Healthy and Sane

How to make reduced fat ricotta

November 11th, 2011 · 32 Comments · breakfast, cooking tips

Remember when we canceled cable, which then lead to tv withdrawals, followed by tv overdose? I couldn’t take it any longer. I missed the Food Network and just the randomness of tv too much… so we finally got cable back. Surprisingly, I’ve been watching it in moderation. No more tv binges!


So the other day I happened to stumble upon Anne Burrel’s Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. During the episode she showed how easy it was to make ricotta cheese. I couldn’t believe it. The whole thing literally took less than 30 minutes from start to finish. Of course I had to try it myself… and make it lower fat!

Ricotta is milk and heavy cream (3:1 ratio), curdled by the addition of acid (vinegar in this case… I’ve seen buttermilk used as well). Super easy! I subbed low fat milk for whole milk in Anne’s ricotta recipe and got to work.


Mixture before and after. See the curdles forming? I let it simmer for quite a bit (probably 20 minutes) but there was still a lot of liquid.

how-to-make-reduced-fat-ricotta-2 how-to-make-reduced-fat-ricotta-3

I don’t know if that’s normal but it didn’t seem like more curdles were forming with more time so I decided to go ahead and move on to the straining stage.


15 minutes later…


Homemade ricotta!!! Party smile


Deciding what was for breakfast couldn’t have been easier!



Ricotta + sour cherry preserves = heaven!


This ricotta was a bit drier than the whole milk stuff but I just loved the mild taste of cream in each little curdle. Adam and I snacked on it straight out of the bowl last night. The stuff is crazy addictive!

PS – Does the background in the photos look familiar?

PPS – I have a new recipe up on Russian Bites. Check it out Smile

And now a question for you… What should I do with the strained out whey? I can’t bring myself to throw it away. I’m sure I can make something genius with it… help me!

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32 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - betsy

    Great tutorial, love the photos!

  • #2 - galit

    I always wondered if that would work with low fat milk! Thanks so much for sharing this – I will now certainly have to try it!

    • #3 - Elina

      I was wondering too and haven’t found good recipes for the low fat versions. Let me know how it went for you when you try it. We loved it! :)

  • #4 - nic

    Great tutorial! When I made homemade Greek yogurt last year, I didn’t want to throw away the liquid I strained out, either. I used the liquid to add to my post-run smoothies and also stirred it into oatmeal. I bet you could freeze it in quarter- or half-cup servings to use later on, too.

    • #5 - Elina

      Ooh, interesting. Did it taste sour at all? For some reason I’m imagining it tastes pretty weird… should I taste it? oy

  • #6 - Michelle

    Really cool! I never would have thought to make ricotta before!

  • #7 - Erin

    In the future you could make mozzarella first and then make ricotta from the leftovers of that process :) Then you get 2 awesome homemade cheeses!

    • #8 - Elina

      Whoa, sounds advanced! 😉

    • #9 - Great Grandma Ginny

      I am trying to find a way to do as you suggest to make the mozzarella first but it seems to me that process uses all the same milk solids to make the mozzarella so there is nothing left but the whey so how do you make the ricotta from there. I love both cheeses but they have gotten so expensive now. Retired now so gotta conserve. I sure would like to do this.


  • #10 - Spike

    so easy! love it

  • #11 - natalie (the sweets life)

    definitely want to try this sometime!

  • #12 - inna

    wait.. did you cook it? i think im missing something here. the photos are mouthwatering

    • #13 - Elina

      Yes, you simmer it and curdles form. Then you strain it and it’s done! Hopefully the linked recipe explains it all :)

  • #14 - Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living

    Love the recipe, and just look at those photos – gorgeous!! I need to make a trip to Lowe’s/Home Depot for planks, wood stain, & tile samples =).

  • #15 - Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic

    I am loving ricotta lately, didn’t know it was simple to make at home! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • #16 - Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    My husband really likes that show.

    This ricotta sounds amazing, I have been wanting to try homemade for a while! Also, your photos look great:-)

  • #17 - Cara

    Not gonna lie, thats pretty darn cool. Ben says he doesn’t care for ricotta but I wonder if homemade would change his tune. And ps it looks like I need to go to home depot!

  • #18 - Bridget

    Another thing I’ve always wanted to try! And yes I too thought you could make ricotta from the currdles of mozzarella :) Not that I know how haha. Sounds like a fun project though.

    See you soon!!!!!!!

  • #19 - Diana @ frontyardfoodie

    I’ve only made goat cheese ricotta and it was a breeze but I bet cow’s milk would make a tastier version! That looks so yummy.

  • #21 - Kerstin

    Yum, I’m so impressed, it looks delicious and what a perfect breakfast!

  • #22 - Olga @ MangoTomato

    I’ve never made ricotta, but I used similar technique to make the Indian cheese: delicious.

    Maybe use the whey as the base for a soup?

    Great photos!

  • #23 - Megan

    I really need to bite the bullet and try this one day — it definitely looks so easy, and I know I would love the fresh ricotta.

  • #24 - Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo)

    So you still need the heavy cream? Once an Indian restaurant owner and I got chatting and he told me how to make home made cheese and it was just low fat milk and either lemon juice or vinegar- I rushed home and had it made within the hour. It needed more flavor though. I just need to get back and try some more things. I love the idea of your other commenter’s GOAT ricotta- again. wondering if heavy cream can be omitted!??

    • #25 - Elina

      I didn’t have a recipe for low fat ricotta and was afraid that heavy cream was crucial. It definitely gave it a very creamy taste which I loved. I saw one suggestion of just using skim milk but that scares me. I’m not really into fat free stuff… Let me know if you try it with success (or blog about it :) )

  • #26 - Kelly

    Yay! Happy to see your results. :-) I will admit I’ve only made mine with whole milk.

  • #28 - DessertForTwo

    I need to make this, I’ve been thinking about it for months!
    I would use the leftover whey in place of milk in muffin recipes, maybe even in place of buttermilk.

    • #29 - Elina

      I just made a fantastic bread with it yesterday… post coming up soon (hopefully it will be helpful if you make the ricotta!!).

  • #30 - Homemade Italian bread with leftover whey {+survey} | Healthy and Sane

    […] Italian bread with leftover whey {+survey} Have you tried making ricotta yet? As I’m sure you could tell from my previous post, despite it being super easy – I felt […]

  • #31 - mtngigi

    My Lebanese mother always took the liquid left over from making homemade yogurt (whey) and patted it all over her face. One of her “old country” remedies for a natural skin treatment.

    All I know is she still had beautiful skin well into her 90s.

    Speaking of yogurt, I’m going to try using thick yogurt instead of heavy cream for a batch of ricotta (thinking it might act similar to buttermilk.

    I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  • #32 - LD Pfaff

    I use the whey for my bread-making liquid.
    I use to water my indoor plants with the whey, but once one of the plants started to smell like sour milk.