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Do you add eggs to ricotta cheese for lasagna?

Quick Answer

It is not necessary to add eggs to ricotta cheese when making lasagna. Ricotta cheese on its own has a soft, spreadable texture that works well as a lasagna filling. However, some recipes do call for adding an egg or two to the ricotta. This helps bind the cheese mixture together, creates a richer flavor, and results in a more cohesive, sliceable lasagna. So whether to add eggs comes down to personal preference. Lasagna made with just ricotta will be lighter and more delicate, while ricotta mixed with eggs makes for a more robust and scoopable lasagna. Both versions taste great!

Do You Have to Add Eggs to Ricotta for Lasagna?

No, it is not essential to add eggs to ricotta when making lasagna. Here are a few key points on whether eggs are necessary for ricotta cheese in lasagna:

  • Ricotta on its own has a creamy, spreadable consistency that works well as a lasagna filler. The soft, moist curds allow the ricotta to be layered smoothly between the pasta sheets.
  • Many traditional lasagna recipes rely solely on ricotta cheese as the filling, no eggs added. The ricotta provides plenty of richness, tang, and the right texture.
  • Adding eggs makes the ricotta mixture more dense, scoopable, and sliceable when baked. But a softer, more delicate lasagna texture also has its fans.
  • Eggs boost the protein content of the cheese filling, creating a more nutritious lasagna.
  • The eggs add color and a subtle eggy flavor that enriches the ricotta cheese.
  • Lasagna holds together fine without eggs. Proper layering and baking helps the lasagna slices hold their shape when serving.

So in summary, while eggs are certainly an optional enhancement, they are not essential for making tasty lasagna with ricotta cheese as the base filling.

Why Do People Add Eggs to Ricotta for Lasagna?

Even though eggs are not strictly necessary for ricotta cheese in lasagna, many recipes do include them. Here are the main reasons eggs are commonly added to ricotta for lasagna:

  • Binding and structure – Eggs act as a binding agent that helps hold the ricotta filling together once baked. This results in a more cohesive, sliceable lasagna that neatens up the layers.
  • Richer flavor – Eggs provide extra creaminess and a subtle eggy taste that enriches the mild flavor of fresh ricotta.
  • Nutrition – Eggs boost the protein content of the ricotta, making for a more nutritious and hearty lasagna.
  • Prevents wateriness – Uncooked eggs help absorb any water leaking from the ricotta that could otherwise compromise the lasagna’s texture.
  • Improved consistency – The eggs make the ricotta thicker and more scoopable, with a texture many prefer over soft plain ricotta.
  • Color – Eggs provide a vibrant yellow hue that makes the ricotta layers more visually appealing.

So while not a must, eggs offer enough benefits that many cooks opt to include them in their ricotta cheese mix for lasagna. It comes down to personal preference for the optimal texture, flavor, and appearance.

How Many Eggs Should You Add?

If adding eggs to ricotta for lasagna, most recipes call for 1 or 2 eggs per pound (450g) of ricotta cheese. A general guideline is:

  • 1 medium egg per 1 pound (450g) ricotta
  • 2 medium eggs per 2 pounds (900g) ricotta

Factors like the following can help determine the ideal number of eggs:

  • How firm and dense you want the ricotta – more eggs makes a firmer, denser filling
  • Presence of other binders – spinach or cottage cheese blended into the ricotta may mean fewer eggs needed
  • Moisture content of the cheese – drier ricotta may need more eggs for binding
  • Personal taste – creamier ricotta is preferable for some, while others like the richness of extra eggs

Start with 1 egg per pound of ricotta as a base, and adjust up or down from there. Too many eggs risks an overly dense or rubbery texture. Go easy until you find your perfect ricotta to egg ratio for lasagna.

What Are Some Example Ricotta and Egg Ratios for Lasagna?

Here are some example ratios of eggs to ricotta cheese commonly used in lasagna recipes:

Ricotta Amount Eggs Added
15 oz (425g) ricotta 2 eggs
1 lb (450g) ricotta 1 egg
2 lbs (900g) ricotta 2-3 eggs
32 oz (910g) ricotta 3 eggs
3 lbs (1.4kg) ricotta 4-5 eggs

These examples reflect typical egg amounts used in ricotta-based lasagna recipes. However, feel free to adjust the quantities as desired to achieve your preferred ricotta cheese consistency. Start on the lower end, adding more eggs only if needed to bind the mixture.

Should You Drain the Ricotta?

Most recipes recommend draining ricotta cheese before adding it to lasagna, whether you are including eggs or not. Draining removes excess moisture from the cheese for the following advantages:

  • Prevents watery layers in the lasagna
  • Helps the lasagna hold its shape better when cut
  • Allows the ricotta to bind together better
  • Reduces the chance of boiled over or broken lasagna
  • Intensifies the flavor of the ricotta

To drain ricotta, simply place it in a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Let it drain over a bowl in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 2-4 hours until thickened to your liking. Then incorporate the eggs and continue with your regular lasagna recipe. Draining is highly recommended for a properly textured lasagna.

Tips for Adding Eggs to Ricotta for Lasagna

If adding eggs to your ricotta cheese filling, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use large eggs for the best binding results.
  • Make sure eggs are thoroughly blended into the cheese so no streaks remain.
  • Do not prepare the egg-ricotta mixture too far in advance or it may weep liquid.
  • Refrigerate the mixture after blending to prevent spoilage.
  • Err on the lower side when adding eggs, increasing slowly if a firmer texture is needed.
  • Italians sometimes add Parmesan to the eggs and ricotta for extra flavor.
  • For a fluffier texture, whip the egg whites separately then fold into the yolk-ricotta.

With these tips, the eggs should seamlessly blend into the ricotta, adding richness, nutrition, binding power, and delightful flavor to your homemade lasagna.

What Can You Substitute for Eggs in Ricotta?

If you want to avoid eggs in your lasagna recipe, these ingredients can stand in as suitable egg substitutes when mixing your ricotta cheese:

  • Cottage cheese – Adds protein and structure similar to eggs. Use a 1:1 ratio.
  • Tofu – Blended silken tofu can mimic eggs. Use 1/4 cup per egg.
  • Flax or chia seeds – Mixed with water, they create a gelling effect like eggs. Use 1 Tbsp per egg.
  • Nutritional yeast – Adds a savory, cheesy flavor and thickens the ricotta. Use 2 Tbsp per egg.
  • Cornstarch or arrowroot – Mix 1 Tbsp with 2 Tbsp water per egg to bind.
  • Vegetable purees – Carrots, sweet potatoes, or butternut squash. Use 1/4 cup puree per egg.

Experiment with these egg replacers at a 1:1 ratio to find your perfect fit. With strategic binding substitutes, you can craft rich, flavorful lasagna sans eggs.

Can You Freeze Lasagna with Ricotta and Eggs?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to freeze baked lasagna made with a ricotta and egg cheese filling. The egg-enriched ricotta filling freezes well, without separating or weeping. To freeze:

  • Allow lasagna to cool completely after baking.
  • Cut into individual portions if desired.
  • Tightly wrap each portion in plastic wrap, then foil.
  • Place wrapped lasagna in freezer bags or airtight containers.
  • Freeze for 2-3 months.
  • Thaw overnight in fridge before reheating in a 350°F oven.

The ricotta-egg mixture helps the lasagna better withstand freezing compared to versions made with only ricotta. Just be sure to thoroughly reheat frozen lasagna until hot and bubbling before serving. Enjoy your homemade lasagna whenever the craving strikes!


While eggs are not an absolute must for ricotta-based lasagna, they offer beneficial binding power, richness, and nutrition. 1-2 eggs per pound of cheese is a standard ratio. Draining the ricotta and gently incorporating the eggs prevents excess moisture in the finished dish. With strategic use of eggs, you can create the perfect ricotta cheese filling for sliceable, savory lasagna that will satisfy any cheesy pasta craving.