How to... Make Ricotta Cheese

I sometimes suck at taking pictures of the food I make. Sometimes out of laziness, sometimes out of lack of time and sometimes I just forget. This time I was lazy and I also forgot to take photos of my ricotta cheese until I was halfway through putting together a batch of scones (see my post tomorrow) that used up the rest of my homemade ricotta cheese. So I snapped a quick pic of the cheese, right before I put it into my scone dough. No effort = very bad results. But trust me, this stuff tastes about one million times better than this picture makes it look. SERIOUSLY.

I have never made cheese at home before. I've always seen other bloggers post about it and somehow thought it was out of my league. I don't know... I just always thought it was difficult and time consuming and that I'd have a bunch of batches that failed miserably (and wasted a lot of ingredients in the process). But after reading about Julia's experience on her blog Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body, I HAD to try this stuff out. She raved about how good it was even just spread on toast or crackers and boy was she right! Its so amazing. I ate it on toasted english muffins with jam or honey every day for a week. Then used the rest to make the above mentioned batch of scones. Mmmmmm!!! Make it! Right now!!!

One other thing to note about this at home cheese making process - its pretty economical. Buy yourself a $3 package of cheesecloth. It is washable therefore you can use it a bunch of times. Also, you can use whatever fat content milk you like! I made my first batch using high fat milk products (see recipe below), but you can use a combination like Julia to come up with a better-for-you version that tastes just as good. Making a batch with lower fat content milk products results in making a far cheaper batch of ricotta than you could ever buy in the grocery store. So get on it now and you can have yummy ricotta in less than 3 hours! Woot!

Ricotta Cheese
Recipe slightly adapted from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Pour milks and salt into saucepan. Attach a thermometer to the side of the pan. Heat gently, stirring often to avoid scorching the bottom of the pan, until temperature reaches 190 degrees.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir very gently. Let mixture sit for five minutes - don't touch it for five whole minutes. Set the timer and just walk away.
  3. Double layer a cheesecloth and line a colander with it and place the lined colander over a large bowl to catch the whey. Pour the curds and whey into the colander and let strain for 2 hours.
  4. Scrape the ricotta from the cheesecloth into a small container. Chill the ricotta. It will firm as it cools, so the texture after it is finished straining will be completely different than the ricotta you scrape into your container.
Julia also notes that you can save the whey and use it by freezing into ice cube form and plunking a couple into your morning smoothie. Thats what I've been doing and it helps to keep you full longer because its a great source of protein.

Hope you enjoy this little tutorial! I will update my post with step by step photos next time I make this, because I will be making it again in the very near future!!

This post has been linked up with Fusion Fridays at Jennifer Cooks! Head over there to check out all the Superbowl yumminess that was whipped up this week in the blog-world. :)

Happy Cooking my Friends!


  1. I too have often shied away from making Ricotta (or any cheese) on my own, but you make it look so easy! One question, where did you get the cheese cloth?
    I found you from the Jennifer Cooks Linky party.
    I would love to have you link up to my Recipe Roundup- my favorite recipe from each week gets one month free advertising on my sidebar!

  2. Hi Kelli, it is actually really easy!! I thought cheese cloth would be hard to find, but I found it at my local grocery store in the cleaning products aisle (of all places). It is super cheap - I paid about $2.50 CAD for mine and its more than I will ever use. Hope this helps!!

  3. I have been wanting to make my own ricotta for ages! You just gave me the push to try it!!

  4. @Carrie - so glad to hear my post was able to help push you to try homemade ricotta. I promise, you won't be disappointed. Let me know how it turns out!