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How to make ricotta

You might think making cheese takes forever, but ricotta is ready in just over an hour – and making your own means you can flavour it easily too.

  1. Heat the milk

    Gently heat the milk and salt in a medium saucepan over a low heat for about 10 mins, stirring often, until it reaches 93°C on a sugar thermometer. Alternatively, watch the mixture carefully: the milk should be consistently foaming and steaming but should not begin to boil and bubble, as this will scald it and affect the flavour.

    Heat the milk
  2. Drain any excess whey

    Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice; the mixture should begin to look grainy. Cover the pan and set aside for 10 mins – curds of ricotta and a milky ‘whey’ should form. Line a sieve or colander with muslin and set over a bowl. Use a slotted spoon to carefully spoon the curds into the sieve; set aside for 45 mins to drain off any excess whey.

    Drain any excess whey
  3. Serve the ricotta

    The ricotta can now be eaten, plain or flavoured, or covered and chilled for up to 48 hrs. To flavour the cheese, try gently stirring through one of the combinations above. The 3 savoury ideas work well spread on hot toast and topped with sliced tomatoes, while the sweet option is lovely with fresh fruit and honey. Find more inspiration for using fresh ricotta here.

    4 flavour ideas (optional)

    1. 10g chopped thyme leaves and 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
    2. 15g finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and 1 crushed garlic clove
    3. 1 finely chopped red chilli and 30g chopped, stoned black olives
    4. A little vanilla extract or ground cinnamon

    Serve the ricotta
  4. Ingredients list

    We've made a handy shopping list to help you make this delicious homemade ricotta recipe. Don't forget to screenshot before you go shopping!

    1ltr whole milk (not filtered or longlife)
    ¼ tsp salt
    2 tbsp lemon juice

    Each serving contains

    • Energy

    • Fat

      1g 2%
    • Saturates

      1g 4%
    • Sugars

      2g 2%
    • Salt

      0.1g 2%

    of the reference intake
    Carbohydrate 1.6g Protein 0.8g Fibre 0g