Homemade Ricotta
By :Instant Pot Italian by Ivy Manning
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Store-bought ricotta can’t hold a candle to creamy, rich homemade cheese. You don’t need any special equipment, and the YOGURT setting on most Instant Pot models gently heats the milk to the perfect temperature, so there’s no worrying about scorching the milk on the stove. If you don’t have a Yogurt setting, heat the milk on Sauté on Normal/Medium heat, stirring occasionally, until a thermometer reaches 190°F before proceeding as directed. Ricotta is only as good as the milk you use to make it, so buy the best milk you can find and make sure that it isn’t ultra-high-temperature (UHT) pasteurized milk. The UHT process changes the proteins in the milk and will prevent it from forming curds. You can use fresh lemon juice to make the milk coagulate, but I find it easier to add citric acid, which you can find at spice shops or buy online. The liquid left over in the pot after cheese making is called whey, as in Little Miss Muffet’s “curds and whey.” It’s full of beneficial probiotic organisms, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, so don’t pour it down the drain! You can use it in soups, sauces, and smoothies as a neutral-flavored liquid that adds a big nutritional boost.
Votes: 7
Rating: 5
Rate this recipe!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Difficulty Easy
Duration 30-60 min
Cooking Technique Yogurt
Main Ingredient Lemon, Milk
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
6 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice or 3/4 teaspoon citric acid
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt optional
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Difficulty Easy
Duration 30-60 min
Cooking Technique Yogurt
Main Ingredient Lemon, Milk
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
6 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice or 3/4 teaspoon citric acid
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt optional
Votes: 7
Rating: 5
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Pour the milk into the pot and cover with a regular pot lid that fits on top of the Instant Pot. Select the Yogurt function and adjust until the digital display reads BOIL. When the cooking time is up, remove the lid, being careful not to let any condensation drip back into the pot.
  2. Remove the inner pot from the appliance and place it on a trivet. Add the lemon juice or citric acid and stir gently a few times (overzealous stirring will yield cheese with a grainy texture) until you begin to see the milk coagulate—there will be a separation between bright white chunks of curd and thin yellowish liquid whey. This will take about 30 seconds. Stop stirring and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Line a fine-mesh sieve or colander with cheesecloth or a clean, thin cotton-sack towel and set it over a large bowl. Carefully pour the cheese and whey into the colander.
  4. For moist, creamy ricotta, let the cheese drain for 5 minutes. For firmer ricotta, allow the cheese to drain for up to 4 hours at room temperature. When the cheese is done draining, stir in the salt (if using). Save the whey for another use (see Headnote in description of the recipe).
  5. Transfer the cheese to an airtight container and refrigerate.The ricotta can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Recipe Notes

The following recipes are excerpted from INSTANT POT® ITALIAN © 2018 by Ivy Manning. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

14 replies
  1. Instant Pot Italian
    Instant Pot Italian says:

    Sues, yes, the whey can be frozen and used later.
    Apfaffnc, yes, I tested it with regular and lactose free milk (I’m lactose intolerant myself)

    Taramarkham–commercial ricotta is usually made with whey or a mix of whey and milk, not just whole milk, this is true. But homemade ricotta is often made with whole milk and the texture of this recipe is much more similar to ricotta than it is larger curds of cottage cheese.
    Alienwiredgirl: This recipe produces delicious, fine-grained fresh ricotta-like cheese that works well in cheesecake, lasagna, and stuffing recipes where commercial ricotta is called for.

  2. Scout19D
    Scout19D says:

    Is there another setting that can be used if your pot doesnt have a yohgurt setting? I really want to try this.

  3. Zalduondo
    Zalduondo says:

    Pressing yougart button how do i fing the boiled reading . So far its been on yugart but
    Temp. Is only 100 Degrees for 1 hr. How do i get it to boil to 190 degrees?

  4. Kellie Messman
    Kellie Messman says:

    Can this be made with Coconut milk, Cashew Milk or Almond milk? My son is allergic to dairy so I would like to try to make my own using his milk because the non-dairy ricotta that I’ve found is so expensive. Thanks!

  5. Instant Pot
    Instant Pot says:

    Hi Kellie,

    No this recipe can’t be substituted with dairy alternatives. Dairy Free ricotta is made differently and doesn’t follow the same processes.

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