How To Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese

5 from 2 votes

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How To Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese

How To Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese

With just 4 ingredients, this homemade ricotta cheese is the perfect recipe to have in your repertoire. It comes together quickly, and it really can add to any meal. Since ricotta is so neutral in flavor, it pairs well with anything, really. Pizza, lasagna, pasta, desserts… the possibilities are endless. This creamy ricotta cheese is so versatile that it’ll be hard to NOT put it on all of your dishes.

Looking for recipes to use with your homemade ricotta? Check out some of the below: You can go in a savory route and make some of our favorites like our Asparagus Tartine with Ricotta and Prosciutto or Rigatoni Alla Vodka with Whipped Ricotta.

But if you’re feeling sweet, you can go with our Nutmeg and Orange Ricotta Fritters with Berry Jam or our Whipped Ricotta Toast with Strawberry Jam. Be sure to take a look at all our ricotta recipes.

How To Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese

What ingredients do you need to make this homemade ricotta cheese?

Full-Fat Whole Milk: To make this fresh ricotta cheese, we’re using full-fat whole milk, not ultra-pasteurized. The full-fat milk will allow the cheese curds to form when we heat them on the stovetop, and full-fat, not ultra-pasteurized will give you that beautiful ricotta texture we were looking for.

Lemon Juice: To allow curds to form, the use of acidity is extremely important. Because ricotta is neutral in nature, lemon juice is a great ingredient to add a nice subtle tartness, while also activating the full-fat milk into creating their curds. Lemon juice is crucial in helping the curds form. You can also use white distilled vinegar here in place of lemon juice.

Salt and Pepper: Salt and pepper can be adjusted according to your preference, and it will add some saltiness and flavor to the ricotta.

Instructions to make homemade ricotta cheese

Prep your strainer: Place a fine mesh strainer lined with layers of cheesecloth over a large bowl. Set aside.  

Heat your milk: In a large pot or heavy bottom saucepan on the stovetop, pour in your milk, and place over medium heat until your heat reaches 185-190°F, using a thermometer, and stirring occasionally. Once it reaches your temperature, turn off the heat.

Make your ricotta: Immediately add your lemon juice and salt. Stir 3 to 4 times, just until dissolved. You should see some curds forming, and the whey being separated. With the heat still off, let the whey continue to separate, undisturbed for 15 minutes, uncovered. After 15 minutes, your thicker curds should have formed (aka ricotta!).

Drain your ricotta: Carefully drain or ladle the curds and liquid over the prepared cheesecloth and cover tightly with the cloth. Let any liquid strain out for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on your desired ricotta thickness.

Serve: Eat immediately, or transfer the ricotta to a covered container in the fridge if you are serving for later. Saves for up to 5 days in the fridge. I like to do a taste before serving, and season with any additional salt, lemon juice, and black pepper. Save the liquid leftover whey for any marinades (like fried chicken), for protein smoothies, or baking.

Nutmeg and Orange Ricotta Fritters with Berry Jam

Looking for more cheese recipes? Start below:

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How To Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese
5 from 2 votes

How To Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese

With just 4 ingredients, this homemade ricotta cheese is the perfect recipe to have in your repertoire. It comes together really quickly.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 gallon full-fat whole milk, not ultra-pasteurized milk
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 2 medium-sized lemons, plus more if preferred
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, we are using Diamond Crystal
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Place a fine mesh strainer lined with layers of cheesecloth over a large bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large pot or heavy bottom saucepan on the stovetop, pour in your milk, and place over medium heat until your heat reaches 185-190°F, using a thermometer, and stirring occasionally. Once it reaches your temperature, turn off the heat.
  • Immediately add your lemon juice and salt. Stir 3 to 4 times, just until dissolved. You should see some curds forming, and the whey being separated. With the heat still off, let the whey continue to separate, undisturbed for 15 minutes, uncovered. After 15 minutes, your thicker curds should have formed (aka ricotta!).
  • Carefully drain or ladle the curds and liquid over the prepared cheesecloth and cover tightly with the cloth. Let any liquid strain out for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on your desired ricotta thickness.
  • Eat immediately, or transfer the ricotta to a covered container in the fridge if you are serving for later. Saves for up to 5 days in the fridge. I like to do a taste before serving, and season with any additional salt, lemon juice, and black pepper. Save the liquid leftover whey for any marinades (like fried chicken), for protein smoothies, or baking.
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