6 Delicious (and So Easy) Ways to Use Up Leftover Ricotta Cheese
I am so over food waste. With two toddlers at home, there's more than enough food hitting the trashcan on a daily basis to make me crazy, but not quite crazy enough to salvage a half-nommed burger bite.
Because of that, I've created my own kitchen serenity prayer:
God grant me serenity to accept the the food waste that MUST happen, the courage to at least try to use everything up, and the wisdom to know the difference (so we don't all get food poisoning). Amen.
This week's offender? Ricotta. I grabbed a 16 ounce tub for my baked ziti, because it's obviously baked pasta season, but only needed 12 ounces. Instead of just ricotta'ing the heck out my pasta, I stuck to the recipe, but now need to use up the rest ASAP. The longer it sits in the fridge, the more likely it is to shift towards the back, and the less likely it is to be returned to before molding.
I feel like ricotta is one of those items I end up with leftovers of no matter what, and I can't imagine I am alone in this... other people in this world make lasagna. Here are my thoughts on delicious ways to make use of your ricotta stash:
1. Easy Game Day Appetizer
Pimiento cheese is a go-to favorite in my house. It dresses up everything from celery to burgers, so finding a way to make it that gives it a creamier twist without adding more and more mayo is a must. Enter, ricotta.
2. Happy Hour
While red pizzas are my favorite comfort food, white pizzas, like the one pictured above with olive oil and pesto, feel a little more sophisticated and are extra fun to share with friends. Five ingredients, plus a little time on the grill, and you're good to go. Bonus: You can easily scale this recipe to fit however much leftover ricotta or pesto you find yourself with.
3. The Best Dessert, Ever
Can't find the ricotta in this recipe? That's because you're making it. If you aren't up for that kitchen adventure, swap in the ricotta you have on hand and proceed as directed. Cannoli serve up perfectly with lasagna, naturally.
4. This Sensible Shake
Bottoms up on the best shake you've ever had. It's basically a cannoli but without the wrapper nonsense. I know the point here is to avoid food waste, but more importantly, this thing is straight-up filling delicious. And yeah, it uses up your ricotta... along with that almost empty carton of ice cream chilling in your freezer. Boom, that's dessert on a mission.
5. Brunch is the new Black
Ricotta makes these scones 1000% times better than any dry biscuit you've ever tasted. The same mixture that adds smooth texture also replacing the traditional clotted cream, saves you time on your topping.
6. Super Easy Breakfast
If all else fails, you can literally drop that leftover ricotta on a frozen waffle with your favorite jam and dig in. I call it the "I have no excuses left" meal.