Instant Pot Ricotta

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Homemade ricotta is one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make. This Instant Pot ricotta recipe costs much less than store-bought ricotta, and it tastes delicious!

Instant Pot ricotta in a bowl

Homemade ricotta cheese couldn’t be easier to make. It’s as simple as heating up some milk, adding vinegar, and waiting a few minutes for the magic to begin.

An Instant Pot makes it even easier than my stove top homemade ricotta. There’s no worrying about a pot of milk boiling over on the stove. The yogurt setting on the Instant Pot heats the milk to the required 180 degrees, so all you have to do is add the vinegar and strain the mixture.

This Instant Pot ricotta is a great spread for crackers or a base for pancakes and muffins. I can never bring myself to buy ricotta anymore now that I know how easy and affordable it is to make my own.

Instant Pot ricotta served with crackers

Step by Step Instructions for Instant Pot Ricotta

Pouring milk into the Instant Pot

Step One: Heat the milk in the pressure cooker

Heat the milk to 180 degrees using the Instant Pot. To do this, pour the milk into the Instant Pot, close the lid, and set the valve to Sealing. Press the Yogurt button and press Adjust until you see the word “Boil.” Let the pot run the boil cycle.

Milk measuring at 180 degrees

Step Two: Confirm the temperature of the milk

When the Instant Pot beeps, it means the milk has come to the perfect temperature of 180 degrees. Remove the top and confirm that the temperature is correct with a thermometer. (If it’s a bit high, let it sit for a minute until it comes down to 180 degrees. If the temperature is less than 180 degrees, press the Saute button and watch the thermometer until the temperature comes to 180 degrees.)

Vinegar is being poured into the hot milk

Step Three: Add vinegar to the hot milk

Remove the inner pot to a trivet and pour the vinegar into the milk. Stir briefly. You’ll see the ricotta separating from the liquid. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.

Instant Pot ricotta being strained

Step Four: Strain the Instant Pot ricotta

Transfer the ricotta mixture to a fine mesh strainer or colander lined with butter muslin or cotton cheesecloth. Let the liquid drain into a large bowl for a couple minutes until it reaches the desired texture, and add a sprinkle of salt if desired. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate.

Tips and Frequently Asked Questions

What adaptations can be made to this recipe?

If you have lemons on hand, you can use lemon juice instead of vinegar in this Instant Pot ricotta recipe. And if you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can follow my recipe for stovetop homemade ricotta using a pot and a thermometer.

What can I do with the whey?

The liquid that gets strained out is whey. It can be added to baking recipes or pancake batter in place of water or milk. It can also be used to soak grains or added to smoothies.

How can I use Instant Pot ricotta?

Ricotta is delicious on its own as a spread on crackers, and it adds a wonderful texture to pancakes and baked goods. It can also be used as a topping for pizza or pasta. It’s a central ingredient in lasagna, stuffed shells, and other baked pasta recipes.

What can I do if my ricotta doesn’t separate?

Be sure to confirm that the milk has reached the correct temperature of 180 degrees. If it doesn’t begin to separate into curds within a couple minutes, add an additional tablespoon of vinegar. This should move the process along.

Instant Pot Ricotta

Instant Pot ricotta is so easy to make!
Print Recipe
4.91 from 11 votes
Instant Pot ricotta in a bowl
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
Total Time:35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 tbs white vinegar

Instructions

  • Pour the milk into the Instant Pot, close the lid, and set the valve to Sealing.
  • Press the Yogurt button and press Adjust until you see Boil.
  • Let the pot run the boil cycle. When it beeps, it means the milk has reached 180 degrees. Remove the top.
  • Remove the inner pot to a trivet and pour the vinegar into the milk. Stir briefly. You’ll see the ricotta separating from the liquid. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the ricotta mixture to a fine mesh strainer lined with butter muslin. Let the liquid drain for a couple minutes, and add a sprinkle of salt if desired. (Let it drain for a bit longer if you want firmer ricotta).Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate.

Approximate Nutrition Info

Calories: 99kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 244mg | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 264IU | Calcium: 200mg | Iron: 0.002mg
Servings: 6
Calories: 99kcal
Cost: $.07 per ounce

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Instant Pot Ricotta Price Breakdown

This recipe costs a total of $.82 to make, and it yields about 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces). This comes out to $.07 per ounce ($.55 per cup). This is less than half the cost of store-bought ricotta, and the homemade version is so fresh and delicious! Try this recipe the next time you’re making something that calls for ricotta. You’ll never go back to the packaged version.

Note: This recipe was originally published in 2017, and it was updated in 2023.

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