Ricotta toasts with tomatoes are the perfect appetizer for your football and tailgating celebrations. Thick, creamy homemade ricotta cheese is layered thick on French bread slices and topped with fresh tomatoes and basil.

Easy Ricotta Toasts with Tomatoes Recipe | www.themessybakerblog.com

Sunday night football is back…

And the Squirrel goes wild!

I don’t know what it’s like in your house during football season, but the world stops spinning in our house every Thursday, Saturday, or Sunday. I swear, the NFL keeps adding more scheduled days each year.

Seasonal Tomatoes to spoon on top Ricotta Toasts | www.themessybakerblog.com

When I say the world stops spinning, I mean it. Nothing else matters but what’s playing on that gigantic television screen dedicated to Squirrel’s football viewing pleasure.

Not me. Not the dog. Or the cat.

I lie. The food matters. Squirrel starts planning his football menu one week prior to each game. He does strenuous research, weighs his options, and makes a grocery list. That grocery list is then handed to me with an expectant look of pride and excitement.

Ricotta Toasts with Tomatoes | www.themessybakerblog.com

Oh, and not just one appetizer will do. Oh no, folks, there has to be an entire table of appetizers. A variety. A buffet. A smorgasbord.

This week, the #SundaySupper crew is throwing a home turf tailgating party with Gallo Family Vineyards. Gallo is providing the mini bottles and we’re providing the food. Guys, these wee little jewel-colored bottles of wine are just too cute. So cute, you almost refrain from popping a few caps…almost.

Ricotta Toasts with Tomatoes Recipe | www.themessybakerblog.com

Here’s how football works in our house:

  • Jennie wakes up early to begin the appetizer making process while Squirrel sleeps in. Apparently, watching football and eating all the food requires extra stamina and energy. Psht!
  • Jennie also clears off the “buffet” table (aka coffee table) in the football-viewing area of the basement and plugs in the football tree. Yes, we have a 7-foot purple tree with hundreds of twinkling purple lights–go team!
  • Jennie then proceeds to make several trips down the stairs with the food to prepare the smorgasbord.
  • Squirrel commands the remote control while simultaneously fixing a plate.
  • Jennie heads back upstairs because there is no talking during the game. You see, Jennie is not equipped for silence and, therefore, is no good at the no talking rule. She must take herself out of the situation all together.

The no talking rule is for real. I wish I were kidding, but, sadly, I’m not. I could be drowning in the bathtub and my rescue mission would have to wait until a commercial.

Seasonal Tomatoes to spoon on top Ricotta Toasts | www.themessybakerblog.com

See where I rank?




I’m at the bottom of the list, folks.

Easy Ricotta Toasts with Tomatoes Appetizer | www.themessybakerblog.com

Some ladies are fishing wives. Others are hunting wives. I’m a football wife.

Today I made you one of Squirrel’s favorite appetizers. My dad is also known to scarf down a tray of these, too. Honestly, when I set out to make this particular recipe, I had the ladies in mind. Dainty little pieces of bread toasted to perfection with a smear or homemade ricotta and a mound of fresh tomatoes. It’s total lady food.

What happened was unexpected. All of the men flocked to the table and started hoarding all the lady toasts. Now they’re considered co-foodie toasts.

Ricotta Toasts with Tomatoes | www.themessybakerblog.com

I can’t blame the fellas for flocking to these dainty toasts. They’re topped with homemade ricotta, and if you’ve ever had homemade ricotta, then you know what’s up. If you’re a homemade ricotta virgin, then I urge you make it and and selfishly eat the entire bowl by yourself.

Homemade ricotta is unlike any ricotta that you get from the grocery store. It’s smooth, fluffy, silky, and absolutely the creamiest. I promise, it’s totally easy to make.

The fanciest piece of equipment you’ll need is a thermometer that you can attach to the side of your pot (they’re inexpensive, like $10). Heat the milk, cream, and salt until the mixture reaches 190 degrees F. Gently stir in 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Take the mixture off the heat and set your timer for 5 minutes.

While the mixture gets cheesy, line a mesh strainer with cheese cloth or a thin, clean tea towel and place it over a large bowl. Pour the mixture into the mesh strainer and wait for an hour.

You just made cheese.

Store the mixture in an airtight container until you’re ready to use.

Easy Ricotta Toasts with Tomatoes Appetizer for Football | www.themessybakerblog.com

The topping options are endless. My family always requests fresh tomatoes, but you could top them with caramelized onions and thyme, slices of cucumber and dill, or a sweet chutney. Let your imagination run wild.


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Ricotta Toasts with Tomatoes

Homemade ricotta cheese layered on French bread toasts and topped with fresh tomatoes and basil.



  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice


  • 1 baguette French bread
  • 1 recipe ricotta cheese
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper



  1. Add milk, cream, and salt to a large pot. Attach a candy or fry thermometer to the side of the pot. Cook over medium heat until the mixture reaches 190 degrees F, stirring occasionally.
  2. Take the mixture off of the heat and gently stir in the lemon juice. Let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.
  3. Line a mesh strainer with a few layers of cheese cloth or a clean, thin (it has to be thin) tea towel. Place the strainer over a deep bowl.
  4. Pour the mixture through the colander and allow the curds to strain for 1 hour. If you want a firmer ricotta, allow the curds to strain for 2 hours. Discard the liquid (whey).
  5. Serve the ricotta immediately or transfer to an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.

Assembling the toasts:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Cut the French bread into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place the slices on the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Allow the toasts to cool slightly on the baking sheet.
  3. Spread a thick layer of ricotta onto each slice of toast. Top with grape tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve.


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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Gallo Family Vineyards. All opinions are my own.