Homemade Ricotta Cheese With Buttermilk

Homemade ricotta cheese recipe

​The Spruce Eats / Nita West

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
From start to finish: 90 mins
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
225 Calories
12g Fat
18g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 225
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 38mg 13%
Sodium 234mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 12g
Calcium 417mg 32%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Many people wonder how to make ricotta cheese. The good news is that homemade ricotta is something everyone can make in their own kitchen. You don't have to be a cheesemaker to make homemade ricotta cheese, you just need a few ingredients and this short-cut method of making ricotta. 

Before trying this ricotta recipe, make sure you have these supplies in your kitchen: stainless steel or ceramic pot, rubber spatula, thermometer, colander, cheesecloth, slotted spoon or skimmer, and a ​rubber band.


  • 1/2 gallon whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
  • 2 cups buttermilk

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for homemade ricotta cheese
    ​The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  2. Cut enough cheesecloth to drape over the top of the colander, with plenty hanging over the sides.

    Cut cheesecloth
    ​The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  3. Rinse the cheesecloth in water and squeeze out excess water.

    Rinse cheesecloth
    ​The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  4. Fold the cheesecloth into two layers that completely cover the colander. Set the colander in the sink.

    Fold cheesecloth
    ​The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  5. Pour the whole milk and the buttermilk into a pot over medium heat. The temperature should not be so high that the milk ever reaches a boil. For the first 5 minutes as the milk warms, stir frequently to prevent the milk from burning to the bottom of the pot.

    Pour in milk
    ​The Spruce Eats / Nita West 
  6. After 5 minutes, use the thermometer to test the milk temperature. When it is around 100 F, stop stirring the milk and let it continue to warm undisturbed. You will start to notice that the milk is thickening on the surface. This is the curds forming.

    Use thermometer
    ​The Spruce Eats / Nita West 
  7. When the milk temperature reaches 175 F, turn off the heat. Let the milk sit for 5 minutes. Do not stir.

    ​The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  8. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, gently scoop the curds out of the pot and into the cheesecloth-draped colander.

    Scoop out curds
    ​The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  9. Let the curds drain in the colander for 5 to 10 minutes.

    Let curds drain
    ​The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  10. Gather the cheesecloth around the curds and tie at the top with a rubber band. Hang the bundle of curds so more moisture will drip out. You can hang the bundle from your faucet, or set a ladle handle across the top of a pot and hang the bundle from the ladle handle. Let the cheese drain for at least 30 minutes.

    Cheesecloth around spoon
    ​The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  11. Scrape the homemade ricotta out of the cheesecloth and into a bowl.

    ​The Spruce Eats / Nita West
  12. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Use within 3 to 4 days.

    Serve immediately
    ​The Spruce Eats / Nita West