Homemade Ricotta Cheese

May 7, 2014Katie

Homemade ricotta cheese 2

So who knew?

Homemade Ricotta literally takes 5 minutes to come together! I was reading my Bon Appetit magazine and saw a picture of homemade ricotta hanging in a cheesecloth and as I browsed through the recipe I was surprised to learn you didn’t need anything fancy for homemade ricotta, just milk, cream, salt and lemon juice.

ricotta cheese ingredients


I had to try it. We’ve been buying raw milk from a top secret individual and I decided to use it since the recipe called for two cups of milk and one cup of heavy cream.  After reading several recipes on the net, it seemed like a vastly different amount of milk was used in each recipe but consistently only two to three tablespoons of acid was used.

But first you need to do some prep work.

Get a pack of cheesecloth, a medium-sized bowl and a strainer.

Photo May 06, 8 37 36 PM

When you open the cheesecloth, if it’s a long strip, just fold it in half so there will be two layers of cloth.


Lay it overtop of the strainer and place the whole thing on top of the bowl.

cheese cloth for homemade ricotta

Also, juice up one lemon.

juice lemon

So I poured two cups of the milk and one cup of heavy cream into a sauce pan along with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt.

milk salt ricotta cheese

Put this over medium heat,  but stir it often just until you see it start to bubble, then hurry up and remove it from the burner.  Dump in two tablespoons of lemon juice.

Photo May 06, 8 49 12 PM

Then, stir very gently (but quickly) to mix the lemon juice throughout the hot milk.  As soon as you see curds start to form, (and it happens very quickly), stop stirring and let it set for five minutes.

homemade ricotta cheese curd

After five minutes, pour the entire thing into your cheesecloth.

ricotta in cheesecloth

And let it set in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

Photo May 06, 8 57 18 PM

I was pretty surprised at the amount of cheese you get out of four quarts of milk – about 1/2 cup. The rest became whey and there was quite a bit of it.

homemade ricotta cheese 1

The whey is the stuff they turn to powder and use for protein powder drinks and is very good for you.  Mr. Wonderful suggested we freeze it in ice cube trays to add to our smoothies.

After 20 minutes, you can dump the ricotta into a bowl. It just rolls right out of the cheesecloth.

strain ricotta

If you prefer a creamier ricotta, don’t drain it so long.  I ended up with a pretty drier crumbly ricotta cheese.

dry ricotta cheese

I ended up making three batches of ricotta and roughly ended up with exactly two cups.

I couldn’t believe how easy it was!

Homemade Ricotta
  • (Adapted from Bon Appetit)
  • 2 c. whole milk
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • ½ t. kosher salt
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  1. Lay two layers of cheesecloth over a strainer propped on a medium sized bowl (non-reactive)
  2. Pour milk into medium saucepan and add cream and salt
  3. Turn heat on medium and keep stirring while bringin liquid to a boil
  4. As soon as it boils, remove it from the heat and stir in the lemon juice gently
  5. When you see curds start to form, stop stirring and place mixture in refrigerator for 20 minutes to drain
  6. If you want creamier ricotta only drain 10 minutes
  7. If you want dry curd ricotta, leave for an hour
  8. Store up to a week in the refrigerator




  • Paulette Woods

    May 8, 2014 at 6:04 am

    What a great way to teach what I always thought too complicated to do...you are so sweet to share your journey! paulettte
    1. Katie

      May 8, 2014 at 8:52 am

      Thank you Paulette!! I love to share my journey!

Don't be afraid to comment! I LOVE to hear from my readers!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Post Next Post
%d bloggers like this: