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Is Ricotta Cheese Keto Friendly?

Is Ricotta Cheese Keto Friendly?

Discover whether ricotta cheese fits into your keto diet, understand its nutritional profile, and explore keto-friendly ways to enjoy this versatile cheese.

Unpacking the Keto Diet Basics and Ricotta Cheese

When it comes to the keto diet, it's all about keeping those carbs in check and making sure that your body stays in ketosis, burning fat for fuel instead of sugars. Now, if you're a cheese lover, you might be wondering where ricotta stands on the keto scale. Ricotta, with its creamy texture and mild flavor, is a favorite for many, but can you indulge in it without breaking your keto stride? Let's cut to the chase: ricotta can be keto-friendly, but it's all about portion control. You see, while it's not as high in carbs as some other dairy products, it's not exactly carb-free either. So, if you're eyeing that tub of ricotta, think about how it fits into your daily carb allowance. A small dollop could be just fine, but if you go overboard, you might be saying ciao to ketosis.

Unpacking the Keto Diet Basics and Ricotta Cheese

The Nutritional Breakdown of Ricotta Cheese

So, let's dive into the numbers, shall we? A quarter-cup serving of whole milk ricotta will typically set you back about 3 grams of carbs. Now, that might not sound like much, but on a strict keto diet where you might be capping your daily carbs at around 20-30 grams, those 3 grams can add up fast. Ricotta also packs a decent amount of fat and protein, which is good news for keto dieters. The fat can help keep you feeling full, while the protein is important for maintaining muscle mass. It's like hitting two birds with one cheese – if you're into that sort of thing. Just remember, not all ricotta is created equal. Different brands might have slightly different carb counts, so always check the label before you dig in.

The Nutritional Breakdown of Ricotta Cheese

Incorporating Ricotta into Your Keto Lifestyle

Now, assuming you've done your keto math and figured out you can fit some ricotta into your diet, how do you go about it? First off, think about using it as a creamy addition to your meals – a spoonful atop some zucchini noodles or stirred into a keto-friendly soup can be delightful. You can also whip up some keto pancakes with ricotta for a low-carb breakfast treat. And let's not forget about stuffing it into keto-friendly baked goods or using it to make a lush, keto-friendly cheesecake. The possibilities are endless, really. Just keep an eye on those carbs, and ricotta can be your keto-friendly cheese pal.

Incorporating Ricotta into Your Keto Lifestyle

Ricotta cheese is a popular dairy product that many people enjoy, but for those following a keto diet, it's important to consider its carb content. While ricotta can be keto-friendly in moderation, there are some lesser-known aspects to consider when incorporating it into a keto lifestyle. Let's take a closer look at some unconventional ideas related to ricotta cheese and the keto diet.

Ricotta's Nutritional Profile

While it's common knowledge that ricotta contains carbs, it's often overlooked that it also provides a good amount of fat and protein, which can be beneficial for those on a keto diet. Additionally, the micronutrient content of ricotta, such as calcium and vitamin A, can contribute to overall health and well-being.

Homemade Ricotta Options

Many people may not realize that they can make their own ricotta at home using keto-friendly ingredients such as heavy cream and lemon juice. This allows for better control over the carb content and ensures that no unwanted additives are included.

Ricotta in Savory Keto Recipes

Beyond the commonly known uses of ricotta in sweet keto recipes, such as cheesecakes, incorporating it into savory dishes like keto lasagna or stuffed peppers can add a creamy texture and rich flavor without significantly increasing the carb count.

Ricotta's Role in Gut Health

One often overlooked benefit of ricotta is its potential to support gut health. The probiotics found in ricotta can aid in digestion and contribute to a healthy gut microbiome, which is essential for overall well-being.

Ricotta Substitutes for Keto

For individuals who are unable to consume ricotta or prefer alternative options, there are lesser-known keto-friendly substitutes such as strained cottage cheese or a blend of cream cheese and Greek yogurt that can provide a similar texture and flavor in recipes.


Variations in Milk Types for Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta cheese can be made from different types of milk, including cow, sheep, or goat milk. Each type of milk can result in ricotta with slightly different flavors and textures. For example, sheep's milk ricotta tends to be creamier and richer in flavor compared to cow's milk ricotta. Additionally, goat milk ricotta has a distinct tangy taste that can add a unique dimension to dishes. These variations in milk types can provide keto dieters with options to experiment with different flavors and textures while staying within their dietary guidelines.

Versatility of Ricotta Cheese in Keto-Friendly Recipes

Ricotta cheese can be used in both sweet and savory keto-friendly recipes. While it is commonly known for its use in savory dishes such as lasagna or stuffed shells, it can also be incorporated into desserts and snacks. For example, keto-friendly ricotta pancakes or cheesecake can be made using ricotta as a primary ingredient. This versatility allows individuals following a keto diet to enjoy a wide range of dishes while still meeting their dietary requirements. Exploring different recipes can add excitement and variety to the keto lifestyle.

Health Benefits of Ricotta Cheese in a Keto Diet

In addition to being keto-friendly, ricotta cheese also offers potential health benefits. It is a good source of protein and contains essential nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus. Furthermore, ricotta is lower in lactose compared to other dairy products, making it easier to digest for individuals who are lactose intolerant. The inclusion of ricotta in a keto diet can contribute to overall nutritional balance and provide a satisfying source of nutrients while adhering to low-carb requirements.

Keto-Friendly Ricotta Stuffed Chicken

This keto-friendly recipe features tender chicken breasts stuffed with creamy ricotta cheese and flavorful herbs. It's a satisfying and low-carb dish that's perfect for a healthy dinner option.


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts - Pounded to an even thickness
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese - Part-skim or whole milk ricotta can be used
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, minced garlic, Parmesan cheese, chopped basil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cut a pocket into each chicken breast and stuff with the ricotta mixture.
  4. Heat olive oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the stuffed chicken breasts for 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown.
  5. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Serve the ricotta stuffed chicken hot, garnished with additional basil if desired.

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 25 minutes | Servings: 4


Calories: 320 per serving

Carbohydrates: 3g per serving

Protein: 40g per serving

Fat: 16g per serving

Saturated Fat: 7g per serving

Cholesterol: 130mg per serving

Sodium: 380mg per serving

Additional Notes: Feel free to add other herbs or spices to the ricotta mixture for additional flavor. This dish pairs well with a side of roasted vegetables or a fresh salad.

Keto-Friendly Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

These Keto-Friendly Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms are a delicious and satisfying low-carb dish. The combination of creamy ricotta, flavorful spinach, and hearty portobello mushrooms makes for a perfect appetizer or main course. This recipe is not only keto-friendly but also gluten-free and vegetarian, making it suitable for a variety of dietary preferences.


  • 4 large portobello mushrooms - stems removed
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese - preferably whole milk ricotta
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for drizzling


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Place the portobello mushrooms on a baking sheet, gill side up. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, chopped spinach, minced garlic, Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined.
  4. Remove the partially cooked mushrooms from the oven and carefully spoon the ricotta and spinach mixture into the mushroom caps, dividing it equally among them.
  5. Return the stuffed mushrooms to the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the filling is heated through and the mushrooms are tender.
  6. Serve the stuffed portobello mushrooms warm, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, if desired.

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4 servings


Calories: 220 per serving

Carbohydrates: 8g per serving

Protein: 14g per serving

Fat: 15g per serving

Saturated Fat: 9g per serving

Cholesterol: 45mg per serving

Sodium: 320mg per serving

Additional Notes: You can customize the filling by adding other keto-friendly ingredients such as cooked crumbled bacon or diced bell peppers. Make sure to remove excess moisture from the spinach before mixing it with the ricotta to prevent the filling from becoming watery. These stuffed mushrooms can also be grilled for a smoky flavor.

Keto-Friendly Zucchini and Ricotta Fritters

These Keto-Friendly Zucchini and Ricotta Fritters are a delicious and healthy option for a low-carb, high-fat diet. Packed with flavor and nutrients, these fritters are perfect for a satisfying breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The combination of zucchini and ricotta creates a light and fluffy texture, while the herbs and spices add a burst of savory goodness. Whether you're following a keto diet or simply looking for a tasty way to enjoy zucchini, these fritters are sure to be a hit!


  • 2 cups grated zucchini - Squeeze out excess moisture with a clean kitchen towel
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese - Use whole milk ricotta for a creamier texture
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, for frying


  1. In a large bowl, combine the grated zucchini, ricotta cheese, eggs, almond flour, Parmesan cheese, garlic, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Mix until well combined.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, scoop about 1/4 cup of the zucchini mixture into the skillet, flattening it slightly with a spatula. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy.
  3. Transfer the cooked fritters to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. Repeat the process with the remaining zucchini mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.
  4. Serve the fritters warm, garnished with a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of fresh herbs, if desired.

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Servings: 4 servings


Calories: 220 per serving

Carbohydrates: 7g per serving

Protein: 12g per serving

Fat: 16g per serving

Saturated Fat: 6g per serving

Cholesterol: 95mg per serving

Sodium: 380mg per serving

Additional Notes: These fritters can be customized with additional herbs and spices, such as fresh basil, thyme, or red pepper flakes. They can also be served with a side of marinara sauce or a simple green salad for a complete meal.

Further Reading

Explore over 200+ Keto recipes with our iPhone App, complete with an extensive starter guide and a wealth of valuable resources to enhance your Keto lifestyle journey. Download now to begin your adventure into delicious, health-conscious eating. provides a variety of keto-friendly recipes and resources, including information on ricotta cheese and its compatibility with the keto diet.

Diet Doctor offers comprehensive guides and articles on the keto diet, including information on ricotta cheese and its role in a keto-friendly diet.

Healthline offers evidence-based articles and resources on nutrition, including information on the nutritional profile of ricotta cheese and its suitability for the keto diet.

MyNetDiary provides tools and resources for tracking nutrition and managing a keto diet, including information on the carb content of ricotta cheese.

Perfect Keto offers articles and guides on the ketogenic diet, including information on ricotta cheese and its potential role in a keto-friendly meal plan.


Is ricotta cheese keto friendly?

Pro: Ricotta cheese is keto friendly because it is low in carbohydrates and high in fat and protein, making it a suitable option for those following a ketogenic diet. It can be included in keto recipes such as casseroles, pancakes, and desserts, providing a creamy texture and rich flavor without compromising ketosis.

Contra: Ricotta cheese may not be keto friendly for some individuals due to its moderate protein content and potential lactose content. While it is lower in carbohydrates compared to other cheeses, it still contains some amount of lactose, which could affect ketosis in sensitive individuals. Additionally, the protein content of ricotta cheese may need to be moderated to stay within the desired macro ratios for a ketogenic diet.

How does ricotta cheese fit into a keto diet?

Pro: Ricotta cheese can be a valuable addition to a keto diet as it provides a good source of high-quality protein and healthy fats, while being relatively low in carbohydrates. It can be used in various keto-friendly recipes, adding richness and creaminess without significantly impacting the carb intake. Additionally, the versatility of ricotta cheese allows for the creation of satisfying and flavorful keto meals and snacks.

Contra: In some cases, incorporating ricotta cheese into a keto diet may pose challenges, especially for individuals with lactose intolerance or those aiming for very strict carb restriction. The moderate lactose content in ricotta cheese could potentially hinder ketosis for some individuals, and the protein and fat content should be carefully considered to align with the specific macronutrient goals of the ketogenic diet.

What are the potential benefits and drawbacks of consuming ricotta cheese on a keto diet?

Pro: Consuming ricotta cheese on a keto diet can offer benefits such as a good source of protein, essential nutrients like calcium and phosphorus, and a satisfying texture for various keto-friendly dishes. Its moderate fat content can contribute to the overall fat intake required for ketosis, while the relatively low carbohydrate content makes it a favorable choice for many individuals following a ketogenic lifestyle.

Contra: Despite its potential benefits, consuming ricotta cheese on a keto diet may present drawbacks for some individuals, particularly those with lactose intolerance or specific dietary restrictions. The lactose content in ricotta cheese could lead to digestive discomfort or impact ketosis in sensitive individuals. Additionally, the protein and fat content of ricotta cheese should be carefully managed to align with the individual's keto goals and overall macronutrient intake.

January, 21st 2024 | This article was developed with the help of AI. We strongly recommend cross-checking critical facts and data for precision, as AI contributions do have limitations and may not be accurate.