Types of Ricotta
There are a number of ways to make ricotta. While this recipe is for whey and milk-based ricotta, there are other recipes out there.
- Acid Ricotta: This is the most common ricotta recipe. Milk is curdled with citric acid or lemon juice, then strained. It makes bland ricotta that is perfect for blending into dishes.
- Kefir Ricotta: Using kefir to curdle milk results in a very tangy ricotta-like cheese.
- Halloumi Ricotta: If you make halloumi cheese, then you automatically get a little bit of ricotta forming when you poach your cheese. This is not a really efficient way to make ricotta because you only get 3 Tbsp of ricotta for one batch of halloumi.
- Whey ricotta: This is made from leftover sweet whey. (Whey from cheese that has only been cultured for a few hours. Which is typical of hard cheeses… not Greek yogurt). The whey is superheated until more curds are formed. Adding some milk to the recipe greatly increases the yield.
Whey ricotta is far simpler than most hard cheeses, so this recipe doesn’t go into detail on each of the steps. However, if you want more information on cheesemaking, check out my general post on How to Make Homemade Cheese.
The only trick to making sweet whey ricotta is to heat the leftover whey up to 195F. At that point, the small curded proteins will rise to the top of the whey as seen in the photo below.Print
Traditional Sweet Whey Ricotta
Use leftover whey to make whey ricotta! Traditional whey ricotta is a sweet-tasting and flavorful cheese. It is a delicious way to use up whey!
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 1.5 cups 1x
- Category: Cheese
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1 gallon of sweet whey (no less than 3 hours old, see notes for details)
- 2 cups of whole milk
- 2 Tbsp cider vinegar (to curdle the additional milk)
- 1/4 tsp cheese salt (optional)
- Combine the sweet whey and milk in a large pot. Gently heat on the stove to 91C (195F). If you don’t have a thermometer, you will know you have reached the right temperature when white curds rise to the surface. If you aren’t sure if you have sweet whey or acid whey, then please read the notes below. This recipe will not work with acid whey.
- Turn off the heat, add the vinegar and stir continuously for 2 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, carefully ladle the curds into a colander lined with butter muslin. Knot the muslin and hang it to drain for 2-4 hours.
- When you’re finished draining, mix in the salt.
- Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- It is really important to use sweet whey. This won’t work with acid whey (from acidic cheeses made with citric acid or vinegar). And it won’t work with whey from cheeses that have cultured for more than 3 hours (like Greek yogurt, kefir cheese, or cream cheese.) The reason why it is SO IMPORTANT to use fresh, sweet whey is that the bacteria in the whey continue to eat the lactose even after it has drained, slowly acidifying the whey. The proteins won’t curd in acidic whey.
- Typically, sweet whey is leftover from making hard cheeses. However, it can also be made with fresh cheese like feta.
- The yield from adding the 2 cups of milk is 1 1/2 cups of ricotta, which is really good.
- To make even sweeter ricotta (as a mascarpone substitute) add 1-2 Tbsp of cream after draining instead of the salt.
Keywords: whey, cultured, diy, homemade, cheesemaking, keto, vegetarian, gluten free, grain free, frugal