How to Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese

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.

a bottle of milk

What you will need to make homemade ricotta ~

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 or a mesh nylon nut milk bag and you’l be left with soft fresh ricotta cheese. Use it immediately or within a few days. It’s fabulous in so many dishes.

Honey Roasted Plums with fresh ricotta in a small glass bowl with spoon

What to do with your homemade ricotta ~

 

How to Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese pin


Reader Rave ~

“This was great and so easy! I added salt and pepper. It really kicked up my frozen pizza. Thanks”  ~ H. Washington


 

freshly made ricotta cheese in a jar
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3.88 from 58 votes

How to Make Easy Ricotta Cheese

A super easy fresh ricotta cheese you can make right on your stove top, in minutes!
Course cheesemaking
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Yield 3 -4 cups
Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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.
  • Pour your milk into a heavy bottomed pot and set on medium heat.   Let it heat slowly, until it's just about to boil.
  • Add in your 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and almost immediately you will see the curds form.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 let the moisture drip for a few minutes 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.

Cook's notes

Feel free to double the recipe for a larger batch.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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47 Comments

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  • Reply
    Terrell
    November 13, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    Can I substitute the lemon juice for acv my husband is allergic to citrus?

  • Reply
    Wendy
    October 26, 2020 at 6:01 am

    5 stars
    You may like to know that tried this recipe using goats milk for a friend who is basically non-bovine dairy. It worked extremely well – even if I did mess up my milk to lemon juice ratio. The extra lemon really added extra depth to the flavour. My intention is to use this as a substitute for cream in a fresh avocado soup recipe. I used 1 litre of goats milk and it made at least a cup of ricotta.

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 26, 2020 at 6:02 am

      I’ve tried the same thing Wendy, I pressed mine into little rounds, it was fun! Thanks for the feedback, I’m sure others will want to try this.

  • Reply
    Else van Wyk
    September 28, 2020 at 3:47 am

    Hi Sue
    Can I use any plant based milk for your recipe?

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 28, 2020 at 6:14 am

      You can’t make it with this method, but I have seen recipes for imitation ricotta made with almonds and nutritional yeast.

  • Reply
    Patricia Walker
    August 2, 2020 at 8:15 am

    This is the second time I’ve made this ricotta. This time I halved the recipe because I had a quart of milk. It looks good and tastes delicious but it only made about a cup. Do you think that is about right? Seems it should have been at least a cup and a half. I followed the recipe, heating the milk up slowly before adding the lemon juice. I let it cook a full two minutes or slightly more (the recipe says ‘just about a minute’. But it still didn’t look at translucent as in your video. I let it sit off the heat for 5 minutes and poured it into a cheesecloth lined stainer. D o you think I should have cooked it even longer to get to more translucent whey?

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 2, 2020 at 8:18 am

      You can let it sit longer, and sometimes that will result in more separation, Patricia. I usually go by eye, and let it cook a little longer if the whey is still milky.

  • Reply
    Doni
    July 1, 2020 at 11:31 am

    5 stars
    I have never tried Ricotta, I’m not sure why, but I usually just replace ricotta in my recipes with cream cheese. I have looked at this recipe and the one for cream cheese, and they are the same except for the blending part. So do cream cheese and ricotta cheese actually taste that similar?? Have I been denying myself a wonderfully tasting product just because I absolutely love cream cheese!! Oh say it isn’t so!! ? I will be trying both of the recipes today and I can’t wait to see how good they are going to taste. Thank you so much! You may have just changed my life! I had 4 packages of cream cheese on my grocery list (yes, I love it in everything) but now I think I just need milk!! Total life changer!

  • Reply
    sandy
    June 14, 2020 at 4:58 am

    Several years ago I purchased Ricotta from the store and I hated the grainy texture. I’ve not tried it since. Is homemade any better as I’d love to give it a try. I make my own yogurt so I do have my hands in already, so to speak.

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 14, 2020 at 5:15 am

      Homemade ricotta is very creamy and delicate, so I think you’d love it Sandy.

  • Reply
    Wendy
    June 13, 2020 at 12:20 am

    Would like some feedback please if anyone can help. I made this ricotta recipe and yes it was delicious however my curds were not lumpy and the consistency was definitely more cream cheese -like. I am trying it again today see if the result changes however, I was wondering if my result was because where I live, we don’t have fresh milk like most people. Our milk is all taken in, turned into powder and then reconstituted. We get full milk, semi skinned and skimmed but all from powder. Do you think this could be why my curds are not so lumpy? Thanks a lot. Wendy.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 4, 2021 at 6:38 pm

      I do think this works best with fresh milk, Wendy, so that could have well been the problem.

  • Reply
    Susan from PA
    April 28, 2020 at 3:55 am

    5 stars
    I am happy to know this. I love recipes with Ricotta, but it’s always so expensive that I never keep it on hand.

    Now I can make my own! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Carol Ann Brubaker
    March 30, 2020 at 4:51 am

    Would this be suitable for making cannoli filling?

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 30, 2020 at 7:07 am

      Sure!

  • Reply
    Pastora Cate
    October 13, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    5 stars
    I tried this and it was great! I’ll do my ricotta cheese this way from now on. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 14, 2019 at 8:44 am

      I’m so glad Pastora, enjoy all your ricotta 🙂

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