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Learn how to strain ricotta cheese for recipes. Straining ricotta is necessary for creamy Italian desserts because it keeps the recipe from becoming watery.
Ricotta is my favorite Italian cheese, it’s creamy, delicious, and versatile. It’s one of my favorite ingredients in Baked Ziti, Sausage Lasagna, pizza, Three Cheese Calzones, and desserts like Cannoli!
Today I’m showing you how to strain ricotta cheese the right way!
Ricotta is an Italian cheese that’s used in a variety of recipes. A lot of ricotta cheese recipes ask for strained ricotta cheese, but they don’t tell you how to do it. Let me show you!
Kitchen Equipment Needed:
Small Bowl – The small bowl from this set is perfect for straining ricotta cheese, the lip of the bowl is just the right size to rest the strainer on. Plus the other bowls are great for other recipes, I use these bowls daily!
Fine Mesh Strainer – The medium strainer from this set fits perfectly over a small bowl for this recipe. I love this set because the large size is great for sifting large amounts of flour or powdered sugar, the medium size is great for straining, and the small one is awesome for sifting small amounts of powdered sugar to garnish desserts.
Cheesecloth – Cheesecloth is necessary for this recipe. It keeps any cheese particles from slipping through the strainer.
Rubber Scraper – This set is my absolute favorite. It comes in various sizes and shapes.
You can use cheesecloth in other ways:
- You can use cheesecloth to make a small herb or spice satchel for soups, that way you get all the flavor from the herbs and spices but no debris ends up in your soup.
- I also like using cheesecloth when I make homemade stock, it’s great for removing the accumulated fat that forms on the surface. Place some cheesecloth just below the surface of the stock, and then I chill it in the refrigerator for an hour. Then I simply lift the cheesecloth to remove the fat from the surface of the stock.
How to Strain Ricotta Cheese
Place the strainer over a small prep bowl, and line it with cheesecloth.
Add the ricotta, and using a rubber spatula, gently push and spread the ricotta into an even layer. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator. Let the ricotta cheese strain overnight, or at least for 8 hours. Discard the accumulated liquid in the bowl, and use the ricotta as directed in your recipe.
That’s it, folks. That’s how to strain ricotta cheese. Later this week I’ll show you how to take this strained ricotta cheese and make Cannoli Cream with it, yum!
How to Strain Ricotta Cheese
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- Place the strainer over a small prep bowl, and line it with cheesecloth.
- Add the ricotta, and using a rubber spatula, gently push and spread the ricotta into an even layer. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator. Let the ricotta cheese strain overnight, or at least for 8 hours. Discard the accumulated liquid in the bowl, and use the ricotta as directed in your recipe.
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Karen Call says
I love your “new look.” Even at my age, I am still learning tricks to be a better cook. Thanks!
Thanks, Karen! I love how the new design came out, I’m glad you like it! 🙂
Jennifer Essad says
Hi Jillian, I’ve been looking for a cannoli recipe, thanks for sharing with us and I’m looking forward to your next post
Jennifer, I just got done writing the post and its scheduled to go live on Thursday!
I’m curious how long I can leave the ricotta in the fridge? I’m about to begin the straining now (7:00pm) and I plan to make the cannoli filling with it around 4:30 pm tomorrow… that’s almost 21.5 hours.. is that too long?
Amanda, 21.5 hours should be fine. I wouldn’t do any longer than that though!
Can I freeze the cannoli filling if I have extra? If so for how long do you think it will stay good in the freezer?
Sadly, you cannot freeze cannoli filling. I’ve tried it and when it thaws it looks sort of curdled. It’s the same as when you freeze and thaw sour cream.
Thank you the advise on not freezing cannoli cream, my local baking supply has some in the freezer section,I’m glad I know, before I being disapointed..
Ellie Butler says
True I bought a case of cannoli cream at a restaurant depot store it was frozen I thawed it out and it was wonderful nice and stiff and I piped them into large cannolis it was wonderful so if make my own your saying it wouldn’t be right if I thawed it out and used it please tell me what and why is that need to know if doing something wrong making it I don’t understand the difference what are they useing in there recipie that were not I’m curious because I was going to make it
Paul Piazza says
Hi ! Can you freeze the Cannoli’s and stuffing ?
Paul, you can freeze the cannoli shells but not the filling. The filling will be soupy upon defrosting.
I do not have any cheese cloth. Would a linen dish towel work?
I’m afraid a dish towel will be too thick. Perhaps if you use a thin dish towel and ring out the excess moisture in the ricotta while it’s in the dish towel, it will work.
I do not have a cheesecloth. Would paper towel work?
You can use a cloth kitchen towel, a coffee filter, or 2-3 layers of paper towel.
Donna Ann Martucci says
I used coffee filters to strain out the whey it worked great. I had no cheese clth.
Glad coffee filters worked, clever!
My husband making cannoli filling. Not following directions. Filling to runny. Trying to strain now. Anything else I can do
No, sorry. It needed to be strained beforehand. 🙁