This amazing roasted red pepper baked ricotta is the perfect ricotta dip for your next gathering! A simple roasted red pepper sauce is baked with ricotta cheese for a warm and hearty appetizer your guests are sure to love.
This post contains affiliate links: if you buy something I’ll earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting Life As A Strawberry!
Let’s talk about CHEESE.
I’m keeping this short and sweet today, because I neeeeeed you to try this baked ricotta recipe. Liiiiiike, immediately.
It involves a simple, delicious roasted red pepper sauce (*swooooooon*) and plenty of fresh, creamy ricotta cheese (bonus points if you make your own!) that gets some NEXT LEVEL TREATMENT when we bake it all up, top it with parsley, and serve it with some crunchy, crispy crostini (may I recommend this Easy Crusty French Bread?)
Also, we’re putting the whole thing in an adorable cast iron skillet for maximum cuteness points.
This is the perfect amount for a dinner party (or, y’know, my lunch on a Tuesday) but if you’re feeding a crowd you can always double or triple the recipe. This is also great with goat cheese in place of the ricotta, and the sauce keeps well in the fridge – so make it ahead of time for maximum easy-peasy-ness!Print
A simple baked ricotta cheese with roasted red pepper sauce. Perfect for entertaining!
FOR THE RED PEPPER SAUCE:
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. chopped shallot
- 2 clove garlic, chopped and divided
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1.5 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 loaf Easy Crusty French Bread or sourdough bread, sliced
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)
ROASTED RED PEPPER SAUCE:
- Roast the bell pepper at 400 degrees F for 30-40 minutes until skin is wrinkled and charred.
- Remove pepper from the oven and let sit until it’s cool enough to handle, 10-20 minutes (I like to put it in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid – the steam will help the pepper peel easier).
- When cool, peel the pepper and remove any seeds.
- Chop roasted pepper and set aside.
- In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add shallot and garlic to oil and sauté 1-2 minutes until shallot is translucent.
- Add chopped roasted red pepper, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Continue to cook for 2 minutes until balsamic vinegar is fragrant and mixture has softened.
- Transfer red pepper mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. If mixture is too thick, add remaining olive oil and blend until smooth. Taste and re-season if necessary. Set aside.
- Spoon ricotta cheese into a small baking dish (I used a 4″ cast iron skillet). You don’t need to smooth it out unless you really want to – I like leaving it a bit uneven so that the finished dish looks more interesting!
- Pour your red pepper sauce over the ricotta. Bake at 400 F for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is heated through.
- While the ricotta bakes, prepare the crostini.
- Lay bread slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Use a pastry brush to brush each piece with a bit of olive oil.
- Bake crostini at 400 degrees F until lightly toasted, about 5-7 minutes (if you time this right, your ricotta and crostini should be done at just about the same time).
- Top baked ricotta with fresh chopped parsley for garnish. Serve immediately with crostini.
MAKE IT IN ADVANCE: You can make the roasted red pepper sauce ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake the ricotta. You can even assemble the ricotta + sauce in a pan and keep it covered in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
VARIATIONS: This is also great with goat cheese in place of the ricotta.
SERVING SIZES: This makes 1-2 crostini per person with a generous slather of cheese, but if you’re feeding a crowd, I’d double or triple the recipe. It’s very forgiving and easy to scale if you have a lot of people to feed!