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. 
 
Ricotta cheese on a slate board with a knife and crusty bread

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.

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.

Whole milk cooking in a pan with a thermometer

The whole milk, cream and salt is heated to 200°F 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.

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 cheese in molds

I have used this ricotta in so many recipes:

An asparagus and ricotta puff pastry tart

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Yield: 1 cup

Homemade Ricotta

Ricotta cheese on a slate board with a knife and crusty 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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

This recipe yields 1 cup of ricotta

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1/4 cup

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