An absolutely delicious recipe for homemade cottage cheese that’s simple to make at home with just three ordinary ingredients.
I started making homemade cottage cheese a few years ago – at the time, it was a quick and easy way to use a gallon of raw milk.
Eventually after multiple batches it became almost second nature – if we needed cottage cheese, we just threw it together at home. After all, it is simple and easy.
If you’ve ever read the ingredient list on cottage cheese sold in stores, you might see things like:
Is Raw Milk Required for Making Cottage Cheese?
Homemade Cottage Cheese Is Easy to Make
Don’t Toss the Whey
- Use it in place of water when cooking rice
- Add it to baked goods in place of the liquid
- Use it to make your own cold process soap (freeze it in cubes first!)
- You can also use it as a hair rinse, foot soak, etc.
Homemade Cottage Cheese
Homemade Cottage Cheese
- 1 gallon whole milk not ultra high temperature processed or long life*
- 3/4 C vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 C heavy cream optional
- Pour milk into a heavy bottom stock pot. Heat slowly to 175 degrees F, stir continually so that the milk doesn't scorch the bottom of the pot.
- Remove from the heat. Add the vinegar and stir thoroughly for 10-15 seconds. Cover the post and push aside to rest for 30 minutes.
- Line a colander with a towel or a tightly woven cheesecloth. Place the colander over a large pot or bowl to catch the whey.
- Pour the solids from the pot into the colander. Allow it to drain for at least 30 minutes (or longer if desired).
- Tie up the ends of the cheesecloth very tight and form a tight ball - dip the ball into a clean bowl of cold water. This will help chill the curds quickly and evenly. Squeeze out the excess liquid.
- Turn out the cheese into a large bowl. Use your hands to break into small curds. Stir in the salt, more or less to taste.
- Optional: add heavy cream for an additional level of creaminess. Check the taste - add more salt as needed.
- Refrigerate in a covered container until ready to serve.
- Homemade cottage cheese can be made with raw milk.
- Don't discard the whey: the whey can be used for so many things! Use in it place of water when making rice, as a hair rinse following a shampoo and to make homemade probiotic soda.
- Homemade cottage cheese will keep for up to one week when properly refrigerated.
- Recipe makes 2 C. of cottage cheese, 1/4 C. per serving.
Homemade cottage is cheese is delicious when combined with homemade mayo, chopped red onion and chopped parsley and spread on a toasted baguette. Yum and yum! You can also use it in pasta dishes, or serve with fresh fruit for a light meal.
**Note: Not all states permit the sale of raw milk. To find out more about individual state rules/laws regarding raw milk, visit RealMilk.com.
Have you ever tried making your own cottage cheese?
Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Let me know how it works for you! Please leave a comment, rate the recipe and be sure to tag me on Instagram!
Trudy van Brugge says
Would it also work using a lower % of fat milk…thanks
Trudy, I haven’t tried it but it should work fine!
I used 2% and it worked great!
Janet – that’s so wonderful!
Can you use. Products like fair life milk?
Laurie, I have never heard of Fair Life milk.. I’m not sure. You can try though – if you do, let me know if it works for you!
Mary Weber says
Actually, no, Fairlife is an ultra pasteurized milk, so it won’t form curds. I tried it because that’s what I had in my fridge and then later looked it up and found out why it didn’t work.
Tracy Wisenburg says
It does work great to make yogurt though
Have you ever tried doing this with nut milks? My daughter is dairy free, and we are trying to figure out ways of making the things that she loves without dairy.
I am sorry Rebecca, I haven’t ever tried. I’m not sure how that would work.
Is the nutrition information for the whole recipe or per serving? Also what kind of vinegar do you use?
hello. i would like to know what equal 1 gal of milk in liters.
Hi Diana, one gallon is 3.78 Liters.
Hi. i would like to know 1 gal of milk equal how many liters plz.
Very good. I made the recipe with farm fresh milk. I thought I would start with half a recipe and see how it turned out, i was not disappointed. The finished cheese has a mild delicate flavour that is nothing like store bought cottage cheese. Delicious. The only thing that I would change it to maybe let it sit in the pot a little longer as the whey was a little cloudy/milky looking.
What type of vinegar do you use? White or apple cider?
You mentioned expired milk. How expired? I have some that is about 2 weeks past the date but they are in sealed cartons. I am mad that I let it go to waist.
if it’s raw milk then it won’t really expire… raw milk just tends to get less sweet as time goes on. If it’s pasteurized milk, then you need to toss it, as it’s not good after the expiration.
I made this using skim powdered milk, and it looked like it was turning out perfectly. But it was very dry and rubbery; any ideas to why? I’m new to this and live in a remote area where milk is very hard to get, that’s why I’m trying powdered milk. Thanks!
I haven’t ever tried it with powdered milk, or powdered skim milk. I always try to use whole (full fat) milk. I wish I could tell you what may have happened, but I’m not sure.
SHANTELLE Wolf says
You should try ording milk keifer grains online and have on hand so you can make milk keifer. You will no longer have to deal with spoiled milk issues and you have a great probiotic shake!
Shantelle – I actually do! I buy raw milk here in my city (Mesa). I have had the same kefir grains for 4-5 years now.. I make everything from sourdough bread to kefir smoothies, kefir cheese, etc. Love love kefir!
stephen keith brown says
so 1 gallon of milk you only get 2 cups of cheese