This homemade ricotta pesto is a delicious creamy spin on the classic. Mix into pasta, proteins, or serve as a dip! It’s quick, easy, and packed with flavour.
Homemade pesto is one of my favourite sauces to slather on almost everything. When combined with ricotta cheese you get the most spectacular dip. It’s creamy, nutty, herby and all around divine in flavour. This ricotta pesto such a great way to elevate the flavour of any dish. Think ricotta pesto pasta, creamy pesto scrambled eggs or serve as a simple dip. The options are endless!
Adding ricotta to pesto makes things extra creamy and creates a slightly different flavour profile. Rather than a “sauce” it becomes an incredibly delicious cheesy basil dip. Plus, the ricotta adds additional protein and calcium! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.
Ingredients youll need:
All you need to make this easy ricotta pesto recipe are 7 simple ingredients:
- Ricotta cheese: use a good quality ricotta from the deli or one that comes in a basket.
- Basil: Fresh sweet basil, leaves only as the stems can be bitter.
- Garlic: a nonnegotiable must – especially for garlic lovers
- Pine nuts: toasted pine it’s are the key to making this dip. Whether you opt for walnuts, pistachios, cashews, etc, be sure to toast them before hand.
- Olive oil: not much is needed here, mainly just for serving.
- Parmesan cheese: Pecorino is a very good sub and close in taste. Some traditional pesto recipes combine these two Italian cheeses.
- Lemon juice: Adds a bit of acidy to cut the richness of the cheeses.
How to make ricotta pesto
Blend: Add all ingredients to a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend until just combined, adjusting salt and pepper to taste. For a thinner consistency, add a splash of water or extra olive oil and blend again.
Serve: add to a bowl, top with extra toasted pine nuts, chopped basil and drizzle with olive oil. Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container in fridge.
Recipe Modifications & Swaps
- Switch the herbs: feel free to use any fresh herb such as parsley, mint or greens like spinach, kale, or even carrot tops. Combine greens, too. For instance, if you are short on basil, round out with some rocket (arugula.
- Substitute different nuts: you can use any nut/ seed in this recipe. I personally used toasted pine nuts, but of my other favourites for pesto are pistachios, walnuts or almonds.
- Swap the acid: If you don’t have any lemons, either try white vinegar or white wine vinegar as an acid to balance the richness of the cheeses.
How long will ricotta pesto last?
You can store the pesto dip in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Ways to serve:
There are so many things that go with this pesto with ricotta! Here are some of my favourite pairings:
- Pasta: Make ricotta pesto pasta! Stir it into a bowl of your favourite pasta with some reserved pasta water to thin, for a yummy, creamy sauce.
- Proteins: I love adding pesto to scrambled eggs. It also goes great with baked chicken and salmon.
- Grains and veggies: stir some pesto into cooked quinoa or rice, or dollop on roasted veggies for extra flavour.
- As a spread: I love using pesto as a toast spread or in a wrap.
- As a dip: Serve some crackers, or crunchy raw veggies, like cucumbers, carrot sticks or celery.
What is pesto?
Pesto is a bright green herbaceous Italian sauce. A basic traditional pesto uses crushed garlic, pine nuts, basil, olive oil, and hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano (parmesan).
What is the ratio of pesto to pasta?
For every box (1 lb/ 500g) of linguine or spaghetti, use 2/3 cup of pesto and about 1/3 cup of reserved pasta water.
What type of ricotta cheese is best to use?
I prefer to use fresh ricotta in a basket from the deli. It’s thicker in texture and tastes so much better than ricotta in a container on the supermarket shelves.
Can I make pesto without a food processor?
Yes! I used my vitamix but you can also use a mortar and pestle to grind the ingredients together. Stir the ricotta is last.
Other dip recipes to try
If you try this ricotta pesto recipe or have a question, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
This homemade ricotta pesto is a delicious creamy spin on the classic. Mix into pasta, proteins, for serve as a dip! It’s quick, easy and packed with flavour.
- 2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
- 2–3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts*
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt + pepper, to taste
- Add all ingredients to a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend until just combined, adjusting salt and pepper to taste. For a thinner consistency, add a splash of water or extra olive oil and blend again.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in fridge. See notes for serving ideas.
- Storage: Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
- Serving ideas: Stir through pasta, add to scrambled eggs, top on baked salmon/ chicken, stir into cooked grains or roasted vegetables, use as a sandwich spread or enjoy as dip.
Keywords: ricotta, pesto, dip, basil