Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese

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Is cheese your love language too? Ha . . .I sure do enjoy EATING cheese and lately I have been making homemade cheeses from raw cow’s milk. It’s not as difficult as you might think. And boy is it yummy. Let’s make Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese together!

Is cheese your love language too? Ha . . .I sure do enjoy EATING cheese and lately I have been making homemade cheeses from raw cow's milk. It definitely is not as difficult as you might think. And boy is it yummy. Let's make Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese together!

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate Links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure at homemakingwithoutfear.com. Furthermore as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases.


Ricotta can be made from cow, sheep or goat’s milk or even water buffalo! Because I don’t have ready access to water buffalo! Ha . . . I prefer to use WHOLE cow’s milk for a rich creamy and delicious ricotta cheese. I just give my gallon jar of milk a shake to mix in the cream before I proceed with the cheese making.

Ricotta Cheese goes by many names . . . “farmer’s cheese”, “whey cheese” or even “cottage cheese”. Although true cheese makers will tell you there are very different ways to make each! Ricotta literally means “recooked” or “refined”. It is traditionally made from coagulating the milk proteins from WHEY that is leftover from cheese making.

You sure can make ricotta cheese from whey alone. This is wonderfully economical way to make cheese.

BUT . . . you will get a smaller yield and a less creamier ricotta when making it from whey alone. 1 gallon of Whole milk will yield approximately 2 cups of Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese.

In this recipe I use Raw Whole Milk. It is rich, creamy and flavorful. If you have never tried Homemade RAW milk ricotta cheese I’m about to blow ya mind with how easy, yummy and versatile it actually is!

So what makes Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese so Easy & Delish?

You only need 3 ingredients! Milk + Acid + Salt. No special ingredients required. You can literally make this cheese from ingredients you already have in your kitchen.

Maybe 10 minutes tops of hands on time. If you can stir a pot – you can make ricotta.

If you have an abundance of whole milk (a family milk cow perhaps) this is a great recipe for making a fast cheese and turning that milk into another food that your family can enjoy.

Eat it salted and plain or whip it smooth and use it as a stand-in for cream cheese. Spread on a sourdough bagel perhaps!

Ricotta made from Raw Whole milk is super creamy and can be used in all kinds of recipes – lasagna, stuffed shells, chip/veggie dips, bagel spread. Endless possibilities!

Can I make Homemade Ricotta Cheese from Store Bought Milk?

YES you can use store bought milk to make ricotta. You can even use milk that is a little past it’s prime and nearly sour. This is actually a super frugal way to use up that milk!

Whole milk will result in the most creamy ricotta result. You can use 2% and even 1% but the resulting amount and the texture will get less creamy and more grainy as the fat content is less.

RAW milk is always best in my opinion BUT if you get pasteurized milk go for Low Temperature, long time pasteurized or “VAT pasteurized” milk. The flavor and the nutrient content is much better in these types of milks. They are also easier to digest.

AVOID using these milks to make Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Avoid milk labeled “UHT” or “ultra pasteurized” milks (which includes many organic milks) this Ultra Hight Temperature Pasteurization creates a product with a longer shelf life but also completely destroys any natural good bacteria.

These milks do not culture and curdle appropriately to make things like yogurt and cheese.

Do I have to use Citric Acid to make Ricotta Cheese?

No you don’t. In fact I don’t always have Citric Acid on hand and I prefer to make this recipe with Apple Cider Vinegar because I like the slightly sweet tang in imparts onto the cheese.

You do need heat and an acid for the curdling process to happen. Apple cider vinegar or Lemon Juice can both be used at the amount of 6 tablespoons per gallon of milk.

If you do have citric acid. You would use this at 1 teaspoon per gallon of milk.

Equipment you will need to make Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta

A large pot (big enough to hold a gallon of milk)

Long handle spoon

Kitchen “candy” thermometer

A large bowl to collect the whey

Strainer

Cheesecloth or Butter Muslin

Is cheese your love language too? Ha . . .I sure do enjoy EATING cheese and lately I have been making homemade cheeses from raw cow's milk. It's not as difficult as you might think. And boy is it yummy. Let's make Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese together!

How to Make Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese

Ingredients

Is cheese your love language too? Ha . . .I sure do enjoy EATING cheese and lately I have been making homemade cheeses from raw cow's milk. It definitely is not as difficult as you might think. And boy is it yummy. Let's make Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese together!
  • 1 gallon Raw Whole Milk
  • 6 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons Sea Salt

Step 1

Shake or stir raw whole milk to evenly disperse the cream. 

Pour 1 gallon of raw whole milk into a heavy bottom 5-6 quart pot. 

Is cheese your love language too? Ha . . .I sure do enjoy EATING cheese and lately I have been making homemade cheeses from raw cow's milk. It definitely is not as difficult as you might think. And boy is it yummy. Let's make Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese together!

Step 2

Is cheese your love language too? Ha . . .I sure do enjoy EATING cheese and lately I have been making homemade cheeses from raw cow's milk. It definitely is not as difficult as you might think. And boy is it yummy. Let's make Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese together!

Over medium heat continually stir milk until the temperature reaches 200 degrees. (simmer but not boiling!)

Step 3

Remove pot from the stove and add 6 Tablespoons of Apple Cider vinegar.

As an alternative to Apple Cider Vinegar, you could use lemon juice (6 tablespoons) or Citric Acid (1 teaspoon) per gallon of milk.

Step 4

Cover pot with a lid and allow to sit for 10 minutes. 

Step 5

Is cheese your love language too? Ha . . .I sure do enjoy EATING cheese and lately I have been making homemade cheeses from raw cow's milk. It definitely is not as difficult as you might think. And boy is it yummy. Let's make Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese together!

Remove lid and stir carefully. You should see small grains/curds separated from the yellow whey. 

Trouble shooting: If curds are still not formed put the pot back on the heat, add up to 2 more tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and heat back to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat, cover and let sit again.

Step 6

Place a strainer lined with cheesecloth over a large bowl. 

Is cheese your love language too? Ha . . .I sure do enjoy EATING cheese and lately I have been making homemade cheeses from raw cow's milk. It definitely is not as difficult as you might think. And boy is it yummy. Let's make Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese together!

Step 7

Pour cheese curds into the cheesecloth. 

Step 8

Allow the whey to drain into the bowl. 

Step 9

Gather the ends of the cheesecloth (like a package). 

Is cheese your love language too? Ha . . .I sure do enjoy EATING cheese and lately I have been making homemade cheeses from raw cow's milk. It definitely is not as difficult as you might think. And boy is it yummy. Let's make Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese together!

Hang the cheesecloth over the bowl and allow the whey to drain 2-4 hours. 

Is cheese your love language too? Ha . . .I sure do enjoy EATING cheese and lately I have been making homemade cheeses from raw cow's milk. It definitely is not as difficult as you might think. And boy is it yummy. Let's make Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese together!

Don’t throw away the whey. You will be surprised at how much there will be. Use it in as broth replacement in soups, in smoothies in place of milk AND in baking recipes calling for milk.

Whey makes the perfect liquid to use in this Traditional Homemade White Bread Recipe!

Step 10

Stir and salt the Ricotta Curds with 1-2 tsp of sea salt (to taste).

Place your Homemade Ricotta cheese into a air tight container.

Store in refrigerator for up to 7 days. 

Is cheese your love language too? Ha . . .I sure do enjoy EATING cheese and lately I have been making homemade cheeses from raw cow's milk. It definitely is not as difficult as you might think. And boy is it yummy. Let's make Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese together!

One of my All-time Favorite ways to use Ricotta is Homemade Lasagna using the BEST Homemade Spaghetti Sauce.

You could also use ricotta in place of cream cheese in this Best Ever French Toast Casserole.

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This post may contain Amazon Affiliate Links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure at homemakingwithoutfear.com. Furthermore as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases.

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Is cheese your love language too? Ha . . .I sure do enjoy EATING cheese and lately I have been making homemade cheeses from raw cow's milk. It's not as difficult as you might think. And boy is it yummy. Let's make Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese together!
Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Raw Milk Ricotta Cheese

Yield: About 2 cups (2 pounds Ricotta)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ricotta cheese is a slightly grainy but oh so creamy cheese that you can eat plain or salted. Use it whipped up in a cheese spread or baked in lasagna. It is so easy, so fast, so good.

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon Raw Whole Milk
  • 6 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp Sea Salt

Instructions

  1. Shake or stir raw whole milk to evenly disperse the cream.
  2. Pour 1 gallon of raw whole milk into a heavy bottom 5-6 quart pot.
  3. Over medium heat continually stir milk until the temperature reaches 200 degrees. (simmer but not boiling!)
  4. Remove pot from the stove and add the 6 tablespoons of Apple Cider vinegar.
  5. Cover pot with a lid and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove lid and stir carefully. You should see small solid grains/curds separated from the yellow whey.
  7. Place a strainer lined with cheesecloth over a large bowl.
  8. Pour cheese curds into the cheesecloth.
  9. Allow the whey to drain into the bowl.
  10. Gather the ends of the cheesecloth (like a package).
  11. Hang the cheesecloth over the bowl and allow the whey to drain.
  12. Stir and salt the curds to taste. Place cheese into a a air tight container.
  13. Store in refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Notes

This recipe calls for 1 gallon of RAW cow's milk but you can use a store bought milk if you prefer. AVOID using UHT or "ultra" pasteurized milks as they do not culture or curdle the same.

You can make ricotta using 2% and 1% and even whey. You will get a less creamier and smaller yield than when you use whole milk.

As an alternative to Apple Cider Vinegar, you could use lemon juice (6 tablespoons) or Citric Acid at 1 teaspoon per gallon of milk.

If curds do not form after adding the initial amount of Apple Cider Vinegar and letting the milk rest. You can reheat the milk slowly again to 200 degrees F and add up to 2 more tablespoons of vinegar then allow to sit again.

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