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How To Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese

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I’ve been making homemade ricotta for a few years now – it’s a relatively easy process once you get the hang of it and tastes so much better than the store bought Italian ricotta. Once you try it yourself, you’ll be hooked!

This recipe will make roughly 500 g ricotta, depending on how much liquid you leave in (ie how long you strain it for). It doesn’t last as long as the commercial variety (as there are no added preservatives) but it should last in the fridge around five days. If you don’t think you’ll eat 500 g in this time, you can easily half the recipe.

You’ll be left with a bowl full of whey after draining – I use this to make chia puddings, add it to stocks, or use it as a starter for fermenting vegetables such as sauerkraut and gut-healing carrots, or to make Sriracha Sauce and even to make long-lasting mayonnaise. It also works well as a hair rinse for shiny locks – just make sure to rinse well as the smell is slightly off-putting ;)

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Hands-on Overall

Nutritional values (per 1/4 cup/ 60 g/ 2.1 oz)

Net carbs1.8 grams
Protein6.8 grams
Fat7.8 grams
Calories104 kcal

Calories from carbs 7%, protein 26%, fat 67%

Total carbs1.8 gramsFiber0 gramsSugars0.2 gramsSaturated fat5 gramsSodium50 mg(2% RDA)Magnesium7 mg(2% RDA)Potassium63 mg(3% EMR)

Ingredients (makes about 500 g/ 2 cups)

  • 2 L full-fat milk (8 1/2 cups/ 4.2 pints/ 1/2 gallons)
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice (45 ml)
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp sea salt


  1. Add milk to a large saucepan over low to medium heat. Let it gradually heat to around 95 °C/ 200 °F. If you don’t have a thermometer, this will be after small bubbles start to appear on the surface and it gets a little foamy, but just before it starts to boil.
    How To Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese
  2. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and stir through. Allow to sit for 10 minutes to allow the curds and whey to separate.
    How To Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese
  3. To strain the cheese, put a cloth over a fine sieve (I use a nut milk bag to do this, however you could use cheesecloth or a clean tea towel), with a bowl or container below to catch the whey.
  4. Gently scoop out the bigger curds, and then pour the remaining liquid through the cloth/strainer.
    How To Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese
  5. Bundle up the curds within the cloth and allow to sit over a bowl for up to an hour depending on how solid you would it ...
    How To Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese ... A shorter resting time will produce softer curds with more liquid, a longer resting time will produce more firm ricotta.
    How To Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese The ricotta can now be used, or stored in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
    How To Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per 1/4 cup/ 60 g/ 2.1 oz)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Ricotta cheese, full-fat
1.8 g6.8 g7.8 g104 kcal
Total per 1/4 cup/ 60 g/ 2.1 oz
1.8 g6.8 g7.8 g104 kcal
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Dearna Bond

Dearna is a passionate foodie and food photographer, and loves sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for both via her food blog and online photography courses.

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Comments (6)

We have been making this forever... we call it farmers cheese...if you add a bit of cream it is what we use for cottage cheese... 👍😊


Thank you Cindi!


Hi...this is exactly how we make the Indian cottage cheese PANEER at home. Are the two same?


Hi Sonia, I think that paneer is completely solid compared to ricotta that should still be creamy.

Reply’s solid only when pressed to drain all the whey out and then cut into cubes to be added to dishes ....both sweet and savoury. When eaten fresh it’s exactly like this in a moist and crumbled form.


You do have a point there - it is indeed made in the same way. I think the only difference is (can be) the moisture but other wise it's the same. The ricotta I buy in my grocery store is very creamy (high moisture), not crumbly at all.