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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.
For something on the sweeter side, I have a couple of cranberry varieties featuring pistachios or white chocolate. And you certainly can’t go wrong with a classic blueberry flavor!
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!
Your shares are how this site grows and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or on your favorite Pinterest board!
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.
Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.
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.
Great recipe! Easy to make. My husband thought I had bought them.
Literally just devoured one of these just 10 seconds ago. I make my own ricotta(simplest thing you can make and you’ll never go back to store bought, I might add) and this last batch was flavored with fennel salt and sauteed mushrooms, so these scones are flecked with mushroom as well as the herbs. So delicious! I’d rather make these than traditional biscuits any day. The sea salt crunch gives them a little added bonus. Thanks for sharing this recipe. It’s gone onto my Tried and True Recipes board on Pinterest.
Melissa, I love your variation on the ricotta scones — must try next time! So glad you enjoyed the scones, and yes, sea salt is a must with these!
How do you make ricotta cheese?
Do these scones keep well? I’d like to make them 1-2days in advance of a large brunch. Thanks!
Sophia, to make the Scones ahead of time, I would suggest baking and then cooking completely before sealing and storing in the refrigerator. To reheat, wrap in aluminum foil and gradually warm in a 300-degree oven. Good luck!
OMG! So good! I could eat the entire batch. I will be making these often and trying some variation; not that they need anything. They are perfect. Thank you!
Oh! You are so welcome! And thanks so much for the feedback 🙂
Oh my! These look soo good plus easy to make. Do you think it’ll still turn out great if I substitute cottage cheese instead of ricotta?
Thanks, Karen! I honestly don’t know — I think the cottage cheese may be too wet for this recipe.
Has anyone had any luck adding breakfast sausage to these?
You have 3/4 tablespoons sugar is that correct?
Lisha, that is correct.
@Sheila Thigpen, how do you even measure 3/4 Tablespoon?
That measurement certainly was confusing! I have updated the recipe to indicate 2 1/4 teaspoons of sugar, which is the equivalent and obviously easier to measure. Thanks for the questions!
Good, easy and delicious… thank you for the recipe!
I made these tonight for a bridal shower. They turned out wonderful!
I’m sooo glad you liked them!
Do you think that I could successfully use CarbQuik in the recipe? My hubby is a prediabetic.
Barbara, I don’t have any experience baking with CarbQuik, but from what I have seen on other websites it seems that you could substitute. If you do try the recipe with CarbQuik, I’d like to know how it turns out!
Is it normal that the dough is so wet ?
Yes, this dough is quite wet and shaggy. Work in extra flour as you handle it and shape it on the board if needed.
These are some of the best biscuits I’ve ever had! The flavors work so much better than you could even imagine! Love the crunch of the sea salt, and they reheat well for a couple days. Delish!
Can I make & freeze before baking & bake when needed.
Betty, yes I do think so. I would suggest taking them out of the freezer and baking for maybe 5 minutes longer.
I made these for my mom. She loved them so much and was excited that I added sauteed mushrooms too. I also added garlic powder to the egg wash, it was such a wonderful little snack–could be a good lunch if you eat 2 of them!
Just pulled a pan of these out of the over, and oh my goodness, they are HEAVEN! Like light, savory clouds. Simple to make too. THANK YOU for this recipe! (and oh the ingredients you could play with, as someone mentioned mushrooms)
Awww… I’m SO glad you enjoyed the scones! They are definitely one of my favorites to make 🙂
These look amazing. I’m making them for breakfast tomorrow and was wondering if I can cut them, put them on a baking sheet and refrigerate them overnight? I would put the egg wash on them just before I bake them in the morning.
Jackie, I haven’t tried doing that myself, but I think it would work!
I tried making these because they looked so good on Pinterest. Well, this recipe is wonderful! It tastes fabulous and the herbs are perfect. After 20 min, they are still too soft in the middle, but I think it’s my oven not heating properly. Can’t wait to try them with homemade minestrone or just anything else! This will be a regular in our house.
Could this recipe work using a gluten free flour? Has anyone tried that and how did it go?
These were an unexpected delicious treat. Tasty. I had for breakfast.
Can you use buttermilk in this recipe?
Because we use ricotta cheese, I would not use buttermilk in place of the milk in this scone recipe.
Delicious, light and fluffy. Best straight from the oven!
Want to make these on Sunday. How thick should the rectangle of dough be?
Hi, Nancy. The dough should be about 1-inch tall once you pat it into a rectangle. Enjoy and Happy Mother’s Day!
These sound delicious! I am planning to make them for dinner, as an accompaniment to tomato and roasted red pepper soup.
Quick question though. Do you have a video for this recipe? I am a novice at making scones and a visual of how the ready dough looks, before cutting, would be extremely helpful.
Also, do you think we can replace part/ whole of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour? We are trying to go whole grain for health reasons and though I have found the substitution to work for cookies and quick breads, I wasn’t sure about scones 🙂
Finally, I’d like to try adding a cup of diced mushrooms to it. Based on your experience, do you think that quantity could work?
Hello, Ruchi. Your roasted tomato/red pepper soup sounds fabulous! I’m sorry, but I have not produced a video for this recipe — I’ll definitely consider putting it on the list. With scones, the dough will be sticky. Dipping your knife into flour between cuts is helpful. I’m not sure how the substitution will work here, but it is certainly worth a try. In my opinion, however, adding mushrooms would not work in this recipe. Thank you for reaching out!
Thanks a lot!
I tried this recipe and the scones turned out really great with whole wheat pastry flour, part-skim ricotta and nonfat milk. I also added some garlic powder and added more salt to suit our palate. I will enjoy the remaining scones with a cup of tea/ coffee, for breakfast tomorrow.
Awesome! Glad you enjoyed the recipe 🙂
Definitely more like a biscuit than a scone. I added 3 pieces of cooked and crumbled bacon and ate warm out of the oven with butter.
Egg wash before or after the freezer before baking after you take them out of the ziplock bag and unwrap them before baking?
If freezing ahead of baking, definitely wait to do the egg wash just before you bake.
If we are ad ised to use grated frozen butter, how do I equate to a tablespoon measurement ? An ideal weight measurement would be greatly appreciated.
Hi, Susan. Eight tablespoons of butter would equal 4 ounces. Thank you!
Made these today!!! Fabulous recipe!! Added some garlic to the ricotta!!
I’m wondering if this would make a good crust on top of an almost cooked chicken or turkey pot pie? it sounds like it may?
Perhaps, I just don’t know how it would bake up, but it could be worth a try!
I was wondering if I could use fresh herbs from my garden that I’ve already buried out for the season in this recipe.
Please let me know if this is possible. My herb garden this year was wonderful.
Hello! I’m not sure I know what you mean by “buried out for the season”, but you can definitely use fresh herbs in this recipe!
What a simple and easy recipe for a weeknight meal! My 8 year old and I whipped these up tonight and the family loved them! We didn’t have fresh herbs, so sprinkling some dried parsley and Italian seasoning in the dry mix did the trick. We will definitely make these again!
Thanks for the recipe!
These are amazing!! I had some leftover ricotta cheese, and saw this recipe, and gave it a try! Will definitely make again!
Thank you, Denise! I’m so glad you like the recipe – Happy New Year!
I am going to make these for my neighbourhood Platinum Jubilee party this weekend. Can I omit the sugar do you think?
Hi, Sarah. Yes, I think this recipe would be just fine without the sugar. Enjoy your celebration!
I had so many fresh herbs and nothing to do with them until now. Made it just as you posted and froze for a rainy day. Ate 3 hot off the pan. I’m going to experiment with different flavors but this is a definite keeper! Thanks
Has anyone tried to make these with dairy free ricotta or dairy free boursin soft cheese. I can’t do dairy (migraines) but would love to make these.
These are FANTASTIC!!!!! Super light and flaky, perfect amount of fresh herbs, and the perfect compliment to our Italian meal. LOVE LOVE LOVE them!
This is a great recipe! I will definitely make these scones again. They were easy to make and delicious.