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homemade ricotta

How To Make Ricotta Cheese

  • Author: Maurizio
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/5 cups


Ricotta is something I’ve had my entire life and is a staple in an Italian household. It’s a cheese usually made from high-quality cow milk and goes well with bread and can be used in sweets as well.

It’s incredibly easy to make at home with just a few minutes at the stove!


  • 4 cups whole milk, batch pasteurized, cream on top (avoid ultra-pasteurized)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Heat the milk in a saucepan until it reaches 190ºF (stir occasionally to prevent scorching) 
  2. Pour in vinegar and lightly stir, until the temperature rises back up to 190°F (87°C). If you do not see any white curd chunks forming add in more vinegar, 1/2 TSP at a time until you do
  3. Turn off heat & leave for 10 minutes untouched
  4. Place some cheesecloth over a bowl and gently ladle in the chunky curds from a saucepan
  5. Slowly stir salt into chunks resting on cheeseclothhomemade ricotta


A one-quart bottle of milk will make approximately 1.5 cups of ricotta. The liquid that’s leftover from this, whey, can be used in many other ways including baking sourdough. See my polenta and rosemary sourdough which uses the whey to make polenta!

If you’re making this for a large group of people, go with 2 quarts of milk and use a larger saucepan, doubling the other ingredients. One and a half cups of ricotta will disappear faster than you think.

If you want your ricotta more firm, leave it to drain thoroughly in the cheesecloth, and further, you can use a cheese mold or as I’ve done here, a tofu press with a weight on top. Place the mold on a dish and let sit in the fridge for a day or so.