Sunday, April 23, 2017

How to Make Ricotta Cheese

Whey and curds!

Last week, I tried making whole-milk ricotta for the first time, after several times of glancing over articles that raved about how easy it was. Was it really that easy? Yes it was. 

I followed these instructions from The Kitchn, using bottled lemon juice. The cheese tasted lemony, which isn’t a bad thing, but you if you want a more neutral taste, using vinegar or citric acid would probably be a better choice.

I won’t plagiarize The Kitchn’s excellent instructions, but here are some photos from my adventure:

Heating the milk took some time, but I just washed dishes while I was waiting.

I didn't have cheesecloth, so I just used a cloth napkin. Worked like a charm.

Spooning the curds into the napkin to drain the whey through the colander into the bowl.

Although the instructions didn't call for it, I hung the curds to drain. They turned out pretty dry, so if I had wanted a moister cheese, I should've let the curds gently drain for 10 minutes rather than 20.

Again, these curds could've been less dry, but I wanted a firmer cheese.

The finished cheese.

I added ricotta and spinach from my garden to make a chunky tomato sauce. Yummy!

This is probably the easiest kind of cheese to make (after kefir cheese, of course), and doesn’t require any special equipment or weird ingredients. The texture was nice, and it was fun to make pure homemade ricotta without any additives.

Now all I need to figure out is what to do with the quart of leftover whey! Any suggestions?



  1. I use whey in bread, or for cooking rice. You can also water plants with it, though I'm not sure it's any more beneficial than using water.

    1. Maybe I'll try it next time I make pizza dough— although I already use sourdough for it, so that might make the dough a little too sour!