Blueberry-Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars

These Blueberry-Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars are creamy and dreamy with a bright fresh combo of lemon and blueberries. While traditional cheesecake is made with cream cheese, the ricotta mellows the flavor and cuts the tang just a bit. While they’re still incredibly dense and creamy, they feel a little lighter than a traditional cheesecake to me. These have a delicious shortbread crust and a lemon crumble topping that is out of this world. They can be served on a plate with berry sauce and eaten with a fork, or served bar style without the sauce and just picked up with your hands. Either way they’re perfection!

I originally created this recipe years ago in partnership with a brand and they shot this video, I think it’s fun to leave here!

Ingredient and Equipment Notes

  • Cheese Grater – A cheese grater is super helpful here for cutting in the butter. For crumbly crusts and toppings it’s important that the butter doesn’t get blended into a smooth dough, but rather dots the dough. This is what creates flakiness and layering in your desserts. Feel free to use a pastry cutter or a couple of butter knives to cut in your butter if you don’t have a grater available.
  • Blueberries – This recipe was written with frozen blueberries in mind. You can certainly use fresh berries if that’s what you have on hand. For frozen, I prefer “wild” blueberries, which are often available in the freezer section of the grocery store. Wild blueberries are smaller than standard blueberries and I think they have a better flavor and color!
  • Ricotta – If you’ve never had an Italian style ricotta cheesecake, it’s different than a traditional cream cheese style one.  Ricotta has a natural texture to it; a little bit of graininess, and pureeing it with sugar until it’s glossy and smooth (see photos below) really helps with the overall texture of these bars, but know that it’s supposed to be different than a normal cheesecake.  The quality of the ricotta does make a difference. My favorite brand is hands down Trader Joes, and I use the full fat version.


  1. First you’ll prepare the crust and topping. Combine sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder. Use a cheese grater to grate some cold butter into the flour mixture (or cut butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture). Use your hands to break up the butter and flour mixture until it resembles course crumbs.
  2. Next add egg yolk, use your fingers to gently incorporate, breaking up the mixture as it comes together. Divide the mixture in two. Half of this gets pressed into the pan and baked for a few minutes as the crust and the rest will be used, with the addition of some lemon zest, for the topping.
  3. To prepare filling, use a food processor to blend the ricotta with a little bit of sugar until smooth and creamy. That gets mixed up with some flour, vanilla, eggs, plus the reserved egg white from the first step, and lemon juice, and poured over the prepared crust. The filling gets topped with some frozen blueberries (tossed in a little flour) and reserved crumb mixture. After baking until lightly golden, but still a little jiggly, the bars need to cool and then spend at least 8 hours in the refrigerator before being cut into and served.
  4. To make the finishing sauce, combine some blueberries, lemon juice, water, and sugar. That will simmer for a few minutes and then you’ll smash up the berries with a fork. Once cool, the sauce will thicken. You can always adjust the finished consistency by adding a little water as necessary until it’s just right for drizzling over the finished cheesecake squares.

Recipe Notes

I love ricotta cheesecake because it’s a little bit different, and is still creamy and rich without feeling really heavy.  Here’s a couple of tips though, if you’ve never baked ricotta cheesecake:

  1.  Do not over-bake.  If anything, under-bake just a little bit.  Over-baking will instantly dry out the cheesecake and cause it to be grainy and crumbly.
  2. Don’t cheat on the chilling.  Chill overnight for the best possible texture.  Since it should be baked super soft, it needs a thorough chilling to not only hold everything together, but to give all of the flavors a chance to marry together. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I make this ahead of time? These bars need at least 8 hours in the fridge before serving, so making ahead is already kind of a requirement! If you need more time than that, feel free to make them up to 24 hours in advance. The finishing sauce can be made a couple of days ahead of time and stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Similar Recipes

If you love these bars, you may also like some of these other Our Best Bites favorites:

Did You Make This?

I’d love to hear from you! Snap a picture and tag me on Instagram, then come back and give this recipe a rating!

Blueberry-Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars

These Ricotta Cheesecake Bars, studded with fresh berries and topped with a lemon crumb, are creamy and delicious! You can serve them with blueberry sauce (and a fork) or skip the sauce and they can be eaten as hand held bars. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour


Crust and Topping Layers

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick butter, very cold
  • 1 large egg separated
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest

Cheesecake Layer

  • 15 ounce container ricotta
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs plus one egg white
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon additional flour to toss with berries

Quick Blueberry Sauce

  • 1 ¼ cups frozen blueberries1 tablespoon lemon juice1 tablespoon water3 tablespoons sugar


Prepare Crust and Topping

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper or foil and set aside.
  • To prepare crust and topping, combine sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium sized mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  • Use a large-hole cheese grater to grate butter into flour mixture, or alternately cut butter into small chunks and add to flour mixture.  Use clean hands to break up butter and flour mixture until it resembles large crumbs.  Add egg yolk from separated egg (reserve egg white for the next step) and add to crumb mixture.  Toss to incorporate egg yolk into crumbs.
  • Remove half of crumb mixture (about 1 ½ cups) and lightly press into the bottom of prepared baking dish.  Bake for 10 minutes and then remove from oven.
  • Add lemon zest to the remaining crumb mixture, stir to combine, and set aside.

Prepare Filling

  • To prepare filling, place ricotta and sugar in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy (about 1-2 minutes), scraping down sides as necessary.  Place mixture in a mixing bowl and stir in flour, vanilla, eggs, plus the reserved egg white from the first step, and lemon juice.  Whisk to combine and pour mixture over crust in pan.
  • Toss 3/4 cup berries with 1 1/2 teaspoon flour and sprinkle over the top of filling and then top with the reserved crumb mixture.  Bake for 40-50 minutes.  Bars should be just golden on top and slightly jiggly in center when shaken.  Remove and let cool completely.  Cover, and Place in fridge overnight to chill (or at least 8 hours).  When ready to serve, slice into bars and serve with sauce if desired.

Prepare Sauce

  • For the Sauce,  combine all ingredients: frozen blueberries, lemon juice, water, and sugar.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes, smashing berries with a fork.  Cool.  Sauce will thicken once cooled and chilled, adjust consistency by adding water until desired consistency is reached.
Author: Sara Wells
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!
woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

Read More

Join The Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Questions & Reviews

  1. Sara you are a natural on camera! I am sure one day soon we will see you and Kate on the Food Network! And this cheesecake! Oh my, mouth is watering!

  2. Those look sooo yummy! I had the same question as Julie-can we double the recipe and bake in a 9×13? And which parts work well to do ahead of time?

    1. Yes, you could probably do that, although you’d have to eyeball the baking time as I’m not sure how long it would take! And you can make these up until the final bake ahead of time. I’d wait to put the topping on until right before baking as well.

  3. Does your fridge always look so organized? Can you come do mine?

    Recipe sounds delicious and I might even be able to convince my husband to try it if it’s not heavy as regular cheesecake.

    1. Haha, no. It was a total Mtv Cribs moment- you know, when they open the fridge and all that’s in there is 87 bottles of perfectly organized water. Lol

  4. Wow! Beautiful recipe and a beautiful girl! Excellent job on both. 🙂
    (And I just pruned my lemon tree yesterday so have lots to use up!)

  5. Wow do these look amazing! I can’t just taste them right now. These are definitely going on my have-to-make-now list. I can’t wait. 🙂

  6. Love the video, it’s a nice touch! I kept expecting you to say something sarcastic the whole time though. 😉
    These look yummy, some of my favorite flavors all mixed together. Do you think they would freeze well if I wanted to make them and take them on a campout to keep them cooler longer?

  7. It’s a good thing I just bought 5 pounds of blueberries. Now I need a few gallons of ricotta…. 🙂

  8. It as so fun to watch you!! We hear your written “voice” all the time.. Great to hear your “real” voice!!!

  9. Well aren’t you a complete natural in front of the camera?! Loved it. I will definitely be making these – they look so yummy and summery. Aaaaand I am STILL coveting that kitchen of yours. So gorgeous.

  10. Hate to be perverse, but do you think this could be made with frozen strawberries?…I have a bunch in the freezer. Thanks!

  11. I really enjoyed the video – I’m a visual person and it was really helpful in seeing how quick and easy the recipe comes together. Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to give this a try!

  12. I’m about to make them, so excited! I noticed that your video talks about cooking the crust for 10 minutes before putting the cheesecake layer on, but I don’t see that anywhere in the actual recipe. Just wanted to double check on that before I started.

  13. Nice job with the video! Your kitchen is so beautiful! Look forward to trying this recipe out soon.

  14. Hope the video tells how to make the sauce. Can I assume that fresh blueberries would work?

  15. Am I missing something? I don’t see a video? Looks amazing though, and I have everything on hand to whip these out today!

  16. Looks delicious! I can’t find the video though. Is it just too early in the morning and I’m not thinking clearly enough to see it? Love you guys!