Homemade Cottage Cheese

I started making homemade cottage cheese for two reasons: my husband loves it, and I wasn’t pleased with the ingredients found in store-bought cottage cheese. I wanted a cost effective and healthier option for my husbands favorite snack food.

Homemade cottage cheese is more cost effective to make from scratch than purchase at the grocery store…and it’s delicious too! Three basic ingredients are all you need.

I’ve chosen to make a few other staple items from scratch instead of purchasing at the store: From Scratch Peanut Butter, Homemade Blender Butter, How to Can Tomato Sauce, and much more!

Let me teach you how to make homemade cottage cheese. It is a cost effective and healthier alternative to the store bought cottage cheese. How is is healthier? Well, it contains three basic ingredients rather than a whole list of nasty ones that I want out of my house! Find everything you need in this step-by-step tutorial (with pictures!) to make your own cottage cheese.

How to Make Homemade Cottage Cheese

What You’ll Need

  • Large pot
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Slotted spoon
  • Cheesecloth (or clean kitchen towel)
  • Colander
  • Medium bowl


  • 1 gallon whole milk (not ultra-high temperature processed or “long life”)
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream


  1. Pour milk into a large pot. Heat slowly to 190°F, stirring regularly so the milk doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pot.
  2. Remove from heat, pour in vinegar and stir. Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, line a colander with a clean piece of doubled cheesecloth or a tea towel. Place the colander over another bowl to catch any liquid (whey) that drips out.
  4. After the 30 minutes of rest are up, spoon the solids from the pot into the lined colander. Let it drain for 30 minutes.
  5. Gather the ends of the cloth tightly together and form a cloth-wrapped ball of cheese. Holding this in one hand, run cold water over the ball, kneading and squeezing it with your other hand until the entire ball of cheese is cool.
  6. Dump the cheese out of the cloth into a bowl and use a spoon to break it into small curds. Stir in salt to taste.
  7. For creamy cottage cheese, stir in the heavy cream 2 tablespoons at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
  8. Chill for at least 1 hour then stir before serving. Use within five days.


  • Ingredients salt and heavy cream are optional and amounts are based on personal preference. Skipping out on any heavy cream will create more of a ricotta cheese texture.
  • This recipe makes a rather large batch of cottage cheese. You may need to cut it in half if unable to consume it all within 1 weeks time.
  • Don’t throw out all of that leftover yellow liquid! It’s a protein powerhouse. Find some ideas for utilization just below.

How to Serve

  • All on its own
  • Sweet treat: Topped with fruit and granola
  • Savory: mixed with chopped tomatoes, red onions, and black pepper
  • Lasagna (use in place of ricotta cheese)

How to Store

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I prefer to use Mason jars, but anything. with a tight lid does the trick too!

How Long Does it Last?

Use within 1 week.

What to Do With the Whey

One thing you’ll notice is that there is a lot of yellow liquid left over from the process. That’s called whey…and it has a lot of really beneficial uses! Keep it around because it is an extremely high source of protein!

Here are some ways to utilize whey:

  • Use in place of water to make stock
  • Add to soups
  • Combine into a smoothie
  • Pour onto your hair and allow to soak for 1 hour before rinsing away
  • Add to a foot bath for soaking rough heels
  • And much more! Just search for uses of whey…you’ll be amazed!

More From-Scratch Recipes

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2 thoughts on “Homemade Cottage Cheese

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  1. Hi Annie, I’m trying this cottage cheese recipe today, super excited to see the results! 🙂

    Lori- vaughnstead.com

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