Whether you make it from scratch or simply buy it from the grocery store down the street, ricotta is a terrifically versatile cheese to keep on hand at all times. You can use it to create an irresistible topping for crostini, as the base for tasty dips and, of course, go the ever-popular lasagna route. But don’t just take our word for it, scroll through our collection of 15 fantastic recipes that put this fresh cheese to good use and see for yourself!

1. Grilled Bread with Ricotta and Tomatoes: An easy alternative to margarita pizza, simply toss some bread on the grill, spread with ricotta and sprinkle with ripe tomatoes and a mix of straight-from-the-garden herbs. (via Bon Appétit)

2. Baby Kale and Blackberry Salad: Ricotta salata punctuates this berry-, avocado- and almond-topped salad with savory salty notes. (via Taste, Love and Nourish)

3. Chocolate Ricotta Fritters with Cherry Compote: You’ll find a molten chocolate center tucked into the middle of these indulgent fritters. (via Raincoast Blog)

4. Classic Manicotti: Creamy ricotta is the backbone of this cheesy, filled pasta recipe. (via Saveur)

5. Ricotta Cheesecake: Unlike the better-known New York-style cheesecakes, this Italian-style beauty is almost ethereal in comparison. (via Gourmet)

6. Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi (Gluten-free): We’re swooning over all the gorgeous gem tones on display in this dish. (via The Bojon Gourmet)

7. Lemon Ricotta Pancakes: The sweeter, slightly orange flavor of Meyer lemons is a wonderful accompaniment to ricotta in these pancakes that are at once creamy and fluffy. (via Two Red Bowls)

8. Cannoli (Vegan): Almond “ricotta” and dairy-free cream cheese are blended together to create a vegan-friendly filling for homemade cannoli shells. (via Leaves and Flours)

9. Pizza Rustica: This may also go by the name of “Easter pie” but we’re not going to relegate this indulgent, layered tart to springtime — in fact, it has winter dinner written all over it! (via NPR)

10. Baked Ricotta with Orange Blossom Cherry Sauce: These custards fit into a dinner party menu as an appetizer, cheese course OR dessert — take your pick. (via Saveur)

11. Ricotta Gnudi: This ever-popular dish from The Spotted Pig in NYC can be finicky, but once you master the technique for making these soft, rich dumplings at home there’s no looking back. (via Serious Eats)

12. Roasted Strawberry + Ginger Ricotta Cheesecake: Wow. Roasting strawberries with a few spoonfuls of sugar and balsamic vinegar concentrates their flavor while creating a gorgeous glaze. Coupled with a gingersnap crust in place of the expected graham crackers, this is one cheesecake folks are certain to swoon over. (via Rasberri Cupcakes)

13. Grilled Peach and Prosciutto Crostini: Five ingredients, a little bit of grill action and a few minutes of slicing and spreading is all it takes to whip up these tasty bites. (via A Happy Food Dance)

14. Egg, Asparagus and Pancetta Pizza: Sure, most of us have enjoyed leftover pizza for breakfast, but this pie is actually designed to be eaten first thing in the morning! (via Oh My Breakfast)

15. Whipped Ricotta with Sweet Lemon-Basil Pesto and Grilled Pita: A couple minutes in the food processor transforms plain ol’ ricotta into a fluffy, smooth dip that pairs wonderfully with a unique, honey-sweetened and lemon-scented pesto and grilled pita. (via Yes to Yolks)

What’s the most unexpected way you’ve used up a tub of ricotta? Share with us in the comments below!