If you want a wonderful traditional Italian dessert for Good Friday, Easter Sunday or really, any time you want a rich, flavorful pie, try this sweet Italian ricotta pie. This is a super-easy and uncomplicated recipe and it’s perfect for this time of year to celebrate Christ’s resurrection!
Italian Traditions Remembered with Italian Ricotta Pie Recipe
It’s funny how, as you get older, you long for the things that connect you to your childhood. I grew up in an Italian home, with grandparents from Italy and a dad who emigrated to the U.S. himself at a young age. Our home was mostly American, but our Italian heritage definitely came out with the holidays and the food we ate to celebrate them.
I wasn’t especially smart and didn’t get a ton of recipes first-hand from my grandma (I did manage to wrestle her pizza rustica recipe from my uncle’s tight fist). But with the coming of Easter, I wanted to make something special that really honors my family history (and tastes amazing).
In honor of my grandma, I’m sharing this super-easy Italian Easter Ricotta Pie Recipe.
This is one of the best simple but delicious recipes that requires only basic ingredients. You don’t need any fancy kitchen gear like a springform pan or even a food processor – you don’t even need a rolling pin (unless you want to make your own pie crust!).
It’s just good, old-fashioned easy baking for a delicious pie you can serve at Easter Sunday at a brunch or dinner, or really, any time of the year for any occasion. It’s also perfect if you’re a beginner in the kitchen!
(Fun Fact: This pie has similarities to cannoli, Cassatelle, and pizza dolce.)
Ingredients for Ricotta Pie Recipe
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 uncooked pie crust (sweet pie crust, graham cracker, your choice! You certainly can make your own if you prefer!)
1.5 lbs. fresh ricotta (store containers are fine – be sure to drain! You can do this by pouring out excess moisture or placing it a cheese cloth over a bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours. If you have a fine strainer, you can place the ricotta in the strainer over a bowl in the refrigerator as well.)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
5 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon plus a few shakes more
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
3-4 Tbsp lemon zest (approximately from one lemon. You can also use orange zest if you prefer! Fresh lemon juice can be used as well. Just be aware the excess moisture could impact the texture of the pie.)
Steps for Ricotta Pie
Creating this sweet ricotta pie is so easy. It doesn’t require separating dry ingredients from wet or any kind of special flour mixture or separating out egg whites or using cold butter. This truly is one of the best Italian desserts recipes, easy enough for those who are intimidated by pie- making.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- With an electric mixer or using a hand beater and a large bowl, combine ricotta (remember to drain!) and sugar.
- Add one egg at a time to the mixture.
- While continuing to mix, add in vanilla and cinnamon.
- Finally, mix in mini chips and lemon zest with a wooden spoon. Blend until it’s a creamy ricotta mixture.
- When thoroughly mixed, pour ricotta mixture into the pie crust and place pie pan on a baking sheet to ensure the bottom crust stays firm and supported. (This mixture should fill up the pie crust. If it’s looking like you’ll have too much pie mixture, pour the rest into another oven-safe pan and bake as a crustless version!)
- Then, add a pinch of cinnamon (or more) on top of the ricotta filling and swirl through the top of the pie with a sharp knife. There’s no top crust or lattice pattern for this pie.
- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until it is set, when a toothpick comes out clean.
- Place the pie plate on a wire rack and let cool before serving!
You can serve this delicious dessert with whipped cream or ice cream as well!
How to Store Italian Ricotta Cheese Pie
This pie can be stored in your refrigerator for 3-4 days, covered with plastic wrap. It can also be frozen (in its entirety or by the slice) for 3 months when wrapped securely and stored in an airtight container.
To eat, remove from the freezer and place in the refrigerator to thaw and eat chilled.
If you’d like a succinct, printable recipe card, see below!
Simple & Delicious Italian Ricotta Pie
- 1 uncooked pie crust (sweet pie crust, graham cracker, your choice! You certainly can make your own if you prefer!)
- 1.5 lbs. fresh ricotta
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon plus a few shakes more
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- 3-4 Tbsp lemon zest
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. With an electric mixer or using a hand beater and a large bowl, combine ricotta and sugar.
3. Add one egg at a time to the mixture.
4. While continuing to mix, add in vanilla and cinnamon.
5. Finally, mix in mini chips and lemon zest with a wooden spoon. Blend until it's a creamy ricotta mixture.
6. Pour ricotta mixture into the pie crust and place pie pan on a baking sheet. Add a pinch of cinnamon (or more) on top of the ricotta filling and swirl through the top of the pie with a sharp knife.
7. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until it is set, when a toothpick comes out clean.
8. Place the pie plate on a wire rack and let cool before serving!
Store in refrigerator for 3-4 days, covered with plastic wrap. The pie can be frozen (in its entirety or by the slice) for 3 months when wrapped securely and stored in an airtight container.
To eat, remove from the freezer and place in the refrigerator to thaw, and eat chilled.
*This was inspired by the original recipe of Proud Italian Cook. with a few tweaks.
*I’ve seen almost this exact recipe made with 1 cup of heavy cream plus 1 cup of whole milk. I haven’t tried it, but you can take a look here if that interests you! That recipe makes 2 pies.
Traditional Italian Easter Pie for a Nostalgic Family Experience
This sweet treat is so perfect for an Italian family get together at Easter time – or any family if you happen to love Italian food. The best part of enjoying this dessert is that is brings me back to my Italian heritage, and I never want that part of me to be lost.
If you made this traditional Easter dessert, I’d love to hear about it or even see it! Please tag me on Instagram @100affections, leave a comment on Pinterest, or leave them below!
More Easter Treats
35 of the Cutest and Most Delicious Easter Treats
Easy Easter Dessert Recipe: Trifle Parfaits
Easy, No-Bake Rice Krispie Treat Bird’s Nest (3 Ways for Easter & Spring)
Fabulous Easter Candy and Dessert Charcuterie Board Your Gathering Needs
Other thoughts? I’d love to hear them! Leave a note in the box below! Happy Baking!
Chef John says
I’ve tried to make different versions of this pie and this one was far and above the best. Its the first time my family really raved about this pie
Oh wow! Thank you, Chef John! You have no idea how much that means to me! So glad it was a hit with your family! 🙂