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I can’t decide if these should be categorized under scone or biscuit. Either way, these ricotta scones made for a tasty breakfast bread enjoyed out on the patio.
Savory scones are light and fluffy with plenty of herb flavor. Serve them with breakfast, weekend brunch, or even in place of dinner rolls!
Instead of warm spices or bits of fruit, these ricotta scones are filled with chopped scallions (green onions) and fresh parsley, thyme, and rosemary.
Using soft cheese in place of heavy cream creates a texture so light that each bite practically melts in your mouth.
I have another delicious savory scone recipe made with bacon and cheddar that pairs nicely with brunch or a bowl of soup.
Key ingredients and substitutions
- Unsalted butter — Toss your sticks into the freezer the night before if you don’t already store them there. I use a box grater to shave my frozen butter right into the flour mixture, which I think is much easier than using a pastry cutter.
- Italian flat-leaf parsley — There is a huge difference in flavor between this and the curly variety. Flat-leaf parsley is very fragrant and looks a lot like cilantro (so be sure to grab the correct herb!) Curly parsley is only used as a garnish on a plate.
- Ricotta cheese — Full-fat or skim will both work in this savory scone recipe.
- Milk — Any kind will do, so use up whatever is already in your refrigerator.
- Paprika — Use this to add some color to the crust or leave it out entirely if you prefer.
- An herb stripper makes easy work of removing stems and leaves from herbs and leafy greens.
How to make ricotta scones
STEP 1 | Mix together ingredients
- Always check the date on your leavening agents. Baking powder should be fresh in order for it to work properly.
- Stir the batter just until there are no more streaks of flour.
STEP 2 | Knead the dough
- These don’t require a ton of kneading – a few times is plenty.
- Gently form the dough into a rectangle by patting the edge into shape.
STEP 3 | Cut into rectangles
- To create a dozen savory scones, make three evenly-spaced vertical cuts and two more evenly-spaced horizontal cuts.
- Lift them carefully onto the baking sheet or transfer them with a flat spatula.
STEP 4 | Bake
- Don’t forget the egg wash!
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned on the outside. They should lift easily from the pan and the center will no longer feel doughy.
- The batter will be very wet, so you will want to use more flour on your work surface or pastry mat before kneading and shaping the dough.
- Line your baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
- Brushing the tops with egg wash and sprinkling on a few spices creates a flavorful and lightly crisp top crust.
Storage and reheating
Keep these savory scones at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. Place them in a sealed container so they don’t dry out.
To reheat, wrap them in foil and warm in a 350-degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
Frequently asked questions
Hands down, using frozen butter makes the biggest difference. It’s also important not to overwork the dough or they will become dense and tough.
If your kitchen is particularly warm, it may help to refrigerate the dough for a few minutes after it’s been formed. This helps to relax the gluten and keep the savory scones tender once baked.
While it’s not required, you will definitely get better results if they are. Not only will everything be more evenly mixed, but it will help to create a fluffy texture.
Simply measure out what you need and set it on the counter before you prep everything else.
Sure! I would suggest baking them completely and reheating them just before serving.
You may also be able to freeze the dough once it is formed in order to cook a few at a time as needed. Wrap each square individually in plastic and place in a zippered storage bag. Then, thaw in the refrigerator and add about 5 minutes to the baking time.
Kitchen tools needed for this savory scone recipe
- Pastry mat — Keeps your work surface clean, plus it comes with plenty of handy measurements!
- Baking sheet — Heats evenly, cleans easily, and the textured surface allows better airflow for any type of baked goods.
- Parchment paper— Not only does this fit pans much better than other brands, but it’s biodegradable too!
- Pastry brush — I find that the silicone versions are much easier to clean and don’t hold on to odors like traditional bristle brushes.
Savory Scones: behind the recipe
I love cooking with fresh herbs — they have such a lovely aroma when chopped and add so much extra flavor when added to my home-cooked sauces.
Unfortunately, I’m not the best at keeping plants alive so recipes that use up all of the herbs like these ricotta scones are a perfect fit!
First Published: July 4, 2016. Last Updated: April 14, 2021.
Ricotta-Herb Savory Scones
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 teaspoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
- ½ cup green onions or scallions chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary minced
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- ⅔ cup milk
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)
- sea salt
- black pepper
- smoked paprika
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Grate butter into the flour mixture and stir with a fork until the consistency of coarse meal.
- Stir in scallions and fresh herbs. Add ricotta cheese, then add milk and stir until just combined.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 2 to 3 times, then pat dough into a 9-inch rectangle. Dip knife into flour and cut dough into 12 equal pieces.
- Transfer scones to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush tops liberally with egg wash. Sprinkle tops with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and smoked paprika.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until scones are golden brown.
About Sheila Thigpen
Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer
Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.