Homemade ricotta How to make cheese right on your stove!

Homemade ricotta

Once you’ve tasted freshly made ricotta, you can’t help but be hooked!

The first time I did was in Tuscany. The cheese was so fresh, it was still warm! I’ll never forget the experience. How could something so simple be so delicious?

Ever since that first bite, I’ve been seeking out freshly made ricotta in gourmet stores or farmers’ markets. It finally occurred to me that I’d be better off simply making my own. I could make the precious cheese whenever I needed it, and would never again have to go out of my way to find it.

The revelation for me was that making ricotta at home is almost as easy as boiling an egg! Today, making my own ricotta is as routine as brewing my morning tea.

3 ingredients, 2 simple steps, and your ricotta will be ready in minutes

Ricotta in Italian means “re-cooked.” It’s made by reheating the whey left over from making another cheese. In Tuscany, the leftover whey they use is from sheep’s milk pecorino. (Yes, that was my unforgettable first bite!)

So, while homemade ricotta is not a true ricotta, it certainly tastes just as good! Here milk instead of whey is heated up to near boiling point, then acid is added to precipitate the formation of curds. Once formed, the curds are drained through a cheesecloth… and voilà! Within a few minutes you’ve made your very own batch of fresh ricotta.

Here’s the recipe I developed for this most simple of cheeses. I’ve tried it with different acids and with different milks. All yield a different-tasting but always stunning ricotta.

Ronnybrook Farm Dairy - Whole Milk


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Pan-fried zucchini flowers with ricotta and garden herbs

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Homemade ricotta cheese

makes 1 cup
active time: 10 min

  1. 4 cups whole milk
  2. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  3. 3 tablespoons distilled vinegar, fresh lemon or lime juice
  1. fine cheesecloth

  1. Step 1:camera icon Place the milk in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add the salt and heat over medium heat. Stir occasionally so the milk doesn’t scorch. Heat milk to 180ºF to 190ºF (82ºC to 88ºC). If you don’t have a thermometer, heat the milk until it foams at the sides of the pan and starts simmering, but doesn’t boil. Remove pan from heat and add vinegar, lemon or lime juice. Stir only a couple of times. Almost immediately, curds will start to form. Make sure not to stir any more so as not to disturb the curds. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Step 2:camera icon Line a medium sieve with the cheesecloth and carefully pour the milk mixture into the cheesecloth, disturbing the curds as little as possible. Let drain for 5 to 20 minutes to the desired consistency. Draining for 5 minutes will give you a moist and creamy cheese. Draining for 20 minutes will give you a drier ricotta. You can drain the ricotta for longer of course, just remember that the longer it drains, the drier it’ll be. Scroll down for the step-by-step instructions and photographs.Transfer the ricotta to a container and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for up to 7 days.

The Milk

Different kinds of milk will give you different ricottas. Cow’s milk is, of course, the milk that’s most readily available. You can use either ultra-pasteurized or pasteurized milk. I find the difference to be minimal, but the pasteurized milk does yield a slightly more moist ricotta. Goat’s milk, which you can find in health or gourmet stores, makes a creamy and tangy ricotta that’s perfect for spreading on a slice of crusty bread or for desserts. I’m still trying to locate sheep’s milk, which to me makes the most sublime ricotta of all.

Homemade ricotta with 3 kinds of milk

Ultra-pasteurized cow’s milk (left): The curds are large and form very quickly. This ricotta drains very fast. I find that 5 minutes is sufficient for a crumbly yet moist texture.
Pasteurized cow’s milk (center): The curds are also large and form quickly, but the ricotta has a creamier texture. For a crumbly and moist texture, drain it for 5 to 10 minutes.
Pasteurized goat’s milk (right): The curds are small. This ricotta will need at least 20 minutes of draining or more. It has a soft, creamy texture.

Note: You might find recipes for homemade ricotta that call for adding heavy cream to the milk, but I am a purist and prefer the curds on the lighter and drier side.

The Acid

Flavor-wise, distilled vinegar makes for the purest ricotta. The vinegar imparts no flavor to the cheese and is very reliable, yielding the same results every batch.

Lemon and lime juice are also good acids to use for making cheese. They will both give the cheese either a slightly lemon-y or lime-y flavor which works wonderfully in certain recipes. However, since the pH level varies in each fruit you might need to add a little extra lemon or lime juice (about 1 tablespoon) to the warmed milk if your curds are not forming right away.

My advice is to start making ricotta with distilled vinegar until you’re comfortable with the process. Then you can experiment with fresh lemon or lime juice.

Draining the Ricotta

This step is crucial. The more you drain your ricotta, the drier it’ll be. The best method is to flake a little bit of ricotta with a fork while it’s draining to see how the texture is turning out.

A cheesecloth is a very handy accessory to have. These days you can find it in most grocery or cooking supply stores. But in a pinch you can use a strong paper towel (the kind that doesn’t fall apart when soaking wet!). I’ve had to resort to this a few times, when I’ve forgotten to replenish my supply of cheesecloth, so I can vouch for its working out well enough.

Regency Naturals Ultra Fine Cheesecloth

If you start making your ricotta on a weekly basis, you might want to get a lot of cheesecloth! This double-pack from Regency Naturals is a good value.

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Homemade ricotta

cheese, homemade, ricotta

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  • Reply Angela December 27, 2019 at 1:13 am

    I found you on YouTube and moved to your website. I’m a novice cheesecakes this was my first time and it came out great !

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre January 7, 2020 at 5:27 pm

      I am delighted to hear… thank you for your note, Angela!

  • Reply Roger Atkins April 7, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Hi. Really interested in trying this recipe. I have made paneer cheese several times and the recipe is almost the same without beating the milk. Also, with the paneer, you press the curse in the cheesecloth to make a block of cheese. Could you do this with the ricotta? All the best from Sunny Devon, UK.

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre April 11, 2019 at 5:33 pm

      Hi Roger, Yes, as with all cheeses, you could press this ricotta to make a block… Hope it turns out delicious!

  • Reply Nuala Hussey January 31, 2019 at 2:59 am

    You are such a dear 🙂

  • Reply Nuala January 14, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    I loved your youtube. videos. I have to drink a2Milk (Guernsey cows milk) will it work the same. A further question when the milk reaches expiration date and slightly off taste may it be used for butter or ricotta. I do adore cultured butter from France mind you I do pay approx $12.00 for 8 ozs it is like cheese just scrummy!

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre January 30, 2019 at 11:43 pm

      Hi Nuala! My apologies for taking so long to reply to you comment… Life has kept me a bit too busy lately! I have never used A2 milk, but I am sure you can use it to make ricotta because I use goat milk all the time to make ricotta and it works well (Goat milk has the A2 protein). As for using milk that is slightly off, I have never tried either as I am not very fond of the smell or flavor. I prefer my milk fresh 😄 But you could give it a try and see if you like it. You’ll have nothing to loose! As for your last question, you need heavy cream to make cultured butter (like the French butter you like), so you would need to find A2 heavy cream… I hope this is helpful! Have fun making your ricotta!

      • Reply Nuala Hussey January 31, 2019 at 1:11 am

        Dearest Viviane, thank you so much for your wonderful response, I really do appreciate it and I look forward to making my ricotta. HUMM!!!!!!!!!!!! I will contact the a2 preducers and see if they have the cream, I recently found out that there is a2 cheese and I may be able to get it at Traders Joes or Wholefoods, I did go to Murrays Cheese wonderful store but they did not know what I was talking about. Ce la vie 😉

        • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre January 31, 2019 at 1:55 am

          You are so welcome, Nuala! I think more people will know about A2 Milk soon… I’ll check Whole Foods myself next time I go. I’m eager to test the A2 milk and cream too. I have several friends who are allergic to A1 milk protein, so I do need to experiment. There’s always so much to learn! Do let me know how your ricotta turns out. The A2 milk might make a very fine curd, so make sure you use butter muslin to strain your cheese. Have fun!

          • Nuala Hussey January 31, 2019 at 2:02 am

            I will look up the butter muslin ( have never heard of it) but I have in the past used painter straining bags (not a real friend of semi plastic) but if it is only for straining I feel it will not hurt.

            Look forward to getting more posts or newsy info from you. Thank you so much. Irish Blessings to you and yours.

          • Viviane Bauquet Farre January 31, 2019 at 2:54 am

            Hello again Nuala, If you are interested in making your own cheese and butter, then getting butter muslin a must. You can get it here: https://cheesemaking.com/products/butter-muslin It is not expensive. 100% cotton. You can wash it after straining your cheese or butter and reuse it. It’ll last you years if you take good care of it. Thank you for the Irish blessings… Here are French ones coming your way. Say fromage!

  • Reply John M April 23, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    I’ll try again, but I used Goat milk and the curd was so fine that it clogged the folded cheesecloth and just one layer didn’t filter. I’ll try adding some more vinegar next time? I had to use more vinegar for paneer with goat milk as well. Any thoughts?

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre May 15, 2018 at 10:50 pm

      Hi John, You can try a bit more vinegar, but also try stirring the milk a little more after you add the vinegar to it. The key with goat milk, which does give you very fine curds, is to use a very tightly woven cheesecloth. Let me know how your next batch turns out. Happy cheese making!

      • Reply John M May 16, 2018 at 1:00 am

        Thanks! I did try again with a couple more tablespoons of vinegar and opted for a strong paper towel. It turned out ridiculously good. While it drained I made some fresh pasta and we had some of the best ravioli I’ve had in a very long time. Thanks for your recipe and your response.

        • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre May 16, 2018 at 1:29 am

          Well, John… that’s music to my ears – You’ve just made me crave making ravioli with goat cheese ricotta! You may be interested in trying this goat cheese recipe: https://allweathermedia.com/homemade-fresh-goat-cheese/ Happy cheese making!

  • Reply Ashley February 23, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Is there anything that you can use the leftover milk for? I feel like I’ve heard of that before but I wasn’t sure. Thanks!

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre March 21, 2018 at 10:46 pm

      Hi Ashley, the “leftover milk” is called “whey”. I tend not to use this whey because it is quite acidic (from the vinegar used).

  • Reply Mark February 11, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    Can you make ricotta with skim milk?

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre February 13, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      I’ve never tried, so I couldn’t tell you! But I would imagine that it would yield a very small amount of ricotta.

  • Reply Tracy July 20, 2016 at 5:41 am

    I’m very excited to try this out. I am Italian woman with a cow’s milk allergy. Life is tough. I am wondering two things:

    1. Goat’s milk has an almost sour taste. If I was to use the ricotta for cannoli, is there a way to make it milder or sweeter? Or does homemade goat’s milk ricotta not have that tanginess to it?

    2. Just wondering if I let this dry out for a longer time, will I get something similar to mozzarella?

    Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre July 20, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      Hi Tracy! I feel for you… but fortunately, you have goat milk to play with! Here are my answers:

      1/ Goat milk makes a very mild ricotta cheese. It is a tiny bit tangy, but certainly not sour. I think you will be able to use it to make both savory and sweet dishes.

      2/ No, you would just end up with very dense ricotta. If you want to make fresh goat cheese, follow this recipe: https://allweathermedia.com/homemade-fresh-goat-cheese/ I don’t think you can make mozzarella with goat milk, but I’ll have to investigate further.

      A couple of things to remember: Double layer your cheesecloth when you strain your cheese, because goat milk curds are very, very fine and you want to catch them all. Also, you will get better results with goat milk that is not homogenized.

      Do let me know how your first batch turns out. Have fun… and enjoy every bite!

  • Reply Rahul S July 14, 2016 at 1:37 am

    Can you place a fine mesh sieve on a colander placed in a large bowl for the recipe to work?

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre July 20, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      You really need cheesecloth to stain the curds, Rahul. They are so small, that they’ll go right through a fine mesh. If using goat milk, you need to put two layers the cheese cloth, as the curds are very, very fine. Good luck!

  • Reply julie May 31, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    mine came out in one big clump, but by flaking it around with a fork it looked like the pictures. I also added two leaves of freshly chopped basil and a sprig of rosemary for more flavor, it was delightful!

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre June 1, 2016 at 6:15 pm

      Hi Julie! Yes, the cheese does look like a big lump once it has been drained… not so attractive for photography though, hence the fluffing up! I’m so glad you enjoyed yours. The herbs are a lovely touch!

  • Reply Micah February 4, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Hi there! I stumbled upon this recipe on pinterest. When you say “ultra pasteurized” milk, do you mean the shelf-stable kind that usually comes in a box? I tried it today, and unfortunately it didn’t work out too well 🙁 all I got was sloppy milk. Do you think I needed to use more vinegar, as I saw mentioned above, or should I just stick with regular refrigerated milk?


    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre February 9, 2016 at 8:28 pm

      Hi Micah! I’m a bit confused with your comment and questions. It is possible to make ricotta with ultra-pasteurized milk, although it doesn’t taste as good (ultra-pasteurized milk is heated at a much higher temperature than pasteurized milk, to prolong shelf-life. But this process makes the milk less flavorful). Did you heat your milk before adding the vinegar? If so, to what temperature? And did you stir the vinegar continuously in until the curds form? That’s a very important step. Let me know and I’ll try to figure out why your ricotta didn’t turn our right. Thank you!

  • Reply Kate June 24, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    I love this in the summer on whole grain toast topped with fresh tomatoes and basil. So delicious!

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre June 25, 2015 at 12:43 am

      Kate, that’s my favorite summer lunch too… And I’m looking forward to having it as often as I can in the next couple of months! Enjoy making your ricotta.

  • Reply Devon November 20, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Can you make this with Almond milk?

    • Reply Viviane November 20, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      Hi Devon, I hate to disappoint you, but you cannot make ricotta with almond milk. If you want to learn how to make vegan cheeses, you might want to get this book: Artisan Vegan Cheese http://amzn.to/1ufjWuc Say cheese! 🙂

  • Reply MaryChris August 24, 2014 at 1:27 am

    This is a lovely recipe and I’ve made it several times. I save the whey and I use it when I make pizza dough. My family and I like the pizza crust done this way because the crust ends up being crispier. We can’t seem to taste the acid, which surprised me. I usually use the ricotta in stuffed shells and next I’m going to try it in a cheese cake. To be honest I didn’t like ricotta until I tasted this recipe. MAJOR YUM!

    • Reply Viviane August 25, 2014 at 9:29 am

      Dear Mary, I am so glad you’re enjoying making your own ricotta and saving the whey to boot! You will absolutely love your homemade ricotta in a cheese cake. It’s absolutely marvelous! In fact, I will be publishing a recipe for a lemon-ricotta cheese cake in mid September… If you’d like I’ll email you when the recipe is posted on the site. Let me know… Happy ricotta making!

      • Reply MaryChris September 3, 2014 at 7:57 pm

        Dear Viviane: Thank you! That would be lovely but only if you have the time because I am on your (wonderful) web site a few times a week. MaryChris

        • Reply Viviane September 4, 2014 at 3:32 pm

          Hi MaryChris, I’ll put it on my schedule so that I don’t forget! 🙂 I’m so glad you’re enjoying the website! Thank you for letting me know and as always, happy cooking!

  • Reply lilyj February 26, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Hi Viviane! Thanks for the easy and delicious recipe! I just made it and it was so wonderful! Do you have any thoughts on what to do with all that leftover whey? Seems such a shame to pour it down the drain. Thanks so much!

    • Reply Viviane February 26, 2014 at 11:54 pm

      Lilij, I am so delighted you enjoyed making this ricotta recipe! I make it myself on a regular basis and never tire of it. As for the whey, I totally agree with you that it is a shame to throw it away, but because there is so much vinegar or lemon juice in this whey, I don’t use it for other recipes. Whey from making other fresh cheeses that don’t use vinegar or lemon juice can be used instead of milk in many recipes (pancakes, crêpes, breads etc…). I’m also told that it makes a great food for pets… but I don’t have pets, so I can’t vouched for it! Thank you for your comment and may you continue enjoying making fresh ricotta.

  • Reply Natalie August 2, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Oh mah goodness…I’m making this cheese right now and I can’t believe how easy it is! It’s resting now before being strained. I tasted a little bit and it is already amazing! I used 2 Tbsp vinegar and 1 Tbsp lemon juice. The lemon flavor is delicious. : )

    • Reply Viviane August 2, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      Natalie, you have no idea how happy your comment makes me! I remember very vividly the very first time I made ricotta… I was so amazed how delicious the warm cheese was that I ate the entire batch in a few minutes (okay… my hubby had some too!), with a little salt, a drizzle of olive oil and a slice of toasted country bread – sublime! Enjoy, my dear. May you make ricotta many more times.

  • Reply Emily June 4, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing a recipe that doesn’t call for heavy cream. I love making fresh ricotta.

    • Reply Viviane June 5, 2013 at 12:55 am

      Thank you, Emily! I’m with you on the no-cream-ricotta… Happy cheese making!

  • Reply Nicole June 2, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    I just tried the goats milk version because I can’t do cows milk. Its awesome! Now to figure out what to do with it lol. I’m thinking something italian. Now to search your site and see if there are other things I can do with goats milk!

  • Reply Josée Oliver May 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    I’ve just made my first batch of goat milk ricotta. The taste is unbelievable and it took only 30 minutes to make! I will never use store-bought ricotta from now on. I cannot wait to use it in your zucchini flower recipe!

    • Reply Viviane May 7, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      Josée! You just made my day… Thank you so much for letting me know how your goat milk ricotta came out. It’s normal that it would take longer to drain than ricotta made with regular milk, because goat milk make much smaller curds. But as you tasted for yourself, it’s so, so delicious… and fresh tasting! Enjoy making the zucchini flowers. A few weeks to go in our neck of the woods before they’re is season. Bon appétit!

  • Reply Tracy April 11, 2013 at 11:57 am

    I have made this twice now and it is amazing. I used her boobs and fresh garlic. I also use half lemon and half vinegar because I think the lemon give it a beautiful flavor in my pasta. thank you for such a good post

  • Reply Janet March 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Thank you for this simple, clear recipe. It worked wonderfully. I won’t buy ricotta from the little plastic tubs again. So many possibilities….

    • Reply Viviane March 1, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      Janet, thank you so much for your note. I am so glad the recipe worked well for you. May you enjoy making your own ricotta for many years to come!

  • Reply Eden February 14, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    My ricotta is draining away right now. I’m going for a smoother texture for some zucchini lasagna. This recipe was SO simple!! And I snuck a taste of my batch, it tastes perfect. Thank you so much for posting. This will take my Valentine’s dinner to the next level! 🙂

    • Reply Viviane March 1, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      Eden, My apologize for this late reply to your lovely note! I am delighted you made your own ricotta and I hope your Valentine’s Dinner was superb. Happy ricotta making!

  • Reply Corinn February 5, 2013 at 1:14 am

    Thanks for this easy step by step and the explanation and picture of how the different types of milk turn out.
    I just made my first batch after having this page book marked for months and I LOVE that I can have my yummy ricotta again and never ever have to eat the yuck store bought stuff again!
    I’m going to try goats milk next time 🙂

    • Reply Viviane February 5, 2013 at 10:15 am

      Dear Corinn… I am delighted you made your own ricotta and were happy with the results. You just made my day! I make this recipe myself every week and I can safely say that I will never buy ricotta again. Thank you for dropping me a line. Happy cooking!

  • Reply nate January 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial, I actually used this to make paneer. If you wrap the curds up in the cheese cloth and put a weighted object on top and let it sit for a few hours you get a brick of paneer which you can slice, fry, and then add to a curry. So good! thanks for the help!

    • Reply Viviane January 9, 2013 at 11:45 am

      Nate, thank you for your comment and for stopping by. Indeed, this recipe makes a great paneer… Which I adore!

  • Reply Tabitha August 19, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    This recipe is super easy. Your detailed instructions were very helpful. I’ll be sharing your link today on Facebook because it was super helpful!

    • Reply Viviane August 20, 2012 at 9:59 am

      Hi Tabitha, Thank you so much for your comment. I’m thrilled that the instructions on the ricotta recipe were helpful. Thank you for linking it to your Facebook too! I hope making your own ricotta becomes a stand-by in your own kitchen.

  • Reply Cucina49 July 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I love fresh ricotta! Never tried making it, but you make it look so doable. Thanks for all the detailed instructions.

  • Reply Sandy July 5, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Tried today. Easy and delicious. Thank you for the recipe and method.

  • Reply Dan June 1, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I have been getting raw goats milk for awhile and have been using it to make crock-pot yogurt. I can’t wait to try making something new. I also drain the yogurt through coffee filters wet lining a colander.

    • Reply Viviane June 1, 2012 at 5:39 pm

      Dan! That’s marvelous… You are very, very lucky to be able to get raw goat’s milk. I bet the ricotta will come out even better. Do let me know how it turns out – Happy cheese making!

  • Reply Susan @ Cook with Susan May 29, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Viviane thank you for your detailed post. When my daughter lived in Italy the one thing that she constantly talked about was the fresh ricotta. Thanks to you I can surprise her with a batch.

  • Reply Kayle (The Cooking Actress) May 24, 2012 at 9:40 am

    TY so much for sharing this extremely helpful and in depth how-to make ricotta cheese. It’s something I can’t wait to try!

    • Reply Viviane May 25, 2012 at 8:30 am

      Have fun Kayle… and be prepared to eat your first batch before it has time to cool down!

  • Reply Liz May 23, 2012 at 7:00 am

    Beautifully done…and thanks for showing the difference with the different milks.

    • Reply Viviane May 25, 2012 at 8:29 am

      You’re most welcome… Thank you for stopping by!

  • Reply Cindy May 23, 2012 at 4:39 am

    I really love this post and how you compare the result from using different types of milk. Very thoughtful, thank you so much!

  • Reply Samantha May 22, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    I adore homemade ricotta! The first time I tried I swore I would never go back to store bought varieties. The break down of the different types of milk is incredibly helpful. To date, I’ve only tried ultra-pasteurized cow’s milk and goat’s milk. Like you, I’ve had trouble tracking down sheep’s milk though I’d love to give it a try! Recently I’ve taken to using buttermilk (added right with the milk at the start) in lieu of vinegar or citrus. I’d love to hear your take on how buttermilk ricotta compares!

    • Reply Viviane May 25, 2012 at 8:29 am

      Samantha, I love the taste of pure ricotta and I think the buttermilk would change that quite a bit… But since you suggest I might give it a try… On for our hunt for sheep’s milk!

  • Reply mjskit May 22, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Interesting how different milks yield different results. I’ve never made homemade ricotta but it definitely looks like fun! Thanks for such an informative post!

  • Reply Kim Bee May 22, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    This is such a wonderful post. I have always wanted to try doing this. Now I know how. Thank you so much for doing this. Looks easy enough for a gal like me to try.

    • Reply Viviane May 25, 2012 at 8:27 am

      Kim Bee, thank you for your comment… And do keep me posted if you try making your own ricotta.

  • Reply Anita at Hungry Couple May 22, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Great, informative post! I haven’t tasted fresh made ricotta yet but I can only imagine how good it must be.

    • Reply Viviane May 25, 2012 at 8:26 am

      Anita, you’re in for a treat!

  • Reply Tina@flourtrader May 22, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Glad you resent this post out! I have never made ricotta and this is a really informative as well as instructional. In viewing the comparison, I think that the one with goats milk would be awesome. This is probably one of those things that homemade taste and store bought taste is miles apart. I made cheese once and it is a pretty big project, but the end result made it well worth it. Great post!

    • Reply Viviane May 25, 2012 at 8:25 am

      Tina, this is the easiest cheese you’ll ever make! And yes, the types of milk make a big difference. In the end it just depends on what you’ll use the cheese for. The best is to try them all out and see what you prefer. Happy cheese making my dear!

  • Reply Janet@FCTC May 22, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Cool! I have seen recipes for home made ricotta before but not really from a trusted source. Now that I have, I feel better about trying my hand at this at home 🙂

    • Reply Viviane May 25, 2012 at 8:24 am

      Janet, You’ll love making your own ricotta… I promise!

  • Reply RavieNomNoms May 22, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I have always wanted to do this, but never have. I get so worried I might screw it up. This looks great, thanks for the step by step!

    • Reply Viviane May 25, 2012 at 8:23 am

      You are most welcome! I’m very excited for you to try making your own ricotta!

  • Reply sonia May 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Wow…the fresh ricotta cheese is looking awesome ! I cant wait to make my batch today. I can feel the flavors of fresh cheese. Regards, Sonia

    • Reply Viviane May 21, 2012 at 6:01 pm

      That’s great Sonia – thank you! Let me know how it turns out…

  • Reply Meg May 3, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Wow! I didn’t know that it’s so simple to make ricotta. With your instructions and pictures everyone can make it. I cannot wait to try too.

  • Reply Gisela March 27, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Just made my first recipe of ricotta and it taste wonderful, so much better than store bought. I am now a fan. Only problem is that it did not make enough so back to the store for more milk. Thanks

    • Reply Viviane March 27, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      Gisela! I’m so glad you’re a homemade ricotta convert! And I must confess that I face the same problem: one batch is most definitely not enough. So now I always make a double batch… and sometimes even a triple batch! Happy ricotta making my dear.

  • Reply Laurie Blackwell February 29, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Love the ricotta recipe and pictures. My first batch is runny and not many curds. I live at high altitude (11,000 ft above sea level). Would there be a need to change temperature of the warmed milk before adding ingredients at a higher altitude?

    • Reply Viviane February 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm

      Hi Laurie! I’ve never made ricotta at high altitude so I cannot really tell you if that is a problem… In my experience the small curds and wet cheese is more likely due to the milk itself. Try getting a different brand. If you see the curds not forming within a few second of adding the vinegar to the hot milk, add another tablespoon of the vinegar. The temperature is not as crucial I don’t think. Keep me posted… and don’t give up!

  • Reply Julian February 8, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Thanks so much for this recipe! I live in a remote area of northern canada where ricotta is far from available. This recipe will now help me enjoy the comforts of back home 🙂

    Any idea how long it would last (would you say comfortably until the milk’s expiry date?)

    • Reply Viviane February 8, 2012 at 8:10 pm

      Dear Julian, I am thrilled to hear that this recipe will bring a little taste of home to you. I can get ricotta readily where I live, but I still prefer to make my own. There’s nothing like it! Your homemade ricotta will keep in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. Do keep me posted on how your first batch turns out. Happy ricotta making!

  • Reply Barbara February 2, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    What is the differance between Ricotta and Cottage cheese//??? Please! Do you have a recipe for homemade cottage cheese?

    • Reply Viviane February 3, 2012 at 10:53 am

      Barbara, cottage cheese is similar to ricotta, but not exactly the same. I don’t have a recipe for it but it’s high on my list of recipes to develop and test. Meanwhile, here’s a recipe (I trust David implicitly, so even though I haven’t made his cottage cheese recipe, I’m comfortable recommending it to you): http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2006/03/la-presure-home-1/

  • Reply dubit January 18, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Can you re-use the whey from the first batch to make ricotta again

  • Reply John Perrone December 18, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    This turned out perfect. I had been using my home grown lemons and couldn’t understand why it wasn’t producing enough curds. Obviously the ph of my lemons was not right. The vinegar is a much better option. Great, simple, recipe! Enjoying it with my pasta later on today.

  • Reply Julie Fordyce November 18, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Viviane, I made my second batch this morning, and got wondering if you’ve ever gone all the way to ricotta salata — or even if ricotta salata is just a question of drying longer and putting pressing on the curds.

    • Reply Viviane November 18, 2011 at 11:35 am

      Julie! I’m so glad you’re getting into making your own ricotta. I have not done ricotta salata yet… but that’s on my list (along with paneer, queso blanco and all kinds of other easy-to-make cheeses)! I’ll be posting about it after the holidays – so stay tuned…

  • Reply Julie Fordyce November 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Made it at last! And it’s delicious. Thanks, Viviane!

    • Reply Viviane November 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm

      I’m thrilled to know this Julie! I too made a batch last night… It’s become second nature to do it.

  • Reply Angela Symes October 4, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I use a jelly strainer I found at my local hardware store. It works for ricotta and yogurt (I like thick Greek style yogurt).

    • Reply Viviane October 4, 2011 at 1:56 pm

      Hello Angela! I’m thrilled to know that there’s yet another way to drain ricotta. Thank you for the suggestion.

  • Reply Sam Garrett October 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Ricotta is draining. Trying the paper towel method, but will try cheese cloth asap. It smells wonderful. My family is very excited. Thank you!

    • Reply Viviane October 4, 2011 at 1:55 pm

      Sam! Thank you so much for your comment. I hope the ricotta turned out delicious.

  • Reply cooking rookie September 16, 2011 at 1:06 am

    Your photos are sooo beautiful!
    As to the recipe, I use buttermilk – it adds yet another kind of flavor :-).

  • Reply Sandra September 14, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Thanks so much for this! I was able to make organic ricotta for much less that the regular ricotta would cost in the store. It seemed a shame to hide the beautiful results (first try) in a lasagna, but that was on the menu for the night. Delicious and unbelievably easy!

  • Reply Jennifer Eloff September 10, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Thank you, Viviane – I missed that. I will try a paper towel today. This is exciting!

  • Reply Jennifer Eloff September 9, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Wow – this is an awesome recipe. Thank you so much. I just need to find some cheesecloth – wonder if coffee filters would work?

    • Reply Viviane September 9, 2011 at 7:50 pm

      Hi Jennifer! Considering tough paper towels do a good job (see my notes about it in the section “Draining the ricotta”), I think coffee filters might work. But they would need to be large ones… It’ll be too hard to pour the milk mixture into small coffee filters. I would recommend you try a strong paper towel first. Thank you for stopping by and let me know how it turns out!

  • Reply Cristina September 7, 2011 at 1:43 am

    I can’t wait to try this and the homemade creme fraiche! How invaluable to have in one’s arsenal. I’ve made my own homemade mascarpone and loved the results. I appreciate how thorough you are and demonstrating the different textures. What a great post, Viviane!

  • Reply Elies_Lie September 4, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Congratz on the top 9 on Fb viviane!
    Tq for the tutotrial & tips! I’ll make this someday, exited! 😉

  • Reply kalika September 3, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    This is exactly how we make panir (Indian cottage cheese) at home. We can crumble it or press it under a heavy weight to set it in a block and cut pieces to cook/eat.

  • Reply Sandi September 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Congratulations on Foodbuzz #!!

  • Reply Peggy September 3, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Wow! I would have never guessed that it was so easy to make – thank you for the inspiration Vivianne!

  • Reply CUCINAINMUSICA September 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Grazie per la condivisione. Giulia

  • Reply Liz September 3, 2011 at 8:15 am

    It’s been a while since I’ve made ricotta…but it was SO much better than the grocery store variety. Thanks for such inclusive directions…I think it’s time for another batch, but this time for a savory recipe instead of cheesecake 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend~

  • Reply Debby September 3, 2011 at 3:44 am

    Congrats on the top 9, I love your blog! New follower 🙂 xoxo

  • Reply Sandra's Easy Cooking September 3, 2011 at 12:24 am

    I never made ricotta, and I love your method, very easy instructions. My Grandma use to make it with fresh gout milk and I liked the taste.. Great post though, I will have to get enough courage to try it!:)) Congrats on top 9!

  • Reply kristin September 3, 2011 at 12:15 am

    The photography of the Ricotta steps , clarified it for me! I will try it . Gorgeous and inspiring .

  • Reply Best Salads September 2, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    we’ve recently been advised to move our little one from cow’s milk to goat’s milk, so i’m definitely going to try this one out with goat’s milk!

  • Reply Angie@Angiesrecipes September 2, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Love the goat milk one…so creamy! Thank you, viviane, for the step-by-step instructions.

  • Reply Sky September 2, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    V, thank you for another fabulous post! You and your friendly cows collaborate for another masterpiece with this ricotta!

    • Reply Viviane September 2, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      Sky, You know me… If I had my way, I would have a cow and a couple of goats in the backyard!

  • Reply Donna Ford September 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Great recipe Viviane! I had no idea making fresh ricotta would be so easy. I’ll give it a try. 🙂

    • Reply Viviane September 2, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      Let me know how it turns out Donna!

  • Reply Viviane September 2, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Everyone! Thank you for stopping by and for your comments – I’m always very grateful for them. Hope you give making your own ricotta a try… You’ll never look back!

  • Reply Ann September 2, 2011 at 1:54 am

    Wow – what a great post! I love ricotta and I remember having it fresh in Sicily….amazing! I love the step-by-step photos! Bookmarked and buzzed!

    • Reply Viviane September 2, 2011 at 10:59 am

      Ann! Thank you so much for your comment and your constant support – you really are the very best you know!

  • Reply Kelsey @ K&K Test Kitchen September 1, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Wow, what a wonderful tutorial! You make it sound so easy that I will have to try it! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Maria September 1, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Look delicious! Enjoy Cooking!

  • Reply Parsley Sage September 1, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Ohmigoodness! That’s awesome! I’d never even thought about making my own. I bet it does taste amazing 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. September 1, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Wonderful post! And I love how you gave us the different outcomes using different milks. I’m definitely gonna give this a try someday!

  • Reply Joy September 1, 2011 at 10:35 am

    THe ricotta looks great.

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