This is a recipe for my Sicilian grandmother's creamy homemade ricotta cheese. Great as a spread on fresh bread or add as a topping to fresh Pasta.

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
35 mins
additional:
10 mins
total:
55 mins
Servings:
20
Yield:
5 cups
Advertisement

Ingredients

20
Original recipe yields 20 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Line a large colander or sieve with 4 layers of cheesecloth. Set aside.

    Advertisement
  • Heat milk, buttermilk, heavy cream, and salt in a large, heavy, nonreactive saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for the first 10 minutes. Continue heating, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 190 degrees F. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour. The mixture will be separated into white curds and clear whey.

  • Using a slotted spoon, ladle approximately 1/4 of the curds into the cheesecloth-lined colander. Gather up the corners of the top cheesecloth and secure closed with a zip tie. Repeat with the rest of the curds, cheesecloth, and zip ties. Use the last zip tie to thread all of the cheeses together. Suspend the cheeses over a large wooden spoon over a large bowl, and let drain for 2 hours.

  • Place the four cheeses, still in cloth, in a bowl in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, cut zip ties, and transfer cheese to an airtight container.

Nutrition Facts

219 calories; protein 8.4g; carbohydrates 11.8g; fat 15.6g; cholesterol 54.1mg; sodium 426.6mg. Full Nutrition
Advertisement

Reviews (55)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
07/16/2008
Here are some tips I found out: 1. A nonreactive saucepan refers to using any type of pot except aluminum and copper which would react with the acids in the milk; a heavy-bottomed pot is prefered to help prevent burning of the curds. 2. After the ricotta is made it can be stored up to 5-7 days, but may NOT be frozen; if it smells rancid then throw it out. 3. When you drain the ricotta in the cheesecloth, the longer you drain it the drier it will be, and the less you drain it the creamier it will be. 4. If you don't have a thermometer, then keep an eye on the cooking mixture until it separates into curds and whey (the milk has reached it's boiling point/scalding); remove from heat and either let the mixture cool/settle a bit, or scoop out the curds with a slotted spoon. UPDATE: The curds and whey separated nicely. I let the cheese cool down first, then I ladled the whey into a large bowl, and then I used a small colander to scoop out the curds into a clean dish cloth (I didn't have the cheese cloth on hand). Now it's hanging over the sink to drain and then I will refrigerate it over night. I tasted the ricotta and it tastes fresher than when you buy it at the store. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Thanks for sharing a classic, Orcashottie! Read More
(194)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
08/30/2012
This recipe was ok but it cost more for a gallon of milk than it is to buy ricotta cheese at the super market so I will probably not make again. Turned out ok with the fresh ricotta taste when I did make it. Read More
(8)
65 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 56
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
07/16/2008
Here are some tips I found out: 1. A nonreactive saucepan refers to using any type of pot except aluminum and copper which would react with the acids in the milk; a heavy-bottomed pot is prefered to help prevent burning of the curds. 2. After the ricotta is made it can be stored up to 5-7 days, but may NOT be frozen; if it smells rancid then throw it out. 3. When you drain the ricotta in the cheesecloth, the longer you drain it the drier it will be, and the less you drain it the creamier it will be. 4. If you don't have a thermometer, then keep an eye on the cooking mixture until it separates into curds and whey (the milk has reached it's boiling point/scalding); remove from heat and either let the mixture cool/settle a bit, or scoop out the curds with a slotted spoon. UPDATE: The curds and whey separated nicely. I let the cheese cool down first, then I ladled the whey into a large bowl, and then I used a small colander to scoop out the curds into a clean dish cloth (I didn't have the cheese cloth on hand). Now it's hanging over the sink to drain and then I will refrigerate it over night. I tasted the ricotta and it tastes fresher than when you buy it at the store. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Thanks for sharing a classic, Orcashottie! Read More
(194)
Rating: 5 stars
09/26/2008
I didn't have the cream, but made ricotta for the first time in my 70+ years. It's delicious and I'll make lasagna and use part of the ricotta tomorrow. The whey looked so nutritious and I decided to make a pot of potato/corn/carrot soup with it. I sauteed onions, celery, garlic, added carrots, potatoes, frozen corn and seasonings. It's healthy and very good. Now I just have to find hungry people to help eat it. Thank you for this wonderful recipe. Next time, I'll be sure to use the cream. Read More
(106)
Rating: 5 stars
07/14/2008
I'd say this will yeild about 2 lbs of cheese. You can freeze your whey in cup containers, use it in pancakes/waffles, muffins and bread. Anywhere a recipe calls for water. Be creative, it's worth it. Read More
(80)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
04/14/2010
I had some leftover whole milk (about 2 C), buttermilk (about 1 1/2 C) and heavy cream (about 1 C) so I impulsively made this throwing in 1 tsp kosher salt. I accidentally let the mixture rise above 200 degrees. Even so, it curdled just fine. It was delicious! We used it as a spread on homemade potato bread. It seems I always have a little bit of these various milks waiting to spoil in the fridge. Now I know what I can do with it! Read More
(38)
Rating: 4 stars
08/12/2009
A VERY nice and creamy result. I left the heavy cream out (since others mentioned it was OK and it wasn't readily available in my fridge) and used 2% milk. Wasn't real sure what I was looking for to know things were moving along. I did bring it up to 190 and let it sit, and there WERE some curds that formed, but overall it still looked like a pot of milk. Reading a previous commentor's suggestion I reheated the pot again at medium low and let the mixture go until I saw separation of the whey and curds. Worked perfect. I didn't bother with 4 pieces of cheesecloth - just used one. I also did only half a batch my first time out. Made just shy of 2 cups worth. Will definitely do this again :) Read More
(37)
Rating: 5 stars
11/03/2012
Fantastic. I will never buy ricotta again. It is so easy and taste is very fresh. I put it on top of penne with marinara, add sugar substitute and top with fresh berries and have even added high quality cocoa to make chocolate ricotta as a dessert. I love it while it is warm! I barely drain mine in the cheesecloth as it results in a more moist, creamy ricotta. I have made homemade ravioli for my southern friends and they said they were to die for! You must try this. Read More
(22)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
09/26/2011
I am beyond thrilled with this recipe. It is incredibly easy and delivers a light, fresh, creamy tasting cheese. I made 2 batches of cheese and my egg-less semolina pasta for ravioli. I got 12 dozen ravioli from it. Everyone loved the fresh taste of the cheese and requested I try it in stuffed shells and lasagna next. This was a fun thing to make with my kids as well! Sayanora to another item I would normally buy! Read More
(20)
Rating: 5 stars
12/23/2010
Wonderful! I am originally from Italy and find that the store bought ricotta often has a plastic container taste. I made this once and it was wonderful. Look forward to making it again. Read More
(19)
Rating: 5 stars
07/07/2008
This recipe can be very useful to me as I make a lot of Italian dishes and Ricotta is like Ice Cream to me... I can sit and eat it from the container. I also have the question that the first reviewer asked how much exactly does this make? And how long will it last can it be frozen and what should we do with the Whey? Read More
(15)
Rating: 3 stars
08/30/2012
This recipe was ok but it cost more for a gallon of milk than it is to buy ricotta cheese at the super market so I will probably not make again. Turned out ok with the fresh ricotta taste when I did make it. Read More
(8)
Advertisement