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Grey round dish with baked ricotta topped with tomatoes, white linen underneath, olives in background.

Baked Ricotta (ricotta al forno)

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5 from 1 review

This simple recipe is a great appetizer recipe that is quick and easy to make. It can be mixed by hand or in the food processor if you want a smoother texture. A perfect addition to a brunch table, as a dip in a charcuterie or cheese board, or as a light lunch if you make it as a crustless pie. 

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings



For the ricotta:

  • 2 1/2 cups fresh ricotta (1 pound + 2 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or melted butter)

For the topping:

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh thyme and basil leaves (or other herbs you use)

For crustless ricotta quiche:

  • Ingredients above
  • 1/4 cup flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180°C.

For the tomatoes:

  1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (you can omit it but it's less messy) and place halved tomatoes and unpeeled garlic cloves. 
  2. Drizzle with a few swirls of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until soft. If you use the tomatoes whole pierce them with a fork once or twice before baking so they don't explode in the oven.
  3. Let the oven on.

For the baked ricotta:

  1. By hand: in a large mixing bowl, mix ricotta with cream, eggs, salt, pepper, and parmesan. Mix well with a hand beater or wooden spoon. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil or melted butter.
  2. In a food processor: put ricotta in the bowl and process for a minute. Add cream, salt, pepper, eggs, oil, and cheese and process a few times just until well combined, about 30 seconds. Don't overprocess. 
  3. Transfer to an oiled or buttered 9-inch round baking dish, spread evenly, and bake for 30-35 minutes, until lightly brown on top.
  4. Mound tomatoes and peeled chopped garlic cloves on top of the ricotta, and top with herbs. 
  5. Drizzle with olive oil, some salt, and pepper, and serve with crackers, pita chips, or very thin toasted bread slices.

For the crustless ricotta quiche:

  1. Follow the instructions above, adding the flour at the end and mixing lightly. Don't beat. 
  2. Bake until mostly firm but still slightly jiggly in the middle. 
  3. Serve in wedges with tomatoes, garlic, and herbs. 


Organization: read the recipe first and make sure you have ingredients at the right temperatures, equipment needed, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier!

Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. Use a thermometer inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that the temperature is right. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust. 

Ricotta: I buy the regular cheese and add heavy cream. But you can sometimes find ricotta with cream so you have it all in one place.

Storing baked ricotta: it lasts at least four days in the refrigerator, covered in plastic wrap or in an airtight container, and reheats beautifully. I don't recommend freezing it as it will change a lot after you defrost it, even if you warm it in the oven. 

Make ahead: it keeps well for a few days in the fridge, so you can plan ahead when making it. Simply reheat it when ready to serve. 

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: International


  • Serving Size: 1/8
  • Calories: 290
  • Sugar: 0.9 g
  • Sodium: 357.5 mg
  • Fat: 24.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.3 g
  • Fiber: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 13.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 94.6 mg