Ricotta Pie Recipe


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This Italian pie recipe makes the best sweet ricotta pie! It’s a very popular Italian dessert for Easter. The creamy ricotta filling is flavored with lemon zest and almond extract, which pairs perfectly with the rich pie crust.

Ricotta Pie

This ricotta pie is so delicious and refreshing that it’s hard to stop after only one slice. From the thick, buttery, flaky crust, to the flavorful creamy filling, this pie will soon become a family favorite.

Though this is a recipe traditionally served for Easter, I enjoy it any time of the year. It has a delicious rustic quality and incredible flavor from the combination of lemon zest, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

This easy ricotta pie is quick and easy to make, and it’s perfectly sweetened with a combination of sugar and honey. It’s not too sweet – just sweet enough.

I love topping it with some fresh raspberries and blueberries that are brushed with warmed apricot preserves. The preserves add a beautiful shiny glaze, and the fresh berries add some freshness to this deliciously creamy and decadent pie. You could also top it with sliced strawberries or peaches.

This Italian recipe is the perfect dessert to serve alongside your Easter ham with ham gravy and your green bean casserole with bacon. It really is just so good!


Ricotta: Ricotta has both a creamy texture and a mild flavor, which makes it perfect for pie filling. I recommend using whole milk ricotta for the best results.

Ricotta does naturally have a grainy texture though. If you would like the texture to be smoother, you can blend it in a food processor until it’s smooth. If your ricotta is watery, be sure to drain it through a colander before using it.

Cream: Heavy whipping cream makes the pie filling richer and creamier. The high fat content is important, so I don’t recommend substituting it with half and half or milk.

Honey: This is one of the sweeteners we’re using in this pie. The additional moisture adds to the creamy texture of the filling, and it adds a bit of complexity to the flavor of the sweetness in this pie.

Sugar: We’re using granulated sugar to add sweetness to both the crust and the filling. It’s important to use a combination of honey and sugar to get the right flavor and texture for this pie filling. Sugar has a more straightforward sweet taste and it doesn’t add any liquid to the filling, which helps achieve the right flavor and texture.

Flour: This forms the base of our pie crust. I recommend using all-purpose flour because it has the right amount of protein in it. In a pinch you could probably use cake flour, but I wouldn’t recommend using bread flour because it would likely create a tough pie crust from the extra protein.

Butter: Butter adds fat and flavor to the pie crust. As it melts during baking it also creates steam pockets, which helps create a crust that doesn’t feel too dense.

Eggs: Eggs add richness and moisture to this pie, and they also help the filling bind together so it sets properly.

Salt: A bit of salt is used as a flavor enhancer and to balance out the sweetness of the other ingredients.

Lemon Zest: This adds a bit of a bright and fresh flavor, which balances out the other rich flavors in this pie. Ricotta and lemon are a classic flavor pairing that work really well together.

Vanilla and Almond Extract: The combination of vanilla and almond extract adds a delicious depth of flavor to the pie. Using just vanilla extract would create a pie with less flavor, and using just almond extract would be too overpowering of a flavor.

Cinnamon and Nutmeg: These warming spices add tons of flavor to this pie and help round out the flavor profile.

Toppings: Fresh raspberries, fresh blueberries, warmed apricot preserves, and sliced almonds add a beautiful touch, lots of flavor, and some lovely freshness to balance out the flavors in this pie.

The labeled ingredients for ricotta pie.

How To Make Ricotta Pie

Make the pie crust: In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)

Adding flour, salt, and sugar to a large mixing bowl, and then whisking together.

Add in cold, cubed butter and blend it into the dry ingredients until it reaches the texture of coarse crumbs. 

Adding cold cubed butter to the flour mixture, and then cutting with a pastry cutter until reaching a coarse crumble.

In a separate bowl, whisk together an egg yolk and ice-cold water, then pour this into your flour mixture.

Adding egg yolk and cold water to a small mixing bowl, and then whisking.

Mix until a dough forms, shape it into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and let it chill in the refrigerator.

Adding the egg mixture to the flour, and then mixing together before forming into a ball.

Prepare the filling: If your ricotta cheese is watery, drain it first. In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, sugar, honey, eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until smooth.

Adding ricotta, sugar, eggs, dry spices, and extracts to the mixing bowl, and then mixing together.

Stir in the heavy cream and lemon zest.

Stirring in cream and lemon zest into the pie mixture in a large mixing bowl.

Assemble the pie: Roll out your chilled dough into a 12-inch diameter circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer the dough to a deep dish pie plate, pressing it into the bottom and sides. Trim or fold any excess dough and crimp the edges. Pour your ricotta filling into the crust, smoothing the surface with a spatula. Cover the crust with a pie shield or aluminum foil.

Pouring the pie filling into a pie crust, and then covering the crust with a pie shield.

Bake the pie: Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are golden brown and the filling is set but slightly wobbly in the center. Let the pie cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate to fully set the filling.

Add the toppings: Arrange fresh raspberries and blueberries on top of the pie. Brush the fruit with warmed apricot preserves for a glossy finish, and sprinkle toasted almonds over the fruit. Serve the pie chilled or at room temperature, as per your preference. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.

Baking the pie in the oven, and then cooling before garnishing with berries and apricot jam.

Pro Tips

  • Use cold butter: Using cold butter to make a pie crust is a crucial step. The cold butter melts when it’s baked, making steam pockets. That’s what creates a light and delicious pie crust.
  • Drain the ricotta: Different brands of ricotta can have different amounts of water. If your ricotta is watery, it’s very important to drain it first. Too much liquid in the pie filling can stop the pie from setting properly and make it runny.
  • Chill the dough: Chilling the pie dough gives the butter a chance to harden, which will get the crust to hold its shape after you roll it out.
  • Use a pie shield: This pie crust is prone to burning. It’s very important to use a pie shield (or some aluminum foil) so that the crust doesn’t brown too much or burn.
  • Let the pie fully set: This pie needs time to set before you slice it, so it’s important that you don’t rush this process and that you give it a chance to fully cool.
An overhead image of a whole garnished ricotta pie in pie dish with napkin underneath.

Alternative Ingredients

  • You can make this pie even more decadent by adding 1 1/2 cups of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. Mix half of the chocolate chips into the ricotta filling before transferring it to the pie crust, then sprinkle the other half on top of the assembled pie before baking it.
  • If you don’t want to make a homemade pie crust, or if you’re short on time, feel free to use a store bought pie crust. This won’t be the traditional Italian pasta frolla (or sweet shortcut pastry) that this pie is known for, but if you’re really in a pinch, you can use it.

What Does Pie With Ricotta Filling Taste Like?

Ricotta pie is absolutely delicious. It’s creamy and it’s not overly sweet. It’s less sweet than a traditional custard pie, and it has a rich, dense filling that almost reminds me of cheesecake. This ricotta pie is flavored with lemon zest, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and those flavors pair together to add warmth and brightness that perfectly balance out the creamy filling.

A slice of golden brown buttery crust pie garnished with fresh berries on top.

Why Do You Drain Ricotta Cheese?

Since ricotta is naturally a wet cheese, it can cause the filling to be too wet, which would make the crust soggy, the filling not set properly, and make it fall apart when you try to slice it. Whether or not you need to drain it all depends on your particular brand of ricotta and whether or not it looks wet when you open it. If it looks wet at all, it’s best to err on the side of caution and drain it before making the filling.

Leftovers And Storage

Store completely cooled leftovers in an airtight container (or covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

A slice of ricotta pie served on a white dish with pie dish in background.

Can You Freeze Cooked Ricotta Pie?

Yes! To freeze this pie, first wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 2 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before you plan to serve it.

Keep In Touch

I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime

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A Pinterest pin image with a picture of ricotta pie with title text at the top.

Pie Recipes

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our dessert recipes! Some reader favorites are:

The best ricotta pie recipe.

BEST Italian Ricotta Pie Recipe

This is the best sweet ricotta pie! It’s a very popular Italian dessert for Easter. Creamy ricotta filling is flavored with lemon zest.
5 from 1 vote
Servings: 8
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Resting Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 6 hours
Print Pin Rate


Italian Pie Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter cold and cubed (1 stick)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup ice-cold water

Ricotta Pie Filling:

  • 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese drained if watery
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest


  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 Tablespoon apricot preserves warmed
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped almonds toasted



  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
  • Add the cold cubed butter to the dry ingredients, and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to incorporate the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and ice-cold water. Pour the mixture into the flour mixture, and mix until the dough starts to come together.
  • Transfer the dough onto a clean surface, and gently shape it into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.


  • If your ricotta is watery, drain it through a colander or cheesecloth first.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, granulated sugar, honey, eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix until well combined and smooth.
  • Gently stir in the heavy cream and lemon zest until combined.


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Roll out the chilled pie dough on a lightly floured surface into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.
  • Transfer the dough to a 9-inch deep dish pie plate, and gently press it into the bottom and up the sides of the dish. Trim or fold under any excess dough and crimp the edges.
  • Pour the ricotta filling into the pie crust, and smooth the surface with a spatula. Cover the crust with a pie shield or a piece of aluminum foil.
  • Bake the pie for 45-50 minutes, removing the pie shield 20 minutes before it finishes baking. The pie is finished baking when the edges are golden brown and the filling is set but still slightly wobbly in the center.
  • Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour. Then, refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight to fully set the filling.


  • Before serving, arrange the fresh raspberries and blueberries on top of the pie.
  • Brush the fruit with the warmed apricot preserves to add a glossy finish.
  • Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the fruit, and serve the pie chilled or at room temperature, based on your preference.


Calories: 486kcal | Carbohydrates: 54.3g | Protein: 11.2g | Fat: 25.8g | Fiber: 1.7g | Sugar: 31g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

I hope you enjoy this Italian ricotta pie as much as I do! It’s the perfect dessert to serve for Easter, or really anytime that you’re craving a delicious, creamy pie.

The best ricotta pie recipe.

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