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Making Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta Cheese Recipe with Just 3 Ingredients

With a family milk cow, one of the problems that can arise is too much milk from time to time. (It’s almost hard for me to say that, since now is not one of those times. Another month until weaning. I’ll be singing a different tune then!)  I have found myself looking for ways to use up milk when frugality isn’t in the forefront of my mind and making a whole milk ricotta cheese is a quick & simple solution.

  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x


  • 1 quart (32 ounces) whole milk and 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar


  1. In a large pot, stir to combine the milk & buttermilk.
  2. Continue to stir occasionally while slowly heating the milk to 180-185 degrees. ( My favorite thermometer is digital, inexpensive, reads quickly, is self-calbrating, and has a 5 year warranty!! You can get your own here.)
  3. Stirring too often will cause the curds to become to small.
  4. Once the milk is to temperature, you’ll see the curds beginning to separate from the whey. (If it is at temperature and you still don’t see them curds forming, splash in an acid such as apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in small amounts until you see the curds & the whey is greenish in color.)
  5. Remove from the heat and allow the curds & whey to sit undisturbed for 30 minutes.
  6. Line a colander with cheesecloth- a double layer of coarse or single layer of fine butter muslin. (I use this one . It has a nice close weave.) Gently pour the curds into the cheesecloth-lined colander. Tie up the corners and hang for about 30-45 minutes, but begin checking at 20 minutes until you reach the desired consistency. I like mine after 20-30 minutes.
  7. Place the curds in a bowl, tossing with salt to taste. If you drained the cheese for too long, you could always add some cream to achieve the desired consistency. It just makes it all the more delicious.
  8. Store in the refrigerator for a week.


While ricotta cheese is traditionally made from the whey leftover during mozzarella cheesemaking, it is done by adding an acid, such as apple cider vinegar to the hot curds, which is a wonderful, frugal way to maximize your cheese yield,  but I have found that the acidic flavor is too strong for my tastes.

After trying numerous recipes for ricotta cheese, I can emphatically declare that this is THE ONE. The finished curds are soft & squeaky, salty & buttery.

I could literally eat them by the spoonful.

In fact you might want to note that the images you see are from a recipe & a half for just that very purpose. Your yield should typically be 3 ½ cups of cheese.

  • Author: Daniel W
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20