Fresh Cheeses/

Lime-Set Ricotta

From Season 9, Mexico: One Plate At A Time


  • 1gallon whole milk (choose the best milk you can find; for me that is milk that is local, low-temperature pasturized, organic, not homogenized, made from the milk of grass-fed cows)
  • 1quart buttermilk
  • 1/2cup fresh lime juice


In a large (7- to 8-quart) heavy pot, combine the whole milk, buttermilk and lime juice. Heat the mixture over medium until a cooking thermometer reads 190 degrees. This will take about 20 minutes.  The curds will begin to separate from the whey and float to the top of the pot.

With a slotted spoon or wire skimmer, gently skim the warm curds from the top of the whey and place them in a medium mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Let the curds drain from the whey for about a half hour, until the desired consistency is reached. Chill the ricotta until you’re ready to serve.


  1. Hello,

    How does the ricotta made with lime or lemon compare to rennet?

    Does the lemon or lime flavor stand out?

    Thank you,
    Sherrill Polk

    1. Thank you for the question Sherrill,
      The lime is our preference because it lends a light,bright, slightly limey flavor. The rennet also makes more firm curds. The lime flavor is very subtle.


  2. I love your show & that you take authentic recipes and show the public how to make them here in the US. I have visited Mexico & had many of the dishes you prepare. Thank you.

  3. I made your ricotta. It was easy, but I have a question. Why don’t you add salt? I am using the leftover whey to make potato soup.
    Thanks Rick!

    1. Hi Angela,
      Traditionally Requeson is not salted. Is is done so that it can be used in both sweet and savory dishes and seasoned based on how you are preparing it. And great idea for the whey!

  4. Hi, I watched the episode today and am excited to try this fresh ricotta recipe! What is the refrigerated shelf life of the ricotta? Thank you, Susan

    1. Hello Susan,
      Generally- I would say the safest bet is to go with whatever the expiration date is of the milk that you use.

  5. I have loved watching your shows and eating your food. Thankyou
    P.S. Love your daughters name too. I’m in my 60’s and no one else had my name at school. Still quite unique, si?

  6. What is the name of the dairy who’s milk you used to make the ricotta. I live in the suburbs of Chicago and would like to use it. You made the milk sound so good and I don’t like milk but I would love to try a glass

  7. Hi everyone: Most informative of all food shows. You are all the greatest. Thank you.

    In making his lime-set ricotta, Rick uses buttermilk. Isn’t that also made with vinegar as the acid? Or is he able to acquire it without that as part of the process? I would think with lime and vinegar, there would be a problem with too much acid to consider.


  8. I live at about 5300′ above sea level, and I expect that ricotta made here would require a somewhat lower temperature than 190 degrees. Is there a way that I can tell by the appearance of the mixture when it has cooked enough? Just look for the curd to begin to separate? Thanks for this recipe and for all the other useful and entertaining information on the show.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *