This Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe is deeply creamy, mild-tasting, and milky-soft. It’s the perfect cheese for sweet and savory dishes. Learn how to make cheese at home and you’ll never go back to store-bought again!
Do you love cheese?
How about silky, fluffy ricotta cheese? Me too!
In fact, I love cheese so much that I wrote a whole book on it: I Heart Cheese. This is packed with my favorite melty, gooey, creamy, and overall cheesy recipes.
And to give you a taste of what this book has to offer, today I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes from the collect: easy homemade ricotta cheese.
This fresh cheese is just as delicious on its own with fresh fruit as it is in savory recipes. I strongly recommend whipping up a double batch and using half for the Savory Cheesecake recipe on page 130 from my book.
But before we start dreaming about cheesecake, read on for my best Tips & Tricks for how to make cheese at home.
How To Make Ricotta Cheese At Home – Best Tips & Tricks
1. Which ingredients can be changed in this homemade ricotta cheese recipe?
It’s easy to make a few ingredient swaps in this homemade ricotta cheese recipe.
First of all, you can use different sources of acid if you can’t find citric. As you’ll see in my book, you can also make cheese at home with lemon juice or vinegar.
Secondly, instead of cow’s milk, you can use goat’s milk, buffalo, or even sheep’s milk. If you’re lactose-sensitive, goat’s and sheep’s milk are both low-lactose alternatives that have a tangy, creamy flavor.
Whichever kind of milk you choose, just make sure it’s pasteurized.
Pasteurized milk is raw milk that has been carefully heated to a specific temperature for a long enough time to kill any bacteria.
Raw milk, on the other hand, can contain microorganisms such as Campylobacter, E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria, and other unhealthy bacteria.
If you only have raw milk, don’t worry, it is quite easy to pasteurize it at home to make homemade cheese. Here’s an in-depth guide on how to pasteurize milk at home, with simple instructions here:
- First, you’ll need a heavy-bottomed pot* and a cooking thermometer*.
- Heat the milk slowly over low heat to 63°C (150°F). Hold the milk at this temperature for at least 30 minutes. You can also heat the milk to 72°C (162°F) for at least 15 seconds. Then rapidly cool the milk to a temperature of no more than 50°F (10°C).
When checking the temperature, make sure not to let the thermometer rest on the bottom or sides of the pot. Keep it straight in the center of the milk, without touching the pot, as the metal is warmer than the milk and can give you an inaccurate temperature reading.
Continuously stir the milk to avoid scalding and reduce the stove as necessary to avoid heating it too much.
2. How to make ricotta cheese more flavorful
This recipe makes creamy and mild-flavored homemade cheese.
However, you can easily enhance the flavor! Add your favorite minced fresh herbs and serve it as an herby cheese spread with toast or crackers.
I love whipping my ricotta with minced chives and just a tiny bit of minced garlic.
Spices, especially a dash of smoked paprika is nice too if you’re a fan.
3. How to serve homemade ricotta
There are endless possibilities here, foodies! I’ll name a few of my favorites, but please let me know your ideas too!
The simplest way to enjoy ricotta cheese at home is to spread it on toast. This way, you can enjoy the dish for breakfast or as an appetizer. Choose rye toast for breakfast and sliced baguette for an appetizer.
And it’s easy to garnish ricotta toast however you like, such as:
- Sprinkle with chopped nuts (pecans, cashew, walnuts, almonds, or pistachios)
- Drizzle with your favorite jam, honey, or maple syrup.
- Garnish with fresh fruit (figs are my favorite topping, but berries, bananas, and mango also great)
- Dried fruits (like apricots, dates, cranberries, raisins or sultanas, etc)!
You can also turn ricotta into the star of a dish like Baked Ricotta with Honey & Figs.
Another great way to use your ricotta cheese is to stir it into the batter of quick breads. I especially love adding it to banana bread, it always makes the moistest, dense texture.
4. How long does homemade ricotta cheese last?
Fresh ricotta will last 5 to 6 days refrigerated. Make sure you keep it in a clean air-tight glass container* or a jar with a fitted lid.
5. Why is homemade better than store-bought?
Homemade cheese is such an easy way to incorporate calcium into your diet.
And once you know how to make ricotta cheese at home, you can easily control the ingredients you and your family are eating. Sometimes the store-bought varieties contain weird, hard-to-spell ingredients that you should avoid.
Homemade cheese is also great for weekly meal-prepping. If you make a big batch, you can enjoy it for almost every brekkie, on a different type of toast. That way you’ll never get bored of it.
Another reason to make your own cheese is that you can make it according to your taste. If you like spice, go ahead and add it. If you don’t like sheep’s milk ricotta, make yours with cow’s milk. When you’re in the kitchen, you have the power!
That’s all I have for you today, dear foodies.
Now you know how to make cheese at home, I hope you’ll enjoy creamy homemade ricotta from now on!
And don’t forget to look for more ultra-cheesy recipes in my new book I Heart Cheese!
If you love this homemade cheese recipe video and want to see more like it, please Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. See you there!
More Cheese Recipes:
- Easy Dutch Baby Pancake Recipe
- Cheesy Zucchini Fritters With Spicy Ranch Dip (Keto Recipe)
- How To Make The Ultimate Holiday Cheese Board
How To Make Cheese At Home – Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe
- 1/2 gallon (1.9 liters) whole milk
- 3/4 tsp citric acid powder
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) cool water
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp sea salt - to taste
- In a heavy-bottom pot over medium heat, add the milk. Heat slowly until it’s just about to boil.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the citric acid and cool water. Stir until fully dissolved.
- Add the citric acid mixture to the milk. With a wooden spoon, stir using a gentle up-and-down motion, for about 30 seconds. Almost immediately, you will see white solid curds forming. Turn off the heat and allow it to rest for 45 to 60 minutes without stirring.
- Meanwhile, line a strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth, covering all sides, leaving at least an extra 5-inches (13-cm) of cheesecloth hanging over. Set the strainer on top of a large bowl for draining.
- Once all the translucent liquid (whey) has settled at the top, use a slotted spoon to skim the curds out and into the prepared strainer.
- Allow the cheese to drain for at least 30 minutes, or longer if you want a drier cheese.
- Pull up the cheesecloth from the sides and gently twist the cloth together to put pressure on the cheese to release more whey. The more you drain, the crumblier the cheese will get.
- In a bowl, combine the cheese and heavy cream. Season with sea salt and stir to combine.
- Transfer the cheese to a clean jar and refrigerate until ready to use. The cheese will stay fresh for about 5 days in the refrigerator.
- Tip #1 includes the ingredients you can easily change in this homemade cheese recipe.
- If you want to add a boost of flavor to your cheese, read Tip #2.
- For my serving suggestions, see Tip #3.
- Tip #4 includes my suggestions for storing homemade ricotta cheese.
*This post may contain affiliate links