How to Make Ricotta

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

You won’t even believe how easy it is to make ricotta at home.  This process takes about 15 minutes.  No joke.  Simply bring a mixture of milk, cream, yogurt, lemon and salt to a simmer, let curdle, then strain.  Done.  Freshly made ricotta is cheaper and tastier than it’s store-bought counterpart.  Really, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be making ricotta in your own kitchen.  Use this homemade cheese in any recipe that normally calls for ricotta or simply enjoy in a bowl topped with your favorite seasonings.  Tender and creamy, the ricotta pictured above is dressed with just a drizzle of olive oil, bright lemon zest, black pepper and flaky sea salt.  So simple.  So delicious.

Please note that you should really use whole fat products for the recipe.  If you try to substitute in lower fat products, you may have unfavorable results.  Continue reading for the recipe.

Pouring Milk Draining Ricotta Cheese Whey Homemade Ricotta

4.5 from 2 reviews
Homemade Ricotta
Adapted from here.
Recipe type: Cheese
Serves: 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup whole plain greek yogurt (regular plain yogurt is ok too, just make sure it's full fat)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Olive oil, for serving
  • Lemon zest, for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for serving
  • Flaky sea salt, for serving
  1. In a medium saucepan, add whole milk, heavy cream, greek yogurt, lemon juice and kosher salt, whisking to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until the mixture begins to curdle.
  2. While the mixture is warming up, line a colander with 4 layers of cheesecloth*. Set the lined colander over a tall bowl.
  3. Once the mixture curdles, pour into the colander. Let drain for about 5 minutes for a creamier ricotta. Drain for about 15 minutes for a dry ricotta. Transfer the ricotta to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
  4. I like to enjoy this ricotta with a drizzle of olive oil, a light grating of lemon zest, several turns of black pepper and flaky sea salt on top. But really, you can use this in any recipe that calls for ricotta. Keep in mind that this ricotta is salted, so adjust seasoning accordingly.
*I recently discovered that you can reuse cheesecloth! Simply rinse out any leftover particles under hot, running water, then hang to dry. I wouldn't recommend reusing cheesecloth that has come in contact with meat or fish though.



  1. says

    I love this recipe, I love your blog, I love the name of your blog, and I ADORE your pictures!
    Thanks Brandon. And I agree with you, why not make your ricotta at home? Though to find really good ricotta in stores.

  2. jannine says

    thanks for this recipe and lovely pictures.
    I made some this morning and am having it for lunch, delicious!
    I did have to add a lot more lemon juice to get it to curdle completely, perhaps some lemons are more acidic than others.

  3. Mark says

    Brandon, thank you for sharing this recipe! I have been looking for just the right touch to my homemade lasagna :-)

  4. says

    Hi Brandon, I’ve been making fresh ricotta quite some time now, but I’ve never used yogurt in my recipe. It’s so amazing that this is soooooo easy to make and it is absolutely delicious. Whenever I make it I’m taken back to my childhood when my mom would buy fresh ricotta at the Italian Salumeria when I was growing up in NYC. The taste can’t be beat!

    Thanks for sharing,

  5. arcane54 says

    Homemade ricotta~ I’ll never go back! I’ve learned two things about making ricotta from Jennifer at . 1) Ladle the curds, don’t pour them inot the cheese-cloth lined colander. They’ll be fluffy and cloud-like in your finished ricotta — great for a topping of fresh fruit and honey. 2) Jennifer also uses “pourable yogurt” which I interpreted to mean kefir (a cultured milk product) West coasters can probably get Nancy’s brand). The finished cheese is almost like mascarpone — very rich, slightly tangy and smooth. Try all the cool recipes you see and find the one YOU like.

  6. says

    Hi Brandon!

    Firstly, amazing site for amateur cooks with gourmet ambitions (like me, ha).

    Re: this recipe- How many days can the ricotta last, if kept refrigerated?

  7. Fran Paliwodzinski says

    I was at a cooking class yesterday where homemade ricotta was made. It was similar to your recipe , however I was concerned about the comment made by someone. They said the curds were not plenty. Was that because the lemon juice was incorrect amount .? If so, could you tell me the correct amount?

    • Brandon Matzek says

      Hi Fran, I’ve made this many times using the ratio’s listed above, and it’s always worked well for me. But keep some extra lemon juice handy if needed.


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