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Whey Ricotta Cheese Recipe

Traditional Whey Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta means “re-cooked” so this is the most traditional way to make ricotta cheese. It is sweet and mild with very small tender and creamy curds. It is ideal for spreading or using in your favorite recipes.
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Draining 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 12 ounces


  • Stock Pot
  • Slotted Skimmer Spoon
  • Instant Read Thermometer
  • Butter Muslin
  • Colander


  • 2 gallons fresh whey
  • 1-4 cups whole milk, optional (increases yield)
  • ¼ teaspoon citric acid dissolved in 1/4 cup water, OR 2+ Tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Heat the whey to 160F.
  • Gently stir in the milk.
  • Continue heating the milk to 180F.
  • Quickly and thoroughly stir in the acid of choice for a few seconds. The curds will begin to form a layer on top of the whey.
  • Without stirring, allow the cheese to continue to heat until the surface cracks and the whey comes through.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
  • Line a colander with cheese cloth and ladle the curd into it.
  • Tie up the ends and hang for about 30 minutes or until you like the consistency.
  • Gently stir the salt in with a spoon.


Refrigerate leftover cheese for up to one week.