Recipe for Ricotta Cheese | Almanac.com

Ricotta Cheese

Toast with ricotta cheese, bananas, and honey
Photo Credit
Sarah Jackson/Shutterstock
About 1 pound of cheese.
Preparation Method
The Old Farmer's Almanac for Kids
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Ricotta cheese is an easy cheese to make, even with kids! It doesn’t take much time and it’s ready right away. Ricotta is low in fat and high in protein, mildly sweet, smoother than cottage cheese, and firm yet not solid.

Try your homemade ricotta on pizza. Spread some on toast and top with sliced bananas, chopped walnuts, and a drizzle of honey. Or try one of these three recipes:

  1. Pesto Ricotta on Asparagus Toast
  2. Ricotta French Toast
  3. Ricotta and Smoked Salmon Bruschetta 

Note that you will need a few common kitchen tools before starting: 

  • A large pot (at least a gallon) with a heavy bottom and lid.
  • Strainer or colander
  • Slotted spoon
  • Large bowl
  • Lidded container
  • Cheesecloth or Butter muslin

It also helps to have a food thermometer OR you need to keep a close eye on your milk temperature.

1⁄2 gallon whole milk
1⁄3 cup lemon juice, plus more as needed
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pour the milk into the large pot and put on the stove over medium heat. 
  • Heat to 190 to 200°F, stirring gently to keep the milk from burning or boiling. Use a food thermometer if you wish. This should take 15 to 20 minutes. 
  • Remove the milk from the heat and add the lemon juice and salt. Stir to combine. Let the milk sit for 10 minutes. 
  • Check the milk to see if it has separated into small clumps of white curds and yellow, watery whey. If the curds and whey haven’t separated yet, add another tablespoon of lemon juice, stir, and wait for a few more minutes before checking again.  
  • Place the cheesecloth (or butter muslin) in the strainer, covering the holes. Set the strainer over a large bowl. 
  • Using the slotted spoon, scoop the curds from the pot and put them into the strainer. Slowly pour the remaining curds and whey through the strainer. 
  • Let the curds drain for 20 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how wet you like your ricotta cheese (and how impatient you are to try it!).You can let it drain up to 2 hours if you like a denser cheese.
  • Transfer the ricotta to a container with a lid and refrigerate. It will stay fresh for up to a week. 
About The Author

Sarah Perreault

Senior editor, Sarah Perreault, works on all things Almanac, but is especially proud to be the editor of our Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids series. Read More from Sarah Perreault