Homemade Ricotta

Total Time:
43 min
10 min
23 min
10 min

about 2 cups


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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    So easy and SO amazing!!! I will never buy store bought again. It's that good.
    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!
    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.
    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.
    Thankyou for the tip. I'm going to try your recipe.l
    The whey is wonderful to use in almost any soup.
    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
    I just made this recipe and OMG. It is amazing! Will use it each time I need ricotta.
    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!
    So easy and tasted great. All of my guests raved about it. I did let it drain longer than recommended. Closer to 40 min.
    This is wonderful! I couldn't be more pleased with the results.
    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.
    While good this is NOT ricotta, this is cottage cheese, ricotta is made from the whey left over from making this product.
    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. 
    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.
    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.
    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!
    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!!!
    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.
    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.
    Claire Robinson has a ricotta recipe that's very similar, and she uses lemon juice for breakfast and dessert.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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!
    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.
    This was really easy to make and delicious!!!!
    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!
    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 !!
    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!
    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.
    I will never buy store-bought ricotta again!
    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.
    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.
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