With five simple ingredients needed, this Smoked Ricotta is the perfect appetizer or starter. Not only is it great for dipping, but it can also be used as a spread on burgers, sandwiches, pizza, and more! Now is the time to treat yourself to this easy smoked cheese recipe.
People always ask us how we come up with recipes like this one. And I have to agree that sometimes when we're thinking up things to cook on the smoker or grill, I even find myself questioning our choices.
The good news is that when you smoke most food items, all it does is enhance the natural flavors and make things taste better. I've yet to come across something that I would call a "fail," and my taste-testers (aka the family) agree.
This simple smoky ricotta recipe is actually one of my favorites to make. It's because it's easy and versatile, and it's fun to see how everyone chooses to eat it. Some dip crackers, some dip veggies - and I've even had a few just dip their spoon right in for a bite.
If you're a fan of smoked cheeses, be sure to check out my Smoked Cream Cheese for another delicious and addictive recipe.
Ricotta cheese - Use your favorite brand of soft ricotta cheese. It normally comes in a plastic container. I prefer whole milk ricotta but used low fat in these photos because my store was out of full-fat ricotta.
Olive oil - This is my preference, but coconut oil or avocado oil would be good as well.
Chopped fresh herbs - Have fun here. You can do as little or as much as you want. Chopped chives and cilantro are always delicious.
Salt and black pepper - For taste - but you do want to use coarse salt, so it packs a bit more flavor.
How to make Smoked Ricotta
While this does take 60 minutes of smoking time, it's easy to prep and be patient for.
Step One: Preheat the smoker to 225.
Step Two: Spread the ricotta in a pie plate.
Step Three: Smoke for 60 minutes.
To make this into a dip:
Step One: Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the herbs, salt, and pepper.
Step Two: Serve with raw vegetables, crostini, or crackers.
Spices and herbs - Add garlic, onion powder, thyme, or other seasonings to change up the flavor.
Oil - Olive oil is what I've used the most, but avocado oil is a great option as well. Coconut oil is a good option, but it will add a semi-sweet flavor, so that is something to think about when you're making this recipe.
Ricotta Salata - You can also smoke the firmer type of ricotta known as ricotta Salata. It is a firmer, drier cheese. After you smoke ricotta Salata you can crumble it, make slices or cubes.
Can I smoke homemade ricotta?
Absolutely. I am still a novice when it comes to cheesemaking but ricotta is definitely a great one to try when you are beginning to learn to make cheese. All you need is milk, salt, and white vinegar or fresh lemon juice. Here is a great tutorial on making ricotta.
What can smoked ricotta be served with?
This recipe is really versatile. You can add cherry tomatoes and turn it into a type of bruschetta, or even put it on top of pasta as well.
If you're a fan of eggplant, this could also be great adding to some smoked eggplant as well.
Do I have to cover the cheese while it's in the smoker?
Nope, the instructions are pretty simple. You don't have to cover it, but you can cover it with foil if you want to. Just closely cover it so that the smokiness from the smoker can still penetrate and flavor the cheese.
You can also make this recipe in the oven if you want, so it's really versatile in how it can be made. I would cover it in the oven if it starts to brown.
Do I add toppings to the top of this smoked cheese recipe?
I always drizzle some more extra-virgin olive oil on top.
Adding herbs and other ingredients on top is a good way to change the flavor as well. Smoked paprika and chili powder is an option as well - and can be a great way to add some extra heat and spice.
The great part about making this ricotta cheese in the smoker is that whatever you want to add on top, you can, and it will change the way that it tastes every single time.
What does smoked ricotta taste like?
This just depends on what you smoke it with. If you use wood chips, they are going to add flavor to the cheese and vary it every time.
The texture of smoked ricotta is creamy and smooth and takes on the flavor of whatever you're smoking it with.
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the smoker to 225.
- Spread the ricotta in a pie plate.
- Smoke for 60 minutes.
To Serve as Dip
- Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the herbs, salt, and pepper.
- Serve with raw vegetables, crostini, or crackers.