Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake

Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe

This has been a favorite recipe ever since I initially posted it in 2008. I threw together a zucchini-flecked ricotta cheesecake after a summer visit to the farmers' market. The green and yellow squash skins along with a nice amount of chopped dill visually pepper the interior of this savory cake. I used just enough egg to hold things together, creating a simple batter made primarily of ricotta cheese but also flavored with a bit of garlic, shallots, lemon zest, and a few straggler ingredients I found lounging around the kitchen seeking higher purpose. Lighter and less egg-y than a quiche it takes a while to bake, but minimal time ahead of that. Along with a few sides, it would be a welcome addition to any picnic basket, camping trip, or brunch.

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Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe

Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe

Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe

Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe

Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe

Keep in mind this is a ricotta based cheesecake - not one based on cream cheese. The texture is going to be different (and delicious) in its own right .

Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake

3.87 from 22 votes

To shred the zucchini use a box grater - most micro planes are too fine, you want shredded zucchini, not mush. Feel free to play around with the "add-in" ingredients - for example, use whatever chopped herbs you like. I had dill on hand, and I like how it tastes with summer squash, so dill it was. I suspect anything from chopped olives, sun-dried tomatoes, or chives, to spices, chopped spinach, or corn would work here. Also, when I have the time and inclination I'll drain the ricotta through cheesecloth to get even more moisture out of the cake, but to be honest, most times I won't bother. Lastly, I use a springform pan here, but you could use an equivalent baking dish or deep tart pan as well.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups zucchini unpeeled & grated
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese freshly shredded
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill chopped
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 large eggs well beaten
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil drizzle
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325F degrees, racks the middle. Butter/oil a 7-inch springform pan.
  2. In a strainer, toss the shredded zucchini with the salt and let sit for ten minutes. Now aggressively squeeze and press out as much moisture as you can. Then squeeze some more. Set aside.
  3. In the meantime, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, shallots, garlic, dill and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Stir in the eggs and continue mixing until well combined. Now stir in the shredded zucchini. Fill the springform pan with the ricotta mixture and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for sixty minutes. If there is any moisture left on top of the cake at this point, carefully use a bit of paper towel to dab it off. Now sprinkle with the goat cheese and return to the oven for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the goat cheese is melted and the cake barely jiggles in the center (it will set up more as it cools).

  4. At this point, if the cake is baked and set, but the top isn't quite golden, I'll zap it with the broiler (just about a minute) to get a bit more color on top. Remove from the oven and let cool five minutes, then release the cake from its pan. Cool completely, serve at room temperature drizzled with a bit of olive oil and a few sprigs of dill.
Serves
8
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 35 mins
 
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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  • This looks really delicious and I always look forward to receiving your recipes. They're creative and fun to make. Thanks!

    Pat
  • Heidi--this looks incredible! I'm going to a potluck dinner party next week, and the host is gluten-free. This is *perfect*. I can't wait to make it (and eat it!). I also have an unrelated question. I've been running across a lot of summer recipes calling for "mint". But, given that peppermint and spearmint (not to mention the countless other varieties!) are such different flavors, I'm confused which one to use. When you call for "mint" in a recipe, which do you have in mind? thanks-thanks-thanks!

    Ehrrin
  • This looks so wonderful what a great combination! You always have great recipes - Cheers Cathy www.wheresmydamnanswer.com

    Cathy C
  • This looks fabulous and very elegant in a rustic way. It might be really interesting to do a variation on it with slicing the zucchini and mixing it with a chunky pasta like rigatoni. Bake it in a casserole and top with a little extra Parm. What a great flavor combo this is.

    Deborah
  • This looks fabulous and very elegant in a rustic way. It might be really interesting to do a variation on it with slicing the zucchini and mixing it with a chunky pasta like rigatoni. Bake it in a casserole and top with a little extra Parm. What a great flavor combo this is.

    Deborah
  • I can't eat the cream cheese based cheesecakes, so this will be fantastic for me. It looks so lovely and rustic.

    Erin
  • Wow, this looks incredible! And much better for you than cheesecake....the savory stuff always pulls me in more anyway.

    Heather
  • Heidi, quick question for you, and I'm sorry to post it here, but the recipes in question are closed to comments now. I have been inundated with fruit from our CSA share and was planning to make some of the cakes you posted earlier this month - i.e., the buttermilk cake and the cobbler, using up as much as possible of the plums, apricots and berries I have on hand. What I'd like to do is freeze the cakes to take with us when we head to the beach in August. Have you tried freezing these? Do you think they'd freeze well? My guess is the buttermilk cake would be ok, but I'm not sure about the cobbler. Thanks so much. Btw, great timing on the zucchini recipes - we're getting tons of those, too! I made the zucchini bread several times last year and it is fabulous :-). Pam in Arlington, VA

    Pam
  • i have a surfeit of FM carrots and dill right now, so i think i'll try it with that instead of the zucchini. can't wait- this will make a perfect summer lunch.

    Ana
  • This sounds delicious. I've been using the recipe you posted for ricotta cheese (an archived post) quite a bit lately. This will have to be dinner for me soon.

    rainbowbrown
  • I am definitely making this over the weekend! I've tried a few of your recipes and have thoroughly enjoyed them. I love your blog!

    Alie
  • What an uncommon-looking savory cheesecake! It looks more like a quiche -- I can't wait to try it. I wonder though how it would do with Brie. I've been experimenting with Brie these days -- it may be too soft to set after being warmed, but I think I'll give it a try. Thanks for the inspiration. I'll let you know how I fare!

    Becky and the Beanstock
  • You're always one step ahead of me! I planned to bake something with zucchini over this weekend. it's freakish. you always post what I've been wanting to make. looks great.:) I think ricotta is a wonderful cheese to combine, more delicate in flavor.

    Tal
  • Mmmm, this would make an excellent lunch for us these days. Thanks!

    Flo Makanai
  • Mmm... that looks good. :)

    Heather
  • Perfect timing! I made my first ever ricotta last week (here's a picture) and I'm picking up another batch of milk tomorrow. The farmer said he was saving me extra so I could make more cheese. I know what I'll be making with it!

    Kitt
  • It looks like a frittata, but I love the addition of ricotta, to create a light texture and a boost of flavor. I might even add some sauteed corn... Looks wonderful - a perfect dish for a brunch!

    MangerLaVille
  • It looks fab. I love the top, all brown and rustic. Would make a wonderful lunch.

    katie
  • Wow, this looks delicious! I love to think of ways to "savourize" dishes, which are normally dessert.

    Mireille
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