Homemade Ricotta is so much easier to make than you think. A very versatile ingredient that can be used as topping for crostini or pizza, made into gnocchi, mixed into sauces, or eaten as a snack on crusty bread. So creamy and fresh tasting, give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

A knife cutting into homemade ricotta

Homemade Ricotta is so easy to make, there’s no reason to buy store bought again. Consisting of just 3 ingredients: whole milk, salt and fresh lemon juice. It’s doesn’t get any easier or more natural than that.

Ricotta spread onto crusty bread

Whole milk is better for a creamier ricotta, but 2% can be used. The lemon is what makes the milk and cream curdle and create the curds that separate from the whey to create the finished ricotta.

A mound of ricotta with crusty bread and a knife

How to make Homemade Ricotta – Step by Step

The whole milk, cream and salt is heated to 200°F94°C and this is when you will start to see the creation of the curds separating from the whey. You should stir occasionally just to keep the milk from scorching on the bottom, but not to much or the ricotta will be stiff.

Whole milk cooking in a pan with a thermometer

The solids are then separated from the liquid (the curds and whey). The liquid can be used in baking instead of water or milk.

Ricotta starting to thicken on a spoon

The mix is then strained through cheesecloth and you have fresh, delicious ricotta. The longer the mix is drained, the thicker the ricotta.

Ricotta draining through cheesecloth

I used 2 – 3 inch round bowls lined with cheesecloth and packed the ricotta into them to make molds, this makes for a pretty presentation. You can just refrigerate the ricotta in containers with lids.

Ricotta in molds setting

I have used this ricotta in so many recipes:

An asparagus and ricotta puff pastry tart

If you’ve tried this Homemade Ricotta or any other recipe on the blog, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know it turned out in the comments below. I love to hear from my readers!

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Yield: 1 cup

Homemade Ricotta

Ricotta with a knife, fresh mint and bread

Ricotta is very versatile ingredient. It can be used as topping for crostini or pizza, made into gnocchi, mixed into sauces, or eaten as a snack on crusty bread.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 8 cups (2 quarts) whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 whole lemon


  1. Line a large sieve with 2 layers of thin cheesecloth over a large glass bowl.
  2. Add the milk and salt to a stainless pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a temperature of 200°F/94°C, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice allow to sit until it starts to look like cottage cheese.
  3. Pour the mix into the cheesecloth lined sieve. Allow to drain for about 1 hour, emptying the bowl as needed.
  4. Transfer to plastic containers and refrigerate for up to 5 days.


This recipe yields 1 cup of ricotta

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1/4 cup

Amount Per Serving Calories 306Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 49mgSodium 739mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 1gSugar 25gProtein 16g