Meyer Lemon Baked Ricotta

Meyer Lemon Baked Ricotta - A simple yet elegant hot appetizer that is perfect for parties. Simply stir together ricotta cheese, Meyer lemon zest and juice, herbs and seasoning, and pop it into the oven! | foxeslovelemons.com

While I had an amazing trip to Italy last fall, I have one major regret: I didn’t eat any cannoli there! Can you believe it? I went all the way there, and never got to try the sweet-ricotta-cheese-filled-fried-pastry delicacy in its homeland. Granted, I had a huge list of foods I wanted to try, including cacio e pepe, gelato, suppli, oven-fired pizza, bistecca alla Fiorentina, ribbolita and more gelato, so there just wasn’t time (or room in my stomach) for everything.

Meyer Lemon Baked Ricotta - A simple yet elegant hot appetizer that is perfect for parties. Simply stir together ricotta cheese, Meyer lemon zest and juice, herbs and seasoning, and pop it into the oven! | foxeslovelemons.com

With no transition other than “ricotta!,” let’s talk about this fun little party appetizer. I’ve been noticing baked ricotta, whipped ricotta and other varieties of ricotta dip more and more on restaurant menus lately. Ricotta cheese is such a perfect starting point for a dip because it has a luscious creamy flavor on its own, but is also endlessly adaptable to whatever flavors you want to add to it.

With Meyer lemons nearing the end of their season, I may have bought too many Meyer lemons this week. To the tune of a HUGE bowl of them that is staring me in the face and making me feel guilty every time I open the fridge. I might need to make another batch of Candied Meyer Lemon Cookies, and it looks like this baked ricotta was destined to be flavored with Meyer lemon, too.

Meyer Lemon Baked Ricotta - A simple yet elegant hot appetizer that is perfect for parties. Simply stir together ricotta cheese, Meyer lemon zest and juice, herbs and seasoning, and pop it into the oven! | foxeslovelemons.com

For this Meyer Lemon Baked Ricotta recipe, I stirred Meyer lemon zest and juice into a generous portion of ricotta. I added a little spice with both Dijon mustard and a pinch of cayenne pepper (red pepper flakes would work well, too). For an herbal note, I used chopped rosemary and thyme. I prefer fresh herbs for this dish, but if you wish to use dried herbs instead, simply use half the amount that is called for.

I transfer the mixture to my adorable mini baking dishes that I am always itching to use, but one medium baking dish or several oven-safe ramekins would work just as well. If you’re making a large batch for a party, you could even use a small cast-iron skillet! Bake the mixture until bubbly, then finish with a drizzle of olive oil, some freshly cracked black pepper, and flaky sea salt. Serve this Meyer Lemon Baked Ricotta with crostini, crackers or vegetables.

Meyer Lemon Baked Ricotta - A simple yet elegant hot appetizer that is perfect for parties. Simply stir together ricotta cheese, Meyer lemon zest and juice, herbs and seasoning, and pop it into the oven! | foxeslovelemons.com

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13 comments

  1. Whenever I’m in Boston, I make sure to go to Little Italy to get a cannoli (or five). Your culinary voyage to Italy sounds amazing. The more I hear about the country, the more I want to go. 🙂 This lemon baked ricotta…I’m swooning. I’d probably eat the entire tray by myself with wine. 

    • YES. The cannoli from Mike’s Pastry in Boston will probably always be my standard for cannoli. Where do you buy cannoli in Boston, Erin?

      And no judgement on wanting to eat the entire tray. Especially if there’s wine 😉

  2. Your lemon ricotta looks so yummy!! And simple to prepare! I can definitely see serving it as an appetizer at a dinner party.

  3. What a fantastic(ally simple) appetizer! Do you have a favorite brand of ricotta? I’ve been trying different ones from time to time but haven’t found one I really love yet (besides making my own – but often I’m too pressed for time).

    • Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you the name of the brand I usually buy. I know it’s in a blue tub. It’s nothing amazing, I’ll leave it at that. I would love to find a really GREAT brand, so keep me posted if you find one 🙂

  4. That looks so good. I had something very similar recently at a great Italian restaurant. I didn’t even think about it was something I could make myself and serve at home. Sometimes, I just overlook the obvious. Thanks for sharing this because I will be making it. I will play around with the spices though until I have just exactly what I want. Don’t we all do that, yours looks so good though that will be the first one I try, but I have to admit I’m not crazy about lemon in it. I do like lemons but there’s just something about the spices and the lemon together that I can’t seem to get a taste for. But, I will give it a try. Thanks

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Debra. The best part of this recipe is that it is really a blank canvas to add (or not add) whatever spices or flavors you want! I hope yours turns out perfect!

  5. Gotta love this ricotta!!!

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

  6. We didn’t get to have any cannolis either in Italy! There’s just so much food! Although I did have sfogliatella on our first day, which I felt like was much more a priority over a cannoli. I love warm ricotta and over course meyer lemons.  I could inhale one of those cocottes easily. 

    • I know, SO much food, it’s just insane. You’d have to be there a month to try every “famous” food. Not to mention, you’d have to travel around to all the different regions of Italy!

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