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Fresh Homemade Ricotta

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields about 4-1/2 cups ricotta

Freshly made ricotta is so good, you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful. With so few ingredients, the quality of each is very important. The better your milk and cream, the better your cheese will be. A high-quality sea salt will also make a difference. If you’d like to make a little less, the recipe is easily halved.


  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbs. flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
  • 1/2 cup fresh, strained lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size per 2 Tbs.
  • Calories (kcal) : 45
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 30
  • Fat (g): 3
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Cholesterol (mg): 10
  • Sodium (mg): 130
  • Carbohydrates (g): 3
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 2


  • Line a colander with 3 to 4 layers of lightly dampened cheesecloth, and set it in a clean sink or large bowl.
  • Clip an instant-read or candy thermometer to the side of a heavy-duty 7- to 8-quart pot. Put the milk and cream in the pot and slowly warm it over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a silicone spatula, until it’s 185°F, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, stir in the salt, and then slowly pour the lemon juice over the surface of the milk. Once all of the lemon juice has been added, stir gently for 1 to 2 minutes to encourage curds to form.
  • Gently ladle the curds into the prepared colander. Fold the ends of the cheesecloth over the curds to loosely cover. Drain until it reaches your desired consistency, 30 minutes for a soft ricotta and up to 24 hours for a very firm, dry, dense ricotta. Refrigerate if draining for more than a couple of hours. Transfer the drained ricotta to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.


Rate or Review


  • Lily F. | 04/04/2018

    Just made it and it came out awesome. Thank you for sharing your recipe!!!

  • User avater
    callmeafoodie | 02/14/2017

    OHH EMM GEE !! This was delicious, I've made it twice so far and it's been outstanding both times. As noted, not all lemons are created equal and both times, I've needed to add a little extra lemon juice with the first batch distinctly lemon-flavored and the second batch, not lemony at all .. either way, this recipe is well worth the 30 minutes and I'll never use store bought ricotta again !!

  • user-4135221 | 12/19/2015

    We made this recipe and it is as easy as they are saying. The cheese produced was AMAZING! We also made the stuffed shells recipe and the stuffed pork chops. Delicious.

  • speechiegal | 05/26/2015

    Super Fabulous! Couldn't be easier to do. I'll never buy the stuff in the tub again. Even my 5-year old grandson commented when eating the stuffed shells -- I love this cheese!!!! Made a recipe with stuffed shells with half of the cheese and used the other half to make a ricotta cake. Made the cheese again a few days later and made two more cakes to take to a party. Yesthat's how good this stuff is!

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