Baked Ricotta & Wisconsin Cheese Giveaway

baked ricotta

Can we talk about the Madness? Uconn upsetting Michigan State? Kentucky’s last-second 3-pointer for the win? The Wisconsin-Arizona overtime nail biter?

I sound like I know what I’m talking about, right? I don’t. But thanks to theSkimm, I am up-to-date on all the most important goings-on in the world. (Really, you should subscribe, it might change your life.)

You also should make this baked ricotta for any guests you might find at your house watching the Final Four this weekend. As is the case with so many baked cheese dips, the success of this one can be attributed to the synergistic reaction that takes place in the oven, the final melty product amounting to so much more than the sum of its herbs, spices, and cheeses. In other words: cheese is good, melted cheese is better. At least when placed before a crew of ravenous, raucous, raging sports fans.

Here, lots of fresh lemon zest, so often a good complement to ricotta, adds brightness while garlic and crushed red pepper flakes add zing. It’s a snap to throw together — can be mixed up the night before, in fact — and bakes into a thyme-flecked, bubbling mass with hot oil sputtering at the surface. Pick up a loaf of good bread and call your menu planning done. Warning: your guests might never leave.

In honor of the Final Four, Wisconsin Cheese will send one of you a Triple Play Dip Server and a selection of artisan Wisconsin Cheeses. Leave a comment below. Share your favorite party dip for a chance to win. UPDATE: Giveaway is closed. Winner is Lisa Brown.

ingredients for baked ricotta

all mixed up

ready for the oven

just-baked herbed ricotta

Baked Ricotta with Lemon & Thyme

Serves 8 as an appetizer


  • 16 oz. Wisconsin Ricotta
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced or minced
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Wisconsin Parmesan
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • fresh bread for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Spoon into 1 large (about the size of a 9-inch oven-safe skillet) or several small gratin dishes. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until bubbling and just slightly golden.
  3. Let cool briefly. Serve with fresh bread.

baked ricotta on bread


  1. This is very strange, just last night we were talking about moving to Wisconsin. And there is nothin’ wrong with baked cheese!

  2. Your real sour cream and onion dip. I make it every time I go to a party. Always a huge hit. Might mix it up this weekend tho. This looks TOO good!!

  3. Wow, that looks delicious. My favorite dip is a bean and cream cheese dip that is so unhealthy but incredible, I only make it for large crowds so I’m certain not to have leftovers. :)

  4. My favorite party dip is decidedly low-brow: buffalo chicken dip, which employs so much hot sauce and canned chicken. Yick/yum. I think some Minnesota Cheese would really elevate my dip game!

  5. Gotta love cheese! I’d like to figure out a way to put a grilled cheese sandwich in a dip! Aside from that, I’m a big fan of artichoke dip with lots of cream cheese and red pepper flakes, gooey and a little hit of heat!

    P.S. Planted the asparagus bed this last weekend, maybe I could add that to a dip in a couple of years! lol! XO!

  6. My favorite is goat cheese queso dip with fresh corn off the cob … but this ricotta looks like it could give my queso a run for its money!

  7. That looks DELICIOUS. My favorite is a very rich hot artichoke dip recipe I got from a friend in Connecticut. Can’t go wrong with CHEESE!! Thanks for the giveaway! Blessings!

  8. This baked ricotta looks delicious! Cheese makes everything better. Some of my favorite dips to eat with friends are guacamole or 7 layer taco dip.

  9. Baked ricotta is one of my favorite appetizers for dinner parties! You can vary it so much with different herbs, adding sun dried tomatoes, I feel that I’ve never made two quite exactly the same

    Baked feta is also not bad, although its sharpness needs to be mellowed down, to my taste

    Gorgeous photos!

  10. Well, I think the recipe you just posted might be my new favourite! I do either a hot artichoke dip, or if I’m trying to be sensitive to vegans, I have a really great muhamarra dip (which is a roasted red pepper and walnut dip).

  11. Goodness, this looks divine.!!!

    I think it could be easily embellished upon. Using it as a filling for meats came to mind. Adding in some of olives would be right up my palate.

    My favourite dip is Layered Mediterranean Dip served with pita crisps.
    In addition, I think that this ricotta recipe would make a interesting layer. Naturally, unbaked.

  12. Virtuous – yogurt based green goddess or ranch with veggies
    Non Virtuous – Queso with salty crunchy tortilla chips
    Sinful – Onion Dip (real sour cream and lipton soup mix) with Ridged potato chips. If it’s there, that’s where you’ll find me parked with dribbles of dip on my chin. Such an attractive look.

    • Laura, you are hilarious! Love the sound of all of your dips. There is nothing like queso dip; no sub for ridged potato chips; and nothing is more addictive to me than green goddess dressing. Yum!

  13. I like slow-cooker dips. One of my favorites is taco dip — it’s basically cream cheese mixed with salsa, taco seasoning, and shredded cheese.

  14. My arteries are closing up as we speak!



    Herb Cream Cheese
    1 8 ounces package cream cheese, softened
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1/2 chopped mild herbs (basil or cilantro or a bit of sage)
    Salt and pepper

    Egg Salad
    6 hard boiled eggs, peeled, chopped
    1/2 cup homemade or prepared mayonnaise
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    Salt and pepper

    1/4 cup chopped chives
    1/4 cup chopped red onions
    1/4 cup capers
    4 ounces caviar (grocery-store-bought; this is white trash food)

    Frozen pie crust, baked to directions (optional)


    For the herb cream cheese: In a small mixing bowl, blend all of the ingredients together until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. For the egg salad: In mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together and mix until incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. To assemble, spread the cream cheese mixture over the pie crust ( OR, just spread it in the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan). Spread the egg salad over the cream cheese leaving a 2-inch border. Spoon the caviar in the center of the tart. Garnish with the chives, red onions and capers in rings around the caviar.

  15. This looks wonderful and will definitely have to try. A lot better than the usual Velveeta & Rotel dip with chips. This along with a fresh baguette and some wine – perfect.

  16. OH that cheese looks so good! I don’t know if I have a favorite party dip–I have never met one I didn’t like! Some of the commenters’ crab dip mentions sound fantastic right now….

  17. Your dip looks amazing!!!
    Who doesn’t love anything with cheese.
    Yesterday made a artichoke and spinach parmesan/mozzarella cheese dip that
    was so tasty….had to impress the in-laws!

  18. Hi Alexandra!

    This looks absolutely fantastic. My boyfriend is a huge sports fan and he will be so excited to have this over the weekend for the final four :)
    I just started following your blog about a month ago- and it is amazing! My preserved lemon project has been so much fun. I’m pretty sure I’ve pulled a recipe from your blog for dinner at least five nights this last week. Needless to say I have a happy stomach!
    Keep up the great work! (also, bon apetit has a great recipe for homemade ricotta- I’m using this dish to take it for a spin)

    • You are too nice, Kaitlin! So happy to hear all of this! And you made preserved lemons — fun! Love making homemade ricotta. I think I saw that recipe in the most recent BA, which was such a good on! Ive made three recipes already, all of which were great successes.

  19. I love a good artichoke dip–my mom’s recipe, especially! But this baked ricotta looks amazing…next on the list of dips to make in my house!

  20. I think I’d have to pick french onion dip. Preferably the homemade kind but I’ll even take the soup mix version. Actually, I love almost any dip except the one I’ve named “vomit dip” that my sisters in law make. It looks like the name. I think it’s pepperoni or something all ground up but I just can’t.

  21. Usually some version of hummus is what I serve if I’m thinking dips :) Little-bird-eater ladies always like it with fresh veggies and I like the leftovers the next day on a sandwich. (I also recently found the secret to super-smooth hummus from my kitchen — swapping the food processor for the high-powered blender! MAN what a difference.)

    This ricotta is positively lovely and sounds so delicious! My secret wish is that….. I KNOW!….. that my husband watched football. So that I could have an excuse to cook lots of snacks for our friends! Your house sounds noisy and fun these days :)

  22. I’m making this dip ASAP!

    My favorite party dip is a tie between smoked salmon spread and hot melty spinach artichoke dip. Yum!

  23. This looks amazing, I am making it for my next potluck!

    Mediterranean Bruschetta is dang delicious too and a usual hit! You throw together artichokes, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta, basil, lemon juice, oil, and salt and pepper. Then you bake it bubbly and serve on bread!

  24. My family makes a layered mexican dip with refried beans, seasoned sour cream, guacamole, diced tomatoes, onions, shredded cheese and olives. Spread on a platter to show each layer, it may not be the most authentic dish, but it sure is tasty! I can’t wait to try your baked cheese dish. Yum!

    • Yum! Sounds SO good. Do you cook the white beans yourself? I am obsessed with za’atar these days. And do you leave the dip kind of chunky or do you purée it smooth? Totally want to try this.

  25. Clam dip. It’s just softened cream cheese, canned clams with their juice, and a little worcetishire (however you spell it) and lemon. Mush it all together and let it meld altogether overnight, With Fritos!

  26. I make a dip out of frozen artichokes and (yes!) Gruyere cheese that is pretty awesome actually. Your Ricotta looks wonderful!

  27. Hi, Alexandra!

    Great post! So yummy! Hmmmmm. My favorite dip? Good one. So many dips…so little time….Okay. Got it.

    Spinach & Artichoke is my very favorite dip followed closely by guacamole and spicy salsa!

    Very warmest regards,

    Patti :)

    P.S. I still make that awesome peasant bread (my sourdough twist on it) every other day! :)

  28. Baba Ganoush is definitely one of my favorite dips! that nice smokey flavor from charring the eggplants before roasting it in the oven, yummm. i love serving them with homemade pita triangles. cant resist and guaranteed to be gone in minutes!

  29. Wow, that looks wonderful and I can’t wait to try it! Being from Wisconsin, I am a huge Wisconsin cheese fan and, yes, we will be watching the Final Four game with our entire family and cheering on the Badgers. My favorite dip is caramelized sweet onions mixed with Jarlsberg, a little mayo, cayenne and then baked to gooey deliciousness.

  30. Everything about WI rocks!…the cheese, Door County, the Packers, the Badgers and the people…Thanks for the great recipe!

  31. So cliche, but hot artichoke dip is a major weakness for me! Really anything hot & cheesy– can’t wait to try the baked ricotta!

  32. It’s got to be my homemade guacamole dip. My husband says it’s the best. However, to be honest, I’m a cheese person, hands-down. I’m new to your site and I absolutely love the great recipe directions and photos! Thanks!!

  33. My favorite to serve is either a (cheese version) Hot Crab Dip or a (non cheese version) Caramelized Onion Dip. Mmmmm!

  34. Gotta love hot artichoke dip with some tangy parmesan cheese and lots of garlic! Although a BIG bowl of fresh guacamole can’t be beat for summer time dipping!
    Thanks for this new recipe, Ali; we will certainly give it a go! We’ve loved every one of your recipes we’ve tried so far!

  35. That one with the black beans, some corn, a handful of your favorite cheese cheese, 2-3 of your favorite peppers, a couple frozen chicken breasts, and an eight ounce block of cream cheese. I don’t its name. But I make it a lot.

  36. This was phenomenal. The oil on top was (at first) unappealing visually. I’m not sure why, but I just felt that it would be greasy. To my pleasant surprise, it was velvety, soft, and rich. Plus the oil rescinded into the dip itself afterward. I made this as an appetizer to the butter-roasted tomato sauce you posted from Bon Appetit as well, and it was such a crowd pleaser. Definitely making the ricotta dip for Easter this year!

    • So happy to hear this, Elizabeth! Funny, my husband thought the same thing upon first look: greasy. But it doesn’t taste greasy, right? So happy you liked it as well as the butter-roasted tomato sauce — we love that one, too. So easy to throw together.

  37. This looks amazing! So far my favorite dip is one I dreamed up with sour cream, lemon pepper, Beau Monde and Bon Appetit spice mix. Works with chips, veggies and even artichokes.

  38. Oh, this looks so good! I love crab dip, smoked fish dip, hummus, baba ghanoush, anything hot and cheesy. . . I’m all about dips!

  39. We mix avocado with ricotta for a guacamole that’s a little lighter in texture. Also dig in to baked artichoke jalapeño dip with baguettes, celery, carrots or chips.

  40. I had a dip at a restaurant once that we tried to replicate at home. it is cream cheese mixed with jarred roasted red peppers. Be sure to fully drain the peppers first or it will be too watery.

  41. This dip looks fantastic. So good I can smell it cooking!
    I like a nice crab dip or a homemade chicken liver pate mold unmolded and covered with a coating of sour cream.

  42. Can’t wait to try this ‘dip’, sounds fantastic! My current favorite is hummus w/ roasted red peppers & garlic (I always add extra red pepper flakes & chopped fresh garlic – I love it spicy). good with veges, wheat crackers, bread, etc.


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