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How to Make Your Own Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta is a rich, creamy cheese used in a lot of appetizers and desserts. Here’s how to make your own.

How to Make Your Own Ricotta Cheese

Total Time:

1hrs 30mins




1hrs 10mins

Skill Level:



  • 4 cups whole milk (can be substituted for 2% and some heavy cream or half & half)
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 lemon (or 3 tbsps of lemon juice)

How to Make It


In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the milk (and cream, if you’re using it) and salt over medium-high heat until it’s steaming – if you have a thermometer, it should read 190F. Stir it occasionally to keep it from scorching on the bottom.


Remove the pot from the heat and gently stir in the lemon juice, only stirring a couple times. Let it sit undisturbed for 5-10 minutes.


Line a colander or sieve with a double thickness of cheesecloth and set it in/over a large bowl; pour in the curds and whey. (If the whey is too deep and the colander is sitting in it, you can pour it off into another bowl.)


Let the ricotta sit for an hour or so – the longer it drains, the drier it will be. Place a plate on top of it if you want to press out as much whey as possible.

This method and ratio is very similar to a lot of recipes out there - this one uses 2 1/2 cups of 2% milk and 1 1/2 cups of half & half – so long as you don’t go below 2%, you should be fine.

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