Does ricotta cheese need to be drained? (3 simple steps)

In this article, we will answer the following question: does ricotta cheese need to be drained? We will teach you how to do it in 3 simple steps and also tell you how to make homemade ricotta and give you 10 amazing recipes with ricotta cheese!

Does ricotta cheese need to be drained?

Yes, ricotta cheese needs to be drained, and the drain time may vary from one to eight hours, depending on each batch of ricotta and the mesh size of the cheesecloth. Ricotta cheese is used in countless recipes, both sweet and salty, now that it is so fashionable to have cookbooks from different countries, some preparation where that cheese is used always appears in their indexes. 

Ricotta cheese is a by-product cheese. Its name ricotta, which means to cook again, refers to the production method used in its preparation. And it is that this cheese is made from the whey drained from cheeses such as mozzarella, provolone, and other varieties. 

Although it is normally combined with milk, both whole and skimmed, to obtain the final product. To make it ourselves we are going to need very simple ingredients that are normally found in all refrigerators.

How to drain ricotta cheese

  1. Place the ricotta on the cheesecloth and gently squeeze it. Press firmly but slowly, starting at the top of the package to prevent the ricotta from squirting. Continue to squeeze and shake gently to remove as much water as possible.
  1. Cover the ricotta with a cloth or paper towel. A fine-mesh sieve may be the best way to drain well, but a colander can work too. Line the entire interior surface with cheesecloth or other fine mesh fabric.
  1. Serve and eat!

Ingredients for making ricotta cheese at home

  • 500 ml of whole or skimmed milk
  •  200 ml of liquid cream
  •  1 and 1/2 tablespoons of quality white vinegar
  •  1 teaspoon of salt

How to make homemade ricotta cheese

We will start by heating the milk with the cream and the teaspoon of salt. Bring it to a boil, when it starts to boil, remove the pot from the heat and add the vinegar, stirring well to mix. We will see that after five minutes the milk begins to cut and form lumps.

When this time passes it is time to pass it to a strainer with gauze to drain the serum. Let it drain for at least an hour, squeeze the gauze from time to time so that it releases the liquid well. When the hour passes it could be used, but if we are not in a hurry it can be left for eight hours draining in the refrigerated strainer. Then store in an airtight container, always in the fridge.

Ricotta cheese is a product that has a short duration, so it should not be consumed if when opening the container it had changed its pure white color to a yellowish tone. It should be used at most five days after its preparation, always keep it covered and with little air inside the container. I hope that with this recipe for how to make homemade ricotta cheese you will not resist any sweet or salty preparation where they ask you as an ingredient.

What to do with ricotta cheese? 10 recipes

A humble product that is a great ally: it brings a little creaminess in lightness, water, a texture, lends itself very well to be flavored (simply try in a soup or as a quick dessert with sugar and the zest of lemon or grated chocolate yum).

Here is something to inspire you.

  1.  In a quiche, pie, strudel

In the filling of a quiche, a pie, a salty strudel replace some or all of the cream with ricotta or mix the ricotta with vegetables, tying everything together with an egg.

As in these recipes:

Ricotta, gorgonzola and watercress quiche

Corn, asparagus and ricotta quiche

Ricotta watercress strudel

  1. In a bread, a calzone …
  • Bread stuffed with sausage and ricotta
  • Neapolitan calzone
  1.  In a pesto or spread

It will bring a little creamy texture in lightness and also a milky note that goes well with herbs or tomatoes.

  • Pepper and ricotta cream
  • Smoked salmon and ricotta mousse
  • Mortadella and ricotta mousse
  1.  In lasagna

It provides a little creaminess and goes well with vegetables

  • Lasagna with ricotta, sausage and pecorino
  • Pancake lasagna, spinach ricotta
  1.  In a gratin

It will give very, very pleasant softness, especially with meat or fish.

  • Sardine gratin with zucchini and ricotta
  • Dandelion clafoutis
  1.  In vegetable wraps

Add a little ricotta (or whatever) to your vegetable rolls (eggplant, peppers, zucchini …)

  • Eggplant rolls with ricotta and ham
  1.  In a soup
  • Zucchini, ricotta and ham crisps cappuccino
  • Zucchini, ricotta, and bottarga soup
  • Cold pepper and tomato soup, ricotta dumplings
  • Endive velouté with ricotta
  1. As a pasta stuffing (ravioli …) or on pasta or in a risotto
  • Spinach Ricotta Ravioli
  • Giant ravioli with ricotta and runny egg
  • Salted rice cake with saffron, ricotta heart, and asparagus sauce
  1. In a sauce

I sometimes add it in a tomato sauce or sautéed tomatoes (this gives a very nice milky touch) or a cheese sauce to lighten up.

  1. Gnocchi
  • Ricotta gnocchi with pesto, cold yellow pepper soup
  • Ricotta gnocchi, pea cream and coppa (+ video)
  • Gnudi (spinach ricotta gnocchi)

Other FAQs about Ricotta Cheese which you may be interested in.

Can you use sour cream instead of ricotta?

Conclusions

In this article, we answered the following question: does ricotta cheese need to be drained? We taught it in 3 simple steps and also told you how to make homemade ricotta and gave you 10 amazing recipes with ricotta cheese.

Draining ricotta cheese is simple, but a mandatory step in making it. Ricotta cheese is a by-product cheese. Its name ricotta, which means to cook again, refers to the production method used in its preparation. And it is that this cheese is made from the whey drained from cheeses such as mozzarella, provolone, and other varieties. 

If you have any questions on the content or some ricotta cheese recipes, please let us know!

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.