If you’re able to restrain yourself from just eating it plain with a spoon, creamy ricotta cheese could be the missing element that your dinners need. At once rich and light, a spoon or schmear adds a tasty touch to everything from stuffed pasta recipes to fancy toasts. Mixed, dolloped, stirred, or spread, here are 15 delicious recipes that add more ricotta to your life.

1. Quinoa Lasagna Stuffed Peppers: These stuffed peppers are a surprisingly convenient make-ahead meal. Make a double recipe, then keep a tray in the freezer to reheat on busy nights. (via The Girl on Bloor)

2. Pork and Ricotta Meatball Soup: The secret to keeping these pork meatballs light and tender is adding a generous dollop of ricotta cheese to the meat before you form it. Lightly brown the meatballs, then add the soup ingredients and gently simmer until everything is cooked through. (via Seasons and Suppers)

3. 5-Ingredient Cherry Tomato and Ricotta Pasta: You only need five common ingredients to make this crave-worthy pasta dish. Cherry tomatoes (which are sweet year-round), garlic, and a simple creamy sauce to coat each bite. (via Cooking for Keeps)

4. Lemon Pepper Sardine Toasts: When you’re really pressed for time, fancy toasts are the perfect way to eat a full, composed meal. (via Killing Thyme)

5. Quinoa and Ricotta Meatballs With Zoodles: Zucchini noodles and meatballs are a summery take on your favorite Italian meal. Serve with homemade marinara and plenty of grated Parmesan on top. (via Foodie Girl Chicago)

6. Watercress Pesto, Ricotta, and Tomato Tart: Watercress pesto has a peppery bite that’s a bit more assertive than the basil version you’re used to. Tangy, sweet tomatoes and whole milk ricotta balance it out. (via Cake n Knife)

7. Chicken Ricotta Tamales: Adding ricotta to your tamales results in something pillow-soft and moist. Lightly acidic pico de gallo is spooned on top before serving to help cut through the natural sweetness of the dough. (via With Salt and Pepper)

8. Ricotta and Spinach Gnudi Bake: Gnudi are ricotta-based dumplings, in this case made with spinach for extra color and flavor. Baked with tomato sauce, they’re a nice departure from a dish like lasagna. (via The Cook Report)

9. Leek, Sausage, and Ricotta Focaccia: A focaccia crust gives this flatbread pizza a heft you’ll appreciate when you come home hungry. Top it with sausage, leeks, and a generous amount of fresh ricotta. (via Our Salty Kitchen)

10. Egg Yolk Ravioli: Impress dinner party guests without having to break the bank by serving this deceptively simple dish of jumbo egg-yolk-stuffed ravioli. The yolk spills out of the pasta once you start eating, creating a rich sauce on your plate. (via Susan’s Table)

11. Easy Pumpkin Gnocchi: Pumpkin gnocchi is delicious, yes. But the browned butter sage sauce is the real star of this dish — you’ll want to drink it from the pan. (via Recipe Tin Eats)

12. One-Pot Unstuffed Shells: We love stuffed shells, except for that pesky stuffing part, of course. Luckily, there’s a workaround — just stir everything together in one pan to save time. (via Crazy for Crust)

13. Ricotta Toast: Sweet corn, or ripe tomatoes? You won’t be forced to choose when you make this ricotta toast duo. (via Our Salty Kitchen)

14. Skillet Lasagna With Ricotta and Greens: Our favorite way to get in loads of greens is to simply sauté them before tossing with pasta. They’re even more delicious in this cheesy recipe, which gets deliciously toasted at the bottom of the skillet. (via The Healthy hunter Blog)

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