Homemade Ricotta Cheese

I have fantasized about cheese making for many years now. Yet, I have never actually ventured to give it a try. It must be messy and complicated, I thought. And it will probably require strange ingredients like rennet (Ew!). So I carefully placed it on the list of things to try one day in the distant future. I was finally inspired recently to actually give it a try after reading Brian’s post about homemade ricotta cheese at A Thought For Food. He made it seem so easy, and sound so incredibly delicious. This was something that I could certainly do.

Always one to long for additional flavor and richness, I searched around through numerous ricotta cheese recipes, and finally decided to try David Lebovitz’ version on Simply Recipes. Which, in addition to whole milk and vinegar, also included plain yogurt, and heavy cream. I doubled the recipe, and followed the instructions diligently. As it turns out the process was not only incredibly easy (literally all you do is combine the ingredients, bring it to a boil, and then strain it through cheese cloth), but also relatively fast. After pouring all of the ingredients into my pan, I had my very own homemade cheese within about a half an hour (straining time included!). It’s genius. While the finished product does not have a great deal of flavor (in as much as ricotta cheese itself  isn’t packed with a punch of flavor), what it does have is a rich, creamy texture, resembling nothing of the gritty, store bought, processed ricotta that I have relied on my whole life. What a difference. How will I ever be able to go back to store bought ricotta again? It will be impossible. I am ruined.

If you love good ricotta cheese, have ever fantasized about making your own, or are just looking for a fun experiment in the kitchen, I encourage you to give this a try. It’s like magic. You won’t be disappointed.  I feel so accomplished, and far too proud of myself for doing practically no work. I am Jacob: Cheese Maker!

I can only imagine what this homemade ricotta would do for my lasagna, gnocchi, ravioli, cannoli, and cheesecakes. I can’t wait to give them all a try. But for now, a small bowl of warm ricotta with a few fresh berries and a drizzle of blackberry honey will do just fine. Heaven! Enjoy!

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20 responses to “Homemade Ricotta Cheese

  1. I was always afraid of home-making cheese knowing I have to use rennet but reading your post it seems like I might give it a try. I just have to try a ricotta cake using my own home-made ricotta

  2. MMMM! I love ricotta, but like you, have never really been brave enough, or taken the time to make it. I believe that you will never be able to go back to store purchased!

  3. I had saved this from another post awhile ago and after reading yours also this is in my very near future to try! Looks great!

  4. Thank you, will definitely making it too.

  5. Note to self: make homemade ricotta.
    Thanks Jacob!

  6. Looks great! I think I’ll try this one out

  7. I have never even thought of doing this before! You rock! PS, I’ve got a giveaway going on that I think you might be interested in 🙂 Stop by and check it out!

  8. You should try paneer next. It looks just as easy as the ricotta.

  9. FoodRelated

    You make it sound so easy! You’ve inspired me to try my own hand at cheese making!!

  10. Wow! I can’t believe how easy it is to make cheese. Ooh, homemade ricotta in a lasagna… Delicious!

  11. Congratulations! I’ve never made ricotta, but I’ve made fresh chevre with some regularity- adding my own herbs etc.. It is easy, and I have a much greater appreciation for how much milk it takes to make a little bit of cheese!

  12. Juat last nigh I was telling my husband that I wanted to make my own Ricotta and then with that make a Ricotta cheese cake.

    Thanks so much for this recipe.

  13. Yay, ricotta! I haven’t made my own, but am now chastising myself. I think I may do this the next time I make lasagna….y’know, take things to the next level. 🙂

  14. What an amazing site! I just stumbled across it. Just looking at your beautiful photos makes me feel like I have gotten to indulge in a delicious treat!

    My favorite fall food is lasagna, warming and comforting and colorful. I’ve come up with my own recipe adapted from several others, and I actually made it without ricotta. Instead, I kind of made my own, though not in the traditional way you have here. While my photography isn’t going to win any awards, it turned out great! Here’s the link: http://eat2prevent.blogspot.com/2010/08/i-love-cooking-again-or-night-of.html

  15. Making cheese at home is really easy! I have a list of 5 cheeses, including ricotta, that you can make at home @ http://islandvittles.com/2010/09/10/top-five-friday-5-easy-cheeses-to-make-at-home/

  16. Vanessa

    Looks great but not going to try for fear I will have to make it everytime I want ricotta cheese, ignorance may be ok for this one…

    Love it 🙂


  17. I learned to make ricotta with a master cheese maker in Sicily last year and can’t wait to get back to the market where there is fresh ricotta every day. YUMMMMMM. Your cheese looks perfect, but for me buying it is even easier than making it.

  18. misssmouse

    I have made paneer (Indian cheese) in a similar way, but this is such a great idea. I think once you start making your own yogurt and cheese it’s hard to go back, unless you are buying some artisanal cheese.

  19. Oooh, it looks like a fluffy, flavorful cloud! Great job in making it and thanks for passing the recipe along.

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