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This whipped lemon ricotta is a stunning appetizer that makes any occasion feel special. It's ultra-creamy and slightly sweet with a drizzle of bright red cranberry flavor. It's a grown-up treat that's always a hit at parties, and it's ready in just 12 minutes!
This whipped ricotta with honey and lemon is an elegant and easy-to-make appetizer for all your parties this holiday season. It's rich and creamy yet light-tasting with bright pops of lemon and cranberry flavor. You only need a few minutes and a few ingredients to make it so it's the perfect recipe for the last-minute host!
Here's everything you need to make this easy whipped lemon ricotta appetizer:
- Fresh or frozen cranberries: both fresh or frozen cranberries work here. They add a wonderful pop of sweet-tart flavor and bright red festive color.
- Honey: any variety of runny honey works.
- Cayenne: cayenne pepper is optional but gives this dip a touch of heat and brings it to life!
- Ricotta cheese: since the ricotta is the star ingredient, we use a good quality whole milk ricotta cheese for its decadent and rich flavor. Steer clear of the skim milk and fat free varieities which can be watery.
- Lemon zest and fresh lemon juice: lemon's bright citrus flavor offsets the creaminess of this dip. We use the juice and the zest for extra dimension.
- Black pepper: a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper adds a little kick and an additional layer of flavor.
- Toasted baguette slices: some toasted baguette slices, crostini, or your favorite crackers for serving. Use gluten free bread or crackers if needed.
How to make whipped lemon ricotta
This whipped lemon ricotta is an elegant but easy appetizer for impromptu gatherings. Here's how we make it in a couple of simple steps:
- Make the cranberry sauce by adding the cranberries, honey, and cayenne to a pot. It's done when you hear the cranberries start to pop!
- Whip the ricotta, lemon juice, and lemon zest together in your blender or food processor until smooth. Place it in the fridge to firm up if it seems too runny to serve.
- Plate the ricotta with the cranberry sauce on top, and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Serve with toasted baguette slices or anything else you enjoy!
How to make grilled baguette slices
To make grilled baguette slices, brush both sides with a little olive oil and grill them on a grill pan. Flip them so they have nice grill marks on both sides and sprinkle them with sea salt before serving 'em warm!
Make ahead instructions
Even though this is a quick and easy recipe, you can definitely prepare it ahead of time. Prepare the whipped lemon ricotta, place it in an airtight container, and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days. We don't recommend preparing the cranberry sauce more than an hour ahead so it's nice and runny (it will firm up in the fridge).
What to serve with whipped lemon ricotta
Serve this beautiful lemon whipped ricotta appetizer with warm toasted baguette, pita chips, grissini, or your favorite seedy crackers. It pairs perfectly with a glass of sparkling wine before a main course, or as part of a grazing table with other festive appies like our glazed chorizo bites and spicy rum and rosemary nuts!
Where do I buy ricotta?
To find a good quality whole milk ricotta, check out your local Italian market, cheese, or butcher shops. Or higher-end grocery stores with a robust cheese selection.
How long do leftovers keep in the fridge?
Store any leftover whipped ricotta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Can I make it with a hand mixer?
Yes you can, but it can get messy. If you turn the mixer up too high, you'll end up with cheese everywhere. We like using a food processor or blender because the ingredients are sealed into the bowl so there's no chance of escaping!
Can I use fresh herbs?
Of course! Fresh herbs like basil, thyme, mint, or rosemary make a wonderful addition to serving. They make it extra-festive too with the red, white, and green colors.
- ¼ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- ¼ cup honey
- A pinch of cayenne
- 1 ½ cups ricotta
- Zest and juice from 1 lemon
- Black pepper (to garnish)
- Toasted baguette slices (to serve)
- And the cranberries, honey, and cayenne to a small pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat when you hear the first cranberry pop, about 30 seconds.¼ cup fresh or frozen cranberries, ¼ cup honey, A pinch of cayenne
- Add the ricotta, lemon zest, and lemon juice to your food processor or blender and blend on high until smooth. Note: if the ricotta seems too thin, place it into your fridge. It is more firm when it is chilled and you'll be able to pile it higher on a plate when it's cold.1 ½ cups ricotta, Zest and juice from 1 lemon
- Pour the ricotta onto a plate, top with the cranberries and honey, and a little sprinkle of black pepper. Serve with some toasted baguette slices.Black pepper, Toasted baguette slices
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.