How to Make Fresh, Homemade Ricotta in 15 Minutes or Less

This post was originally published in my weekly newsletter.

Sharing a homemade ricotta recipe feels a bit like cheating for two reasons:

  1. I rarely make anything in the kitchen, unless it's pancakes, because I hate handling wet things like washed vegetables and raw meat, and
  2. This is actually Aidan's handiwork. Yay, Aidan!

But I'll have you know that this cheese is wonderful, and everyone will be deeply impressed that you can make delicious cheese on the fly. When Aidan made it for me, I swear it was one of the sexiest things he has ever done in all of the many years we've known each other. Cheesemakers are hot.

Ingredients and Supplies:

2 quarts/1 litre whole milk
1/4 cup white vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 teaspoons table salt
4 layers of cheesecloth or 2 layers of paper towel


Line a colander or fine mesh strainer with 4 layers of cheesecloth or 2 layers of paper towel.

Combine the milk, vinegar, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave them on high for about 5–6 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir the ingredients gently for about 5 seconds. The curd should separate from the whey and float on top in white clumps. If not, microwave it for another 30 seconds and stir again.

Using a slotted spoon, skim the curds from the bowl and place them into the lined strainer.

Drain the curds for 2–5 minutes for a creamier consistency, or drain them for 20–30 minutes for a dryer and more set texture.

Bon Appetit:

After 2–5 minutes, the softer curds can be served warm on toast with olive oil and kosher salt and pepper, or with honey if you want a sweeter dish. After 20–30 minutes, the curds are dry enough to be used in pancake recipes. They can be drained longer for use in dishes like lasagna. Fresh ricotta on toast with good olive oil and coarse salt, though, is unquestionably the best.


And that, my friends, is how you impress just about anyone. Enjoy!