Ricotta in mac and cheese?

mtnesterJanuary 13, 2010

A few days ago, a fellow shopper in the supermarket told me that her mother always puts ricotta cheese in her macaroni and cheese. I have half a container (about a pound) of ricotta to use up after baking a lasagna, a few days ago, so I thought I might try this. I usually use about a cup of american cheese (shredded) and sometimes add a little chopped onion and/or diced tomatoes. If I use the ricotta, should I adjust the amount of american cheese? More or less? Any other suggestions?



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Sue, the only macaroni and cheese recipe I've seen with ricotta was an Ellie Krieger recipe that had cheddar, parmesan, ricotta and one more kind I don't remember. It also called for cooked winter squash, which I thought would be good and everyone else thought would be disgusting.

So, I'd add it to the macaroni and keep at least some of the American.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 1:22PM
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With thanks to KathleenCA, this was the best mac and cheese I ever had! It calls for ricotta, maybe looking at this recipe will help you with your proportions - I wouldn't hesitate to add ricotta to your regular recipe.

Joan's on Third Macaroni and Cheese
Posted by kathleenca (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 25, 09 at 17:24
I made this recipe last month for the first time, though I cut it out of the paper about two years ago. It's now my very favorite macaroni & cheese. It's very rich & feeds a lot. I gave some to two others, who are still talking about it. It keeps well - doesn't break down & get watery. It is SO good! Joan's on Third is a popular restaurant in Los Angeles.

10 - 12 servings
1 pound pasta (elbow macaroni, fusilli, or any shape desired)
2 ounces butter
3 3/4 cups whole milk
6 ounces ricotta or small curd cottage cheese
3 ounces cream cheese
12 ounces Monterey jack, shredded
12 ounces Gouda, shredded, plus 8 ounces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling, salted water until just tender. Drain well.
Add butter, milk, ricotta, cream cheese, Monterey jack, and 12 ounces of the Gouda to the warm pasta. Season with salt and pepper.
Gently mix everything together, leaving some chunks of cheese visible. Pour the mixture into 9 by 11-inch baking pan.
Top with the remaining 8 ounces of Gouda.
Bake until beautifully golden, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve hot or room temperature.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 1:25PM
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Annie, I love winter squash, but I don't think I'd like it in mac and cheese, either. I associate squash with cinnamon and brown sugar.

Woodie, that recipe sounds really delicious, and although I don't have Gouda or Monterey Jack on hand (or, for that matter, cheddar), I'm saving this recipe for next time. I think it would make a great main dish when my vegetarian daughter visits. You're right; the proportions are a useful guideline. Thanks!


    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 1:55PM
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I made a butternut squash mac & cheese once, based loosely on Rachel Ray's recipe and it was really good, but no ricotta in that recipe. Made me feel a little less guilty about eating m&C. :-) It also reminded me a lot of Giada's butternut squash lasagna.

While I've never tried it, I wouldn't hesitate to add ricotta to m&c. Actually, ricotta was recently on sale and I bought 3 big tubs. I've been looking for ideas to use it and this might just be a good start.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 3:11PM
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I made mac'n cheese last night and stirred in about 3 Tbsp. of ricotta to my cheese sauce then baked it for 30 mins.
It was delicious-very rich tasting! It detracted a bit from my aged cheddar but it was really yummy anyway.

Thanks for the tip-I was wondering what to do with some leftover ricotta too and this came just in time!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 11:29AM
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Noodle Pudding is wonderful with Ricotta also add some to your next batch of Potato Salad. It makes it very fluffy and rich. I'd be happy to post the Noddle Pudding Recipe if you're interested.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 10:35PM
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I'm interested!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 10:46PM
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I have never heard of M&C with squash but butternut squash ravioli, which has the same combination of ingredients, is not weird at all. It's good.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 12:20AM
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Mike, I'd like to see your recipe for noodle pudding, too. It sounds a lot like lochshen kugel, which often contains cottage cheese or ricotta, as well as apples or other fruit, sugar, raisins, and cinnamon.

But the reason I wanted to make mac and cheese is that I'm very lactose-intolerant, so I'm making this for DH and my cousin, who lives with us; I won't be having any. I like mac and cheese, but I don't *love* it, so I can resist the temptation to have a taste. But if I made lochshen kugel with the ricotta, I'd be craving the "forbidden fruit." It would just be too hard to watch everyone else enjoying it without having any (I'm not that noble).


    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 1:14AM
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Mom makes a Lochshen Krugel thatÂs sweet with raisins. This isnÂt an especially sweet noodle pudding. I found the recipe years ago when I was making a lot of homemade cottage cheese when I was milking my first Jersey cow. I adapted it with the Ricotta later when I started milking the goats.

Sue if you can find it in your area you may want to try goats milk ricotta if youÂre lactose intolerant. A lot of people tell me that they can drink the goats milk and eat milk products from the goats milk that canÂt tolerate cowÂs milk. Maybe you wonÂt have to be noble.

8 oz wide noodles
1 lb dry Cottage Cheese or Ricotta
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 c. butter or margarine, melted
1/2 c. sour cream
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper to taste

Cook and drain noodles according to package instructions. Mix with remaining ingredients. Pour into greased 1-1/2 quart casserole and bake in 375* oven for about 45 min until firm in center.

* Note - make sure the noodles are covered with the mixture or the noodles will be crunchy.

**1-1/2 lbs Ricotta
**3 eggs
**1-1/2 Tbsp sugar
**6 Tbsp butter
**3/4 c. sour cream
** 1-1/2 tsp salt
**Pepper to taste

** Note increase - If you 1/2 again the "sauce" it will be less dry and a creamier finished product. But you will have to bake it 15-20 min. longer.**

Hope that's not confusing.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 12:49AM
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Mike, this sounds delicious! I'm adding it to my ever-increasing file of lochshen kugel recipes.

I don't think I've ever had a kugel without fruit of some kind and a lot of sugar, but it might be better as a side dish this way.

Thanks for the suggestion about goat ricotta cheese. I'll look for it. I suppose I could use soy yogurt for the sour cream, too (or maybe just omit it).


    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 12:17PM
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Oh my goodness, I have been cooking mac-n-cheese for over 20 years and never tried the ricotta cheese. People, let me tell you,IT IS FABULOUS! I really enjoyed it to the fullest. Creamy and so good. What you need to add to this recipe is evaporated milk,eggs,mustard,1 teaspoon of jalapeno juice, along with the other cheeses that goes with cooking the mac-n-cheese. Just add these ingredients to your usual and you won't regret it. I promise it is very delicious. My children want it for breakfast.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 5:13PM
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