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fresh ricotta in a white bowl
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5 from 6 votes

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

If you've never made fresh homemade ricotta cheese then you've never tasted just good it can be. You won't believe how easy it is to make at home!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: cheese
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade cheese, how to make cheese, ricotta cheese
Servings: 3 cups
Calories: 825kcal
Author: Chef Dennis Littley


  • 1 gallon organic whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt I used greek yogurt
  • cup fresh lemon juice 3 lemons


  • Using two large pots, make a double boiler by placing the smaller one inside the larger pot.
  • Once you find a good pair to use, fill the bottom pot with enough water so it comes about halfway up the sides of the smaller insert pot.
  • Add the milk into the insert and heat it over medium heat until the temperature reaches 190°F (88°C) It will take about 15 minutes, to reach that temperature. Make sure to use a thermometer to check the temperature.
  • Add the salt, yogurt, and lemon juice to the milk, and stir with a wooden spoon for just long enough to mix everything together. adjust the hear to maintain the temperature of the milk. *
  • Maintain the milk’s temperature at 190°F (88°C) for 25 minutes, (you may have to remove the insert if the milk begins to get too hot)
  • DO NOT stir the milk while the ricotta curds are forming!
  • When 25 minutes has passed, using a skimmer carefully lift all the ricotta curds out of the whey and transfer them to a fine-mesh strainer (or use cheesecloth inside a pasta strainer)*
  • If you are using your ricotta for cheesecake, let it drain for about 1 hour, then dump it into a bowl and fluff a little with a fork.
  • Transfer your ricotta to a covered container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. (if you prefer a wetter ricotta, transfer the curds directly to your storage container)


* when adding the yogurt to the milk, my temps were reduced by about 15 degrees, I suggest allowing the yogurt to come to room temperature before using it. You may have to turn up the heat slightly to raise the overall temp back up, just be careful not to overheat!
*drain the curds over a bowl and use the by product for making bread or any other baked good calling for water.


Calories: 825kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 2905mg | Potassium: 1820mg | Sugar: 68g | Vitamin A: 2125IU | Vitamin C: 10.9mg | Calcium: 1525mg | Iron: 0.4mg