Gluten Free Fresh Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe

Years ago I visited an Italian-American family at their sprawling complex in Central California. Nestled at the base of the foothills just a few miles from the beach, it was a captivating enclave of Italian architecture, agriculture, and tradition.

The main house and surrounding out buildings were decidedly Tuscan in origin with their plaster walls in umber tones, russet colored tiled roofs and classic lines. Much attention to detail was evident in the kitchen which was at once grand and intimate.

Unlike many modern kitchens that are designed to look Mediterranean with their gleaming granite countertops and faux finished cabinets; gorgeous showcases that are rarely used, it was delightfully obvious that this kitchen was routinely filled with generations of family members preparing what I can only imagine were fantastic feasts.

The property was populated with olive trees, row upon row of gnarled grapevines grew in immaculately tended rows, and a variety of fruit trees were clustered together in seemingly impromptu orchards. It was late summer and the garden was resplendent with tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and squash. Sunflowers stood tall and proud; offering a bright, sunny welcome to the visitor.

Properties like this do not sprout up overnight; they are lovingly created over the years with each generation adding its own personal stamp to the overall design.

Just a short 45 minute drive from the high-tech capital of Silicon Valley, this property, this HOME, was an Old World masterpiece steeped in tradition, family, and love.

My business attire of a severely tailored suit and high heels felt instantly inappropriate. I yearned to kick off my shoes, don a flowing peasant dress and start cooking. I imagined myself is a straw hat gathering fruits and vegetables, harvesting honey from the bee hives, picking olives and grapes. I conjured up romantic notions of a life where I canned tomatoes, made my own wine, pasta, olive oil, and cheese. I saw myself gathering my family and friends around one of the many enormous farm-style tables to enjoy food that was grown, processed, and prepared all on that very property.

I don’t come from a big Italian family and truth be told I possess more of a black thumb than a green one, but that magical day allowed me to dream. It may not be a lifestyle that I am totally suited for but it is one I can aspire to.

When I make my own ricotta cheese, I am transported in my mind back to that day. While the process is simplicity itself, I feel somehow earthy, old-world-like, and traditional. I feel a sense of pride in taking exceptional ingredients and transforming them into something delectable.

If all of this seems corny and overly romantic to you then just know this – this Homemade Ricotta Cheese recipe makes darn good cheese!

Recipe Notes: Since this recipe is so simple I feel it is important to start with really quality ingredients. I use organic milk, cream, and lemons. For the salt I use kosher salt, if you are using table salt, cut the amount by about half. Some recipes call for just lemon juice or vinegar – I like the combination of the two. Whatever you do, please I beg you; do not use lemon juice from a bottle!

Gluten Free Ricotta Cheese Ingredients

 The ingredients

Gluten Free Ricotta Cheese Ingredients

 Curds and whey


 Straining the cheese

Ready to eat

Gluten free fresh ricotta cheese

5 from 2 votes
Gluten Free Fresh Ricotta Cheese
Print Recipe

Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe

Prep Time10 mins
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 1 cup
Calories: 1276kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More


  • 3 cups organic whole milk
  • 1 cup organic heavy cream
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


  • Line a sieve with 2 layers of dampened cheese cloth and set over a large bowl.
  • Pour the milk and cream into a heavy, non-reactive pot. Stir in the salt. Bring to a full boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat, add the vinegar and lemon juice and stir gently twice. Let the pot sit, undisturbed, for 5 – 10 minutes or until the mixture curdles. Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth lined strainer and let sit for 1 – 2 hours. After 1 hour you will have a creamy, tender ricotta good for spreading on some gluten free bread, crackers, or whatever your heart desires. After 2 hours, the ricotta will be drier and firmer which is good for things like cheesecake. Discard the whey (the liquid) that has collected in the bowl.
  • Serve the ricotta right away or store in an airtight container for up to 4 or 5 days.


Nutrition Facts
Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1276 Calories from Fat 999
% Daily Value*
Fat 111g171%
Saturated Fat 68g340%
Cholesterol 399mg133%
Sodium 2151mg90%
Potassium 1144mg33%
Carbohydrates 43g14%
Sugar 37g41%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 4685IU94%
Vitamin C 10.1mg12%
Calcium 982mg98%
Iron 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Tags: Cheese Homemade Ricotta
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  1. tastyeatsathome
    October 7, 2013

    I love homemade cheese!<3

    1. CarolKicinski
      October 8, 2013

      Thanks Alta, me too!

  2. Maggie
    October 7, 2013

    What a beautiful recipe Carol. You make it seem so easy :) I wonder if I could do this with cashew milk? I’m sure I could, with a little twist – thank you for inspiring me! I’d like to spend some time on the Italian property in Cali – sounds simply amazing.

    1. CarolKicinski
      October 8, 2013

      You know Maggie, I was wondering the same thing about cashew cream. Let me know!

  3. Kim - Cook It Allergy Free
    October 9, 2013

    Oh wow, Carol. This looks incredible. I have always wanted to do this… my grandma used to make her own ricotta all of the time. I am totally trying this.

  4. October 9, 2013

    I’ve never made my own cheese, but this looks like an incredibly easy one to start with!

  5. Lexie
    October 10, 2013

    Beautiful cheese! This kind of project is right up my alley.

  6. Libby
    October 10, 2013

    Wow, quite a unique
    recipe. Really does help some of us with certain food intolerances and
    allergies to enjoy


  7. CarolKicinski
    October 23, 2013

    Thanks Libby.

  8. CarolKicinski
    October 23, 2013

    Thanks Lexie!

  9. CarolKicinski
    October 23, 2013

    So, so easy Cara! Have fun.

  10. CarolKicinski
    October 23, 2013

    Thanks Kim. Enjoy!

  11. CarolKicinski
    October 23, 2013

    Thank you Kim. It is so easy!

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