Homemade Ricotta

Total Time:
43 min
Prep:
10 min
Inactive:
23 min
Cook:
10 min

Yield:
about 2 cups
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
Directions

Set a large sieve over a deep bowl. Dampen 2 layers of cheesecloth with water and line the sieve with the cheesecloth.

Pour the milk and cream into a stainless-steel or enameled pot such as Le Creuset. Stir in the salt. Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. Allow the mixture to stand for 1 minute until it curdles. It will separate into thick parts (the curds) and milky parts (the whey).

Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined sieve and allow it to drain into the bowl at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes, occasionally discarding the liquid that collects in the bowl. The longer you let the mixture drain, the thicker the ricotta. (I tend to like mine on the thicker side, but some prefer it moister.) Transfer the ricotta to a bowl, discarding the cheesecloth and any remaining whey. Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The ricotta will keep refrigerated for 4 to 5 days.


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4.6 78
This is so easy and so delicious it borders on ridiculous!  Only change to the recipe I made was I used 1 cup half and half with 1 cup of heavy cream only because I didn't have 2 cups of cream, and only had 2% milk.  Still tastes fabulous!  As others have said, why would anyone ever buy ricotta cheese again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wow. Just wow. This by far is a million times better than store bought....and so easy! I used whole milk and half and half as another reviewer did, and added an extra tsp. of vinegar. Absolutely perfect. Make this. Now. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Outstanding! We use this recipe all the time for savory and sweet spreads. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Oh, Ina! What a wonderful recipe! I made it this morning and it drained as I ran errands. I came home to the most lovely, creamy ricotta. I don't think I'll every buy it again. Thanks, again! You will want to let it sit for about 10 minutes before straining...and I used 5 oz of vinegar. Also, read another recipe that said to bring it up to 195 degrees over med/high heat. I did that and once it came to temp, I turned up the heat and brought it to a rolling boil. This is a wonderfully simple and gratifying recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is fool proof. You will never go back once you try this stuff. I use nut milk bags instead of cheese cloth. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely the best!!! This recipe is so easy, so simple, and so well received by all !! I let mine set also for 10 minutes, and at the last minute , realized I had ultra pasturized heavy whipping cream, (which by other reviews ....and thank God you ladies.....just needed to add another tsp of vinegar.....BUT at last!!!! I did not need too! The mixture separated as per the recipe. You just have to be patient, my friend and then, enjoy....... item not reviewed by moderator and published
So good and so easy! Heard about this on the Banter Blender podcast and decided to give it a try. This will be me new (awesome!) dish to bring to the next family dinner. It is the perfect base for a limitless number of possibilities. I put it in Ina's mushroom lasagna tonight. I did use other reviewer's advice and let it stand for 10 minutes. I also let it drain for at least 2 hours (as I started the lasagna). It was thick, rich and delicious. the vinegar flavor disappeared after it was drained. I used Trader Joe's whole milk and heavy cream. I would consider following other reviewer's advice and switching to half and half and a lower fat milk. item not reviewed by moderator and published
So easy and SO amazing!!! I will never buy store bought again. It's that good. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Take every notion you have about store-bought ricotta wrap it in the cheesecloth you use to make this recipe and throw them away! Creamy, smooth, decadent, and absolutely delicious. Also, so easy I can have a batch made and draining in the same amount of time it takes for a run to the store. One quick tip: this recipe is very, very creamy both texturally and by milk to cream ratio. Play with the milk to cream ratio to your personal preference and/or intended use. As always, thank you Ina Garton! item not reviewed by moderator and published
great item not reviewed by moderator and published
It's a great recipe, sometimes you may have to adjust the vinegar. I'm posting though to say do not discard they whey. Save it for cooking grains, soup, potatoes, sauces. It has so much flavor. I used to make a tomato sauce for the same dish I was making the ricotta for. Threw some tomatoes, a small onion, a carrot, and some of the whey in the blender then cooked it with salt, basil, and oregano. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Will never buy ricotta again!!! Used 4 cups raw whole milk (local farm) and 2 cups Hood Half and Half. Super creamy; would never miss the heavy cream. Didn't have "good white wine vinegar" - used rice vinegar instead. Absolutely perfect; can't imagine how much better it could be. Used it in lasagna - to die for. Hubby agreed. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The whey is wonderful to use in almost any soup. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made this "twice"1st time it was easy and wonderful ! The 2nd was a trial...3 trials to be exact. So I reread the reviews. ThatHoodwink said that if you use ultra pasturized cream or milk, it will not set up...Well i did not see that till I already started the 3rd trial. I figured at that point, would see what happened. So here is what I came up with. 1st bring milk and cream JUST to a boil OVER MEDIUM..take your time and do not rush it . Watch carefully and stir occasionally. Next if you did make the misthake of getting ULTRA pasturized, try adding 1 teaspoon more vinigar and let the milk & cream sit 15 to 20 min. Then put thru the cheese cloth, and let sit for 30 ish min..That approach FINALLY worked. Given the choice between struggling thru the glitch or using store bought ricotta, I still think this is far superior to store bought. Hope this helps some people who had issues...Cause it CAN happen even if your 1st & 2nd batches turned out great. BTW use lemon for baked goods item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just made this recipe and OMG. It is amazing! Will use it each time I need ricotta. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I will never buy ricotta again - my husband used this in lasagna and it was the lightest most delicious lasagna we have ever had - I drain it much longer than 20 minutes to have a thicker texture - more like 1 - 3 hours depending on how it looks - I leave it plain in the frig and add scallions, herbs and spice for a great spread in crackers or crostini, add a little jam for a muffin at breakfast, cinnamon and pipe into a poached pear and you have an elegant dessert. This has inspired me to try cream cheese next - thank you Ina! item not reviewed by moderator and published
So easy and tasted great. All of my guests raved about it. I did let it drain longer than recommended. Closer to 40 min. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is wonderful! I couldn't be more pleased with the results. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I wanted to make Giada's ricotta lemon cookies but had no ricotta and I live far from a grocery. The ricotta turnrd out great and worked well with a sweet. Don't think I will ever buy ricotta agiain. So easy and so good. item not reviewed by moderator and published
While good this is NOT ricotta, this is cottage cheese, ricotta is made from the whey left over from making this product. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made this twice now and perfect results every time. To the reviewer who complained about ultra pasteurized cream - no problem there for me as I've always used that for my heavy cream with fine results. You must have done something incorrect in the steps, or didn't let it rest long enough before straining. I use any % milk with fine results as well, not just whole. I use a standard variety white wine vinegar, that is not expired ( vinegar does lose its potency after the expiration date), 1 % millk, ultra pasteurized heavy cream and kosher salt. Perfect. Taste is wonderful, mellow, creamy and heaven on toasted French baguette, layered with this ricotta, fig preserves, and thinly sliced prosciutto. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe was so easy and the ricotta turned out perfectly! So delicious! I can't wait to serve it drizzled with olive oil, a little chopped basil and toasted crostinis. Yum! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Fun and easy to make! I took the advice of the others and let it rest for 10 minutes instead of one minute. Looking into the pot I did not see and difference in the curds from one minute to ten minutes. Either way it turned out great! Thanks again Ina for another delicious recipe!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a great ricotta recipe for savory dishes, but I wouldn't use it in desserts. It had a strong vinegar flavor and was quite salty. I used it in a pasta dish and it was delicious. Also, I couldn't find any cheese cloth, and a clean dish towel worked fine. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Lovely light so tasty. very easy to make . *Note* I did let this sit for 10 min before I put in cheesecloth to drain. and I also like a firmer texture so let drain longer. but this has so many uses. to sweet to savory. Thanks Ina I will be making this for my events all the time one more thing I love the fact that I know what is in this product, no chemicals very wholesome, worth every penny. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I live at 6200 ft., so I appreciated the advice about high altitudes. I used a candy thermometer and heated the liquid to 195 degrees. It didn't start forming curds until it had sat about 5 minutes. But the result is sensational! I will never buy ricotta from the store again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Lovely product whether you prefer to call it ricotta or farmer cheese. I have made it twice with excellent results. I used ultra-pasturized heavy cream and regular pasturized whole milk. I experienced no problem with the separation of curds and whey as one reviewer reported although I also let it rest for about 10 minutes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have always had success with this recipe, and I will never, ever buy ricotta from the store again. To pardner_1598007, high altitude DOES make a difference. The curds and whey will separate before they are fully coagulated. Google "high altitude ricotta" and you will see the adjustments that need to be made (you'll need a candy thermometer. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've tried making this ricotta cheese twice now with no success. I use raw milk and raw cream and I live at 2800 ft. Would any of these things matter in making the cheese? Would appreciate advice! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was really easy to make and delicious!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
So easy and delicious! Thanks for all the ideas, fellow reviewers! I tend to have a lot of milk that reaches maturity date - now I don't have to throw it away. This recipe wins in every way - saves money compared to buying ricotta at the store, it's fun to make, it's easy, it saves waste and it's delicious! I used this in my homemade veggie lasagna - the best it's ever been! Thanks, Ina! item not reviewed by moderator and published
If you would have asked me yesterday I would have said I dislike ricotta cheese. Homemade ricotta however, is completely different ! I will NEVER buy that yucky store bought stuff again gross !! I had no trouble getting the curd and whey to separate. I used trader Joes organic whole milk and cream !! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was very good. I agree with the other reviewers and let it sit 10 minutes before I started to drain it. I also saved the liquid and used it as the liquid for cooking rice. Fresh is the best! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I saw Ina do this on her show, And decided I had to try it. It is so dielicious, wouldn't want to use bought ricotta again. I will say the quality of the milk and cream will determine the quality of your ricotta, which she discussed. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I will never buy store-bought ricotta again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Do not do as I did and use ultra pasteurized milk. This is not specified in the recipe. I prepared the ricotta mixture exactly as described, and it never curdled. I had to search online to learn that if you use ultra pasteurized milk, the ricotta will never curdle. Once again Food Network has let me down by not editing their recipes and including vital information. I don't appreciate wasting my money and time on a failed recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was amazing! I was intimidated to make cheese, but this was definitely how you build your confidence. I followed the directions as written and didn't change anything. I loved it. It was very easy and I would def make it, again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The first few times I made this, it worked great! But the last few batches I've made didnt. The solids arent seperating from the whey like before, and it just all runs through the cheesecloth for a total waste. Im using the same milks and salt and vinegar that i always use...what am i doing wrong? item not reviewed by moderator and published
WOW. That's all I can say. This is the best ricotta I have ever tasted and boy was it so easy, I will never buy store ricotta again. I can't wait to taste it in my lasagna with my homemade sauce. Now I am embolden to try making other cheeses. Thanks Ina! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Look folks, you can call it what you want. It's super delicious, as all Ina's recipes are, works as ricotta (I think it is ricotta and works in all my recipes. So, it's RICOTTA! Ina never disappoints. It's YUM! Just enjoy and forget the reviews. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It's a good recipe. It's not ricotta, it's a farmer's cheese. 'Ricotta' means re-cooked, and traditionally it's made by recooking the whey after making mozzarella. That said, this is an easy recipe with a delicious end-product. Edit: on further review, I have to give this the full five stars. Yeah, technically, it's not ricotta. So what? It's easy to make and insanely delicious. Everytime I make lasagna with this, my reaction on taking the first bite is 'It can't be this good... nothing could possibly be this good...' I'd give it six stars if I could. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Although this tastes very good, it's not ricotta. As someone already stated, ricotta is made from the whey. But as a soft farmers cheese, this is great! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Still trying to recover from this brillant cheese! I will NEVER buy store bought ricotta cheese again. Who knew this was so easy? Absolute comforting delirium. My thoughts are spinning with topping ideas and I am going to have to just sit down with a pen and paper and write them all down. And don't even get me started on homemade manicotti,stuffed shells,ravioli, cheesecake............ I feel faint : item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very easy, rich and yummy! A winner!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Add in 3T of scallions, 2T of parsley, 1T of dill, 1Tsalt and 1/2Tpepper..perfect item not reviewed by moderator and published
Super simple and delicious! I made it exactly like the recipe and used a good wjite wine vinegar. It had a creamy texture and was delicious! No vinegary taste like some of the other reviews. I will definitely make this again. I'll NEVER use another ricotta for my homemade lasagna. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Amazing. A must try. Great, easy, simple recipe that I've used to just make some herbed cheese for bread and wine at home or to bring to a dinner party. This year I'm making some to bring to a friend's Thanksgiving and it is always a crowd pleaser. Also, it is a really creative dish. After you make the cheese you can add in anything you want - herbs, or cranberries and orange peel... just pick a theme and go with it! This year I'm doing herbed cheese with a toasted boule or francese bread and some vinho verde from Portugal to get the appetite going this Thursday. Happy Thanksgiving all! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Just made homemade ricotta for the first time and I don't think I will ever use store bought again. This was very easy - just be sure to follow the other suggestions to let the milk mixture stand for 10 minutes or so before straining. Can't wait to use it tonight with my slow cooked sunday sauce/gravy. Ina, as always you rocked it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great texture, but, did anyone find the vinegar taste a bit overwhelming? item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is awesome!!! And so easy, too!!! I used to live near an Italian market that made fresh ricotta cheese everyday - but then I moved and cannot find it anywhere. I used white wine vinegar, and let the vinegar and milk and cream sit for 10 minutes before straining - then let it strain for 45 minutes - just like another reviewer recommended. Made a lasagna and eggplant rollantini - out of this world! What a difference fresh cheese makes! Will try same recipe with lemon juice instead of vinegar the next time I made a cheesecake! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I followed other reviewers suggestions to let the boiled mixture sit for 10 minutes after adding vinegar. I also left it to drain for about 30 minutes. Wonderful texture and flavor. I used unpasteurized heavy cream. I am not sure if this makes a difference in texture. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Oh dear God is this good and easy. I drool just thinking of this and it is so simple to make. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried this recipe last night and followed it to the letter but it didn't thicken or curdle at all. Any ideas? item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is so cool! I didn't know you could make your own ricotta, and every time I've seen it in the store it's pretty expensive. I halved the recipe (just to be safe because it was my first time, and I had never tasted ricotta cheese before. I thought it would be fun to try because I see ricotta as an ingredient in a lot of things. I will definitely be making this again! I also didn't have the right kind of tools, so I was creative and used what I had on hand. I used a glass bowl, a pasta drainer, and damp paper towels in place of the cheese cloth. It worked perfectly and I didn't have to spend any extra money on these things! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this because my local supermarket doesn't carry ricotta. For extra thick ricotta, I stew the mixture on a low fire for about 1hour before draining. Excellent! item not reviewed by moderator and published
My whole family loved, it had a very rich fresh taste. However, I would have liked it to be more creamy, mine did not hold together well (it almost crumbled. Any suggestions? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Hands down, the best ricotta recipe I have tried. I've found that if you let it sit in the pan for about 10 minutes (instead of 1 minute as the recipe suggests), the yield will be closer to 3 cups of ricotta. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Since I am allergic to cow's milk, I can't make this recipe exactly as laid out. But I found, if I use Whole Goat's Milk for the full 6 cups (Or 4 cups whole and 2 cups skim) and follow the recipe the rest of the way it comes out perfect. I just made a batch for a vegetable lasagna tomorrow. It's awesome on a white pizza too. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made this ricotta 3 times. It is delicious. I have made it ahead one day and used it in homemade manicotti noodles. It is the best! Ina thanks....this one is a keeper and I am passing it along to some friend!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this fresh for a weekend bbq - it was fun and really really easy to make. Since I am so used to store-bought, this was like a whole 'nother food! It is so creamy, not at all grainy. I served it warm with chopped oregano, basil and scallions. The little bit leftover was even better the next day as the cheese had firmed up even more. I would use this as a base for dips calling for sour cream or cream cheese as the texture and flavor would work well with any herb or veggie combination. Don't know how it would work in a cooked preparation (ravioli etc. but that's not what Ina created it for. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Does anyone know how to make whole milk riccota just like they do in Italy? item not reviewed by moderator and published
@ dppatel:- Sorry to say but I agree with kkurli that this is Ricotta and NOT Paneer as we don't use any cream and white wine vinegar in Paneer instead we can use either lemon juice or plain vinegar. Thanks Ina for sharing this recipe that now I can make Ricotta whenever its needed. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is NOT paneer which usually uses lemon or lime juice and is pressed down to form a brick like cheese. Though the process of making paneer and ricotta is very similar. I found it very tasty and plan to use it the next time I make lasagne! Thanks Ina! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Sorry, Ina, this is paneer, not ricotta. Deserves 0 stars but i had to give it a 1. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Oh, Wow! fantastic! I can't wait to use it in my Tortellini recipe! So smooth, & creamy. ummm item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love you Ina Garten! and I LOVE this recipe! I will never buy store bought ricotta again. SO delicious. So easy. thank you! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I used this in ravioli. It was ok. It was very cream cheese like, so the consistency sort of threw me off. And i don't think the flavor was quite right either. Maybe Im just used to the store bought stuff and this is really how is should taste. ?? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I agree!! Never buying ricotta again!!! It was so easy & tasted better than anything I've bought. Iused it in lasagna & the family (including my Dad who always has a comment) loved it! I can't wait to try it in other things. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Who knew making homemade ricotta could be so simple. I could eat the whole bowl just by itself. Can't wait to try this in all sorts of dishes. Thanks Ina!!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am never buying ricotta again. Light, clean flavor. Great texture. I can't believe what I was missing!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was making Ina's Turkey Lasagna and decided to make the Homemade Ricotta with it. BEST Lasagna I've EVER made. It was extremely flavorful yet light. Sometime ricotta can have a gritty texture but this one was very smooth and YUMMY! The best part is that it was so easy to make. I made it first and then while it drained made the rest of the lasagna. I will NEVER use store bought ricotta cheese again. I made another batch and will be using it for Giada's Ricotta Cappuccino tonight. I can't wait to try that.... item not reviewed by moderator and published
WOW... Simply divine!!! I never knew you could make Ricotta at home! I made this and added a sprinkle of salt, pepper, nutmeg, and chopped fresh parsley and scallions. I toasted some Ciabatta and brush it with EVOO then rubbed it with fresh garlic. I used the Ricotta like a brushetta on the bread and it was so creamy and tasty!!! My Nana Rose would have been proud!! Next time I am going to make this and make homemade Cannolis!!! Thank you Ina!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is brilliant! So easy to make, too. I tried it a couple of different ways and actually found that using coffee filters works the best, as it gets the majority of the liquid out the quickest. I made lasagne this past weekend using this ricotta (had to make a double batch) and it was the best lasagne we have ever had. This is a little more expensive than the store bought ricotta but the quality was superb. I will be making this again and again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Just made this and it is fantastic! Used whole milk and 1/2 and 1/2 since I didn't have any heavy cream. I will use it in my lasagna tonight! Ina rocks!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
So easy. I didn't have white wine vinegar so I used white balsamic instead. It's still made with white wine so I figured it would be okay to substitute. It worked out beautifully. It was the best ricotta I've ever had. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is by far the best and easiest recipe for ricotta ever. In a did it again - fantastic! What did I do before Food Netvwork? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've tried a lot of homemade Ricotta cheese recipes. Your's is by far the easiest and the most tasty. Thank you for sharing. item not reviewed by moderator and published
What a fun dish to make! Because it's so good warm, and nobody understands how easy it is to make ricotta, I decided to make this after guests arrive. I did this yesterday. It was fun to watch after adding the wine vinegar and explain the chemistry. EVERYONE loved it over lightly toasted bread drizzled with olive oil... My 2yr old nephew kept licking the ricotta off his toast and asking for more so it's a recipe that is both fun and loved by all ages. Thanks Contessa. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Thankyou for the tip. I'm going to try your recipe.l item not reviewed by moderator and published
Well not really cottage cheese exactly. Cottage cheese has more of a tang andis traditionally made from soured raw milk or adding cultures to pastarized milk if raw milks not available and never contains cream. But yes you are right riccota is traditionally nade from whey, but I this same technique. Since not a lot of people make hard cheeses, which are more difficult and require more equipment, this recipe is an easy way to make cheese at home. item not reviewed by moderator and published
MEGAN do you havea receipe for the " real" ricotta ? BTW: when I google home made ricotta cheese recipes, most recipes are made this way. The amounts vary a little, and some use buttermilk. BUT a large percentage of people must be under the same opinion as Ina. I would LOVE to see a real recipe for this, and a list of the equipment needed. Do you have a web address to look it up.? That said this recipe has worked woders in my baked penne and lasagna. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Maybe if you use lemon jouce or white vinigar which I think pollyo uses for desserts. I think the bite of the vinegar woukd bake off though. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Claire Robinson has a ricotta recipe that's very similar, and she uses lemon juice for breakfast and dessert. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I use raw too and haven't had a problem, though the altitude is only about 1300ft. Sometimes I have to add a little more vinegar and let it sit longer. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I had the same result. I couldn't figure out what I had done incorrectly. Thank you! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I like your idea of stewing it longer....it was delicious but I had it straining for a VERY long time thinking it would get thick...I only refrigerated it a little while ago, do you think it went bad? (it still tasted ok to me) :( item not reviewed by moderator and published

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Homemade Ricotta

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen