Ricotta Cheese – Easy Homemade Recipe

If you’re thinking that homemade ricotta cheese is too complicated or time-consuming to make, I swear – it’s not! You don’t need any special equipment other than a thermometer and you probably already have all three ingredients in your refrigerator.

I’ve been trying to eat more organic food recently and when it came time to make lasagna, I was a bit appalled at how much I’d have to spend just for the ricotta. Organic ricotta isn’t cheap around these parts! So I turned to this homemade ricotta cheese recipe, which I’ve been making for years.

Easy Homemade Ricotta Cheese – you only need 3 ingredients you probably already have at home!

If milk is expensive where you live, then it may just be cheaper to buy ricotta. But I have to say, this is one item that tastes SO much better homemade. I think store-bought ricotta tends to be on the watery side and lacking in flavor, whereas this one most definitely isn’t.

The amount that this recipe yields is just the right amount for lasagna. Most recipes call for a 15-ounce container, which is about 1 3/4 cups. This yields just a bit more than that, so you can snack a little and have enough left for your lasagna!

I don’t make lasagna all that often just because it takes so long to make so when I do make lasagna, I usually use this homemade ricotta. It really makes a huge difference! It’s so, so incredibly rich and creamy. It’d also be amazing in this Ricotta Cake!

Easy Homemade Ricotta Cheese – you only need 3 simple ingredients you probably already have at home!

It has the same effect on cannoli filling. It’s just so much better with this homemade cheese! If you need a keto recipe, check out this keto cannoli cream.

Making cheese sounds hard but all you need is milk, cream, salt and lemon juice. You just heat it up to a certain temperature, stir in the lemon juice, let it sit and then drain. A lot of hands-on time isn’t required but it’s not the quickest thing to make. I think you’ll find it worth the effort, though!

Easy Homemade Ricotta Cheese – you only need 3 ingredients you probably already have at home!

Easy Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Rated 5.0 by 7 readers
Ricotta Cheese – Easy Homemade Recipe
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: almost 2 cups (slightly more than 15 ounces)


  • 7 cups (1656 milliliters) whole milk
  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) whipping cream or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Pour the milk, cream and salt into a large non-reactive pot. Attach a candy or deep-fry thermometer and over medium heat, heat the milk to 190 °F (88 °C). Stir every now and then to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pot.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat and then add the lemon juice. Slowly stir the mixture once or twice. Go away so you’re not tempted to mess with it and come back 10 minutes later.
  3. Place a colander over a large bowl, making sure that there’s an inch or two between the bottom of the colander and the pot. Line the colander with a few layers of cheesecloth. Pour the ricotta mixture over the cheesecloth lined colander.
  4. Strain it at least for two hours. It will firm as it chills so don’t be worried that it’s not firm yet.
  5. Shelf life varies depending on the milk you used, but it should stay good for at least 3-4 days. Just give it a smell and you’ll know if it’s good or not.

Adapted from rich homemade ricotta on Smitten Kitchen

Recipe by  | www.texanerin.com

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37 comments on “Ricotta Cheese – Easy Homemade Recipe” — Add one!

  • Jayne says
    March 15, 2020 @ 10:51 pm

    A little tip on lasagna- you NEVER have to cook the noodles! I know some noodles are sold as “no cooking needed” but having working in an Italian restaurant making 30 trays a week, I got this!

    Make your lasagna the normal way laying your uncooked noodles up as you would if they were cooked. When you are done with the top layer of noodles add a 1/2 cup of water over the whole thing. You can add the top layer of sauce and cheese here, or wait until the the last 15 minutes. Cover with foil and bake 45 min at 350. Remove foil, add your sauce and cheese and pop back in the oven for 15 minutes. So much easier!

    I’ve done it with a lot of lasagna noodle brands and never had a problem except when I forgot I used more noodles than usual in a larger pan. I added another quarter cup of water at the 45 min and left the cover on for another 15 minutes.

    Thanks for the recipes! I will definitely be making the ricotta and the cream cheese- though in much smaller batches.

    • Erin replies to Jayne
      April 7, 2020 @ 7:54 pm

      I’m so sorry for just now seeing your comment! It landed in spam for some weird reason. Thanks for the amazing tip! I’ll have to try that. By any chance, have you tried it with gluten-free noodles? They’re a bit different than regular wheat noodles so I’m curious if they work, too. Thanks again for your great comment and sorry again for my slow reply!

  • Yang
    August 25, 2019 @ 6:14 am

    Thanks for sharing a classic recipe! I love it’s so easy.

    • Erin replies to Yang
      September 6, 2019 @ 8:04 pm

      You’re welcome! :)

  • Jennifer Fisher
    August 24, 2019 @ 12:55 am

    This is something I definitely need to try, so fresh — great as a spread and in recipes!

    August 23, 2019 @ 6:04 pm

    I’ve never made ricotta before and had no idea it was so simple with only a few ingredients! Thanks for the step by step directions :) I’m going to give this a go!

  • Raia
    August 23, 2019 @ 3:29 am

    Wow, this sounds so easy! I know my kids would love it if I made this for them. :)

    • Erin replies to Raia
      September 6, 2019 @ 12:26 pm

      I hope you will, too! :)

  • ChihYu
    August 21, 2019 @ 2:12 am

    Thank you for this simple way to make delicious ricotta! It will go wonderfully with so many dishes!

    • Erin replies to ChihYu
      September 2, 2019 @ 8:51 pm

      You’re welcome! :)

  • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
    August 17, 2016 @ 4:22 am

    Awesome! I’ve been making my own ricotta for several years now and it never ceases to amaze me how easy it is, and so much cheaper than buying it. Great post!

  • Kim says
    August 13, 2016 @ 6:42 pm

    I just recently found your site and love it!

    I made homemade ricotta several years ago and went one step further and baked it…makes for a fabulous lasagna!!!


    4 cups Milk
    1 cup Cream
    Juice of 1 lemon
    ½ t salt

    Mix ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add the juice of one lemon. Stir until curds separate. Pour into strainer lined with cheesecloth. Press to form the shape of the strainer. Let sit one hour (don’t let bottom of colander touch liquid).

    RICOTTA INFORNATA (Baked Ricotta)

    Makes 1

    1 pound fresh ricotta
    Pinch to 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for baking
    Usalted butter


    Taste ricotta. If it needs salt, add up to 1/4 teaspoon. Transfer to a fine-mesh strainer or colander fitted over a deep bowl. Loosely cover and refrigerate for at least 24 and up to 36 hours.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

    Butter the bottom and sides of a small ceramic baking dish. Coat with a thin layer of salt. Gently turn the cheese out onto the baking dish without disturbing its form. Sprinkle salt lightly over the surface of the cheese to create a protective layer.

    Place dish on prepared baking sheet and bake until ricotta becomes a rich nutty brown, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Cool to room temperature. Ricotta infornata may be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

    • Erin replies to Kim
      August 14, 2016 @ 7:36 pm

      Oh, that’s interesting! Thanks for sharing :) How does baking it change the taste? I just looked at some pictures and it looks great! Thanks again for your comment.

      • Kim replies to Erin
        August 14, 2016 @ 7:58 pm

        I believe it gives it a toasted or nutty flavor and consistency if firmer, although still soft

        Here is more information…more than I even knew lol


        • Kim replies to Kim
          August 14, 2016 @ 8:00 pm

          BTW I made lasagna with ricotta infornata and it was by far the BEST lasagna I ever made!!!

        • Erin replies to Kim
          August 15, 2016 @ 8:52 pm

          That’s how I felt with this non-baked ricotta! Hands down the best lasagna ever. So I’m intrigued about the oven-baked kind!

        • Erin replies to Kim
          August 15, 2016 @ 8:51 pm

          Haha. Awesome! Thanks. Will check it out. :)

  • Laura says
    July 22, 2016 @ 3:39 pm

    AH I LOVE THIS! One of my favorite restaurants serves as salad with house-made ricotta and it’s SO good! I can’t wait to try this!!!!

    • Erin replies to Laura
      July 23, 2016 @ 3:13 pm

      I hope you’ll love it as much as I do! :)

  • Miranda
    July 21, 2016 @ 8:05 pm

    I love how you tried making it yourself! I can’t wait to try it out next time I make lasagna!

  • Melanie | Melanie Makes says
    July 21, 2016 @ 5:40 am

    I love when you’re able to make your own of something rather than shell out big bucks!

  • Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog says
    July 20, 2016 @ 9:06 pm

    I have been wanting to experiment with homemade cheese! I bought a mozzarella kit but then I realized I can’t use it with ultra-pasturized milk, which I had wanted to make it with lactose-free milk. SO looks like I’ll be trying this ricotta!

  • Ginny McMeans says
    July 20, 2016 @ 4:02 pm

    So many people are going to love to find this recipe. Really handy!

  • Kathy Simkins says
    July 19, 2016 @ 8:21 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. I live in a small town where the only store does not carry Ricotta cheese. I have so many allergies that most commercially processed foods are out of the question so this recipe should add a much needed source of protein to my meager diet. You are an angel!

    • Erin replies to Kathy Simkins
      July 19, 2016 @ 12:26 pm

      Aww, yay! I’m happy that you’ll finally be able to enjoy ricotta cheese again. :) I hope you’ll enjoy it and thanks a ton for your comment!

  • Upma Dhingra
    July 19, 2016 @ 5:28 am

    Nice one!! We make cheese in India called PANEER by just adding lemon juice/yogurt/vinegar to plain milk n once it curdles we strain it.. But no cream .. Then sauté some tomatoes with cumin add PANEER n salt,paprika, cilantro n have it on toast for breakfast .. Hi protein veg bfast!! But don’t throw the whey water!! Add it to ur smoothies or knead ur dough with it.!!

    • Erin replies to Upma Dhingra
      July 19, 2016 @ 12:29 pm

      I just looked up paneer and it sounds like something I should try! It sounds delicious. Thanks so much for your interesting comment! :)

  • Patricia @ Grab a Plate says
    July 19, 2016 @ 3:57 am

    Wow! So easy – I can’t wait to give it a try! I use ricotta more than not, and it does get pricey! Thanks for sharing (pinning)!

  • Maris (In Good Taste) says
    July 19, 2016 @ 3:20 am

    Looks delicious! I love ricotta cheese with fresh strawberries, yum!

  • Kacey @ The Cookie Writer says
    July 18, 2016 @ 9:06 pm

    Really?! I cannot wait to try this! Of course I just picked up some ricotta but I love lasagna, so no excuses for me ;)

  • Beth Baumgartner says
    July 18, 2016 @ 7:02 pm

    Look at you! Way to go for making your own homemade healthier version!

    • Erin replies to Beth Baumgartner
      July 19, 2016 @ 6:35 pm

      I don’t know about healthier but at least it doesn’t have additives and things. :)


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