The Best Italian Ricotta Pie Recipe: Sweet and Easy

easy ricotta pie recipe

Whenever I think of a ricotta pie, I think of Thanksgiving.

I know, I know—this is a traditional Easter dessert, one that’s almost always served in the springtime.

But my grandmother has made this ricotta cheese pie every single Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember.

To me, this Italian dessert tastes like family tradition.

The sweet, fluffy layers of ricotta cheese mixed in with a crumbling pie crust, or a pasta frolla, all topped off with the slightest hint of lemon.

It’s one of my favorite pie recipes, and always present at my family holiday gatherings.

And today, I’m here to share this very recipe with you.

Make this delicious pie for any holiday, any occasion, or simply just because you want pie.

It’s a super versatile dessert, one that is almost always in season and tastes good any time of the year.

What You’ll Need


Ricotta Cheese: The star of the show! You can make your own, or buy a tub of ricotta fresh from your local grocery store.

Granulated Sugar: You’re going to want to use granulated sugar over powdered sugar when making the pie crust and pie filling.

Powdered Sugar: This is totally optional, but I love to use powdered sugar to top the pie.

Eggs: Any kind of egg will do!

Vanilla Extract: This gives your ricotta pie that sweet, delectable flavor that everyone loves.

Lemon Zest: You only need the zest of one lemon with this recipe, no need for lemon juice. Remember, you don’t want the lemon flavor to overpower the pie.

All Purpose Flour: You can substitute this with almond flour if you prefer the recipe to be gluten free.

Butter: Make sure it’s unsalted butter that you’re using, and that it’s cold and not room temperature!

Salt: To bring out that delicious flavor of the pie crust.


Food Processor: Having one of these isn’t necessarily essential, but especially if you’re making the pie crust, it’ll make your life a whole heck of a lot easier.

Mixer: If you don’t have a food processor on hand, a stand mixer or hand mixer is your next best option. It’ll still combine the ingredients thoroughly to give you a nice, crumbly pie crust.

Whisk: I don’t exactly recommend using a whisk in lieu of a food processor or mixer, but if you don’t have either of those things, you’re better off using a whisk or a few forks rather than your hands.

Why? Because the warmth of your hands will melt the fats, and the recipe may become warped in the process.

How To Make It:

easy ricotta pie recipe-how to make it

In a food processor or mixing bowl, combine your flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse to mix, or use a stand or hand mixer to combine the ingredients on low speed.

After the ingredients are combined, add your butter. Keep mixing until the mixture develops a crumbly consistency.

In a small bowl, combine the egg with about two tablespoons of ice water. Once thoroughly combined, add this to the mixture, and mix just until everything comes together.

Knead the dough on a floured surface until it becomes a ball. Flatten it into a disc, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least a half hour.

When your sweet crust is finished chilling, preheat your oven to 350°. On a floured surface, roll out your dough enough to cover a 9 inch pie dish or pie pan using a rolling pin. Transfer it to the pie dish and press it into the bottom and sides, crimping the edges if desired.

In a large bowl, combine all of the filling ingredients. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until combined, and pour into the pie crust, spreading it evenly.

Bake the pie for about 50-60 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling appears to be set.

Allow the pie to cool completely, and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight before serving.

Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving on a pie plate.

Blog Banner for Mortadella Head


Q: My pie came out soggy. What happened?
A: To avoid a soggy pie, make sure your sweet ricotta pie stays in the fridge long enough. I really recommend making this a day in advance to avoid any kind of sogginess.

Q: What can I top this pie with?
A: Aside from confectioners sugar, a lot of people prefer to sprinkle some orange zest or the zest from other citrus peels on top of their ricotta pie. It makes for a delicious fresh flavor.

Q: What can I do with the excess dough?

A: You can strategically place it to make a lattice top over the pie. It’ll make for a beautiful design!

Q: What’s the difference between a ricotta pie and a ricotta cheesecake?

A: Honestly, not much. I’d say the main differences are in the crust—a ricotta cheesecake is made with a delicious crumbly cheesecake crust, and the ricotta pie crust is, well, a pie crust!

Q: Can I substitute the ricotta cheese with cream cheese?

A: Due to the porousness and light, fluffy consistency of ricotta, I do not recommend substituting this with something as dense as cream cheese.

If you really can’t stand the taste of ricotta, you might be able to swing it with cottage cheese, though I’ve yet to try this.

If you like this ricotta filling recipe, try using it to make a cheesecake. It’ll be just as delicious!

Italian Ricotta Pie

Other Wonderful Italian Desserts

One of my favorite things about growing up Italian is all of the delicious desserts that are ever so present in our culture. There are so many easy and unique ideas that have been passed down over generations that taste absolutely amazing each and every time.

At Mortadella Head, we’ve compiled a list of tried and true recipes that you’re going to love, every single time.

Here are some of our favorites:

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
easy ricotta pie recipe

The Best Italian Ricotta Pie Recipe: Sweet and Easy

  • Author: Gianna Ferrini



For the Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons ice water

For the Filling:

  • 3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

For the Topping:

  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
  • Candied citrus peel or fresh berries for garnish (optional)


  1. In a food processor or using an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse a few times to mix.
  2. Add the cold butter cubes and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the egg with ice water. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and pulse until the dough comes together.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it gently until it forms a ball.
  5. Flatten the ball into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  7. On a floured surface, roll out the chilled dough into a circle large enough to fit a 9-inch pie dish. Transfer the dough to the pie dish and press it into the bottom and sides. Trim any excess dough and crimp the edges.
  8. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and flour. Mix until well combined and smooth.
  9. Pour the creamy ricotta filling into the prepared pie crust, spreading it evenly.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown.
  11. Allow the pie to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled, refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
  12. Dust with powdered sugar over the top of the pie before serving.
  13. Slice and serve chilled. Enjoy your classic Italian ricotta pie

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


(and get a free ebook)

Our latest posts


Join Our Mailing List