This Spinach Ricotta Pie is such a delicious appetizer or vegetarian dinner. With just a few ingredients and only 15 minutes of prep time, this flavorful Italian Ricotta Pie will be ready in no time!
In Italy when you talk Italian savory pies people usually have a Ricotta Pie recipe in mind. The other day I made the Italian Savory Rustic Pie which was my youngest daughter’s favourite, so today it is time for my eldest daughter’s favourite, a Ricotta Pie.
If you are looking for something a little lighter, healthier and meatless this pie is perfect. You can make it with a pre-made pie pastry or a homemade one such as this Savory Pie Dough or this Greek Yogurt Flaky Pie Crust.
- Pie dough – store bought or homemade
- Spinach – either fresh or frozen
- Ricotta – whole milk ricotta cheese
- Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
- Egg – large
- Milk – for brushing before baking
If you don’t like spinach then you can substitute with swiss chard, kale or even beet greens.
What is Ricotta Cheese?
Ricotta cheese is made from leftover whey from other cheeses, it can be from cow, goat, sheep or Italian Buffalo. Sometimes an acidifier is added.
Ricotta meaning recooked is just that, the recooking of the whey. Since it is not produced from curd, but from whey, ricotta cannot be considered a real cheese. The term ricotta can also mean the fresh one.
Most if not all the regions of Italy make their own ricotta but the most popular comes from Lazio, Abruzzo, Basilicata, Sicilia, Sardegna, Campania, Puglia, Calabria, Toscana, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lombardia e Piemonte. And Baked Ricotta is originally from the Region of Sardegna.
How to make a Spinach Ricotta Pie
In a medium bowl mix together with a wooden spoon or spatula the well-drained spinach (remove as much moisture as possible, nothing worse than a soggy pie), ricotta, parmesan cheese and egg.
Roll out the pie crust and fit to the pie plate, prick the dough well with the tongs of a fork. With the leftover dough use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes, strips or use an extra pie crust to cover the top completely.
Add the filling to the pie crust.
Cover with cut outs, strips or extra pie crust. Brush the top with milk.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes, let sit for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
What to serve with a Ricotta Pie
I like to serve it as a main dish with a couple of side dishes, such as a vegetable or two, including, one of my favourites Artichokes alla Romana or a Simple Tossed Green Bean dish, of course a simple salad or choose your favorite side dish.
- 1 pound of fresh spinach is equivalent to 1 cup of cooked spinach. A 10 ounce package of frozen spinach will make about 1 ½ cups cooked spinach.
- For additional flavor, you could dice ½ yellow onion and sauté with spinach until the onions become translucent.
- To make this with 3 cheeses, you could add ½ cup feta cheese to the spinach/chard mixture before adding to the pie crust.
Add paper towels to a bowl or strainer and place the cooked spinach on top. Fold the paper towels up and around the spinach and squeeze to remove the water.
To sauté spinach, place 1-2 Tablespoons classic olive oil in a pan. Add spinach and toss to coat with the oil. Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until wilted. Remove from heat and drain.
To keep the edges of your pie from browning too much, I recommend adding foil just around the edges once they are slightly browned.
A quiche is similar, but has more eggs and milk in the filling. If you did want to make this into a quiche, you could add 6-7 eggs whisked together with ⅔ cups milk and combined with the spinach mixture. Quiches are typically served at breakfast or brunch.
How to store Spinach Ricotta Pie
Cover any leftovers well with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container and refrigerate. It will keep for up to 2-3 days in the fridge.
Can you freeze the pie?
Ricotta cheese freezes quite well, to freeze the pie, wrap the completely cooled pie in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe bag or container. It will keep for 2-3 months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
Whether you decide to serve this Spinach Ricotta Pie as a main dish or side dish I hope you enjoy it and be sure to let me know what you think. Buon Appetito!
More Ricotta Cheese Recipes
Spinach Ricotta Pie
- 2 cups cooked spinach or swiss chard* (either boil or steam to cook) cooled
- 1 cup ricotta 250 grams
- ⅓ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1-2 crust pie dough (homemade or store bought)
*Drain really well, wring out a small amount at a time in your hands to remove as much moisture as possible. I used 1 cup of each.
- 1-2 tablespoons milk (for brushing)
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Lightly grease an 8 inch (20 cm) pie dish.
- In a medium bowl mix together with a wooden spoon or spatula the well-drained spinach (remove as much moisture as possible, nothing worse than a soggy pie), the ricotta, parmesan cheese and egg.
- Roll out the pie crust and fit to the pie dish, prick the dough well with the tongs of a fork. With the leftover dough use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes, strips or use an extra pie crust to cover the top completely.
- Add the filling to the pie crust and cover with the cut outs, strips or extra pie crust*. Brush the top with milk. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, let sit for 5 minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy!
*If covering the pie completely make slits or cut out a hole at the top of the pie to release steam while baking.
Updated from April 2, 2015.