This easy Homemade Ricotta Cheese takes just 4 simple ingredients and about 30 minutes to make. Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese is a light, white, soft curd cheese with a mild creamy flavor. It’s also a very versatile cheese and making your own means you’ll always have it on hand when you need it!
Cheese cloth or flour sack style low-lint towel
Refrigerator-safe storage container
6cupsWhole milk [See Note 1]
3tablespoonsLemon juice or distilled white vinegar
1teaspoonKosher saltfine. Table salt may be substituted.
In a stock pot. slowly bring the milk, cream, and salt to a boil over medium to medium-low heat. Stir occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching on the bottom of the pot.
Once the milk comes to a rolling boil, add the lemon juice (or vinegar) and reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles; about 2 minutes. Turn the heat off and set the pot aside for 10 minutes, undisturbed.
Line a large sieve with a layer or two of fine-mesh cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl. If you do not have a cheesecloth, a jelly/nut milk strainer style mesh bag, or a flour sack style tea towel will also work well for this application.
Pour the mixture into the lined sieve and let it drain for about 15 minutes to an hour. The time will be detrmined by the desired wetness preferred in the ricotta cheese.
Transfer the fresh ricotta to a covered dish and refrigerate. It will keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
This process for making ricotta works best with whole milk, although I've had success with 2% as well. However, skim or nonfat milk will not work as there just isn't enough milk fat in the milk to separate into curds and whey. Also avoid using ultra-high temperature (UHT) pasteurized milk, as this process changes the protein structure of the milk and prevents it from separating.