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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  • Heidi, I made it and it was delicious. A bit similar to a tried and true one that I make frequently. Recipe below. Note; like you, I say grate the zucchini but in the interests of speed I take them to a coarse chop in the processor and it works just fine. 4 medium zucchini grated [or chopped coarsely] 1 large onion finely chopped 1 cup grated cheddar 1 cup selfraising flour 1/2 cup olive oil 5 eggs beaten 3 rashers chopped bacon [omit for vego option] salt and pepper Mix it all together and pour into large flan dish. Bake 180 Celsius 30-40mins till golden and firm on edge but still a bit soft in middle. Serve hot warm or room temperature. It never disappoints and everyone seems to like it but yours made a good change.

    anniem
  • This sounds so good!!

    Kevin
  • Hi Heidi I love your approach to food, simple, organic and delicious! The "cheesecake" looks really good, I am a vegetarian so I am looking forward to trying this recipe at home. I have a question about the baking. Did you do a water bath, as in most cheesecakes, or not? My spring form pan leaks... so I wanted to know which pan to use. I appreciate your help. Thanks!

    Rita
  • This recipe looks really good, it amazes me how you can do with zucchini- Wow cheese cake now.

    ms recipe
  • Hey! Great idea. We just got an overly large zucchini (about the size of a small dog) and I have been pondering the ways to use it. Coincidentally, I also have ricotta lurking in the fridge and waiting to go bad before I use it. Triple play: about eight herbs in big, beautiful form in my garden out back. Perfect, unfussy summer menu addition! Thanks.

    Erin
  • oh this looks so so good. I think I'll have to make this this weekend

    Marissa
  • Ooh... in a couple weeks I'm planning on making my own Ricotta at a workshop at Whole Foods.. what a perfect use!! Fabulous.

    Allison
  • This looks delicious!!

    Lily
  • Oh, this is mouth watering! And a great use for zucchini!

    Rebecca
  • Hi heidi: I am loyal, if quiet, reader and have been so pleased with many of your recipes (you're my first source in the "what can I do NEW" recipe search). Anyway, I'm thinking--would it work to halve and bak in individual ramekins? The BF and I are cheese lovers to the point that is is scary to have enough ricotta cheesecake around for 8 and realize suddenly that we've only fed 2. So, I'm looking for ways to make it a bit more manageable for small households. Holly B

    Holly B.
  • Look absolutely delicious and I love zuchhini and ricotta!! xxGloria

    Gloria
  • This looks great. Dill and summer squash are fantastic together!

    lisa
  • Perfect recipe to use up an abundance of fresh zucchini. Plus, your timing is impeccable...the LA Times says today is National Cheesecake Day! (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dailydish/2008/07/celebrate-natio.html)

    Lori
  • A savory cheesecake, eh?? Interesting!!

    VeggieGirl
  • If you want to use up your zucchini try also the "Quinoa and Grilled Zucchini" recipe here - it will blow you away. Best Quinoa recipe ever. (well, at least to my mouth)

    Stephanie
  • YUM! I was just looking for a recipe to use up my zucchini. Fantastic. Thanks for the great recipe, as always, Heidi. Sheila www.livewell360.com

    Sheila
  • yum! I make a very similar version using spinach all throughout the year -- it's so easy and delicious! I have some gargantuan summer squash in my garden right now, so I'll have to give this version a try! Thanks!

    Jen (Modern Beet)
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