Make Your Own Artisan Ricotta Cheese – It’s Easy!

Homemade ricotta cheese recipe

I’ve always wanted to try cheesemaking, and I recently found a homemade ricotta cheese recipe that was originally published in the now-shuttered Gourmet magazine. Creative Director Richard Ferretti’s version was so simple, it gave me the courage to make a batch — no rennet or thermometers needed! Since then I’ve made several pounds of this creamy cheese, and EVERYONE (everyone, I tell you) begs for the recipe. (Everyone.) So here we go.

First, line a sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth and place it in a bowl like this:


Next,  bring 1 quart of milk, 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to a rolling boil in a heavy saucepan. (By the way, I only make half of Ferretti’s recipe at a time because I am trying, trying to keep my butt from getting as big as a barn.)


Now, you add 1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, reduce the heat to low, and simmer — stirring gently — until the mixture curdles, about 2 minutes. It looks sort of gross at this point, but stay with me.


Now, simply dump the whole mess into that nice cheesecloth-lined sieve, like this:


Let it drain for about an hour, and you’ll have a nice batch of ricotta that looks something like this:

Make your own ricotta cheese

Transfer the ricotta to a tightly lidded container and refrigerate it. For a crazy good snack, spread it on lightly toasted slices of French bread, sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with sliced fresh tomatoes or roasted red peppers. It’s also wonderful spread on crackers and topped with a drizzle of olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. Or spread it on hot buttered toast and drizzle with honey or sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar for a completely decadent breakfast. Ferretti says to eat it within 2 days, which shouldn’t be difficult to do.

Have you tried making your own cheese? If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences.


The signature for Eliza Cross


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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Make Your Own Artisan Ricotta Cheese – It’s Easy!

  • Alejandra

    ha! I had the same problem with my mixture not getting the consistency. I look for information about this, and I found that if you stir too much you breaks the curds that have formed. in fact, they recommend not to stir at all. I did stop stiring and voilá in no time my mixture looked like your pictures!

  • gerard

    Hi Eliza I just finished making this but after lemon it took me way more than two minutes to get it to the consistency you have above so I could dump it into cheesecloth. Have not tasted it yet. will let you know. really it took 25 minutes of stirring.

    • eliza_cross

      Thanks for the feedback, and I wonder why it took so long. Maybe it has something to do with the fat content in either the milk or cream used? When I make it, I use heavy whipping cream and 1% milk. The suspense is killing me – did you like the finished product?

  • Nichole

    I know I’m a day late and a dollar short ~ but just wanted to let you know that you inspired me to try this. omg OMG Who knew it would be so simple and so dang good?? I saved the leftover whey to bake bread with tomorrow. Can’t wait to try that as well! Thank you! Loved the step-by-step pictorial as well, that made it much easier to know what to expect. =)

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    […] Make Your Own Artisan Ricotta Cheese — It’s Easy! […]

  • This is very similar to the (East) Indian paneer cheese, which is made with just the milk and lemon. I’ll have to try adding the other ingredients the next time I want fresh ricotta!

  • I’m having a cheese making party with some friends this week. We’ll make mozz and then use the whey to make ricotta. I usually use apple cider vinegar in my ricotta, but we might make a batch using this recipe also.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I added you to my reader, and I’ll eventually get you on my blog roll (just a lazy slowpoke sometimes!)

  • Eliza, I just haven’t been able to stop thinking about your beans and greens…I had to make that for myself for dinner tonight! Yummy! Thanks!


  • vickie

    I’ve never tried to make this before – sounds delicious and fun to try.

  • Catherine

    This sounds sooooooo good! I’m going to go home and make this tonight to go with our supper!

  • lailablogs

    So simple .. i like it … gonna try it soon …
    Laila ..

  • Thanks for this recipe, I will definitely try this!

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