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  • Writer's pictureDonna

Ricotta Cheese

Updated: Jun 18, 2023

Rich, creamy ricotta cheese is perfect as an appetizer or added to pizza or in your favorite pasta dish!

I started making this ricotta cheese a few years ago and there is no way that I will buy the store bought, processed version again. It is so easy to make and the result is an incredibly creamy and fresh buttery cheese. The texture is smooth and silky... complete opposite of store bought ricotta.

I have served it as an appetizer with a hearty pizza sauce and slices of fresh, crusty, french bread; our friends loved it. We also like to have it on pizza, in lasagna or other pastas, and it makes amazing ricotta cookies.

Ricotta Cheese


  • 4 cups whole milk (use the freshest, highest quality milk you can buy)

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar

  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • Zest of one lemon (optional)

  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (optional)

You will also need good quality cheese cloth for straining.


  1. Add the milk, heavy cream, and salt to a large stock pot over medium low heat.

  2. Allow the milk/cream to warm while on medium low heat, stir it frequently, and gradually increase the temperature to bring it to a low boil.

  3. As the milk/cream is warming, wet a large sheet of cheese cloth and wring out excess water.

  4. Place the cheese cloth in a double layer over a large strainer set over a bowl. Use a large enough sheet that the corners drape over the edge and are easy to grab.

  5. Once the milk/cream reaches a low boil, immediately remove the pan from the heat.

  6. Pour vinegar and lemon juice over the milk/cream.

  7. Wait ~10 minute for the mixture to curdle.

  8. Pour the milk/cream slowly into the strainer that you lined with cheese cloth. Be careful to leave the corners of the cheese cloth out of the mixture so you can tie the ends.

  9. Grab the four corners of the cheese cloth and tie them together with a large spoon through the middle to use as a handle (see pictures below).

  10. Allow to strain for ~45 minutes; you can tighten the cheese cloth every so often to help the straining. This separates the whey from the curds.

  11. Empty the curds from within the cheese cloth into a separate bowl. Use a spoon to scrape the cheese cloth to capture any curds stuck in the layers.

  12. Add lemon zest and thyme (optional) and stir.

You can enjoy it now with a side of pizza sauce and some fresh bread or put it on a pizza. You can also store it in the refrigerator in an air tight bowl for a few days. If you store it, the cheese because super creamy and spreadable like cream cheese but better. You can save the whey (the strained liquid from step 10) and use that to make a caramel sauce that is decadent, creamy, delicious and healthier than the stuff you buy at the store.

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