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This whipped ricotta cheese appetizer is so easy to make and, with a few seasonal touches, quickly becomes a showpiece dish for any party.
With ricotta’s mild flavor and creamy texture, it’s the perfect appetizer for pleasing a crowd. And we’re not just whipping it – we’re going the extra mile and baking it too!
Whether you’re hosting a big holiday party or an intimate dinner party, this decadent dip is sure to be a winner! Let’s get started.
Ingredients for this Ricotta Cheese Appetizer
Here are the simple ingredients that you’ll need for this easy appetizer:
- Ricotta cheese. I recommend whole milk ricotta over the part skim kind for this whipped ricotta recipe. Ricotta cheese is very high in moisture to begin with, and the part skim variety tends to become watery when baked.
- Apple butter. Find this premade in the grocery store or try my easy homemade recipe here.
- Pepitas. These are hulled pumpkin seeds. They taste lighter and crunchier than traditional pumpkin seeds. You can find them in most grocery stores, already salted. Yum!
- Pomegranate seeds. Also known as arils, these ruby red gems add beautiful pops of color and tart flavor to whatever you’re serving.
- Fresh sage leaves. We’re going to fry them in a little bit of butter. If you’ve never had fried sage before, let me say in advance that you’re welcome.
How to Make This Whipped Ricotta Cheese Appetizer
Whip the Ricotta
The easiest way to whip ricotta is in a food processor. Add some salt, press start and in literally 30 seconds you’ll have creamy, fluffy cheese.
Alternatively, whip your ricotta and salt with an electric hand mixer, or in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment on high speed.
Bake the Ricotta
I like to sprinkle cracker black pepper on top before it goes into the oven. The cheese will become slightly browned around the edges and set in the middle.
Fry the Sage Leaves
While the ricotta is baking, fry the sage leaves.
Melt a little butter in a pan and let the leaves sizzle. They’ll turn a darker, brownish-green color and start to curl up.
That’s when you’ll know that they’re done. Remove the sage leaves onto a paper towel.
Dress it Up
Once the ricotta comes out of the oven, it’s time to make it party perfect. Swirl some apple butter through the cheese and sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds and pepitas.
Crush some of the fried sages leaves with your fingers and scatter them over the top of the dip.
How to Serve this Ricotta Cheese Appetizer
Serve this ricotta appetizer with plenty of dippers like crusty baguette slices, pita chips and toasted slices of Italian bread.
Seasonal fruits and vegetables like apple slices and carrots are nice options to offer guests who are watching their carbohydrate intake.
Variations on this Creamy Ricotta Cheese Appetizer
The best part about ricotta is that it’s a super versatile ingredient, lending itself to both sweet and savory dishes. Have fun with this delicious appetizer with these variations:
1. Fresh herbs. In addition to sage, fresh rosemary and fresh thyme are both seasonal, earthy herbs that lend the best flavor to this creamy dip.
2. Add some sweetness. For those who like a sweeter dish, try a drizzle of honey, a swirl of pumpkin butter, or a splash of balsamic glaze in addition to, or instead of, the apple butter.
3. Make it savory. Swap out the apple butter for extra-virgin olive oil, lemon zest and extra black pepper. Kick it up with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
How to Store this Ricotta Cheese Appetizer
Not only is this the easiest appetizer to make, it’s equally easy to store. Simply transfer any leftover cheese to an airtight container. It will keep in the refrigerator for several days.
Enjoy the leftovers cold or reheat the cheese in the oven until it’s golden brown.
When you make this whipped (and baked!) ricotta cheese appetizer, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more seasonal appetizer recipes, try these:
- Baked Brie Recipe with Fig Jam, Pecans and Rosemary
- Easy and Creamy 3 Ingredient Artichoke Dip
- Harvest Cheese Board
Easy Whipped Ricotta Cheese Appetizer (Baked Dip)
- 32 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup apple butter
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 1/2 cup fresh sage leaves
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the ricotta cheese and salt into a food processor. Whip until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Smooth the cheese with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle black pepper, if desired.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until edges are slightly browned.
- While the cheese is baking, make the fried sage: melt butter in a small nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the sage leaves, frying until they become aromatic and curl up. Remove onto a paper towel.
- Remove from oven. Swirl in the apple butter. Top with fried sage, pomegranate seeds and pepitas.
- Serve with crusty bread for dipping.