Got Milk? Then You Got Ricotta in Less Than an Hour!

ricottaWhat happens when you find the perfect ricotta recipe and there’s none to be found? Solution! Make your own! Yes, you can do it! I’ve done it several times and actually prefer the creamy texture and smooth, soft, rich taste to any store bought.

I’d like to share a simple recipe courtesy of one of my all- time favorite, self-taught chefs Ina Garten. This is one of the finest replicas of store-bought, whole milk ricotta cheese around. Be sure to have some fresh figs and honey available—slice, top & drizzle—Heaven! Grazia, Ina!

Homemade Ricotta

Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten

Makes about 2 cups


4 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons good white wine vinegar


Set a large sieve over a deep bowl. Dampen 2 layers of cheesecloth with water and line the sieve with the cheesecloth.

Pour the milk and cream into a stainless-steel or enameled pot such as Le Creuset. Stir in the salt. Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. Allow the mixture to stand for 1 minute until it curdles. It will separate into thick parts (the curds) and milky parts (the whey).1024x1024.jpgPour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined sieve and allow it to drain into the bowl at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes, occasionally discarding the liquid that collects in the bowl. The longer you let the mixture drain, the thicker the ricotta. (I tend to like mine on the thicker side, but some prefer it moister.) Transfer the ricotta to a bowl, discarding the cheesecloth and any remaining whey. Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The ricotta will keep refrigerated for 4 to 5 days.

Fresh Fig Ricotta & Honey Bruschetta

Toast a thick slice of crusty bread, spread with ricotta, top with sliced fresh figs, a few grinds of fresh cracked pepper & drizzle with honey. Mmmmm!


17 Comments Add yours

  1. I honestly did not realise it was that easy to do ! Now to find the cheesecloth … 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Almost too easy, Lynne! Check for cheesecloth in the baking section first, then take a stroll to the coffee & tea section if not. Not sure why I’ve found it in the hot beverage section in the past, but I did! Maybe it was a new stock boy/girl? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Omg I can’t believe it is so easy to make at home. I’m sure it must be tastier and fresher than all the store bought versions! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! SO easy! You’re so right! Thanks a bunch!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow!! just perfect! Just realized this is very similar to how paneer is made except for the heavy cream.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is! I LOVE paneer too! Thanks, Freda!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nandini says:

    Such a lovely and creamy recipe Lana 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Nandini! It truly is & so much more flavorful!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this! Thank you:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank YOU! I’m so happy you enjoyed this!


  6. I have always wanted to try this Lana! And so easy! The figs look scrumptious with the ricotta.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a bunch, Kathryn! It’s really super easy & sort of fun too!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. cynthiamvoss says:

    This sounds great! One question though, do you have any problems with the milk that you use? Is it regular grocery store milk? The reason I ask is because I bought a mozzarella-making kit that has been mostly unsuccessful. The only explanation I can find is that the milk we buy at the grocery store is usually pasteurized at very high temperatures, which makes it unsuitable for cheese making. They suggest you use raw milk (which is illegal to sell in NJ). So I’ve kind of given up on the mozz, sadly. But if you are using regular milk, then I would give this a try for sure. Your photos are gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Cynthia! I’ve never made mozzarella…it’s more of an elastic cheese as opposed to creamy so I wonder if this is the culprit. I’ve made ricotta, paneer & even mascarpone with great success. I always use organic whole milk. You bring up a good point! One issue that has come up is the separation of curds & whey. I have had to let the milk sit a bit longer before it separates & even had to add a bit more acid to move things along a bit. Your question makes me wonder about the type of milk! Did the cows have an off day or is my vinegar not strong enough 🙂 Does your kit include rennet? Great question!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. cynthiamvoss says:

        Yes, the mozzarella recipe does include the fun step of stretching the cheese (when the milk cooperates that is) This page was made by the company that made the kit I bought and discuses the issue of dairies heating the milk too high when pasteurizing. I found it hard to find a consistent brand of milk that I know to be reliable, and after a few failures and wasting an entire gallon of milk, I gave up. But I never attempted ricotta so I think I will give it a try. Here’s the milk info:


      2. cynthiamvoss says:

        Oh and yes, my kit includes rennet, citric acid, salt, a cloth and thermometer. I also wanted to mention that I have seen other sites talk about what to do with the whey that’s leftover. I have used it in stock, never tried boiling pasta in it but that’s another suggestion, and I have used it in bread making (but I don’t remember how it turned out so I guess it wasn’t extremely good or bad). You can also freeze your whey to use later. Maybe I will try making cheese again, I am slowly remembering all this stuff 🙂


  8. Wonderful Lana! yumm


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