Ricotta cheese, a delightful Italian creation, is a fresh cheese that originated in Italy and is now enjoyed worldwide. It is renowned for its smooth and velvety texture due to its high moisture content. It has a subtle and delicate flavor with a slightly sweet and milky taste. The cheese is versatile and can be used in sweet and savory dishes, making it a staple ingredient in Italian cuisine. 

Whether you're a seasoned foodie or a curious beginner, with just a few simple steps and minimal effort, you can easily create your very own batch of this delicious cheese in the comfort of your home and enjoy it in a variety of dishes from lasagna to cannoli.

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  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp salt optional
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar (or lemon juice) see notes


  1. Line a colander or mesh strainer with a moistened cheesecloth, or evenly spread coffee filters to cover the colander.
  2. Add milk and heavy cream to a heavy-bottomed pot. Stir in salt, if using.
  3. On medium heat, bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add vinegar, or lemon juice to the pot and remove from heat. Stir until the milk begins to curdle. Let sit for 5 minutes, then strain the curds from the whey using the prepared colander. Let the ricotta strain for at least 20 minutes. 
  5. Use immediately or place ricotta in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days.


  • Milk: For cheese that is lighter in fat, you can substitute 2% milk in place of the whole milk. It will be less creamy, but still delicious.
  • Vinegar: You can substitute distilled white vinegar, white wine vinegar, or lemon juice in place of the rice wine vinegar.
  • Cheesecloth: If you don't have cheesecloth, I highly recommend it. It's an inexpensive kitchen essential and it's reusable. You can substitute by using coffee filters to line the colander. A fine mesh strainer would also work in a pinch.
  • Strain time: If you want a soft-textured ricotta, which is great for whipping or desserts, then strain for 20 minutes. The longer it strains, the grainier in texture it will be.