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Feta Cheese vs. Ricotta Cheese: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 16, 2024
Feta cheese is a brined, crumbly Greek cheese made from sheep's milk, while ricotta cheese is a soft, creamy Italian cheese made from whey.

Key Differences

Feta cheese, originating from Greece, is known for its tangy and salty flavor. Ricotta cheese, with Italian roots, offers a milder, slightly sweet taste.
The texture of feta cheese is crumbly and slightly grainy, ideal for salads and toppings. Ricotta cheese is creamier and smoother, often used in fillings and desserts.
Feta cheese is traditionally made from sheep's milk or a mixture of sheep and goat's milk. Ricotta cheese is made from the whey left over from other cheese production, usually cow's milk whey.
Feta cheese is aged and stored in brine, contributing to its distinctive sharpness and moisture content. Ricotta cheese is fresh, with a higher moisture content and a short shelf life.
Feta cheese's intense flavor intensifies with age, making it a bold addition to dishes. Ricotta cheese maintains a consistent, delicate flavor, perfect for balancing richer ingredients.

Comparison Chart




Tangy, salty
Mild, slightly sweet


Crumbly, grainy
Creamy, smooth

Milk Source

Sheep's milk (or sheep and goat)
Whey from cow's milk


Salads, toppings
Fillings, desserts

Feta Cheese and Ricotta Cheese Definitions

Feta Cheese

A crumbly cheese made primarily from sheep's milk.
She crumbled feta cheese over her pasta dish.

Ricotta Cheese

A soft cheese made from whey.
The lasagna recipe called for a layer of ricotta cheese.

Feta Cheese

A dairy product used in Mediterranean cuisine.
Feta cheese is a staple in many Greek recipes.

Ricotta Cheese

Used in Italian cooking, especially desserts and pastas.
Ricotta cheese is essential in traditional Italian ravioli.

Feta Cheese

A Greek brined cheese with a tangy flavor.
The Greek salad was topped with chunks of feta cheese.

Ricotta Cheese

A versatile cheese with a slightly sweet flavor.
He used ricotta cheese as a base for his dessert recipe.

Feta Cheese

A cheese aged in brine, enhancing its salty taste.
Feta cheese added a salty kick to the appetizer.

Ricotta Cheese

An Italian cheese known for its creaminess.
She filled the cannoli with sweetened ricotta cheese.

Feta Cheese

A cheese with a distinctively sharp flavor.
He enjoyed the sharpness of feta cheese in his wrap.

Ricotta Cheese

A fresh cheese with a mild taste.
Ricotta cheese was spread on toast with honey for breakfast.


How is feta cheese stored?

Feta cheese is stored in brine to maintain its moisture and flavor.

What is ricotta cheese?

Ricotta cheese is a soft, creamy Italian cheese made from whey, with a mild and slightly sweet taste.

What dishes use ricotta cheese?

Ricotta cheese is used in lasagna, cannoli, cheesecakes, and as a spread.

Can feta cheese be used in salads?

Yes, feta cheese is a popular choice for salads due to its crumbly texture and strong flavor.

How is ricotta cheese made?

Ricotta cheese is made by reheating the whey from other cheese production and then straining it.

Can feta cheese be used in baking?

Yes, feta cheese can be used in baking, especially in savory pastries.

Is feta cheese high in salt?

Yes, due to the brining process, feta cheese is relatively high in salt.

Is feta cheese vegetarian?

Traditional feta cheese, made with animal rennet, is not vegetarian. However, some brands offer vegetarian versions.

What is feta cheese?

Feta cheese is a brined Greek cheese, often made from sheep's milk, with a tangy and salty flavor.

Is ricotta cheese suitable for desserts?

Yes, ricotta cheese is often used in desserts due to its creamy texture and mild flavor.

Can ricotta cheese be frozen?

Freezing ricotta cheese can alter its texture, so it's not generally recommended.

What's the fat content in feta cheese?

Feta cheese has a moderate fat content, varying based on the milk used and the production process.

Can feta cheese be used in cooking?

Yes, feta cheese is versatile and can be used in cooking, especially in Mediterranean dishes.

Can ricotta cheese be made from non-cow's milk?

Yes, ricotta can also be made from sheep, goat, or buffalo milk whey.

Is ricotta cheese good for health?

Ricotta cheese is relatively healthy, being high in protein and calcium, but it should be consumed in moderation.

Is ricotta cheese easy to digest?

Yes, ricotta cheese is generally easy to digest due to its low lactose content.

Can ricotta cheese be used as a spread?

Yes, ricotta cheese's creamy texture makes it ideal as a spread on bread or crackers.

What are the nutritional benefits of ricotta cheese?

Ricotta cheese is a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamins.

Does feta cheese melt well?

Feta cheese doesn't melt as smoothly as some other cheeses due to its crumbly texture.

What's the shelf life of feta cheese?

When stored properly in brine, feta cheese can last several weeks.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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