Homemade Ricotta with Lemon Zest and Chilli Flakes- close up

Homemade ricotta with lemon zest And Chilli Flakes

Ricotta with lemon and chilli flakes - on part of a charcuterie board

I love to cook with my friend Cindy Lazarenko. She’s one of those chefs that knows how to elevate a dish with just a little more of this or a pinch of that. She taught me how to make this HOMEMADE RICOTTA WITH LEMON ZEST AND CHILLI FLAKES.

Years ago, I led day long bus tours where we’d take 45 guests and visit four to five farms in one day. And, we’d feed everyone along the way with produce from those farms. Cindy loved the sound of these adventures so she came down to help me with all the cooking a few times.

One year when we were visiting Fairwinds Farm she suggested we make this cheese with their goat’s milk. Everyone loved it. I loved it then because of how easy it was to make and how flavourful the results were. I love it now because it’s a great taste memory I always associate with Cindy. She’s one of our great Food Artisans of Alberta and we’re so lucky to have her talents here.


Homemade Ricotta with Lemon Zest and Chilli Flakes

Homemade Ricotta with Lemon Zest and Chilli Flakes- close up

I made this ricotta using goat’s milk but it’s every bit as tasty with cow’s milk. Just be sure to use whole milk. 

  • Author: Karen Anderson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: about 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Appetizers/Snacks
  • Method: cheese making
  • Cuisine: Canadian


  • 2 litres whole milk (goat’s or cow’s)
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice (Tip: use store bought to ensure the acid level needed for the cheese to curdle)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • ½1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • drizzle extra virgin olive oil
  • grind of fresh black pepper


  1. Line a sieve with a few layers of cheese cloth and place over a bowl.
  2. Pour the milk into a heavy bottomed saucepan on medium-high heat and slowly bring the start of a roving boil. Immediately pour in the lemon juice and remove from heat.
  3. Stir the mixture as the curds and whey separate and then strain them through the cheese cloth lined sieve. 
  4. Leave the curds from 10 to 30 minutes depending on how soft and fluffy you like your ricotta. I like mine at 10 minutes. 
  5. Stir in the lemon zest and chilli flakes and serve in a bowl drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil and a grind of fresh pepper. 
  6. Tip: Save the whey for use in puddings, smoothies, or use it instead of water or milk in sourdough, 


Variations: I added lemon zest and chilli flakes to this recipe. You can change it up with the addition of your favourite herbs. Another favourite is to add apricot jelly and chilli flakes!

Keywords: homemade cheese making

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