Goat’s Milk Ricotta Cheese

I’m so proud of myself. Last week, I made cheese for the first time ever.

I made it from my fresh goat’s milk.

And it was EASY!

I can’t believe how quick this stuff was to make. I was also surprised at how yummy it was! Deep down, I was a little hesitant to taste it. I expected that classic “goaty” aftertaste. But it was actually delicious, and had no goat cheese flavor whatsoever. Yay! Even the kids requested more.

Tonight, I made lasagna with my homemade ricotta cheese. That was cool.

But enough of that, let me show you how truly simple it is to make…

First, gather your ingredients. You’ll need 2 quarts of goat’s milk, salt, and white vinegar. You’ll also need a large pot, and a thermometer.

Pour the milk into the pot, and bring to a simmer- not quite a boil. Keep a check on the temperature, it needs to reach 200*.

Add 3 Tbsp white vinegar. No need to stir. The milk will immediately begin curdling (pretty neat to watch!). Bring back to 200*; remove pot from heat, cover, and allow to sit for 15 min. (Again, no stirring.)

Next, pour the curdled milk through a colander lined with fine cheesecloth or a cotton cloth to strain out the whey. I found a clean cloth diaper (burp cloth) to work great for this. Make sure the colander is sitting over a bowl or something to catch the whey that drips out!

Save the whey! It’s full of wonderful nutrients. I used mine to make a loaf of bread, substituting the whey for water.

Tie up the cloth up like a bag, hanging over a bowl or pot, and allow it to drain for about an hour. I used an old shoe lace to tie the cloth rag, and rigged it on the cabinet knob. Whatever works!

Once your cheese is pretty dry, dump it out into a bowl and add 1/4 tsp salt (more if desired), stirring well. The ricotta will be nice and clumpy, and tastes SO good.

This cheese will stay good in the fridge for a couple weeks. You can also freeze it as well.

Goat’s Milk Ricotta Cheese

  • 2 quarts whole goat’s milk
  • 3 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt

Pour milk into a large pot and bring to 200* (simmering, just before boil). Add vinegar and bring back to 200* (no stirring). Remove the pot from heat, place a lid on it, and allow it to sit for 15 min.

Place a colander over another pot or bowl, and line it with fine cheesecloth or a cotton cloth. Pour the hot, curdled milk through the lined colander to strain out the whey. (Keep the whey for baking bread!)

Tie up the cloth like a bag, hanging over a pot to drain for at least an hour. When the cheese is pretty dry, dump it into a bowl and add salt, to taste. Store in the fridge in a glass jar with a lid, or freeze.

Wasn’t that ridiculously simple?? Love it!

So, now it’s your turn. If you have access to whole goat’s milk, you have GOT to try this. I wonder if you can do the same thing with cow’s milk? Hmmm….

Anybody else out there make ricotta cheese, too? Any tips on what the leftover whey can be used for? I have more in my fridge waiting to be put into something.

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13 thoughts on “Goat’s Milk Ricotta Cheese”

  1. I have used my goat’s milk ricotta for a substitute in baking cookies that ask for sour cream. I’ve used it for Frittatas, Pancakes, stuffed shells, Lasagna and Lasagna roll-ups. Each year I search out more ways to use it.

  2. I have a pot that holds 7 quarts. I use week old goat’s milk that I have skimmed the cream off, heat it to 180, add “Meyer” fresh lemon juice to curdle — I used 3 lemons — and got the best cheese ever. I used to use Apple Cider Vinegar but the Meyer lemons were much better! I also add fresh dried Rosemary, fresh pressed garlic and sea salt to make a cheese for salads or crackers. I sell it and people love it!

  3. Whey is great stuff to have around. Most people in North America won’t do it nowadays, but you can actually just drink it. In Switzerland it is the basis for a carbonated drink called Rivella. In Iceland, it’s just sold under the name Mysa in cartons as a ready-to-drink beverage.

    What you’ve got here is called Acid Whey since you used an acid (vinegar) to make your ricotta. You can also get what is called Sweet Whey by using Rennet (or Cream of Tartar) to curdle instead of an acid (that is done for hard cheeses like Cheddar) and it is not quite as tart as Acid Whey. We use whey in place of water for baking all the time. Another trick is to use it to pre-soak your grains and/or flakes (if you use them…we use only whole grains and grind/flake our own as we need them). If you pre-soak the grains/flakes in whey before re-drying and grinding them, it makes the grain much easier to digest and your body will extract much more of the nutritional value from it. Look up a book called Nourishing Traditions (Enig & Fallon). There are tons of ideas on what to do with whey in there.

  4. Recipe using cow’s milk. Heat 1 gallon milk to 180 degrees–take off heat and stir in 1/2 cup vinegar (white or apple cider) Stir a little to form curds. Drain like your recipe Kendra. Rinse under cold water while still in strainer, and add salt to taste.

  5. Yes!!!! It can be done with cow’s milk. I’ve done it a number of times with excellent results. If you have milk with a lot of cream (like Jersey milk) you should skim it first. I also have used this cheese as a homemade version of feta cheese on a salad. Yummy!!!!!

  6. I would love to know if this works for cow’s milk as well since I dom’t have access to goat’s milk…yet. I want goats something bad!!! 🙂

  7. Nice job on the ricotta! I just got this great book on making cheese at home, Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Delicious Cheeses by Ricki Carroll, and it is AWESOME, I am hoping to attempt cheese in the next week or two if my crazy schedule calms down.


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