Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

Martha Stewart’s Simple Homemade Ricotta Is the Secret to Easy Desserts & Memorable Dinners

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SheKnows may receive an affiliate commission.

There are some foods we never thought we’d make from scratch. But after trying our hand at homemade sourdough, mastering the art of the pavlova, and even making fresh ravioli, we’ve realized that a lot of our favorite foods and ingredients actually can be made at home with little fuss, and the results always blow the store-bought versions out of the water. So when we saw Martha Stewart had shared a simple homemade ricotta recipe as part of a spring dessert, we though, hey — we can do that!

Some types of cheese require different bacteria starters, rennet, or fancy equipment to be made at home. But Stewart’s homemade ricotta is a truly simple project. For equipment, all you’ll need is a big pot, cheesecloth, and a cooking thermometer. Chances are you have at least one or two of those items already.

Courtesy of Olicity.

Olicity Cheese Cloth $10.95

The ingredients aren’t fancy, either. You’ll need milk, cream, salt, and lemon juice — that’s it! Because the ingredient list is so short, it’s worth it to choose a quality dairy brand, rather than going with the cheapest, but it will work either way.

Courtesy of Alpha Grillers.

Alpha Grillers Instant Read Kitchen Thermometer $16.99

The dairy is heated to 195 degrees, then lemon juice is added. That creates the curds that will become your ricotta. Once sufficient curds have formed (if you’ve waited 15 minutes and aren’t seeing anything, you can add additional lemon juice to help the process along), you’ll strain the mixture into cheesecloth to separate the curds and whey, a la Little Miss Muffet.

After that, it’s up to you. Stewart’s ricotta is ready in as little as 20 minutes if you’re looking for something creamy and loose, to use as pasta or pizza sauce, or as the base for her stewed rhubarb and ricotta dessert. But you can keep straining it until it’s a little firmer for use in stuffed pasta dishes, as a rich spread for bread, or dolloped onto salads.

It’s a great trick to whip out when you have guests, because people are always impressed that you’ve made your own cheese. They don’t need to know the process was so easy!

Before you go, check out our slideshow below:

Watch: How to Make Giada De Laurentiis’ Stuffed Lasagna Rolls

Leave a Comment