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A wooden bowl with ricotta cheese.
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4.67 from 3 votes

Ricotta Cheese Recipe

Making fresh cheese at home is actually very easy. This is a ricotta style cheese that can be a vehicle to so many flavors. Consider doctoring it up to your liking with herbs and seasoning and use as a spread for your bread or crackers.
Cook Time9 mins
Rest time15 mins
Course: Appetizer, topping
Cuisine: Italian / American
Diet: Halal
Calories: 586kcal
Author: Amira

Equipment

  • Bowl
  • Cheesecloth or clean cotton tea towel or coffee filter.
  • Heavy bottom pan

Ingredients

  • 1 quart whole milk 4 cups
  • 3 Tablespoons white vinegar

For seasoning:

  • 2 teaspoon salt or to taste

Instructions

  • Pour the milk in a heavy bottomed non-reactive sauce pan and heat on medium until a thermometer reads 185°F or the milk is almost boiling.
  • Turn heat down to low and stir in vinegar. Keep it on low for a couple of minutes more then turn heat off.
  • Let it rest for 15 minute, you will notice the curdles start to form and the milk separates.
  • Line a strainer with cheesecloth and put it over a bowl.
  • Pour the curd mixture and let it drain for a couple of hour or overnight in the fridge.
  • You should have an almost clear yellowish whey in the bowl and be left with the cheese in the cheesecloth.
  • Squeeze the cheesecloth and press the cheese to form a ball then place in a container in the fridge and let it set for 2-3 hours to firm up.
  • Salt the cheese and flavor it with whatever flavors you like. See the suggestions below in the notes.

Notes

  • Do not use ultra pasteurized milk as it will not produce enough curdles.
  • If ultra pasteurized is your only option you might want to add a drop of rennet to help.
  • Keep stirring the milk while heating it up so it will not burn.
  • I do not recommend using apple cider vinegar as it will produce a strong taste.
  • If your milk did not curdle as much or if the whey still looked pretty much like milk, pour everything back into your saucepan. Reheat the milk again and stir in another tablespoon of white vinegar into the mixture and it should curdle just fine.
  • Some people add cream to the milk in equal amounts but I haven't had luck with that.
  • I leave my ricotta to drain for at least one hour as I like it crumbly and dry. If this is not your desired texture and you want more creamy consistency then add some of the whey back into the cheese. This will give you a perfect creamy ricotta.
  • You can use the cheese in its crumbled form without having to leave it in the fridge to firm up. 
  • Do not throw away the whey, use it to make bread.
  • This is a great recipe to use up milk on sale or milk that is a tad past the date but still fresh.
  • If you do not have cheesecloth you can use a coffee filter or a clean cotton tea towel. 
To Store:
  • Homemade cheese can stay in the fridge for up to a week and it is also freezer friendly. 
To Serve: Here are some suggestion to flavor and use your homemade cheese.
  • Use Za'aatar and olive oil.
  • Use Italian seasoning and olive oil.
  • Add black pepper; it works great for this.
  • Flavor with herbs, garlic and fresh chives.
  • Do not add salt and add honey and some fresh fruit for a sweet dessert.
  • Top with fresh berries and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
  • Use the homemade ricotta in your lasagna or stuffed shells.
Please check the nutrition disclaimer policy.

Nutrition

Calories: 586kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 5059mg | Potassium: 1251mg | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 1533IU | Calcium: 1075mg | Iron: 1mg