Indulgently creamy and rich, this homemade ricotta is the perfect spread and filling for your favorite baguettes and pasta. Made with only 4 ingredients in 30 minutes, you’re never going back to store-bought again!
Fresh Ricotta Recipe
Served with toasted baguettes or pita chips for crunch, this homemade ricotta is a creamy cloud of Italian goodness. With only 4 ingredients and still way better than store-bought, you’ll wonder why you never tried making your own before.
Ready in about 30 minutes, it’s a seriously easy recipe where not many things can go wrong as long as you don’t over-stir the mixture. Aside from that, maybe the hardest part about making this ricotta is actually waiting for it to drain without digging your spoon right in.
Naturally rich and sweet from lots of whole milk and heavy cream, it’s perfect for adding to creamy sauces and filling pasta. You’ll say “ciao, ricotta!” every time it hits the table or at least lick the bowl clean.
Is It Worth It To Make Your Own Ricotta Cheese?
Absolutely! It’s much richer, higher quality, and way creamier than anything you can find at the store. Besides, there’s nothing like homemade, right? Give it a go! You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make this specialty Italian cheese.
What You’ll Need
You only need 4 simple ingredients to make the best homemade ricotta you’ve ever tried. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full ingredient amounts.
- Whole milk – Don’t use low-fat milk or any plant-based ones.
- Heavy cream – There is no substitute for this.
- Lemon juice – You can use white vinegar instead.
- Cheesecloth – A lot of times you can substitute cheese cloth for tea towels, but when making something like this ricotta cheese, I highly recommend using real cheese cloth.
How to Make Ricotta Cheese
Making homemade ricotta is so much easier than it seems.
- Heat the milk. Place the milk and heavy cream in a large pan and heat it until it just starts to boil. Stir occasionally and do not let it scorch. Don’t let a film form on top either.
- Add the lemon juice. Remove the pan from the heat and add the salt and lemon juice. Stir well, place the lid on the pan, then let sit without disturbing for 30 minutes. Don’t skip this step, otherwise, the cheese curds won’t have enough time to form.
- Drain it. Double or triple the cheesecloth and place in a colander. Pour the cheese into the cheesecloth and allow it to drain.
- Store it. Once drained, remove from the cheesecloth and refrigerate until ready to use.
Tips for Success
With these tips, you’ll have no trouble making the best homemade ricotta possible.
- Make it thicker. Let the cheese drain for longer if you want it to have a thicker consistency.
- Add herbs. Adding 1/4 cup of finely chopped herbs like basil or rosemary will give your ricotta a nice, herby touch.
- Go non-stick. Using a non-stick pot for this recipe will remove so many obstacles. You get bonus points if you also use a silicone spatula for stirring.
Why Is My Ricotta Cheese Rubbery?
Over-stirring the mixture after you add the lemon juice is the most common cause of rubbery ricotta. This is because the movement tightens and solidifies the cheese curds a lot quicker, resulting in larger, rubbery chunks.
This homemade ricotta is great on its own with pita chips, garlic bread, toasted baguettes, or even my Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips.
Finally, you can add it to pasta dishes like my Vegetable Ravioli Lasagna. Of course, you can also use it as a filling for your favorite ravioli too!
How Long Will Fresh Ricotta Last?
Homemade ricotta can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Keep it away from strong-smelling foods like onions or chilis to avoid the transfer of odors. Additionally, don’t store it in stainless steel bowls because it’ll absorb a slightly metallic taste.
More Easy Homemade Condiments and Sauce Recipes
- Easy Béarnaise Sauce
- Adobo Sauce
- Avocado Salsa
- “Oh My!” Steak Sauce
- Turkey Gravy
- Best Chimichurri Sauce
- Bang Bang Sauce
- Best Homemade Alfredo
Homemade Ricotta Cheese
- ½ gallon 8 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- Cheese cloth
- Place the milk and heavy cream in a large pan and heat it until it just starts to boil. Stir occasionally and do not let it scorch.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the salt and lemon juice. Stir well, place the lid on the pan, then let sit without disturbing for 30 minutes.
- Double or triple the cheesecloth and place in a colander. Pour the cheese into the cheesecloth and allow to drain.
- Once drained, remove from the cheesecloth and refrigerate until ready to use.
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