Cheese Recipe: Ricotta

Most ricotta recipes call for using whey and have a very low yield. I discovered this variation one day when I was in the middle of making queso blanco and a goat went into labor. I had just added the vinegar when I was called out to the barn.

A few hours later, I came back into the kitchen and realized I had completely forgotten about my queso blanco, which had cooled to room temperature. I tried draining it in the cheesecloth, but it would not knit. It fell apart into crumbles when I opened the cheesecloth.

Of course, I was disappointed at first, but then I realized that it looked a lot like ricotta, although a little drier.

When using Nigerian Dwarf goat milk, which is 5 to 6 percent butterfat, this recipe makes enough for a 9 X 13 inch pan of lasagna. If you are using milk with lower butterfat, you can double the recipe.


Makes 2–4 cups

2 quarts milk
2 tablespoons vinegar


  • Heat the milk on low to 190°F. Add the vinegar and stir.
  • When the curds and whey separate, put the pot into a sink filled with cold water. The water should come up to the level of the milk in the pot.
  • Stir to reduce the temperature quickly while keeping the curds separated.
  • When the temperature is down to 90°F, drain the curds through a cheesecloth-lined colander. The curds can be used immediately in your favorite recipe or can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Note: Do not buy “ultra-pasteurized” milk at the store for cheese making because it has been heated to 280°F and will not turn into cheese, yogurt, or anything else that requires cultures to grow or curds to form.

This is an excerpt from Homegrown & Handmade: A Practical Guide to More Self-Reliant Living.

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Cheese Recipe Ricotta

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