A Spicy Perspective

How To Make Ricotta Cheese

How To Make Ricotta Cheese Recipe: Rich, creamy, and made with just four wholesome ingredients! It’s the easiest homemade ricotta recipe ever.

how to make ricotta

Homemade Ricotta

June is National Dairy Month. A month-long celebration of creamy dreamy dairy goodness in all its glorious forms.

Milk is one of the most versatile ingredients available and can be used in many dishes, from decadent desserts to balanced snacks. And with nine essential nutrients, including eight grams of high-quality protein in each 8-ounce glass, milk makes a nutritious and delicious treat that can be enjoyed both in recipes and on its own.

We love to make homemade ice cream, pudding pops, and all sorts of dazzling dairy treats in the summertime. Yet, there’s something else I love to make just as much and serve with fresh summer berries… My homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe!

Most people would never attempt to make their own cheese at home.

But you… You are not most people.

You are adventurous. Daring. An appreciator of fine things. An ambassador of flavor. Plus, you know a little secret about cheese making that others don’t. Or at least you are about to.

Four Ingredient Ricotta Cheese

This Fresh Ricotta Cheese Recipe is not only the simplest cheese recipe on earth, requiring no special ingredients or equipment. I believe it to be one of the simplest recipes you’ll ever make, period.

This recipe calls for only four everyday ingredients:

  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt

With these ingredients, you can make the most amazingly decadent ricotta cheese recipe that will put the store-bought versions to shame. It’s silky, spreadable, and completely irresistible served on crackers, bread, or as a dip with veggies.

Plus you can make your ricotta cheese recipe with organic dairy products, or even reduced-fat dairy to suit your dietary needs. All milk, including fat-free or low-fat milk, packs the same nutrient-rich punch.

How To Make Ricotta Cheese

  1. Milk and Cream – To make a fresh ricotta cheese recipe at home, simply bring milk and cream to a boil in a large stockpot.

Note: This ricotta cheese recipe is ultra-rich and luxurious because of the creamy whole milk and heavy cream. You can, however, substitute 6 cups of whole milk, and skip the heavy cream. Or even use low-fat milk!

  1. Lemon Juice and Salt – Once the milk comes to a boil, remove the pot from the heat source and stir in lemon juice and salt. The acidity in the lemon juice causes the scalded milk to curdle into tiny cheese particles.

(I like my fresh ricotta cheese salty and use 2 teaspoons of sea salt, but use less if you like.) Allow the mixture to sit and curdle for 10 minutes.

  1. Strain The Cheese – After allowing the milk to curdle for several minutes, pour the mixture into a sieve lined with cheesecloth, sitting over a bowl.

The sieve (fine mesh strainer) will strain out the whey, leaving the fresh cheese curds up top.

It takes time to reach the right consistency… About an hour for really loose ricotta cheese, and two or more hours for something a little more spreadable. Yet it’s worth the wait.

See The (Printable) Recipe Card Below For How To Make Ricotta Cheese. Enjoy!

homemade ricotta

Ricotta Cheese Storage

Homemade ricotta cheese is something special. A cheese you can easily add to pasta, rice dishes, or even over a salad to offer a little creamy goodness with nutrients you need like calcium and protein.

I like to keep a container of our freshly made ricotta cheese recipe in the fridge at all times, to serve as a quick snack or a garnish that elevates any dish to the next level.

homemade ricotta cheese

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the cheese the part that drains through or the part that is on top?

The ricotta stays on top in the colander. The liquid that drains through is whey.

How long can this be stored in the refrigerator?

It will last about a week in the fridge stored in an airtight container.

Can I substitute the lemon juice for vinegar? If so, how much?

Yes, you can definitely substitute vinegar. If using white vinegar, use an equal amount.

Should I put it back on the heat if it is still runny?

Sorry, probably not. However, you can drain it overnight and that will help it to thicken!

ricotta cheese

Ricotta Cheese Recipes!

To find more amazing recipes for National Dairy Month, visit MilkLife.com.

You can also learn about all the health benefits of milk on Milk Life’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Happy Milk Month!!

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5 from 21 votes
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How To Make Ricotta Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Fresh Ricotta Cheese Recipe: Rich, creamy, and made with just four wholesome ingredients! It’s the easiest homemade ricotta recipe ever.
Servings: 16 ounces


  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons sea salt


  • Pour the milk and cream into a large stock pot. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. The moment the milk comes to a boil, remove it from the burner.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and salt. (I like my fresh ricotta cheese salty and use 2 teaspoons of sea salt, but use less if you like.) Allow the mixture to sit and curdle for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place a large sieve over a large bowl. Line the sieve with 3-4 layers of cheese cloth. Pour the curdled milk into the prepared sieve and wait.
  • Allow the ricotta to drain, separating the curds and whey, for about two hours. Then scoop the thickened ricotta into an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.



This ricotta cheese recipe is ultra rich and luxurious because of the creamy whole milk and heavy cream. You can however substitute 6 cups of whole milk, and skip the heavy cream. Or even use low-fat milk!


Serving: 1ounce, Calories: 141kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 546mg, Potassium: 107mg, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 535IU, Vitamin C: 1.7mg, Calcium: 88mg, Iron: 0mg
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Sommer Collier

Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The National Milk Life Campaign. All opinions are my own.

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43 comments on “How To Make Ricotta Cheese”

  1. Pingback: Ricotta Pound Cake - Easy As Cookies

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  3. thank you for this ricotta recipe, never thought to make this but it’s one of my favorites and to be able to make my own, wow! and to even be able to tweak it a bit over time, wonderful

  4. Be careful substituting vinegar for the lemon juice, it can turn things just a little grainy; it’ll even do that in straight cream. Also, try using lime juice (part for part) as the acid: it lets you add more salt without getting a strong lemon flavor, which makes a larger batch more versatile.

  5. This is basically the Indian Paneer cheese recipe with heavy cream added.

    I have made the paneer several dimes with great success using vinegar for curdling. I save the whey and use it for cooking.

  6. This isn’t ricotta.
    Ricotta means twice cooked using the whey from another cheese you used cultures to make.
    This is Indian paneer, farmers cheese, Mexican fresco etc.
    But yes you can substitute it for certain ricotta recipes not all.
    You can drain it in a mold and make a harder molded cheese with herbs etc.

  7. Made this with 6 cups of 2% milk, and it came out GREAT!!!!! Straining it took all of 10-15 minutes for it to be reasonably thick, I assume because I used the lower fat milk, so there was less to drain out? I always buy low fat/no fat ricotta, and the consistency was significantly better than store bought. Thanks for the incredibly simple recipe!

  8. Definitely was hesitant in making this but it turned out great!

  9. It’s so delicious!

  10. This is SO delicious! I feel so decadent when I make it, and it’s always impressive to friends!

  11. This is really awesome! And so easy to make!

  12. Not yet. But, I will be…

  13. Some 60 years ago I used to make my own Ricotta cheese,used Milk and powder called Calcium Lacktate which I bought from the chemist,.

  14. I love ricotta cheese but I never knew how to make it! So easy and delicious!

  15. This is easier to make than you think! So rich and creamy!

  16. Love this method- turns out perfect!

  17. Wow! This is great! I made this for my lasagna, and it was so good and creamy!

  18. Thank you for the super easy recipe! It turned out great and was so easy to make!

  19. I never knew it was so easy to make ricotta! This recipe worked perfectly and I’m going to make a cheesecake with it today!

  20. This was excellent and so easy! I will never buy that grainy stuff from the store again. The only thing I did slightly differently was to let to strain overnight for thicker cheese.

  21. Making it first time, tastes good but still somewhat runny…can I put it back on the stove after 2 1/2 hours to reheat and do again? Thank you!

  22. I just made it and the cheese was rich and delicious.  Very easy to make!!  Great recipe, will definitely make again.

    • Hi Yvette,

      I’m so very glad you liked it! :)

    • In case anyone is interested, this absolutely worked with lactose free whole milk as well.

      I was able to surprise my lactose-intolerant dad with a lasagna for Father’s day, and no one was the wiser! (Kraft mozzarella has 0g of lactose in it.)

  23. Pingback: Blueberry Ricotta Cake Recipe - NatashasKitchen.com

  24. This looks great. I have a stupid question… Will the Ricotta be the stuff that drains thru or the stuff that is on top?

  25. Oh MAMA, this is the BEST RICOTTA recipe ever. Wasn’t sure I’d heated milk/cream mixture enough but sieved it, and put it in the fridge overnight. This morning? Voila! Beautifully thick ricotta for breakfast.
    Added an egg, some Swerve, mixed and added blackberries and strawberries. The perfect Keto breakfast.

  26. Please tell me how long this can be stored in refrigerator.

  27. your image are so tempting that being a guy it made me to try cooking such stuff at home..

  28. Will it be fine if i use vinegar to make the cheese instead of using lemon juice? If yes, how much cup of vinegar is used for this recipe?

  29. By cream, do you mean heavy cream? Sorry if that’s a dumb question but I’ve never made cheese but that is the only thing that came to mind when I read cream. 

  30. This has been on my list to do for SO long! I love how easy you make it!

  31. I love good ricotta cheese! I gotta try this at home!

  32. I mean….I love cheese! Sign me up!! 

  33. Everything homemade is better! Looks great!

  34. There is nothing NOTHING like homemade fresh ricotta cheese. I don’t think people realize how easy it is! Looks awesome! 

  35. There is nothing like fresh ricotta! Thanks for the easy steps to make this, Sommer! Looks divine!

  36. I’ve always wanted to try this at home! Thanks for sharing!