This simple Ricotta Pie, which is flavored with citrus and cinnamon and has a similar consistency to cheesecake, is a favorite dessert or breakfast. It is traditional to enjoy in the spring and is one of the easiest pies to make ever with just 5 minutes of prep time.

Ricotta pie with sides of fruit.

Ricotta Pie

My mom’s side of my family is Italian-American and for my whole life, we have enjoyed this Ricotta Pie as part of our Easter food. In my family, we eat it for breakfast alongside fruit, hard-cooked eggs, breakfast meats like sausage or bacon, and other sweet breakfast breads (like Yogurt Cake), though it’s also traditionally served as an Italian dessert.

I love that this cheesecake is so simple to make—you just stir the ingredients together in a bowl and pour it into an unbaked pie crust shell and bake—no need for an electric mixer or food processor. And the flavors really can’t be beat. There is a burst of freshness from the lemon and orange rind, plus more flavor from cinnamon. The pie has a texture that is similar to cheesecake.

You can bake the pie ahead of time and stash it in the fridge until you’re ready to enjoy it. We love it on its own, but you can also serve it topped with sliced strawberries or fresh raspberries.

We consider this to be our Italian Easter Pie, though other families enjoy it for Christmas and Thanksgiving, too.

(You may also like my Easter breakfast ideas and my Berry Breakfast Cake.)

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Ingredients You Need

Here’s a look at what you need to make this simple ricotta cheesecake so you know what to have on hand and pick up from the store.

Italian ricotta pie ingredients.
  • Ricotta cheese: I usually make this pie with whole-milk ricotta cheese, which is a soft Italian cheese sold in the supermarket near the cottage cheese and sour cream. You can also use part-skim if you prefer.
  • Eggs: Large eggs help the cheesecake bind and hold together and add richness and color to the finished pie.
  • Honey: I love the flavor that sweetening the pie with honey adds to the mixture, though you can also use granulated sugar if you prefer.
  • Vanilla extract: A touch of vanilla adds flavor to the cheesecake and you can use pure or artificial vanilla according to your preference.
  • Freshly grated orange rind and lemon rind: Freshly grated citrus rind adds fresh flavor to the ricotta cheesecake that is the hallmark of this recipe. This addition is essential to making sure the pie is flavorful and delicious.
  • Cinnamon: My family always adds a little cinnamon to the pie batter and also dusts a little across the top of the pie. It adds flavor and looks pretty!
  • Pie crust: To make this super simple, you can use a premade unbaked pie dough from the store or you can use my Homemade Whole Wheat Pie Crust. Both work similar as the pastry options. (I have only ever made this with one crust on the bottom of the pie, which is super easy, though you may see other recipes call for a lattice pie crust on top.)

Step-by-Step Instructions

Below is an overview of the process so you know what to expect from making this Italian ricotta pie recipe. Scroll down to the end of the post for the full information, including the amounts and timing.

Italian ricotta pie steps to make the recipe.
  1. Preheat the oven. Add the crust to a 9-inch pie pan.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to a bowl, including the lemon zest and orange zest.
  3. Stir to combine well using a whisk.
  4. Pour the creamy ricotta filling into pie crust. Dust with cinnamon, if desired, and bake.
Ricotta pie on cooling rack.

How to Store

Let the pie cool fully on a wire rack. Then cover with plastic wrap (or place in a pie container) and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The pie is best served chilled (or at least not warm) so you can make it ahead of time and bring it right to the table from the fridge.

Be sure to let the pie cool completely before covering and storing or it may continue to cook.

It is common for little beads of moisture to sometimes form while the pie is in the refrigerator. That is not a problem. Simply dab the top of the pie with a paper towel to absorb it and carry on.

Slice of ricotta pie on pink plate and in pie pan.

Best Tips for Success

  • When grating the fresh citrus peel, try to avoid getting too much of the white part because it can be bitter. Just do a few strokes with the microplane as you move your way around the orange and lemon.
  • Plan to make them at least 2 hours before you want to serve them so they have time to fully cool.
  • You can do this batter in a 9-inch graham cracker crust. The baking time will be closer to 1 hour.

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Ricotta pie with sides of fruit.

Favorite Ricotta Pie

This simple Ricotta Pie, which is flavored with citrus and cinnamon and has a similar consistency to cheesecake, is a favorite dessert or breakfast. It is traditional to enjoy in the spring and is one of the easiest pies to make ever with just 5 minutes of prep time.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 34 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Cuisine Italian
Course Dessert
Calories 287kcal
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese (I prefer whole-milk ricotta)
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup honey (or granulated sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange rind (from about 1 medium orange)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon rind (from about 1 medium lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 prepared unbaked pie crust
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Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Add the crust to a 9-inch pie plate, pressing into the bottom of the plate and up the sides.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to a bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust. Dust with cinnamon, if desired.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the pie is set and the crust is lightly golden brown. (The filling puffs up a little toward the end of baking and then will settle back down as it cools.)
  • Place the pie onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Slice and serve, or cover and refrigerate, then serve.

Notes

  • Let the pie cool fully on a wire rack. Then cover with plastic wrap (or place in a pie container) and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The pie is best served chilled (or at least not warm) so you can make it ahead of time and bring it right to the table from the fridge.
    Be sure to let the pie cool completely before covering and storing or it may continue to cook.
    It is common for little beads of moisture to sometimes form while the pie is in the refrigerator. That is not a problem. Simply dab the top of the pie with a paper towel to absorb it and carry on.
  • When grating the fresh citrus peel, try to avoid getting too much of the white part because it can be bitter. Just do a few strokes with the microplane as you move your way around the orange and lemon.
  • Plan to make them at least 2 hours before you want to serve them so they have time to fully cool.
  • You can do this batter in a 9-inch graham cracker crust. The baking time will be closer to 1 hour.

Nutrition

Calories: 287kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 90mg, Sodium: 159mg, Potassium: 118mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 346IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 136mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

    1. I honestly am not sure that the texture would be as good but if it sounds good to you, go for it! (It is very good with fresh berries alongside or on top, I can say!)

  1. 5 stars
    I had never heard of ricotta pie before seeing this post but I tried making it for Easter yesterday because the recipe looked so easy.

    The simple ingredient list is deceptively good together – I absolutely loved the combination of the citrus and cinnamon.

    I definitely recommend letting the pie chill for as LONG as possible! Our pie was accidentally removed from the fridge for a while before serving and it didn’t taste as good as it did the next day after spending the night in the fridge. After several hours of refrigeration the texture is lovely and the flavors seem to meld together better.

    1. Yes, we always make it the day before so it sits in the fridge overnight. Thanks for that feedback!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this for Easter, delicious and so easy! The consistency was similar to pumpkin pie. 3 of 4 family members loved it, our 4yo wasn’t interested and that’s fine. I needed the full hour cook time (glass pie dish, no altitude).

  3. 5 stars
    I made this for Easter, delicious and so easy! The consistency was similar to pumpkin pie. 3 of 4 family members loved it, our 4yo wasn’t interested and that’s fine. I needed the full hour cook time (glass pie dish, no altitude).

    1. That is what I’ve always used. If you use metal, it may bake through more quickly than the time I give.