Favorite Way to Use It

Prepare to fall in love with incredibly creamy ricotta—which takes just two minutes to make.

2 pieces of baguette toast with ricotta cheese spread on a round brown plate against a wooden background
Photo: Getty Images/AlexPro9500

You probably don't need us to tell you the benefits of keeping a tub of ricotta cheese in your fridge. The mild, creamy cheese tastes wonderful when dolloped onto pizzas and layered into lasagnas. But there's one more reason to always have the versatile cheese on hand—so you can make whipped ricotta.

Whipping ricotta in the food processor transforms it into an incredibly smooth, spreadable cheese—a blank canvas to be paired with any number of flavors and ingredients. To make it, place ¾ cup whole-milk ricotta cheese, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a food processor, then process until very smooth—1 to 2 minutes. That's it!

We recommend using whole-milk ricotta, which is creamier and richer than part-skim, making for a more luscious spread. Once you've tried the basic formula, try some variations: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a spicy version, the zest of a lemon for a bit of tang, a handful of fresh herbs for a vibrant, green-tinged ricotta, or a drizzle of honey for a sweeter spread.

Wonder how to use your new spread? Our favorite way is as the base for a bounty of seasonal vegetables. Spread it onto a platter in swooshes, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, and top with roasted root vegetables in the winter, or raw heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers in the summer. In the spring—when colorful carrots are at their peak—crispy cabbage and chopped pistachios are perfect complements to the creamy ricotta, tender carrots, and chewy farro.

When it's warm enough to grill, slather slices of grilled bread with the ricotta spread and finish with your favorite crostini toppings. Or, serve it in a bowl topped with pomegranate seeds and mint, and provide pita chips, flatbread, and crudités.

If you discover you're even more in love with ricotta than you thought (we bet you will), consider making it yourself. Fresh homemade ricotta requires just three ingredients and is well worth the effort.

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