Instant Pot Homemade Ricotta

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recipe by Ivy Manning

  • Time icon
    Total Time
  • Serves icon
  • Calories icon
based on 1 ratings

Store-bought ricotta can’t hold a candle to creamy, rich homemade cheese. You don’t need any special equipment, and the YOGURT setting on most Instant Pot models gently heats the milk to the perfect temperature, so there’s no worrying about scorching the milk on the stove. If you don’t have a Yogurt setting, heat the milk on Sauté on Normal/Medium heat, stirring occasionally, until a thermometer reaches 190°F before proceeding as directed. Ricotta is only as good as the milk you use to make it, so buy the best milk you can find and make sure that it isn’t ultra-high-temperature (UHT) pasteurized milk. The UHT process changes the proteins in the milk and will prevent it from forming curds. You can use fresh lemon juice to make the milk coagulate, but I find it easier to add citric acid, which you can find at spice shops or buy online. The liquid left over in the pot after cheese making is called whey, as in Little Miss Muffet’s “curds and whey.” It’s full of beneficial probiotic organisms, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, so don’t pour it down the drain! You can use it in soups, sauces, and smoothies as a neutral-flavored liquid that adds a big nutritional boost. The following recipes are excerpted from INSTANT POT® ITALIAN © 2018 by Ivy Manning. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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recipe updated Apr 14, 2020


  • Whole milk icon
    Whole milk
    8 cups (about 2.112 kg)
  • Lemon juice icon
    Lemon juice
    ¼ cup (about 71.28 g)
  • Salt icon
    ¼ tsp (about 1.5 g)


  • kCook icon Wooden spoon
  • kCook icon Muslin cloth
  • kCook icon Instant Pot
  • kCook icon Large mixing bowl
  • kCook icon Colander
  • kCook icon Airtight container
  • kCook icon Inner pot
  • kCook icon Rack

Step preview

  1. Add whole milk to the inner pot
  2. Cook - Yogurt, More
  3. Remove lid
  4. Carefully remove the inner pot
  5. Add lemon juice to the inner pot
  6. Stir gently - 30 sec
  7. Let rest - 5 min
  8. Line a clean colander with muslin cloth
  9. Set colander in a clean large mixing bowl
  10. Carefully pour the cheese and whey into the colander
  11. For moist, creamy ricotta, let the cheese drain for 5 minutes. For firmer ricotta, allow the cheese to drain for up to 4 hours at room temperature
  12. Remove the colander from the bowl
  13. Stir salt into the large mixing bowl
  14. Transfer cheese to airtight container
  15. Store inner pot in fridge
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