Homemade Ricotta Cheese

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Homemade ricotta cheese is delicious and easy to make, using just three ingredients that you probably have in your refrigerator.

Homemade ricotta cheese is delicious and easy to make, using just three ingredients that you probably have in your refrigerator.

DisclosureHomemade ricotta cheese is incredibly easy to make, and it tastes delicious. It’s similar to my homemade Greek yogurt recipe in that you heat up some milk, add a simple second ingredient, and let nature do the rest.

You can use vinegar or lemon juice to make this cheese. Some recipes call for added cream, but being frugal in the kitchen, I’m happy with this less expensive version.

Use ricotta as a spread for crackers, a topping for pizza, a filling for lasagna, or a base for fluffy pancakes. It also tastes wonderful straight out of the bowl with a sprinkle of salt or fresh herbs.

Homemade ricotta cheese is delicious and easy to make, using just three ingredients that you probably have in your refrigerator.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade ricotta cheese is delicious and easy to make, using just three ingredients that you probably have in your refrigerator.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:5 mins
Cook Time:5 mins
Straining Time:5 mins
Total Time:15 mins


  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt optional


  • In a medium heavy-bottomed pot, heat the milk on the stove over medium-low heat until it reaches 180 degrees.
  • Add the lemon juice and salt to the milk and stir briefly to combine. Heat over a medium flame for a few more minutes until it reaches 200 degrees.
  • Remove the pot from the stove and let it sit for 10 minutes. The cheese will form as the curds separate from the whey. If you don’t see thick cheese forming in the first minute or two, add a little more lemon juice.
  • After 10 minutes, transfer the mixture to a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. I use this Butter Muslin, which is woven more tightly than some cheese cloth and it’s washable and reusable. (I use this to strain yogurt and ghee as well.)
  • Let the whey drain in the refrigerator until the ricotta reaches your desired thickness. Transfer the cheese to an air-tight container and store for up to 5 days.


You can alternately use plain white vinegar in place of the lemon juice.


Calories: 50kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 107mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 132IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 1mg
Servings: 12
Calories: 50kcal
Cost: $.08 per ounce

Homemade Ricotta Price Breakdown

This recipe yields 1½ cups of ricotta cheese, or about ¾ of a pound. The total cost is $1.01, or $.08 per ounce. This quantity of ricotta cheese at the grocery store would cost $.20 per ounce, which is more than twice as much as the homemade version. This ricotta cheese has a wonderful flavor, and it’s so easy to make.

If you’re looking for something to do with all this ricotta, try my lemon ricotta pancakes.


  1. Thank you so much for this recipe. I’ve been using a raw cottage cheese in place of ricotta. A good ricotta is ridiculously hard to find in our area and I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on making my own.

  2. Would it be okay to use vinegar instead of lemon juice? Or does the lemon have an effect on the flavor?

    1. Anne, this works fine with vinegar too. I’ve made it both ways, and the taste difference is very slight.

  3. I made this and it turned out so lovely and deliciously fresh. Definitely add the salt because I made it both with and without and the salt brightens and allows the freshness of the lime juice to compliment the creaminess of the cheese itself.

    This is so easy and the taste just doesn’t compare to store bought. So totally worth making. Thank you so much.

    1. I’m so glad, Sue. I totally agree – there’s no reason to buy store-bought ricotta when you can make this easy, delicious version at home.

    1. Great question, Becky! Whey is a nutritional powerhouse so it’s best not to dump it. It can be used in baked goods (just substitute it for whatever liquid your recipe calls for) or smoothies. I also use whey to soak grains, which makes them more digestible. If you plan to have oatmeal in the morning, soak it in water plus a tablespoon of whey overnight. If you’re baking with whole wheat, it’s great to soak the wheat in a whey/water combination overnight to break down the Phytic acid in the wheat.

  4. Does it need to be lemon juice in the little squirty containers that is more consistent or fresh lemon juice?


  5. Yes, I love to shop there. They have European cheeses such as kerrygold and dublinir there at a good price which are made of milk without hormones like they are in the states. The cows are also grass fed. Some of cheeses are made from raw milk or heat treated (whatever that means). I bought in bulk because Aldi’s might have them one week but not the next.

  6. Hi,

    I need some ricotta to make some blueberry scones. I have everything but the ricotta. Oh dang, forgot about the thermometer. I don’t have one so still have to go to store. I will certainly try it though. I have never made cheese or yoghurt. I just buy containers of yoghurt and add honey and/ or vanilla flavoring. I buy butter from Aldi’s. it is cheaper but not as creamy as land o lands but tastes and bakes well. Personally, I had to cut corners and decide what foods I am willing to pay more for. Butter and milk were one of them. I don’t have children at home so it is easier making decisions like this.

    1. Good luck making ricotta, Jan. You’re lucky to live near an Aldi – they have great prices! And it’s important to prioritize what foods you’re willing to pay more for because some things really are worth the higher price.

  7. Thanks Annemarie! Now I know what I’m making next time I see a bunch of milk marked down. My kids can suck down a gallon easy, but I can’t resist multiple gallons if I have a plan to cook with some of them. Usually, I make buttermilk–but now, ricotta too!

    1. Yes you can, Sandy, but I’ve never tried it that way. From what I understand, it may be a bit dry with skim or 1%, so I would recommend trying 2%.

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