Homemade Herb Ricotta

Summer Fest Ingredient: Herbs, Greens & Beans

Making ricotta cheese from scratch isn’t as daunting as it may seem. Start with a mix of milk and buttermilk and end with spoonful after spoonful of creamy homemade ricotta. Fold in your favorite fresh herbs and you’ve got a perfect pasta filling, an unbeatable crostini topper or my favorite addition to scrambled eggs.

Ricotta’s mild flavor makes it the perfect canvas for flavorful additions. I fold in chopped oregano, basil, chives and parsley and then mix in an entire clove of grated garlic. Spread it onto warmed toasts and drizzle with olive oil for the ultimate appetizer.

A full list of herbs, greens and bean recipes from my fellow Summer Fest 2010 bloggers is after the jump …

Homemade Herb Ricotta

Yield: 2 cups

Prep Time: 5 min

Cook Time: 45 min


8 cups whole milk
2 cups buttermilk
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 garlic clove, grated
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper


Mix together the milk and buttermilk in a heavy-bottom sauce pot over medium-high heat.

Stir the mixture occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pan to avoid scorching the milk.

Stop stirring once the milk is hot and curds begin to rise to the surface. Scrape the bottom of the pan again again one more time to free up any stuck curds.

Line a large sieve or colander with 5 to 6 layers of cheesecloth. Place the lined sieve or colander over a bowl.

The curds and whey will separate at around 175ºF. Allow the mixture to continue cooking until the top surface is covered with the separated curds. Remove the pan from the heat at this point and ladle the curds into the lined sieve or colander, allowing excess whey to drain into the bowl beneath it. Do not press the curds.

Pull up on the sides of the cheesecloth and tie the pouch closed. Allow the curds to drain for at least 15 minutes.

Once the curds have drained and are semi-firm, transfer the ricotta to a bowl and fold in the chopped fresh herbs, grated garlic, salt and pepper. Enjoy the herb ricotta immediately or refrigerate it in an airtight container for later use.

*Helpful hint: If the ricotta is too firm, simply add in a few tablespoons of the reserved hot whey (or hot water) and stir to soften the cheese.

Recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks.

Fellow Summer Fest 2010 Bloggers:


29 Responses to “Homemade Herb Ricotta”

  1. #
    Kathleen — August 11, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Sounds delicious. I am contributing a garden salad for Summer Fest. http://dejavucook.wordpress.com/010/04/29/spring-garden-salad

  2. #
    Christina — August 11, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I love ricotta! I’ve never tried to make it myself, but it would be worth a try! Here is my contribution to Summerfest 2010:

  3. #
    Ranjani — August 11, 2010 at 10:28 am

    mmm, fresh ricotta is the best!
    This week for Summer Fest, I made pasta with greens, beans, and garlic bread crumbs:

  4. #
    Kirsten — August 11, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Such a cool idea! I love fresh ricotta but have never made it myself. Sounds like a fun weekend project. :)

  5. #
    Melissa — August 11, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Fresh Ricotta sounds wonderful

    This week for Summer Fest at It’s The Way She… I baked up a batch of Lemon-Thyme Walnut Biscotti

  6. #
    Liz — August 11, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Kelly, your photos are delicious! I just took a cheesemaking class and was amazing at how simple it was to make ricotta — I will have to add this to my recipe list.

  7. #
    Alison — August 11, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    This looks amazing. Can’t wait to make it! My recipe this week is for Green Beans with Cilantro and Lime

  8. #
    Kim — August 11, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I made fresh ricotta last week and agree that it’s a MUST!!!

    At Flexitarian Foodie, we’re into beans and greens—together, or separately! Here are a few of our favorite related posts:

    Beans & Greens: The Soup

    Creamy Vegetable Lasagna

    Avocado and Black Bean Enchiladas (my favorite!!!)

  9. #
    Jodi — August 11, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    This looks heavenly. I am ready to take a bite right now! Yummo

    Here is my contribution:

  10. #
    Winnie — August 11, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    I adore homemade ricotta and this looks stunning and delicious.

    I wrote about one of my favorite herbs in honor of this week’s summer fest. It’s anise hyssop, and the post is found here:

  11. #
    Lana — August 11, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    This is something I’ll have to try. I made ricotta before, but always using lemon juice or vinegar. I was satisfied with the results, but I am willing to try something new! And the addition of fresh herbs is a sure winner. Thank you for the inspiration.
    My contribution for this week’s Summer Fest is a story and a recipe for a comforting, vegetarian Bean Stew.

  12. #
    Fran — August 11, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    I’ve been wanting to make ricotta for a while now and I think your post may have given me just the incentive I needed with your beautiful shots. I wish it wasn’t 10:40 pm or I’d be in the kitchen making cheese!

    I posted a Green Curry Shrimp recipe for my first Summer Fest contribution here: http://bit.ly/96cwR8

  13. #
    caitlin — August 13, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I love this week’s ingredients. I am cooking up a storm with my garden gluts.

    One for my bunches of parsley and basil:


    And kale, does anyone else have masses of kale to harvest right now?



  14. #
    Shelisa — August 18, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    I love ricotta and so does my husband. We always have it with something sweet. I can’t wait to try your version with the savory herbs. BTW, you do awesome work, love the photos!

  15. #
    charlotte — April 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Made it, it’s delicious! What do you do with the whey?

  16. #
    Michelle — August 2, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Sounds delicious!! Quick question for you. How long will the ricotta stay fresh in the fridge?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — August 3rd, 2013 @ 9:49 pm

      Thanks, Michelle! It will last up to 3 days, as it’s best enjoyed fresh.


  1. Pingback: Summerfest 2010: Fresh Green Bean Salad with Crumbled Feta Vinaigrette | Food & Life

  2. Pingback: The FN Dish » Archive » The “Other” Summer Greens

  3. Pingback: On the edge with herbs and greens | UK Food Network Blog – Locally Sourced

  4. Pingback: Healthy Eats » Archive » Summer Fest: Our Top 6 Fresh Herbs

  5. Pingback: Summer Fest: Green Beans with Balsamic Browned Butter — Pinch My Salt

  6. Pingback: Summer Fest 2010 – Week 3: Herbs, Greens, and Beans « Living In A Local Zone

  7. Pingback: Just a Taste » Crostini Three Ways

  8. Pingback: Video: Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe | Just a Taste

  9. Pingback: Asparagus and Ricotta Pizza Recipe | Just a Taste

  10. Pingback: Lots O’Meat Lasagna and Zesty Roasted Garlic Bread | Just a Taste

  11. Pingback: Ricotta and Honey Butter Bites | Just a Taste

Leave a Comment