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This banana bread with ricotta is the most delicious banana bread you will ever have! Made with ricotta, olive oil and ripe bananas for a rich, moist breakfast bread that you’ll eat right out of the oven.
Ricotta cheese is not just for making pasta and tiramisu, it works so well in many baked goods, such as this banana bread recipe as well as these banana ricotta muffins.
- Bananas + Ricotta + Olive Oil. This combination of flavors works perfectly in this recipe. Olive oil rather than regular vegetable oil tastes much better with the ricotta cheese.
- It’s a great way to use up leftover ricotta. Some recipes will leave you with a bit of extra ricotta that you don’t know what to do with. This is the perfect recipe to use it up!
- It’s super rich & moist. The ricotta adds a richness that makes this bread taste almost like a cake.
- It’s easy to make. Most of the time is spent baking in the oven, but hands on time is just 15 to 20 minutes.
- Bananas: Use very ripe bananas that are brown with lots of spots. Ripe bananas have more sugar in them, adding both moisture and sweetness.
- Ricotta (not pictured): Ricotta cheese adds richness and moisture to the banana bread. Use whole milk ricotta rather than low fat or partial skim.
- Flour: Use all purpose flour. If needed you can substitute it for a 1:1 gluten free flour.
- Brown Sugar: Brown sugar goes best with the bananas and ricotta, but you can substitute this for granulated sugar if needed.
- Cinnamon: A dash of ground cinnamon for a bit of flavor.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract adds some subtle sweetness.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil adds moisture and is the best flavor of oil to pair with ricotta. However, you can substitute this with vegetable or canola oil.
- Eggs: Eggs act as a binding agent to hold the banana bread together.
- Baking Soda: Baking soda helps the bread rise. Do not substitute this with baking powder.
- Walnuts: Chopped walnuts add some crunch.
- Chocolate Chips: Every type of banana bread tastes better with chocolate chips, but you can leave these out for a healthier loaf.
- Salt: A pinch of salt brings out the other flavors.
- A 9 x 5” baking pan to cook the banana bread in.
- Parchment paper to line the baking pan.
- A set of mixing bowls to mix the ingredients together.
- A whisk to mix the dry ingredients.
- A rubber spatula to mix the batter.
- Long toothpicks to test when the banana bread is ready.
Step 1: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Step 2: In a large bowl, beat together the olive oil, eggs and vanilla extract.
Step 3: Fold in the ricotta cheese and mashed bananas.
Step 4: In two parts add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing only until just combined.
Step 5: Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips.
Step 6: Pour the batter into a prepared 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350F for 55 to 65 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Room Temperature: For the freshest flavor, store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
- Fridge: Let the bread come to room temperature before storing in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. You can also wrap the bread in plastic wrap to help keep in some of the moisture. Storing the bread in the fridge will slightly dry out leftovers compared to storing at room temperature. Warm the bread in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds before serving.
- Freezer: Let the bread come to room temperature. Then wrap the bread in plastic wrap and store in a sealed container or Ziploc bag in the freezer for up to 2 to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before eating. You can also wrap and freeze individual slices to thaw smaller portions at a time.
- Use ripe bananas. Ripe bananas add a lot more moisture and sweetness to baked goods. Bananas that are brown with spots, or even almost black work really well.
- Fully mash the bananas. Make sure the bananas are fully mashed. They can be slightly lumpy, but avoid leaving any large chunks of banana.
- Don’t over mix the batter. Mix only until all the flour has been exposed. Over mixing the batter will lead to a tough bread.
- Healthier: To make this banana bread healthier, use ½ cup brown sugar instead of ¾ cup and leave out the chocolate chips.
- Glazed: Try adding a glaze on top of this ricotta banana bread once it is done baking. For some ideas, try this caramel glaze, this chocolate glaze or this blueberry glaze.
- Nuts: Try different add-ins for the nuts. Use pecans, toasted macadamia nuts or almonds instead.
Banana bread tastes delicious for breakfast with coffee or tea. Serve with fresh fruit as a side. You can also warm up the bread and spread some butter on it before serving.
Banana bread will taste the best when served fresh out of the oven. Afterwards, it will lose some of its moisture. To keep it as moist as possible, store the bread at room temperature in an airtight container. Optionally, wrap the banana in plastic wrap as well.