rich homemade ricotta

A few years ago, I made ricotta for the first time. I suspect a good lot of you just read that — the part where I made cheese/played cheesemaker/fiddled with curds and whey in my shoebox kitchen, not because I maybe forgot about a carton of milk for a few weeks in the back of the fridge and conducted an unintentional science project, but just for a good time — inched your cursor to the little X of your browser tab and navigated away. Clearly, this wasn’t the act of a sane person, though that does seem to be the theme this week. The thing is, a good amount of cheese that we eat — mozzarella, goat cheese, paneer, cottage cheese — come down to milk plus acid. What you do from there is your art. Except my first ricotta wasn’t particularly artful. It was a little dry and coarse. We spread it on pizza with jammy caramelized red onions and ate it happily, but it wasn’t the kind of ricotta you dream of. I moved on.

lemon juice for acidity
a thermometer helps

But then I fell in love with ricotta again. I discovered Salvatore Ricotta, made in small batches in Brooklyn, and frustratingly hard to find anywhere else as I want everyone in the world to have a taste just a couple months ago and I’m sure, years after everyone who pays attention, and sadly, for anyone around me who is not my equally ricotta-besotted husband, have spoken about little else since. [You’ve got to watch the video, okay?] I’ve never had ricotta like it; it’s nothing like the store bought stuff. This is very strained ricotta, almost whey-free, and it spreads almost like cream cheese but with a richness suggestive of whipped cream or crème fraîche. It’s not easily forgotten.

hard to see the curds at all

Nor is it very traditional. It’s a bit blasphemous, even. Ricotta is Italian for “twice cooked” or “to cook again” and is traditionally made with the whey byproduct of making another cheese, such as mozzarella or a hard cheese. The whey is heated, with or without additional vinegar, and the new ricotta is strained and seasoned. Whole milk is never used, and that’s exactly what I learned Salvatore uses when I found that they’d shared their recipe on Tasting Table a while back. Obviously, I had to make it, authentic or not. But still, it took a few tries to get it right. (Anyone want ricotta? I have a mountain of it!) The first time, I used their approach, to the letter: milk, lemon juice and salt, but was bummed when I strained out to find the same dry, coarse curds that had displeased me years ago. The second time I figured, “Why blaspheme a little when you can blaspheme a lot?” and swapped out some of the milk with heavy cream. The curdles were barely visible. I had to use several layers of cheesecloth to filter the mixture but when I did, oh, when I did…

puddle becomes a mass
long straining time
homemade, bastardized ricotta
thick, creamy ricotta

Well first, I went to do some crunches. Then, I peeled back the cheesecloth and found my Brooklyn ricotta nirvana, right in my Manhattan kitchen. And here’s the thing I want to get across about the why of this — why you should make this, make this now — this is perfect summer food. You spread it on a slice of toasted baguette, and eat it along with a giant vegetable salad on your deck (or your imaginary one, if you’re us) with a crisp glass of wine and marvel at how indulgent something so simple can feel. You can dress it up a little — my favorite ways are with honey, olive oil, or an aged balsamic; you can dress it up a lot — I marinated some miniature zucchini ribbons with lemon juice and olive oil for a heartier crostini in one of my experimental rounds; you can tuck it in pasta or scrambled eggs or crepes with berries and honey; you can bust it out at your next wine and cheese party and win watch how quickly it disappears but for now, right now, I’m mostly holding out for the deck. Happy weekend!

with marinated zucchini ribbons

One year ago: Chocolate Doughnut Holes
Two years ago: Neapolitan Cake and Cheese Straws
Three years ago: 10 Paths to Painless Pizza-Making and Pistachio Petit-Four Cake
Four years ago: Strawberry Tart

Rich Homemade Ricotta
Inspired by Salvatore Ricotta, via Tasting Table

I made this ricotta three different ways: with all milk, as the Salvatore recipe suggested (we found it a bit dry), with 3 cups milk and 1 cup heavy cream and with 3 1/2 cups milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream. Guess what? The last two ricottas were virtually indistinguishable.The extra cream did indeed add an even richer edge, but the one with less cream was also very indulgent. I imagine I’d use the richer version for toasts, for putting out at a party and the almost-as-rich one for pastas and things where I might need a larger, sturdier quantity. I’ll leave it up to you which way you go.

Makes about 1 generous cup of ricotta

3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream (see Note above about using less)
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pour the milk, cream and salt into a 3-quart nonreactive saucepan. Attach a candy or deep-fry thermometer. Heat the milk to 190°F, stirring it occasionally to keep it from scorching on the bottom. Turn off the heat [Updated] Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, then stir it once or twice, gently and slowly. Let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.

Line a colander with a few layers of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl (to catch the whey). Pour the curds and whey into the colander and let the curds strain for at least an hour. At an hour, you’ll have a tender, spreadable ricotta. At two hours, it will be spreadable but a bit firmer, almost like cream cheese. (It will firm as it cools, so do not judge its final texture by what you have in your cheesecloth.) Discard the whey, or, if you’re one of those crafty people who use it for other things, of course, save it. Eat the ricotta right away or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Serve: On 1/2-inch slices of baguette that have been run under the broiler until lightly bronzed. Serve it simply [as shown in the top photo, left to right] with honey and a pinch of flaky sea salt, a couple grinds of black pepper, pinch of salt and drizzle of olive oil, and/or a few droplets of an aged balsamic. Or with zucchini ribbons [as shown in the last photo], I started with about half a pound of miniature zucchini my mother-in-law had found at Trader Joes. Larger ones will work just fine, but you might want to first cut a big one in half lengthwise. Peel them into ribbons and toss them with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and let them drain in a colander for a while (this wilts them), about 20 minutes. Rinse and pat them dry. Toss with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and black pepper to taste. Arrange in piles on ricotta crostini.

Do ahead: I keep mine only 3 to 4 days; the really fresh milk I used doesn’t last long. However, Salvatore also uses really fresh milk, and theirs appears to keep closer to two weeks. In conclusion? Shelf lives will vary. Use your nose to judge freshness. Or your partner’s nose, because who doesn’t like hearing “Hey honey, sniff this for me?”

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748 comments on rich homemade ricotta

  1. Alexis

    Question: do you think this type of ricotta would work in cooking? All we get here is your standard supermarket ricotta, which is really blah and tends to separate. It would be worth my while to make this to get decent cheesecake or ravioli (much less those chef recipes that tell you to only use the fresh kind that I can’t buy!)

    1. deb

      Alexis — I definitely think it would work in cooking, largely because this is so strained, it shouldn’t split when heated. From Serious Eats on the subject: “Pretty much all mass-market ricotta producers don’t bother to take the time to drain their cheese properly. Instead, they load the stuff up with gums and stabilizers intended to keep the water (and thus their profits) from leaking out. What you get is a gritty, gluey, rubbery paste that breaks as you heat it, turning your lovely cheesecake or lasagna gritty and watery.”

    2. Karen Sievertson

      We make it and use it for lasagne, ravioli and anything else we might come up with. Lemon ricotta cookies, bread, etc. Works great.

  2. I didn’t even know you could make ricotta at home! This looks so creamy and delicious – and serving it with zucchini ribbons makes it look so pretty! Although the honey & sea salt combination is probably also delicious. Thanks for giving me some great inspiration this Saturday morning! :)

  3. Wow I would never think to make homemade ricotta…I have seen my mom make homemade paneer and yogurt but this is such a great idea. I would dress it up with something sweet like fig or honey. Great post!

  4. Ooooh. I don’t know how many times I said that, reading this post. Now, I’m thinking fresh ricotta on baguette with stewed berries… Aaaah… Thank you :-)

  5. That looks amazing! That summer experience you described sounds like absolute bliss. I bet it would be delicious spread on baguette topped with ginger preserves, drizzled with agave and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

  6. Elisabeth

    This sounds absolutely lovely! Deb, you should try making mozzarella, if you haven’t already. We made burrata a few weeks ago and devoured it with roasted tomatoes and basil and it was SO delicious and worth the effort.

    Thanks for posting this recipe, I’m definitely going to try it out soon!

    1. deb

      Elisabeth — Burrata is SO on my summer list! Did you start with cheese curds or make your own? (Burrata is also, like, crazy expensive at restaurants and stores so a great trick to be able to turn at home.)

      1. Jan

        Oh Deb, please work on a Burrata recipe. I live on the Alabama Gulf Coast and the only place I can find it down here is at Fresh Market. When I asked the deli manager at one of the other local grocery stores, she told me they used to carry it but no one bought it. ::::Thud::: I did! I would be willing to make it at home, HELP!!! :D

    2. Bartek

      I followed this as per the recipe but when I poured the undisturbed milk after 5 minutes there was hardly any curd, and after two hours I just have sloppy milk cream. What could I have done wrong?

      1. Susan

        Did you use ultrapasturized milk? (Much of the organic milk in my area is ultrapasturized and is not good for making cheese

  7. Heather

    I have recently been experimenting with the No Knead Bread recipe…this ricotta gives me yet another reason to whip up another loaf of bread to slather! Great Blog!!

  8. SO excited for this. I’ve made a milk+vinegar versions (blehhh), and your buttermilk one just a few weeks ago (much better), but this looks exactly like the creamy delicious dreaminess that I’ve been hoping to create. Gah, I love you so much sometimes. :)

  9. When I made ricotta, I neglected to plan ahead and had to hold the cheese cloth for the whole time. Had I thought about it in advance, I hopefully would have thought to put the cloth in a strainer as you did. Planning is so important.

  10. “Why blaspheme a little when you can blaspheme a lot?” is now my new mantra.

    I always know I’m losing out when I use store-bought (as in grocery store bought) versions of ricotta or mozzarella or paneer for recipes. And yet somehow too daunted to make my own…this looks so lush though. Perhaps. I can blaspheme a lot and get over my anxieties.

  11. I love this! I made ricotta a few months back and never did it again. This is inspiring me to get back at it. We used ours for a broccoli ricotta sauce over pasta and it was heavenly. This is a beautiful post.

  12. Deb this is genius!! I’ve got an open spot on my deck with a crisp glass of white wine just waiting for you, come on over! :) I can’t wait to try this ricotta. Like you my past attempts were dry and very grainy and not so delicious. This on the other hand sounds so rich and indulgent!! Can’t wait to make a galette with it, too!

  13. Emme

    Wow, so excited to make this! Store ricotta is a poor representative of what it could be.
    My favorite thing to do with ricotta is a cold pressed sandwich with tomatoes, roasted peppers, pesto on Italian bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. This ricotta will make it sing!! Thanks!

    1. deb

      joy — Every single grocery store I’ve been to, even the lousy ones, has sold cheesecloth. However, not one of them keep it in an obvious place, like the cheese or baking section. It’s always randomly hanging from a rack in the dog food aisle or something. Ask someone who works wherever you shop. This time, I bought it at Whole Foods.

      Elizabeth — Good to know! I’ll look for it. I’d already thought ahead and knew I’d be unlikely to share a recipe here that sent everyone scrambling for cheese curds. But if you can make you own… Thanks for the help.

  14. Elisabeth

    I made my own cheese curds using Ricki Carroll’s 30 min. mozzarella recipe. Stretching the curds was a lot of fun and I couldn’t believe I made something that, like you said, is such a specialty in restaurants. I think you’ll really enjoy making it.

  15. Love your photographs to bits; love your words and love your blog! Keep up the awesome work. I’ve been telling everyone bout your pretty little world. :)
    I would normally say this recipe is a bit out of my league but with your encouraging words – I am definitely very tempted to try it out – just to get that creamy goodness in my kitchen here in Melbourne, Australia. If you have too much ricotta – please do send it through. :) Thanks again. xx

  16. I’ve made ricotta before (using milk and buttermilk) and found it delightful but, like you, a tad dry for my tastes. I love your addition of cream here – just brilliant. I will be making this soon! Thanks for the inspiration.

  17. Oh man! I am someone who bakes a lot of bread, and I’ve been curious about using whey as the liquid. That is a pretty good pretext for making a whole bunch of ricotta this weekend.

  18. BLP

    WOW! I was certainly one of those who thought HOLY TAMOLE she’s outdone herself who the heck makes their own cheese??? But I have an undying devotion to ricotta (dare to serve me pasta/sauce/even meatballs WITHOUT? ricotta at your own risk;), so I read on, and this looks absolutely great. Thanks for the motivation to think outside the box!

  19. Katharine

    You are SO not crazy for making your own ricotta. After my time working in a cheese shop, I taught myself to make my own yogurt – and recently, my boyfriend bought me a cheese making kit. (He knows I’m very much into “If you can do it yourself, why not?”) I’ve made queso fresco but must revisit it, I think I squeezed out all my milkfat last time. Beginner’s un-luck!

  20. LOL’d at asking your husband to sniff something, mine dutifully sniffs yucky stuff for me all the time, sometimes even tastes it! I’ve been making my own Greek yoghurt for a while, so I need to try this. I’ve always hated that store bought ricotta, my mouth said yucky fillers and frankly I coouldn’t see what people raved about. Also, about the cheesecloth, I’ve found that if you invest in a very fine mesh colander (or cone) you can drain your yoghurt, or ricotta, without the cheesecloth.

  21. SaucyGalNYC

    Joy – You can get cheesecloth at any major supermarket, or Bed Bath & Beyond, or in the Chelsea Market. I think Whole Foods carries it, too.

    Thanks so much for this post! I will be making ricotta this weekend!!!

  22. Yes!! I’m so excited – I have been waiting for you to post this since I spotted your “I’ve been fiddling” photo on flickr last week. I love ricotta and have always wanted to make it at home. In fact, an hour ago I was reading an article about home-made ricotta in the may/june issue of jamie – but decided to wait for your post and make your version first.
    I think you or someone else on this site posted Salvatore’s video a while back and I’ve been dying to try their ricotta ever since. But seeing as I live in place even further away from Brooklyn than Manhattan (don’t feel too bad, most of the time that place is actually in the Alps in Italy), I thought that wasn’t going to happen any time soon. Sometimes it’s really nice to be wrong.
    I’m making this immediately.

    Side – I wonder why Salvatore’s exact recipe didn’t work at home!

    1. deb

      Jenna — The Alps! So awesome! My theory on why Salvatore’s recipe — which is not their true recipe, as they obviously make flawless ricotta or this post would be here, but one they adapted for home cooks for the Tasting Table newsletter — didn’t work for me is that they say in their video that you should use “the fattiest milk you can find”. Yet, most of us cannot find very fatty milk, even our whole milk isn’t particularly rich. I started with Milk Thistle whole milk, a local one with an inch of separated cream on top, but it didn’t do the trick. Weirdly, this was kind of a relief for me as most people cannot find milk like this, so I was hoping that wouldn’t be the magic ingredient. Savatore gets its milk in 35 gallon bags from a dairy upstate; it’s entirely possible they provide extra fatty milk for them (though I’m just guessing on this). However, by rounds three and four, when I got it right, I was using generic brand whole milk and cream, i.e. nothing fancy. Simply by replacing some milk with heavy cream, you can get that richness without buy special or hard-to-find milk.

  23. Debbus

    Ok, I’m yet again inspired. Thank you for all the hard work you put into every post. I can’t imagine how challenging it must be in a
    manhattan kitcen. Come to Long Island and I’ll let you use my kitchen in exchange for some of your yummy genius!!
    I can’t wait to enjoy this on my front porch at our (as often as possible) summer sunset happy hour! I think I’ll pair it with peaches, prochutto and any other yummy thing I can get my hands on. When my fig tree is full I know just what to do with them! Ricotta, fig and honey anyone? Oh, Boy!!

  24. Theresa

    I’ve been making cheese at home for several months now, and have created a tasty chevre, several different styles of mozzarella, and a ricotta that I use as if it’s fresh mozzarella with caprese salad. I will definitely give your recipe a try!

    As for the whey, I’ve been using it as the liquid base when I make bread. Try it — it gives the bread a nice tang as well as a punch of extra protein. I went on a cheese-making binge this week and had way too much whey to use in the kitchen, so I diluted it and used it to water my tomatoes and beans and other backyard plants. My dog loves it too, but I’m not going to give him 4 gallons of whey! :)

  25. Theresa

    One more comment — look for butter muslin rather than cheesecloth for straining the curds. It’s a much finer weave and you only need one layer. If you use cheesecloth, you should double or triple it.

  26. Thank you so much for a small-batch ricotta recipe! I absolutely love that this one can be made with varying amounts of cream. This will be my new summer go-to recipe for appetizers :)

  27. Naomi

    Looks wonderful! One question: I don’t have a thermometer. Do you think it is possible to guess at the temperature? Is reaching 190 degrees crucial?

    1. deb

      Naomi — You’re looking for steamy milk that is very close to but absolutely not yet simmering (which would happen at 212, so soon after). I’ve seen recipes suggest 175 and 180 degrees, too, but haven’t tested them myself.

  28. Homemade ricotta reminds me of the days I spent basking in the sun on my friend’s balcony in Naples, Italy while we ate ricotta made by a little Italian grandmother.

    Oh how I wish I could be there right now…

  29. Hamannde

    I just made this! I wanted to make lasagna but didn’t feel well enough to go out, so I’ve been moping around about lasagna day being canceled. And then this recipe popped up in Google Reader! I used 1/2 cup cream and it’s super creamy. I was impatient so after 5 minutes of draining, I decided just to wring out the rest of the whey. Thanks for rescuing lasagna day. :)

  30. I was even planning on making a lasagna later this week so I want to try it out. However, I don’t have any cheesecloth! Is there anyway I can use something else to substitute?

  31. Jess P.

    This looks AMAZING and I don’t know if I can handle waiting until I can procure some cheesecloth. Is there any substitute for cheesecloth? Will paper towels or coffee filters work?

  32. Dori

    My favorite alternative to cheesecloth is using — don’t freak out here! — those loose-weave old-fashioned cloth diapers that everyone seems to use as spit-up rags. (Of course, I don’t use the ones I *actually* used as spit-up rags for cooking) You can get them in a pack of 12 in the baby section at Target, they come nicely hemmed up (unlike cheesecloth, which frays everywhere), and they stand up to repeated washings on hot (useful for getting homemade paneer curds, or horchata solids or other sticky food residue out).

  33. Elizabeth

    I just posted something very similar on my blog a few months ago after seeing Michael Chiarello do a version on his show. It’s sooo much better than anything you can buy in the stores that’s mass processed. E.

  34. mk

    To go to the sweet side, my favorite diet dessert is ricotta mixed with a very little sugar or honey (or Nutrasweet) and almond extract, folded into fresh strawberries or raspberries, and topped with toasted almonds. A high-protein, low-sugar dessert that doesn’t taste at all like diet fare. But the ricotta needs to be very smooth to work — so your recipe sounds perfect.

  35. I’ve been holding onto a ricotta recipe for the past year!!!! You’ve given me the push I need to get to it. Heck yes. Cheese making here I come!

  36. Sometimes I feel like you know exactly what I need! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I have spent the whole morning searching for that perfect thing to bring to a party tonight. I wanted something with the limited local ingredients we have this time of year, something homemade, but yet looks like it was effortless. I better get on it though if I am going to have it ready by tonight. You are the best!

  37. This sounds like a mixture between homemade ricotta and homemade mascarpone. Homemade mascarpone is made with 100% heavy cream + lemon juice (and it is amazing – we did a post on it in May)…I like the idea of splitting the ratio between whole milk and cream. yum!

  38. I always have added heavy cream to my finished ricotta—makes it so smooth and rich. But I’ll have to give this new method a go now and compare the two. It sounds lovely.

  39. Seems to me you’re using the mascarpone method: heavy cream + heating + acid (lemon juice or cream of tatar) = mascarpone. That being said, I recently began making my own curd cheese (quark in German, tvorog in Russian/Polnish) and I find it incredible. This I make of whole milk + soured milk (buttermilk or kefir, 2 parts whole milk, 1 part soured milk) or all soured milk for a even tangier version and it is incredible. It should be a bit grainy, but with slow heating the curds will be small – and I simply adore its slightly tangy taste when mixed with fresh double cream and (vanilla)sugar and served with fresh strawberries. It’s another taste experience, because it’s tangy and slightly chewy – but for Eastern European recipes it is the very thing!

  40. Kelly

    I’ve made my on mozzarella several times, but I had an epic fail last time I tried ricotta, very similar to the problems you mentioned. With this recipe, I may. Be bolstered enough to try it again!

  41. A while back, I read an article on homemade ricotta. I never got around to making it, despite trying in vain to find an excuse to do so. But after reading this, I am sure not going to wait to make some!It looks so indulgent and perfect!

  42. I fell in love with Salvatore ricotta a while ago when I discovered it at Saxelby Cheesemongers in Essex Market. So good and so creamy. My mom has been making ricotta with lemon juice for decades, but I can’t wait to try it with the extra addition of cream! Thanks!

  43. Ada

    Damn, that looks amazing. I make my own panneer, and I’ve always thought it looks like ricotta before straining – now I know why! (And yes, paneer is just as easy as ricotta and ridiculously delicious in curry.)

  44. I am just beginning to dabble in cheesemaking. I’ve made several batches of yogurt cheese and I really enjoy the results. This seems like it would be a great next step, I looooooooove ricotta :) Thank you so much, Deb!!!

  45. Joan

    Grew up in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, where you got your ricotta spooned fresh for you into a metal container with holes at the bottom so it could drain. So, yes, I was spoiled, and made reluctant to purchase the pre-packaged kind. Have made ricotta, but will try yours with the added cream. Recommend it drizzled with honey on the toasted baguette – so simple and so delicious! Thanks, Deb!

  46. Amy

    I was just wishing I had some ricotta, and ta da, I see this post! I’ve always wanted to make homeade ricotta and can’t wait to try this. If I don’t eat the whole batch straight by itself or with toast, I’d love to try to make ricotta cheesecake. (Good way to use up your extras?) Thanks for the recipe!

  47. I’ve made ricotta several times, and love using it in baked dishes. So much better than storebought! Also, I recently bought food grade cheesecloth at Walmart in the craft section.

  48. For those asking about cheesecloth substitutes, I’ve used a double layer of paper cloths, wet, and then wrung out so just damp. Works like a charm.

    1. Heather

      Hopefully someone’s still responding to these comments eight years later to answer my question… “fresh milk”: different than whole milk in a gallon at the store? Fresh from the farm, unpasteurized?

  49. Susan

    So – have you used up your remaining ricotta that weren’t up to snuff? May I hubly suggest combining them and making a very simple cheesecake w/o sour cream?

  50. Anna

    Hi Deb, thanks for this great post! I’m inspired! In Ina Garten’s newest cookbook, she has a recipe for ricotta. Did you find any inspiration from that recipe at all? Or, did you take a look and decide to go in a different direction?

  51. The first time I made ricotta I used heavy cream in it – the second time just whole milk. I actually think I’m going to try it next time with equal parts heavy cream and milk – I mean, i think it’s all about having enough fat content to make it rich and creamy, right? I like to mix it with basil, EVOO, lemon zest and salt – serve over crostini. Yum!!!!!

  52. Kate

    I would think the quality of the cheese depends largely on your milk source. I’ve made ricotta from whey after making mozarella chesse from fresh, raw goat milk. It was beautifully creamy. O.K., so you don’t have access to a milking goat in Manhattan. But if you ever happen to bump into say, an Amish farmer or a back-to-the land hippie type, ask for a gallon of fresh milk. High quality milk makes all the difference.

  53. I love a project! This one looks amazing. It’ll help me get in touch with my Italian roots. I have to make it and tell my grandma about it. She’ll freak. Actually, I don’t know if my grandma will “freak” per se, but she’ll be proud. :)

  54. Deb you were dedicated to the ricotta project and clearly your dedication paid off. It sounds awesome.

    The picture of the zuke ribbons on top of the baguettes, oh that image is brilliant. The light bouncing off, the brightness, the delicateness of the zuke ribbons. Makes me want to get my camera out and play. Or go eat ricotta, too :)

  55. Anne-Lise

    Hi Deb,

    I’ve never thought of naming this ricotta, but I’m used to making it! Only there are some things I do different: I do use ‘normal’ or even low fat milk. Only I heat it very, very, very slowly. I take a couple of hours (! yes!) to heat until 170F! My experience is that that makes the difference from being dry or rubbery. If I do it any faster, it just doesnt turn out that creamy! Also I ad the salt after straining, but I don’t know wether that really makes a difference.

  56. I live in NYC as well and if you like Salvatore Ricotta, you HAVE to try the ricotta from Naraggansett Creamery. To my knowledge the only place you can get it is at the New Amsterdam Market on Sundays in South Street Seaport. ( They come down from rhode island every other week for the market. I happen to work for the Market and I discovered their ricotta almost two years ago..since then I barely buy anything else. It’s so good my roommate sometimes finds me in the refrigerator with a spoon in the container.

    I really can’t figure out how they make it so smooth and creamy with just whole milk and no cream. They also seem to use milk from cows with a lower butterfat % because the nutrition label on the side says only 6 grams of fat which is closer to a part skim ricotta than a whole.

    Seriously, it’s sooo much better than Salvatore..and cheaper! and you don’t have to leave manhattan to find it!

    New Amsterdam Market is from 11-4 every sunday on South Street just north of Fulton street and pier 17 between Beekman and Peck Slip on the Water side of the street. (Don’t confuse it with the fulton stall market). They will not be there this sunday but they will be there every other sunday from June 26th through december except for a few holidays.
    They do also sell a version at Eataly but is made differently and it’s much drier..good for baked ziti but not so good for desserts or just eating spread on toast.

  57. Kelly

    Is it too wrong exchange the cream cheese for ricotta when baking a cheesecake? Did it yesterday and turn out pretty good, as I didn’t know what to do with half kilo of ricotta, then an idea of a cheesecake hit me.

    1. deb

      Kelly — It will really depend on the ricotta. If making yours like this, I might strain it a little longer (2 hours, at least) and then swap it. Haven’t tried it so cannot promise it will work, but in theory, it should. A runnier ricotta probably won’t replace a thick, heavy cream cheese well in cake.

  58. Julienne

    Thank you so much for sharing! I am definitely going to try this soon… I cannot WAIT until your cookbook comes out! I looked through your comments but didn’t see any questions regarding this… Did you just use regular ol’ milk or did you by something more specific (i.e not ultra-pasturiezed, raw) because everything I’ve read about cheese making stresses not using the pasteurized stuff… but if you had successful results using regular milk it would be a lot easier and possible cheaper to be able to run out to the store and pick up a jug. Thanks!

    1. deb

      Julienne — I did early batches with local milk and cream from Milk Thistle and Ronnybrook. Not raw milk, just fresh with a short shelf life. By later batches, I’d used up all the good milk and went to the bodega for totally generic whole milk and cream. The good thing about this is that I can tell you both work, and both are delicious.

  59. Annie

    Technically this is lemon cheese, not ricotta, but who TF cares really if it’s good?

    I’ve made this from my own goat milk a number of times and always had good results at first. Lately, I’ve had the same problem with dry cheese though I’m following the same recipe, using the same goat’s milk. Go figure. Too much lemon maybe? Different lemon juice? Different pasture? I dunno. It’s all good to eat, but I long for that soft spreadable stuff of yesteryear.

    I like to mix salt and Italian herbs into mine.

  60. This seems a lot like something I’ve made before – straining yoghurt through muslin or a coffee-filter or 3 overnight and you end up with a slightly grainy, cheesy mass – truly delicious… never had any idea I might have “unintentionally” been making ricotta! :D

  61. Jo

    I’m lucky enough to live next to a cheese factory – Sunday morning you can just pop out and buy fresh warm ricotta for breakfast – it’s worlds away from supermarket ricotta – far more traditional than the version you have here, but again, WORLDS away from the store bought stuff (and rich enough for me). If anyone here lives in Sydney, and you don’t have time to make your own, do yourself a favor and pick up some cheese from the Paesanella factory one Sunday morning :)

  62. I love making ricotta at home, I use David Lebovitz’s recipe which calls for cream and yoghurt. I made a batch yesterday with Jersey milk (really rich and creamy) which turned out brilliantly. Made Heidi at 101 Cookbooks’ stuffed shells with it – yummy!

  63. Susan

    I went on a tare of making ricotta about a year ago. I researched them online and used a combo of ideas from the various recipes out there, As it happens, the one I settled on is very much like yours. I used a better brand of accessable store milk, heavy cream, a couple tbsp of sourcream, salt and the lemon juice. I think I used less heavy cream and the whole qt of milk. It was outstanding. My ricotta obsession started because of a pizza that I had where they garnished it with pretty dollops of ricotta. Oh my, it has graced my pizza as one of the garnishes ever since. So good.

    FYI: Michael Ruhlman sell his own label of straining cloth through his “store” on Big Sky. It’s much tighter than cheese cloth and looks similar to what I use; a cotton dish towel that was supposed to be a flour sack, but the weave was not tight as typical flour sack. So I use them for staining now! It’s perfect! Ruhlmans is the same, I’m sure.

  64. I am ransacking my cupboards like a rabid dog. I know I have cheesecloth somewhere around here – and I can’t find it. I may have to make a special trip to the market, because I won’t be able to rest until I try this ricotta. I’ve also made it before and found it too dry and crumbly. Adding some cream is such a logical solution!

  65. What have you done?! Dear me, I can feel my pants getting tighter already. Absolutely delicious. There’s nothing better than really fresh, homemade ricotta. I usually go italian deli for the good stuff, but this is exceptionally tempting to do at home. Thank you so much for sharing.

  66. Reg. comment no. 67: if you make curd cheese the Eastern European way and let it drain well it will be ideal for making ricotta gnocchi (then you don’t have to let the storebought ricotta dry additionally as the Zuni Cafe recipe suggests). I agree with you that the dry and slightly grainy texture isn’t necessarily perfect on its own, but it’s very good for making gnocchi, syrniki, mixing with whipped or unwhipped cream and sugar as a dessert, and I (perhaps because of my being European and unaccostumed to eating Philadeliphia style cream cheese?) find that the tanginess of the curd cheese makes for an more interesting taste experience and is an ideal playground for sweet-tangy combinations. And then if it is too grainy you can always sieve it….

  67. I recently made ricotta for the first time ( and love it! Way easier and tastier than store-bought. Glad you are sharing it with the world. And those toppings look great (going to try those).
    I need to try my hand at other cheeses. And I use the whey in smoothies, if anyone is looking for a use.

  68. Kathryn

    I will be making this and soon – love it!

    Also, CONGRATULATIONS on Saveur’s nod to Best of the Blogs award for Best Food Photography!!!!

  69. Naomi

    Deb, thanks for the tip re temperature. I eyeballed it, waited until it steamed like you said and looked like it was just about to simmer. Worked perfectly, so easy!

  70. Oooh. Making tonight! BUT … I forgot to buy lemons or cheesecloth. Do you think it will work with vinegar and paper towels (or coffee filters)? Or just a very fine sieve?

  71. Trixie

    I saw this post when I was checking my Facebook while I was running around today and told my husband I refused to go home until we stopped at a store so I can buy cheesecloth and heavy cream (the other ingredients I already have). I have been toying with the idea of making cheese at home and am completely inspired by you to do so tomorrow! This will work nicely with the ravioli mold my friend got me for my birthday last month. So excited!!!! Thanks Deb!

  72. kay

    yummy! I’ve made ricotta from New England Cheesemaking Supply’s kit, but it was indeed dry and crumbly (though also incredibly good). My favorite use of the whey is to make polenta. Just use it in place of broth or water in your favorite polenta recipe, and it turns out creamy and sweet and oh so good.

  73. I was literally just talking to my friend about making fresh ricotta. This is SO on my list. Give me some crusty bread and fresh cheese and I’m a happy girl.

  74. Laura

    If they are getting real, fresh milk then they are probably getting milk with a whole lot more fat in it. That is why you needed to add some cream to it. Some types of cows actually produce more fat in their milk than others as well. I doubt you will ever find milk in a store with as much cream that separates out as you will from fresh raw milk straight out of a Brown Swiss cow.
    I am going to have to try this recipe!

  75. We made our own mozzerella once, and were so focused on it that we didn’t save the whey for ricotta. I’m really hoping to have a chance to try it again this summer while I have some extra time off work.

  76. This looks like an invaluable resource for cheese making if you are interested in it. His articles are fascinating to read, particularly his page on sourdough bred recipes. (I’ve never had success with sourdough bread, though, unfortunately. I haven’t tried his recipe yet, though.)

    I have never tried making my own cheese, but this recipe looks easy enough that I truly would love to try it, even though I have never been a particular fan of store-bought ricotta cheese. I’ll have to see what I think of homemade cheese . . . .

  77. reagan

    this sounds soooo good… i am picturing myself enjoying it outside as you describe. i really have to clean off my patio….

  78. wendy

    oh deb, just enjoyed homemade ricotta for the first time ever. and who knew it was so easy to make!! there will be a cheesecake experiment with this in the very near future. thank you!

  79. Kellie B.

    Hi, Deb!
    I just made this tonight…and am astonished at the simplicity. It turned out delicious and picture perfect the first time. Thank you for the detailed recipe and humorous tale of your cheese-making journey. I love your site and await your book!

  80. Your recipes always make me so excited to give something new a try! This ricotta looks fantastic. I never thought of having it on bread with balsamic or honey before ~ that is definitely something I’m going to try when I make this!!

  81. Sarah

    In Manhattan, Salvatore Brooklyn is available at Eataly on 23rd Street for around nine dollars per container. I used to work there saw customers in tears more than once when we ran out. The stuff is amazing.

  82. deb, you always come through with the recipes that I need! making ricotta is on my 101 in 1001 list & I hadn’t even started researching a source yet… but now I don’t have too. It’s one of my absolute favorite things in the world & I can’t wait to make it on my own. Thanks :)

  83. Lisa

    First of all I am so excited to make this, I make yogurt every week and this is very close to that process. Thank you!
    I watched the video and I think the thing is, that they are using Farm Fresh milk or RAW milk (although when you heat it to 190 it is not RAW anymore), which means added cream. Fresh cows milk takes up to a week to separate. All store bought milk, with the exception of the ones that say “cream on top” like TJ’s, don’t have the cream.
    So you are basically, as we all know who read your blog, a culinary genius! Cream was exactly what was missing!
    Thank you again, I am making this this week!

  84. Miriam

    I love that my two favourite food blogs seem to have discovered a new level of synchronicity this week – you with this heavenly, dreamy, delicious(!) recipe for ricotta, and Heidi Swanson at 101 Cookbooks with her recipe for ricotta stuffed pasta shells. Nom nom nom. Methinks that making your one in order to make her one sounds like a damned fine idea!

  85. Pauline Gascoigne

    I live in Bulgaria and find you cannot get good cream only a sour one which is good.Could I use this instead or anyone any ideas how to get around this.Some of the best yogurt is made here like the Greek yogurt. So want to try this recipe. Thanks

  86. Ciao, I hope I don’t get into trouble for being honest, but I just wanted to let you know that you didn’t make ricotta, but mascarpone (salted). I don’t know what this Salvatore is making, but Ricotta is a different product, and comes yes in many forms from creamy and fine to gritty and firm, but to be called ricotta has be made with the whey leftover from making cheese (you say so yourself in the post).

    Mixing milk with lemon the way you did can give you paneer, or mascarpone (if you put cream in it).

    I am sure that it was good, mascarpone is good, just it is not ricotta :-).


  87. Stuart B.

    I have become dramatically intolerant of lactose over the past 2 years and have used liquid lactase drops added to milk, cream, sour cream and cottage cheese which has allowed me to use these products once again. I will be making your cheese with lactase treated cows milk and then with a quart of goats milk. I will try the fresh lemon juice and also a batch with rennet tablets.
    I would suggest serving the cheeses, either ricotta or cherve on garlic clove rubbed thinly sliced bread rounds and then spread with a smear of fig jam.

  88. sam

    Hi, hi — Firstly, I’m a huge fan of your blog. Thank you for all of the photos and stories and EATS ! This is one of my favorite reads for getting my head out of work stress and back into the kitchen. Thanks ^^

    I’ve had luck making cheese at home without the cream, using just fresh whole milk (unpasturized when I can), but then it’s best to stir the salt into the cheese after straining. (According to my research this is actually closer to a fresh neufchatel, but whatev’s.) I’ve also done it with four parts whole milk to one part (real, fermented) buttermilk (sometimes still adding lemon juice to get extra curds and sometimes not). To re-cook the left over whey, let it sit overnight at room temp to let the acidity build up (you shouldn’t have to add more) and reheat until large clusters of curd form on the top. Strain, salt and degust !

    That said — seeing the giant pile of rich, creamy cheese you turned out with the cream/whole milk method, I shall now be giving this a try as well …

    Cheers !

  89. sam

    Oy — I’m amending my above comment. I just saw what Lisa’s comment a little bit further up and it’s true that outside the US it’s easier to get Farm Fresh milk that isn’t necessarily labeled as having cream in it. Living in France, that’s probably why I haven’t had the dry cheese problem. Cream, ho !

  90. Deb – I’m so glad you published this! My group of friends/neighbors has been in love with a very similar ricotta recipe for the past several months after one of us (the real foodie) included it in her personal lasagna recipe (which I cannot recommend enough. Seriously. I’ve never had anything quite like it. It’s here if you want it – ) (By the way, we use a lot of your recipes on our little food blog. You rock.)

  91. I absolutely hate that my family is dairy-free for health reasons. Lack of cheese makes me cry. I haven’t been able to find a good non-dairy/non-soy version, other than Daiya, which just isn’t the same. I’ve been playing around with making my own yogurts out of almond, rice and coconut milks, with limited success. Maybe I should try my hand at cheeses instead. Any suggestions?

  92. Nicole

    Drooling. About to spoon feed myself ricotta from the fridge. (Store-bought, but store-bought in Italy. Does that make it better?)

  93. I love you for this, good fresh ricotta is impossible to find in this country, I’ve been wanting to make it myself and you have inspired me to do it!! Addio Sorrento! Addio Polly-O!

  94. Melissa

    I’m so intrigued by this! I had no idea it was so easy to make ricotta at home. I don’t eat dairy and I’ve been making a ricotta substitute with tofu whipped in a food processor & it’s just not the same. I’m excited to try this recipe with soy milk & cream…hope it will turn out! I have visions of delicious stuffed shells dancing in my head.

  95. I’ve made a fair amount of cheese myself. One thing of interest I’ve read is the acidity level of lemons changes depending upon the season. Vinegar with a consistent acidity level if you’ve had trouble getting the curds you want with lemon. Just a thought.

  96. Aviva

    Thank god you decided to post a ricotta recipe! I have been trying for some time now to make ricotta, and I’ve successfully wasted the most premium, organic, grassy, milk on what always turns out to be milky tasting styrofoam peanuts. I am ready to tear my hair out- but first I will try your recipe.

  97. Betsy


    I need to make a lactose free version – I can find whole milk but not lactose free cream. How do I altar your recipe in order to use just milk?

    Do you have a recipe for homemade cream cheese that can be made just with milk? (no cream, sour cream or anything like that)

    Thank you!

  98. Debra

    Also lactose intolerant and wondering if Lactaid milk (sans the cream) might work for this. Oh! to have ricotta again, my life would change!

  99. Marie Moore

    Katie D. I needed some cheesecloth the other day, didn’t have any. But being a sewer had a piece of bridal veil, worked like a charm. I think you could use most anything like an old thin tea towel that is very clean of course. I also love the idea of using the whey for the bread dough, will try this as soon as I need another batch of bread. Love this site, its my go to site.

  100. Mel B

    I’m so amused to come find this here today! Just yesterday I wanted to make lemon-ricotta biscuits and went to my neighborhood pasta shop here in Boston, looking for the fresh ricotta they sometimes sell. I think it’s usually overflow from their in-house ravioli production, and it’s delicious. Well, yesterday I asked for it and they only had pre-packaged ricotta from some deli in Rhode Island. I told the clerk no thank you, I’d go home and make my own. Only to be immediately given an in-depth lecture from the head ravioli maker about why there IS a difference between “good” commercial ricotta and the lousy store brand most of us are used to. Long story short, she tossed a container of Supreme ricotta into my bag, told me to come back if it messed up my recipe and sent me on my way. As soon as I opened it, I knew I’d have to admit they were right. It’s thick and creamy, and the texture kind of reminds me of a whipped mascarpone. I used it in the biscuits and then dotted the rest on pizza for dinner. . .heaven.

  101. sbr929

    made this and it is awesome (as you know). but one important question: what is your technique for getting it out of the cheesecloth most efficiently? I feel like we lost so much to the cheesecloth!

  102. sarah

    okay, don’t feel bad about the cream. I’ve been eating their ricotta for years — first discovered it at Lunetta, where they worked — and I swear I heard at some point that it has cream in it. I know! It sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory, that they would tweak the recipe for tasting table..but I tell you, theirs has cream in it.

  103. Smurphy

    Can I use a jelly bag instead of cheesecloth? I have a handy jelly bag contraption that will drip into a bowl, but not a small strainer.
    I’ve only tried my hand at making mozzarella (and not very successfully- that water was HOT). Looking forward to making cheese tonight!

  104. practically ran to the store for ingredients before I got to the bottom of the post. It takes no time at all! And wow. Let it sit overnight and it is even better today. The cream makes all the difference…thanks, Deb!

  105. Jessica

    Hi there! I love to cook, but I haven’t much experience, so I was wondering: I noticed you got better results with more cream added – what do you think would happen if you went 50/50 on the cream, or just used nothing BUT cream for this? I know very little about cheese making, but this seems like something you might have come across in your trials on the ricotta.

  106. we just came home from the farmers market with the best bread in the world, local and super fresh milk and cream. time to roll up my sleeves (tank top) and make it!

    Melissa- we were trying to solve a stomach mystery with my husband and went gluten free and vegan for a month. try making ricotta with soaked cashews, it has the same consistency as ricotta without the strange soy aftertaste you will get using soy milk.

  107. this looks so incredible! alas, I found out a couple of years ago that I am allergic to whey. (!) homemade ricotta would be a-MAY-zing in shells with red sauce…

    @SarahB, tell more more about this soaked cashew thing…

  108. Carolee

    I’m an American expat living in Nigeria and I’ve been meaning to try making my own ricotta since I learned it was possible after seeing a friend’s cook make it with powdered milk. We don’t often have fresh milk, but I was going to try it with UHT milk — and I’ll add UHT cream and see how it does. But I wanted to add that a friend who makes cheese uses paint filters that you can buy in the paint department of Home Depot or Lowes, as you can wash and reuse them. I brought some back in my luggage last time, but never got around to trying ricotta. When I return to Africa I will give it a try with your recipe. I’m currently loving being in the US and eating summer fruits and vegetables that don’t have to be presoaked in a bleach solution.

  109. This post hit a homerun in my park. 1st base – great shot of Jacob; 2d base – fun video of Salvatore Bklyn cheesemakers; 3rd base – intriguing recipe with room to fiddle; and to take it home – the ricotta is immediately make-able and delicious.
    My keyboard is now smeared with ricotta residue and I’m thinking about starting a batch of bread with the whey. But maybe I should take Sam’s suggestion and try re-cooking the whey to make a different sort of ricotta. What a dilemma!
    Thanks, Deb.

  110. I LOVE your blog! and I know, I almost never leave a comment,sorry. This time I just had to because I have been playing with milk a lot lately myself. We have added some goats to our small farmette and I have been experimenting with Ricotta, Feta, Chevre, Halloumi and the like. I have discovered that Nubian goat milk makes Amazing Rich Creamy Ricotta, must be the high butter fat content. I think you have just explained it to me. Here is a quick tip that I have found helpful, forget the cheesecloth and use butter muslin, the results are always creamier and the cloth is much easier to clean.

  111. Deb Adkins

    Deb – Are you using non-pasteurized milk, which I understand is recommended for all cheese making? I can’t find any locally and would love to try this if I can use the regular supermarket milk and cream.

    1. deb

      Deb — Nope, I used pasteurized milk each time. The early batches were less pasteurizing (minimally) the later with milk with freakishly long shelf lives. The good news: All of them worked great.

      krs — I use this clip-on thermometer most of the time. However. I splurged on a pretty fancy thermometer a while back. I don’t think in any way that every home cook needs on but I’m doing so much recipe development right now for the book (and here!) that I decided it was worth the penny to simply have it for now and ever. It’s a professional lifesaver and I am hopelessly in love with it: It’s instant (they have versions that read even faster, but are pricier), digital, tiny and can be used as easily in a pot of water as it can be to check meat temperature while roasting.

      Lisa — Wow, it sounds like that explains it! They didn’t say “raw” milk, did they? Or can that just be assumed since they’re getting it direct, in those big bags? However, when I used Milk Thistle whole milk from the farmer’s market for a batch (using the whole inch of separated cream from the top), it still was a bit dry with very big curds. It took added cream to make it the way theirs tastes. But it’s possible that even this Milk Thistle milk is less fatty than what they’re getting, seeing as it’s mostly being sold to people who want whole or low-fat milks. So, I wonder if even more cream might separate from rich milk than we see in those glass bottles…

      Alessandra — Nothing wrong with being honest, but I am not sure that you read the article first. Had you, you’d see that I’d discussed in detail why this isn’t authentic ricotta.

      1. Mel

        Actually, I have sort of the same question. Were you able to use UHT milk or pasteurized milk like Whole Foods 365 Organic milk? Or is pasteurized milk only necessary for cheeses such as mozzarella? Same thing with the heavy cream. Can I use any store-bought heavy cream?

  112. Making ricotta isn’t as insane as making ricotta from the milk your husband milked from your own sheep. Which, hi! I have done. That’s just a LITTLE outside the mainstream. I’m getting kind of used to being pretty far outside that particular stream though. And I really want to try making your version of ricotta now, because in my experience, almost everything that’s good with milk is better with some heavy cream.

  113. Cait

    I need to make this! I am a total ricotta fanatic and will eat the stuff straight out of the container if there isn’t a plan for it already! I love adding a generous pinch of nutmeg and a little black pepper to my ricotta.

  114. Oh my goodness! Just when I though I couldn’t love this blog anymore, you make cheese! One of my favorite cheeses too! I’m Italian and I have a serious weakness for almost any cheese so I definitely want to make this! Thank for sharing! :)

  115. Joan

    I am going to try this with our goat milk! Right now we’re getting 3 gallons a day from the girls and its been going to our pigs. But they are going to freezer camp this week and I’ve been wondering how to make an easy peasy cheese…here it is! I wonder how it will work with no cream as I plan to use just straight goat milk.

  116. Wonderful! I love ricotta cheese.
    I recently made a fiadone – aka Corsican cheesecake – for the blog and since I cannot find brocciu cheese where I live I used ricotta. This is definitely a great recipe to use for next time. Thanks!


  117. Oh, fresh ricotta! Try it with cocoa powder and cane sugar. Its delicious. It reminds me of my childhood, when there was nothing in the fridge except… ricotta!

  118. Gabriella

    I have been dabbling in ricotta a little while. I tried the Barefoot Contessa recipe with cream and vinegar as the acid and to me it tasted too much like cream cheese instead of ricotta, there were virtually no curds and it was too creamy. My go to recipe uses buttermilk as the acid and I replace a small portion of the whole milk with goats milk. I just love that little bit if goats milk tang! You should try it! I will have to try yours and compare how lemon juice does, as well. It is interesting how varying your acid changes the texture.

  119. This is a great how to at home idea. Simple and probably knocks the socks off of store bought. Love this, thank you for sharing! I love the shaved squash as well, great idea.

  120. Jane

    They sell Salvatore ricotta at Eataly, and while I agree with you that it’s spectacular, it’s obscenely expensive.

  121. To Kelly above- with the cheesecake question- I have a martha stewart recipe that actually calls for ricotta- yum!

    I’m so excited about this. Seriously. I’ve read, I’ve watched the video, I’m ready. I’m definitely going to the store- we’ve got a couple of great local milk producers and I can get a whole milk w/ the cream on top- think I’ll try that. I’m thinking this might be my next easy party food too—I love having something a little unexpected and decadent at a party.

  122. Looks really good. I’ve been wanting to make ricotta for months and have been reluctant to mess it up and pour it all down the sink. You’ve inspired me! Thanks again.

  123. virginia

    Hi! I´m Italian and just tried this recipe, which is actually quite good, still I want to spend a word for the crumbly, traditional coarse version of this “cheese”: being a byproduct of cheese, it is actually like reusing leftovers. Secondly it is less fatty and more proteic. Lastly a way to get round the crumbliness is to work it with other ingredients (it won´t do if you´re planning on some scenic creamy presentation)

  124. CMP

    I love making cheese, and feel especially motivated to make this. But I always feel guilty about throwing away the cheesecloth, since I can never seem to get it clean. Do you have any recommendations for ways to wash it/reuse it?

    1. deb

      Janet B — I’d say move it to a counter.

      CMP — I’m sure it’s washable but I’m always cutting mine into quarters (so I only use what I need to at a time) so it would be too straggly to survive the machine. I’m wondering if others have found solutions…

  125. I have another recipe for ricotta bookmarked, but yours sounds delicious. I think I will try to make my own ricotta and then use it in Heidi’s recent recipe for stuffed shells. Only reading this makes me really hungry…! Thanks for the recipe!

  126. Jane

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I’m imagining a perfect al fresco dinner with this and your roasted red peppers, a baguette and a nice salad…I can’t wait. And when you decide to conquer Burrata, please post the recipe. I have been too intimidate to try it but at our house, our mouths love it more than our pocketbooks can afford!

  127. hi Deb,
    I am about to move out on my own and I am going to be cooking at home 95% of the time. I figured you could help me answer this question: how do I successfully halve or even quarter recipes so that Im not eating leftovers for weeks?
    thanks so much!

  128. This is very similar to what we do to make cheese. I eat it like ricotta, but also like paneer. The drier versions, especially, you can fry and drop into a spinach and mustard green curry … and you’re basically in heaven. Way to share the ease of cheese!

  129. Jeffred

    I remember one of the first nights in the Kitchens at college, we did this. I was agog at how the milk separated, what can I say it was the first time I saw it done. Seeing this done, and watching the video, I now want to do this again. Thanks Deb.

  130. Courtney

    Hi! I’m quite the novice cook and was wondering if someone could explain what is meant by a nonreactive saucepan? Thanks! Deb, your posts are inspirational!

  131. Jenn

    Oh! I’ve been dreaming of the homemade ricotta with fresh thyme that I had at Hotel Delmano in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. YUM! This sound like a great alternative.

  132. Well this couldn’t be EASIER! WOW! Once the jersey tomatoes come pouring in I plan on serving this dish with the ricotta and tomatoes and onions with a chiffinade of basil! Thanks for the recipe!

  133. Awesome. I always have whole milk and cream in the house (I’m pretty much an ice cream making machine), so the idea of making my own ricotta when I want it sounds wonderful and the little preplanning is definitely worth the effort for better taste.

  134. Sara Rund

    About reusing cheesecloth: I haven’t found a way to wash it, so I use muslin instead, which is washable, but does require a trip to a fabric store. Wash any huge pieces before you cut them, because they shrink. When I worked at an Indian restaurant, they used a clean tablecloth for straining paneer; I suppose you can use a variety of things.

  135. Just did it- and it was so simple! I think I should have used a smaller pot, simply b/c it would have been easier to get the thermometer to the right level and I was a bit worried I wasn’t getting a good reading due to the small depth of the milk–but it worked out. It’s lovely and was really quite simple! I used a local fresh milk and just did the 1/2 c of cream swap–I think it will be plenty rich. I don’t use milk for a lot else, so I plan to make another batch this week to keep on hand as I’m pretty sure we’ll be craving it again! Thanks so much. I like the muslin idea @saraRund–I have tons of unbleached muslin on hand and would just need to wash up a bit–but I love the idea of washing it to use again, if this is something I start to do regularly esp. I can see taking a bit of this on top of a little puff pastry or phyllo shell w/ some honey and perhaps a sprinkling of some crushed pistaschios or something….or a berry or two- for an easy dessert. Thanks Deb!!!!

  136. Kara

    Why anyone would think that you cannot make cheese at home is beyond my understanding. . .do they think cheese did not show up in the history of the world until after the industrial age, and thus is only made in factories or something? Cheese is evident in the most ancient records that exist about food, and how exactly would those ancient ancestors of ours have made it? Fancy equipment and industrial kitchens? Um, no. It’s as elemental and bread, and of course it can be made at home. I’m not a famous blogger with a lucrative book deal, and even *I* have made soft cheeses at home two or three times in the last year or so. For shame, Deb, that instead of acknowledging the elemental, simple nature of cheese in your opening paragraph, you play to that lowest common denominator and act like you assume that most people who read your blog would be SHOCKED to think of making cheese at home. As though you don’t have many, many readers who come here specifically BECAUSE you are a reliable source for instructions on how to make things that the average American would only want to buy at the grocery store; i.e. graham crackers, marshmallows, marzipan. . .just the first few that come to mind in thinking of reading your blog for the last 5 years. Educate us, Deb! Don’t talk down to us and assume that most of us would be in any way surprised by the thought of making homemade cheese. We read YOU after all.

    1. deb

      Courtney — A reactive pan would be lined with copper or aluminum. They’re not very common, however. Even aluminum and copper pans these days are usually lined with stainless steel. Stainless steel, glass and ceramic are just fine.

      Shelley — Just about any recipe can be safely divided. Small quantities in a pan might cook faster (i.e. if sauteeing; not, say, boiling pasta) so go by appearance, not cooking times. As for cakes, it can be trickier because you’ll want to use a smaller pan as well. A 6-inch cake pan with 2-inch sides will hold about half the volume of a 9-inch; a 9-inch will hold about half of a 12-inch.

      Hi Kara — I’m sorry that this post rubbed you the wrong way but I don’t see where you’re finding this tone — or even the suggestion that I would think that readers aren’t intelligent enough to know how cheese is made — in this post. When I read an article about, say, how bread is made, I don’t become offended that the person didn’t assume I already knew how to make bread. I guess where some people read a recipe and a story, others read “lucrative book deal” “lowest common denominator” and the need to be “shamed”. Huh.

  137. Karen

    So, I had to rush right out and buy the ingredients to make this. I had some issues. It only made about a 1/2 cup of cheese. A lot didn’t seem to curdle. It also had a distinctive lemony taste – is it supposed to?

    I used the 3 cups milk/1 cup heavy cream mixture and heated it up to 190 (or so my thermometer said). Any ideas what went wrong?

  138. Interesting thoughts/responses. I sure don’t feel talked down to- and am glad for the idea/inspiration to just finally do it(most people just don’t get around to doing lots of things) and I can tell you I’m the first of my food-loving friends to make cheese at home. Of course, I will be doing this again and again and plan to expand at least to mozzarella! Granted- many of us who follow this blog are a bit more “adventurous” in the kitchen or just willing to take risks and try new things. This I try to pass on to my circle of influence- eat well and enjoy!

  139. Sheri

    Kara, Kara, Kara – Be nice! I don’t feel talked down to at all, so am certain you don’t speak for all of us. Deb – I enjoy the blog so much. Your commentary – often tongue in check, Kara, maybe you’re missing that part? – photos and wonderful recipes. Even if I never make them- turns out I’m not so adventurous after all- I still love reading them. Keep up the good work!

  140. Amy

    I made the cheese this afternoon with 3 1/2 cups of milk and 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (hey, we’ve been short-cakeing our way through a flat we picked on Saturday…). It’s very rich and delicious, although a little softer and lemony-er than I expected. Maybe too much fat? I figured with heavy whipping cream I’d better not use a whole cup! Tonight we spread it on baguette slices and topped it with a bit of sandwich chutney, which is totally my new favorite condiment — cilantro, green chile, coconut, onion, mango pickle, and ginger — the spicy, creamy, crusty combination was fantastic!

    I’ve been saying for at least a year now that I’m going to make cheese one day, so this was super fun!

  141. Barb O

    Kara, Deb,

    I didn’t feel “talked down to”. I am considered a good and adventurous cook. However I never really thought about making cheese! I have made, yogurt, mayo, bread, and many other things from scratch, but this never occurred to me. However reading Deb’s blog I KNEW I was In. I picked up the necessary ingredients after work tonight and we are all totally ENJOYING it now.
    This will be made again and again soon. THANK YOU DEB for inspiring and instructing me.


    Fresh toasted bagette would have been better, but one member of our family is on a low carb diet, so I dolloped it on some fresh field greens with some good olive oil, fresh pepper, and chopped fresh basil. It was EXCELLENT!

  142. Terry C

    Deb, This was, as usual, an amazing post. But my comment is about something different! I thought you might love the idea of this pickle party featured on the really wonderful blog, “Tea and Cookies,” out of Seattle. Actually, I thought your husband might like the idea even more. :-) Anyway, this post, and this blog, are worth checking out, especially if you haven’t seen the blog before.

  143. Kelly

    HO.LY. SMOKES! I made this last night and just tried it tonight and it’s the best ricotta I’ve ever tasted! And I made it! Thanks so much for posting the recipe!!! I can’t believe how easy it was.

  144. Nikki

    I made this tonight and it was so runny! It didn’t look anything like the pictures. I have made so many things from this site and everything has always worked perfectly, so it’s obviously something I did. I thought I followed the recipe exactly. Does the milk have to sit at 190 for a few minutes? I took mine off right when it hit the temperature. The taste was great but it was more like thick milk :( I want to try this again!

  145. barb

    I made this today and I can’t thank you enough! I’m Italian and haven’t had really good ricotta in many years! This is delish and too easy!!! Thanks again!!!

  146. Julie

    I made this tonight with some excess cream topped raw milk and I’m not sure what I did. It is in the straining process right now but It’s looking awfully different from your pictures :S. Not creamy, but hardish and lumpy. Maybe I cooked it too long? How high of a setting should the burner be when the milk is cooking?

  147. Haha. Cheese-making brings out the cheeze Nazis, apparently. :)

    I’ve made homemade “ricotta” like this a few times, and it’s true, there’s nothing like its silky texture. Thanks for posting this; I think it’s time to make it again (but add CREEEEEEEAM like you did! *swoon*).

  148. OMG…I made this Saturday night! All those years of thinking how difficult it would be…and it’s SO simple. My dad is from Italy and when I told him about it, he said next time to make it with goat’s milk. Thanks, Deb!

  149. It does actually disturb me a little to call this “ricotta”. It is made like mascarpone and the result seems to be more like a mascarpone/cream cheese. Ricotta literally means “recooked” and consists mostly of the protein albumin present in leftover whey, from which the protein casein has been removed in the ordinary cheesemaking. So ricotta is a totally different thing. I am sure this cheese tastes much better than any storebought ricotta – but why not just call it cream cheese og light mascarpone or something of the sort? There are so many delicious fresh cheeses out there – cream cheese, cottage cheese, paneer, tvorog/curd cheese, ricotta, mascarpone etc. (most of which can easily be made at home) – I don’t see why we should put them all into the same basket and use the names interchangably instead of celebrating the different histories, textures and uses of the different cheeses. I find it great, that Deb as an influental blogger introduces so many people to the joys of homemade cheese – but I really don’t get why it should be called ricotta when it is something else. I just wonder why she specifies in the post, that it is *not* ricotta and yet still calls it ricotta (perhaps for the brand value of the name?). Yet I would not call a brie a camembert. But then maybe ricotta in the US has just come to mean something else than traditional ricotta and I am just an exponent for an old-fashioned european AOC-way-of-thinking. Who knows. It even seems that some Italians are less than conservative in their use of the word ricotta… But, anyhow, thumbs up for writing about how easily (and deliciously) cheese can be made at home!

  150. Ciao Deb, yes, I did read the article, this is why I commented. You explained was ricotta was, and then you made something else. I could make ricotta with whey and then add cream and say that ‘it is not authentic’. I could add spices and say that ‘it is not traditional’, but I cannot make it without whey and call it ricotta. If that Salvatore were to make it without whey and try to market it as ricotta in Italy he would be in big trouble.

    If I made yogurt and called it Home made (not authentic) Creme fraiche, or Holloumi, and called it Home made (not authentic) mozzarella, and someone knew the difference, I would be happy to be told. The ‘not authentic’ is not justification enough here. I hope you can understand now. Don’t take me wrong, you have a lovely blog and I like to visit, if I didn’t I wouldn’t bother waisting all this time and words to put you on the right track. And it is alway easy to change the name of your recipe to (not authentic) home-made mascarpone :-).

  151. homemade ricotta is literally one of my FAVORITE things in the world!!! if i dont have the time or patience to make it, there are a few creameries in NYC where you can pick up 1/4 lb or so (enough for 6-8 people as an appetizer) for around $5. my favorite spot is lucy’s whey in chelsea mkt (they also have one out in long island/hamptons)….i spread it on toasted crostini, stick a piece of proscuitto on there, a drizzle of fig balsamic, and a drizzle of truffle honey. i always feel like i am cheating when i serve it because everyone goes wild, and i’ve barely done a thing!!

  152. Lila

    I made this yesterday and did not have the desired results, but I used 4 cups of Lactaid whole milk (my mom is severely lactose intolerant) and so attributed the poor outcome to that. But actually mine seems to have gone wrong in similar ways to other commenters – specifically Nikki (#245) and a few others. I got the milk to 190 but when I added the lemon juice and stirred, only some of it curdled. So when I strained it, a ton of the liquid was just straight lemon-y milk – then what had curdled sort of blocked up the cheesecloth and the whole thing remained an extremely liquid consistency from there on out. I eventually (~6 hours later) tried wrapping the cheese cloth up and squeezing out what I could – the sad thing is that the curds that are in there are actually delicious, but the texture still had not achieved a spreadable consistency. Now it has sat in the fridge overnight in an airtight container (because I was too tired to figure out what else to do with it last night) and this morning it has actually firmed up somewhat. It’s not the whole way there, but I am going to eat it…somehow, in some format…because the taste is really quite lovely. I am not trying to complain or be a hater – just let others who might want to try using Lactaid milk that there are still some kinks to be worked out in the proportions (or there isn’t and I’m an idiot with a thermometer – also very possible!). I intend to try again and maybe add more lemon juice? And will report back. If anyone has any ideas of how the chemistry of lactose-free milk might have changed the outcome, please share.

  153. What a better way to be self-sufficient than making homemade ricotta/mascarpone, huh?? All I can say in answer to “some” comments, is that
    I work as a cook and earn my living as one, and this was the best idea ever! Sorry if I seem “not intelligent enough” because I don´t make my own cheese when I cook, but I really thought it would take a long time to do it and a lot of work…I really need to speed things up at my job!
    Where I live, mascarpone is soooooo expensive (around 10 bucks for a tiny container) and the store bought ricotta is disgusting (watery and crumbly), so this was such a good idea for me!
    I made it on Saturday for a small party, and made mini curry crepes with cardamom, stuffed with a mixture of the cheese, onions, spinach and pancetta, and the cheese made ALL THE DIFFERENCE!
    Thanks Deb for a great recipe and I REALLY don´t feel like I was talked down to…
    Hey, how much longer for your “lucrative book deal” to come out?? I can´t wait!!

  154. Julie

    WOW! I decided to try this recipe as I was looking to use up some milk and heavy cream from a weekend of baking. I’m not the biggest fan of supermarket ricotta, the texture especially. This recipe has me converted. It was so creamy and delicious! I used coffee filters instead of cheesecloth since that was what I had. I had to change out the filters once to get the best drainage of the whey. Thanks again!

  155. Sarah

    Sorry if this has already been answered in the discussion, but what the heck does one do with whey? We are transplanted New Yorkers living in dairy heaven, but Italian-cuisine-deprived, Minnesota. Have been singing the praises of fresh ricotta for the past sixteen years, but never thought of making it with cream. Will enjoy out on the deck (you can get one cheap here in Minneapolis) as soon as the sun decides to return.

  156. I love this! I’ve always been so daunted by the idea of making cheese at home, but this seems so easy, and the ingredients are obviously easily accessible. I must try this asap!


  157. I make ricotta too…very often but never tried it with cream though. I usually make it smooth in a blender with some olive oil and flavour them with pepper corns – which last for about 2 weeks in glass bottles (they seem to be non reactive). Thanks for sharing will try your version too.

  158. Liz

    I see that some people suggest using the whey in bread. I also do the No-Knead bread and combine that recipe with a ricotta bread recipe – adding ricotta to the mixture in place of some of the liquid. I also add honey to the liquid. It makes a fantastic honey/ricotta bread.

  159. Hanna

    I made this recipe last night for a dinner party and LOVED it! It turned out perfectly, I am still thinking about it! Thank you!

  160. Lila

    Deb – A couple of questions: (1) How does this differ from making paneer? It is exactly the same method I use for making paneer. Is it the addition of cream that makes it ricotta? (2) I thought ricotta was made from the whey not curds?

    1. deb

      Lila — Paneer is just made with milk and acid, no additional cream, if I understand correctly. Traditional ricotta — this, and the ricotta I was emulating from Brooklyn are not authentic. I discuss authentic ricotta and the way it’s made in the third paragraph.

      Mascarpone — A few people have said that this inauthentic ricotta is closer to mascarpone, which it is, but I understand mascarpone to be made with all heavy cream, not just 1/8 to 1/4 of it. Still, though, there are similarities.

      Mariana — The so-called “lucrative” book will be coming out in the Fall of 2012. Should I finish it in the next 6 weeks. Anyone want to take bets on whether that might happen?

      Lila — Bummed that it didn’t work with Lactaid. I wonder how much the milk proteins have to do with the formation of ricotta — it may be more than I’d realized.

      Alessandra — I’m sorry I implied that you hadn’t read the post. I had read several comments in that batch that seemed to ask questions that I’d answered in the post, and ended up sounding unfairly exasperated. I understand that this isn’t authentic ricotta. However, from farmer’s markets to specialty stores, I see this expensive product sold as ricotta and I adore it. I wanted to show people how they could make it deliciously at home.

  161. Amy

    I made a recipe very similair to this recently. I only tried the recipe because I wanted to say that I made cheese and feel like a bad ass. I didn’t think I liked riccotta; I’d only ever tasted the store bought variety. When I saw recipes using riccotta with something like a drizzle of honey and fresh fruit I spit up a little in my mouth. I’m fully converted! I was eating this stuff directly out of the cheese cloth…still warm and oh my was it good. Please post more about making cheese. I really want to try mozzerella next!

  162. I love your blog……. incredibly good recipes and photos.
    This is almost identical to my homemade paneer, but your instructions and serving ideas with the toasted baguette are brilliant. ThnX

  163. Steph

    Hi ! I love your blog!
    This results sound a lot like the Barefoot Contessa ricotta (only she uses 4 cups of whole milk, 2 cups of cream).
    My friends love when I make ricotta! Especially since I found out you can dry your ricotta into a brick and shred it over salads:) (1 day in a bowl covered with a towel in the fridge and then 3 or 4 days on the counter covered). I’d like to hear your thoughts on that:)

    1. deb

      Steph — I think that’s how “ricotta salata” is made and it is indeed wonderful. It deserves more attention as a feta alternative on salads and such.

  164. Christina

    Holy crap, people! I’m Italian-American, and an English major back in the day, and I have no problem with this stuff being called “ricotta.” I’ve made ricotta from a very similar recipe several times, and my cookbook actually entitles it “whole-milk ricotta” to differentiate it from the traditional ricotta recipe, which is also in there. I realize that “whole-milk ricotta” is an oxymoron, but good is good.

    In case anyone is still reading comments down here in the 270s (nothing like a little controversy!), I can report that I have a friend with a herd-share, so when we want ricotta, I ask her to get us a gallon of raw milk. It has a big head of cream on it so I don’t add any extra cream, but the results are incredible. I’ve successfully used it in cheesecake (Giada’s honey-ricotta cheesecake is simple but incredibly delicious – and doubly impressive if both the ricotta AND the biscotti for the base layer are home-made), lasagne, and cassatta cake. When those are the goal, though, I think I drain mine a bit longer than Deb suggests above. If we’re eating it straight, I leave it a little softer. I see in various comments that some people have asked about temperature – my recipe says to pull it off the heat when it is “between 180 and 190 degrees” so I shoot for 185, and haven’t had any problems. Anyway – enjoy! And thanks for sharing, Deb.

  165. Jess P.

    I am not only cheeseclothless, but thermometerless…any thoughts on approximately how long I should heat the milk over medium heat before it’ll reach the ideal temperature? Thanks!

  166. deb

    Without cheesecloth, you could use a teatowel or even paper towels or a coffee filter. As for the correct temperature, I describe how to eyeball it in Comment #43. In short, you’re looking for the milk to be very steamy and nearly but not yet simmering (which would happen at 212).

  167. hi everybody
    now that I live in Italy (Milano), I am fortunate enough to find good ricotta almost everywhere. Still, I have tried to make it myself, for fun.
    Of all the recipes I tried, the best comes from the wonderful Ideas in Food (check their blog and their book):
    3 qt plus 2 1/2 cups full fat mlk + 1 3/4 cups heavy cream + 1 tsp salt + 1/2 tsp citric acid. Bring to 195 F, stirring occasionally. Strain the curds in a cloth lined colander.
    I cannot find my notes anymore,but I remember using more citric acid.
    (I guess u can write to aki and alexander to be sure)…But I have found that citric acid performs better than lemon.
    Let’s be clear: this is not ricotta – it is a very good cream cheese (which u can make also wth rennet, btw). But an excellent one it is indeed.
    …as for BURRATA… if anyone triesand make it, pls post the results.
    I made something similar in spirit by marinating fresh, sliced mozzarella in cream + chopped fresh red chilly + basil. Salt at table (recipe from The River Cafe_London). The results is this wonderfully creamy mozzarella….ideal in a hot summer day
    ciao to all. stefano

  168. Selina

    I made this the other day, and it turned out WONDERFUL (the second time around)! The first time I tried it, I didn’t really get great curdles, even after letting it sit for a little longer than 5 minutes. It just ended up watery and sad :( Then, I decided to taste the lemon that I had squeezed for the juice, and it was not very sour, which lead me to believe that it was not acidic enough to curdle the milk. The second batch I made, I let the milk come to 205 degrees (just to be safe) and added half lemon juice, half white vinegar. This time around, it turned out exactly right! I’ll be using it on a grilled white pizza with tomatoes and basil from the garden. Thanks again Deb, you rock!

  169. Clo

    I just made this today. It’s too good for being ricotta! I ate it on toasts with black pepper and it was delicious! Now I want to eat ricotta every day of the summer. Thank you for the recipe and the pictures that gave us the desire to make it! (sorry for the english, not my language…)

  170. Jess P.

    Thank you, Deb! I’ll be attempting it later today. Here’s hoping I don’t mess it up with my lack of proper kitchen tools!

  171. Nabilah

    Dear Deb, You are now the owner of my favorite website! You make your own ricotta-a girl after my own heart. I had wanted to get into more complex cheeses, but where I live in the middle east (QATAR), the only milk I can get that isn’t super pasteurized is camel’s milk, and I’m not too sure about that just yet:) I made homemade ricotta and cottage cheese – delicious. It made me feel very powerful. Don’t know why, but who isn’t impressed when they know you made homemade cheese? It makes all the simmering sauces and homegrown vegetables have a truly worthy companion.

  172. barbara walker

    love every thing you’ve done…do you have a post about fresh mozzarella? Is that something that is fairly easy as well?
    thank you for your inspiration in all things

  173. Drew

    I remember learning two tips for getting better texture when making cheese like this:

    1) Heat the milk slowly and to a lower temperature (170-180 F should be plenty.) You want the proteins to coagulate slowly so they don’t get too tight. Think about the difference between nice soft scrambled eggs and tough rubbery ones and you’ll get the idea.
    2) Try adding the acid before you heat the milk. This also helps the proteins coagulate more slowly rather than in a sudden burst.

  174. Ana

    I made this last night and its amazing! Your blog posts are the awesomest Deb,witty and fun to read. I’m not a huge fan of store bought ricotta, so ricotta or not this was awesome! I ate it on toast with some lemon preserve! YUM! Who knew ricotta was so controversial ;)

  175. Oh lala! Looks scrumptious! Quick question – would it be possible to use several layers of surgical gauze (unused, of course) in lieu of the cheesecloth? A lot of my family members work in the medical field, so lots of that stuff is laying around.

    Btw, how’s the cookbook going?

  176. I live in the land of cheese (switzerland) – or so they tell me. But cheddar is MIA from the grocery store shelves and there is only one ricotta option, packaged in a plastic container with a peel off plastic seal. Not very fresh, or very flavorful. I am a long time reader, but a first time poster- there is just something about creamy cheese + bread + honey that makes a girl’s heart flutter and her finger’s manically type out a gushy comment about ricotta cheese. Fabulous post!

  177. I also made a few batches of ricotta a while back and had minimal success, but I am going to take another stab at it, simply for the cost purposes. :D

  178. Laura

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe! I’m lactose intolerant and had given up on ricotta, until now. I used Safeway’s lactose free whole milk and it worked like a charm. I already placed the recipe in my favorites file. Thanks!

    1. deb

      Foodtopii — Only accidentally. But I swear, I’m conquering burrata this summer. It’s too expensive and unstable to buy, anyway.

  179. See.This is why we all love you so much. I’m the type of persone to think, “no, that’s too crazy to try,” And you just go ahead and do it…and it turns out gorgeous and amazing.Then you inspire us all to try something awesome like this. yep. love it.

  180. Made this this afternoon and it baked up beautifully nestled into
    shells. I was worried it would taste too lemony, as this is a problem I’ve had before, but it was a dream, and was delicious. I’ll have to do it again soon, this time for crostini.

  181. Elizabeth M.

    Are you serious? That’s all it takes? So few ingredients, such great reward. The weekend cannot come soon enough for me to try this.

  182. crystal

    What to do with all that wonderful whey? I found this recipe on several blogs and decided to give it a whirl and it was wonderful. Crepes, ricotta and a seasonal fruit… heavenly.

    Recipe: Whey Crepes

    3 eggs
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    2 Tablespoons melter butter
    1 1/2 cups whey
    1 Tablespoon sugar

    Crack eggs into a blender. Dump flour on top, followed by butter, whey and sugar.
    Blend until smooth. Chill for at least an hour and up to two days.
    Cook crepes in a lightly buttered nonstick pan.

    1. Carol

      Thanks Crystal,.
      I have made these crepes twice now, thanks to your recipe. Last time one of my guests gobbled them up before I could even fill or top them. They freeze great, layered with wax or parchment paper inbetween, then slipped into freezer bag.

  183. I love your blog and I love your commenters (thanks Crystal for the recipe). Thanks for all the work you do. You are really inspiring and greatly appreciated.
    P.S. I have never like ricotta, but I think I will like this. I like ALL your recipes!

  184. mama chelly

    This was/is incredible. It made the most delicious pasta salad, with the zucchini and the cheese. Even the teen boys were chowing on the cheese-topped crostini with strawberries&balsamic, honey&salt, olive oil&salt. Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring!

  185. penandra

    Wow! Look at the comments you’ve received on this post! Delightful. Thank you for the link to the video —- I was tempted to try this when I read this entry, but after watching the video, I KNOW that I will make this . . . although it will probably be a recipe I put off for awhile, it’s currently triple digits out here on the left Coast and just a tad to warm to be stirring over a stove! ;-)

    Thank you, again, for your great blog.

  186. Angela

    “I suspect a good lot of you just read that — the part where I made cheese/played cheesemaker/fiddled with curds and whey in my shoebox kitchen, not because I maybe forgot about a carton of milk for a few weeks in the back of the fridge and conducted an unintentional science project, but just for a good time — inched your cursor to the little X of your browser tab and navigated away.”

    I love DIY stuff. This cheese has been added to the ever-increasing to-do list, along with creme fraiche and homegrown beansprouts.

    Thanks for sharing! :D

  187. The first time I read about homemade cheese and yogurt was about two years ago and I was so so so excited to try it – then I got hooked on pastry and well, I didn’t. This post makes me want to try again – I make as much from scratch as I possibly can.

  188. Lydia

    I feel compelled to say how delicious this was, even though it was much runnier than your pics (I think it just couldn’t drain thoroughly in the bowl I used). I am very excited to try it this summer on a whole-wheat pizza with fresh garden tomatoes, something that was never really appetizing with grocery store ricotta. For the commenters concerned about lactose, though I have yet to get around to trying to make other cheeses, I have read that making them at home somehow makes them easier to digest. I certainly found that to be the case with this recipe, even though I used “regular” milk. Thanks for a great recipe and discussion!

  189. Gina

    I made it the other night, and am now the envy of all my friends. it was divine. thank you for sharing and helping me find my inner cheese-maker. I couldn’t imagine using vinegar, when the lemon tasted so good.

  190. Joan

    I made ricotta with Sara Moulton’s recipe and OMG! She roasted veggies (eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes) and garlic, then spread the roasted garlic on the toasted French bread, the ricotta, the roasted veggies and topped it with a bit of balsamic vinegar. I was everyone’s best friend that night. Now I’m going to try your recipe. Such fun!

  191. meg

    I used to work at a goat farm, and whenever we made one of our raw milk cheeses, we used the whey to make fresh ricotta. It was always a pain to make–the cherry on top of a too-long day, almost impossible to clean off the pasteurizer, hot and sticky–but the result was incredible. It was worth it.

  192. oy. glad I wasn’t the only one who was slightly offended at people literally “shaking their fingers” at Deb. Geesh. She didnt even make up the recipe or the idea of calling it ricotta. So, it’s in between a couple of different cheeses. So, call it what you want. YOu don’t have to tell your friends that it’s “non authentic ricotta”. Just shut up and eat it! ;) lol. I say this all in good humor– just cracks me up that people get so offended over something like this. That my friends is a waste of human energy, I know that for certain.

  193. Ann

    Agreed adie. Deb, approximately how long does it keep in the fridge? I can’t wait to try it. I just throw out the bit of used cheesecloth – life’s too short!

  194. Meredith

    How wonderful! This looks fabulous. I’ve never been much of a ricotta fan (I’ve only had the supermarket stuff) but I am certainly a mascarpone fan. I tried several times last summer to make mozzarella with raw milk after a recipe in Gourmet and came close but gave up after the last ($9!) failed batch. Maybe I’ll try this! I’m coming to New York this weekend and could pick up a gallon of Berkshire milk on my way if you’d like ;)

    I think raw milk does seem to be fattier than regular store-bought whole milk: if I’m remembering correctly, we seem to get about two inches of cream (a pint?) in a gallon jug. I made cultured butter with it–the BEST.

    Thanks for the hard work–I can’t imagine all the effort and research (and expense!) that goes into each post! How many batches did you make again?!

  195. Ariel

    This was fan-freaking-tastic!!! I made it in your zucchini and riccota galette (and luckily have some cheese leftover). Seriously, so good!!! Even though I’m super full I may have to finish it because I (sadly) know that the absolutely AMAZING crust on the galette won’t be as good tomorrow.

  196. Nichole

    This was too good to be true. A new summer staple in my house. Cannot wait to try it plopped onto a summer pasta dish! Thanks, Deb. I halved this recipe just – I did not want to use/waste 4 cups of dairy before knowing if we liked it (Should have trusted you since I always can). There is nothing about the final product of this recipe that could possibly go to waste. I used the 3 c milk:1 c cream ratio and the 1 hour straining time.

  197. Sara

    why do you so often assume that we are bumpkins rolling our eyes and leaving? I know the projects you take on that’s why I’m here. Quite frankly the assumptions kinda make me feel unwelcome.

    1. deb

      Sara — I’m just joking around. All joking aside, however, the single most common comment I receive when I post a recipe for something that most people buy, and do not make at home, is “That looks delicious but I’d never make anything so elaborate.” There are hundreds of comments like this in my archives. The suggestion that people would stop reading was tongue-in-cheek. The suggestion that some people react to my cooking projects by (warmly, friendly and even encouragingly) thinking I’ve lost my mind was not. (In fact, you could even say it’s a running joke.)

      Meridith — I made four. I’m still trying to fob ricotta off on people! (Also, I need to update my guess that it wouldn’t last long. It’s going strong.)

  198. @adie: I understand that to you it might seem like wasted energy, but please let me explain my point: I would not make crepes and then gush about how I never really liked those american pancakes but now I finally had found a recipe where I found them delicious (after all, both are made of primarily flour, eggs and milk and baked on a griddle). Or bake popovers and gush about how I never really liked muffins, but now I finally had tasted some muffins I thoroughly enjoyed (after all both are baked in a muffin pan). I understand, that in the US ricotta has come to mean almost any kind of spreadable, creamy, more or less lowfat fresh cheese – I just find it a pity that instead of celebrating and cherishing the differences between and variety of food products, everything should be mixed up and so made more and more uniform/indistinguishable. When I buy a food product I like to know what I buy – and that’s why I think it is important to defend the different products as it give me as a consumer options to choose between and some basic quality control – because retailers can’t just use the brand value of a certain product for something totally different.

    Please let me stress that this is not meant as an attack on Deb or a devaluation of her surely delicious recipe – it is more a general discussion of the way we look upon and label our food and the implications it might have upon the rights of the consumer (regarding knowing what we buy). This cheese would be equally delicious if it were called a “homemade cream cheese” (if that is not a Philadelphia protected name) or a “light mascarpone” or something of the sort.

    I see that Deb uses the name “ricotta” to make it more easily recognisable for US readers – I would just like to point to the fact, that this is actually not anywhere near what ricotta really is.

    And Deb, please apologize for my spamming your blog! :-)

  199. …and regarding the gushing I am primarily talking of the many commenters, who never really liked ricotta but are now suddenly converts – only what they now so happily eat is not ricotta ;-)

  200. Honeymoon Kitchen

    I’m a cheese maker!!!! Haha, I can’t believe I successfully made cheese – I was really really skeptical, but thanks to the detailed instructions and pics, it was a success. And WOW was it good. Tried all 4 suggested preparations (variety = a legit dinner, right??), couldn’t even pick a fave. I had a pretty good yield, and still have a bunch left to play with. Yay!

  201. Cheryl

    Deb, I love your blog. Your recipes are well explained (much more so than most others I’ve read, so I can’t wait for that book), and most of your recipes also seem to be dead simple, letting the ingredients have the spotlight. I simply can’t understand whay some people seem to be so freaky about cheese. It’s just cheese, people! Lovely, amazing, delicious, cheese! There’s really no need to be so haughty, critical, and negative. There are bigger things in this world that you could go down fighting for than the name of a cheese. Which I will be making tonight, by the way, whatever you call it. Deb, keep those cheeky-baby pictures coming. They make my day.

  202. Sar

    Made this and it was great. Can taste the lemon juice but that’s not a bad thing. I actually used 2% milk because that’s what I had on hand wanting to be used up, but with 25% cream it’s plenty creamy.

    So could one turn around and make authentic ricotta out of the whey from this recipe?

  203. lenzai

    Made this last night with the 1/2 cup cream option and whole milk and it was amazing then (on toast with radish slices) and this morning with blueberries. It was even a little too rich for me, but definitely delicious! Thank you for showing me a way to get a little more calcium in my diet!

  204. I made this! It was terrific!!!! I posted a picture on my blog……..will be doing this again!!! Thanks! Also, last year I made your wonderful spaghetti sauce and froze tons! I have one more left, will be freezing again as soon as my 35 tomato plants (yes, 35) pop me their sweet redness! So double thanks and can’t wait for the recipe book!

  205. Leah

    I made this last night, and it turned out fantastically delicious. The only problem I had was getting the cheese out of the cheesecloth. I think I lost 5-10% of the cheese to getting stuck between the threads of the cheesecloth. After reading some other comments, I think I’ll buy muslin for the next time that I make it.

    Thanks, Deb, for writing such wonderfully clear directions. I just want to say I’ve been reading and cooking from your blog for years precisely because you inspire me to make foods I would never consider trying otherwise. Looking forward to your book!

  206. Jacquelyn

    I am a newcomer to your blog, having just discovered it on the day you had the ricotta recipe spotlighted. I made it last night’s project and wow, what fun! I used your suggestion to top it with zucchini (I used a julienne peeler) and sprinkled with some fresh parsley. We also made a dessert one by slicing fresh strawberries and sprinkling it with balsamic vinegar. I would never had considered making ricotta (or whatever the technical/overly serious/no humor people around here want to call it), but just wanted to thank you for opening my world to the possiblity of something other than the supermarket gummy stuff available in my parts of the world. Keep up the good work. Your blog has been added to my favorites! :)

  207. Kate

    I still bristle at this being called ricotta. True ricotta is made from the whey that came from making cheese. It is a whey product, not a milk product. This may be a delicious item, but it’s not ricotta.

  208. This Ricotta looks gorgeous even if completely blasphemous in it’s naming.

    I tend to keep my cheeses traditional but am going to give this a go and perhaps give it a pet name so I don’t feel like I’m cursing the curd gods ; )

  209. I am thrilled! I’ve made ricotta before, and it was so delicious that I stood there, spooning still-warm curds into my mouth. But by the next day it came out of the fridge all rubbery and…ick.
    I’m making this tomorrow. Thank you!

  210. Okay, this recipe/post has turned me into a complete monster. I have now made two batches of ricotta with no signs of stopping.

    The first batch was a bit watery (too much cheesecloth, not enough lemon juice). The second batch is better. I don’t give a damn what you call it, this stuff is so creamy and delicious, the name is immaterial.

    Don’t fret over what to call it, just go get the ingredients and make it!

  211. Jennifer

    This recipe is amazing. I’ll certainly be trying it soon! In the meantime, I had to go out a buy some good ricotta and throw it on toast with grilled squash and pesto. A-mazing. So good, in fact, that I decided to throw the ingredients into a pasta along with some other veggies. Delicious!

    An interesting anecdote: while I was out searching for good ricotta, I checked out the homemade ricotta my local small grocers makes and sells. They are known for their delicious cheeses, but not ricotta! It was chunky and grainy looking. I knew right away that it wasn’t going to be good, thanks to your instructions!

  212. Katie

    I made this last night and it is delicious! And easy!
    I agree with everyone else – it doesn’t matter what it’s called (though I’ll call it ricotta), it’s wonderful.

  213. Alicia

    I made this just the other day….DELISH! While it may not be traditional ricotta I think it makes a wonderful “substitute” for the real thing. And a plus, it is such a simple and lowkey recipe that anyone, and I mean, ANYONE can make it. Thanks Deb for another surefire winner at my table! Next time I am going to add lime juice instead of lemon and see what I can come up with!

  214. Kristin

    Realistically how many people does this serve? Im bringing this and one other dish to a party tomorrow and there will be about 26 people so trying to decide how many batches to make!

    1. deb

      Kristin — It makes a bit over a cup, so it will depend on how much you want to put on each crostini/size of the crostini. For a baguette slice, you’d need 2 teaspoons or so for each.

  215. I’ve been wanting to dabble with milk manipulation again this summer, and this is just the encouragement I need to buy an extra gallon or two. hooray for homemade cheeses!

    I use thin cotton kitchen towels (clean, of course) to sub for cheese cloth. They are much tougher and I just toss them in the wash and they are ready for the next batch. I’ve not yet tried them on cheese, but they work great for getting yogurt up to greek-delicious level.

  216. Caley

    I made this twice the other day. I preferred the method with less cream because it was not as smooth and produced a more “ricotta-like” texture in my opinion. The cheese also has a slight lemon taste that I was not expecting, but was quite nice since I was making it to accompany a mixed berry crostada. Just added some lemon zest and powdered sugar and it was quite tasty. Thanks!

  217. rebmarks

    Hi Deb – First let me say I love your site, and drool over your photos…. I haven’t read every comment, so I’m not sure if I’m repeating something, but this sounds an awful lot like “labneh”, which I make with 0% Fage Greek yoghurt — 500 grams, plus a little salt (1-2 teaspoons), drained in cheesecloth in the fridge for 3 days, and then use 2 teaspoons to make little balls, roll in chopped herbs (I like mint and flat-leaf parsely), place in a small Ball jar, cover with olive oil. MMMMMMMMMMMM!
    Spreads like cream cheese, tastes a little like a mild goat cheese….

  218. Caroline Pieroni

    I tried this and it was fantabulous. The recipe convinced me that it was easy enough to make cheese, and the result was worth the time I spent looking for cheese cloth and a candy thermometer.

  219. I make my whole milk ricotta using a similar recipe, but I use vinegar, either a white wine vinegar or–my favorite–white balsamic (try it! SO GOOD! esp. Trader Joe’s). And I use a flour sack towel to drain it; the cheese comes right off, and then into the washer it goes. They last a long, long time, but once they begin to wear, you can buy a ten-pack inexpensively at Sam’s Club. And my vote for the very best appetizer is crostini topped with homemade whole milk ricotta, a dollop of your favorite jam (I personally make a killer wild blackberry infused with Earl Grey), and a small hit of sriracha. MMMM!!

  220. Connie

    Wow, this is incredible. Mine also tasted a little more lemony than expected but it is fantastic. I made 2 batches. First one strained 2 hours and it’s intended for the Herbed Ricotta Tart on David Lebovitz website. The second I strained only an hour and spread it on some crostini with garlic scape pesto and fresh tomatoes. What a fabulous recipe! I can see many tasty treats coming down the pike this summer with this cheese…

  221. Naomi

    So, Deb, I now have a bit of a ricotta problem, in that I can’t stop eating it. I have made this four times so far. Twice with cow milk, twice with goats (no cream added) and each time if worked fine, even with UHT long life milk. Used a clean tea towel to drain and no thermometer. Seems to be foolproof!

  222. I can’t tell you how EXCITED I am to try this, and to have found another person in this world who loves ricotta as much as I do!!! In our three month tour of Italy I fell IN LOVE with ricotta. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy: all the great pastas and stews and pizzas in the country, and I’m raving about a cheese considered “bland and tasteless”. But it’s NOT when done right! I raved about it on my little blog but to no avail; I hope you don’t mind me linking my ode to ricotta article back to your post so that my readers can try their hand at it. And I will do the same once our stint in Italy is over and I’m back home in my kitchen: can’t wait to report how it goes!!! :)

  223. Traveling pumpkin

    Deb, Thanks for the addiction! I made this with the 1c cream ratio and two hour strain through coffee filter. Served it last night as crostini two ways… with local raw honey and with tomato and basl. As I type I’m enjoying it with fresh strawberries, blueberries and honey for breakfast. Yum
    Planning on making this again with the lesser amount of cream so I can eat it with less guilt. It’s like I’m eating a bowl of cream, I feel like a fat cat! :)

  224. Jane

    This looks amazing – will be making this ‘ricottapone’ ASAP. Based on the amount of salivating I’m experiencing even while sitting in front of the computer, I will love this.

    In regards to the debate between mascarpone vs ricotta, I only have one thing coming to my mind (Top chef quote): “There are only two types of food in this world – good food, and bad food…everything else in between is irrelevant.” (Actually a different word than irrelevant is used, but I will leave that out of this blog to avoid further offense!).

    I believe this recipe will fall under the ‘good food’ category!

  225. Melanie

    After checking out Salvatore’s page, I noticed they also offer a smoky ricotta. Has anyone dared to make the recipe adding smoke flavoring? It sounds divine!

  226. Jill

    Sheesh, I love my dairy products, but I didn’t know it was possible to get quite this worked up about it. Ricotta or not, this talked down to reader loved it! Used it in a frittata for breakfast with roasted peppers and sausage and just dolloped some hinted with a little lemon zest over berries. Better than whipped cream! And soooo easy! Thanks!

  227. I don’t usually comment but I noticed a couple reviews mentioned this recipe being unsuccessful with Lactaid milk and I just wanted to come on and say I made this tonight with 3 cups of whole lactaid milk (I had to search for the full fast version) and 3 tbs of lemon juice, totally just spaced on adding the 4th cup of milk but the cheese came out perfectly. I let it sit for 90 minutes in the cheese cloth and then spread it on some freshly grilled bread and drizzled it with honey. For anyone lactose intolerant, please try again! It really is delicious.

  228. I made stuffed shells tonight with this homemade ricotta…they were AMAZING. I will definitely be making this ricotta again and from now on, I’ll stick with homemade ricotta. Store-bought doesn’t even compare. Thanks for the recipe.

  229. Rupi D.

    I made your ricotta and made delicious bruschetta and stuffed shells out of it- I’m sooo happy, it was all perfect! Thank you =)))

  230. Tali

    It’s possible someone asked this in one of the previous 361 comments but it’s a lot to read through. I’m dying to make this, but I don’t have a thermometer for when I heat the milk. Is there another sort of indicator that will tell me when the milk is ready? (Almost a boil, already boiling, etc) or do I really need that thermometer?

  231. Jennifer P

    I made this recipe. It was AMAZING. It was super easy and absolutely delicious. It was like a soft cloud in my mouth. It was creamy, lemony, and slightly salty. I loved it. It’s gone. I will be making more- all the time. Try it; you won’t be sorry.

  232. Jillian

    Incredible! I really wanted to make an at-home version of my (currently) favourite pizza, which is just thin crust pizza (yes, of course I used the smittenkitchen recipe) with ricotta and tons of arugula dressed in lemon on top (after baking). This recipe was perfect! Thanks so much!

  233. Traveling pumpkin

    I know I have asked this already but I still don’t know… Can this recipe be doubled or tripled? I’m putting it on everything so I need to make lots of this!!

  234. Meg O

    Just made it this afternoon, and I was shocked at how easy it was. I know what I’ll be doing a lot this summer…

    If anyone’s interested, I used a double layer of damp paper towels in lieu of cheesecloth, and I didn’t have a candy thermometer so I leaned a meat thermometer against the rim of the pot and monitored it that way.

  235. Annie

    This turned out great! It was nice and creamy, without that grainy texture that store-bought ricotta often has. We spread it on crostini, which we topped with prosciutto, peaches and a drizzle of honey. Thanks for the recipe — never would have thought I could make ricotta at home!

  236. Jason

    I’ve tried it twice today, following the directions to the letter. I’ve only succeeded at making a viscous soup – wish I knew what I was doing wrong. I am not getting any curds, so perhaps I have a bad thermometer.

  237. Sara

    Ok so this is just too coincidental not to post a comment, Deb. Two nights ago, a friend and I randomly found (by hitting the Surprise Me button) your old recipe for the homemade ricotta/red onion pizza and instantly decided to try it out that night to the delight of our respective boyfriends. And it was delicious. But I, too, found the ricotta to be a bit dry and coarse, and so set out to find another ricotta recipe that might be creamier. Then I come to find that a mere 10 days ago, you re-visited this recipe and had a new one to share. Can’t wait to try that one out! Thanks!

  238. Gail

    I’ve made this twice so far and will make it again by week’s end. The second time I doubled the recipe and it came out fine. We have been eating it on crostini with your roasted pepper recipe and a basil leaf. My husband has been eating it with fresh tomatoes from our garden. I am going to try it with fat free milk after I use up the gallon of whole milk.

  239. Jane

    Made 3 batches. Best one was with the more cream. Added chopped fresh herbs and made a fabulous hors d’oeuvre coupled with slow-roasted tomatoes and grilled bread! Mmm…

  240. Laura

    Thanks for the recipe…you inspired me to make cheese for the first time tonight! I made it with some regular cheap pasteurized milk, and it came out tasting like queso fresco/blanco, so I looked up the recipe for those, and it’s basically the same: milk + salt + acid. FYI to others out there: Don’t try this with ultra-pasteurized milk/creams. It won’t form curds.

    1. deb

      Laura — In my last batch, I used some cheapo milk from the bodega (I was out of the good stuff) and it was fine. Maybe I lucked out?

    2. terri

      so the note about ultra-pasteurized really needs be highlighted and IN CAPS!!

      DO NOT USE ULTRA PASTEURIZED MILK!!! because it will not make any curds :( you too will be a very sad panda

  241. Dawn

    My first batch (3 cups whole milk, 1 cup heavy cream) was perfect! My only question is: How do I determine how many calories/ carbs when so much liquid is lost in the draining process?

  242. Laura

    Mine wasn’t very rich tasting (but I didn’t use any cream, so I expected that), but it was still very fresh and delicious! As long as it doesn’t say ultra-pasteurized, which I’ve been reading is heated to a certain temp. and won’t form very good curds, I think most milks should work.

  243. Deb, I just made your ricotta recipe, and it is divine! I made the richer version—one cup of heavy cream to three cups milk—and spread it on a baguette with a quince spread. So delicious and easy! I will be making this all of the time. Thanks for the recipe and for the terrific blog!

  244. vkt


    I made the cheese and it was lovely (a little lemony tint to the flavor because I put too much lemon juice, but I’m pretty sure I’ll make the same mistake on purpose). I had a question about whether or not you know if the ingredient amounts scale up proportionally. I’m having about ten people over, and one cup of ricotta might only last about ten seconds…I’m thinking about a batch from a gallon of milk at one time. What do you think?

  245. erin

    made this tonight, thanks much for the inspiration and the directions. it was delicious and i know i will be making it often, authentic or not. i also used the leftover whey to make a batch of pizza dough. we’ll see if the difference (usually made with water) will be noticeable!

  246. Aaron Toivo

    Even though it sounded good, the extremely mild taste didn’t really do it for me. I like a cheese with some flavor! So I’ve been experimenting since this was posted, and I’ve found that using 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, combined with doubling the salt, produces a much fuller flavor with some complexity to it. It works just as well, and it’s fantastic!

  247. Jean Marie

    Finally got around to making this yesterday and it is incredible. The recipe worked perfectly and the zucchini ribbons were excellent. We ignored the rest of dinner (except for the wine) and devoured the bread, ricotta and zucchini. I will never buy ricotta from the store again. This stuff is a revelation.

  248. k8

    Mmm. I made this yesterday. It was sweeter than I expected, based on the ingredients. Just by taste I would have thought there was some sugar in there. It’s unlike any ricotta I’ve had before (including freshly made from the store), but totally delicious. Highly recommended!!

    A suggestion for the extra whey: use in mango lassi-inspired smoothies. So good.

    It’s funny, I heard them talking about making your own ricotta on the Splendid Table recently too. Did you hear that episode?

  249. Maura

    I have, in the past, frozen handmade fresh ricotta. It wasn’t my own; I bought it at a farmer’s market. A month or two later I defrosted it, and it was absolutely delicious. The texture was unaffected.

  250. Lorelei

    Deb, it’s been weeks since I’ve checked your page (I’m a bit of a skimmer – pun intended) but I made ricotta cheese with a very similar recipe on June 18th. Weird. I wanted to chime in an tell you that I served mine on toasted bread as well but with roasted tomatoes on top. Heaven. Love, love, love your blog, recipes, pictures and FOOD! Love from the Alabama …

  251. Heather

    Our wine tasting group thought this ricotta was a wonderful appetizer but they also liked the roasted peppers with capers and mozzarella – it was a smitten appies night! In the directions you say turn off the heat. When I came to this part I wondered if you meant turn off the heat or take it off the heat. Remembering that you cook with gas and turning off the heat is instant while I cook with electric and turning off the heat is a slow cooling I took it off the heat. A clearer and more universal direction would be to take it off the heat.

  252. Magpie

    Mine only solidified after a night in the refrigerator. Makes an excellent base for tiramisu. And the whey could be used for upma rava (South Indian version of cream of wheat)

  253. I made this today. It was so easy and so good, although I messed mine up — added the lemon juice too soon. It was delicious on fresh French bread with strawberries. Excited to see if/how the texture changes tomorrow. Also — thanks, Deb, for your comment near the top about pre-packaged ricotta. I always wondered why my lasagna wasn’t smooth like real Italian lasagna. Now I know!

  254. I made ricotta from a blog entry somewhere called, Do You Ricott? (or something like that). It was so charming I just HAD to try. However. The recipe used plain white vinegar, and the product I got was … well … vinegary.

    I happen to have bought some (boring) store ricotta that I must use first, but I can’t wait to make this recipe!

    And I totally *got* that you were kidding around. Honestly, some scientists (what I call the more serious cooks out there … and I LOVE the science of cooking, so I do not mean it as an insult in any way, shape or form) just don’t get that it can be quite amusing to be in the kitchen!

    Blowing kisses and going to bed!

  255. cherrytulips

    hi deb. i’m in india and unpasteurized buffalo milk is the standard milk here. buffalo milk is about 7% fat. do you think the recipe will still work?

  256. Naomi

    OK, report back on different milks: I have now made with with cow milk, goat milk and sheep milk. Sheep was the awesomest but also the expensivest. Goat was OK, but not really worth the extra money. Neither sheep nor goat needed cream. Cow was lovely, apart from the time I forgot to add cream (too dry, just like in your experience Deb.)

    I made a SK-inspired pizza with one batch: goat milk ricotta , caramelised red onions and tofu sausage on your simple pizza dough base. YUM.

  257. Naomi

    Another option for people lacking cheescloth: a clean cotton tea filter. In Germany they are sold at most organic shops. Is shaped a little like a sock with a metal ring at one end. They just cost a few euros. I use them for making labneh too.

  258. Gillian

    I made this for Food Day, a semi-regular celebration a friend and I have. Loved it. Was delicious.

    Two things that made me comment: I added a tablespoon of lemon juice at the beginning by accident (got excited juicing the lemons) AND the milk boiled over when I was fussing with the massive expanse of cheesecloth that I had – neither calamity resulted in bad cheese! Only a nice smell of burned milk on my glass-top stove.

    Literally…foolproof? At least Gillian-proof.

  259. liza

    oh boy – I have now made this twice – first time was not as solid as I would have liked but tasted oh so good. Today I tripled the batch, heated the milk just a little bit faster and let it sit for about 10 minutes before draining – it is almost done and is shaping up to be perfect.

    Please Deb, call this whatever you would like, I for one am just glad you called it something!

    Thanks for a great blog

  260. Margo

    Excellent – I made it twice this week. Who knew it was this easy. Only required purchase was a thermometer. Thanks you for posting this recipe. I’m going to try goat cheese next. :)

  261. Jennifer

    Made the ricotta this past weekend. I tried it with the 3 cups milk and 1 cup cream. So creamy and light. Perfect with grilled bread, tomatoes, basil and balsamic. Also tried it with grilled eggplant. Delicious!

  262. Michelle B

    I made this last night and plopped big spoonfuls on a pizza with tomato sauce, wilted greens, and loads of fresh basil. The sweetness of the cheese was a perfect balance for the greens, and it was absolutely divine. Call this whatever you want, it’s delicious! Thanks for posting.

  263. Allison

    Just made the ricotta, sooo excited to try it! I am a HUGE ricotta cheese fan and to make my own…love it! Elisabeth, where did you get your burrata recipe, thats my other fav! New to smitten kitchen and am completely obsessed or dare I say smitten!

  264. Oh man, I watched the video and the visuals of that stuff being spread is amazing. Last summer I made that pizza of yours and felt like a total badass for making crust *and* cheese from scratch! But yeah, I haven’t made ricotta since because it was good, but not life-changing (no offense!). This though, wow…I’ve got to get on it! (and I’m going to be in NYC soon, possibly this weekend, so I should seek out some of the real deal while there!)

  265. What I quite don’t understand is if this and the Salvatore’s recipes are not authentic in the most important areas (e.g., the type of milk and cheese not being twice cooked which is what “ricotta” means literally), why is it being called ricotta (and just calling it not authentic is not enough)? I agree with Alessandro that this cheese is nothing more than mascarpone. I wish we all could respect other cultural practices (and the language (i.e., the incorrect pronunication of “ricotta” in the Salvatore (she even pronounced “Salvatore” wrong) video was hard to handle!) by either making the foods correctly before we nonchalantly slap on the title of the dish or product or make modification without using the same titles.

  266. cb72

    Thank you so much for the recipe and the advice on buying cheesecloth. I have always just turned cluelessly away from any recipe that requires it. Or parchment paper.

  267. c

    This is wonderful and so versatile. We loved your suggestion of serving it on a toasted baguette. We’ve enjoyed it with pasta. Last night I used it on your Fresh Ricotta and Red Onion Marmalade Pizza. Swoon!

    This post has received some interesting comments. That being said, I want to thank you for being you, Deb. I’ve been following your blog for several years, and I love it. I have never felt talked-down-to, nor have I felt exploited into following you because of some *lucrative* book deal. You are real and authentic, and I look forward to each of your posts.

  268. Leah Adams

    I just red this, and I now have some currently straining on the counter. Can’t wait to try it. I used the 3/1 recipe. Now, I want to try some flavored versions! Mmm…honey.

  269. Lea McRoberts

    Oh my! I just made this tonight, delishy! I used the 3/1 recipe as well, I can’t wait to share (win) at the next dinner party. Love your blog, keep up the great work!

  270. Melissa

    Oh my gosh, this is so good. Having again for lunch, along with sliced tomatoes, basil, olive oil and basalmic vinegar.

    Even better than eating it on crostini or with tomatoes, are all the other recipes that I have with ricotta cheese that are now going to be so much more amazing – like your zucchini galette – which I will be eating twice a week as soon as my zucchini come in.

    thanks again, what a wonderful recipe.

  271. Shari

    Made this last night. I used the whole quart of milk and about 1/3 of heavy cream. It came out amazing! I wasn’t sure about if I should refrigerate it or not while it was straining but it was so warm out that the second hour I did chill it. It was so easy, I don’t think I will ever buy ricotta again. I used it to make pizza with caramelized onions and everyone loved it. Thanks for your inspiration.

  272. Jane

    Hi Deb – thanks so much for this recipe – I think that this looks amazing, and will be making it tomorrow (one of many times to come, I think)

    I’m wondering- I have 10% cream here at home, but not heavy cream. Do you think it would turn out if I used this instead? Just looking for suggestions, and whether I should drag my lazy self out to get the real deal!

  273. Rachel

    Hi Deb – I recently discovered your blog and I LOVE it! I made your Dobos Torte yesterday and I think I am going to have to make this “ricotta” this week too! I have a question for you/your fellow Americans though (I’m in Australia).
    I read this blog post and ALL the comments (!!) and became curious as there were so many references to ricotta being used in lasagne that I got the impression it was the normal thing to do in America. I am Italian-Australian, I have lived in Italy before and eaten lasagne all over the place. It does vary in some ways but in my experience the non-negotiable ingredients for traditional lasagne are: 1. Sheets of pasta, 2. Meat sauce, and 3. BESCIAMEL sauce. Not ricotta.
    Where does the ricotta come in? Is it instead of the besciamel? I ask not in outrage but curiosity, both because I wonder where the tradition came from and because I love ricotta and wouldn’t mind trying it for myself!!

  274. Lydia

    Thank you so much for posting this… A girlfriend and I made this today and it turned out incredible! We used an instant read thermometer and it worked fine. Plan on making a summer veggie lasagna tomorrow evening :)

  275. Thank you! Because of this recipe, I bought a pasta machine and have been making my own ravioli. I also use it to stuff squash blossoms. Deeeeeeeeeeeelicious!!!!

  276. Sarah

    I just stumbled on your blog looking for a good challah bread recipe – mine is currently on the rise for the last hour before baking! – and have been pouring through your archives. Love this. I made some homemade ricotta a while back using a similar recipe with vinegar rather than lemon juice. It turned out good, but I like the idea of the lemon juice. I’m with you on the consistency as well. Thanks for a great blog!! I’ll be back often :)

  277. Ce

    I love making cheese! I have made ricotta a few times (and actually my favourite milk to use is buffalo, which happily I can find easily) but I shall give your recipe a go too! Thank you!

  278. Sherri

    I made this Saturday with local milk and organic cream. Let me tell you it is simply amazing! I just ate it from straight. Tonight it went in lasagna and did perfectly. Thanks Deb for an amazing blog. I’m so glad I found you during a long-ago search for homemade mac & cheese.

  279. Mrs. Kate B.

    I read your interview about juggle and balance on Cup of Jo this morning. I clicked through previous posts and this is the first post I read in its entirety. Oh my goodness, I am in love with ricotta right now. I found this post to be inspiring and so well written! (My favorite way to use ricotta right now is with sauteed garlic and fresh peas and salt and pasta – fast, fresh, and delicious. I imagine homemade ricotta will make it ah-mazing.)

  280. I made some of this a couple of years ago, I made “farmers” cheese – the fresh simple mozzarella, using the whey for ricotta is a blast and tastes great!

  281. I finally made ricotta last night after searching for cheesecloth since June 18th, when you posted this! It’s fantastic, thanks so much for the recipe and the inspiration.

  282. Sue

    I am so happy you posted this. I made this recipe last night and it is divine. Thank you so much for opening my eyes to see how beautiful ricotta can be! I will never purchase store bought ricotta again!

  283. Summer

    Thanks so much for posting! I live in south American and have been craving Italian food. Since this is kind of like a mutant ricotta/mascarpone (I mean that in a good way) I think I’ll try it both in Lasagna and Tiramisu for an upcoming Italian feast me and my friends are having. Thank you so much. :)

  284. Jane

    Just to update on making this with 10% cream (instead of heavy whipping cream) in comment 412: the cheese turned out very nice, the texture was gorgeous, as promised! I used 3 cups whole milk, 1 cup 10% cream. It was delicious, although I think the creamier version would have provided a better balance for the lemon/salt content. I found my 10% version slightly too lemony, and ended up adding a bit more salt at the end- still delicious, but needed a few adjustments for my taste preferences. Next time, I will be making it with the heavy cream, as I think this is the better option (isn’t it always?).

    Thanks for the help!

  285. Dani

    In reply to Rachel (comment #414), as far as I know Americans do use ricotta in lasagna pretty regularly. I’ve never heard of besciamel, but my husband can live without the ricotta (which he stubbornly calls “cottage cheese”…not the same thing, sweetie) so I might try it instead.

    My own question: I attempted to make this and it tasted like cooked, congealed milk. It cooked fine, looked fine, but tasted strange. There’s a good possibility that I just don’t like ricotta very much, but the more I think about it, the more it bothers me. Why does everybody like this so much while it nearly made me ill? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  286. JanetP

    Lisa at #95, I live in Rhode Island and Narragansett Creamery ricotta is to die for! Their fresh mozarella is also fabulous. I am lucky enough to get them at farmers’ markets twice a week.

  287. This recipe came at the perfect time, as I’d gotten fed up with the delicious Lionni ricotta at my local Whole Foods, which in addition to being pricy, has a non-existent shelf life. I adapted your recipe to Kenji Alt-Lopez’s microwave method:, and swapped out the lemon juice for white vinegar the second time I made it-the lemon juice was too assertive for me. It works just as well in the microwave, but how long it takes to get the mixture to 190 degrees will depend on your oven; it takes about 10 minutes total in my microwave on high power.

    If anyone tries it this way I’d recommend checking at two minute intervals the first time you make it, until you get a sense of how quickly your microwave cooks things.

  288. Amorette

    Finally made this today. It’s absolutely delicious! The slight lemon flavor is great. I put dollops of the fresh ricotta on basil & tomato pizza. Yummy!! I can’t wait to try it in other ways! Thank you!

  289. Bobbie

    This is fabulous! I made lasagna today and replaced store bought ricotta with your homemade version and it was amazing! Rich and decadent. I don’t think I could ever make it with the store bought ricotta again. Thanks so much for helping me tackle what I thought was a complicated process!

  290. Lisa

    Was worried mine would turn out dry because my cheese- making repertoire is so very humble and crumbly (cottage cheese, paneer… add to that two failed attempts at gejost) I also do not own a candy thermometer. But oh boy was I wrong to have ever doubted!! Using the 3 1/2 whole milk, 1/2 cream recipe this turned out beautifully decadent and creamy. Did not use a candy thermometer (eyeballed it using Deb’s photograph) and even forgot to check for time while curdling. I’m still in awe! So simple for such insane deliciousness!

  291. Hello Deb! Thanks so much for bringing me the magic of homemade ricotta. I made this last night and it was TO DIE FOR. Ultra creamy and silky cheese made the perfect breakfast this morning, I even drizzled some honey and oh my, it was pure bliss. I’m sharing it with my coworkers today, I think they will be tres impressed.

    Thanks again :)

  292. Gail

    I have been making or eating this every night since you posted the recipe. I have made a single recipe, I have doubled the recipe and I have made it with skim milk. The only thing I did not change was the I used a cup of cream to the 3 cups milk. Eeither way it is heavenly. Not much difference between skim and whole milk. I think in the future I will stick to the skim milk just so I reduce the amount of fat.

    I ate it on a crostini with your roasted pepper recipe, I ate it on a crostini with ground oregano, I ate it in lasagna, I ate it mixed with fresh tomatoes, basil in pasta and I ate it for breakfast on whole wheat toast with fresh tomatoes from my garden. I can’t believe it’s so easy to make. I am in love.

  293. Mandie

    I’m so addicted to this it’s crazy!!! and it’s crazy good!!! (p.s. my daughter-in-law found a different version and this one is FAR superior!!!)

  294. Rose

    I whipped up a batch of this tonight (3:1 ratio) and it was sublime! I topped it with fresh figs from the farmers’ market and a drizzle of honey. Thanks for curing me of my cheese-making phobia!

  295. Raffaella

    I’m wondering if you could use half and half at all in this recipe, saying the name half and half out loud probably suggests that i cant. I happen to have an overabundance in my fridge that i need to use up and i’ve been dieing to try this recipe. Any thoughts? Or would it just not work at all? Thx!

  296. Erin

    incredible. i’ve gotten sooo many compliments on my ricotta – i also added herbs de provence ground up very fine with my mortar & pestle. if you add it just after the curdleing process but before straining, it is perfect.

    i also suggest using reusable straining clothes rather than cheese cloth. they are great and can be washed in the dishwasher!!

  297. klp

    I tried this last night and it was an epic fail. EPIC. It tasted like thick lemony cream even after two hours resting. I think it just never curdled properly. Sigh.

  298. Christine

    For those that are wondering about using 2% milk……you CAN, but i can tell you from experience that you wind up with more whey and less ricotta goodness. This recipe for me yielded between 1/2 and 3/4 of a cup of ricotta using 2% milk and a solid cup ricotta using whole milk. Just FYI.

  299. MNS

    I made the ricotta to serve with dinner and its amazing. I slathered it on a slice of French baguette with a drizzle of olive oil mixed with dried basil and oregano. My family loved it. I just grabbed another slice and it’s 12 in the morning – so addicting!!! Thank you for the great receipe.

  300. Ellen Richardson

    Love this! I made it last night and it is divine! I think successfully making this cheese is one of the proudest moments of my budding cooking habits…

  301. Hi Deb, we really love ricotta and want to make our own, but we´ve already tried this recipe three times and it turns out really liquid. The first two times we used half a cup of cream and the rest whole milk, and the third time, today, we just used milk and it turned out a little thicker, but still far from the consistency that you show in your photos. It seems like the whey is not all going down, I don´t know what could be the problem, but I really wish it would be a lot thicker!

  302. Kris McG

    I purchased a candy thermometer (middle-of-the-road price) and it started to fail just as the mixture was heating past 150. I ended up with milk/cream that just barely started to simmer before I grabbed the pot off the stove and I was worried all was for naught. No worries, it was incredible. My disappointment is like others that too much ends up stuck in the cheesecloth. Think I’ll try some other filtering suggestions.

    Question: Sorry if this is in the earlier posts, but can one safely double the recipe or do I need to make a few successive batches? This was soooo good it didn’t last long.

    1. deb

      Kris — I don’t see any reason why you can’t double it. As per the waste, with a long straining time, I found that little was wasted (because it became fairly solid) but imagine with less straining, more might stick.

      Dana — Might you be using something finer than cheesecloth that isn’t letting the whey through? Did you wait an hour (or longer if needed)?

  303. Debbie

    I have mad this too many times to count. Always perfect! Has anyone tried using fresh lime juice instead of lemon? I’m out of lemons and I need my fresh cheese fix!
    Just might have to risk it

  304. Debbie

    It’s me again… back to report, I just made this with fresh lime instead of lemon and it works just as well. Perhaps my palate isn’t as refined as some of yours, because I don’t usually taste the lemon when made the other way either. Just letting you know it works and is still yummy!

  305. Heather

    I agree about the waste when you use cheese cloth. I have a set of 2 yogurt strainers that I am going to use next time I make this. I use them all the time to drain yogurt so I am sure they would work for this recipe as well.

  306. Suzanne

    So bummed. Got watery thin yet lovely tasting ricotta. Used whole milk and cream in the 3:1 ratio. Used whipping cream as I have yet to find regular cream ANYWHERE. Was organic and ingredients didn’t include gum/stabilizer so I’m thinking this wasn’t a factor? Brought the milk/cream to 190 for a very brief time period. Any ideas what went wrong? Should I have lingered at 190 longer? Maybe therm was faulty and I didn’t reach 190? I so, so wanted to make this work and fricking Win.

    1. deb

      Suzanne — Did you give it additional straining time? Did you have layers of cheesecloth? The mixture is thin but strains into lovely cheese.

  307. Jayne

    I just made some 2 days ago and used it in my peach ricotta spiced tart. I merely baked up a shortbread tart crust, lined the cooled crust with poached peaches and whipped up my ricotta into a lovely cloud, folding in some mixed spice then plopped the entire thing over my peaches. Heaven!

  308. Victoria

    Made this today with the 3.5:0.5 milk:cream ratio, and it was heavenly. I had to make bread just to support the cheese! This will be great for my Mom, who needs the lowest sodium foods in her diet. I can just make hers to order! Thank you thank you yummmmmm.

  309. Michel

    Hello There,
    I was looking for a Paneer recipe and came to your website.
    I find it realy nice to find out that there are people just like me who love food, and who put this love in their food.
    I go and give this recipe a try due I know I can’t by heavy cream anywhere in this Country.

    Thank you and byby

  310. Jennifer

    Good Day, I’ve been searching, searching, searching, at last! Your cheese recipe. ‘I Think I’ve Found What I’m Looking For’ (with apologies to Celtic Thunder)! Your cheese is now being made in Durban, South Africa. Thanks, also for taking the time to add the pictures, it does help. Enjoy your sense of humour too.

  311. Suzanne

    Hi Deb!
    I let it strain for well over 3 hours and used mutiple layers of cheesecloth. If anything I feel like enough whey didn’t get out of the cheesecloth. I’m really at a lose to explain what happened.
    But I may try this again as I’m happy/sad to say that even with the runny texture I still consumed the entire thing.

  312. Nikki

    I commented in #245 that mine was runny so I tried it again tonight. I let it go to 200 and it worked like a charm! Maybe my thermometer is off?? I’m glad I tried it again because of all the many recipes I’ve tried from here, not a single one has been less than great! I knew it had to be me :)

  313. Pearl

    I actually came looking for a recipe because my husband and I took a cheesemaking class at Astor Center a few weeks ago and we (oops!) failed to take a copy of the recipes home. The recipe we used in the class had a lot of cream; I think it might have been as much as 1:1 milk to cream, though I made it with the 1/2 cup cream yours calls for. I also reduced the amount of lemon juice down by 2 tsps and used some bottled stuff from the fridge; in class, we were instructed that the acid doesn’t matter, because it should only be enough to curdle the milk+cream but not enough to flavor it.

  314. Nooooo! I was so excited for this. Followed the recipe exactly, looked like the milk mixture had started to curdle, and then it all drained straight through the colander + cheesecloth over about 30 minutes. More layers of the cloth next time, maybe?

  315. Izzy

    soo if you end up not using a thermometer and it actually (accidentally) boiled, even if you waited for it to cool, would it affect the coagulation? i did that and it’s like thick cream. :(

    1. deb

      Izzy — I think it should be fine because I’m pretty sure I’ve seen recipes that call for you to bring the mixture to a boil (such as the Ina Garten one many folks are so fond of) and they still work.

  316. This was great! I was really hoping my daughter would have gotten into it. It would be a great snack for her. She was put off a little by the smell. I’m definitely going to try it again, though. I thought it was delicious!

    I added leeks, which really gave it a tasty flavor.

  317. Izzy

    I wonder if it’s because I didn’t use enough lemon juice. What does the temperature do then? If one says heat until 190 and the other boils? Does it change the texture or something?

  318. Izzy

    Ok, worked the second time! I actually measured the lemon juice this time and it immediately curdled. That didn’t happen the first time.

  319. Wow, I made a one-and-a-half recipe two or three weeks ago, and it was indeed good (amazing since I have never cared for ricotta before!) I used some in your scone recipe (with blueberries because that’s what was available) and of course some on TOP of the scones and the rest for spreading on thick slices of bread I made with a couple cups of the whey, along with cinnamon-and-honey plum preserves. I felt like a really great cook all week! :)

    I made more this evening for a cheesecake, ’cause cream cheese is only available imported (hard to find & expensive). It called for 2 pounds – I had to google the conversion to find out that that means about 4 cups, which means 16!!! cups of dairy went into this, though it was still less expensive than buying enough cream cheese for a cake and a lot more convenient since there was exactly 2 cups of cream left of the liter I opened two weeks ago. (The cake is Sicilian Ricotta Cheesecake from It’s in the oven now; the rest of the plum preserves will go over top of it, I think.

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I don’t know if I’ll always be willing to put this much work in to make a cheesecake, but this time around it was exactly right, and I’m so glad to know I like ricotta on my toast and that I can make my own!

  320. Erin

    I couldn’t find my cheesecloth so I used a thin dish towel lining a fine mesh strainer and it worked great! I made two kinds of crostini. One with lemon zest and drizzled with honey. For the other, I rubbed the toasted bread with a garlic clove, mixed a little bit of truffle salt in with the ricotta and topped with a really great olive oil. Delicious! Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe. I had no idea making ricotta was this easy!

  321. Robyn

    Mascarpone, ricotta, schmicotta– call it whatever you want, this is DELICIOUS!! I have made it twice now and it worked perfectly both times. I’m a devoted reader and fan but rarely comment. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing this, and sorry some people gave you a hard time for it! I consider myself a pretty adventurous cook but had just never felt compelled to make my own cheese. This post inspired me to try it and I’m SO glad I did! So easy. This will be a regular in my kitchen from now on. I can’t wait to read your book!!

  322. Annalise

    I just tried making this, using plain old milk and heavy cream as mentioned in the comments. Didn’t have cheesecloth so used damp paper towels, also as mentioned in the comments. This was so easy to make, and is out of this world delicious. I can’t wait to serve it up to my boyfriend; he’s going to flip. Thanks for the great recipe!

  323. Naomi

    I just made this today! It is delicious, everything worked perfectly. I’ve been a longtime reader, but this is my first time commenting, and I just want to tell you that everything I’ve made by you (cheesecake, peach butter, scones, ricotta, goat cheese/asparagus/lemon pasta, spicy squash salad) has been AMAZING! In fact, reading your blog was part of what made me want to get more into cooking in the first place! Keep up the great work :)

  324. Naomi

    Oh, also, I didn’t have whole milk on hand, only 1%, so I used three cups of that and one cup of heavy cream, and it worked out fine, still extremely creamy and not gritty or dry at all. I also didn’t have any cheesecloth on hand (well, I actually did, but I didn’t know it was hidden in our baking decorating supply drawer until after it was done, of course), so I used a silk scarf that I didn’t care about. It worked fine, but because the weave was much finer than cheesecloth, I just let it drain longer.

  325. Melissa

    Have had this recipe bookmarked since you posted it, Deb, and just yesterday I finally made it. It turned out SO AMAZING and my husband could not stop saying how great it was. Of the many nice things, he said it was the best thing he’d ever eaten and he’s dying for me to make another batch, even though we haven’t finished the first (we used up half on some toast and a cheese pizza for dinner). We’re living abroad in Denmark right now and they have wonderful dairy here, which is probably why it turned out so fantastic. Thanks for the recipe!

  326. I have made this about a half dozen times always with rousing success. It’s my new go-to party contribution! Just had some tonight on toasted baguette with chorizo slices. With all the controversy surrounding the name and authenticity of this cheese, I think you should just change the name to Seduction Cheese because it tastes so incredible. You know, like engagement chicken. You could start promoting its aphrodisiac qualities, just in case that whole “lucrative book deal” doesn’t work out ;)

  327. Catherine

    DON’T DOUBLE… made this 3 times before.. decided to double today (6c milk; 2c cream) and it is a runny mess (waste). love it but next time will make 2 batches..

  328. SwanL

    Made this in single, then double batches. Pairs fabulously on toast with the SK peach butter and Ina Garten’s recipe for lemon curd. The double batch was used for a small lasagna with bechamel and Cook’s Country fresh tomato sauce w/spinach, mushrooms, and Italian sausage —>FABULOUS. The double batch wasn’t a runny mess for me, but maybe it’s because I doubled the wait time on letting it rest after putting in the lemon juice and let it strain for 2 hours. I used whole milk and heavy whipping cream I picked up at the local grocery store.

  329. Nicole

    I have always hated ricotta, even when disguised in things like lasagna, because it always just seemed like such a tasteless waste to me — of space, of calories, of time in my mouth. In what I can only describe as a fit of pique I made this today though and for the first time, I got why people eat this stuff. I’m making it for my birthday cheeseboard this weekend and I’m thinking that because milk products take on other flavours so readily I can add/sub in some smoked sea salt or a few cracked pink peppercorns for a delightful twist. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  330. Anne

    I’ve make ricotta cheese at least once a month and this is *THE BEST RECIPE* I have come across. Thank you for posting!! This will be going into a chicken and artichoke penne pasta dish, with plenty of lemon zest.

  331. Andrea

    I LOVE this website and all you do Deb…you’re my go-to blog for new, fun and always successful recipes! I actually more than doubled this recipe (I wanted to use nearly the half gallon of milk I bought) and it worked beautifully… lasagna with this was out of this world with some fresh tomato sauce… I’ve been plotting what to do with the leftovers…that is if I don’t eat it on crackers before! Thanks Deb…can’t wait for the book!

  332. Pat

    I tried this for the first time tonight, getting ready for a dinner party tomorrow and thought it would be fun and different as a spread on baguettes with a fruit compote or the zucchini. The recipe seems really easy, but I’ve never used cheese cloth before – how do I get the cheese out of it? I ended up with more on my hands than in my container. My second question is about the lemony flavor to the cheese…is this normal? Both my wife and son noticed it and asked about it without knowing that lemon juice was the acid I used, so I know it’s really there not just in my mind. Did I not let the curds drain enough? Thanks!

    1. deb

      Pat — When the water is strained out, the cheesecloth should just (gently) peel away (you can see mine doing this in the 5th picture). Between the cheesecloth issue and the lemon taste, I’m thinking it might have been able to strain more. But lemon juice doesn’t have to be used; many recipes call for vinegar. I just liked that they used a more straightforward ingredient and the lemon wasn’t noticeable to me.

  333. ina

    i’ve made this cheese twice already and it’s delicious. both times we made stuffed shells and they came out with a light/fresh taste rather than a heavy, weighed down feel that sometimes stuffed pastas can leave you with. i’m 9 months pregnant and we’re in the midst of making freeze meals for after the baby is born. do you think this would hold up being frozen in a stuffed shell?

  334. Debra

    When I first read this recipe back in June I thought “oh, that’s interesting, but not something I’ll ever make”. I went to the store today intending to buy ricotta for a special lasagne. I couldn’t believe the cost – too much money. I dialed up this recipe on my iphone, bought the ingredients, and made my own. I used 6 cups whole milk to 1 cup cream. I think it is too delicious to use in the lasagne. The specialness will be wasted amongst all the other ingredients. It really needs to be the star of a simpler dish IMO. I’m also pretty sure I didn’t save any money on this vs the store-bought — but of course I came away with a far superior cheese. Next I will be trying this method to make goat cheese. Thanks for another great inspiration.

  335. Sarah B

    I have only ever made ricotta cheese. I want to branch out and learn how to make other cheeses. Anybody have a recommendation for a book about making cheese at home?

  336. Natalie

    I have been salivating over this recipe for months but haven’t had the courage to try it. Out of the blue I decided to make this to go along with some crostini and wine for our in-house date last night. Wow! This was delicious and so easy to make. The only “change” I made was to use a flour sack cloth for straining since I didn’t want to make an extra trip to buy the cheese cloth. My husband couldn’t get enough of it. It has a slight lemony taste that is out of this world. We are using it tonight on pizza with caramelized onions. Then I plan on making lemon ricotta biscuits. I honestly can’t say enough good things about this recipe.

  337. Cindy

    Hi Sarah,
    I just made 3 lbs. of ricotta. I have made it several times and it is wonderful. The issue I have is that the next day mine is dry. I use the cream version. I am having 12 people for dinner this coming Saturday and making homemade ravioli and have a fear of using the ricotta I just made. I was going to make the ravioli tonight and freeze them until Saturday as I always take on a very ambitious menu and make everything from scratch. Your comments would be so greatly appreciated and time is of the essence! Help!!

  338. Stephanie

    I do.. I was lucky to inherit some old forms from my great aunt. I have only made them with her and she told me the recipe as I went along. Now…it’s gone forever. EVERYONE… get your heirloom recipes in print! Thank you for the quick response.

  339. Mspickle

    I finally attempted this tonight and it turned out so yummy! I put it on toast topped with freshly roasted bell peppers. Even my kids loved it! I’m going to use it in my spinach breakast crepes tomorrow morning and see how it goes.

  340. Jen

    Wow! I thought by the time I finished skimming through the comments, I would be left behind, but I’m not the only one making this in December!

    I made it yesterday to bring to my cousin’s party as a savoury counterpoint to her (amazing!) mince pies and cookies.

    Your remark about stores not stocking the cheesecloth in any logical place rings true, as I wouldn’t have found mine in the cleaning supply aisle if I hadn’t also had dish sponges on my shopping list. I was all ready to substitute a whispy cotton bag sold for holding stuffing inside the turkey.

    Anyway, it was a success, even though it wasn’t fully strained and the honey/salt/pepper option seemed the favourite. Ran out of baguette slices before the cheese ran out, though! I’ll know better for next time.

    With regards to the straining, I doubled the recipe and there was too much to pour into the strainer all at once. Even though I let it strain a full hour after the last of it went in, I wasn’t able to peel the cheese cloth away as you do. I think I might try fewer layers next time, or just let it strain until I can peel away the cloth.

    I’m going to used the second portion in a lazagna.

  341. Jen

    There seem to be a good number of questions on washing cheesecloth. What I do is rinse off all visable trace, then put it in a bowl and pour boiling water over it (does it need to be boiling? I don’t know, but that’s what I tried the first time and it worked so I didn’t change) and then add a generous amount of dish soap to it. Then I swish it around a bit with some random eating utensil, and leave it. Once it’s cool, I rinse it well several times, ring out and hang dry. It’s no trouble at all, and leaves no trace of smell, even though I once forgot about it after the initial rinse and didn’t wash it until two weeks later.

  342. Julia

    Made this today using 3 1/2 cup whole milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream. Holy crap, this stuff is insanely delicious. And easy and fast to make. I may never buy store bought ricotta again!

  343. Savanah

    Deb, I have always loves your site, and every recipe I have made from it, though I’ve been too leery of the interwebs to post. ;). This ricotta (marscapone, whatever) did it. I’ve made mozzarella but I love rich spreadable cheeses. Thank you for this easy and delicious recipe!

  344. JP

    Made this a few weeks ago with 31/2c milk and 1/2c heavy cream. It was great. We loved the honey with salt version. Hubby thought it was too thin so I might let it sit in the cheesecloth longer next time. I used part of it in the raspberry scones from this website. Yummy.

  345. Vyk

    What a rad website.. Thanks.. All the way from Adelaide Australia!
    I don’t have dairy at all so would this recipe work with soy or other dairy free milk? Any advice would be appreciated.

  346. Jessica

    First off: I’m newly addicted to your site. I love it!

    Second: I just put my finished ricotta in the fridge.

    It came out way too tart, but it’s probably because I made the batch bigger by two cups. i currently have a house full of people, so i thought the more the better.

    so i did 5 cups milk, 1 and 2/3rds cup heavy cream (i figured 1/3 cup heavy cream to every cup of milk) and 5 tablespoons lemon juice (i figured 1 tablespoon lemon juice to every cup of milk) and that’s where i feel i should have pulled back a bit. i should have stuck with the 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.

    Also, my ricotta was a bit more curdy than your photos, and i’m pretty sure it’s because of the extra lemon juice.

    Oh well…i tend to like a bit of lemony tang to almost everything i eat, so it’ll definitely get devoured, even if only by myself.

    Anyway, there’s my experience…thanks for this and all of your lovely recipes!

  347. I like Ricotta baci which means Ricotta Kisses. Molto delicious. You can serve it to a cup of coffee as a desert or also with a glass of sherry or white wine. It;s easy to make it and is finished in a blink of an eye.
    1 cup fresh ricotta, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup (7 dag) OO flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon backing powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Rest in the fridge for 10 min. (or longer, it keeps fresh for a couple of hrs)
    With a teaspoon form little balls and put it for around 3 min. in hot 1 ltr. vegetable oil.
    Dry it on a kitchen paper and scatter with icing sugar.

  348. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you really know what you are speaking approximately! Bookmarked. Please additionally seek advice from my site =). We could have a hyperlink trade contract among us

  349. Anne

    Wow. Easier than lugging a container of cheese home, and a million times better. I don’t care whether it’s technically ricotta or mascarpone, I think I will use it in recipes calling for either. Thanks!

  350. Mikell

    I’m finally getting ready to make this and the “non-reactive” pan has me stumped. I have the andronized pots. Will these work? Maybe my crock pot would be better. Anyone have any advice?

    1. deb

      Anodized aluminum cookware has been processed so that it’s nonreactive. Non-anodized aluminum is reactive. Just about everything else that can be purchased as cookware — stainless steel, enameled cast iron, etc. — is not reactive.

  351. Anna

    My mum’s been making fresh soft cheese like this forever. What like about this recipe is that you can use any kind of milk – skim, whole, powdered. We don’t bother with cream, usually. Also, the longer you leave it stand after you’ve added lemon juice, the more cheese you get. Thanks for sharing your version of the recipe! I enjoy your site a lot.

  352. Sara

    Finally got around to trying this recipe and I’m so glad I did! Used it to fill some home made ravioli (added some parmesan and parsley). Absolutely delightful! I will definitely be making this again and again.

  353. adie

    haven’t made this since last summer but since the nice weather is back, Ive made this today with some local milk(it’s soooo tasty!) and just the 1/2 cup cream addition for richness. :) Dinner is this with toasted baguette and all the toppings and some yummy greens. ;) Thanks again-

    oh and I use my big enamel cast iron pot since it holds a steady temp. well- it works great.

  354. Marie

    Hi Deb,

    I scanned through the comments, but did not see an answer to my question, please forgive me if it has been answered already.

    I was just wondering where you got the adorable container the ricotta is spread in (third photo from the bottom)? I love it, and would like to know where I can purchase one. Thanks!

  355. deb

    Hi Marie — I got in on clearance from West Elm a while back. I have seen things like it since at ABC Kitchen (although, of course, for much more).

  356. Samantha

    This ricotta was much easier to make than I realized and SOOO delicious!! I have been eating it for breakfast with honey and blackberries. When not eating it, I am dreaming about it and I know I will make it again and again. Thank you!

  357. I am still making this and loving it! This last time I just used 6 cups of milk, no cream, for a 1.5-sized batch. It was great on the deep-dish pizza “cup-fakes” as “frosting” for April Fools snacks :) and the whey has helped in making 4 loaves of potato bread (in place of buttermilk).

  358. John

    Since I am a lowly and poor college student, I can’t afford super fresh milk and rely more often on super-discounted store brand. A great add to give some of that natural sweetness is a bit of honey. I made this recipe with a gallon of whole milk and a pint of half and half and added just over 2tbsp of clover honey. It gave it a rounded and subtle sweetness not experienced when I made a batch without it. It was much closer to the Salvatore ricotta that I have always loved.

  359. I used to be recommended this website via my cousin. I’m now not certain whether this submit is written through him as nobody else understand such unique about my problem. You are amazing! Thanks!

  360. Liz

    Mine was a pretty epic fail – it made just a few tablespoons, yummy, but still quite runny after a few hours. I think the problem may have been one of 3 factors, or a combination: I used meyer lemons (maybe not acidic enough?); I forgot to add the salt until right after I added the lemon juice; and four layers of cheese cloth may not have been enough to separate the curds from the whey. It didn’t really make curds, and the whey was probably mostly just heated, lemony, milk. Your thoughts for the culprit? I’m bummed, because I love ricotta and making things from scratch, but I don’t want to use up that much milk for so little product. Should I try again? (on the plus side, I’ve already used the left-over milk/whey for bread, pasta sauce, and my dog’s dinner, where it was much-appreciated all around.)

    1. deb

      Hi Liz — I haven’t tried it with Meyer lemons but they could be the culprit as they taste much less acidic than regular ones. Maybe reheating it with a little extra lemon will work? Good luck.

  361. Silvia

    Hi Deb, I am new in your fab blog, but I totally love it!
    I am italian, and ricotta is my favourite dairy not actually a cheese, because is obtained by the whey…”anywhey” :D If you don’t know, you can keep the whey and make ricotta again and again, just adding a bit of milk or cream (which is totally permitted ;) ) and if after a few times, when it will not “work” anymore, add some lemon or ricevinegar..
    Try this: Boil Pasta (penne o rigatoni), mix ricotta and safran, and add 1-2 tbs of pasta’s water (because contains starch)and when the pasta it’s ready, mix together..
    Or mix 1 kg ricotta with 200 gr sugar,1-2 peeled lemon, 80 gr maisstarch..Mix all the ingredients together and then put it in a pudding backing pan, buttered and sugared, and oven a 200°C for 1 hour (it must be dark) Leave in the oven switched off unti cool, and then store in the fridge. Enjoy ;)

  362. Audrey

    I made this today. Wow! Just Wow! It was so amazing and creamy. I used the full 1 cup of cream. We had it on crusty ciabatta bread for dinner. Delicious! Thank you for sharing!!

  363. E.G.

    Hey — just wanted to say I don’t care if it’s authentic, it’s really fucking good, and good for you for figuring it out.
    I’ve never had Salvatore ricotta but I’m in New Haven (where people obsess about this sort of thing just as much as they do in NYC) and there’s a company called Liuzzi, here, that makes a ricotta I *think* must be identical, or damn near to identical, to Salvatore’s. It’s quite affordable though. Depending on where you pick it up, it can actually even cost slightly less than the usual supermarket crapola (which I won’t touch anymore — when I think of the years I wasted eating supermarket ricotta, it makes me want to cry). Liuzzi’s. I’d almost say it’d be worth getting onto Metro-North…

  364. Kit

    Ooooh I will definitely try this out! I’ve been meaning to make ricotta-spinach ravioli. Have you ever tried making ravioli with your homemade ricotta cheese?

    And, oh, you have such an amazing blog! You are the kitchen queen du jour. :)

  365. Tony

    I just made the ricotta using 18% cream ’cause I had a liter of it sitting in the fridge. It’s looking good so far. Got me three organic cabbages for the ensuing kraut. I like it with some chili peppers mixed in. Yum.

    Thanks for posting this recipe.

  366. I was JUST saying I wonder if I can make ricotta and then I stumble upon this gem on someone’s Google+ page. I’m calling it fate. Wish me luck!

  367. Sarah

    I used this recipe but made it with fresh goats milk instead of cows milk and it’s wonderful and flavourful is a fresh clean tasting way :) Homemade Goats cheese, Yum!!

  368. Christy

    Yum! I will have to try it with goats milk!

    I just made this with regular cow milk, and it’s absolutely delicious! I didn’t have a thermometer, so I just slowly increased the heat until it started to get hot and foamy. I will never buy ricotta cheese again.

  369. Ricotta is called paneer in hindi (India) i have learnt to make it from my mother Rupa kaul,who i think makes the best paneer and western ricotta. We indians make different recipes from it. Nice to know about it but we dont use salt in it.i think that is merely used as a preservative. We use paneer in some sweet dishes also,so we dont put salt in it.

  370. Monica

    I just made this, and used it to make edamame ricotta spread and maple ricotta French toast, both delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  371. Sasha

    So this was the best thing I’ve ever done with my morning. I tried this before with meyer lemons and it was a disaster, but I retried today with normal lemons and i got a delicious soft creamy amazing beautiful sexy gahhh!after i took mine out of the cheese cloth I put some chopped sage and rosemary in it and salted and peppered it. I served it on baguette with a little drizzled fruity extra virgin olive oil. Best thing I ever did. I will be doing this so much… too much

  372. i made this ricotta today and it is outstanding. lasagne is already in the oven! i used 3.5 cups whole organic milk (hard to find in france, but possible) + .5 cup whipping cream. this is truly easy, super delicious. i’ll be using it in my bakery in the “Restaurant in my Living Room.” And i’ll tell everyone where i got the recipe! Bon appetit :)

  373. Deb! This was amazing! I doubled up the recipe and don’t think I will ever buy ricotta again. This was so luxurious, a total show stopper! For date night I made stuffed portobello mushrooms using this! I grilled the mushrooms on a grill pan until they had grill marks…then sprinkled with salt and pepper and placed in a baking dish with jarred marinara. The stuffing went as follows: caramelized onions, 3-4 tbsp ricotta, marinara, parmesan cheese, olive oil drizzle. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes and then broil for 3-5 minutes until the top is golden brown. Serve alone or with pasta. Hands down one of the best dishes I have ever made. Thanks so much for this awesome ricotta recipe!

  374. Caroline

    I have made this several times and it was fabulous each time. However, I tried twice today to make it and both times the milk/cream failed to properly separate. I used different lemons in each batch. The only thing I can think of is that the milk I used this time was fresh local milk with cream on top, so the thicker stuff was on top and maybe the stuff at the bottom was more like skim milk? However, i think I’ve used local milk like this before. Has anyone else had trouble getting the milk to separate in this recipe? I’m perplexed, not to mention bummed that I wasted several lemons, eight cups of milk/cream and a big batch of cheesecloth!

  375. Angie

    Just made this. So fast and simple. It had reached boiling but it still worked. It’s so delicious. It smells and tastes heavenly. I’ll never buy ricotta again. It took all of 5 minutes to make and the rest is just waiting for it to drain.

  376. Lena


    I just made this last night for the first time. It was actually very easy! I only had 1/2 cup of heavy cream, so I substituted the other half with sour cream as someone else in the comments suggested. I didn’t have a cheesecloth so I let it strain through a cloth napkin for 2 hours before moving it to the fridge. Consisency seems good to me. It’s definitely delicious! In regards to it not keeping past 3-4 days, I will most likely cover it with a drizzle of olive oil so that it does not go bad.

    Siince I have limited space in my freeze, now I know what to do with the leftover milk that I have after making homemade ice cream!

  377. I love this recipe. It’s ideal for making ricotta gnocchi, as good ricotta is hard to find in most stores, and the watery supermarket kind won’t work. The only problem is managing not to slather Deb’s ricotta on everything in sight before you get the chance to turn it into gnocchi!

  378. jody

    I wish I had seen your blog before I made my ricotta cheese. My mother in law gave me a kit. It worked fine but is a bit dry. It did not call for any lemon or vinegar. I am using is as a spread for an appetizer today where my mother in law will be in attendance. I will definitely try it again with the cream and lemon. I love your blog.

  379. xginia

    Hi! With the leftover whey and lliquid, you could actually make the real ricotta (check wikipedia!) by adding some more milk and reheating it. Ricotta means “cooked twice”, what was done here we call it “cagliata”

  380. Tony B

    no matte what I do my ricotta comes very firm. I tried every recipe and it always comes the same. When First cooked and strained, it is creamy and delicious. After being cooled it gets very firm but still very tasty. I want it t have that nice creamy texture even when cooled. Any suggestions?

  381. Meghann

    Deb, thank you SO MUCH for posting this! I made this today and really, really love it. I’m thinking of trying to make it a little more tangy next time, but I’m worried that adding more lemon juice will throw off the reaction. Thoughts?

    1. deb

      Hi Tom — Cream cheese is made using only cream, so this would not be cream cheese. If you’re arguing that it’s not classic ricotta, well, of course. I mention this repeatedly in the post.

  382. Cindy

    I am wondering about using goats milk, any thoughts. I have quite a bit in the freezer, was a gift and thought what a great way to use it. Other than the normal uses.

  383. Cindy

    Disregard the earlier post, just read some of the comments made earlier and they answered it. Thanks Bunches for allowing me to join this group.

  384. JanLove

    Just made the ricotta with orgainic whole milk ultra pasterurized, and added 1/4 cup of half and half, 4 tablespoons lemon juice- let it set for two hours. Came out creamy, and very light taste of lemon. Very good! Will make this again, so easy. Thank you for the recipe.

  385. Ava Catau

    This recipe is amazing! I made it yesterday and mixed it with fresh herbs, lemon zest, garlic, and a drizzle of olive oil – served it with crackers. Reminded me of Fromage Blanc from Cowgirl Creamy. Totally addicted!

  386. MomofChef

    UHT-Ultra High Temperature. It is what is sold in many parts of the world where there is sketchy or non-existent refrigeration. It is shelf-stable (is that a word?) and requires no refrigeration until it is opened. Doubt it would work in cheese making but can’t verify that. Would be interesting to know if anyone has tried it.

  387. Nadia

    I just tried this recipe today with UHT milk (since it was the only one I had available) and it turned out great! It’s really good, and definitely better than store-bought ricotta. Don’t know how the taste of ricotta made with UHT will compare to ricotta made with fresh milk though, will try that once I get my hands on fresh milk. :) Thanks for the recipe!

  388. Jen

    More details for those interested in what UHT means. From the wikipedia page

    “The two main types of pasteurization used today are high-temperature, short-time (HTST) and extended shelf life (ESL). Ultra-high temperature (UHT or ultra-heat-treated) is also used for milk treatment. In the HTST process, milk is forced between metal plates or through pipes heated on the outside by hot water, and is heated to 72°C (161°F) for 15 seconds[10] . UHT processing holds the milk at a temperature of 138°C (280°F) for a minimum of two seconds[11] . ESL milk has a microbial filtration step and lower temperatures than UHT milk.”

    a side note: I noticed that UHT soy milk actually has few to no additional texturizing ingredients compared to soy milk in the refrigerator section, so don’t knock UHT products, I guess?

  389. Jen

    So there’s been a lot of discussion about the meaning of the word ricotta, how it means recooked and how you make real ricotta by reheating whey leftover from cheese making.

    I tried making real ricotta out of the whey leftover from this recipe and it didn’t work, and I’ve finally figured out why from the note on ricotta on this page:

    Ricotta from whey only works with whey leftover from cheeses that were made with rennet, so whey from this soft cheese and others made only with acid (the lemon juice) won’t give you whey that can produce actual ricotta.

  390. Obs

    So from the look of it, I wonder if you didn’t stumble upon what the germans call Sahnequark (quark made with extra cream, widely used for deserts) in your hunt for the perfect rich ricotta :)

  391. daniel

    Hi Deb, do you know what your measurement of 1/2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt would be in a measurement of grams? Thanks so much!

  392. Leslie

    So, I just tried this for the first time, and am
    Not sure what I did wrong. Even after two hours of straining, mine is still very liquidy..not at all like yours in the picture. Can heating the milk too hot do that? I was getting my cheesecloth and the thermometer crept almost to 200 before I saw and took it off the heat. Or, did I use too many layers of cheese cloth perhaps? You said a few, but I haven’t really used cheese cloth before so wasn’t sure. I’m letting it strain a bit longer while taking away one layer..we’ll see what it looks like once it’s cold from the fridge.

  393. Leslie

    I just used several layers of cheesecloth over my regular pasta strainer…I think I may have just used too many layers: next time I’ll just try a couple. It still stayed pretty runny the next day..too runny for spreading on crackers..however, it made an excellent base for a white pizza. I’m definitely trying this again :).

  394. Leslie

    But thanks for responding back :). I’ve said it before, your blog is my absolute favorite, tho I wish I made a bit more money…I can’t shop at outdoor markets and buy as nice of chocolate as you do ;). My sister in law and I are die-hard fans tho, and your best coca brownie recipe is now my go-to brownie recipe! Btw, the new solving a math problem to prove you’re human thing, super cute!

  395. Ashley

    Hello! I love your blog, and your recipe looks fantastic! I really like how this makes a small amount of cheese, because generally I am just cooking for myself and my guinea pig (husband, lol) and would probably not eat a pound of cheese (although everyone’s comments makes me think I might be able too..hee hee!).

    I am a newbie cheese maker, and I recently bought a gallon of fresh cream-top cow’s milk from a friend who has a lease with a local farmer. The milk should be very fatty, but I was thinking about trying one with cream, and one without, just to see how the farm milk fairs on its own.

    I’ll post back about the results! Thank you for sharing with us! :)

    – Ash

  396. So, I added the lemon juice in the beginning, then just before it got to 190 and reviewed the recipe, I realized I had made a terrible mistake. I started over and the second batch is straining. So excited!

    My question is this: does anyone have any ideas of what I made the first time, or what i could do with it? I’ve got this bowl of lovely thick creamy lemony goodness that I don’t want to throw out. It doesn’t appear to have made any kind of curds, just thickened.

  397. Michael Davis

    This is an awesome recipe. The cream (either version) makes this totally indulgent. I do wonder, however, if it would be possible to update the pictures. They don’t seem to show up here. It shows the links as being broken. Thanks for sharing this. I love your site.

  398. deb

    Hi Michael — I don’t think I’m seeing what you’re seeing, as the photos are showing up for me. Is anyone else having this problem? Is it possible that Flickr (if you’re at work) is blocked on your computer? (That’s where the photos are hosted.)

  399. Meg McG

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this and shocked people when I tell people I made cheese at home :) I love it on french bread with snipped basil and salt & peppered tomatoes.
    Thanks so much for the recipe. Can you do one for mozzarella?!

  400. Stephanie

    Hi Deb, does Salvatore’s Brooklyn not exist anymore? The website and Facebook page are very dated unless there is a newer website or something. I visit my in-laws in Manhattan every few months and we are always looking for fun foodie things to check out. I can’t wait to try this recipe though. Thank you for the great inspiration as always. Fondly, Stephanie

  401. deb

    Hi Stephanie — To my knowledge, it definitely does. The website didn’t seem out of date to me (in fact, it looks like they now have olive oil, yum) but I might be missing something? I bought it most recently a few months ago in NYC but cannot remember whether it was at Saxelby or Murray’s or even Whole Foods, though probably not the latter. They’re always at the Brooklyn Flea, and do sell through a lot of small shops. I’ve also bought it at Brooklyn Larder.

  402. carol

    Hi Deb= I am a big fan. When I realized ricotta was possible to do at home (2 days ago) this was one of the first recipes I looked at. It is draining as I type. Ricotta is one of my favorite foods. I could have it in or on everything. I love it for dessert with bitter orange marmalade , after having it in kale and garlic as a vegetable. What a food

  403. Loved how this turned out! I was a little nervous when I stirred in the lemon juice and the milk never seemed to curdle much, even after the resting period. But after I poured it into the cheese cloth lined strainer and waited a little more than an hour, I had a nice creamy ricotta. It was a little tricky to scrape off the cheese cloth without strands of cheesecloth getting into the ricotta or wasting the ricotta that stuck to the cloth. Any suggestions for that?
    The texture and flavor were both great! Creamy with tang. As you stated in your post, this is definitely a very rich and creamy version due to the high amount of heavy cream. I think next time I would try it with 3 1/2 cups milk and a 1/2 cup of heavy cream.
    I didn’t want to waste all the whey at the end so I looked up ways to use whey and ended up making oatmeal with it by replacing the water with the whey. It gave the oatmeal a sweet but tangy flavor, kind of interesting, not bad though. The only disadvantage was that it lost its nutritional value since I boiled it. I also read that it could be substituted for the water or milk in quick bread/muffin recipes…but I was a little hesitant to do this…do you think it would be similar to the flavor that buttermilk lends to muffins/quick breads?

  404. Also, I used the ricotta in eggs a lot, also on pasta, on a orange pecan quick bread I made, and in a recipe for vegetable baked ziti. Also was really good with honey and fruit!

  405. DN

    Thanks for this lovely recipe. My usual ricotta wasn’t cutting it (and I saw that they used powdered milk in addition to fresh milk and wasn’t keen on that). I made the version with 1 cup of cream, and it was too rich for my purposes–I normally like ricotta for breakfast with some lemon zest and fruit–and it left a slightly greasy feel in my mouth. It did soften beautifully when I used it for pasta sauce–something the store-bought ricotta never managed to do–and the richness was perfect since my sauce was diluted with a little water. I’ve just made another batch that is almost all whole milk with some half-and-half that I had sitting around thrown in. My proportions may be off, but I’m curious to see how a mainly whole milk version turns out.

  406. Kyla

    I adore this recipe! I’ve made it about a dozen times and it has always come out fabulously. This afternoon was the first time I’ve ever run into trouble and I wish I could figure out what happened because it was a double batch and now I’m left with 8 cups of warm, lemony milk! I could nearly make this recipe in my sleep, I’ve done it so often… but today when I poured it into the same strainer/cheesecloth set up that I always use, the milk just ran right through with hardly any catching. There seemed to be no solids at all… I’ve never had this happen before! Does anyone know what might have gone wrong? I would hate to have this happen again!

  407. dave

    I’ve made mozzarella cheese many times, so I decided to try ricotta cheese.Three times failed.It will not separate.i followed recipe exactly.(fresh lemon juice,190 degrees etc) Even tried 8 layers of cheese cloth,….right through.I even went to a health food store for none “ultra pasteurized” cream. I give up,

  408. derek

    I have yet to get this recipe to make decent ricotta. My suggestion would be to go to a home brew store, get a low end cheese thermometer and make some mozzarella first. The by product of a good mozzarella makes a smooth ricotta.

    1. deb

      Patty — Do you mean what brand or did I use whipping cream? I switch brands based on what a store has available, but often grab Organic Valley heavy or whipping cream if I see it. Any brand should work, however.

  409. Sounds amazing I will make this week coming for 4 different events I have coming up.
    One will be with bourbon soaked cherries & balsamic on a crostini & the other with a great mushy pea & fresh mint.
    Thanks for the great bog : )

  410. Yamini

    I made this last night for my girlfriends and it was amazing! So much easier than I expected. I topped half the crostinis with some honey from New Zealand and the other half with 18 year aged balsamic vinegar. Big hit! The only downside was it was all gone by the end of the night. Definitely will make this again. Thanks Deb!

  411. Hannah

    This is so easy and delicious! I used 2.5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar since I had no lemons in the house, with the mix of 3.5 cups whole milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream, and it worked perfectly.

  412. This is so easy and came out great!! I will be making it again for some stuffed pasta. I used 7 C whole milk ( 1 t salt) and 1 C cream with 6 T lemon juice. After hanging overnight in a cheese cloth over a bowl it is very thick, smooth, rich and creamy. Will be using it later for cannoli. Thanks.

  413. Candace

    I have made this so many times … thank you! I use it homemade manicotti, and it is without a doubt the BEST EVER. Wow. So happy you shared this! Who knew it was so easy? :)

  414. Clair

    This marks my third time using your recipe, all successful. I’m a procook in the deep South and today I’m making it again, this time to fill an order from a local restaurant. I label it ‘whole milk ricotta’, and no one seems to care that it’s not a byproduct of another cheese preparation. We have a local dairy, so my milk is top notch and since spring is upon us now, the milk is creamier than previous wintry batches. I am using meyer lemon juice supplemented with vinegar because the meyer is not the most acidic of citrus fruits but does lend some lovely and desired flavor.

  415. Schuyler Kent

    I bought your (awesome!) cookbook. And I was going to make the recipe entitled Heart-Stuffed Shells with Ricotta Béchamel (couldn’t find the recipe on this site or I would have commented there.)

    My question was this: when making this dish, can you pre-make the dish to the point where it’s assembled (before you put it in the oven) and refrigerate it, then bake it later or the next day?
    Or must it be assembled and fully cooked (and immediately served) all at the same time?


  416. Len DeAngelis

    I grew up in Boston’s North End when it was an Italian ghetto and meals were variations of peasant food no one had written down as predecessors didn’t read nor have money for other than brown paper from bags or pencils and pens.
    Easter was a trip to ricotta paradise.
    Connoli remains my favorite food.
    Has anyone tried to vary the ricotta with Almond milk? I intend to try that later today.
    Mangia bene!

  417. Len DeAngelis

    Nixo on the Almond Milk experiment.
    It has nothing to retain the curds–tossed the whey into compost as a blogger suggested.

  418. Shelley

    Just want to chime in with the others to say how much I enjoy this recipe. I’m currently living in Seoul, Korea and salads are becoming a popular dish with the 20-30 somethings. And there’s a popular cafe that makes a ricotta cheese salad. After making this at home, I took the recipe to my work and made a batch there with my co-workers. They were amazed! They all went home and made some over the weekend. They love it! And they’re really experimenting with it. Kimchi, ricotta cheese egg rolls anyone!

  419. Amy

    Cheese cloth purchased at the grocery store is pricey. You can buy it at a hardware store or the craft section of a large discount store. Still suitable for kitchen use, you just get more for a lot less. I use this cheese for stuffed shells, which freeze beautifully and, once the heavy lifting is done, make for a quick meal.

  420. Shelley

    Um, just realized ‘egg rolls’ means different things to different people. In Korea, egg rolls are similar to Japanese tamago.

  421. Danielle

    Your recipe is fool-proof, thank you! I have been making ricotta all spring – it’s so easy, creamy, delicious and versatile! After straining 2 hours, I mix with fresh peas, fava beans, meyer lemon & fresh parsley to toss over pasta (recipe inspired by one in Sunset Mag) or simply as a dip with crostini. Everyone loves it – including my 15 y/o son and his hard to please girlfriend. A couple of handfuls of applewood smoked bacon in there don’t hurt.

  422. Frannie

    Just wanted you to know that I continue to come back to this recipe again and again. I made it yesterday along with some slow roasted plum tomatoes with garlic and chili flakes. I roasted a few other vegetables (red onions, mushrooms, zucchini, and yellow and red peppers) and tossed it altogether with farfalle. It is amazing to me that a small amount of the ricotta, tossed with the pasta goes such a long way in making this vegetable pasta so luscious! Topped with a little parm and a glass of wine = the perfect summer pasta. Thanks for so many wonderful recipes!

  423. TJHo

    I just made this for the first time yesterday, and ricotta is now on my list of things I’ll never buy again. It was unbelievably easy and it worked like a charm. For a while I thought I had done something wrong because a lot of whey was released, especially when I first poured the mixture into the strainer, but it turned out perfectly.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing it.

  424. Kostas the Greek

    It’s the same recipe when in Greece we want to make ”anthotyro” and after that ”Mizithra”.
    But to make it taste like the authentic one you need the whey from the previous cheese you made.For anthotyro its feta and for ricotta its mozzarela.Mostly know ricotta because Italians are better in prompting their products.
    If you have ever tasted anthotyro and ricotta you 99% you will probaply won’t notice any diffence in texture or taste

    1. Carrie

      I made this with A2 whole milk and didn’t get a single curd, darn it! Extra lemon and a splash of vinegar didn’t help.

  425. joy

    Speaking of ricotta and such soft cheeses, any chance you (or your mother-in-law) has a recipe for syrniki, little fried tvorog cakes?

  426. joy

    YAY!!!! I have tried to make them, and they’re not bad (they’re little fried tvorog cakes, and I eat them with jam, so they can’t be bad), but I know I’m not quite doing it right, and Russian recipes are awful. They lack detail and don’t explain anything (even my friends are no good at explaining them to me). I have been wanting them to get the Smitten treatment for a long time!

  427. Wendy G.


    I enjoyed reading your post. I, too, love making ricotta. And I think mine is sublime – though I don’t know if everyone would agree with me. Thing is, I can’t bring myself to use heavy cream, yet I too hate the big coarse dry curds. So I make it with half goat milk, half 1% cow’s milk. Or maybe a little more on the goat side. I don’t know, I don’t measure, I just sort of dash it in. And I too use lemon. Here’s my cheat to make it really easy: I use the microwave. First I heat the milks with salt. Then I add the lemon, and heat it again. If it isn’t beautifully separated, I’ll heat it again for a short time. Then I have this lovely little copper faissel (a copper cheese drainer) and pour it in – you know the rest! It works!

  428. Carolyn

    I have made twice now. Once to put in a lasagna for the night before Thanksgiving. And the 2nd time for Christmas we ate it with crostini. Both times it was absolutely delish and my family thinks I am a rock star because I make cheese.

  429. deb

    Hi Dave — I’m not sure. I know they make it with unpasteurized milk, and it’s certainly not labelled pasteurized, however, they say they heat it to 190 degrees to make it, as I do here, and that certainly would be far above the 150 to 160 degrees used as a minimum temperature to pasteurize cheese. Hopefully someone else will chime in if I’ve got this wrong.

  430. Andrew

    I love this recipe and use it exactly as written. I often make larger batches of it for things like stuffed shells or lasagna, but I’ve noticed that sometimes it comes out thick like cream cheese (which is what I’m going for) or sometimes it is more similar in texture to store bought ricotta. I do 12 cups of milk and 4 cups of cream. Should I also do 4 times as much lemon? Would it also make a difference when quadrupling the recipe for wait time before straining, and/or after straining time?

  431. Andrea Sinicropi

    Hello. I have made this recipe quite a few times now and am so happy I found it. Thank you. I would like to share a couple things that might be useful for others who are thinking to make this recipe. Firstly I used the double boiler method for this. It made this recipe so much easier. Next I would like to share some of the ways I have used the ricotta. I have made stuffed shells with the richer version of ricotta. It was absolutely delicious but the ricotta was so silken that the curds disappeared in cooking. However the richer version was perfect for ricotta and honey ice cream that I made. It was also great slathered on a baguette. I do think I will make the ricotta that uses the 3 cups of whole milk for any recipes that involves cooking it, like lasagna. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!

  432. Susan Shea

    I come back to old recipes you have posted weekly. I just made the ricotta with whole organic local milk and cream. Gonna use it to make a eggplant, zucchini, and squash lasagna. Everyone at work will want a bite.

  433. Sherry

    Deb, I tried to make some ricotta this morning and ended up with cheesy milk! I followed the instructions to a tee but it has been draining for 2 hours without any real curdling. It is too thick to pass thru the cheesecloth but not nearly thick enough to spread or spoon out. Gotta go buy some ricotta for the Sfogliatelle that I promised to make!! Any ideas???

  434. Danielle

    Can I use this ricotta to make my Italian cheesecake?
    If so, should I use the FULL Cup or HALF Cup of Heavy Cream when I make the Ricotta?

  435. deb

    Sherry — It stays creamy so the curds won’t be hugely visible. Keep straining it, some solids should form.

    Kimberly and Danielle — Yes, maybe. It’s much softer than storebought for both. In cheesecake, this might not terribly matter. In the scones, it might make the dough even stickier. For both, I’d probably use a proportion with less cream and more milk.

  436. Danielle

    Hi again Deb, thanks for your fast reply :)
    My cheesecake recipe states to use 3 pounds of Ricotta.
    How much milk, cream, salt & lemon juice will I need to use to make 3 pounds of Ricotta and should I do this in 1 or 2 batches?
    Thanks for your help.

    1. deb

      Sadly, I definitely did not weigh my final batch, and weight will definitely vary by how much you drain off. I think you will want a LOT however, many batches. You’ll only get an approximate 1/4 volume of whatever amount of milk and cream you use in the final ricotta.

  437. Casey

    I just wanted to say that you have given me so much confidence in scratch cooking/baking in the kitchen, thank you! I just made this ricotta recipe and I jumped for joy when it came out as it should. I’m going to use it to make your pasta with sugar snap peas tonight! In love with all your recipes, so thank you for sharing!

  438. Making my first batch of ricotta and came by SK for some tips. Then I watched the video on Salvatore Bklyn…ugh. I will now hang my head in sadness. Was just in NYC for a month and somehow didn’t know about them. Definitely going to hunt that cheese down on the next visit. Weapon of choice will be a fresh loaf of crusty bread.

  439. Hi Deb! I’ve just started making my own ricotta too and have become a bit obsessed with reading everyones