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Homemade Ricotta Cheese

    Why buy ricotta cheese when you can make your own in less than 30 minutes? This Homemade Ricotta Cheese will become a new staple in your home.

    Why buy ricotta cheese when you can make your own in less than 30 minutes? Once you see how easy it is to make, you'll never byt it again!

    Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe

    This light and fluffy cheese is a great replacement for yogurt or cream cheese. It’s fresh and still has a lot of moisture making it extra creamy. It’s not a hard, aged cheese that needs to be set aside. Oh no, this cheese is made to be used up within a few days of making it.

    What is Ricotta Cheese?

    Ricotta Cheese isn’t really a cheese, but a latticino—which means a dairy by-product. It’s a soft, spreadable cheese that is made after the actual cheese-making process. It’s made from the leftover cheese curds that weren’t used to make the actual intended cheese recipe. Cheesemakers will repurpose the leftover curds and whey by heating them, adding in an acidic component, then straining off whatever doesn’t coagulate.

    Homemade Ricotta cheese is similar to the Mascarpone and Quark Cheeses that I’ve made. You start off with whole milk add a little bit of magic and the next thing you know – POOF – you have cheese!

    Ricotta cheese in a jar so you can see the lumpy, bumpy cheese curds.

    What’s the difference between Ricotta and Cottage Cheese?

    Ricotta cheese and cottage cheese might look similar, but they are very different. First, ricotta cheese is made from the leftover whey from cheesemaking and cottage cheese is made with strictly the curd separated from the whey. Cottage cheese is lumpier and contains more liquid. With some dishes, you can substitute cottage cheese for ricotta to reduce the fat content.

    What does Ricotta taste like?

    It’s got a mild, slightly nutty flavor. It’s not overpowering and is used in a lot of Italian dishes such as lasagna, or used in a cheesecake. Add it to a toasted baguette with some black pepper and drizzle of honey. YUM!

    Top view of the homemade cheese that will be used to make pancakes.

    Recipes that use Ricotta Cheese

    This recipe is part one of a three-part recipe including blueberry butter and lemon ricotta pancakes.

    A collage image showing the three recipes I used to make a pancake brunch.
    Yield: 3/4 cup

    Ricotta Cheese

    Ricotta Cheese

    Why buy ricotta cheese when you can make your own in less than 30 minutes?

    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 10 minutes
    Total Time 15 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/4 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
    • 4 cups pasteurized whole milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt

    Instructions

      1. Pour your lemon juice and vinegar into a small bowl and set aside.
      2. Pour your milk and salt into a medium sized pot over medium high heat and bring to a bubble. The milk should bubble around 185 deg F.
      3. Remove from heat and pour in the lemon and vinegar. Stir to get the juice mixed and let it sit for 5 minutes. Stir again and see if the whey has turned watery and is no longer milky. If it’s still milky, add a tablespoon of vinegar, stir, and let sit.
      4. Line a colander with two sheets of cheesecloth. Slowly pour the curds and whey into the colander. You can let the cheese drip to drain or you squeeze out as much of the whey as you’d like. I squeezed out a lot resulting in a dryer cheese.

    Notes

    This was just enough cheese to make my pancakes with. Double or triple the recipe depending on how much cheese you need.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram


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    Karyn Granrud

    I'm Karyn, a mom and wife, and I founded this little baking blog. Baking and making desserts have been my passion since I was a kid. I love experimenting with different flavors and sharing delicious recipes with all of you. Read more.

    14 thoughts on “Homemade Ricotta Cheese”

      1. I removed a lot of the whey so it wasn’t sitting in much liquid. However, it was spreadable like butter. You can tailor the moisture to your preference and what you’ll be using it for. Remember, you can always remove more whey, you can’t add it back in.

    1. Great post Karyn. I love making ricotta it’s so surprisingly simple and tasty. I’ve even made it with skim, 1%, and 2% milks although I’m sure whole tastes the best. I like to use Kefir to curdle the milk because I keep a culture going and always have it on hand (it’s like yogurt or buttermilk).

      1. I haven’t ventured into cultures yet. I’ve bought Kefir at the grocery store for smoothies and such. One recipe for the Ricotta had both whole and cream in the base. I bet that was thick!

    2. I’m really excited about finding this recipe! My sister made some several years ago and has been too busy to get the recipe for me – now I can make some too! She snipped fresh herbs into her batch and served it as an appetizer on crackers – SO YUMMY! I can’t wait to try this!

      1. Adding the fresh herbs sounds great! This was so easy to make and you can make it as wet or as dry as you would like it. Enjoy!

    3. I am wondering if I could make it with coconut milk instead of cow milk??? I might have to give that a try…I am dying to make lasagna again! (Lactaid makes me sick, so I flat out cannot have dairy). Thanks so much for sharing with us at Best of the Weekend Karyn. 🙂

      1. hmmmm…. I don’t know. I don’t know if there are proteins to coagulate in coconut milk. Is there coconut cheese? I’m not familiar with many dairy alternitives. Sorry I can’t be more help Lisa.

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