Made using just 4 ingredients, homemade ricotta cheese is a breeze to make. Once you make it at home, you will never buy a tub again. It is rich, creamy, made using real ingredients, and super economical than the store-bought one.
About This Recipe
Making Ricotta Cheese at home is a super easy and simple process. You just need 4 ingredients and 30 minutes of your time to make this light, spongy, creamy, and fresh homemade ricotta.
Ricotta means re-cooked. This cheese was traditionally made by re-cooking leftover whey from cheese production, hence the name. But these days, it is made by curdling the milk with a souring agent.
Ricotta Cheese is much creamier and softer in texture as compared to cottage cheese. You can also control its consistent according to your requirement. Make wetter, looser ricotta, or a drier firmer one depending on what you are going to use it for.
Homemade Ricotta is also much economical and much better in taste than the store-bought pack. So get going and make yourself a batch!
Milk – Ricotta Cheese can be made using sheep, goat, cow, or buffalo’s milk, but cow’s whole milk is preferred for this recipe. Avoid skim or low-fat milk!
Also, avoid using high-temperature pasteurized milk to make this cheese. The high temperature alters the protein structure of milk and prevents it from coagulating.
Cream – The addition of heavy cream makes the ricotta creamier and softer. This is also the differentiating factor between ricotta cheese and cottage cheese.
Lemon – Use lemon juice to curdle the milk. You can also replace it with white vinegar.
How To Make Ricotta Cheese
Add 2 tablespoon water to a heavy bottom pan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Adding a little water to the pan prevents the milk from scorching.
Add 1-liter whole milk, ½ cup heavy cream, and ¼ teaspoon salt to the pan and bring the milk to a boil. Keep stirring occasionally while boiling.
Remove the pan from heat and add 3 tablespoon lemon juice. The milk will curdle immediately. Let it rest for 2-3 minutes.
Note – If your milk didn’t curdle immediately after adding the lemon juice, you can add some more.
Line a large sieve with a layer of cheesecloth. Pour the curdled milk into the sieve and let it drain.
Note – The time of draining will depend on the consistency you are looking at. If you are making the ricotta to use as a dip or a spread, then drain it for 10-12 minutes and if you are going to use it as a filling or for making desserts, then drain it for 20 minutes.
Store the ricotta in a glass container and use it as required.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you don’t have a cheesecloth, you can use cotton, linen, or muslin handkerchief or cloth and use it for straining the cheese.
Once your cheese is ready, it gives you an extra bonus – whey. Do not discard it, it is loaded with nutrients and can be used in many recipes to add an extra flavor.
Use it to knead the dough for roti, paratha, tortilla, etc.
You can add it to Indian gravies, it gives a delicious flavor to them.
Use it to cook rice, pasta, risotto, etc.
Add it to soups, this is my favorite way of using leftover whey.
Use it to make bread, pizza dough, muffins, biscuits, etc.
Use it to make your morning pancakes or waffles.
Other than cooking, you can also use it for your beauty regime or pour it on your plants for their healthy growth.
There are so many ways to use this ricotta cheese, but let me tell you some of my favorites.
Use it to make desserts like cheesecakes or cannoli.
Add it to your salads, open toast, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, etc.
Add it to pasta, risotto, or lasagne.
Scrambled eggs taste great with some fresh ricotta added to them.
Add it over grilled fruits with some granola for a healthy dessert.
Take your homemade ricotta to the next level by flavoring it using various ingredients. Here are some of my favorite options.
Herbed Ricotta – Add in some parsley, chives, salt, and black pepper.
Olive and Garlic Ricotta – Finely chop some green olives and roasted garlic and add it to the ricotta along with some extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Spicy Ricotta – This is one of my favorites! Add in some finely chopped red bell pepper, smoked paprika, and salt to the cheese.
Lemon Basil Ricotta – Add in some finely chopped basil leaves, lemon zest, salt, and black pepper to the ricotta.
Honey Black Pepper – Add in a little honey with black pepper, and there you have a delicious honey ricotta cheese ready.
This cheese keeps good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Store it in a clean and dry airtight container.
You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Its taste will remain the same but texture might change a bit after thawing.
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Ricotta Cheese Recipe
- 1 litre whole milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Add 2 tablespoons of water to a heavy bottom pan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Adding a little water to the pan prevents the milk from scorching.
- Add milk, heavy cream, and salt to the pan and bring the milk to a boil. Keep stirring occasionally while boiling.
- Remove the pan from heat and add lemon juice. The milk will curdle immediately. Let it rest for 2-3 minutes.
- Note – If your milk didn’t curdle immediately after adding the lemon juice, you can add some more.
- Line a large sieve with a layer of cheesecloth. Pour the curdled milk into the sieve and let it drain.
- Note – The time of draining will depend on the consistency you are looking at. If you are making the ricotta to use as a dip or a spread, then drain it for 10-12 minutes and if you are going to use it as a filling or for making desserts, then drain it for 20 minutes.
- Store the ricotta in a glass container and use it as required.