Homemade Ricotta

I had no idea I could make my own ricotta cheese until a woman behind me in line at the grocery store struck up a conversation with me a couple of weeks ago and mentioned it. Little did she know, I was beginning my mission to make freezer meals and was dreading the expense of all the cheeses I was going to have to buy for the lasagnas. As soon as I got home that day, I did my internet research and found a few very simple recipes which I rolled together into not just one but two successful batches of ricotta cheese. For the most part, I found that a recipe by Grace Pilato was the simplest but I cut some corners and made a few minor changes that seemed to work out just fine.

Ingredients: Yields about 4 cups of Ricotta

  • 1 gallon whole pasteurized milk
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

  1. Rinse the inside of a non-reactive pot (stainless steel works great, I think aluminum is bad) with cold water, this will help prevent the milk from scorching. Heat 1 gallon of milk plus the salt over medium to medium-high heat until it reaches 180-185 degrees. Stir periodically and turn the heat down a bit if you feel the milk starting to scorch on the bottom of your pan.
  2. When it reaches the correct temperature, remove the pot from the burner, add the vinegar and stir gently for 1 minute.
  3. Cover with a clean dry dish towel and allow the mixture to cool for 2+ hours (all day even if you want to start this before work).
  4. Lay a damp cheesecloth or a clean dish towel which has been thoroughly rinsed (I hand washed mine with Dawn to cut through any fabric softener or soap residue remaining from the last wash cycle. I made sure to rinse it very very well) inside a colander. With a slotted spoon, remove all the solid curds from the pot and place them in the prepared colander. Let it drain for 2 hours or so depending on the texture you want. Alternatively, if you're in a bit of a hurry you can gather the corners of the cheesecloth or towel in one hand and then gently squeeze out the excess liquid with the other hand. Be careful not to over-wring the cheese (unless you like super dry ricotta). 
  5. Place in a tight sealed container and refrigerate. It will keep for up to 7 days but it is best fresh. It won't freeze very well (although I've never had a problem with ricotta in frozen lasagna).

Do you see the hole in the top? That was from my greedy little fingers grabbing warm chunks of fresh ricotta and popping them straight into my mouth. Soooo good.

Thank you for reading,


  1. Wow!  This is quite impressive.  I've never thought to make my own ricotta cheese!

  2. Thank you Julie.  Very impressive!

  3. Try it, besides the first step of warming the milk to the right temperature being time consuming, it was SUPER easy. Being 7 1/2 months pregnant, I'll admit I took a stepstool in and sat down in front of the stove to monitor it. I loved that I was able to pick up my milk for $1.25 per half gallon which made this much more economical than buying ricotta and boy was it good. 

  4. Thank you for reading. Please report back if you give it a try!

  5. OMG, so easy, so yum!  Now to make some Cheddar and the PERFECT PUMPKIN PIE!

  6. I fear the day I learn how to make cheddar. With the way this family pounds through the Tillamook baby loaves (2lbs), we'd be in real trouble if I figured out how to make it myself. The only thing that keeps us in check is that I will only buy them on sale so we have to ration them out when we have them. 

    As for the perfect pumpkin pie - I'm still counting on Costco for that one. Maybe next year I'll work on making pumpkin pie out of real pumpkins. Mmmmmmmm.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...