Homemade RicottaClick to Play

Homemade Ricotta

Mary Ann Esposito

Making Ricotta cheese is simple and the end product is so much better than any store bought variety. This versatile cheese can be used for savory and sweet dishes from filling for ravioli, lasagne and vegetables to ricotta cheesecake. Rennet can also be used to make the cheese instead of lemon juice, buttermilk or white vinegar.

Makes about 3 cups


2 quarts whole milk
1 cup heavy cream (organic if possible)
1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (Meyer lemons if possible) (need 2-3)
1/2 teaspoon salt


Pour the milk into a large stainless steel soup pot. Add the cream, lemon juice and salt. Use a whisk and cook over medium heat until a candy thermometer registers 200-220°F and curds begin to form.   Have ready a fine mesh colander lined with several layers of damp cheesecloth. Place this over a large bowl.

Pour the milk mixture into the cheesecloth and allow the cheese to drain for at least an hour. Transfer the cheese to a container and refrigerate for up to three days.

Variation: After cheese has drained, pack it into damp cheesecloth-lined small molds. Unmold and serve with warm honey and toasted almond slices for a great dessert or with dried and poached fruit such as white peaches or nectarines.

Note:  If the mixture does not seem to be thickening by the time it has reached 220°F, pour the mixture into the cheese-lined colander and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.  The whey that is left over can be used as the liquid in bread dough for extra flavor.

This recipe is featured on show 2305 - Homemade Ricotta/Ricotta Fatta in Casa.

item recipe is featured in Episode 2305 of Season 23.

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Leave a comment

  1. Jan's avatar


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    Love the ricotta episode.Must try it! Thanks:)
  2. karen gartman's avatar

    karen gartman

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    What the heck. No curds ever started forming. And this recipe says nothing at all about the look of it or how long it should take. If I followed this incomplete recipe - I'd be pouring $8 of organic milk and cream down the drain. GRRRRR
  3. b's avatar


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    Can you use soymilk or some other kind of non-dairy milk to make ricotta?
  4. Dwight Etter's avatar

    Dwight Etter

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    I found the recipe on how to make Ricotta. Thank You. God Bless
  5. Brenda Faria's avatar

    Brenda Faria

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    I made this just now. I'm at 6500 feet and really had to crank the heat to get this going. It almost looks like it is going to boil over and attack you before it is ready. I also found myself adding more lemon juice and even a little white wine vinegar to get the acid up to urge the curdling process. Recommend that you make sure you have a good oven mitt and a long handled whisk or wooden spoon to stir with, because the amount of hot burbling steam that this creates can burn you. I am looking forward to trying it again, now that I know what to expect. I'm going to try the stuffed tomatoes with dinner once it cools off tonight and am looking forward to it.
    More specific guidance is probably needed for this since it does really have to go a considerable length of time before you have your eureka cheese moment. Thanks for the recipe.
  6. Brenda Faria's avatar

    Brenda Faria

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    Made the stuffed tomatoes and just improvised with what was on hand, a little touch of ranch dressing mix, cream, chopped garlic, dried chives. Wonderful in the tomatoes.
    Next day tried the pineapple dessert version. Brushed the fresh pineapple with honey and broiled, then topped with ricotta mixed with honey, bit of cream (my cheese really set up!) chopped dried apricots and rum. Topped it with chopped pistachios. Oh my yummy! That sweet cheese tasted like the best cheesecake without the fuss and the pineapple like candy. Now I'm on the path to try more mix ins!
  7. debbie's avatar


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    This recipe was very disappointing. Followed the instructions and never achieved curds, increased the temp and still no curds, increased lemon juice, and still nothing.
  8. Flo Mcconkey's avatar

    Flo Mcconkey

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    I use this all the time it works well. I saw a post about organic milk. You cannot use organic milk to make any type of cheese. Organic milk has been superheated to 275 degrees. It will never curdle. You can use raw milk as in-straight from the cow. You cannot use soy milk or rice milk.
    The amount of fresh lemon juice really depends on the acidity of your lemons.
    Try again using white vinegar instead of lemon juice. I promise you won't be disappointed.

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