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Ina Garten's Homemade ricotta cheese in a bowl from the top view

Ina Garten's Ricotta Cheese Recipe

A foolproof recipe for Homemade Ricotta Cheese by none other than Ina Garten (aka Barefoot Contessa). Making ricotta at home is easier than you think. Ready in 3 hours (with cooling time) and made with only a few ingredients.
Course Cheese
Cuisine Italian
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Draining time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Calories 374kcal


  • 4 cups whole milk Pasteurized not Ultra pasteurized
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or distilled vinegar


  • Place a colander over a large pot (deeper and larger than the colander) and line it with 2 layers of cheesecloth. Set aside.
  • Pour the milk, cream, and salt in a large nonreactive saucepan like a Dutch oven. Stirring occasionally, heat the mixture in medium heat until it fully boils or it reaches to 185 degrees.
  • Turn off the heat and slowly add the vinegar. Gently stir it once and let it sit undisturbed for 3 minutes.
  • You will see it getting curdled.
  • Pour the mixture into the colander lined with cheesecloth and let it drain for at least an hour (or more like 2 hours). The longer you strain the thicker it will get. I like mine after an hour.
  • You can either use immediately or transfer it in an airtight container and refrigerate.


  • This recipe makes about 2 cups of ricotta cheese. The amount may change depending on how long you let it drain. The longer it drains, the thicker it will become.
  • Don’t throw away the remaining whey (milky parts). It’s full of nutrients and good bacteria. You can add a little to the soaking liquid for grains, making pizza dough, use it in smoothies, or pour a touch in when marinating meats.
  • Storage: Homemade ricotta cheese has a rather short shelflife but as long as it is kept in an airtight container in the fridge, it should be fresh for up to 5 days.


Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 488mg | Potassium: 274mg | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1430IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 235mg | Iron: 1mg