How Long Does Ricotta Salata Last? Expert Tips for Longer Shelf Life

If you’re a cheese lover, you have probably tasted and enjoyed the delicious flavors of ricotta salata. This cheese is popularly used in a variety of dishes, such as pizza, salads, and pasta. Unfortunately, if you don’t store ricotta salata properly, it can easily go bad, which could ultimately ruin your meal. So, how long does ricotta salata last? Let’s find out.

First, you need to know that ricotta salata can last for several weeks, as long as it is stored appropriately. When you purchase ricotta salata, be sure to check the label for the expiration date. If you plan to consume it in a few days, store it in the refrigerator. However, it can last even longer if you keep it in an airtight container.

Second, if you find that your ricotta salata has gone bad, you’ll notice changes in its texture, color, and smell. The cheese may appear slimy, spongy, or sticky, and it may develop a sour aroma. In this case, it’s best to discard the cheese, as it could cause food poisoning.

Lastly, it’s essential to always use fresh and high-quality ingredients when making your dishes, especially when it comes to ricotta salata. This cheese adds a unique flavor to your meals, so make sure it’s fresh and properly stored. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy your ricotta salata for longer and avoid any potential food-related illnesses.

What is Ricotta Salata?

Ricotta salata is a type of Italian cheese that is made from the wet residue of cow’s, sheep’s, or goat’s milk after it has been pressed and strained. The cheese is then salted and aged for a period of time to allow it to dry and firm up. Ricotta salata is commonly found in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine and has a distinctive salty and tangy flavor that pairs well with a variety of dishes.

How is Ricotta Salata Made?

Ricotta salata is a type of Italian cheese. It is made from the whey that is left over after making other cheese like mozzarella and provolone. The process of making ricotta salata involves several steps that require expertise and precision.

  • Whey collection: The milk used for making other cheese is heated to separate curds and whey. The whey is then collected and transferred to a cheese vat.
  • Acidification: Acidification is the process of lowering the pH of the whey to induce coagulation. To do this, citric acid or vinegar is added to the whey.
  • Heating: The whey is heated to a temperature of 185°F to 195°F. As the temperature rises, the whey proteins begin to coagulate.
  • Curd formation: Curd formation is the next step in the process. The coagulated proteins are then pressed to remove excess whey. The curds are then salted and aged for several weeks.

Once the aging process is over, the hardened cheese is then sliced, grated, and packaged for sale. Ricotta salata is usually sold in rounds or wedges, and it can be found at specialty food stores or Italian markets.

What is the nutritional value of ricotta salata?

Ricotta salata is a type of Italian cheese that is made from the whey part of sheep milk, which is pressed, salted, and aged for at least 90 days. It has a firm texture and a tangy, slightly salty taste that makes it a popular ingredient in many Italian dishes. But what is the nutritional value of ricotta salata? Let’s take a closer look.

  • Low in calories: One ounce of ricotta salata contains only about 70 calories, which makes it a great option for those who are watching their weight.
  • Rich in protein: Ricotta salata is a good source of protein, with about 5 grams per ounce. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, and it also helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied.
  • Low in carbohydrates: Ricotta salata is also low in carbs, with only about 1 gram per ounce. This makes it a good choice for those who are following a low-carb or ketogenic diet.
  • High in calcium: Ricotta salata is a rich source of calcium, with about 250 milligrams per ounce. Calcium is important for strong bones and teeth, and it also plays a role in muscle function and nerve transmission.
  • Rich in vitamin A: Ricotta salata is a good source of vitamin A, with about 10% of the recommended daily intake per ounce. Vitamin A is important for healthy skin, vision, and immune function.

In summary, ricotta salata is a nutritious and delicious cheese that can be a great addition to a healthy diet. It is low in calories, rich in protein, low in carbohydrates, high in calcium, and rich in vitamin A. Whether you’re using it in salads, pastas, or sandwiches, ricotta salata is a versatile ingredient that can help you to create a variety of tasty and healthy meals.

What are the health benefits of ricotta salata?

Ricotta salata is a type of Italian cheese that is made from sheep’s milk which is a good source of several important nutrients, including calcium, protein, and vitamins.

  • Calcium: Ricotta salata is an excellent source of calcium, with each ounce providing about 15% of the recommended daily intake. Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth and also plays a role in muscle function and nerve transmission.
  • Protein: A one-ounce serving of ricotta salata contains about 5 grams of protein, making it a good source for vegetarians and vegans. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, enzymes, and hormones.
  • Vitamins: Ricotta salata is a good source of several essential vitamins, including vitamin A and vitamin B12. Vitamin A is essential for healthy vision and skin, and vitamin B12 is involved in brain function, red blood cell production, and DNA synthesis.

Ricotta salata is also a low-calorie cheese, making it an excellent addition to a healthy diet. It is lower in fat and sodium than many other types of cheese, making it a good option for those trying to manage their weight and blood pressure. Additionally, because it is made from sheep’s milk, it is suitable for people with lactose intolerance, as sheep’s milk is lower in lactose than cow’s milk.

Nutrient Amount per 1 oz serving %DV*
Calories 120 6%
Protein 5g 10%
Fat 10g 15%
Calcium 150mg 15%
Vitamin A 200IU 4%
Vitamin B12 0.5μg 8%

Overall, ricotta salata is a delicious and nutritious cheese that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, from sprinkling it on top of salads or pasta dishes to using it as a filling for stuffed vegetables or protein dishes.

How is ricotta salata different from other types of ricotta cheese?

Ricotta salata is a type of ricotta cheese that is unique in both taste and texture. While ricotta cheese is typically a soft, fluffy cheese made using the whey left over from production of other types of cheese, ricotta salata is pressed, salted, and dried to create a firmer, more savory cheese.

  • Texture: Ricotta salata has a firm texture that is crumbly and slightly grainy in comparison to softer ricotta cheese.
  • Taste: Ricotta salata has a more intense, saltier taste than regular ricotta cheese.
  • Uses: Ricotta salata is often used as a topping or ingredient in salads, pasta dishes, and sandwiches. Regular ricotta cheese is often used in dishes like lasagna, cannoli, and cheesecake.

Because of its denser texture and saltier taste, ricotta salata has a longer shelf life than regular ricotta cheese. However, it’s still important to store it properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator to prevent spoilage.


While ricotta salata and regular ricotta cheese may share a similar name, they are two distinct types of cheese with different textures, flavors, and uses in the kitchen. Understanding these differences can help you choose the right type of ricotta for your culinary needs and ensure that your dishes turn out delicious every time.

Ricotta Salata Regular Ricotta Cheese
Firm, crumbly texture Soft, fluffy texture
Salty, savory taste Mild, slightly sweet taste
Used as a topping or ingredient in salads, pasta dishes, and sandwiches Used in dishes like lasagna, cannoli, and cheesecake
Longer shelf life Shorter shelf life

Overall, ricotta salata is a versatile and delicious cheese that can add a unique taste and texture to a variety of dishes in the kitchen.

Can ricotta salata be frozen?

If you have a lot of ricotta salata and want to ensure it lasts longer, it is possible to freeze it. However, it is important to note that the texture and flavor may change once thawed. The freezing process can cause the cheese to become crumbly and lose some of its flavor.

  • Before freezing ricotta salata, it is recommended to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
  • It is also a good idea to label and date the package before placing it in the freezer to keep track of how long it has been frozen.
  • When it comes time to use the frozen cheese, it is important to thaw it slowly in the refrigerator. This can take several hours or even overnight, depending on the size of the package.

While freezing ricotta salata is an option, it is best to consume it fresh within its recommended shelf life or store it in the refrigerator for short-term use.

If you are unsure about the safety or quality of frozen ricotta salata, it is best to use your judgment and evaluate the cheese before consuming it. Any changes in color, texture, or smell could indicate that the cheese has gone bad and should not be eaten.

Storage Method Refrigerator Freezer
Unopened ricotta salata Up to 4 weeks Up to 6 months
Opened ricotta salata Up to 2 weeks Up to 6 months

Remember to always practice safe food storage and handling methods to ensure the longevity and quality of your ricotta salata.

How should ricotta salata be stored?

Ricotta salata is a firm, salted cheese made from sheep’s milk whey. It has a crumbly texture and a slightly sweet, nutty flavor that makes it a versatile ingredient for all kinds of dishes. But if you want to make the most out of this delicious cheese, proper storage is essential. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Keep ricotta salata wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to protect it from air, moisture, and other contaminants.
  • Store the cheese in your refrigerator’s cheese drawer or the coldest part of your refrigerator, where the temperature is between 34°F to 38°F (1°C to 3°C).
  • Don’t store ricotta salata with other strong-smelling foods, as it can absorb their flavor and develop an off-taste.
  • Always use a clean knife or cheese slicer to cut ricotta salata to avoid cross-contamination with other bacteria.
  • Wrap the cheese tightly after every use, as ricotta salata tends to dry out quickly when exposed to air.
  • If you need to store ricotta salata for an extended period, consider grating it and freezing it into portions. Frozen ricotta salata can last for up to six months, but the texture may change slightly after thawing.
  • Lastly, always check the expiry date on the packaging before buying and storing ricotta salata. Expired cheese can grow bacteria and cause food poisoning.

By following these simple guidelines, you can extend the shelf life of your ricotta salata and ensure that it tastes its best in every dish you make. Enjoy!

What are some dishes that use ricotta salata?

Ricotta salata is a versatile Italian cheese that can be used in a wide range of dishes. Here are some popular recipes that feature this delightful cheese:

  • Grilled Vegetable Salad: Ricotta salata is a great addition to grilled vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers. Simply grill the vegetables to your liking and toss them with some baby arugula and a drizzle of olive oil. Top with crumbled ricotta salata for a refreshing summer salad.
  • Pasta alla Norma: This is a classic Sicilian dish that combines pasta with tomato sauce, fried eggplant, and ricotta salata. The cheese helps to balance out the acidity of the tomato sauce and adds a creamy texture to the dish.
  • Watermelon Salad: This refreshing summer salad is a combination of watermelon, feta cheese, and fresh mint. But why not switch up the recipe and use ricotta salata instead of feta? The cheese adds a creamy and slightly salty flavor that pairs perfectly with the sweet watermelon.

But these are just a few examples of the many dishes that can be enhanced with ricotta salata. Its crumbly texture and mild, slightly salty flavor make it a perfect topping for salads, pizzas, and pasta dishes. Here is a table of popular dishes that use ricotta salata:

Dish Description
Pasta alla Norma Sicilian pasta dish with tomato sauce, fried eggplant, and ricotta salata
Grilled Vegetable Salad Grilled vegetables with baby arugula and ricotta salata
Watermelon Salad Watermelon, feta cheese, and mint salad (can be substituted with ricotta salata)
Pizza Thin crust pizza with tomato sauce, fresh basil, and ricotta salata
Frittata Italian omelette with ricotta salata and vegetables

As you can see, ricotta salata is a versatile cheese that can be used in a variety of dishes. It adds a touch of creaminess and saltiness that can enhance the flavor of many different ingredients. Give it a try in your next recipe!

How does the taste of ricotta salata compare to other types of cheese?

Ricotta salata is a unique cheese that is known for its salty and slightly tangy taste. Although it is made from the same whey protein as regular ricotta cheese, the salting and drying process that it undergoes give it a distinct flavor that sets it apart from other types of cheese. Here are some comparisons of the taste of ricotta salata to other popular cheeses:

  • Feta Cheese: Both ricotta salata and feta cheese have a salty taste, but feta has a more crumbly texture and sharper flavor than ricotta salata.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan cheese has a nutty, savory taste that is more intense than ricotta salata. It is also drier and more crumbly than ricotta salata.
  • Goat Cheese: Goat cheese has a tangy, slightly sweet flavor that is different from the saltiness of ricotta salata. It also has a more spreadable texture than ricotta salata.

Overall, ricotta salata has a unique taste that is great for adding a salty kick to dishes. Its mild flavor makes it versatile and easy to pair with other ingredients, whether it be in salads, pastas, or as a topping for pizzas.

If you’re looking for a cheese that isn’t overly strong or pungent, ricotta salata is a great option. Its subtle flavor won’t overpower other ingredients in a dish, but it will still add a delicious savory element that can take a recipe to the next level.

For those who need to eat dairy-free, ricotta salata is not a suitable cheese alternative, but there are many non-dairy options available on the market today.

Cheese Taste Texture
Ricotta salata Salty, tangy Semi-soft
Feta Cheese Salty, sharp Crumbly
Parmesan Cheese Nutty, savory Hard, crumbly
Goat Cheese Tangy, slightly sweet Soft, spreadable

No matter what type of cheese you prefer, ricotta salata is definitely worth trying. Its unique flavor and texture make it a delicious addition to a wide range of dishes, and it is sure to impress even the most discerning cheese lovers.

What are some variations of ricotta salata throughout different regions/countries?

Ricotta salata is a versatile cheese that has many variations in different regions and countries. Here are some of the variations:

  • Italy: In Italy, ricotta salata is made using sheep’s milk and has a milky, slightly sweet flavor. It is commonly crumbled over salads, pasta dishes, and vegetables.
  • Greece: In Greece, a similar cheese called anthotyro is made using goat’s milk and is often used in savory pies and pastries.
  • Tunisia: In Tunisia, a spiced version of ricotta salata called jben is popular. It is seasoned with spices such as cumin, coriander, and hot chili peppers.

Ricotta salata can also vary in texture, depending on the region and method of production. Some common variations include:

  • Firmer texture: In some regions, ricotta salata is pressed and aged for several months to create a firmer, drier texture. This version is often used for grating over pasta dishes.
  • Softer texture: In other regions, ricotta salata is left unpressed and has a soft, crumbly texture. This version is often used for salads and as a topping for pizzas and bruschetta.

Comparison of Different Variations of Ricotta Salata

Here’s a table that compares the different variations of ricotta salata:

Variation Country/Region Texture Flavor Uses
Ricotta Salata Italy Firm Milky, slightly sweet Salads, pasta dishes, vegetables
Anthotyro Greece Soft Mild, tangy Savory pies and pastries
Jben Tunisia Firm Spicy Seasoned cheese for salads, sandwiches

These variations of ricotta salata add unique flavors and textures to dishes. It’s worth exploring the different variations and trying them out in your favorite recipes.

FAQs About How Long Does Ricotta Salata Last

1. How long does ricotta salata last in the fridge?

Ricotta salata can last up to 2-3 weeks in the fridge as long as it is stored properly in an airtight container.

2. Can you freeze ricotta salata?

Yes, you can freeze ricotta salata for up to 6 months. However, it may lose some of its texture and flavor after being frozen.

3. How can I tell if my ricotta salata has gone bad?

If the cheese has a sour smell or taste or appears moldy or discolored, it is best to discard it.

4. Can I keep ricotta salata unrefrigerated?

No, it is best to keep ricotta salata stored in the fridge to prevent bacterial growth and spoilage.

5. How long does ricotta salata last once opened?

Once opened, ricotta salata can last up to 1-2 weeks in the fridge if properly stored.

6. What dishes can I make with leftover ricotta salata?

Ricotta salata can be used in a variety of dishes, such as salads, pasta, pizza, and sandwiches.

7. Is ricotta salata safe for people with lactose intolerance?

Ricotta salata is a low-lactose cheese, so it may be safe for some people with lactose intolerance to consume in small amounts.

Closing Thoughts

Thank you for taking the time to learn about how long ricotta salata lasts. By following proper storage guidelines, you can ensure that your cheese stays fresh for as long as possible. We hope you found this information helpful and encourage you to visit us again for more food-related articles. Happy cooking!