Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Photo of a Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Have you ever made homemade ricotta cheese? During a recent trip to Italy, where we dined at the incredible Osteria Relazioni Culinarie, we learned how easy this is to make!

All you need are just four ingredients: whole milk, heavy cream, kosher salt and a bit of white wine vinegar and lemon juice.

Homemade ricotta cheese is served throughout the Italian countryside. It is made from the whey of sheep, cow, goat or buffalo milk. Since it’s very mild in flavor, you can use it in both sweet and savory dishes, or on its own as an accompaniment to any Italian meal.

Some of the most common recipes that use homemade ricotta include ravioli, lasagne, risotto and Sicilian cannoli. You can put it on top of a homemade pizza or tuck it into a calzone. The choices really are endless!

To make homemade ricotta cheese, you boil the milk, cream and salt until it boils. Then, just remove it from the heat and add your acid (lemon juice or white wine vinegar) and let it curdle for a few minutes. Then, drain it in a cheesecloth-lined colander until it separates, and serve!

Keep in mind that the longer you let the ricotta drain on the colander, the thicker it will be.

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Have fun with this recipe, and let me know what you think in the comments below!

photo of homemade ricotta cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Chef Tips with Jason Hill
Homemade ricotta cheese is served throughout the Italian countryside. All you need are just four ingredients: whole milk, heavy cream, kosher salt and a bit of white wine vinegar and lemon juice. You can put it on top of a homemade pizza or tuck it into a calzone. The choices are endless!
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Cook Time 15 mins
Draining Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Cheesecloth as needed

Ingredients
  

  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar or lemon juice

Instructions
 

  • Place a colander over a large mixing bowl.
  • Dampen two layers of cheesecloth and place over the colander.
  • Add the milk, cream and salt to a large enameled Dutch oven. Stir over medium heat until the mixture comes to a complete boil.
  • Remove from heat. Stir in the vinegar or lemon juice and let stand until it curdles, roughly a minute or two.
  • Pour the curdled mixture onto the cheesecloth.
  • Drain for 30 minutes. (You may need to toss out some liquid as it continue to drain).
  • Once drained to your liking, transfer the ricotta to a separate bowl.
  • Serve immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to five days.
Keyword cheese, Italy
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