This simple, yet elegant strawberry dessert is a perfect ending to a summer dinner. Strawberries with marsala and sweetened ricotta is an easy no-bake dessert for adults but if you want to serve it to kids, just swap the marsala for some grape juice.
I was first thinking of Strawberries Romanoff but quickly switched to Strawberries with Marsala and Sweetened Ricotta when I found this recipe in Nick Stellino’s cookbook and have adapted it to fit for me.
This recipe has a sweet, creamy, ricotta cheese bonnet piped on top of the strawberries that gives it an elegant presentation together with a fabulous taste. This is an easy dessert to serve as the finale of a fancy dinner or for a non-special everyday dessert.
Sweetened ricotta makes a great pairing with berries or any fruit for that matter. Try our baked pears with ricotta yogurt cream. It is a slightly lighter take on a fruit and ricotta dessert.
In this recipe, we added some richness to the ricotta by mixing in some mascarpone cheese. The mascarpone adds a few extra calories but gives the dessert a creamy, decadent texture. For more ricotta desserts, try our lemon ricotta strawberry tart or our ricotta pancakes (technically breakfast but it has sweetened ricotta).
- Sugar. You can use honey if you want a natural sweetener.
- Marsala. You could also use sherry or brandy but if you don’t care for the taste of marsala try using orange liqueur. For a non-alcoholic version, substitute with grape juice.
- Mascarpone cheese. If you can’t find mascarpone you could use cream cheese. The cream cheese won’t blend in as easily as the mascarpone unless you let it sit out and get soft.
- Vanilla extract.
Ricotta and Strawberry Dessert:
This dessert is light, refreshing, and so easy to make. The secret to this dessert is the macerated strawberries. When you macerate strawberries, you need to give them time to sit in the sweet liquid. It will soften the strawberries and give them time to absorb the flavors.
The ricotta already has a slightly sweet flavor on its own but a bit of extra sweetness turns this into a spectacular dessert. Did you know that ricotta is also delicious in savory recipes? Try it in our tomato tart or our ricotta mashed potatoes.
How to Pick the Best Ripe Strawberries:
Look for healthy, bright green leaves. If the leaves are dry and discolored then you know that the strawberries were sitting out for a while. The freshest strawberries will have perky green leaves.
Look for plump, bright red berries. Strawberries stop ripening as soon as they get picked off the plant. If your strawberries are still yellow, it was picked too soon. Check the tip of the strawberries. If the tip is red then it is completely ripened.
Check the container of strawberries for mold. If even one strawberry in the batch has mold then the rest of the strawberries will go bad very quickly.
How to Store Strawberries:
Strawberries don’t last long after they are picked but you can do a few things to extend their freshness.
Don’t wash them until you are ready to eat them. The moisture will make them mildew faster. If they do happen to get moisture on them then you can soak them in a diluted vinegar solution. The vinegar will help prevent them from growing mold.
Store strawberries in the fridge. The crisper drawer isn’t always the best place for produce, depending on your refrigerator. However, these produce bags really work well. We can get a few extra days out of our fruit and veggies with the bags.
More Chilled or Frozen Desserts
- Chocolate Raspberry Tart
- Chocolate Marshmallow Ice Cream
- Easy No Bake Caramel Turtle Pie
- Homemade Strawberry Popsicles (3 Ways)
- 31 Cool Summer Dessert Ideas
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- 1 pound strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
- 2 tablespoons sugar or honey
- 4 tablespoons sweet Marsala or orange liqueur
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese or cream cheese
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 strawberries for garnish or grated semi-sweet chocolate
- Mix the strawberries, sugar and Marsala or orange liqueur in a medium bowl and let sit for 30minutes.
- Combine the ricotta, mascarpone or cream cheese, honey and vanilla in another bowl, using an electric mixer or sturdy spoon to mix well. This mixture can be prepared early in the day and refrigerated until 30 minutes before serving.
- Divide the strawberries and their juices into four individual dishes. Spoon the ricotta cheese mixture into a pastry bag and pipe it on the top of the berries. Sprinkle with the grated chocolate and/or garnish with a whole strawberry.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 478Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 422mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 3gSugar: 41gProtein: 8g
Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.
This recipe was first published on April 25, 2014. We updated the photos but left one of the original photos below.