How to Make a Simple Little Cheese

I’ve been a fan of New England Cheesemaking Supply ever since I picked up a copy of Ricki Carroll’s book, Home Cheese Making. Having followed her instructions for everything from 30-minute Mozzarella to Halloumi to Manchego, my copy of her book is proudly well-worn. I asked Jeri Case at New England Cheesemaking if she would help put together a guest post on cheesemaking, and she was happy to oblige!

Homemade Cheese

We at New England Cheesemaking Supply Company are proud to support you in your pledge to eat healthy food.  Andrew has been one of our guest bloggers several times and we’re big fans of his website.

We want to take this opportunity to tell you that you don’t have to be a gourmet cook to make your own cheese. In fact, our mission is to make it very easy for you.  We have many recipes in our book, on our DVD, at our website, in our blog, and in our monthly “Moosletter.”

In fact, just recently we received a recipe from one of our customers, Nancy Ferland, which will be featured in our November Moosletter. It’s basically an American version of queso blanco (South America) and panir (India).

This recipe is absolutely foolproof! The only equipment you may not have is cheesecloth, but you can use an old pillow case or even a paper towel. Any milk (except ultra-pasteurized) will work.

So, try it and we think you’ll be hooked. Then you can come to our website at, and we’ll have you aging your own Camemberts in no time!

Draining the Curds

4.9 from 23 reviews
A Simple Little Cheese
I'd like to share this wonderful, easy, inexpensive recipe for a simple but delicious little cheese. Kids, with adult supervision with the heating, can even make this, as the ingredients are all just simple stuff from your kitchen!
  • 1 gallon Goat or Cow Milk
  • 1 cup White Vinegar
  • 2-4 tsp. Sea Salt
  1. Put milk in stainless pot, sprinkle on the salt and stir it well.
  2. Heat to 190 degrees F.
  3. Remove pot from heat and quickly stir in the vinegar, making sure it's well blended; let set for 20 to 30 minutes (checking to make sure it is good and curdled).
  4. Line colander with cheesecloth, pour milk through (whey should be yellow and a little cloudy).
  5. Bring up the corners of cheesecloth and squeeze as much whey out as possible; I let it sit hanging from the edge of the pot at this point for maybe 15 to 20 minutes to make sure all the whey has dripped out.
  6. Open the cheesecloth and you will have a lovely ball of cheese. Put it in a covered crock in the fridge until chilled.
  7. You can use it as a spread, or in salad like feta, or crumbled like queso fresca in enchiladas or tacos, or instead of ricotta in lasagna or manicotti. We have even made a rustic cheese/pear pie with this cheese when we couldn't find mascarpone locally, letting the mixed filling sit in the fridge overnight to soften it up a bit and make it a bit smoother. You can also use it as the base for filling for cheese danish pastry.
  8. We like to stir herbs, nuts, roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, etc into it when it’s still liquid (it’s easier to stir that way) and this makes a great spread for crackers as an appetizer. Hope you enjoy this nice little cheese!
Be sure not to use "ultra-pasteurized" milk.

Photos by George Wesley and Bonita Dannells.

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152 Responses to How to Make a Simple Little Cheese

  1. Debbie September 27, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    Can I make it with low fat, 1% or skim milk?

    • Andrew September 27, 2012 at 10:33 am #

      It should work fine — will probably just be a little bit drier. Let us know how it goes!

      • Debbie October 5, 2012 at 4:24 am #

        Thank you – will try soon, I hope.

  2. Happy October 4, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    What are the consequences of using ultra-pasteurized milk?

    • Andrew October 4, 2012 at 11:51 am #

      The milk won’t curdle properly.

  3. Coleen October 14, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    Where can I get not ultra-pasturized milk or cream in Texas? It is not allowed to be sold in stores and I cannot find a dairy farm near Houston. Do you have any ideas?

  4. aubrey November 9, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

    This looks delicious and I really want to try it! Any idea about how well irradiated milk works for making cheese. I live in Vietnam where it is difficult to find any milk that is not shelf stable because of irradiation.

    • Andrew November 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

      Hi Aubrey – I’ve tried to find a bit of info on irradiated milk and cheesemaking, but I have come up short.

      My guess is that it won’t work – if nothing else, odds are good that it’s been ultra-high-temperature pasteurized as well. BUT, the only way to know is to try! You can try the recipe with a small amount – just scale it down so you’re using just a cup or two of milk and a reduced amount of vinegar and salt. That way, if it doesn’t work, you won’t have wasted a whole gallon of milk. Hope you’ll give it a shot and report back! :)

  5. dannaea December 21, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

    cn we hve easy made cheese with procedure in vedeo’s?

  6. Redds February 14, 2013 at 7:03 am #

    I just tried making this to sate my hunger for cheese amidst the rising prices of processed and not-so-tasty cheese slices. I’ve never made cheese before despite wanting to for a long time. After googling homemade cheeses and getting a lot of cottage/ricotta/cream cheese recipes, I picked yours and got to work. I sort of expected a harder, smoother cheese, just from the picture, but at the end I still got a sort of cottagey cream cheese that my brother called yoghurt and my dad called not-salty-enough.

    Admittedly I might have used a bit more vinegar than the recipe called for in 1 liter of milk, and I did not have a thermometer and only judged by eye, but it was fun and I did get a cheese I was happy enough with :D Perhaps the next time I’ll try a little less vinegar, or a lemon juice, heating it to just bubbling and using a coffee strainer that doesn’t have a hole in it! XD

  7. D R March 14, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    How much cheese does this recipe make and how can I use the whey? Thanks.

    • Andrew March 14, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

      It’ll make about a pound and a half, give or take.

      Some folks like to drink the whey, or use it in smoothies, or perhaps for baking. Personally, I don’t like the taste (and I’m mildly lactose intolerant — and most of the lactose is in the whey), so I just toss it…

  8. Deborah June 24, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    I am lactose intolorent and have to drink lactiad milk. I love cheese but dairy products give me a lot of gas. Will this cheese recipe work with lactaid milk?

    • Andrew June 24, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

      Hi Deborah – Unfortunately, milk with the lactose removed won’t work for making cheese.

  9. kate August 6, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    hello i was wondering if this cheese could be used on homemade pizza ?

    • Andrew August 6, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

      Sure! Though it’s going to be more like a ricotta than a mozzarella.

  10. Tom August 27, 2013 at 6:56 am #

    I am making this cheese right now. It has been sitting for almost an hour and only a small part has curdled. I followed the recipe exactly. My question is this: would the altitude have anything to do with the milk not curdling?
    Thank You,

    • Andrew August 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

      I don’t think altitude affects cheesemaking – I’ve made ricotta and mozzarella in the mountains (around 7,000′) without adjusting my recipes.

      Perhaps the vinegar was not as strong? What kind did you use?

  11. Amanda December 16, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    I had the day off and came across your recipe. I made it exactly as it was written (in a smaller quantity) and it came out great! I can’t wait to experiment with different herbs and things I can mix in!
    Great recipe, and super easy!
    P.S I used the pillow case and it worked great! :)

  12. Layne December 25, 2013 at 12:26 am #

    Does it need to be sea salt? Or does it even need salt, if so, how does it help?

  13. Theunis de Winnaar May 17, 2014 at 4:00 am #

    Good day all my name is Theuns de Winnaar,I live in South Africa
    and will definitly try the recipe.HAPPY CHEESE MAKING TO ALL.

  14. Jo July 31, 2014 at 7:00 am #

    Me and my son have just made this cheese and it’s really nice.
    But there is loads of whey left, any suggestions on what to do with it?

  15. Kim January 2, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

    I made this cheese today. My cheese seems to be a bit dry. Could I have squeezed too much liquid out of it?

    • Andrew January 8, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

      Hi Kim –

      That sounds like exactly what happened. If you try it again, just drain/squeeze it a little less. You can always give it a taste and drain it longer if need be!


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