How to Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta. © Image 2014 Jennifer Meier
  • 60 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups (serves up to 4)
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Many people wonder how to make ricotta cheese. The good news is that homemade ricotta is something everyone can make in their own kitchen. You don't have to be a cheesemaker to make homemade ricotta cheese, you just need a few ingredients and this short-cut method of making ricotta. 

Before trying this ricotta recipe, make sure you have these supplies in your kitchen: stainless steel or ceramic pot, rubber spatula, thermometer, colander, cheesecloth, slotted spoon or skimmer, rubberband.

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 gallon whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
  • 2 cups buttermilk

How to Make It

  1. Cut enough cheesecloth to drape over the top of the colander, with plenty hanging over the sides. Rinse the cheesecloth in water and squeeze out excess water. Fold the cheesecloth into two layers that completely cover the colander. Set the colander in the sink.
  2. Pour the whole milk and the buttermilk into a pot over medium heat. The temperature should not be so high that the milk ever reaches a boil. For the first five minutes as the milk warms, stir frequently to prevent the milk from burning to the bottom of the pot. After five minutes, use the thermometer to test the milk temperature. When it is around 100 degrees, stop stirring the milk and let it continue to warm undisturbed. You will start to notice that the milk is thickening on the surface. This is the curds forming. When the milk temperature reaches 175 degrees, turn off the heat. Let the milk sit for five minutes. Do not stir.
  1. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, gently scoop the curds out of the pot and into the cheesecloth-draped colander.
  2. Let the curds drain in the colander for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Gather the cheesecloth around the curds and tie at the top with a rubberband. Hang the bundle of curds so more moisture will drip out. You can hang the bundle from your faucet, or set a ladle handle across the top of a pot and hang the bundle from the ladle handle. Let the cheese drain for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Scrape the homemade Ricotta out of the cheesecloth and into a bowl. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Use within 3-4 days