This homemade ricotta cheese is so much better than store-bought! Made with just three simple ingredients, this recipe produces the richest, creamiest ricotta cheese you’ll ever have. Make some today and prepare to fall in love with this easy recipe!

A glass jar of ricotta cheese is on a counter with sliced lemons.

HOMEMADE RICOTTA CHEESE

Lately, I find myself sprinkling this creamy, flavorful cheese on just about everything! It’s such a delicious way to elevate every salad and sandwich I whip up. My usual lunches just wouldn’t be the same without this homemade ricotta.

So, what’s so great about this cheese? Well, I love the fact that making my own ricotta at home is more affordable than buying it pre-made at the grocery store! I only need to buy three ingredients to make this insanely good cheese, and I’m able to make enough to last for quite a while.

It’s also just so much better than store-bought in both flavor and texture! I never knew what I was missing out on until I made my own homemade ricotta cheese. Trust me, once you taste how creamy and flavor packed this cheese is, you’ll never go back to a store-bought brand again.

A large blue pot is heating milk on an oven, next to a bag of citric acid.

HOW TO MAKE IT

Who knew making your own ricotta cheese wasn’t just inexpensive, but easy, too?! Really, there’s nothing I don’t love about this recipe. As long as you follow these steps, you’ll be just as obsessed as I am.

First, prepare the milk. In a large dutch oven, warm the milk over low heat until it reaches 200˚F on an instant read thermometer. Do NOT allow the milk to come to a boil!

Add the remaining ingredients. Once the milk reaches the correct temperature, remove it from the heat and stir in the citric acid and salt. Make sure to stir everything together until fully combined!

Let the mixture sit. Allow the milk mixture to sit for about 10-15 minutes. During this time, the curds should separate from the whey. However, if you don’t see a lot of activity, that’s okay! Just add 1/2 teaspoon more citric acid, lemon juice, or vinegar.

Homemade ricotta cheese sits on top of a cheesecloth.
A rubber spatula with little chickens on it is hovered over a pot of ricotta.

Grab a cheesecloth. Set a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and line with a cheesecloth. Then, pour the milk mixture into the strainer. Do this carefully and slowly to avoid splashing! It’s pretty easy for this step to get messy if you’re not careful.

Drain the ricotta. Allow the ricotta to drain for 30-60 minutes, depending on how wet or dry you want your ricotta to be.

All done! It’s really that easy! All you need to do now is transfer the ricotta cheese to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. Enjoy!

A small spoon has scooped a portion of ricotta cheese from a glass jar.

How long will this homemade cheese stay fresh?

In an airtight container in the fridge, this delicious ricotta cheese will stay fresh for about 2 weeks. However, mine never lasts that long… because everyone in my house gobbles it up within days!

Do I have to use whole milk?

Usually, I love offering whole milk alternatives for recipes, but whole milk just can’t be substituted in this recipe. A full fat, not ultra pasteurized milk is essential for both the flavor and texture of this creamy ricotta cheese.

How should I use ricotta cheese?

There are SO many recipes that are made with ricotta cheese! For example, my irresistible honey ricotta peach crostini with crispy pancetta is seriously elevated when using my homemade cheese recipe. However, you could always just use a sprinkle of this cheese on your favorite salad, too! There’s no wrong way to enjoy this cheese.

You can even try it as an easy breakfast bowl topped with your favorite fruit and drizzled with honey.

It’s also a great way to keep your meatballs from drying out or adding lightness to your favorite Banana Bread recipe.

But our favorite way to use it is in these Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Shells! They’re absolutely heavenly!

A little spoon with ricotta cheese sits next to an open jar on a blue countertop.

Once you start making your own cheeses at home, it’s all you’ll want to do! Enjoy your new culinary hobby by making some of my absolute favorite cheese recipes.

If you’re a cheese lover like me, you’ll absolutely be in heaven once you know how to make your own homemade ricotta cheese. It’s easy, inexpensive, delicious, and actually fun to make every single time. What’s not to love?!

A cooked stuffed shell is lifted from the baking dish with a large spoon.

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A glass jar of ricotta cheese is on a counter with sliced lemons.

Get the Recipe: HOMEMADE RICOTTA CHEESE

Fresh, homemade Ricotta Cheese is made with simple ingredients like milk and citric acid for a lighter, richer tasting cheese.
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 gallon whole milk, not ultra pasteurized
  • 1 teaspoon citric acid, or 1/3 cup lemon juice or distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Equipment

  • stock pot

Instructions 

  • Warm the milk in a large dutch oven over low heat until it reaches 200˚F on an instant read thermometer. Do not allow the milk to come to a boil.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the citric acid and salt stirring to combine.
  • Allow the milk mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes so the curds can separate from the whey. If you don’t see a lot of activity, add 1/2 teaspoon more citric acid, lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and line with cheesecloth.
  • Pour the mixture into the strainer SLOWLY to avoid splashing.
  • Allow the ricotta to drain for 30-60 minutes depending on how wet or dry you want your ricotta to be.
  • Transfer the ricotta cheese to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Notes

Ricotta cheese can be made up to 5 days in advance. Wrap tightly in a container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Calories: 97kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 262mg, Potassium: 208mg, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 256IU, Calcium: 178mg, Iron: 1mg