Deliciously easy, homemade raw milk ricotta cheese made in your own kitchen with simple ingredients in a matter of just minutes!
I love easy recipes that make me feel like the queen of the kitchen. Raw milk ricotta cheese is one of those… it’s easy – almost too easy!
Ricotta is a simple way to start cheesemaking. Not to mention it transforms a plain and ordinary recipe into something incredibly amazing.
If you plan on making lasagna, then homemade ricotta cheese and homemade mozzarella is a must… it takes that homemade lasagna up about ten notches (no kidding…). Your family and friends will think you are a rockstar who really knows her way around the kitchen as well.
Authentic ricotta is made by heating up whey (the term ricotta means “recooked”). If you have leftover whey, then go ahead and recook to make ricotta. Or use your whey for a myriad of other things including cold process soap, baking, probiotic whey soda and more.
While traditional ricotta is made from plain ol’whey, it will not yield as much ricotta as if you use a full gallon of milk.
Using a full gallon will also yield somewhat of a richer, creamier ricotta as well. So double bonus!
One more thing — there are a myriad of ways to make ricotta. When it all comes down to it, it’s a matter of raw milk, lemon juice/vinegar/citric acid, salt and time. That’s all! The result is a creamy, rich ricotta that you can spread on your homemade lasagna.
(In case you are wondering, you can make ricotta two ways – whey, and regular whole milk. Making ricotta with whey will yield much smaller amounts. If you are making ricotta with leftover whey, I suggest having at least 1-2+ gallons of leftover whey to make the yield worth the time spent.)
Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese (Using Raw Milk)
Pour your gallon of raw milk into a heavy bottom pot. Heat on the stove over low/medium until the milk reaches a temperature of 190 degrees F.
Once it reaches that temperature, remove the pot from the heat. Stir in 6 Tbsp lemon juice* (see additional notes, below for other options). Give it a stir to distribute evenly.
Cover, and allow the milk to sit for up to 10 minutes – over time, the curds will filter to the top as white fluffy pillows. Line your colander with a double layer of butter muslin.
Pour your ricotta over the colander and drain for up to 10 minutes. Stir in the salt, then refrigerate your ricotta in a tightly sealed container. Use within a few days.
What about the Whey?
Don’t toss the whey! Since you’ve heated up the milk to 190 degrees F, there will not be any probiotics in the whey. You can, however, still use it for making cold process soap, or in baking/cooking.
I would recommend freezing the leftover whey in ice cube trays. Once frozen, dump in a larger tub and store in your freezer until ready to use.
Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese
- candy or meat thermometer
- butter muslin
- 1 gal raw milk (preferably full fat)
- 6 Tbsp lemon juice *see additional notes
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Place the gallon of milk in a large stockpot on low/medium. Heat until 190 degrees F. taking care to stir frequently as you go.
- Remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice, vinegar or citric acid. Stir briefly to distribute. Cover and allow to sit for up to 10 minutes.
- As you wait, the curds should float to the top of the milk. Line your colander with a double layer of butter muslin and drain the ricotta from the milk.
- After the ricotta has drained, stir in the sea salt. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator.
- Lemon juice can be substituted for Vinegar (at the same rate), or citric acid, at the rate of 1 tsp per gallon of milk.
- Ricotta made with a full gallon of raw milk will yield a greater amount of whey than ricotta made from whey.
- Don't toss your leftover whey! Since it has been heated (to the point that it kills good bacteria), you will want to use it within a few days or freeze it for later use (like making cold process soap).
- One gallon of raw milk will make around 2 C. of ricotta. (16 oz).
*Note: I have not tried making ricotta with anything other than raw milk. For health reasons, I would not advise in using anything less than full fat, whole milk. Full fat milk is incredibly healthy in comparison to low fat or no fat varieties.
Not all states allow the sale of raw milk, so check your state to determine if raw milk is legal in your area. You can find raw milk news and locations by visiting RealMilk.com.