Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta cheese is really very easy to make. It’s also really expensive at the supermarket. I decided to give homemade a try, and the result was soft and creamy, a perfect filling for my manicotti dinner!

Basically, all you have to do is heat milk. I chose whole milk because that’s what I had, but you can use  any – skim, heavy cream, or a combination.

Do not let the mixture boil.

When it is just before the boiling point, add a teaspoon of acid. I used lemon juice, but you can just as easily use vinegar. Watch the curds and whey separate (it’s very cool!). Let the mixture sit for a while and then drain it in a cheesecloth (or paper towel) lined sieve.


Let drain for a few hours (or less, or more) and then eat.

This is a very simple recipe that you can play around with. If you want to use it for dessert, add a vanilla bean and some sugar to the mix. I mixed mine with frozen spinach and a pinch of salt, stuffed it into manicottis, and topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.

cheese_cloth cheese_sinkricotta_drip

2 responses to “Ricotta Cheese

  1. This sounds like Alton Brown’s quick cheese recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/quick-cottage-cheese-recipe/index.html

    I just watched the episode of Good Eats where this is from (“Milk Made”) – I recommend it, it’s pretty interesting for figuring out what’s going on exactly in the milk.

  2. I love Alton Brown! And I love making dairy products…too bad I’ve never seen this episode. The recipe looks like our version ricotta cheese to me.

    I am pretty sure that this is not the traditional way to make ricotta cheese – ricotta means twice cooked, and is made from the whey leftover from the making of other cheeses. This is a different way to make the cheese. Maybe that explains Alton’s name for it.

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