How to Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese

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How to Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese ~ this is super easy, and so satisfying. Fresh homemade ricotta cheese is worlds away from the stuff in the supermarket and it’s ridiculously quick to make, with just 2 ingredients!

freshly made ricotta cheese in a jar

If you think making homemade cheese is something you could never attempt, think again.  Ricotta cheese is the perfect home cheesemaking project for a beginner, and once you try it, there’s no going back.

You’ll need some good whole milk, and some fresh lemon juice, that’s it.  You’ll also need some cheesecloth to strain the whey from your cheese curds…you can also use a fine mesh nylon bag.

pouring milk into a pot for making homemade ricotta cheese

Here’s the easy no stress method.  Don’t let the fancy complicated tutorials put you off.  I think those people secretly want to keep cheesemaking all to themselves.  Just heat your milk just until it wants to boil, then add fresh lemon juice.  The curds will appear almost instantly, like magic.

Making homemade ricotta cheese

Strain the whole thing through cheesecloth and you’l be left with soft fresh ricotta cheese.  Use it immediately or within a few days.  It’s fabulous in pasta dishes.

How to Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese ~ this is super easy, and so satisfying. Fresh homemade ricotta cheese is worlds away from the stuff in the supermarket and it's ridiculously quick to make, with just 2 ingredients! #ricotta #cheesemaking #homemade #fromscratch #diy #easy #recipe #farmerscheese #softcheese

How to Make Easy Ricotta Cheese
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5 ratings

Category: cheesemaking

Yield: makes 3-4 cups of cheese

How to Make Easy Ricotta Cheese


  • a half gallon of whole milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice


  1. Open out your cheesecloth and line the colander with a double layer of the cloth, covering all sides of the colander.  Set that over a deep bowl for draining and set aside.
  2. Pour your milk into a heavy bottomed pot and set on medium heat.   Let it heat slowly, until it's just about to boil.
  3. Add in your 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and almost immediately you will see the curds form.
  4. Keeping it on the heat, let the curds fully form.  Don't stir it much, just check to see if the curds have fully separated from the whey.  The liquid should be translucent.  This won't take long, just a minute or so.
  5. Take it off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Then, using a slotted spoon or skimmer, skim the curds out and into your cheesecloth lined strainer. You can gently pour the liquid from the pan straight into the lined colander if you like.
  6. After a few minutes, pull up the cheesecloth and gently press to release more whey. The more you drain the cheese the firmer it will become. I like it soft so I just gently squeeze the excess moisture and then put my fresh cheese in an airtight container until I'm ready to use it. The cheese will keep 3-4 days in the refrigerator.


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  • Reply
    August 27, 2018 at 11:31 am

    This is wonderful and so easy. I didn’t get 3 – 4 cups though. Probably, pushing it, maybe 2. I left mine a little loose too. I had to use lactose free milk. I wonder if that affected the amount? There might be a scientific explanation. Lol! Thank you! Making your honey plums for dessert tonight. Can’t wait!

    • Reply
      August 28, 2018 at 7:14 am

      That’s interesting that it works with lactose free milk, Alene, and that could have affected the amount you got, not sure.

      • Reply
        August 28, 2018 at 12:35 pm

        Made it with the roasted plums. Very very good! Had the leftovers for breakfast. I’m going to experiment with other fruits too. Buying another half gallon of lactose free milk again. I wonder if it would work with 2% or 0 fat?? Maybe I’ll make half to test it. It’s already missing lactose and to cut the fat might be a little too many changes.

  • Reply
    August 19, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Can you use a nut milk bag in place of cheese cloth?

    • Reply
      August 19, 2018 at 10:51 am

      You can, and you can also use nylon mesh bags, I like those the best because they’re so easy to rinse out and clean.

  • Reply
    Antonia Ayala
    August 19, 2018 at 8:36 am

    Hi Sue,
    Is there anything you can make with the liquid that is left over from the ricotta making process? Thanks, Antonia

    • Reply
      August 19, 2018 at 8:41 am

      The whey is pretty thin, Antonia, but you can use it. You can use it for stock, or as a cooking liquid for rices and grains, for instance. You can freeze it for later, too.

  • Reply
    H Washington
    January 10, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    This was good. I added salt and pepper. It really kicked up my frozen pizza. Thanks

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