Best Italian Ricotta Pie Recipe (Easter)

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Best Italian Ricotta Pie Recipe is a classic, traditional recipe – often served at Easter time. This sweet ricotta pie has a creamy ricotta filling flavored with lemon zest and a hint of almond and vanilla all inside a super easy pie shell.

The dough, an Italian sweet shortcrust pastry (also known as pasta frolla) is widely used as a base for tart and pie shells. I use it to make BEST Italian Crostata Recipe (Jam filled Tart).

Italian ricotta pie in a dark blue dish with whipped cream on top.
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Best Italian Ricotta Pie Recipe (Easter)

My nonna, Laura, made this traditional ricotta pie for our Italian family during this time of year (the Easter season) in Italy. It is surprisingly easy to make! I know you will love it too. More traditional Easter pie recipes are Rice Pie (Pastiera di Riso) and Torta Pasqualina Recipe. You will also love this Peach Pie Recipe!

Traditionally, ricotta cheese pie is served around Easter time. It is the perfect dessert any time of year! It is similar to my traditional cheesecake recipe.

My American husband also taught me to love American pies and we make them often! Try these pie recipes: Best Banana Cream Dream Pie and Best Bursting Blueberry Pie Flaky Crust.

More delicious Italian dessert recipes: Braided Easter Bread, BEST Authentic Sicilian Cannoli, and Classic Italian Tiramisu Recipe (Authentic)

Want a real Spring treat? Italian Ricotta Pie with buttery Pasta Frolla crust is the dessert you need to try.

Simple Ingredients

This pie has a lightly sweetened, very moist ricotta cheese filling with a hint of lemon, and a thick, rustic crust. It requires few ingredients and little time!

Ingredients for Italian ricotta pie.
Ingredients for the ricotta pie filling

For the crust (pasta frolla):

  • 1 recipe for pasta frolla (click link for printable recipe card at bottom of post)

For the filling:

  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Ricotta
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond extract
  • Lemon zest
  • Optional: freshly whipped cream for topping

See recipe card for quantities.

What ricotta is best for this pie?

Since the ricotta is the star of the show in this pie recipe I recommend a good quality brand that is full fat. If you buy “cheap ricotta” or use part skim ricotta it will be more watery and grainy and change the consistency of the ricotta.

I like an extra creamy ricotta texture, almost silky, so I whip the ricotta before adding the other ingredients.

The higher quality ricotta cheese will also be more dense and you likely won’t even need to strain it to remove the excess moisture and liquid.

See FAQ section at the bottom to properly strain ricotta- if you need to do so.

And if you love ricotta desserts, you’ll also love my Ricotta Cakes recipe.

Italian ricotta pie in a dish and on a plate.
Slice of ricotta pie on a plate

How to Make Italian Ricotta Pie Recipe (step-by-step photos)

As with most cheesecakes, this one starts with a crust to hold its shape. Here we use a lightly sweetened shortcrust known as pasta frolla. You can also use our Ultimate All Butter Pie Crust if you wish.

For the crust (pasta frolla)

Pasta Frolla is an Italian shortcrust pastry. 

  1.  In a medium mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix with a whisk until incorporated. Add the egg and cold butter and mix until incorporated (the dough will be fairly “rough” at this point). 
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather it into a ball. Form the dough into two disks, one slightly larger than the other.
    1. For this recipe I only used the larger disc and saved the scraps to make small cookies.
  3. Wrap each disk tightly in saran wrap (plastic wrap), and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until well chilled (overnight is fine). Remove the dough from the refrigerator 30 minutes before rolling it out with a rolling pin. 
Mixing dry and wet ingredients for Italian ricotta pie.
how to make the pasta frolla dough

For the sweet ricotta filling

The filling for this easy ricotta pie consists of sweetened whipped ricotta and eggs and it is simply delicious.

  1. If your ricotta has extra water strain it (see notes in recipe)
  2. Start by whipping the ricotta in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or a large mixing bowl using a hand held electric mixer. Whip as you would whipped cream- very smooth consistency.
  3. Then, add the sugar and mix again. Add the eggs one by one to the ricotta mixture- scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon when needed.
  4. Add the almond and vanilla extract and lemon zest, mix to incorporate.
  5. Set aside while you roll out your dough.
Mixing wet ingredients in a mixer for pie.
process for making the sweet ricotta filling

Assembling the pie:

  1. Roll out the dough to fit your pie plate (9-inch). The thickness should be about 1/8 of an inch. Carefully fold over and fit into your pie pan or springform pan. For this recipe I only used the larger disc and saved the scraps to make small cookies.
  2. Pour in the ricotta pie filling.
  3. Optional step: Decorate the top with strips of dough and brush tops of dough strips with egg wash.
  4. Bake and cool completely, about 2 hours, on a wire rack and refrigerate until serving.
Preparing and filling pie crust.
Preparing the pasta frolla crust and filling with ricotta mixture
Plain Italian ricotta pie in a blue dish.
Beautiful ricotta pie in a pie dish

Ricotta pie is a lightly sweetened, cheesecake-like dessert. It has a lighter texture than traditional cheesecakes and makes showstopper dessert for any occasion.

Substitutions

If you want a dough that isn’t as sweet try- Easy Tried and True Crisco Pie Crust

It is difficult to find a real substitute for the filling ingredients. If you want to make this ricotta pie with cream cheese and sour cream you are better off making Tried and True Best Cheesecake Recipe!

Gluten Free

Make gluten free ricotta pie by using this gluten free flour “>gluten free flour for the crust!

Italian ricotta pie on a plate and in a dish.
Creamy smooth and delicious ricotta pie

Variations

This simple sweet treat is fabulous as this original recipe indicates. If you want ideas for variations here are a few:

Equipment

I love to use either a pretty pie dish or springform pan for this recipe.

Steps to Make in Advance

As with all pies, you can make some components ahead of time.

The pie crust can be made up to 3 days ahead of time. If you chill it before you roll it out, make sure to let it warm up enough before you attempt to roll it out (about 30 minutes at room temperature).

Ricotta pie is ideal made a day in advance before serving. It is at it’s best when served completely chilled.

Italian ricotta pie on a plate and in a dish.

Storage

Keep leftovers refrigerated for up to 4 days. Do not freeze pie. The crust will get soft and the ricotta cheese filling isn’t meant to be frozen.

Top tips

  • Buy good quality whole milk ricotta cheese
  • If needed drain the ricotta
  • Use room temperature eggs- this helps with even baking
  • Use cold butter for the crust
How to strain ricotta cheese

Here is a quick and easy method to strain ricotta. Set a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or a couple of paper towels over a bowl. Add the ricotta and allow it to strain out excess liquid for 5 to 10 minutes as you continue with the prep.

More delicious pie recipes for you:

Italian ricotta pie on a plate.
A slice of pie you don’t want to miss!

💙 MADE THIS RECIPE AND LOVED IT? 💙 Please leave a ⭐️STAR rating and COMMENT below- I love connecting with you! Tag me with your creations on Instagram and find me on Pinterest.

Enjoy this traditional Easter dessert for Easter Sunday, or your next dinner party. This creamy custard pie is always well loved!

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Best Italian Ricotta Pie Recipe (Easter) with whipped cream in a beautiful pie dish

Italian Ricotta Pie Recipe (Easter)

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5 from 8 reviews

Best Italian Ricotta Pie Recipe is a classic, traditional recipe – often served at Easter time. This sweet ricotta pie has a creamy ricotta filling flavored with lemon zest and a hint of almond and vanilla all inside a super easy pie shell.

  • Total Time: 65 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale

For the Crust:

  • 1 recipe for Italian Pasta Frolla Dough Recipe (click on link and find printable recipe at bottom of post)
    • For this recipe I only used the larger dough disc and saved the scraps to make small cookies.

For the Filling:

  • 2 cups ricotta whole milk, well-drained (about 15 oz)
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • Optional: freshly whipped cream for topping

Instructions

  1. Make the pasta frolla dough and set in fridge while preparing the filling. 
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place oven rack to bottom third.

Filling and Assembly 

  1. Make filling: If your ricotta has extra water strain it (see notes)
  2. Start by whipping the ricotta in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or a large mixing bowl using a hand held electric mixer. Whip as you would whipped cream- very smooth consistency.
  3. Then, add the sugar and mix again. Add the eggs one by one to the ricotta mixture- scraping down the sides of the bowl when needed.
  4. Add the almond and vanilla extract and lemon zest, mix to incorporate.
  5. Set aside while you roll out your dough.
  6. Roll out the dough to fit your pie plate (9-inch). The thickness should be about 1/8 of an inch. Carefully fold over and fit into your pie pan.
  7. Pour in the filling.
  8. Optional step: Decorate with strips of dough and brush tops of dough strips with egg wash.
  9. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the center filling is set. Place foil on the edge of crust to prevent over-browning (if needed).
  10. Cool completely, about 2 hours, on a wire rack and refrigerate until serving. If desired, top with freshly whipped cream. Enjoy!

Notes

How to strain ricotta: Set a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or a couple of paper towels over a bowl. Add the ricotta and allow it to strain out excess liquid for 5 to 10 minutes as you continue with the prep.

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Sweet
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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21 Comments

  1. Happy Easter and THANK YOU, your recipes are amazing like your personality.
    I appreciate you sharing your families recipes! I look forward to your emails.This ricotta pie is amazing and so easy to make. The first one I made didn’t last my husband loved it!, I didn’t mind making more for Easter.
    .






    1. You are so kind! Thank you. I am so happy you loved this recipe and the others. Cheers to many more!

  2. I made this for Easter last year and my family was in love! Preparing to make it again this year- when I asked my mother if she wanted it again, it was a big YES! Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful recipe!