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Italian Flavors: 5 Ricotta Cheese Substitutes to Try

Ricotta cheese is a delicious, versatile ingredient that can be used in sweet or savory dishes.

It’s made from whey, the liquid left over after milk has been curdled and strained.

Ricotta is a fresh cheese, which means it’s not aged like other types of cheese.

As a result, it has a mild flavor and creaminess that make it perfect for use in various recipes.

Not only is ricotta cheese a delicious and versatile ingredient, but it’s also packed with protein and calcium.

Unfortunately, ricotta cheese can be difficult to find in stores, and it can be expensive.

If you can’t find ricotta cheese or you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, there are several substitutes that will work just as well in your recipes.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the five best substitutes for ricotta cheese.

What is Ricotta Cheese?

what is ricotta cheese

Ricotta cheese is a type of cheese that originated in Italy.

It is made from the whey, or leftover liquid, of cow’s milk or sheep’s milk.

Ricotta means “recooked” in Italian, and the cheese is indeed cooked twice during the production process.

The first cooking separates the curds from the whey, while the second cooking gives the cheese its distinctive creamy texture.

Ricotta can be used in sweet or savory dishes, and it is an ingredient in many classic Italian recipes such as lasagna and cannoli.

Ricotta is also a versatile cheese for cooking, as it can be used in pies, pancakes, and even desserts.

When shopping for ricotta, be sure to look for a brand that is made with whole milk for the best flavor and texture.

This cheese can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and kept in the freezer for up to three months.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Ricotta Cheese

If you’re looking for a ricotta cheese substitute, you have several options.

From cottage cheese to goat cheese, plenty of options can be used in place of ricotta.

1 – Cream Cheese

cream cheese

Cream cheese is a type of fresh cheese that is made from milk and cream.

It has a soft, creamy texture and a mild, slightly tangy flavor.

Cream cheese can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, and it is a popular ingredient in cakes, pies, pastries, and cheesecakes.

It can also be spread on bread or used as a dip for crackers and fruit.

When cooking with cream cheese, it is important to choose a brand that is high quality and has a good flavor.

Some brands of cream cheese can be very bland or have an unpleasant aftertaste.

If you are substituting cream cheese for ricotta cheese in a recipe, it is important to note that the two kinds of cheese have different textures.

Ricotta is much lighter and fluffier than cream cheese, so it may not produce the same results.

However, both kinds of cheese can be used interchangeably in most recipes.

2 – Cottage Cheese

cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a type of fresh cheese that is made from curdled milk.

The curds are then strained and rinsed, resulting in soft, crumbly cheese.

Cottage cheese has a mild, slightly tangy flavor and can be enjoyed on its own or used in various recipes.

One of the most popular ways to enjoy cottage cheese is to mix it with fruit for a healthy snack.

It can also be used as a substitute for ricotta cheese in lasagna and other Italian dishes.

When cooked, cottage cheese forms large clumps.

For this reason, it is often best to stir it into other ingredients early in the cooking process.

This will help to distribute the cottage cheese evenly throughout the dish.

With its versatility and convenient packaging, cottage cheese is a staple in many home kitchens.

3 – Fromage Blanc Cheese

fromage blanc cheese

Fromage Blanc is a fresh cheese made from cow’s milk.

It has a mild, slightly tangy flavor and creamy texture, making it ideal for spreads and dips.

Fromage Blanc can also be used in place of ricotta cheese in recipes.

When cooking with Fromage Blanc, it is important to remember that the cheese will become firmer as it cooks.

This makes it ideal for dishes like quiche or lasagna, where you want the cheese to hold its shape.

Fromage Blanc can also be used in sweet dishes, such as cheesecake or pancakes.

The key to using Fromage Blanc successfully is to experiment and find the ways that best suit your taste.

4 – Mascarpone Cheese

mascarpone cheese

Mascarpone cheese is a smooth, creamy Italian cheese that is often used in desserts.

It has a rich flavor and a dense texture and can be used in a variety of ways.

Mascarpone cheese is made from cream that has been thickened with rennet.

It is then slowly heated until it begins to curdle.

The curds are then strained and mixed with an acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar.

This helps to thicken the mixture and give it a slightly tangy flavor.

Mascarpone cheese can be used in numerous desserts, such as tiramisu, cheesecake, or cannoli.

It can also be used to make savory dishes, such as pasta filling or lasagna.

When substituting mascarpone cheese for ricotta cheese, it is important to remember that mascarpone cheese is much richer and creamier.

As a result, you may need to use less of it to achieve the desired flavor.

5 – Sour Cream

sour cream

Sour cream is a dairy product that is made by adding bacteria to the cream.

This fermentation process gives sour cream its distinctive tangy flavor and thick, creamy texture.

Sour cream is a popular ingredient in many recipes, and it can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

It is often used as a topping for baked potatoes, tacos, and chili.

It can also be added to soups, sauces, and dips to give them a richer flavor.

In baking, sour cream can be used as a substitution for ricotta cheese.

When substituting sour cream for ricotta cheese, it is important to use a full-fat variety to prevent your baked goods from turning out dry.

So whether you are looking for a way to add some zing to your next meal or you need a ricotta cheese substitute for your baking, consider using sour cream.


In conclusion, there are a few different types of cheese that can be used as substitutes for ricotta cheese.

These include cream cheese, cottage cheese, goat cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sour cream.

Each of these cheeses has its unique flavor and texture, making it a good alternative to ricotta cheese.

When choosing a substitute for ricotta cheese, it is important to consider what type of dish you are making and what flavor profile you are trying to achieve.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Ricotta Cheese

Recipe by Andrew Gray Course: Substitutes


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  • Cream Cheese

  • Cottage Cheese

  • Fromage Blanc Cheese

  • Mascarpone Cheese

  • Sour Cream


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.

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