This simple appetizer, cheesy baked ricotta dip, is a warm, savory and perfect dip for parties. Quick and easy, this cheesy dip is so filling it can be a meal on its own.
Gameday ready, this fall appetizer is rich, savory, and fancy enough to be a holiday staple. You will LOVE this Baked Ricotta Dip!!
Why you will love this Baked Cheese Dip
Cheesy: If you hang out on my side dish recipe blog for a bit (or come back for future recipes) you will start to notice that I love cheese. WHO DOESN’T?? If I can add Velveeta, feta, blue cheese, or mozzarella on it, I am IN.
Unique with Traditional tastes: But there seems to be a shortage of cheese dips that do not include Rotel or Chili, so I wanted to share with you an excellent choice for a unique cheesy dip – Baked Ricotta Dip. This simple ricotta appetizer is relatively simple to make but with powerful flavors.
Satisfying: Like lasagna without the pasta, this baked ricotta dip is perfect for Ricotta cheese lovers. And with any good Italian recipe, this baked ricotta dip includes fresh basil leaves, shredded mozzarella, ricotta (obviously), and fresh grape tomatoes.
Layered up and oven baked , this hot cheesy dip goes great with a piece of toasty crusted bread like baguette slices.
- Tomatoes – Grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes or even the beautiful multicolored Wild Wonders tomatoes are a good choice. If you want to stick to the original recipe to start out, use grape tomatoes.
- Cheese – full milk Ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan.
- Seasonings – Parsley, Red Pepper Flakes, Fresh Basil, Minced Garlic, kosher Salt & black Pepper
- Additional ingredients: Aside from the listed ingredients, you will also need an egg, lemon juice, and of course something to dip into this ricotta dip, like crusty bread (fresh bread works best) toasted crackers, or large fresh croutons.
How to make Ricotta Dip
Roast the Tomatoes
Because this hot dip layers the cheese on top of the tomatoes, you must first oven roast the tomatoes in oil and garlic for the base.
If you simply add all ingredients together without doing this, the tomatoes won’t roast down properly.
Layer Ricotta Cheese
The next step in the dip recipe is to combine all the rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl (full list in the recipe card below) and layer in the baking dish and then bake. This includes all the cheeses, spices, eggs, and lemon.
The roasted tomatoes are dumped on top of the ricotta mixture and the whole safe baking dish goes into the oven.
Recipe Tips and Variations
- I like to keep my flavors simple with all the tastes of lasagna. But ricotta itself is a fairly forgiving cheese and also shines with fresh rosemary and fresh thyme as well.
- Extra fresh lemon zest on top provides a pretty look as well as some extra lemon flavor. A tsp lemon zest would work great – just shave some off a fresh lemon.
- This is an airy cheese spread as is, but its fine to add a half cup of shredded asiago cheese (or any of the Italian cheeses) mixed in for a fancy cheese pull.
- As with most Italian recipes, garlic is a must. We use minced garlic, but add adding a garlic clove, roasted garlic, garlic powder or extra bits of garlic (minced) to the recipe is always a great choice. Garlic is one of those ingredients best measured in love, kwim?
- Bread for dipping: This dip is heavy and a great dip on bread. Try your fave artisan bread, bread sticks, baguette bread, French bread, homemade pita chips or really any bread with slices. Basically for the bread enthusiast, this is an amazing appetizer option.
Why isn’t the Ricotta Gooey?
When cheese is made there are basically two parts: Curds and Whey (I know you have heard this nursery rhyme). Normal cheese takes out the curds to make cheese….Ricotta is basically leftover tiny fragments of curds. The only way to make this dip from an airy dip to a gooey dip is to add shredded cheese.
It doesn’t really meltdown as you would notice in a shredded cheese so this dip doesn’t have that natural cheese pull you get from other dips like Hot Caprese Dip.
What is the best way to serve Baked Ricotta Cheese Dip?
Hot dips like this should be made and served immediately to get the freshest and most delicious taste out of the dip. As cheese cools it can overall harden and no one wants that in a dip. As far as having the best dipper for an Italian dip, bread is the obvious choice. Either small crusted bread that is typically in deli departments or even toasted Italian Bread. Another option would be to home make large croutons for a finger dipper or use TikTok pasta chips. Croutons are fairly easy to make with just cut-up day-old bread, tossed in vegetable oil, sprinkled with garlic salt, and baked till crispy.
Last but not least, large tortellini or stuffed shell pasta on a toothpick would make a great savory and filling choice for this ricotta dip.
Is cottage cheese interchangeable for Ricotta?
This works in some recipes but NOT for this baked dip.
- Roasted Garlic Dip
- Cheesy Pepperoni Dip
- Cheeseburger Dip
- Olive Feta Dip
- Chipped Beef Dip
- Hot Onion Dip
- Feta Cheese Dip
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Comments & Reviews
I was looking for a good and easy way to use up leftover ricotta. I subbed dried basil (and stirred into the ricotta mixture) as we did not have fresh on hand due to a snowstorm. Excellent warm dip! I’m sure it will be even better the next time with fresh basil:)