Make Your Own Ricotta Cheese

by in Healthy Recipes, April 28, 2011
Finished Homemade Ricotta

This week we’re celebrating Italian food on Healthy Eats! See all our Italian food coverage here.

Homemade cheese may seem like a daunting task, but some cheeses are much easier to make than others. Homemade ricotta is definitely doable at home — all it takes is some easy assembly and a bit of patience.  The pay-off is BIG:  Absolutely no preservatives and the best-tasting, creamiest ricotta you’ve ever had.

3 Simple Steps
My favorite ricotta recipe was inspired by Food and Wine Magazine chef Maria Helm Sinskey. Just a few tweaks to make the recipe my own and it’s been a staple in my kitchen ever since. I make it just about any time I need ricotta –  it’s THAT good. Serve with favorite pasta dishes, sweetened with honey and fresh berries, or spread on a slice of toasted bread topped with sliced tomato or cucumber. Since it’s pretty rich, a little goes a long way!

Fresh Ricotta on Toast With Cucumbers

Easy Ricotta Cheese
Yield: 4 cups

Ingredients:
8 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 ½ tablespoons white or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Equipment: A fine strainer and cheesecloth

Directions:
Step 1
Combine milk and cream in a large pot and heat over medium-high heat until steamy, but not boiling.

Step 2
Turn off heat. Stir in vinegar and salt with a wooden spoon. Continue to gently stir for 1 to 2 minutes as curds begin to form. Allow to sit out at room temperature for 90 minutes.

Step 3
Place a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth over a large bowl. Using a slotting spoon, transfer curds to the cheese cloth and allow to sit for an additional 30 minutes.

Prep Tip: Once you have gotten most of the curds out with a slotted spoon, pour remaining liquid through a separate fine mesh strainer; add those curds to the rest in the cheesecloth.

Serve fresh ricotta chilled or at room temperature. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition info per 1/4 cup serving:
Calories:  100 calories
Total Fat: 5 grams
Saturated Fat: 3 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 7 grams
Protein: 7 grams
Sodium:  50 milligrams
Cholesterol: 22 milligrams
Fiber: 0 grams

Recipes to Try:
Ricotta-Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Ricotta-Spinach Tacos
Grilled Eggplant and Ricotta Crostini
Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream
Cherry Ricotta Cheesecake
Roasted Figs with Fresh Ricotta
Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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Comments (1,146)

  1. SusieBeeonMaui says:

    Very cool. I haven't tried making ricotta but did make paneer and it was super easy.
    http://eatlittleeatbig.blogspot.com/2010/10/panee

  2. Katie says:

    Yum! I can't wait to try this out this weekend!!

  3. text donate says:

    Love ricotta. Use it to make pizzas with my wife. Each pizza is always our "best one yet" :) Funny how that works out. I just may use her talents and this recipe to create some homemade ricotta. Thanks for the idea! Give back if you can to those who need your support. Send a text message and change lives. It takes only a moment and there are hundreds of causes to choose from at text donate.

  4. katherinej says:

    I am so going to make this! Ricotta is very expensive..and this saves some bucks and is better for you! Now, that is a bargain any day!

  5. Crunchymommy says:

    Definitely trying this! And thanks, SusieBeeonMaui for the paneer link – I just was thinking that I would like to make some paneer.

  6. Lindey says:

    Can I use all skim milk to make it lower in fat or at least all whole milk?

  7. 9308 621…

    Thank you, I have recently been looking for info about this topic for ages and yours is the best I’ve discovered so far….

  8. website link says:

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is required to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% certain. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Appreciate it

    • danawhite says:

      Thanks BEE – we corrected the typo!

      • Karen says:

        Full Content, are you still looking? Contact me at karen@peachweb.biz. I am a web developer and would love to help you. Any foodie looking for help, please contact me. I am very affordable and will work with what you want, not what I want. (LOL… That said, I will still offer recommendations… it is our duty as technologists.)

  9. Karen says:

    I've made this because I like making stuff. With the price of creme and milk, there really is no $avings over buying it….in fact, it's around the same price point. But the fun and pride making it — and flavor — is what makes it all worth while. My question is, what can you do with the remainder (the non curd). Are there any recipes to use up "the last drop"? I do hate to waste anything and just wondered if that couldn't be put to use somehow as well. Thanks for sharing your recipe… mine turned out pretty nice. (-:

  10. The Ships’s Voyages…

    I think know-how just can make it even worse. Now there’s a channel to never ever treatment, now there would not be considered a possibility for them to discover….

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