Fresh Ricotta

Fresh Ricotta

Fresh Ricotta

I love making my own ricotta. It’s actually a snap to do and then you always have exactly enough fresh ricotta for whatever recipe you’re making with no fillers, stabilizers and other crap included. You also get the benefit of being able to tweak the taste and consistency of your ricotta to the use you’re about to put it to. For example, when I make cheesecake I use lemon juice as the acidifying ingredient because that light lemon flavor carries through into the finished ricotta and complements the rest of the dessert. However, if I’m making stuff Italian shells, I use vinegar because lemon would taste seriously weird there. The other tweak is to decide how long to let it drain. The longer it drains, the firmer it will be. I use the more firm version for stuffing and the soft version for pancakes.

The recipe below is just a general guideline. It makes a generous ½ cup of ricotta. Scale it up or down as needed.


  • 3 c milk
  • 2 tbsp acid either lemon juice or vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt (like butter, it won’t taste as good straight without the salt, but if you’re cooking and want to control the salt exactly, particularly in a sweet recipe, omit it)

Final note, this can either be made on the stove top or in the microwave. I always microwave mine because I find it easier to clean a glass bowl at the end than a pot.


  1. Heat milk either on the stovetop or in a heave microwave safe dish until the temperature is 180 F. It just be just under boiling if you’re watching it on the stove. Or about 6 mins in the microwave.
  2. Add acid and salt if using. Stir to combine and wait until the curds break from the whey.

It should look like this.

Fresh ricotta ready to drain

Fresh Ricotta Ready to Drain

  1. Strain either using cheese cloth over a bowl (I line a colander with it) or using a fine mesh strainer.

Lasts several days in the fridge if sealed.

Fresh Ricotta

Fresh Ricotta


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