What Does Ricotta Cheese Taste Like? A Detailed Answer

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Ricotta cheese is made with whey instead of whole milk. This is the reason why a lot of people expect it to taste bad. If you want to know what ricotta cheese exactly tastes like. Keep reading the article below.


Ricotta cheese has a light, slightly sweet, and nutty flavor. Its taste changes from mildly sweet to tangy and salty, depending on how long it was aged before consumption.

Ricotta cheese is made up of small, delicate grains with a light texture that is creamy and milky without being heavy or dense.  

Let’s explore ricotta cheese in more detail and discover what it offers our palates.

What Is Ricotta Cheese?

Ricotta cheese is an unripened, soft, and creamy Italian cheese with a slightly grainy texture. The leftover whey from other cheeses is recooked to create ricotta cheese.

You can make pizza, flatbreads, salads, pasta salads, salad dressing, spanakopita, and bruschetta can all be made with ricotta cheese. From a health perspective, ricotta cheese is a good source of protein, helps with weight loss, lowers blood pressure, and promotes bone health.

What Does Ricotta Cheese Taste Like?

The most important question you have in mind is about the taste of ricotta cheese. You’ll want to taste it as soon as I’m done describing its flavor!

Ricotta cheese has a light, slightly sweet, and nutty flavor. It has a rich and creamy texture and is often described as similar to cottage cheese.

Ricotta is versatile and complements savory and sweet foods thanks to its neutral flavor. Its taste changes from mildly sweet to tangy and salty, depending on how long it was aged before consumption.

Is Ricotta Cheese Bitter?


If your ricotta cheese tastes bitter, it’s better to discard it as it’s gone rancid. If you added more rennet to save the batch and it didn’t sit well, it can also be why it tastes bitter.

Ricotta cheese gets bitter with age, so it’s safer to eat in a few days. If you made ricotta three weeks ago and it tastes bitter, it’s better to discard it.

It might also be bitter because you’re using ricotta forte, which is creamy, spicy, and slightly bitter.

Does ricotta taste like cottage cheese?

Cottage cheese has a curdy, lumpy texture, just like ricotta. In terms of flavor and taste, cottage cheese is also very milky, sweet, mellow, and creamy. It has a texture similar to ricotta and is soft, moist, and light.

Ricotta cheese is stronger tasting than cottage cheese. Ricotta cheese is also less salty than cottage cheese.

You can substitute cottage cheese for ricotta in dishes like lasagna and pancakes. Cottage cheese is also used in savory dishes in place of ricotta.

How To Check If Ricotta Cheese Has Gone Bad?

Do you want to know how to determine whether ricotta cheese is safe to consume? Look out for these below-mentioned signs if you are in doubt!

1. Appearance

You can tell whether Velveeta cheese has gone rancid by the way it looks. If your ricotta is turning yellow or orange, it’s time to discard it. If you find mold or black spots in ricotta cheese, throw it away and buy a new one.

2. Smell

If you are puzzled by the appearance of the ricotta cheese, sniff it. You would not like it if it was sour, even though it wasn’t technically spoiled. It’s best to remove it because it might ruin your recipe.

3. Texture

If the appearance and smell of Velveeta cheese are okay, then go ahead and taste it. If the texture is slimy and sticky, the cheese is likely rancid.

It is time to get a new ricotta cheese.

4 Different Types Of Ricotta Cheese And Their Different Flavors

Ricotta cheese is available in four different types. But which one we must choose is a big question. This section will introduce you to different ricotta cheese varieties and their flavor profiles.

Even though this ricotta cheese looks similar, there are taste differences. Hence, if you plan to get a piece of ricotta cheese, make sure to go through the box and pick the right one.

  1. Ricotta Salata: Ricotta salata is the mature version of fresh ricotta. It is a salty version of ricotta with a dense, firm, and crumbly texture and a slightly chalky flavor, like a drier version of feta. You can add it to salads, pasta, and tacos.
  2. Ricotta Infornata: This is a baked variety of ricotta cheese. Ricotta that is still soft is baked until the crust is lightly charred at medium temperatures. You can use it as a spread for canapés, similar to baked brie. 
  3. Ricotta Affumicata: It is a firm cheese with a smoky flavor. It develops a brown crust and is good enough to eat as sliced cheese.
  4. Ricotta forte – It is known as the granddaddy of the ricotta family. Sheep, goat, and cow milk are combined to create it. It adds depth to your sauces or spreads.
Name of the CheesePlace of OriginFlavor Profile
Ricotta SalataSicilysalty
Ricotta InfornataSardinia and Sicilythe mild and nutty flavor
Ricotta AffumicataItalysmoky
Ricotta FortePuglia and BasilicataSpicy and savory

How To Pick The Best Ricotta Cheese?

Read about them below to buy the best ricotta cheese:

  • Flavor: The first thing you should decide before buying ricotta cheese is the flavor you want. Its flavors are sweet and creamy.
  • Texture: The texture of ricotta cheese plays a crucial role, as there should be a slight graininess, but the grains should be composed of soft, creamy curds, not little rubber balls. 
  • Color: The color of ricotta cheese has to be natural white to light cream, have a uniform bright color, and have an attractive sheen. If it is yellow-orange, then don’t buy it.

How To Store Ricotta Cheese Properly?

Ricotta cheese’s shelf life is short. I am diving into some tips so you don’t waste your cheese and can use it more efficiently.

1. Refrigerate It 

You can store ricotta cheese in the refrigerator. If properly stored, it will last two weeks after opening, assuming it has been continuously refrigerated. You need to seal it properly, and it is best to save cheese in an airtight container. Avoid letting it come into contact with sunlight. 

2. Freeze It

You can freeze ricotta cheese. It can survive up to three months if stored properly. 

How To Use Ricotta Cheese 

Due to ricotta cheese’s versatility, you can use it in many ways. Some of them can be heard below.

Ricotta cheese is perfect for making lasagna. However, its uses are not limited to that! It is a fabulous addition to various savory and sweet recipes. You can use it to make delicious desserts, like soft ricotta cheesecake. 

Use ricotta cheese as a pasta stuffing. However, you can use ricotta to make pancakes, dollop it on pizza, or use it as a base for a savory tart.

Health Benefits Of Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta cheese is very healthy. It has positive health benefits to offer us as well. Let us find out what those are:

  • Boosts Bone Health: Ricotta is a significant source of calcium, integral to the formation and metabolism of the body.
  • Aids Weight Loss: Are you someone who is into dieting? Eating ricotta cheese will make us feel full and stop us from eating further!
  • May help lower blood pressure: Ricotta cheese is rich in proteins and phosphorus, and some studies show that it can help effectively decrease blood pressure levels.

Nutritional Content Of Ricotta Cheese


Ricotta cheese has carbs, fats, proteins, and essential vitamins and minerals. Below is a chart that explains the nutritional content of ricotta cheese.

Sodium135 mg
Protein10.1 g
Calcium289 mg
Vitamin B121.1 mcg
Magnesium24.8 mg
Vitamin A148.8 mcg


That was all about ricotta cheese and its taste. Ricotta cheese has a sweet and creamy taste.  

Your understanding of the flavor of ricotta cheese should have improved after reading this article. So, are you ready to devour a block of ricotta cheese and find out if you like it? 

Let me know all about it in the comments section below. See you soon with another article!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does ricotta cheese taste like on pizza?

It gives a mild and sweet flavor to the pizza.

What does ricotta cheesecake taste like?

Cream cheese is sweet and goes well with cheesecake. Nearly sweet but a little tart. Although it has a light texture, it is creamy and dense.

What does rancid ricotta cheese taste like?

Ricotta should be thrown away if it has developed a sour taste because this indicates that the cheese has likely gone bad.

Does ricotta taste like cottage cheese?

Ricotta cheese is more flavorful than cottage cheese. Ricotta cheese is also less salty than cottage cheese.

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