How To Make Ricotta Cheese

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:53 am on Thursday, November 3, 2011

I could not believe how easy it is to make your own ricotta cheese. I’ve been meaning to try it ever since I made cottage cheese awhile back and now I am wondering why I waited so long. This recipe is so easy, it practically makes itself.

And the results are tasty, too. I wouldn’t go so far as to say this cheese beats high-quality ricotta, but it’s definitely better than the stuff you can easily get in the store. This recipe is especially valuable to me because many times an Italian recipe will call for ricotta cheese, but many grocery stores only carry the skim-milk kind, which frankly, just doesn’t cut it.

To make this recipe, the only special thing you need is cheese cloth, an inexpensive item you can get at any grocery store. Otherwise, it uses basic kitchen supplies.

As for the milk and cream, the one thing to avoid is the phrase “ultra-pasteurized,” which means the nice cheese-making bacteria has been cooked out of the milk and won’t yield goods cheese. Also, the nicer (i.e. local and organic) dairy you buy, the better the cheese will taste.

After making the ricotta, I stuffed it in pasta shells and cooked it with sauce made from my homegrown tomatoes. Recipe to follow tomorrow.

How To Make Ricotta Cheese:

(Yields 2-3 cups of cheese)


    8 c whole milk
    1 c heavy cream
    1/2 tsp salt
    3 Tbs white vinegar


Pour the salt, cream, and milk into a large pot. Slowly bring up the heat until the mixture is almost boiling, at around 200 degrees. Just before it boils, turn the heat to low and add the vinegar. Stir for 2 minutes and then turn off the heat. You will already start to see the curds of cheese at this point:

Line a mesh strainer with the cheese cloth and place over a bowl to catch the whey. Pour the cheese mixture through the lined strainer and let drain for one hour.

Voila! You have made ricotta. Let cool and cook as normal. Enjoy!


Comment by Christy

November 3, 2011 @ 9:12 am

I will most definitely have to try this! I’ve made kefir cheese a couple of times, and it’s fairly tasty. Allan won’t eat it as he doesn’t care for the flavor of kefir. :(
I have hope for this though- after things settle down in a couple of months!

Comment by Cathy

November 3, 2011 @ 2:14 pm

awesome! How much does the recipe yield?

Comment by Savvy Housekeeper

November 4, 2011 @ 8:00 am

Cathy, about 2-3 cups.

Pingback by Savvy Housekeeping » Pasta Shells With Ricotta-Cheese Filling

November 4, 2011 @ 8:25 am

[...] completing my homemade ricotta cheese, I stuffed it in some pasta shells and topped it with a fresh pasta sauce. It was great. [...]

Comment by olena

December 1, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

I had fat-free milk, but I doubled the amount of heavy cream and it turned out perfect!!Thank you for your recipes!! You really inspired me into cheese making!

Comment by Tato

February 6, 2012 @ 8:54 am

Anyone wiennrodg what to do with the whey.. one way to go is in place of vegetable stock in soup or additional to the stock.For those of you who want a less watery yogurt.. put a papertowel in a colander and pour your yogurt in.. place the colander over a bowl and stick it in the fridge for a few minutes or longer depending on how thick you want it to be.. basically some of the water will drain out and you can plop it into a container once you reach desired consistancy.I've been making paneer since i was a kid.. basically you follow recipe above but instead of letting the curds sit you gather the cloth that you've poured them into and set something heavy on top of it then let it sit for 15 minutes (or longer for a stiffer paneer). unwrap and store it or cut it, crumble it then cook. Great for scrambled curd (vegetarian scrambled eggs) as well! Alternatively you can make paneer like you make soy milk into tofu.. in a shape and the press so you have something uniform to work with.thanks for this great blog! i honestly never realized ricotta was unpressed paneer! very cool!

Pingback by Savvy Housekeeping » Using Up Commonly Wasted Foods

May 21, 2012 @ 7:46 am

[...] Fish: Since I too have thrown away fish, I have a rule that I only buy fish the day I will be eating it, and only then in portion sizes for the number of people I’m feeding. If there are leftovers, we have to eat them the next day. The same rule goes if I open a can of tuna. Other Meat: Freeze it. I put all meat directly into the freezer and only pull it out when I am going to use it. Cook portions that you know you’ll eat. If there are leftovers, put the meat into something new–pasta sauce, meatballs, stir-fry, etc. Milk/Cream: I have heard you can freeze both of these, but I’ve never tried it. Instead, I try to buy smaller containers that I know our family will use. It costs a little more but it means less waste in the long run. If milk or cream is about to go bad, I will likely use it up by making something like ice cream or ricotta cheese. [...]

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